Many travellers spend all their time on
the coast of
Queensland, enjoying cities, beaches and coral reef, and miss out the
most unique place -
It’s harsh and empty, too hot during the summer and too
cold during the
winter, but it's so much fun to travel in the outback in Australia.
Outback Queensland. Poster
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While every state in Australia has at
least a bit of
the outback, the
outback in Queensland is reasonably accessible compared to
states of Queensland's size, and you can do a lot of it without even
needing to drive a four
wheel drive vehicle.
Simpson Desert. Poster
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Southern Outback Queensland
Some of the bigger towns in the southernmost Queensland are Warwick,
Stanthorpe, Goondiwindi, St George,
Dirranbandi, Bollon and Cunnamulla.
Roma and Charleville
West from Miles is Roma,
the thing to see in town is the Big Rig Complex - a museum of the
exploration of oil and gas, which are found in the area. Places to stay
Explorers Inn and Motel
Carnarvon. West of Roma are the small towns Mitchell and
Morven, and west from there is Charleville,
another town known for floods. The main thing to see is the Skywatch
Observatory, where you can watch an informative movie, use telescopes
night time, and listen to a guided tour about meteorites and other
interesting stuff. There is also a historic House Museum, Royal Flying
Doctors Service, and the School of the Air. A place to
stay is Charleville
Motel. North of Charleville is Augathella - a
outback town with some colourful murals.
After Charleville, the places get more remote. The next town west is Quilpie - an opal
mining town with a
museum where you can watch opal cutting demonstrations.Further
inland are Stonehenge,
outback towns in
the middle of some flat open country, a lot of goanna lizards, and some
very red sand dunes. Places to stay are hotels (pubs) and
Bedourie and Birdsville
Further west are Bedourie and Birdsville in the south western corner of
Queensland in the so-called Channel Country. Bedourie is the
centre of the Diamantina shire, and there is nothing especially for
visitors except a good old pub. Birdsville
has more for visitors. There is a museum in town, as well as the famous
Birdsville Pub. In the first weekend in September, the famous
Birdsville Races are held here. You can stay at the hotel (pub) or
By AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to
Inland from Gladstone, Rockhampton and Mackay
Inland from Gladstone, Mackay and Rockhampton are Biloela, Rolleston,
Springsure, Moranbah, Clermont, Dingo, Emerald, Anakie, Alpha, Jericho,
Barcaldine, Blackall, Aramac, Muttaburra, Longreach, Winton, Kynuna,
McKinlay and Boulia.
Carnarvon National park. Poster by AllPosters. Click on
Inland from Mackay
Inland from Mackay are Moranbah and Clermont. Moranbah is a small
has a museum as well as tours to the Blair Athol coal mine. Clermont is
also famous as the town that moved - to the higher grounds after the
1916 flood that killed 65 people. There is a marker showing the flood
water levels, and there is an old piano in a tree. Places to stay are
hotels (pubs) and camping.
Outback Queensland. By
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Inland from Rockhampton
Inland from Rockhampton are Dingo, Emerald, Anakie, Alpha, Jericho,
Barcaldine, Longreach, Winton, Kynuna, McKinlay and Boulia. Dingo is a small
town with nothing
much for travellers,
but the nearby Blackdown
Tableland National Park is a nice place to visit if you like waterfalls
and rock formations. Emerald
is a centre of the surrounding farming country, and apart from a museum
and botanical gardens there is a huge replica of the Van Gogh's
painting Sunflowers in the town's central park. Places to stay include A
& A Lodge Motel, Emerald
Meteor Motel, Star
Hotel and Emerald
Maraboon Motor Inn. Rubyvale,
in the middle of some
gemstone fossicking country. Further west are the small towns Alpha and Jericho,
old pubs and colourful murals. You can stay at hotels (pubs) or camp.
Barcaldine and the Tree of Knowledge West of Jericho is Barcaldine,
known as the “garden city of the west”
thanks to the good supplies of the bore water which comes from the
Great Artesian Basin, a huge underground water
supply that extends to Gulf
Savannah in north Queensland.
It is also known as the centre of the historic
Shearers’ Strike in 1891 which lead to the formation of Australian
Workers’ Party (today’s Australian Labour Party). The organisers’
meeting place, a ghost gum near the train station, was called the Tree
of Knowledge and became the symbol for workers’ rights.
a healthy 200-years-old tree until in April 2006, someone
poured poison on its roots and killed the tree. But that only made the
tree even more famous. It’s still standing
there, now in its own monument. You can learn more about
the history of Australian workers’ at the Australian Workers Heritage
Centre. Places to stay are hotels (pubs) and caravan parks.
Blackall and the Black
South of Barcaldine is Blackall
- the town that is the site of the "Black
Stump". It is
the site of the first artesian well that was drilled in Queensland, and
also as the former home of Jackie Howe, who set the speed record in
sheep shearing. He later run a pub in town, and is also buried here.
There is the Black Stump Display, the Jackie Howe Statue, and the
Blackall Woolscour that runs guided tours of an old shearing shed and a
wool cleaner - still in working order and the only one of its kind left
in Queensland. Places to stay are hotels (pubs) and caravan parks.
Aramac and Muttaburra
North of Barcaldine are Aramac and Muttaburra. Aramac
is a small
outback town with a few old buildings, a pub and a statue of a bull in
the main street, as well as the nearby Lake Dunn
that is a
place for camping. Muttaburra
is another small town with nothing much for travellers except the
statue of Muttaburrasaurus - the type
of dinosaur whose fossils have been found in the area. Both
have a hotel (pub) and a camping ground.
Longreach and Ilfracombe
West of Barcaldine is Ilfracombe,
and further west is Longreach
– the home of the famous Australian
Stockman’s Hall of Fame
- one of the biggest tourist attractions in
the outback Queensland. Longreach is also the original home town of
Airlines and today there is a Qantas Museum that consists of an old
hangar with historical stuff as well as a modern Qantas plane. Other
things to see in town are the Powerhouse
Longreach School of Distance Education, and quite a unique outback show
in Banjo’s Outback Theatre. Longreach
accommodation includes Longreach
Motor Inn and Albert
Park Motor Inn.
Winton and Waltzing Matilda
The next town west is Winton
– a cattle and sheep farming centre, mostly famous as the birth place
of the song Waltzing Matilda. Banjo Patterson, one of the most
famous Australian poets, wrote Waltzing Matilda after visiting Winton
in the 1890s, and
supposedly the song was first performed in the North Gregory Hotel in
main street. Today there is the Waltzing
Matilda Centre, with both visual and audio displays about
and its history. Other things in town are Arno's Wall, Musical Fence,
some nice pubs, an old canvas theatre and some other nice old
buildings, including an opal shop. There are hotels (pubs), motels and
caravan parks in town.
Winton country. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail
Opalton and Lark Quarry
Winton is surrounded by red soils and opal country, and south of the
town is a dirt road to Opalton.
The town itself hardly exists, but the road is a nice outback
experience if you like to get off the beaten track and go discovering.
The track can be done in a loop, and along the track is the fossilised
dinosaur stampede in Lark
Also south of Winton, along the track, is the entrance to Bladensburg
Opalton country. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail
Kynuna and McKinlay
West of Winton are the one pub towns Kynuna and McKinlay,
and the Combo Waterhole,
is where the story in the Waltzing
Matilda song took place. McKinlay
is the home of
the famous Walkabout Creek Hotel that was featured in Paul Hogan’s
classic Australian movie Crocodile
is the home of the Blue Heeler Hotel, named after a popular Australian
dog breed. In front of it is a surf life saver's watch tower, used in
the annual Surf Life Savings
Carnivals (yep, the ocean is miles away and the carnival does exist
:-). In both Kynuna
and McKinlay you can stay at the camp ground behind the pub. Both
townships have a hotel (pub) and a camping ground.
Outback Queensland. Poster by
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Boulia and Min Min Lights Further west is Boulia,
a town that
known for Min
Min Lights. So,
town's big drawcard is the Min Min encounter, where you can discover
the lights and learn the stories behind them. Another thing in town is
the Boulia Stone House Museum, in a building from 1888.
Places to stay include a hotel
motel and a caravan park.
Outback Queensland. Poster by
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Inland from Townsville to Outback Queensland
Townsville are Ravenswood, Charters Towers, Hughenden, Richmond, Julia
Creek, Cloncurry, Mount Isa and Camooweal. And inland from Bowen are Collinsville
Bowen River Hotel.
Townsville. Poster by
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Inland from Townsville are Charters Towers and Ravenswood
- both are historical as well as modern mining
almost a ghost town, with two pubs and some other historical buildings,
old mining ruins and relics, as well as a working mine. If you like
mining history, it's a great little town to discover. Places to stay
are pubs and camping grounds (behind Ravenswood is also the Burdekin
Falls Dam and Lake
Towers was always bigger, and still is. It has got some
old buildings that really remind you of the town's former wealth. There
are the World Theatre, the Civic Club
and the old Bank Building, as well as the old international Stock
Exchange Arcade, built in
1888 – one of Australia’s oldest. More about the town's history can be
learned in Venus Gold Battery, The Old Miner's Cottage, Zara Clark
Museum, and from the displays and the free nightly movie at the town's
Lookout Point, which has great views over the town that once was the
second largest city in Queensland
with 25 pubs only in the main street and nearly 100 mines around it.
Some of the places to stay
include Best Western Country
the Park Restaurant
& Motel, Dalrymple Tourist Van
and Royal Private Hotel.
Hughenden and Richmond
West of Charters Towers are Balfes Creek, Homestead, Pentland, White
Mountains National Park, Torrens Creek, Prairie, Hughenden and Richmond.
Hughenden and Richmond are centres of the surrounding cattle and sheep
country, which, for tourists, are mostly known as two of the three
towns in the so called "Winton - Richmond - Hughenden Dinosaur
Triangle". In Hughenden,
there is the Dinosaur Display and Museum, with a lot of dinosaur
fossils, and one whole big skeleton. Some of the places to stay
include the Grand
Hotel, Royal Hotel-motel, or Allan Terry Caravan Park. In
the Kronosaurus Korner with more dinosaur fossils. Places to stay
Richmond Caravan Park, Aminite Inn and Federal Palace
Julia Creek and
Cloncurry Further west are Julia Creek and Cloncurry. Both are
pastoral centres with some mining history. Julia
for travellers except a few old pubs and a museum in the main street.
Places to stay include
Julia Creek Hotel and a caravan
the birthplace of Royal
Flying Doctors Service. There is the John Flynn Place with displays
about the history of Royal
Flying Doctors Service, and the Mary Kathleen Museum - with some
and relics from the old mining days.
Central Hotel, Wagon Wheel Motel, Gidgee Inn and
Park Tourist Park.
Cloncurry, outback Queensland.
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West of Cloncurry are Mount Isa and Camooweal. Mount
is the home of one of the largest underground mines in the world. You
can visit the mines on a tour, which is very interesting. It was also a
town that was prepared for bombings during the WWII, so there is an
undergroud hospital, and nowadays also an underground museum. The
tourist information centre is at Outback at Isa, which houses displays
of the town's history and the Riversleigh Fossil Centre where you can
watch scientists at work with fossils. Next door is the Kalkadoon
Centre with information about and art by the local Aboriginal People.
The town's lookout has great views over the town and the mine. North of
the town is Lake Moondarra, and west is Camooweal
- a small
town with a few historical buildings and an old pub. Places to stay
include All Seasons Verona
Hotel, Agryilla Tourist Park
Big 4, Central
Point Motel, Copper City Motel and
Ave Motor Inn, Outback
Mt Isa and Townview
Mount Isa, outback Queensland.
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Here's a map of
outback Queensland, where I have tagged the places that
mentioned on this web page. You can click on the tags to see what
places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and
see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to
see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top
right hand corner.
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What Other Visitors Have Said
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2010 I Drove to Birdsville for the Races. Not rated yet I left from South Johnstone with Mick, the publican of the "Criterion". I have a Proton Jumbuck.
We took the Kennedy Development Rd from The Lynd Junction …
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