Queensland Holidays - The Official Tourism Site for Queensland

Queensland's Outback

Central West Outback Adventure Drive
5 Days  / 1463 Kilometres

Central West Outback Adventure Drive - Print Brochure
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Description

The five day Central West Outback Adventure Drive begins in Longreach and leads you around the central west back to Winton, providing a unique look at this special corner of Queensland - wide open spaces, desert scenery and wildflowers, large red sand dunes, the Simpson Desert National Park, heritage and historical sites. This is a great way to get a taste of Outback Queensland


Photos



Journey Routes


  • Winton to Boulia

    Begin your Central West Adventure heading west from Winton. Your first stop is Middleton, where you can enjoy a cold drink with the locals at the hotel. A short distance out of town stop off at the Cawnpore Lookout in the Lilyvale Hills where the spectacular views of this rugged country seem to stretch on forever. Stop for a photo at the ruins of the Min Min Hotel, on your way to Boulia, the capital of 'The Channel Country'. Places to visit include the Stone Cottage (built in 1880), the oldest house in the town, and now a museum displaying aboriginal artefacts and memorabilia of the town. On your visit to Boulia you may chance a sighting of the elusive 'Min Min Lights', a natural phenomenon which occurs in Outback regions. But if not, never mind, there is always a visit to the Min Min Encounter Centre. Things to see around Boulia include the ruins of the Police Barracks, 19 kilometres north of town; the Burke and Wills tree, 110 kilometres north-east on the banks of the Burke River (via a track); and the Diamantina Gates National Park, 150 kilometres south-east. Overnight in Boulia.
    More >

  • Boulia to Birdsville

    This morning head south to Bedourie along the Diamantina Developmental Road. Take time out for a relaxing artesian spa while in Bedourie. Continuing on to Birdsville, stop to view prolific birdlife at Carcory Ruins and Cuttaburra Crossing. Arrive in Birdsville late afternoon in time to soak up the atmosphere and have a drink at the famous Birdsville Hotel. Birdsville captures the very essence of Australia. Discover the character of Birdsville as you visit the Blue Poles Art Gallery, Pelican Point, Burke and Wills' campsite and the Dingo Caves. 32 kilometres west of Birdsville is the famous 'Big Red' sandhill on the road to Poeppel's Corner and the Simpson Desert National Park. Poeppel's Corner is the junction of the South Australian, Queensland and Northern Territory corners. From Poeppel's Corner, the French Line Track crosses the Simpson Desert to Dalhousie Springs in the Witjira National Park. About 10 kilometres north of Birdsville on the Bedourie Road are the concrete-like Waddi trees. In season, the wildflowers have to be seen to be believed. Watch the sunset from 'Big Red' - you will see the colours of the Simpson Desert magically transform, then head back to Birdsville for the night.
    More >

  • Birdsville to Windorah

    Head off early today, east along the Birdsville Developmental Road. The drive is quite a long one; so break it with stops along the way at Moonda Lake and Betoota. Arrive in Windorah mid-afternoon to rest and refresh. The next day, have a relaxing day exploring the diverse beauty of the Barcoo, with stunning vistas, picturesque ruins and historical sites. Just to the west of town are the magnificent red sand dunes. Follow a scenic nature drive (approximately 12 kilometres to the east) to the mighty Cooper's Creek where you will be amazed at the abundance of birds and wildlife. You can choose from camping, cabin and motel accommodation in Windorah.
    More >

  • Windorah to Longreach

    Following north along the route of the Thomson River, continue on to Longreach. Stop off in the country towns of Jundah and tiny Stonehenge, home to just 30 people. Less than four kilometres from Stonehenge you will find a series of magnificent Rock Holes shaded by ghostly white gum trees, the perfect place to cool off. You will discover some glorious landscapes and scenic lookouts on this trip. Onto Longreach, home of the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Powerhouse Museum and Qantas Founders Outback Museum and a wealth of entertainment and warm, country hospitality. Another highlight of a visit to Longreach is a cruise on the Thomson River. Qantas Airlines began in nearby Winton, however its first main operations were from Longreach. So look out for a replica of the first Qantas booking office as you wander through town.
    More >





Journey Details

Duration5 Days Itinerary TypeLand
Distance1463 KilometresItinerary RouteOne Way
Mode of TravelCar
Level of DifficultyLevel of difficulty - 2

Activities

  • Self-Guided
    Self-Guided


Other Information

Children:
Yes. Children are welcome.

Pets Allowed:
Yes. Pets are allowed.


Visit our Driving Safety and Advice page for more information or the RACQ website for the latest road conditions.

Central West Outback Adventure Drive Full Itinerary


Winton to Boulia

Begin your Central West Adventure heading west from Winton.

Your first stop is Middleton, where you can enjoy a cold drink with the locals at the hotel.

A short distance out of town stop off at the Cawnpore Lookout in the Lilyvale Hills where the spectacular views of this rugged country seem to stretch on forever.

Stop for a photo at the ruins of the Min Min Hotel, on your way to Boulia, the capital of 'The Channel Country'. Places to visit include the Stone Cottage (built in 1880), the oldest house in the town, and now a museum displaying aboriginal artefacts and memorabilia of the town.

On your visit to Boulia you may chance a sighting of the elusive 'Min Min Lights', a natural phenomenon which occurs in Outback regions. But if not, never mind, there is always a visit to the Min Min Encounter Centre.

Things to see around Boulia include the ruins of the Police Barracks, 19 kilometres north of town; the Burke and Wills tree, 110 kilometres north-east on the banks of the Burke River (via a track); and the Diamantina Gates National Park, 150 kilometres south-east. Overnight in Boulia.



Photos

Boulia
Boulia


Route Details

Distance:
363 Kilometres
Mode of Travel:
Car
Route Type:
One Way

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Caravan and Camping
    Caravan and Camping
  • Family Friendly
    Family Friendly
  • Fishing
    Fishing
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Level of difficulty - 2



Boulia to Birdsville

This morning head south to Bedourie along the Diamantina Developmental Road. Take time out for a relaxing artesian spa while in Bedourie. Continuing on to Birdsville, stop to view prolific birdlife at Carcory Ruins and Cuttaburra Crossing.

Arrive in Birdsville late afternoon in time to soak up the atmosphere and have a drink at the famous Birdsville Hotel. Birdsville captures the very essence of Australia.

Discover the character of Birdsville as you visit the Blue Poles Art Gallery, Pelican Point, Burke and Wills' campsite and the Dingo Caves.

32 kilometres west of Birdsville is the famous 'Big Red' sandhill on the road to Poeppel's Corner and the Simpson Desert National Park. Poeppel's Corner is the junction of the South Australian, Queensland and Northern Territory corners.

From Poeppel's Corner, the French Line Track crosses the Simpson Desert to Dalhousie Springs in the Witjira National Park. About 10 kilometres north of Birdsville on the Bedourie Road are the concrete-like Waddi trees. In season, the wildflowers have to be seen to be believed.

Watch the sunset from 'Big Red' - you will see the colours of the Simpson Desert magically transform, then head back to Birdsville for the night.



Photos

Birdsville Hotel
Birdsville Hotel


Route Details

Distance:
385 Kilometres
Mode of Travel:
Car
Route Type:
One Way

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Caravan and Camping
    Caravan and Camping
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Lakes/Rivers/Dams
    Waterways
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Level of difficulty - 3


Other Information

Children:
Children are welcome.



Birdsville to Windorah

Head off early today, east along the Birdsville Developmental Road. The drive is quite a long one; so break it with stops along the way at Moonda Lake and Betoota. Arrive in Windorah mid-afternoon to rest and refresh.

The next day, have a relaxing day exploring the diverse beauty of the Barcoo, with stunning vistas, picturesque ruins and historical sites. Just to the west of town are the magnificent red sand dunes. Follow a scenic nature drive (approximately 12 kilometres to the east) to the mighty Cooper's Creek where you will be amazed at the abundance of birds and wildlife. You can choose from camping, cabin and motel accommodation in Windorah.



Route Details

Distance:
391 Kilometres
Mode of Travel:
Car
Route Type:
One Way

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Caravan and Camping
    Caravan and Camping
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Lakes/Rivers/Dams
    Waterways
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Level of difficulty - 3


Other Information

Children:
Children are welcome.



Windorah to Longreach

View Detailed Map >

Following north along the route of the Thomson River, continue on to Longreach. Stop off in the country towns of Jundah and tiny Stonehenge, home to just 30 people. Less than four kilometres from Stonehenge you will find a series of magnificent Rock Holes shaded by ghostly white gum trees, the perfect place to cool off. You will discover some glorious landscapes and scenic lookouts on this trip.

Onto Longreach, home of the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Powerhouse Museum and Qantas Founders Outback Museum and a wealth of entertainment and warm, country hospitality. Another highlight of a visit to Longreach is a cruise on the Thomson River. Qantas Airlines began in nearby Winton, however its first main operations were from Longreach. So look out for a replica of the first Qantas booking office as you wander through town.



Route Details

Distance:
324 Kilometres
Mode of Travel:
Car
Route Type:
One Way

Experiences
  • Adventure
    Adventure
  • Caravan and Camping
    Caravan and Camping
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Lakes/Rivers/Dams
    Waterways
  • Nature based
    Nature based
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Level of difficulty - 3


Other Information

Children:
Children are welcome.



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Itinerary Routes



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Driving Directions

1 - Winton to Boulia
Start from:Landsborough Highway, Corfield QLD 4733, Australia
End at:Diamantina Developmental Road, Boulia QLD 4829, Australia
Distance:355 km
Duration:3 hours 58 mins
Directions:
  1. Head west on National Highway A2 toward Kennedy Developmental Rd
  2. Take the 1st left onto Kennedy Developmental Rd
  3. Continue straight onto National Route 83
2 - Boulia to Birdsville
Start from:Diamantina Developmental Road, Boulia QLD 4829, Australia
End at:LOT 308 Graham Street, Birdsville QLD 4482, Australia
Distance:381 km
Duration:6 hours 33 mins
Directions:
  1. Head east on National Route 83
  2. Take the 1st right to stay on National Route 83
  3. Turn right onto Graham St
    Destination will be on the left
3 - Birdsville to Windorah
Start from:LOT 308 Graham Street, Birdsville QLD 4482, Australia
End at:Thomson Developmental Road, Windorah QLD 4481, Australia
Distance:386 km
Duration:6 hours 39 mins
Directions:
  1. Head southwest on Graham St
  2. Turn left toward Adelaide St
  3. Turn left onto Adelaide St
  4. Slight left onto National Route 83
  5. Turn left onto Birdsville Developmental Rd
  6. Turn right onto Diamantina Developmental Rd
  7. Sharp left onto Thomson Developmental Rd
4 - Windorah to Longreach
Start from:Thomson Developmental Road, Windorah QLD 4481, Australia
End at:144 Spoonbill Street, Longreach QLD 4730, Australia
Distance:314 km
Duration:4 hours 45 mins
Directions:
  1. Head south on Thomson Developmental Rd toward Diamantina Developmental Rd
  2. Slight left onto Diamantina Developmental Rd
  3. Turn left to stay on Diamantina Developmental Rd
  4. Turn left onto National Highway 79
  5. Turn left to stay on National Highway 79




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