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Ancient Outback - Mount Isa to Mount Isa
7 Days  / 1210 Kilometres

Ancient Outback - Mount Isa to Mount Isa - Print Brochure
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Description

Follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs across the ancient great inland seabed when you embark on this fascinating drive. Experience the rugged beauty of Queensland's north-west outback through some of the most dramatically changing landscape in Australia.

Fully sealed roads lead you from the largest inland city and mining heart of Australia, Mount Isa, to where dinosaurs once roamed and roared across an outback much different to the one we see today. Come face to face with these giants from the past and learn how they walked, swam and survived millions of years ago. Fossick and pick up an authentic dinosaur fossil to take home. Witness the massacre site when a stampede took the life of thousands in one go.

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Hear the legends of yesteryear and meet the colourful characters that live here today. In pubs and stores they'll greet you with a warm gidday and usually a tip of the hat for the ladies.

This route can be accomplished with a two wheel drive vehicle though some of the roads to attractions along the route are dirt and may become inaccessible after rain. No matter what vehicle you are travelling in be sure to check road conditions before departure.

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Photos



Journey Routes


  • Days 1, 2 and 3: Mount Isa to Richmond

    After flying into Mount Isa spend the afternoon exploring Australia's outback mining capital. The best place to start is at The Outback at Isa. The next day, step back in time walking through a Miocene Forest brimming with peculiar looking creatures. Next door hear dreamtime stories whilst gazing at magnificent aboriginal rock carvings and paintings at the Kalkadoon Tribal Centre. Day 3 - As you travel east, the rugged Selwyn Ranges sprinkled with Spinifex take on a different appearance not only each season but every hour of the day. Stand in silence admiring some of the oldest art on earth at Sunrock. The friendly town of Cloncurry, built on copper and cattle is next. Stare down the huge open pit on a tour of the Ernest Henry Mine. See the history behind the great outback saviour - The Royal Flying Doctor Service - which officially launched in Cloncurry at The John Flynn Place. Cloncurry was once a Ghan Town at the height of the copper boom. The mosque with its rich carpet floor is now gone however in the cemetery lies the grave of Mullah Syd O Mar, aligned traditionally north-south to the Muslim holy city, Mecca.
    More >

  • Days 4, 5 and 6: Richmond to Winton

    Before departing Richmond, a visit to Kronasaurus Corner should be placed high on your list. Journey back 100 million years, when this whole area was below the water line. Study the remains of Australia's best-preserved dinosaur skeleton, Minmi which takes pride of place alongside the Richmond Pliosaur - Australia's best vertebrate fossil and one of the world's finest Pliosaur skeletons. It really has to be seen to be believed! If fossil fever should take hold, grab a map and head on out to one of the free fossicking sites close to town. Almost every stone overturned contains some form of fossilized material and impressive bones are still commonly found. Then it's off to Hughenden on the banks of Queensland's longest river and to greet you is a mammoth life-size dinosaur replica - Hughie they call him for short. Off to Winton, best known as the place AB (Banjo) Paterson penned and first performed Australia's adopted anthem, Waltzing Matilda. Hear the ghost of the swaggy by the billabong and lots more at the Waltzing Matilda Centre. Spend the day exploring Winton with its Outback country pubs, The Royal Theatre, Anro's Wall and the Music fence.
    More >

  • Day 7: Winton to Mount Isa

    Hit the road towards Mount Isa. Pull over and have morning tea beneath huge Red River Gums and Coolibah trees on Combo Waterhole, 145 kilometres out of Winton. This deep semi-permanent billabong on the banks of the Diamantina River is believed to be the site that inspired the writing of Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson while on a visit to Dagworth Station in 1895. After your cuppa, walk across the stone-pitched overshot weir, built by Chinese labourers more than a century ago. Kynuna is just a couple of clicks down the road. You can't drive past the famed Blue Heeler Hotel and not have a peep inside. Some around these parts are keen to tell you this is the bar where Banjo swigged beer and performed his verse. Buy a drink and earn the right to put your name up on the wall. Next stop is the small outback town of McKinlay and yes another famed outback pub. Stride across the wooden veranda just as Mick did in Crocodile Dundee for this is the featured Walkabout Creek Hotel. From here it's an easy run along the tar back through Cloncurry and into Mount Isa to prepare for the trip home.
    More >





Journey Details

Duration7 Days Itinerary TypeLand
Distance1210 KilometresItinerary RouteCircuit
Mode of TravelCar
Level of DifficultyLevel of difficulty - 1

Facilities

  • Car park
    Car park

Activities

  • Animal Watching
    Animal Watching
  • Fossicking
    Fossicking
  • Walking
    Walking


Other Information


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

Ancient Outback - Mount Isa to Mount Isa Full Itinerary


Days 1, 2 and 3: Mount Isa to Richmond

After flying into Mount Isa spend the afternoon exploring Australia's outback mining capital. The best place to start is at The Outback at Isa.

The next day, step back in time walking through a Miocene Forest brimming with peculiar looking creatures. Next door hear dreamtime stories whilst gazing at magnificent aboriginal rock carvings and paintings at the Kalkadoon Tribal Centre.

Day 3 - As you travel east, the rugged Selwyn Ranges sprinkled with Spinifex take on a different appearance not only each season but every hour of the day. Stand in silence admiring some of the oldest art on earth at Sunrock.

The friendly town of Cloncurry, built on copper and cattle is next. Stare down the huge open pit on a tour of the Ernest Henry Mine. See the history behind the great outback saviour - The Royal Flying Doctor Service - which officially launched in Cloncurry at The John Flynn Place.

Cloncurry was once a Ghan Town at the height of the copper boom. The mosque with its rich carpet floor is now gone however in the cemetery lies the grave of Mullah Syd O Mar, aligned traditionally north-south to the Muslim holy city, Mecca.



Route Details

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

Experiences
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Industry/Mining/Agriculture
    Industry/Mining/Agriculture
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Level of difficulty - 1



Days 4, 5 and 6: Richmond to Winton

Before departing Richmond, a visit to Kronasaurus Corner should be placed high on your list. Journey back 100 million years, when this whole area was below the water line. Study the remains of Australia's best-preserved dinosaur skeleton, Minmi which takes pride of place alongside the Richmond Pliosaur - Australia's best vertebrate fossil and one of the world's finest Pliosaur skeletons. It really has to be seen to be believed!

If fossil fever should take hold, grab a map and head on out to one of the free fossicking sites close to town. Almost every stone overturned contains some form of fossilized material and impressive bones are still commonly found.

Then it's off to Hughenden on the banks of Queensland's longest river and to greet you is a mammoth life-size dinosaur replica - Hughie they call him for short.

Off to Winton, best known as the place AB (Banjo) Paterson penned and first performed Australia's adopted anthem, Waltzing Matilda. Hear the ghost of the swaggy by the billabong and lots more at the Waltzing Matilda Centre. Spend the day exploring Winton with its Outback country pubs, The Royal Theatre, Anro's Wall and the Music fence.



Route Details

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

Experiences
  • Flora/Fauna
    Flora/Fauna
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Level of difficulty - 1



Day 7: Winton to Mount Isa

View Detailed Map >

Hit the road towards Mount Isa. Pull over and have morning tea beneath huge Red River Gums and Coolibah trees on Combo Waterhole, 145 kilometres out of Winton.

This deep semi-permanent billabong on the banks of the Diamantina River is believed to be the site that inspired the writing of Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Paterson while on a visit to Dagworth Station in 1895. After your cuppa, walk across the stone-pitched overshot weir, built by Chinese labourers more than a century ago.

Kynuna is just a couple of clicks down the road. You can't drive past the famed Blue Heeler Hotel and not have a peep inside. Some around these parts are keen to tell you this is the bar where Banjo swigged beer and performed his verse. Buy a drink and earn the right to put your name up on the wall.

Next stop is the small outback town of McKinlay and yes another famed outback pub. Stride across the wooden veranda just as Mick did in Crocodile Dundee for this is the featured Walkabout Creek Hotel.

From here it's an easy run along the tar back through Cloncurry and into Mount Isa to prepare for the trip home.



Route Details

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

Experiences
  • Historic/Heritage
    Historic/Heritage
  • Outback
    Outback


Level of Difficulty
Level of difficulty - 1



Map Legend / Show on Map

Itinerary Routes



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Driving Directions

1 - Days 1, 2 and 3: Mount Isa to Richmond
Start from:170 Camooweal Street, Menzies QLD 4825, Australia
End at:10 Clayton Street, Richmond QLD 4822, Australia
Distance:407 km
Duration:4 hours 24 mins
Directions:
  1. Head south on Camooweal St toward Alma St
  2. Turn left onto National Highway A2
  3. Continue onto National Highway A6
  4. Turn left onto Simpson St
  5. Take the 2nd left onto Clayton St
    Destination will be on the right
2 - Days 4, 5 and 6: Richmond to Winton
Start from:10 Clayton Street, Richmond QLD 4822, Australia
End at:Landsborough Highway, Corfield QLD 4733, Australia
Distance:227 km
Duration:3 hours 24 mins
Directions:
  1. Head northeast on Clayton St toward Simpson St
  2. Take the 1st right onto Simpson St
  3. Take the 2nd right onto National Highway A6
  4. Turn left onto Richmond-Winton Rd (signs for Winton)
  5. Turn left onto National Highway A2 (signs for Landsborough Highway/Cloncurry)
3 - Day 7: Winton to Mount Isa
Start from:Landsborough Highway, Corfield QLD 4733, Australia
End at:Ulmus Street, Hilton QLD 4825, Australia
Distance:470 km
Duration:5 hours 7 mins
Directions:
  1. Head northwest on National Highway A2 toward Kennedy Developmental Rd
  2. Turn left to stay on National Highway A2
  3. Turn left onto National Route 83 (signs for Dajarra/Boulia)
  4. Turn right to stay on National Route 83
  5. Turn right
  6. Turn left




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