This pioneering journey linking the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef with the rugged Outback, starts at Townsville. As you follow the path of Australia's droving heroes who brought cattle across the breadth of Queensland and into the Northern Territory, you will discover friendly characters, unspoilt natural beauty and rich heritage as you travel on fully sealed roads through the Outback towns of Charters Towers, Hughenden, Richmond, Julia Creek, Cloncurry, Mount Isa and Camooweal before crossing the Queensland border to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.... more
Enjoy Townsville's beaches, take a trip to the reef to snorkel or dive with colourful fish over coral gardens and see a colony of koalas on Magnetic Island, before heading inland. Uncover the ghosts of the gold rush which made Charters Towers the second largest town in Queensland and admire its wonderfully preserved streetscape.
Step further back in time to the age of the dinosaurs at Hughenden, the site of the first entire dinosaur skeleton found in Australia, and meet Hughie the Muttaburrasaurus. Swim at Porcupine Gorge National Park where towering cliffs of vibrantly coloured sandstone dwarf the cool creek. Discover prehistoric evidence showing Richmond was once part of the ancient inland sea, follow the Heritage Walk to explore the business precinct of yesteryear and pay your respects at the Pioneer Cemetery.
See the endangered dunnart at Julia Creek or time your visit for the annual Dirt n Dust Festival in April where the events include bog snorkelling, a bull ride and triathlon. Visit Cloncurry, the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and see the landing place of the first Qantas flight. Descend 22 metres underground at Mount Isa to see a working mine, while above ground you can visit the School of the Air or the Bureau of Meteorology.
Queensland's most westerly town, Camooweal, is the gateway to the Northern Territory and the setting for the annual Drovers Reunion and Festival. Explore the caves in the national park before crossing the border to Tennant Creek to see Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve where gigantic granite boulders balance precariously on one another.... less
|Duration||6 Days||Itinerary Type||Land
|Distance||1081 Kilometres||Itinerary Route||One Way
|Mode of Travel||Bus|
|Level of Difficulty||Unrated|
Start the Overlander's Way in Townsville where you can spend a few days exploring this fun and vibrant tropical city. Museums, galleries and shopping will keep you busy in the heart of the city where outdoor dining is the perfect way to relax. Experience the laidback lifestyle of the tropics at The Strand, a 2.5 kilometre stretch of inner-city beach and playgrounds.
Magnetic Island, which is home to a colony of koalas, is just a short boat ride away or head out to the Great Barrier Reef to dive and snorkel with colourful fish. Keep your feet dry at Reef HQ Aquarium where you can experience the world's largest coral reef aquarium and visit the Turtle Hospital.
Learn about the HMS Pandora, which sank on the Great Barrier Reef, at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, get close to the local wildlife at Billabong Sanctuary or try fresh regional produce at the Northshore Farmers Market.
Leave the coast for the Outback, calling in at Ravenswood on the way to see magnificent restored buildings and mining remnants such as mullock heaps, old shafts and chimneys stacks. Then continue on to Charters Towers, a beautifully preserved part of North Queensland history.
During the gold rush days of the late 1800s Charters Towers was the second largest town in Queensland with a stock exchange, 65 hotels and 29 crushing mills. The prosperity of the gold era can be seen in the beautifully preserved city centre, known as One Square Mile, where the money made on the Stock Exchange flowed into civic improvements and the flourishing business community.
The stories and legends have been brought to life on the Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail which explores the four Gs: The discovery of Gold at the foot of Towers Hill; the Grandeur of the historic One Square Mile; Greed at the Stock Exchange Arcade; and the Ghosts hard at work down at the Venus Battery, Queensland's oldest surviving battery.
Queensland's last bushranger was laid to rest at the Charters Towers Cemetery where you will find the graves of a number of notable people including Jupiter Mossman, the Aboriginal boy who helped discover gold at Charters Towers. From the glory days of the late 1800s gold rush, head to Hughenden to step back even further in time to the era of the dinosaurs.
Hughenden is the heart of dinosaur country; in prehistoric times, it sat on the shoreline of a great inland sea. Nearly 3,000 dinosaur and marine fossils have been found in the surrounding countryside. To get a true idea of the beasts that roamed these lands, check out the life-size replica Muttaburrasaurus. This rare find, the first entire dinosaur skeleton found in Australia, catapulted the area into international fame - 'Hughie' as the skeleton was nicknamed, is on display at the Flinders Discovery Centre.
Like Porcupine Gorge, nicknamed as 'Australia's little Grand Canyon' is only 63 kilometres north and Blackbraes National Park with its unique basalt features is around another 90 kilometres north.
At Richmond 112 kilometres down the Overlander's Way you can step back in time 100 million years. Richmond was once under the ancient inland sea and the Kronasaurus Korner Fossil Centre features Australia's best vertebrate fossil exhibit including the Richmond Pliosaur!
After the centre, let 'fossil fever' take hold and unearth prehistoric treasures at the free fossicking sites close to town. The Curator at the fossil centre will be happy to identify your find.
Head on down the track, 145 kilometres over Mitchell grass plains to Julia Creek.
Richmond is known as the fossil capital of Australia with an amazing collection of marine reptile fossils at the award-winning Kronosaurus Korner. The museum is home to Australia's best preserved dinosaur skeleton, Minmi, and the Richmond Pliosaur, one of the world's best skeleton fossils. See the fossil preparation area, then grab a map and fossick at one of the free designated sites.
Situated halfway between Townsville and Mt Isa on the banks of the Flinders River, Richmond is an Outback oasis with bougainvillea-lined streets and beautiful gardens. In the parks you will discover moon rocks, limestone creations varying in size from a golf ball to an enormous rock.
Explore the Bush Tucker Gardens on the banks of Lake Fred Tritton where you will find local native plants labelled with their traditional purposes. The lake has sandy beaches, a boat ramp, free barbecues and a playground, making it an ideal place to relax, swim and fish for barramundi or redclaw.
Richmond's business district of yesteryear can be discovered on the Heritage Walk which includes a replica of an original 1860s homestead. Head further west to Julia Creek for spectacular Outback sunsets and an uninterrupted starry sky.
Julia Creek is where you can meet one of Australia's endangered species, a tiny marsupial called the Julia Creek Dunnart. Digby lives in a specially designed nocturnal viewing area inside At The Creek, the Visitor Information and Interpretive Centre, and can be seen at feeding time.
At The Creek is a multi-award winning centre focusing on the themes of water, country and people. It has been designed as an authentic local landscape with three railway fettler's cottages recycled into buildings for the centre and its display rooms. Learn how the Artesian Bore sustains life in the Outback, have a picnic on the moon rock chairs and tables, or go underground to explore the geological features that shaped the region.
This RV-friendly Outback town swells with an additional 3000 people each April for the Dirt n Dust Festival featuring a triathlon, horse races, bull ride and novelty events like snorkelling in the mud.
Follow the nature trail or take an historical walk through the township. The remains of a World War 2 Directional Finding Installation can be seen near the airport. Discover more history at Cloncurry, the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, as you continue the Overlander's Way.
Located on the junction of the Overlander's Way and the Matilda Highway, Cloncurry sits on the Cloncurry River which was named by the explorer Robert O'Hara Burke. See his drink bottle at the Burke and Wills display in the Cloncurry Unearthed Museum at the Cloncurry/Mary Kathleen Memorial Park, where you can learn about the former Mary Kathleen uranium mine.
Visit the original Qantas hangar where the first passenger flew from Longreach to Cloncurry in 1922. Just six years later Reverend John Flynn launched a flying medical service now known as the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Learn how he harnessed the emerging technology of the pedal radio to pioneer outback radio communication when visiting the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery.
This is the heart of cattle country and the annual Cloncurry Stockman's Challenge & Campdraft is where horses and their riders work together in a tribute to the Australian horseman.
Other attractions include the Cloncurry Cemetery with graves dating back to the 1880s, the Court House which was built in 1898 and Chinaman Creek Dam where you can swim, picnic and see the Outback sunset. From Cloncurry, the Overlander's Way winds through the spectacular Selwyn Ranges to Mount Isa.
As the only city in the Australian Outback, Mount Isa offers many activities including the opportunity to experience an underground mine. Descend 22 metres underground to feel the earth move with the firing of the drill face and use mining equipment at the Hard Times Mine.
Built and operated by actual miners, the replica mine is part of Outback at Isa, which also houses an outback park and the Riversleigh Fossil Centre. Join the resident palaeontologist on a lab tour to hear about exciting local finds and see the fossils.
Relax at the largest all abilities playground in Queensland or time your visit to coincide with the annual Xstrata Mount Isa Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic to fish for barra, watch the Dragon Boat Regatta and race yabbies. Call in to the School of the Air, see the World War 2 Underground Hospital, visit the National Trust Tent House, take a surface mine tour and see inside the Bureau of Meteorology.
Next stop is Camooweal, the gateway to the Northern Territory where you can visit the Drovers Camp to learn about the historic droving town or Camooweal Caves National Park which is honeycombed with sink holes dating back 500 million years.
Travel the breadth of Queensland from tropical Townsville to outback Camooweal along the Overlander's Way, following the path of Australia's drovers.
After experiencing the tropical lifestyle of Townsville and the Great Barrier Reef, head for the historic town of Charters Towers and its beautiful streetscape which illustrates the prosperity of the gold rush days.
As you head further into the Outback, you also head further back in time to the era of the dinosaurs. Hughenden is where you can see a life-size replica of the first entire dinosaur skeleton found in Australia and Richmond is home to marine fossils from an ancient inland sea. Admire the moon rocks in the town's parks before heading to Julia Creek to see the endangered dunnart, a tiny marsupial, and learn how the Artesian Bore sustains life in the Outback.
Cloncurry is the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the site of the landing of the first Qantas flight. As the only city in Australia's Outback, Mount Isa will keep you busy for days with the highlight experienced 22 metres underground in a mine.
The last stop is Camooweal, the home of the Drover's Camp and the gateway to the Northern Territory.
Discover world-class fossils on Australia's Dinosaur Trail, an adventure through Queensland's Outback. The journey begins at Longreach where you can visit the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, the Qantas Founders Museum and jump aboard a Cobb and Co. Stage Coach.
Head to Winton to visit The Australian Age of Dinosaurs, the world's largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils, where you can join a dig team and nearby Lark Quarry to see evidence of a dinosaur stampede.
Despite being 500 kilometres from the ocean, Richmond is where marine fossils have been unearthed from the surrounding rugged landscape and you can see these relics at Kronosauraus Korner.
Next stop is Hughenden where you can take another trip back in time to the age of the dinosaurs at the Flinders Discovery Centre to see a muttaburrasaurus. Watch a light and sound show to learn about the formation of Porcupine Gorge. Trek through the deep Gorge to see the layers of rock formations dating back 500 million years as you explore what is known as Australia's "Little Grand Canyon".
Bid the Outback goodbye as you travel to Townsville to soak up the tropical lifestyle on The Strand, one of Australia's best inner-city beachfronts.
|Start from:||147 Stuart Drive, Wulguru QLD 4811, Australia|
|End at:||12 The Strand, Townsville City QLD 4810, Australia|
|Start from:||12 The Strand, Townsville City QLD 4810, Australia|
|End at:||15A Millchester Road, Queenton QLD 4820, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 28 mins|
|Start from:||15A Millchester Road, Queenton QLD 4820, Australia|
|End at:||18 Flinders Highway, Hughenden QLD 4821, Australia|
|Duration:||2 hours 44 mins|
|Start from:||18 Flinders Highway, Hughenden QLD 4821, Australia|
|End at:||40 Flinders Highway, Hughenden QLD 4821, Australia|
|Start from:||40 Flinders Highway, Hughenden QLD 4821, Australia|
|End at:||Flinders Highway, Julia Creek QLD 4823, Australia|
|Duration:||2 hours 44 mins|
|Start from:||Flinders Highway, Julia Creek QLD 4823, Australia|
|End at:||LOT 3 Barkly Highway, Cloncurry QLD 4824, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 33 mins|
|Start from:||LOT 3 Barkly Highway, Cloncurry QLD 4824, Australia|
|End at:||Barkly Highway, Miles End QLD 4825, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 20 mins|
|Start from:||Barkly Highway, Miles End QLD 4825, Australia|
|End at:||4 Larsen Street, Richmond QLD 4822, Australia|
|Duration:||4 hours 23 mins|
|Start from:||4 Larsen Street, Richmond QLD 4822, Australia|
|End at:||25 Moran Street, Hughenden QLD 4821, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 15 mins|