|Trip Length: 5 days Total Distance: 1463 km Road Conditions: Some unsealed roads|
This 6 day tour provides a unique look at this special corner of Queensland - wide open spaces, desert scenery and wildflowers (when in season), large red sand dunes, the Simpson Desert National Park, heritage and historical sites.
|Winton to Boulia||4 hrs 30 mins||363 kms|
|Boulia to Birdsville||5 hrs||385 kms|
|Birdsville to Windorah||5 hrs||391 kms|
|Windorah to Longreach||4 hrs||324 kms|
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. 'The Red Stump' in Herbert Street warns of the dangers to travellers in the Simpson Desert.
On your visit to Boulia you may chance a sighting of the elusive 'Min Min Lights', a natural phenomenum 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, 19kms north of town; the Burke and Wills tree, 110 km north-east on the banks of the Burke River (via a track); and the Diamantina Gates National Park, 150 km south-east. Overnight in Boulia.
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 later afternoon in time to soak up the atmosphere and have a drink at the famous Birdsville Hotel. Overnight in Birdsville. Birdsville, in Queensland's Diamantina, captures the very essence of Australia.
Next day, discover the character of Birdsville as you visit the Birdsville Working Museum, Blue Poles Art Gallery, Pelican Point, Burke & Wills' campsite and the Dingo Caves.
32 km 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 km. 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. Motel and caravan park accommodation is available in town.
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 kms 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.
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 4 km 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.
* Please note: These rates are indicative based on the minimum and maximum costs only. To obtain a firm price from the provider, please use the contact the operator. All prices are quoted in Australian dollars.
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