If getting back to nature, exploring the great outdoors and reconnecting with our amazing country and its people are what you’re looking for, then Outback Queensland is for you! The landscapes are like no other, from red deserts to luscious waterholes, and are waiting to be explored.
Four wheel driving in Outback Queensland
For off road enthusiasts, Outback Queensland has tracks and back roads that will satisfy any adventurous spirit. Get up close and personal with the spectacular Outback scenery that can only be viewed off road. Visit the hidden bush towns and meet the characters that call them home. Follow the alternative routes between towns, the plotted tracks deep into the national parks, or embark on an epic adventure along the Outback Way, Birdsville Track or Plenty Highway.
When you head off the beaten track, take some time to slow down and absorb the unique landscapes and wildlife, and feel what it’s like to have a piece of the Outback all to yourself. A truly mesmerising experience!
NB: It pays to be prepared when travelling in isolated areas. Always ensure you have a good map, plenty of extra fuel and water, and carry a satellite phone…just in case.
For more information visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au
Fishing Spots in the Outback
Enjoy the serene fishing spots of the Outback – everything from the coolibah-lined billabongs and shallow lakes, to the hidden gorges, waterholes and seasonal creeks. You’re never too far from a place to take a break, wet a line, and watch the hours pass you by.
Yellowbelly is the most likely catch in Outback waterways, but there are also sooty grunter, welch grunter, sleepy cod, Murray cod, barramundi (in the north), catfish, redclaw and black bream.
For the competitive spirits, why not try your luck in one of the many fishing competitions that are held throughout the Outback. Longreach, the Southern Cross Isisford Fishing Competition and the Lake Moondarra Fishing Classic are some of the bigger fishing events and are a great way to meet some of the Outback people, hear their ‘the one that got away’ stories, and make friends for life.
If you’re continuing through the Outback to the Gulf, where the ‘Outback meets the Sea’, and the fishing goes to a whole new level, with deep sea and tidal flats providing some of the best fishing in Queensland.
Recreational fishing size and bag limits apply so be sure to check
www.deedi.qld.gov.au for all the current fishing rules and regulations in Queensland.
Opals, opals, opals!
Did you know that 95% of worldwide opal production originates from the rich mineral deposits scattered about the eastern edges of the Great Artesian Basin, which stretches through Outback Queensland? What’s even better is that you can fossick for your very own opal!
Queensland’s Boulder opal can be found in the mining belt that stretches from Quilpie to Winton, with fossicking sites located in Opalton, Quilpie and Yowah. Bring your hand tools, picks, shovels and sieves, or try your luck at ‘specking’ for colour on top of the ground – or as locals refer to it, Emu bopping!
Opals are not the only gems of the Outback. You can fossick for amethystine quartz, amethyst, alluvial gold and maltese crosses around Cloncurry, peridots at Chudleigh Park north of Hughenden and moonstone at Moonstone Hill. Rubyvale, Anakie and Sapphire in the central Outback are also popular for fossicking with these tiny towns often living up to their namesakes.
Although many miners allow tourists to prospect or ‘speck’ over their dumps, it is important to remember that unauthorised entry onto anyone else’s mining claim or lease is trespassing and permits are required on site. Always gain permission before entering an area held under mining tenure.
Permit information can be obtained from the local Visitor Information Centre.