About This Drive
Duration: 15 days
Route: Brisbane - Eromanga - Windorah - Longreach - Blackall - Charleville - Brisbane (loop)
Follow the Warrego Highway to Toowoomba and make a stop at the largest operating Woolshed in the world at Jondaryan. At Dalby, follow the Adventure Way and continue to St.George. Visit the Unique Egg to see the intricately carved emu eggs and the artists at work. End the day with a sunset cruise aboard the Sandytown River Cruise. Travel further to Cunnamulla and Thargomindah and onto Eromanga to visit the Eromanga Natural History Museum and see 'Cooper' the dinosaur, and one of Australia's iconic pubs, the Eromanga Royal Hotel, Knot-a-saurus, Opalopolis Park, and the Kyabra waterhole. Next up is Quilpie which is home to the exquisite Bouler Opal and the whole family can have a go at free fossicking. Head to Windorah and Yaraka with a stop at the beautiful Welford National Park. Travel to Longreach where you can visit the Qantas Founders Museum, the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and enjoy a sunset cruise on the Thomson River. After a rest day, head to Blackall and pay a visit to the Tree of Knowledge Memorial on the way. Some sights to see in Blackall include: 'Jumbo' the elephant, the Artesian Spa, Woolscour and the Universal Garden Centre. Back on the road, head to Tambo home of the famous Tambo Teddies then make a stop at Augathella on route to Charleville. While in town, check out the Bilby Experience, the Cosmos Centre, and the Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Centre. Your last stop is Roma where you can take in The Big Rig's spectacular night show to end off an incredible journey!
Visit Jondaryan Woolshed
Hear the story of The Cunnamulla Fella
Embrace nature at Lake Bindegolly
Meet Australia's largest dinosaurs
Travel an original Cobb & Co route
Stay in the heart of Channel Country
Brush up on your Australian Bush Poetry history
Cuddle a Tambo Teddy
Picnic in Welford National Park
Experience top Longreach attractions
Stop by the Tree of Knowledge Memorial
Go out past ‘The Black Stump’
Star gaze at the Cosmos Centre
Meet the endangered Bilby
Catch the Big Rig Night Show in Roma
Day 1: Brisbane to St George (534km / 5hr 37min)
- Brisbane to Jondaryan (approx.202km / 2hr 20min)
- Jondaryan to Moonie (approx. 143km / 1hr 27min)
- Moonie to St George (approx. 189km / 1hr 50min
Follow the Warrego Highway to Toowoomba en route to the oldest and largest operating Woolshed in the world at Jondaryan. Download the app and take a self-guided tour of the historic museum village then try some freshly baked damper from the Damper Hut.
At Dalby follow the Adventure Way to the intersection of the Leichhardt and Moonie Highways and call into the Moonie Crossroads Hotel for lunch. Continue your drive to St George, and visit The Unique Egg to see intricately carved emu eggs and the artist at work. Late afternoon, board the Sandytown River Cruise and enjoy sunset on the Balonne River before tucking into dinner and bed ready for the road tomorrow.
Overnight St George
Day 2: St George to Cunnamulla (293km / 3hr 14min)
- St George to Bollon (approx. 114km / 1hr 16min)
- Bollon to Cunnamulla (approx. 180km / 1hr 59min)
As you travel west along the Adventure Way, see the changing landscapes from cattle country to sheep country. Call into the tiny town of Bollon and take a stroll along the 1.2km creek-side walkway and keep an eye out for koalas, echidnas and emus.
Arrive in Cunnamulla, step back in time in the Artesian Time Tunnel and hear the story of the Cunnamulla Fella. Early afternoon head out to the natural sand hills for some exciting sandboarding thrills and spills. Alternatively, you can hire a kayak for a relaxing paddle on the Warrego River.
Day 3: Cunnamulla to Thargomindah (214km / 2hr 42min)
- Cunnamulla to Eulo (approx. 67km / 48min)
- Eulo to Lake Bindegolly National Park (approx. 101km / 1hr 15min)
- Lake Bindegolly National Park to Thargomindah (approx. 44km / 39min)
Travel to Eulo – well known for its local honey and bees wax products.
Head west from Eulo and take the short drive to Lake Bindegolly National Park which is a wildlife refuge featuring salt and freshwater wetlands. The park is home to more than 195 species of birds, 80 other kinds of animals and 300 species of plants.
Thargomindah is home to Australia’s first hydro-electric power plant, so take the opportunity to visit their Hydro Power Plant Complex where demonstrations are run between March and October. The Bulloo River Walk and Heritage Walk are great options for those looking to unwind at the end of the day. Thargomindah is perfectly positioned for day trips to Cameron Corner, Hungerford and Currawinya National Park.
Day 4: Thargomindah to Eromanga (319km / 5hr 56min)
- Thargomindah to Noccundra Hotel (approx. 142km / 2hr 21min)
- Noccundra Hotel to Eromanga (approx. 177km / 3hr 35min)
Take Bundeena Road to begin your journey towards Eromanga, Australia’s furthest town from the sea. Make a stop at the Noccundra and visit the iconic Noccundra Hotel which was established in 1882. Across from the pub, the Noccundra Water Hole on the Wilson River is a great fishing spot. Noccundra is a popular stopover for visitors driving to the Burke and Wills Dig Tree and Cameron Corner.
Travel along the sealed Eromanga Road and Cooper Developmental Road to Eromanga, home of the internationally recognised Eromanga Natural History Museum. Here you can meet Australia’s largest dinosaurs including ‘Cooper’ and ‘George’, who are in the top 10 largest dinosaurs in the world. The one hour guided tour is a hands-on tour through the museum workshop, dinosaur and megafauna laboratories and collection room. The museum is 3 kilometres outside of Eromanga off the sealed Mt. Margaret Road. It is easy to spend a day or more in and around Eromanga, visit the Living History Centre, one of Australia’s iconic outback pubs, the Eromanga Royal Hotel est. 1885, Knot-a-saurus and Opalopolis Park and enjoy a picnic near the famous Kyabra waterhole.
Day 5: Eromanga to Quilpie (106km / 1hr 16min)
- Eromanga to Quilpie (108km / 1hr 16min)
This morning, take the fully sealed Cooper Developmental road and drive 108km to Quilpie. On arrival make your first stop the Visitor Information Centre, Museum and Gallery. Relax in air-conditioned comfort and access the free WI-FI. Quilpie is home to the exquisite Boulder Opal. The whole family can have a go at uncovering this pretty gemstone at a free fossicking site just two kilometres west of Quilpie otherwise pack a picnic and fish at the Bulloo River or enjoy a swim in the town pool.
Late this afternoon, drive approximately 7.4km from Quilpie to take in a spectacular sunset from Baldy Top, a magnificent boulder formation, millions of years old. The relatively easy ten-minute climb to the top will reward you with breathtaking panoramic vistas, the perfect sunset photo stop.
Day 6: Quilpie to Windorah (247km / 3hr 20min)
- Quilpie to Tenham Rest Area (approx. 195km /2hr 33hr)
- Tenham Rest Area to Windorah (approx. 52km / 47min)
Today we travel into the Far West Outback town of Windorah, in the heart of the Channel Country, with a panorama of giant red sand hills. Find your perfect picnic spot beside the Cooper Creek, where the Thomson and Barcoo Rivers meet. Visit the restored Slab Hut originally built by the Rabbit Board as a boundary hut. On the edge of town, see five huge sun mirrored dishes that provide daytime electricity to the town, a first for Queensland. Late afternoon, head to the sand hills for some critter hunting and a spectacular Outback sunset.
Day 7: Windorah to Yaraka (244km / 3hr 45min)
- Windorah to Jundah (approx. 98km / 1hr 40min)
- Jundah to Welford National Park (approx. 43km / 35min)
- Welford National Park to Yaraka (approx. 103km /1hr 30min)
Travel the top road through ever-changing landscapes to Jundah then take the Settlers Nature Drive along the Thomson River featuring sign-posted descriptions of native plants. Unique “Welcome Signs” to the town replicate the historic shop front still to be seen in the main street of Jundah. The signs tell the story of the town’s early years and are linked together by a walking trail.
Follow the Jundah-Quilpie Road for about 50km to Welford National Park and Little Boomerang Waterhole, which offers a bush camp. Keep your camera ready for a land of contrasts with wide coolabah-lined waters, golden-green spinifex, white-barked ghost gums and red sand dunes. Stay alert for sightings of the rare yellow-footed rock-wallabies and mulga parrots too.
Head back towards the Yaraka-Retreat Road and travel the short distance to the site of Magee’s Shanty, put on the map by Banjo Paterson’s poem “A Bush Christening”.
Arriving into the small township of Yaraka for the evening, be sure to make it in time for sunset. Nestled between Mesa Hills with a backdrop of the Yang Yang ranges, the craggy escarpments and changing colours around sunset are a photographer’s delight.
Day 8: Yaraka to Longreach (220km /2hr 30min)
Travel to Longreach today with a stop en route in Isisford and the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre where you’ll see a replica of the 98 million-year-old Isisfordia duncani and a 100 million-year-old bulldog fish.
Keep your eyes peeled for the familiar Qantas tail as you arrive into Longreach. Join a wing-walk tour and see the spectacular ‘Luminescent’ night show at the Qantas Founders Museum or head to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame to learn about our pioneering heroes. While you’re there, check out the times for the Outback Stockman’s Show.
Spend the afternoon exploring around town then get the best seats in the house for your first Outback sunset with the Drover’s Sunset Cruise or the Starlight’s Cruise Experience on the Thomson River.
Day 9: Longreach – Rest Day
Hold on to your hat for the only stagecoach gallop in Australia on the Cobb & Co Stagecoach Experience – first at a leisurely pace through town and then full-tilt along a stretch of the original Longreach-Windorah mail route.
Experience a totally different way of schooling at the Longreach School of Distance Education operating a classroom more than twice the size of Victoria.
You also have the option today of joining a full day tour to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs and Winton.
Day 10: Longreach to Blackall (214km / 2hr 15min)
Back on the road this morning, keep your eyes peeled for the different types of trucks you see. How many road trains and B-Doubles can you count?
Set out eastward on the Matilda Way to Barcaldine and pay a visit to the site of The Tree of Knowledge Memorial where once stood the ghost gum that was the central meeting place for the Shearers’ Strike in 1891.
Call in to the Information Centre and pick up a booklet and map to walk or drive the award-winning ‘Between the Bouganvilleas Heritage Trail. Spend time at the Australian Workers Heritage Centre and stop by one of the local pubs to enjoy a country tradition of a counter meal lunch before making the short drive to Blackall this afternoon.
Day 11: Blackall – Rest Day
Wake up in the home of The Black Stump and enjoy the slow pace of an Outback morning. Or if you are feeling energetic, start your day with a swim in the Artesian Spa or perhaps a few laps of Blackall’s Olympic size pool.
With a thriving arts and sculpture scene, there’s lots to be viewed while wandering around town today, including the Lost Art Workshop, a community initiative aimed at keeping alive the lost art of leather craft used by traditional drovers around the campfire. Spend time at Blackall Woolscour – the only fully intact steam powered wool washing plant in Australia. And don’t miss Blackall’s newest attraction, Jumbo, the lifesize circus elephant replica.
Jackie Howe, Australia’s most famous shearer shore a record of 321 sheep in 7 hours 40 minutes in 1892 at nearby Alice Downs Station. Pay a visit to the Universal Garden Centre to learn his story and local town history.
Day 12: Blackall to Charleville (303km / 2hr 45min)
- Blackall to Tambo (approx. 102km / 57min)
- Tambo to Augathella (approx. 116km / 1hr)
- Augathella to Charleville (approx. 85km / 48 min)
The road today takes you to Australia’s Outback teddy capital of Tambo, home to the Tambo Teddies. Back in 1992 when wool prices crashed and the area was gripped with drought, the enterprising people of this Outback community came up with the idea of making bears to support the wool industry and create employment. All individually named and numbered, each bear has an official name representing a local property. Call in and watch a bear being made, take a stroll along Coolibah Walk or visit the Heritage Precinct and Grassland Regional Art Gallery. Enjoy a tasty lunch in one of the friendly cafes or pubs before travelling the short distance to Augathella.
For over a century, Augathella was a main stop for bullock teams and drovers. It was the junction of two major tracks, one heading north into central Queensland and the other heading south via Charleville into New South Wales. The bullock teams would settle under the majestic local black butt trees to meet up and rest in between their long journeys throughout the Queensland Outback. Take time to rest in the shade of these trees over lunch and breathe in the fresh air.
You have a date with the stars this evening so be sure to arrive in Charleville by late afternoon, well before the sun starts to set to allow time to check into your accommodation before heading over to the Cosmos Centre to view the stars like never before at their observatory.
Day 13: Charleville - Rest Day
Known as ‘The Hub’ of the South West, Charleville has a rich history to be shared.
Like a good tour? Then this is your town! Take the 2-hour ‘Check Out Charleville Tour’ to get the run down from a local. Maybe you like a good yarn, well, the ‘Hotel Corones Stories & Scones Tour’ could do the trick. How about the ‘Brolgas, Bustard, Beaut Birds and Station Tour’ for a bit of everything?
A highlight for many visitors to Charleville is the Meet the Bilby Experience where you get to meet this delightful marsupial, one of Australia’s most endangered species. You’ll meet the dedicated volunteers who will share their knowledge and passion for the preservation of the Bilby.
While in Charleville, don’t miss visiting the Royal Flying Doctor Visitor Centre for an incredible insight into this iconic Outback service, which is still being delivered to the people of the Outback by the Flying Doctor.
Day 14: Charleville to Roma (265km / 2hr 47min)
Travel east along the Warrego Way to Mitchell where you can relax in the thermal mineralised waters of the Great Artesian Spa. The aquatic centre offers two large pools, one warm and one cool, of natural artesian water – a great spot for the kids to enjoy.
Next head to Roma, often referred to as the gateway to the Outback and home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest saleyards. Time your visit to arrive in Roma on a Tuesday and you can experience the excitement and sounds of a cattle sale and meet some of the local graziers and stock agents.
For a terrific insight into Australia’s Oil and Gas industry, take in The Big Rig’s spectacular night show, an entertaining outdoor sound and light presentation of early 20th century oil and gas exploration.
Day 15: Roma to Brisbane (481km / 5hr 40min)
- Roma to Miles (approx. 142km, 1hr 35 mins)
- Miles to Chinchilla (approx. 48km, 35 mins)
- Chinchilla to Dalby (approx. 84km, 1hr)
- Dalby to Brisbane (approx. 207km, 2hr 30 mins)
Your last day today is a big drive beginning with a stop in Miles with its ‘streetscape’ style Historical Village, its 30 buildings breathing life into a bygone era. Love watermelons? Then you’re sure to look forward to visiting Chinchilla, Australia’s watermelon capital. Every February the town hosts the quirky Chinchilla Melon Festival where you can try your hand at melon skiing!
Take a break in Dalby’s Thomas Jack Park Playground, a lovely shady park with a cute wooden red play train, wooden fort and a flying fox! Allow plenty of time for the kids to use up that last bit of energy in the park before your final leg back to Brisbane.
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