About This Drive
Duration: 5 days
Route: Brisbane - St.George - Thargomindah - Innamincha
Retrace the tracks of Cobb & Co, as you traverse the unique and fascinating Adventure Way. Bitumen roads now replace the rutted tracks once taken by horse drawn coaches of all but the last 150 km, enabling even those in a two-wheel drive to experience the richness of this route. The rewards are spectacular - vivid sunrises and sunsets, night skies with millions of stars. The Adventure Way takes you from Dalby, to the outback plains. The mulga slowly gives way to a treeless gibber landscape and Queensland meets South Australia. You won't be on the road long till you understand why they call it the Adventure Way! From gut wrenching stories of spirit and tragedy, Queensland's outback has become famous and evolved into a must see destination. However, don't think venturing into the outback means a loss of civilisation. All along the route, there is fine accommodation, hearty meals, and plenty of water for hot relaxing showers provided courtesy of the Artesian Basin, the vein of life running under this stark beautiful land. You could easily accomplish the whole drive in two days but then you would miss all the exciting activities and sites along the way.
Day 1: Brisbane to Dalby (212km)
The Warrego Highway, is a highway leading you to a new adventure each day.
Watch the city skyline of Brisbane disappear behind you as you enter the city that almost stole Brisbane’s capital status – Ipswich. It is not long and you are passing through the Lockyer Valley, the salad bowl of Queensland, home to top quality local producers that work hard to create unique and exciting products.
Situated adjacent to the Lockyer Valley, on the Great Dividing Range, is Toowoomba and where the Southern Queensland Country experience begins where you can slow down, breath deep and enjoy a taste of life in the country. The Toowoomba region has a lot to offer visitors, renowned for its magnificent parks and gardens, scenic views and provider to gourmet food and wine culture. It is a region of unparalleled beauty, offering the contrasts of the seasons; the colours and characters of the countryside; rich heritage and the release from big city pressures to enjoy country pleasures.
After experiencing the Garden City, it is then time to continue along the Warrego – the next stop Dalby.
Day 2: Dalby to St George (304km)
Dalby is the regional centre of the Western Downs located just over 200kms west of Brisbane. With plenty of local history and culture to experience, from Pioneer Park Museum and a local Heritage Trail to exploring Bunya Mountains National Park, there’s no shortage of things to see and do.
Head to St George via the Moonie Highway where you will pass Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, southwest of Dalby, and enjoy the only naturally-occurring freshwater lake in the region. Stop and explore Moonie where the area is noted for its quality grain, cattle and prime lamb production, before continuing on to St George.
From the moment you arrive to the time you leave, St George relaxes the senses in all the right ways. Perched on the banks of the mighty Balonne River, it is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Balonne Shire. A star feature, the two-kilometre stretch of shady riverbank walkway which begins below the Jack Taylor Weir and travels alongside the township where you’ll find picnic and BBQ facilities, a flood height marker, exercise equipment and information signs on fish and bird species unique to this area.
Day 3: St George to Cunnamulla (294km)
To really take in the Balonne River’s magnitude of water, pack a few drinks and nibbles and jump on board a Sandytown River Cruise. Fill in the morning or afternoon by experiencing the St George Cotton Self-Drive Trail. The St George Heritage Centre also offers plenty of historical information and artefacts, blacksmith, printing press, old gaol and courthouse. Pick up a brochure from the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre and follow the trail to explore important historical sites, colourful stories and buildings that have shaped the town’s history.
The soil gets redder as you head west towards Cunnamulla and approach the great little township of Bollon, sitting on the banks of the peaceful Wallam Creek. From there, take a stroll into Bollon along the creek-side footpath which is flanked by Aboriginal dreamtime artwork.
If you do one thing in town, make it the Bollon Heritage Centre. Even the keenest history buff will be pleasantly surprised by the range of artefacts and stories that narrate the town’s rural history and Aboriginal culture.
For the serious campers and 4WD enthusiasts, Thrushton National Park is 40 kilometres north east of Bollon and accessible via dirt roads.
Day 4: Cunnamulla to Thargomindah (197km)
With a diverse assortment of native flora and fauna both within the town and surrounding region, Cunnamulla is a must see for nature enthusiasts. After enjoying your choice of activity, whether it be bush walks, sandboarding, town and industry tours, river cruises, fishing, getting your photo with the magnificent Cunnamulla Fella Statue or a journey back in time along Cunnamulla’s heritage trail, take some time out for yourself to enjoy a good coffee or a bite to eat at one of the towns many cafe’s, restaurant or pubs.
Continue west to the friendly town of Eulo which is the “Montville of the Outback”. Book into accommodation or camping options are behind the hotel and on the banks of the Paroo River, go birdwatching, fishing, relax and enjoy the tranquillity, take in the Billabong and Granite Nature Drives and have some time to rejuvenate in the Artesian Mud Baths.
Take a short detour off the main road to visit the friendly opal town of Yowah. Detour to the beautiful Lake Bindegolly National Park, where you can follow a short walking circuit or simply take in the serenity before rejoining the highway to Thargomindah.
Day 5: Thargomindah to Innamincka (430km)
After you arrive in Thargomindah, call into the Visitor Information Centre to have a break before you visit the historic tourist attractions in town, including the Hydro Power Plant Display, the old Thargomindah Hospital and Leahy House. Hotel/Motel accommodation is available and a well-appointed caravan park is all located in the heart of town for visitors who want to stay overnight.
It’s best to leave early on your drive to Innamincka, which is just across the border in South Australia, so that you can take a short detour and stop along the way at the historic Noccundra Hotel. The road is sealed to the border, with a small section of dirt road near the Ballera Gas Field.
Just prior to reaching the border, make a detour to the Burke and Wills ‘Dig Tree’ site. Situated on the banks of Cooper Creek, and where the Expedition ended in tragedy. Visitors can camp along the banks of the Cooper.
The road to Innamincka from the border is unsealed. There are a number of places of interest just outside Innamincka, including the Cullyamurra Waterhole with its Aboriginal rock carvings.
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