Get off the bitumen and onto the unsealed tracks of Outback Queensland to really see, smell and hear the sounds of life in the bush.
With this pick of adventurous 4×4 routes, prepare to travel beside animal habitats surrounded by yellow wildflowers (during August and September), through flowing creek crossings and over rugged jump-ups and sandstone mountain ranges.
Wilderness Way and Downs Drive, Tambo
Get your four wheels rolling along the sandy Augathella to Tambo Road for a complete 320-kilometre off-road loop that will pop you out on Springsure Road. Steady has it while traversing deep gorges and cliffs with jaw-dropping vistas. Camp in the designated area at Salvator Rosa National Park amongst sandstone outcrops and wattle trees.
For further information on the Wilderness Way click here.
This unsealed 515-kilometre gravel track is an iconic must-do for any road tripper’s outback itinerary. Prepare to get drunk on the landscape outside your window for miles on end as the scenery changes from wetlands, gibber plains to sand dunes, all linking Birdsville to Maree (in South Australia) via the Simpson and Sturt’s Stoney Deserts. Why not wrap this trip with the iconic Birdsville Races for extra excitement or join a convoy of fellow 4×4 enthusiasts?
The Dowling Track
Explore the ‘Plains of Promise’ as Vincent James Dowling once did 100 years ago, seeking new life and new opportunities. This 567-kilometre drive from Bourke (in New South Wales) to Quilpie through Fords Bridge, Yantabulla, Hungerford, Thargomindah and Toompine is lined with quintessential pubs, outback campsites and red dust, just the way we like it.
Lake Dunn to Muttaburra via Bowen Downs
Begin at serene Lake Dunn and follow the heritage trail signs enroute to Eastmere Road and Marshall Road. Travel through rolling sheep and cattle country as the drovers do via horseback each year for the Harry Redford Cattle Drive
Jericho to Aramac via Lake Dunn (plus detour to Gray Rock and Horsetailer’s Gorge)
Take the road from Jericho and follow signs to ‘The Lake’, past the barbed-wire sculptures the form the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail which are worth a stop. Turn off to Gray Rock and Horsetailer’s Gorge or shoot straight through to Lake Dunn, home to over 80 different bird species, yellowbelly and black bream. Book a hut or camp overnight to make the most of swimming and water sports. Later continue on to Aramac, past the 23-foot White Station Healing Circle, representing the eye of God.
Wind between the unique landscapes just north of Hughenden, along the river valleys and through rolling walls of basalt rock. Once used as sheep property the land is now home to grazing cattle and travellers who enjoy the vantage points of gigantic dark basalt rock formations.
Muttaburra to Longreach
Begin by the town’s Muttaburrasaurus replica who roamed this part of the world around 100-million years ago, and travel past the campgrounds, Broadwater and Cramsie Road. Later turn right towards Longreach, and either pull up stumps in one of the many motels or return 63 kilometres back to Muttaburra.
Barcaldine to Jericho via Narbethong Road
Pack your camera for a scenic botanical walk just outside Barcaldine to set the scene, spotting kangaroos, emus and birdlife. Continue en-route to Blackall and Jericho along a combo of bitumen and dirt sealed roads.
Drovers & Pioneers Trail
Keep your eyes peeled as you follow the drover’s stock route to Urandangie. Quirky car bonnet signs will direct you through spectacular scenery to the local watering-hole, affectionately named ’the Danji’. Have yarn with the locals and take a peek at the eclectic collection of items on display. Throw in a line and explore nearby waterholes on the Georgina as you travel the south loop back to Boulia and the mysterious Min Min light.
Click here for further details on the Drovers & Pioneer Trail.
If you haven’t coated your car in red by the time you’re done, that’s a clean and clear sign to keep the wheels rolling on your outback adventure!
Have you had an epic adventure through Outback Queensland? If you’ve got a story to share, tell us in the comments below.