Travel along the Outback Queensland roads to the town of Aramac and you’d be hard pressed to believe that just north-east of the town is one of the world’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibitions.
In fact, the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail has historically been something of a locals’ secret, but anything this wonderful is hard to keep under wraps. Head out along this trail – one of the most interesting drives in all of Outback Queensland.
The Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail is a 200 kilometre circuit that loops between Aramac, Lake Dunn and Jericho. Along its route you’ll find 40 sculptural installations showcasing Outback elements and life, from emu families to jackaroos.
These incredible artworks are the creations of local artist, Milynda Rogers who lives on a cattle property along the route. And it all began because she created a piece and didn’t have a place to put it. So, she simply popped it out by the road. Additional sculptures grew organically over time, and Rogers would place them at intervals along the route where she lives.
Created from rusting odds and ends found locally at the dump or around Barcaldine, these artworks are both beautiful and evocative. The original piece, a three-metre-plus bottle tree brought to life with steel drums wrapped in barbed wire with cattle tags for leaves, was put in place in 2013. But Rogers is continuing her work, with new pieces coming out or in the planning process all the time. At the moment, she is working on a life-size sculpture of pastoralist and explorer Nat Buchanan.
Some of our favourite pieces include the haunting returning soldier who sits astride his horse high upon a bluff. And the wedge-tailed eagle who appears to soar in from on high to deliver a freshly caught snake to her babies in a barbed wire nest.
Little ones will love the red-eyed spider on her web and the beautiful brolgas in the midst of hunting for their fishy supper. We particularly love the inquisitive kookaburra sitting on his perch high on a gum tree and the newest addition, the bright yellow and black butterflies taking their rest from a migratory flight.
You can begin the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail at either Aramac or Jericho by getting a Lake Dunn Sculpture trail map from the local Information Centre or by downloading it here. The entire route will take about five hours without stops, but a large section is unsealed (other than the section between Lake Dunn and Aramac) so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Camping (and swimming, boating and birdwatching) is available at beautiful freshwater Lake Dunn. Many people choose to spend the night here so they can take their time exploring the artworks. Bring plenty of food and water and have fun!
Aramac is located in the Barcaldine Regional Council Shire, just 68 kilometres north of Barcaldine – or Barcy as it’s known to locals
Since you’re in the area, you’ll certainly want to spend some time in Aramac. Lake Dunn is only one of the incredible attractions in the area (though it’s one you certainly don’t want to miss).
Check out Gray Rock Reserve where a sandstone surface protected by an overhanging layer of volcanic rock boasts the Outback’s original ‘Visitors’ Book’. Etched with hundreds of names and dates, it is thought to have been started by coach passengers before the turn of the last century who were staying the night at the nearby Wayside Pub (now just foundations and rubble).
A beautiful Outback ravine filled with spinifex, Horsetailer’s Gorge was used by drovers to camp at night so that their horses wouldn’t stray. Take a picnic and enjoy the views and sense of history.
More information here.
This stone healing circle was created by an unknown religious group that is connected to six others in the world (Japan, Tibet, Madagascar, Peru, Turkey and the United States). It’s believed when you step into the centre, or into the eye of God, you are connecting to the energies of each of those other circles.
More information here.
While you’re in the Barcaldine region, don’t miss other local towns and attractions, including Muttaburra, just 85 kilometres north-west of Aramac.
The small Outback town of Muttaburra can claim to being the town closest to the geographic centre of Queensland, however it’s most famous for the discovery of a fossilised skeleton of a dinosaur, now known as the Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni. The Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni was a land living, plant eating dinosaur that lived 100 million years ago. Make sure you get a photo together with the sculpture of the Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni in the Park in Bruford Street.
The Muttaburra area is also well-known for fishing, with several spots along the Thomson and Landsborough Rivers available for camping, fishing and water sports.