How to tackle the Outback Way

When it comes to long distance road trips in Outback Queensland, you’re spoilt for choice.

You’ve got The Savannah Way in the north, The Warrego Way in the south, but there’s a new ‘way’ to do the Outback – and it’s even bigger than you can imagine.

Stretching from Winton in Queensland to Laverton in Western Australia, The Outback Way, lives up to its name covering 3,675km of outback road.

Strap yourself in for a road trip adventure like no other with this guide to tackle The Outback Way.

First leg: Getting to Winton

#OutbackQueensland photo by @adventuremumma

Why start in Winton when you can start in Brisbane and go coast-to-coast?

Find your way to Winton to start this road trip:

  • Fly (2hours) from Brisbane to Longreach a two hour drive from Winton
  • Drive 1350km (15hours) from Brisbane direct to Winton
  • Fly (1.5hours) or drive 600km (6.5hours) from Townsville
  • Drive 865km (9hours) from Rockhampton

Second leg: Winton to Boulia

#OutbackQueensland photo by @lachiemillardphoto

Australia’s Longest Shortcut doesn’t start in the way it means to carry on. In fact, it’s a sealed road the entire way between Winton and Boulia.

The five hour drive along The Landsborough Way is smooth sailing with only one town to break up the drive, Middleton.

Quench your thirst with a bevvy at the Middleton Hotel, one of Queensland’s most isolated pubs, before treating yourself to panoramic views of the rugged landscape from Cawnpore Lookout.

Up for a detour? Take the scenic route with a four hour stint up north, stopping by Cloncurry (check out this guide for how to spend 48 hours in Cloncurry) and Mount Isa before heading back south to Boulia.

Once in Boulia, stop by the Marine Reptile Fossil Display to learn more about the animals that inhabited the Eromanga (inland) Sea.

As the gateway to the Diamantina National Park, this outback town is surrounded by untamed wilderness and wildlife.

Ever seen a camel race? We thought not. Time your trip with the Boulia Camel Races every July to experience this classic outback event.

Third leg: Boulia to Alice Springs

Here’s where things get tricky. Unsealed roads provide for a rough journey and it won’t be until you reach Gemtree, one and a half hours out of Alice Springs, that you’ll find solid ground again. If you’d rather not get your wheels dirty, take a different route and head south to Birdsville, home to the famous Birdsville Hotel, camel pies, the outback race that stops the state, and the world’s most remote music festival instead.

Other things to know:

What you’ll need

Preparation is key, so we recommend packing the car with all the emergency essentials. Unsure of what to pack? Check out these tips to ensuring a safe road trip in Outback Queensland.

When to go

Timing your trip is critical. From April to October there’s less chance of road closures (November to March is wet season) and the temperatures are generous enough to allow for a cool breeze every now and again.

What you’ll see along the way

From road trains to red dirt, The Outback Way has it all. Keep track of the native outback wildlife with this bucket list of animals to spot along the way.

Have you tackled The Outback Way before? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below.

Post sponsored by The Outback Way.