If you’re getting itchy feet and have a thirst for discovering little known, quirky facts we’ve got you covered.
Steeped in history and full of raw natural beauty, the Matilda Way is your road to an Outback adventure. Pack up the car and caravan and head from Cunnamulla to Karumba, from the New South Wales border to the tip of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and enjoy the full Matilda Way experience.
Here’s a taster, 9 things we bet you didn’t know about the towns along the Matilda Way:
One of Cunnamulla’s more infamous claims to fame is their ‘Robbers Tree’, where in 1880 a desperate and unsuccessful bank robber hid out until he was captured. He was later charged with Robbery under Arms and was the last person to be hung for this particular crime in Queensland.
In Charleville you can take a Top Secret WWII Tour complete with a top secret! The not-so-secret Norden Bombsight – what is it? You’ll have to come and visit to find out!
They’re racing mad in Blackall, so mad they once raced elephants down the main street. True story! You might not see an elephant race, but you can enjoy all the fun of a country race meet in Blackall.
Call in for a cuppa with the folks at the Barcaldine and District Historical Museum on the last Sunday of the month. Not sure if you’ll want a piece of fruit cake though – made by a prize winning local cook in 1976, they still have it in the tin!
Halfway along the Matilda Way, smack bang in the middle is Longreach, where the Tropic of Capricorn runs right through the centre of town. The town’s name comes from the founder’s astonishment at just how long the reach of the Thomson River was. Bet you didn’t know that.
Winton has quite a love of the ‘banjo’, and not because the town is filled with loads of banjo-playing Hill Billies. AB Banjo Patterson penned his perennial ballad, Waltzing Matilda, at the near-by Combo Waterhole. Do you know what else is named Banjo in this town? No, well you’ll have to come and find out.
Is that Mick Dundee leaning on the bar in the Walkabout Creek Hotel in McKinlay? Well, it’s his truck parked outside, so it just might be, or he might be back soon. So you had better pull up a stool and grab a schooner.
Make sure you have a twenty dollar note on you when you hit Cloncurry. The gentleman on the note is none other than the Rev. John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
At the end (or beginning depending on where you start) of your Matilda Way journey, kick back and enjoy Karumba, the Outback by the Sea. Just before you get there you’ll pass the laid-back town of Normanton. Here you can catch up with one of the region’s best known characters, Krys, but maybe keep your distance (he’s a crocodile!).
Have you travelled the Matilda Way? What did you learn?
Come and explore the Matilda Way and discover even crazier, quirky Outback Queensland stories