I breathe in deep and make a wish, my third tonight. Above, an effervescent green and yellow glow blazes through a million stars set against the velvet black sky. I dare not close my eyes; the scene is too dazzling to miss a mere millisecond. The serenity envelopes me and I wriggle my toes in delight, scarcely believing I am sat in a bathtub, in the middle of Outback Queensland.
You can experience the delights of an Outback soak right across this vast region. Some are quirky, others more upmarket, yet all offer an unforgettable experience. Join us as we soak our way around Outback Queensland’s bathtubs. As you relax and the water caresses you, remember to make that wish – it may come true!
Saltbush Retreat – Longreach
This boutique retreat offers gorgeous accommodation within walking distance of Longreach’s hero attractions. But today, we only have eyes for the property’s exclusive Outdoor Bath Terrace. Claw-footed bathtubs filled to the brim with warm water from the sub-artesian basin are perfect at sunset. Pre-order nibbles and a pamper pack and slide into the bubbles for a luxurious soak under open skies. Saltbush Retreat offers free airport shuttle, wi-fi and assistance with bookings for other Longreach and regional attractions including the Qantas Founders Museum and Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Take a Cobb & Co Stagecoach tour, visit Winton and discover dinosaurs and opals or travel a mere 18 kilometres south to the famous Wellshot Hotel, established in 1890.
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Gilberton Outback Retreat – via Hughenden
Gilberton Outback Retreat is a seventh-generation family working cattle station located a 2.5-hours’ drive west of Hughenden. Here modern meets majestic. Built from local stone and timber, the retreat sits atop a bluff high above the Gilbert River and the outdoor bath offers uninterrupted views of the rugged landscape beyond. Luxurious robes, waffle slippers and bespoke bathroom products, along with a welcome platter and bottle of champagne on arrival, make for a truly memorable Outback soak. This retreat is luxury with total detox: there is no phone, no TV or internet – we think it’s called bliss.
Moble Homestead – Quilpie
Immerse yourself in the landscape of the Channel Country in an antique French galvanised bathtub beside Bill’s Hut at Moble Homestead, outside of Quilpie. The hut is one of a number of accommodation offerings at Moble, a working station which has been home to the Rutledge family for five generations. A glorious country garden on the banks of Moble Creek provides a backdrop to the station’s famed dining experiences, cookery masterclasses and creative workshops while birdwatchers, bushwalkers, artists and photographers will revel in the Homestead’s new catered trekking and walking packages. This has to be one of Queensland’s best hidden Outback getaways.
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Artesian Bath Houses – Julia Creek Caravan Park
Dust off a long day driving with a relaxing soak in artesian waters at Julia Creek’s Artesian Bath Houses. Six private bath houses built to emulate rainwater tanks each boast two claw-footed tubs and Outback views for miles. Guests of the caravan park can order pamper packs and cheese platters or you’re welcome to BYO. A visit to the award-winning Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre is a must. Learn more about the region’s fascinating history and amazing flora and fauna such as the shy and endangered dunnart. The Julia Creek Swimming Pool has water slides, a children’s play area, and a 25-metre pool – perfect for the family. Or take a trek through town on a cruiser bike – they’re free to hire all year round.
Charlotte Plains – Cunnamulla
On this authentic family-run sheep station not far from Cunnamulla, they say they are not five stars, but 1,000 stars. One soak in the baths situated directly at the property’s borehead and we agree! Exiting the ground at 42C, the pure artesian water nurtured wildlife and stock for centuries and now visitors can enjoy a revitalising soak under wide blue skies. Gain an insight into the past and present by visiting the historic woolshed. In town, see the larger-than-life- Cunnamulla Fella statue depicting the larrikin stockman of times gone by and don’t miss the Cunnamulla Visitor Information Centre with its time capsule, gallery and staff well informed to help you see the best of the region.
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Blackall Mineral Baths – Blackall
Blackall, home to famed shearer Jackie Howe, who even has a singlet designed and named after his record-breaking shearing of 321 sheep by hand in seven hours and forty minutes in 1892. Today you can enjoy a relaxing soak in the region’s warm waters without the hard work beforehand! The Blackall Aquatic Centre along the Matilda Way features a massage spa and 50m swimming pool, which is heated in winter. While in town see the giant steel ball, the famed Black Stump and one of Australia’s last steam-operated wool scours. Idyllic National Park is just 113 kilometres down the road with amazing flora, fauna and lookouts, perfect for any time of the day.
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The Great Artesian Spa – Mitchell
Travel due west from Brisbane just over six hours along the Warrego Highway and you’ll find Mitchell’s Great Artesian Spa. One pool is naturally heated by water from the Great Artesian Basin maintained at a comfortable temperature designed to relax tired muscles, ease tension and revitalise both body and mind. The other pool is for those who prefer a cooler experience. The complex is designed for easy access, including a hydro chair for restricted
mobility visitors. It’s also home to the Mitchell Visitor Information Centre, open seven days a week.
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