Over seven, action-packed days, the Queen’s Baton Relay will be adventuring through Outback Queensland before the Commonwealth Games 2018 kicks off.
From 6-12 March, spot the baton as it travels through 17 iconic outback towns that’ll make their way to the top of your must-visit list.
If you’re planning on catching the action, here’s our ultimate guide to following the Queens Baton Relay and some handy info while you’re following its trail.
Stop 1: Cloncurry
Begin your Queen’s Baton Relay trail at Cloncurry, or “The Curry” as the locals call it.
Start your outback journey with a visit to abandoned Mary Kathleen Mine and ghost town, where remnants of the former uranium mine have created an eerie wonder not to be missed.
Did you know that Cloncurry is the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service? Learn more about “The Curry” with this list of wacky facts, and if you’re keen to stay awhile, check out this 48-hour guide.
Stop 2: Mount Isa
Here you’ll find the gateway to an outback oasis known as Adels Grove in Boodjumulla (Lawn Hill) National Park.
Spend a while (at least a solid 48 hours) exploring the mining history of the town with a tour down under at the Hard Times Underground Mine tour.
Stop 3: Birdsville
Thousands of people flock to town to the two events, and stick around to surf the Big Red, sink a sundowner at the Birdsville Hotel, and savour the taste of a famous curried camel pie from the Birdsville Bakery.
Stop 4: Roma
Moo-ve on over to Roma, where you’ll find the largest cattle saleyards in the Southern Hemisphere.
Nestled on the border of Outback Queensland, Roma is the gateway to National Parks (Carnarvon Gorge anyone?), great outback road-trips, and other iconic outback towns. Stay a while in Roma with this 48-hour guide.
Stop 5: Mitchell
Head approximately 90km west from Roma to find Mitchell, a quiet town surrounded with natural wonders.
Stop 6: Morven
Here you can explore a wacky invention from outback history – kerosene tin huts! Dated from the 1920’s and 30’s, five tin huts circling a water tap still stand in Morven today.
Stop 7: Charleville
Stop 8: Augathella
A must-stop along the Matilda Way, Augathella might be a small town but it’s got something big.
We’re talking about the giant meat ant statue in town, which is one million times its normal size!
Stop 9: Tambo
The midway point between Brisbane and Mount Isa, Tambo’s known best for its cuddly side.
Stop in and pick up a Tambo Teddy, made from 100% natural wool that’s produced locally and made in town.
Stop 10: Blackall
If you’re of fan of sheep and shearing, then Blackall is sure to tickle your pickle. With a giant sheep statue and a record-setting shearer Jackie Howe statue, the industry is well ingrained in Blackall’s history.
Stop 11: Barcaldine
Barcaldine, or “Barcy” as the locals affectionately call it, is best known for one, magnificent tree.
The Tree of Knowledge that is, which marks the birthplace of the Labour Party and even has its own festival.
Stop 12: Ilfracombe
This small country town is packed with history, and the best place to start your history lesson is at the Wellshot Hotel.
Standing tall in Ilfracombe since 1890, this pub packs character by the pint-full. Stop in for a yarn or two about the story behind the impressive hat collection and money that found its way to the roof.
Stop 13: Longreach
Stop 14: Winton
As one of three towns in the Australian Dinosaur Trail, Winton boasts having the world’s largest collection of Australian fossils.
Stop 15: Hughenden
Hughenden offers plenty to explore, with four national parks and volcanic basalt country surrounding the town.
Stop 16: Prairie
A short half an hours drive east from Hughenden resides the quaint town of Prairie.
Amongst rolling grass plains is the Prairie Hotel, which transports its patrons back through time with its walls of memorabilia (read stockman hat collection).
Stop 17: Pentland
Pentland is one of the first outback towns along the Overlander’s Way from Townsville to Mount Isa.
It’s home to a historic police lockup and a cracking burger café (the Pentland Post Office Café) that provide great food to pair with admiration of the Burra Burra Ranges just east of town.
Are you following the Queens Baton Relay through Outback Queensland?