For 11 months out of a year, Julia Creek claims the rightful label as a quaint and quiet town. However every April, the small town population of 400 swells to 3,000 for the annual Julia Creek Dirt ‘n’ Dust Festival, a famous outback triathlon set to test the toughest of the tough.

For those who rather fiesta than fitness, novelty games such as Australia’s Best Butt competition and bog snorkelling are calling your name. Don’t forget to stop by the Julia Creek Hotel, where you’ll be greeted by a G’day Mate, a coldie and the feeling that you’re now a local.

Just a short 1.5hour drive (137km) west along the Flinders Highway is Cloncurry, aka “The Curry”. It’s a small country town with a whole lotta spice — and not just because its average winter temperatures resemble a vindaloo, rarely dipping beneath 25 degrees. But it’s not just the temperatures that give this town its fiery reputation. It’s also known for its warmth of a different kind, recognised as one of the friendliest towns in Queensland.

As the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, be sure to check out the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery which plays homage to the founder and the service that is an essential part of the outback way of life.