From gut wrenching stories of spirit and tragedy, Queensland’s outback has become famous and evolved into a must see destination. However, don’t think venturing into the outback means a loss of civilisation. All along the route, there is fine accommodation, hearty meals, and plenty of water for hot relaxing showers provided courtesy of the Artesian Basin, the vein of life running under this stark beautiful land.
Retrace the tracks of Cobb & Co, as you traverse the unique and fascinating Adventure Way. Bitumen roads now replace the rutted tracks once taken by horse drawn coaches of all but the last 150 km, enabling even those in a two-wheel drive to experience the richness of this route.
Watch the city skyline of Brisbane disappear behind you as you enter the city that almost stole Brisbane’s capital status – Ipswich. It is not long and you are passing through the Lockyer Valley, the salad bowl of Queensland, home to top quality local producers that work hard to create unique and exciting products.
Situated adjacent to the Lockyer Valley, on the Great Dividing Range, is Toowoomba and where the Southern Queensland Country experience begins where you can slow down, breath deep and enjoy a taste of life in the country. The Toowoomba region has a lot to offer visitors, renowned for its magnificent parks and gardens, scenic views and provider to gourmet food and wine culture. It is a region of unparalleled beauty, offering the contrasts of the seasons; the colours and characters of the countryside; rich heritage and the release from big city pressures to enjoy country pleasures.
After experiencing the Garden City, it is then time to continue along the Warrego – the next stop Dalby.
Dalby is the regional centre of the Western Downs located just over 200 kilometres west of Brisbane. With plenty of local history and culture to experience, from Pioneer Park Museum and a local Heritage Trail to exploring Bunya Mountains National Park, there’s no shortage of things to see and do.
Head to St George via the Moonie Highway where you will pass Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, southwest of Dalby, and enjoy the only naturally-occurring freshwater lake in the region. Stop and explore Moonie where the area is noted for its quality grain, cattle and prime lamb production, before continuing on to St George.
From the moment you arrive to the time you leave, St George relaxes the senses in all the right ways. Perched on the bacnks of the mighty Balonne River, it is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Balonne Shire. A star feature, the two-kilometre stretch of shady riverbank walkway which begins below the Jack Taylor Weir, exercise equipment and information signs on fish and bird species unique to this area.
In an unasuming small brick building in the main street of town, you will find the humble emu egg carved into a stunning, illuminated piece of art at the Unique Egg.
For the serious campers and 4WD enthusiasts, Thrushton National Park is 40 kilometres north east of Bollon and accessible via dirt roads.
Situated on the banks of the Warrego River, Cunnamulla is an unexpected oasis. Boasting beautiful streetscapes and activities, this picturesque country town offers something for everyone.
After enjoying your choice of activity, whether it be bush walks, sandboarding, town and industry tours, river cruises, fishing, getting you photo taken with the magnificent Cunnamulla Fella Statue or a journey back in time along Cunnamulla’s heritage trail, enjoy a good coffee or bite to eat at one of the towns many cafe’s, restaurant or pubs.
Before you leave town make sure to call into the Artesian Time Tunnel at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre to learn about the artesian basin and how essential it is to life in the outback.
Continue west to the friendly town of Eulo which is the “Montville of the Outback”. A small but proud community that is famous not just for the infamous “Eulo Queen” and the hotel named after her but also for the abundant local produce as well as opal and craft which can be purchased in the town.
Accommodation or camping options are behind the hotel and on the banks of the Paroo River, go bird watching, fishing, relax and enjoy the tranquility, take in the Billabong and Granite Nature Drives and some time to rejuvenate in the Artesian Mud Baths.
Take a short detour of the main road to visit the friendly opal town of Yowah where you can get some tips from the locals before trying you luck fossicking for your own opals.
Detour to the beautiful Lake Bindegolly National Park, where you can follow a short walking circuit or simply take in the serenity from the observation point before rejoining the highway to Thargomindah.
After you arrive in Thargomindah, call into the VIC to have a break before you visit the historic tourist attractions in town, including the Hydro Power Plant Display, the old Thargomindah Hospital and Leahy House. Hotel/Motel accommodation is available and a well-appointed caravan park is all located in the heart of town for visitors who want to stay overnight.
It’s best to leave early on your drive to Innamincka, which is just across the border in South Australia, so that you can take a short detour and stop along the way at the historic Noccundra Hotel. The road is sealed to the border, with a small section of dirt road near the Ballera Gas Field. Just prior to reaching the border, make a detour to the Burke and Wills ‘Dig Tree’ site. Situated on the banks of Cooper Creek, and where the Expedition ended in tragedy. Visitors can camp along the banks of the Cooper.
The final stretch of road to Innamincka from the border is unsealed. There are a number of places of interest just outside Innamincka, including the Cullyamurra Waterhole with its Aboriginal rock carvings.