Not only will the Overlander’s Way deliver you from the beach to the bush, it offers plenty of ‘only-in-the-outback’ moments with sunsets, gorges, and dinosaur remains aplenty.
So ‘routed’ to Australia’s past, this overland road trip even follows the spirit of the rugged cattle drovers who pounded this now sealed-pavement from the Northern Territory to the coast in the 1800s. In fact, that’s how this road got its name!
What are you waiting for? Here’s how to discover the Overlander’s Way in six days…
Start your overland journey in Townsville, the North Queensland city that puts the sun in the Sunshine State. Your first order of agenda is to swap the bright lights for some country sites and head 130km south-west to Charters Towers.
If there is one thing you must tick off in Charters Towers, it’s Leahton Park, home to the largest purebred herd of Texas longhorn cattle in Australia – including Guinness World Record-holder J.R., whose impressive horns stretch 3m from tip to tip!
After a dose of gold-rush fever, continue west overland through the Burra Range to Pentland. But don’t dilly dally too long, your goal is to reach your first taste of dinosaur country – Hughenden. They don’t call this area dinosaur country for nothing!
Time permitting, take a side trip an hour north of town to Porcupine Gorge. Need more convincing Outback Queensland is Gorge-ous? After this, we think not!
Double down on the dinosaur action, with a 116km overland drive to Richmond. Make your first stop Kronosaurus Korner – home to Minmi, a near complete ankylosaur skeleton.
Tick off another Outback Queensland must-see with a visit to Julia Creek en route west. You won’t just find the usual Aussie animal line-up here. The wide-open grasslands in these parts are home to rare and endangered Julia Creek Dunnart, a small mouse-like marsupial.
Back on the road, it’s just 90 minutes overland to Cloncurry, or The “Curry”, as it’s known to the locals. Named by explorer Robert O’Hara Burke (of Burke and Wills fame), there’s no shortage of early Australian history here.
From Cloncurry it’s a short, by outback standards, 122km into Mount Isa, a town that proves big is best.
Not only is the Mount Isa Mine the world’s largest single producer of copper, silver, lead and zinc, it’s home to the southern hemisphere’s richest rodeo. For sunset, see the smokestacks twinkling against the sunset at the City Lookout, promising 360-degree views of the town.
The Overlander’s Way takes a historic turn from Mount Isa to Camooweal, as you explore the road also known as “Tojo’s Highway”.
The district is best defined by rare sinkholes and caves, creating caverns linked by vertical shafts up to 75m deep. The best place to see them is the Camooweal Caves National Park, which is a short walk.
The Overlander’s Way doesn’t just stretch overland from Townsville to Mount Isa. It’s a veritable timeline of Australian history from the dinosaur era right through to our pioneering past. Not bad for a 1100km stretch of road!