OUTBACK QUEENSLAND MASTERS ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP 2024
38 NIGHTS | 1,649 KILOMETRES
Buckle up for this 1,649 kilometre adventure taking you from Birdsville to Quilpie, including each of the 2024 Outback Queensland Masters’ location in 2024.
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MORE COMING SOON
38 NIGHTS | 1,649 KILOMETRES
Warrego Way: Take the Warrego Way for the most direct route to Birdsville, 1,578 kilometres from Brisbane taking you through Toowoomba, Roma, Charleville, Quilpie and Windorah and onto Birdsville. Note: This route is suitable for 4WD only. Sections between Windorah and Birdsville (Birdsville Developmental Road) are unsealed but are regularly maintained.
Via Longreach – Winton – Boulia: Take the Warrego Way from Brisbane to Morven before adventuring along the Matilda Highway to Winton. From Winton travel to Boulia via the Kennedy Developmental Road before travelling south to Birdsville via Bedourie. Note: This route is fully sealed, suitable for all vehicles.
Take the Great Western Highway heading towards Bathurst. From Bathurst, head along the Mitchell Highway onto Orange, Dubbo, Nyngan and onto Bourke before crossing the Queensland border to Cunnamulla. From Cunnamulla travel west to Eulo before journeying north to Toompine and Quilpie to take the Warrego Way to Birdsville.
Travel north to Shepparton before continuing north across the border to Jerilderie. The Kidman Way will take you through Griffith, Hillston, Cobar and Bourke before travelling across the Queensland border to Cunnamulla. From Cunnamulla travel west to Eulo before journeying north to Toompine and Quilpie to take the Warrego Way to Birdsville.
Alternatively, if you’re seeking an adventure, take the Birdsville Track from Marree, SA.
Make your way to Birdsville, (getting here is all part of the adventure!) the host of the first leg of the 2024 Outback Queensland Masters teeing off on June 15th.
Birdsville is as outback as they come, home to a hundred of so locals, perched on the edge of the Simpson Desert (Munga-Thirri National Park).
As far as outback adventures go, nothing’s more iconic than catching the sunset hues dance across the endless dunes on top of the Simpson Desert’s first and famous Big Red sand dune. Test your 4WD skills or work your leg muscles and walk to the top, the view… worth it!
Take a dip at Birdsville’s ‘beach’, Pelican Point or enjoy a thirst-quenching beverage inside the sandstone walls of Queensland’s most western watering hole to start your Outback Queensland Masters adventure. The Birdsville Hotel has been welcoming travellers from all corners of the country for over 130 years.
Stay 4 nights
Birdsville Dunes Golf Club
Saturday 15 June – Sunday 16 June 2024
Birdsville to Bedourie
Wave goodbye to Birdsville, and journey north to Bedourie in the Channel Country.
After a weekend of 18 holes, make way to the Bedourie Artesian Spa and Aquatic Centre where the healing waters bubbling up from underground at 30-40 degrees await you.
Get to know the locals at the Royal Hotel, alive with history this pub has barely changed since the 1880’s and is still pouring cold beers today. Stop in at Pise House, a mud hut in the main street of Bedourie dating back to the 1880s for a reminder the simple and harsh pastoral life.
Stay 2 nights
Bedourie to Boulia
Next stop, Boulia, known as the Land of the Min Min Light.
The eerie Min Min Lights, have drawn curious travellers to Boulia for decades hoping to see the mysterious balls of glowing light, first sighted at a lonely Cobb and Co staging site in the shire. Whether it’s fact or fiction, a trip to the Min Min Encounter Centre will enthral you with stories with the animatronic and laser show.
Dive into Australia’s past the Boulia Heritage Complex, where you can view the local history from the prehistoric age to the modern era. Check out the fossil collection of marine reptiles on display including the bones of a Plesiosaur unearthed in this area.
Sit back and enjoy the outback nature and landscapes. View the unique and rare Waddi Trees while you’re here, the tree wood is so hard it can damage an axe and is almost impossible to burn.
Don’t be surprised to see a camel or two in Boulia, the town hosts the ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing’ every July.
Stay 4 nights
Boulia Golf Club.
Saturday 22 June – Sunday 23 June 2024
Boulia to Middleton
Take the scenic outback drive through Jump Up and Channel Country to Middleton, known for its pub. In fact, that’s all there is at Middleton!
Make sure you take a pit stop at Cawnpore Lookout on your way for spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding Lilleyvale Hills.
The Middleton Hotel was built in 1876 and was a Cobb & Co. changing station until the service ceased in 1915. The small town that grew up around the hotel has since disappeared, leaving the Middleton Hotel with the distinction of being one of the most isolated pubs in Queensland. Cheers to that!
Stay 1 night
Middleton to Winton
It’s time to adventure to the town of Winton where Australian history runs through its veins, from the ochre red soil below to the walls of the grand-old pubs that line the streets.
As Australia’s Dinosaur Capital, it’s practically mandatory to make a visit to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. Join their Ultimate Dinosaur Tour for an interactive guided tour of the world’s largest collection of Australian fossils or join their team for some stargazing at their Gondwana Stars Observatory.
For Australian history on more of a surface level, the Waltzing Matilda Centre celebrates the famous bush ballad and unofficial national anthem in a multi-sensory experience. Follow it up with a hearty pub meal served with a side of Australian history at the North Gregory Hotel, rumoured to be the location of the first public rendition of Waltzing Matilda.
Want a night out at the movies? See the stars on the big screen while you sit back under outback sky at the Royal Open-Air Theatre.
If time permits, see sunset from Winton’s Rangelands on tour or take a full day tour to the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede – the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park, 110 kilometres south-west of Winton.
Stay 6 nights
Winton Golf Club
Saturday 29 June – Sunday 30 July 2024
Winton to Longreach
Journey to Longreach, the beating heart of Outback Queensland.
Spend your days celebrating the spiritual home of Qantas, visiting the largest classroom in Australia, and feel the pride of Australia discovering the life of real stockmen and women.
Thrill seekers can get their heart racing by walking the wing of a Boeing 747 or taking a seat on a restored Cobb and Co ride galloping along an original mail route (we hope you don’t mind a bit of dust).
Admire the landscapes by riding in a heritage rail motor or finish a day in Longreach by cruising along the Thomson River on sunset before indulging in an authentic outback dining experience, complete with entertainment.
Soak in an outback sunrise or sunset from an outdoor clawfoot bath or make off-road tracks to Starlight’s Lookout for a sunset you’ll want to toast over big sky country.
Stay 3 nights
Longreach to Ilfracombe
Today, take the short (in outback terms) journey to Ilfracombe, 27 kilometres east of Longreach.
As you roll into town, you won’t miss the brightly coloured line up of machinery, AKA the Machinery Mile. This outdoor museum is one-of-a-kind, where you can inspect the handywork and effort required to build the prized machines back in the day.
No Outback Queensland road trip is complete without visiting its iconic pubs and Ilfracombe’s Wellshot Hotel is one of them. Walk through its swinging saloon doors to see for yourself why it’s a favourite by locals and travellers alike; and even been voted ‘Outback Queensland’s favourite pub’.
Stay 1 night
Ilfracombe to Barcaldine
It’s time journey to your next tee-off location, Barcaldine.
Discovering Barcaldine starts with a wander down Oak Street to visit the award-winning Tree of Knowledge Memorial. The famous ghost gum is hard to miss in Barcaldine, a meeting place for shearers where Australia’s Labour movement begun.
To learn about the rich history of the birthplace of Australia’s Labour Movement, spend an afternoon at The Australian Workers Heritage Centre. It presents a rich tapestry of exhibits capturing the spirit our nation’s workers and how they’ve shaped our nation.
For an incredible First Nation’s experience, the Desert Dreaming Centre offers authentic experiences including Aboriginal art and craft workshops, song and dance shows from the Desert Dust Dancers and local bush tucker treats.
If you like your art alfresco, take a day to follow the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail and check out the 40 installations made of scrap metal across 209 kilometres showcasing Outback life. Along the way, stop off at Lake Dunn, Gray Rock, Horsetailer’s Gorge and the Heeling Circle.
Alternatively take a trip to Muttaburra, home of the Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni. Meet Queensland’s very own fossil emblem at the Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre.
Feeling thirsty? A walk along Oak Street will lead you to the town’s watering holes to quench that thirst after another weekend of playing.
Local tip: Not sure how to say Barcaldine? Say Barcy instead!
Stay 3 nights
Barcaldine Golf Club
Saturday 6 July – Sunday 7 July 2024
barcaldine to blackall
Make the short journey to Blackall, along the Matilda Way.
Literally growing on the sheep’s back, you can discover all about Blackall’s wool industry at the Historic Woolscour. Built in 1908, it’s the last remaining steam-operated wool-washing plant in Australia.
Find yourself in the gardens of the Lodge on Hawthorne, Blackall’s heritage-listed Masonic Temple. Shop through their antique and art gallery or indulge in their seasonal menu accompanied by a wide selection of fine teas which will no doubt have you coming back for seconds.
Explore the artistic landscape of Blackall by following Blackall’s Sculpture Trail made up of nine unique pieces that bear significant to the town’s history. The locals say it’s #BetterinBlackall and ‘The People’s Sign’ found just north of the town demonstrates boldly what it means to live in the region.
For that perfect break during your road trip, dip into their artesian-fed pool, naturally heated and loaded with minerals.
Stay 2 nights
blackall to tambo
Continue south to Tambo along the Matilda Way and start by exploring the town on foot along the Heritage Walk or follow the banks of the Barcoo on the Coolibah Walk.
While in Tambo stop in at local icon, Tambo Teddies. See the tenderly handcrafted individual bears made of woollen sheepskin come to life in their workshop where each bear is named after a property in the area.
Spend an afternoon at the Tambo Grasslands Gallery or down by Tambo Dam for a barbeque or picnic with a dose of bird watching as the sun sets.
Chicken racing? Yep, you read that correctly. Meet Ben the ‘chook trainer’ and hedge your bets on ‘the girls’ at the Royal Carrangarra Hotel who chase down a cart of tasty treats to the finish line for a good cause.
Stay 1 night
Tambo to Augathella
Travel to Augathella, affectionately known as ‘Meat Ant Country’.
The town owes its very existence to the bullock teams that once camped along the Warrego River and is the old stomping ground of notorious bushrangers, the Kenniff Brother’s.
You won’t miss the brightly painted Augathella water tower when you arrive, representing the colourful and pioneering history of this little town with a big heart.
Stay for a night for a dose of fair dinkum outback hospitality.
Stay 1 night
Augathella to Charleville
Arrive in Charleville by afternoon, and you’ll quirky learn there’s a lot to love about this small town.
Get started by reporting for duty at the WWII Secret Base to uncover top secret information and delve into Charleville’s war history. Then visit the RFDS Base for taste of bush medicine.
You can’t miss the town’s most historic landmark, Hotel Corones. Their ‘History & Stories’ tour gives you a glimpse into the life of Harry Corones and the tales of previous guests.
Meet Charleville’s cutest locals, at the Charleville Bilby Experience and get up close with one Australia’s most endangered species in their nocturnal home.
One of the town’s most popular experiences is a night out at the Cosmos Centre’s Big Sky Observatory to view the outback clear night skies. Join their passionate guides and, experience the night sky as our ancestors did and peer into the depths of space.
Just don’t forget to bring a beanie and gloves!
Settle for a picnic at the Charleville Botanical Reserve, wander along the Warrego River Walk or if fishing takes your fancy, stop in to see the infamous Rude Jude at Judey’s Browse Inn for the local fishing tips.
Stay 5 nights
Charleville Golf Club
Saturday 13 July – 14 July 2024
Charleville to Quilpie
Begin your journey to Quilpie for the finale of OQM24 by stopping in at Cooladdi, the little town that once was.
While its ‘town’ status is a little on the generous side, be sure to stop in at the famous Cooladdi Foxtrap – an all-in-one store, pub, and post office. It’s a popular stop for a cold one and don’t forget to ask about how The Foxtrap got its name.
Arriving at Quilpie a further 122 clicks on the odometer west, you’ll find a stunning outback region, full of adventures and the home of the exquisite boulder opal.
Make your first stop the Visitor Information Centre to learn about where you can try your luck at fossicking for opal or head to St Finbarr’s Church to admire the opal altar.
Whether you prefer the big sky or the big screen, Quilpie knows how to put on a show. Kick back in an outdoor lounge chair at the Quilpeta Night Show or enjoy the sunset from Baldy Top where the easy ten-minute climb will reward you with breathtaking outback panoramic vistas.
For those seeking adventure, take a 4WD trip out to Hell Hole Gorge National Park or drive to the historic Toompine Pub, ‘the pub with no town’ for a country-style lunch.
No trip to Quilpie is complete without a visit to the Eromanga Natural History Museum found 108km west of Quilpie along the Cooper Development Road. Take a guided tour to meet ‘Cooper’ the 95-98 million-year-old titanosaur and other significant fossil discoveries including the world’s largest megafauna and an array of microfauna.
If you want a night at the museum experience, we recommend booking in at their very own Cooper’s Country Lodge.
Stay 5 nights
Quilpie Golf Club
Friday 19 July – Sunday 21 July 2024
Natural Sciences Loop Including Cunnamulla, Thargomindah, Eromanga on to Quilpie
This route’s got it all, natural history and heritage rolled into one.
Travel south from Charleville to Cunnamulla to journey back in time in Artesian Time Tunnel and dip into the new Cunnamulla Hot Springs.
On your way to Thargomindah take a mud bath in the charming town of Eulo. In Thargomindah visit the Australia’s first hydro-electricity system and the Historic Old Hospital and Old Jail.
Continue your adventure onto Eromanga to meet ‘Cooper’ Australia’s largest dinosaur before making it to your final location, Quilpie.