Outback Queensland Masters Road Trip Itinerary

37 NIGHTS | 2,641 KILOMETRES

Buckle up for this 2,641 kilometre adventure across Outback Queensland and each of the 2022 Outback Queensland Masters tee-off locations.

OQM-Road-Trip-2022

Make your way to Roma, the host of the first leg of the 2022 Outback Queensland Masters teeing off on June 18th. As you roll into Roma, admire their Bottle Tree-lined streets and get ready to immerse yourself in the country life.

Mornings are best begun in Roma at one of the local espresso bars, before taking a journey on foot to check out their local boutique stores or the Avenue of Heroes.

Roma’s Big Rig is where the town’s importance to the oil and gas industry is all revealed. Book in for a Day and Night pass where you’ll learn about the trials and tribulations that pioneers endured whilst trying to strike it rich with Roma oil.

While in Roma, don’t forget to give Roma’s largest bottle tree a hug before you go, which has an incredible girth of 9.62 metres.

Roma Golf Club, Tiffin Street Roma
Saturday 18 June – Sunday 19 June 2022

Find further Roma travel information and accommodation here.

Roma Queensland | Outback Queensland Masters Road Trip
Carnarvon Gorge | Outback Queensland Masters Road Trip

ROMA TO CARNARVON GORGE
(243 kilometres)

Nature’s calling! Wave goodbye to Roma and head north towards the natural wonders of Carnarvon Gorge. As a hiking paradise, birdwatchers’ playground, and outdoor indigenous art gallery, you’ll quickly see why this national park rivals the Grand Canyon.

Bring your walking shoes to discover the park’s 288-hectares with day walks ranging from 600m to 19.4 kilometres. Feeling hot? Cool off in the Rock Pool, carved from the bed of Carnarvon Creek.

To really get to know this ancient treasured buried in the Sandstone Wilderness, join a guided walk to see the gorge through the eyes of a local or a guided night safari to spot furry aerial acrobats.

Stay 3 nights

Note: No fuel is available between Injune and Rolleston.

If uncovering hidden WWII secrets, admiring the outback night sky and meeting heart-melting marsupials sounds more like you… make tracks instead to Charleville, 267 kilometres west of Roma.

CARNARVON GORGE TO TAMBO
(685 kilometres)

Pack up and head off early along the Carnarvon Highway north to Rolleston following on to Springsure.

Springsure is home to Minerva Hills National Park where spectacular jagged peaks overshadow diverse habitats. For a view of the town’s famed Virgin Rock, make way to Lions Park to see if you can make out the figures that gave this rock its name.

Continue onto Emerald and spot the 25-metre high Van Gogh Sunflower painting then continue through Jericho and take the Jericho-Blackall Road before driving south to Tambo, a living museum of cultural history.

Got a 4WD and looking for an adventure? From Springsure take the shortcut along the Dawson Developmental Road to Tambo, making your trip 419 clicks on the odometer from Carnarvon Gorge.

While in Tambo stop in at local icon, Tambo Teddies.  See the handcrafted individual bears made of sheepskin come to life in their workshop where each bear is named after a property in the area.

Spend an afternoon at Tambo Dam for a barbeque or picnic by the water with a dose of bird watching as the sun sets.

Chicken racing? Yep, you read that correctly. 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 3 nights

Tambo Golf Club, Alpha Road Tambo
Saturday 25 June – Sunday 26 June 2022

Find further Tambo travel information and accommodation here.

Tambo | Outback Queensland Masters Road Trip
Blackall

TAMBO TO BLACKALL
(102 kilometres)

With round two wrapped up, ease into a morning in Tambo by wandering back in time along the Heritage Walk or follow the banks of the Barcoo on the Coolibah Walk.

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, 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 Outback Queensland Masters road trip, dip into their artesian-fed pool, naturally heated and loaded with minerals.

Stay 3 nights

BLACKALL TO BARCALDINE
(107 kilometres)

Continue north along the Matilda Way for your next tee-off location, Barcaldine.

If you’re not quite ready to make it to the reputed birthplace of Australia’s Labour movement, you have the option to stop by Lara Wetlands for the day (or stay the night), just 29 kilometres before Barcaldine. Spend your time under the shady trees watching the birdlife and ‘roos that call the wetlands home, paddle out in a kayak or relax in the artesian hot spring.

Caffeine lovers can take a seat at Ridgee Didge Café, serving up the Outback’s first and only Indigenous coffee brand. For a bigger dose of Outback Queensland’s indigenous culture, make tracks to the Desert Dreaming Centre to join in one of their experiences including presentations, workshops and dinners.

The Tree of Knowledge is hard to miss in Barcaldine, a meeting place for shearers where Australia’s Labour movement begun. Today the famous ghost gum is preserved under an award-winning timber structure where at night it glows, lit by special lighting.

Spend an afternoon at The Australian Workers Heritage Centre, which presents a rich tapestry of exhibits capturing the spirit of our nation’s workers and how they’ve shaped our nation.

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.

If you like your art alfresco, take a day to follow the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail and check out the 40 installations across 200 kilometres showcasing Outback life created from rusting odds and ends found locally around Barcaldine.

Stay 4 nights

Barcaldine Golf Club, Pine Road Barcaldine
Saturday 2 July – Sunday 3 July 2022

Find further Barcaldine travel information and accommodation here.

 

Lara wetlands

BARCALDINE TO LONGREACH
(108 kilometres)

No Outback Queensland road trip is complete without visiting its iconic pubs. Make the drive 80 kilometres east of Barcaldine to The Wellshot Hotel, a favourite by locals and travellers alike; it’s even been voted ‘Outback Queensland’s favourite pub’.

Continue a short 20 minutes to Longreach; hailed the beating heart of Outback Queensland and not just because it falls smack bang in the middle of the state map.

Spend your days celebrating the spiritual home of Qantas, visiting the largest classroom in Australia, and 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).

Book in early to 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 for those seeking an off-road expedition, make tracks to Starlight’s Lookout for a sunset you’ll want to toast over big sky country.

If you’re in search for smoko, Longreach’s main street is where you’ll find bakery classics to stock up on for your next leg.

Stay 4 nights

LONGREACH TO WINTON
(179 kilometres)

It’s time to adventure to Dinosaur Country. Travel 165 kilometres north from Longreach to take the turn off to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. An interactive guided tour of their Fossil Preparation Laboratory, Collection Room and the March of the Titanosaurs exhibition will have you considering a career change into palaeontology.

Make your way to 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.

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 some pub grub 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.

If time permits in your schedule off the sand green take a full day tour to the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede – the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. More than 95 million years old, the 3,300 stampeding footprints are immortalised in stone and protected 110 kilometres south-west of Winton.

Stay 4 nights

Winton Golf Club, Vindex Street Winton
Saturday 9 July – Sunday 10 July 2022

Find further Winton travel information and accommodation here.

Julia Creek Artesian Baths

WINTON TO JULIA CREEK
(273 kilometres)

Today, you’re heading to Julia Creek, but first continue waltzing with Matilda by pit stopping at Combo Waterhole, 132 kilometres north of Winton. Set out on foot along the self-guided 2.6 kilometre return walking track to the famous waterhole which Banjo Paterson visited in 1895, inspiring the words of Waltzing Matilda.

If you’re ready to tick another iconic pub off on your list, park up at the Blue Heeler Hotel in Kynuna, pull up a barstool and say g’day to the locals.

When you reach Julia Creek, you’ll have earnt some well-deserved down time. Slide into the artesian baths at the Julia Creek Caravan Park with a cheese platter and some bubbles. Our tip – book in early to score yourself the hot-in-demand sunset slot.

Stay 1 night

JULIA CREEK TO CLONCURRY
(138 kilometres)

Before waving goodbye to Julia Creek, wander on foot or grab a free cruiser bike from the Caravan Park to make way to ‘Beneath Creek’ to meet their cute and cheeky nocturnal locals, the Julia Creek Dunnarts.

Take the Overlander’s Way west to Cloncurry, a town rich in history and minerals. As you make your way here, you’ll soon come to see this town’s backdrop is set upon a series of hills, contrary to the endless flat landscapes you’ve experienced.

Cloncurry was the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service in 1928. Learn the story of its beginnings and the life of its founder at John Flynn Place. Over at the Cloncurry Unearthed Museum, check out the gem and mineral collection and discover more of the area’s history including displays about the Mary Kathleen uranium mine.

Cloncurry’s Water Tank will mesmerise you with the 360-degree mural capturing the towns sunset hues and indigenous community which overlooks the town and Cloncurry River.

Cool off (after all… you are in a town nicknamed ‘The Curry’) or cast a line to reel in barramundi at Chinaman Creek Dam, just outside of town.

Stay 2 nights

Cloncurry

CLONCURRY TO MOUNT ISA
(121 kilometres)

Today continue your journey along the Overlander’s Way for Mount Isa and admire the beauty of the changing orange-hued landscapes that contrast again the blue skies.

For those with a four-wheel-drive, spare some time in your schedule for the Ballara Mining Heritage Trail or eerie abandoned ghost town of Mary Kathleen, found enroute to Mount Isa.

Once you’ve arrived in Australia’s Rodeo Capital and historical oasis in the red dirt, get your bearings of Mount Isa from the city lookout.

Play it like a local and dress up in a hard hat and high-vis to make your way 20 feet underground on The Hard Times Mining tour. The hands-on experience with an ex-miner will have you learning about the local mining history and drilling with authentic mining machinery. Yep, this is a photo-opportunity must.

The Riversleigh Fossil Centre at Outback at Isa is where you’ll see the ancient world come back to life and learn about how the fossils are extracted from the World Heritage-listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields. Join their resident palaeontologists and field staff on one of their daily laboratory tours.

If there’s a hospital you want to visit while on holiday, it’s the Mount Isa Underground Hospital Museum. Built during WWII, it’s Australia’s only known underground hospital where you can walk the narrow wards which have been left almost completely intact.

If you’re looking to make a splash after completing 18 holes over the weekend, just 17 kilometres north is Lake Moondarra. It’s one of Outback Queensland’s best spots to throw in a line and a freshwater fishing gold mine. Swim, kayak or pack a picnic and soak up the scenery.

Stay 4 nights

Mount Isa Golf Club, Powerhouse Road Mount Isa
Saturday 16 July – Sunday 17 July 2022

Find further Mount Isa travel information and accommodation here.

4WD OPTION: MOUNT ISA TO BOODJAMULLA NATIONAL PARK
(319 kilometres – one way)

Looking for an outback paradise? It’s called Boodjamulla National Park.

Those with a 4WD can continue west towards Camooweal before getting well off the beaten path, heading via the UNESCO World-Heritage Riversleigh Fossil before continuing to Boodjamulla National Park.
Note: Only the first 57km of this route is sealed.

This 28,200 hectare national park is home to lush forests and winding emerald green waters, surrounded by towering orange cliffs. The traditional owners, the Waanya People, couldn’t have named the country better, ‘Boodjamulla’ meaning Rainbow Serpent Country.

MOUNT ISA TO BOULIA
(304 kilometres)

After some relaxation outback style, you’ve got a big journey ahead to Boulia. Make sure to leave early to head south along to Boulia in Outback Queensland’s Channel Country.

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.

You can continue digging for more of Australia’s prehistoric past here in Boulia which once sat on the edge of the Eromanga Sea, making it a fossil hot spot. You can find their extensive marine reptile fossil display at the Stonehouse dating back more than 100 million years.

Don’t be surprised to see a camel or two either, the town hosts the ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing’ every July.

Park up and rest up for the night, just don’t forget to look up at the Milky Way above.

Stay 2 nights

BOULIA TO BIRDSVILLE
(381 kilometres)

You’ll feel a sense of unchartered territory as you reach your final tee-off location and Million Dollar Hole-In-One Challenge.

On your way south, stretch your legs in Bedourie where the Royal Hotel has barely changed since the 1880’s and is still pouring cold beers today.

As Queensland’s most western frontier and perched on the edge of the Simpson Desert, Birdsville is as outback as they come.

The hundred or so locals who call this place home have plenty of backyard to share with Munga-Thirri National Park (the Simpson Desert) covering 176,500km2. 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.

And since you’ve made it all this way, it’s only suitable to share a thirst-quenching beverage inside the sandstone walls of Queensland’s most western watering hole. The Birdsville Hotel has been welcoming travellers from all corners of the country for over 130 years.

Stay 4 nights

Birdsville Dunes Golf Club
Friday 22 July – Sunday 24 July 2022

Find further Birdsville travel information and accommodation here.

Birdsville Simpson Desert

Make your journey back home or continue your adventure through Outback Queensland.

For more travel itineraries to inspire your Outback Queensland journey click here.

For further travel information including local road conditions, visit a local Outback Queensland Visitor Information Centre.