Outback Queensland Masters Road Trip Itinerary
Make your way to the friendly town of Biloela, the heart of the Sandstone Wonders Region for the first leg of the 2021 Outback Queensland Masters, teeing off on June 19th.
If you’re arriving early to Biloela, make the most of your time by exploring the Queensland Heritage Park, Lake Callide and the town’s surrounding natural wonders including Isla Gorge, Kroombit Tops National Park and Expedition National Park.
BILOELA TO CARNARVON GORGE
With the first event of the Outback Queensland Masters under your belt, it’s time to adventure west and begin your journey to your next tee-off location, Charleville.
Get an early start and make your way along the Leichhardt Way to the town of Banana. You won’t find any yellow coloured fruit at this small farming town junction, instead meet the life-sized statue of Banana the Bullock who stands proudly in the town.
Continue your journey through to the town of Moura, which lies on the Dawson River. If you have your fishing rod handy, take a break and throw in a lie down at Apex Park – our recommended fishing hot spot. Local catches include barramundi, yellowbelly and saratoga.
Passing through Rolleston, follow the Carnarvon Highway taking you to Carnarvon National Park.
In this Queensland central highland’s oasis, experience towering sandstone cliffs, ancient rainforest, diverse flora and fauna and ancient indigenous art galleries. Explore Carnarvon Gorge on a guided walking tour or choose your own adventure from short and easy trails to longer and more remote trails.
Choose from camping in the national park or in nearby accommodation.
Make sure to book in advance due to school holidays.
Stay 3 nights
Note: No fuel is available after leaving Rolleston until reaching Injune.
CARNARVON GORGE TO MITCHELL
Today, trip towards Mitchell. Pit stop in Injune, a small country town full of character, history, spectacular natural landscapes.
Next stop is Roma. Known for its cattle, Roma is home to the largest cattle selling facility in the Southern Hemisphere where over 400,000 cattle a year are seen through here. The town comes alive on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s with the sounds of the sales.
Delve deep into Roma’s oil history by spending time at the Big Rig Oil Patch Museum, where you can see historical rigs, interpretive displays, and other old-fashioned machinery that contributed to the industry.
If the town’s bottle trees take your fancy, stop for a photo with Roma’s largest bottle tree at the end of Edwardes Street.
By afternoon, take the short drive to Mitchell along the Warrego Way, home to explorer and bush ranger stories. The town is named after explorer and Surveyor General of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Mitchell who explored the area in 1846.
Finish your day with a refreshing soak in the mineralised thermal waters at the Mitchell Great Artesian Spa.
Stay 1 night
MITCHELL TO CHARLEVILLE
Continue your journey along the Warrego Way to Charleville, where the town makes up for its size with big experiences.
Make sure to arrive in time to make the most of Charleville’s Half Way There Shindig on June 25. Dance the night away to live entertainment or fuel up at the food stalls at the street party before the second round of the competition gets started at the Charleville Golf Course.
While in Charleville, get up close and personal with one of Australia’s most endangered species at the Bilby Experience and view the outback clear night skies like never before at a Night Telescope Observatory Session at the Cosmos Centre. If time permits in your schedule, book in for the Top-Secret WWII USAAF History Tour, to explore the uncovered site’s and delve into Charleville’s war history.
Stay 4 nights
Charleville Golf Club, May Street Charleville
Saturday 26 June – Sunday 27 June 2021
CHARLEVILLE TO CUNNAMULLA
It’s time to make tracks to Cunnamulla this morning, taking the Matilda Way south.
Stop halfway on your journey in the town of Wyandra, once a major water stop for steam engines heading through to Charleville. You may be a long way from the beach here, but the town boasts its own ‘beach’ on the Warrego River.
Arrive in Cunnamulla home to natural outback beauty and classic country hospitality, perched on the Warrego River. The Cunnamulla Fella statue is hard to miss, paying tribute to region’s pastoral heritage and popularised tune by Slim Dusty, the ‘Cunnamulla Fella’.
If you’re looking for some action, adventure to the natural sand hills for sandboarding or alternatively take off for a relaxing paddle along the Warrego River.
For those wanting to spot a kangaroo on your outback trip, Cunnamulla is known to have the largest population of ‘roos in Outback Queensland.
Stay 1 night
Alternatively, take the Warrego Way directly to Quilpie, 210 kilometres west.
CUNNAMULLA TO THARGOMINDAH
Travel to Eulo, known as the ‘Montville of the Outback’, 69 kilometres along the Adventure Way. Slide into an outdoor bath at the famed artesian mud baths, pick up leather handcrafted goods or sample the Eulo Queen Hotel’s signature dish for lunch.
Continue west for Thargomindah, home to Australia’s first hydro-electric power plant. Take the opportunity to visit their Hydro Power Plant Complex for a demonstration or unwind after the day’s drive along the Bulloo River Walk and Heritage Walk.
Thargomindah is a great launch pad for a trip to the Noccundra Hotel. The historic sandstone hotel lying 142 kilometres west of Thargomindah was established in 1882 and is all that survives of the town today.
Stay 1 night
THARGOMINDAH TO QUILPIE
This morning travel along the Quilpie Thargomindah Road to Quilpie via Toompine, known as ‘The Pub with No Town’. The iconic Toompine Hotel is over 120 years old and is all that remains of this once bustling town, which came about due to the discovery of opal nearby in the 1860’s.
Travel north to Quilpie, home to the exquisite boulder opal and location of event three in the Outback Queensland Masters.
Late this afternoon, drive approximately 7.4 kilometres from Quilpie to take in a spectacular sunset from Baldy Top, a magnificent boulder formation. The relatively easy ten-minute climb to the top will reward you with breathtaking outback panoramic vistas. Take your camera to capture the perfect sunset photo.
See the bolder opal in all its glory at St. Finbarr’s Church with the spectacular opal altar or try your luck at the free opal fossicking area two kilometres west of town.
Stay 3 nights
Quilpie Golf Club, Eagle Drive Quilpie
Saturday 3 July – Sunday 4 July 2021
QUILPIE TO EROMANGA
Take the Cooper Developmental Road to begin your journey to Australia’s furthest town from the ocean, Eromanga.
Eromanga is home to the Eromanga Natural History Museum where you can meet Australia’s largest dinosaurs including ‘Cooper’ and ‘George’, plus other massive 95 million year old Eromanga dinosaurs and the world’s largest marsupials, reptiles and Eulo megafauna. Take the guided tour through the museum workshop, dinosaur and megafauna laboratories and collection room.
Spend a night the museum or in the town.
Stay 1 night
EROMANGA TO WINDORAH
Take the Kyabra Road before meeting the iconic Warrego Way again this morning to take you to the far-west outback town of Windorah, in the heart of the Channel Country.
Find your perfect picnic spot or fish for yellowbelly beside the Cooper Creek, where the Thomson and Barcoo Rivers meet. By late afternoon, head 12 kilometres west of the town to the spectacular red Windorah Sandhills to toast a sunset to remember.
Stay camped along Cooper Creek tonight, or make your way back into town for a frosty brew and great meal.
Stay 1 night
WINDORAH TO YARAKA
Today you’ll be doing some travelling off the bitumen, so ensure to check the road conditions prior to departing. Track back 22 kilometres from Windorah to take the Hammond Downs Road before continuing onto the Yaraka Retreat Road.
Sit back and keep your camera ready for a land of contrasts and watch the desert country change to black soil plains and mulga country.
Arriving into the small township of Yaraka for the evening, be sure to make it in time for sunset. Take the sealed 8 kilometre road to Mt Slowcombe for 360 degree sunset views of the Mesa Hills with a backdrop of the Yang Yang Ranges. You won’t be disappointed.
Stay 1 night
Note: This part of the journey has 100 kilometres of unsealed roads.
YARAKA TO TAMBO
From the rocky outcrops of Yaraka, today make your way through prime sheep and cattle country to Tambo, travelling through Blackall.
As you arrive in Tambo you’ll pass beautiful heritage buildings and native bottle tree lined streets. The town is famous for their locally crafted sheepskin bears, so pop into the workshop where over 47,000 bears have been made.
For four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, make a side trip along the Wilderness Way to Salvator Rosa National Park. Otherwise, settle for a stroll along the banks of the Barcoo and do the Coolabah Walk.
In the evening head on to the Royal Carrangarra Hotel and place a bet on one of Ben’s champion chickens. The colourful chooks run wild at Ben’s Chicken Racing each evening, with the prize money going towards a local charity.
Stay 1 night
TAMBO TO BLACKALL
Take your time today and enjoy the slow pace of an outback morning to track your way back to Blackall, ready for the Blackall event of the Outback Queensland Masters.
A major attraction, the Historic Blackall Woolscour is living history and a direct physical link to Australia’s pioneering era. It’s the only fully intact steam powered wool-washing plant in Australia where you can see the engine in action on a guided tour.
Blackall is home to Australian shearing legend Jackie Howe. The icon sheared 321 sheep in seven hours and 40 minutes, using blade shears at Alice Downs Station near Blackall.
If you are feeling energetic, take yourself to Blackall’s Aquatic centre for a swim in the artesian spa or a few laps in the Olympic sized pool.
Stay 3 nights
Blackall Golf Club, Woodbine Road Blackall Saturday 10 July – Sunday 11 July 2021
BLACKALL TO BARCALDINE
Take the short journey north along the Matilda Way to Barcaldine, home to the Tree of Knowledge and reputed birth place of the labour movement in Australia.
On the way, you have the option to stop by Lara Wetlands for the day (or stay the night), just 29 kilometres before reaching 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.
The famous Tree of Knowledge on Oak Street has been preserved and placed under an award winning structure that gives the illusion of a canopy over the Tree. The best view of the Tree and the memorial is at night when it is beautifully lit by special lighting.
Take a stroll along Lagoon Creek or the Botanical Walk and be mesmerised by the native fauna and flora. The Australian Workers Heritage Centre is well worth a visit, packed with local history.
Stay 2 nights
BARCALDINE TO HUGHENDEN
It’s time to travel north for the Hughenden leg of the Outback Queensland Masters. First make your way to the town of Aramac along the Barcaldine Aramac road, home of the white bull. While in town visit the Harry Redford Interpretive Centre and learn about the infamous Harry Redford (Captain Starlight) and how a distinctive white bull was his undoing.
Follow the route to Torrens Creek to meet the Overlander’s Way, which stretches from Townsville to the Northern Territory. Stop in at the Exchange Hotel for a break or continue onto the quaint town of Prairie before rolling into Hughenden.
Alternatively, make your way to Hughenden via Muttaburra, the geographical centre of Queensland.
Located on the shoreline of the prehistoric inland sea, Hughenden makes up one third of Australia’s Dinosaur Trail and is home to the Flinders Discovery Centre and Museum. Nearly 3,000 dinosaur and marine fossils have been found in the surrounding area. Meet ‘Hughie’ the centre’s life-size replica of the first entire dinosaur skeleton found in Australia.
From Hughenden taking a day trip to Porcupine Gorge National Park, known as ‘Australia’s Mini Grand Canyon’ is a must. Located 63 kilometres north of town, this national park features towering sandstone cliffs that have been carved into the landscape over time by the erosion of the surrounding creek creating its beautiful colour.
Hughenden is a great base to additionally explore White Mountains National Park, Blackbraes National Park and Mount Walker while you are here.
Stay 4 nights
Hughenden Golf Club, Hann Highway Hughenden
Saturday 17 July – Sunday 18 July 2021
Note: There is a 30 kilometre unsealed section at the end of the Torrens Creek Road before reaching the Overlander’s Way.
HUGHENDEN TO WINTON
Today, take the two and a half hour journey south-west to Winton, known as the ‘Dinosaur Capital of Australia’ and the home of Waltzing Matilda.
Check out the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and join a guided interpretive tour of their Fossil Preparation Laboratory, Collection Room and Dinosaur Canyon.
The Waltzing Matilda Centre is the first museum in the world to be dedicated to a song, honouring the unofficial anthem penned in 1895 not far from Winton at Dagworth Station. The interactive centre digs deep into the lyrics before taking you on a journey of discovery of the outback and its history. Make sure to visit the North Gregory Hotel while in Winton, rumoured to be the location of the first ever performance of Waltzing Matilda.
If time permits 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, there are 3,300 stampeding footprints immortalised in stone and protected 110 kilometres south-west of Winton.
Stay 3 nights
WINTON TO LONGREACH
It’s time to make your way to the finals and the Million Dollar Hole-In-One challenge.
Take the short morning drive to Longreach along the Matilda Way, to ensure you make the most of your time in the ‘Heart of the Outback’.
Make a trip to Ilfracombe, 28 kilometres east of Longreach along the Matilda Way. Walk the Great Machinery Mile, a graphic timeline of the evolution of the pastoral and transport industries then take a dip in the local artesian spa. Stop in at the Wellshot Hotel, voted ‘Outback Queensland’s Favourite Pub’ in 2019 for some classic country hospitality.
Book in advance to spend your evening cruising down the Thomson River on sunset complete with dinner and entertainment, a must-do while in Longreach.
When you’re not on the green, soak up the history and heritage with visits to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum. Take a tour through one of the largest classrooms in the world at the School of Distance Education or experience the thrill of a Cobb and Co. ride.
Stay 4 nights
Longreach Golf Club, Cramsie Street Longreach Friday 23 July – Sunday 25 July 2021