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Queensland Outback Explorer

Travel through unique landscapes, from the outback’s red dust, to lush rainforest and turquoise coastline.

Million Years of History
Queensland’s outback conjures images of barren plains and dusty roads. But there’s more to the landscape – and the towns dotted throughout – than meets the eye. Some of the state’s oldest townships are home to historical events, culturally significant sites and the most unique scenery you’ll come across in the country. Everyday will bring a new experience as you connect with family and friends while supporting the local rural Queensland economy.

Strap in for an adventure you’ll never forget as you fossick for gems, explore dinosaur fossils, visit the oldest town in the central west and the birthplace of Qantas. But it’s not all dirt and dust. You’ll also enjoy an oasis amongst the arid land and cool off at the end of the trip in 1770 and Hervey Bay as you head home along the picturesque coastline. Hire a motorhome to make your outback adventure fun, easy and convenient.

Click here for more Outback Queensland travel inspo, itineraries and top 10 must-sees in popular outback towns.



This round trip from Brisbane through Queensland’s outback will take you to some of the most remote and historic towns in the state’s west and back along the scenic coast.

Day 1: Brisbane Apollo Branch to Roma - 486km (5 hours 45 minutes)

Pick up your Apollo camper and say goodbye to the city skyline, it's time to head out west! On your way out of town enjoy the scenery change from city, to lush countryside to the outback's classic orange. 

Day 2: Roma

Today is yours to explore. Roma is famous for being home to the southern hemisphere's largest saleyards of cattle. If you time your visit with a Tuesday or Thursday, you can join a visitor tour of the Roma Saleyards. 

Day 3: Roma to Carnarvon Gorge - 243km (2 hours 45 minutes)

Today we leave Roma and head off to Carnarvon Gorge, a lush oasis hidden within the outback.

Day 4: Carnarvon Gorge

Towering sandstone cliffs millions of years in the making await you as you explore the ancient Carnarvon Gorge today. 

Two people walking through a towering gorge in the bush | Tourism & Events Queensland


Day 5: Carnarvon Gorge to Tambo - 427km (5 hours 10 minutes)

Say g'day to Tambo, the oldest town in the Central West of Queensland. Just over 5 hours on the road and you'll arrive in this outback town of only 400 people. 

Tambo | Tourism & Events Queensland


Day 6: Tambo to Longreach - 385km (4 hours 10 minutes)

Today we head in the direction of Longreach, the birthplace of Australia's national airline Qantas. While you're here a trip around the Qantas Founders Museum is a must do. 

People crowded around Qantas plane at Qantas Founders Museum | Tourism & Events Queensland


Day 7: Longreach to Winton - 223km (2 hours 20 minutes)

Say see you later to Longreach (you'll be back tomorrow!) and head north to Winton. Legend has it that Banjo Paterson 'Waltzing Matilda' was first performed in this town and you can visit the Waltzing Matilda Centre while here. 

Couple walking away from Waltzing Matilda Centre | Tourism & Events Queensland


Day 8: Winton to Longreach - 223km (2 hours 20 minutes)

You've reached the half way point of your Queensland Outback Explorer road trip. A quick 2 hours and 20 minutes on the road and you'll find yourself back in Longreach. 

Day 9: Longreach to Emerald - 481km (5 hours 10 minutes)

Stock up on your road trip snacks before leaving Longreach, you've got just over 5 hours on the road today before reaching Emerald. 

Day 10: Emerald

Welcome to Emerald, the gateway to one of the largest sapphire fields in the southern hemisphere and also home to a 25 metre Van Gogh sunflower painting (just for a bit of variety!) 

Day 11: Emerald to Seventeen Seventy - 490km (5 hours 30 minutes)

It's time to say goodbye to orange landscapes and hello to the beautiful Queensland coast! Your destination today is Seventeen Seventy, a quaint seaside town, home to some of the best surf in Queensland. 

Day 12: Seventeen Seventy & Agnes Water

Shake off the orange dust with a day spent by the beach at Seventeen Seventy and Agnes Water. While you're here be sure to visit the paperbark forest boardwalk for a little touch of magic. 

Day 13: Seventeen Seventy to Hervey Bay - 239km (2 hours 50 minutes)

Say goodbye to Seventeen Seventy and continue along the Queensland coast in the direction of Hervey Bay. Known as both the gateway to K'gari (Fraser Island) and a popular location to spot to the annual whale migration between Australia and Antartica. 

Couple standing on Hervey Bay pier at sunset | Tourism & Events Queensland


Day 14: Hervey Bay

Time your road trip between July and October each year for your best chance at experiencing the annual whale migration. Each year the calm, protected waters of Hervey Bay become a playground for whales and it is one of the best locations in Australia to catch a glimpse at these friendly giants. 

Whale approaching boat at Hervey Bay | Tourism and Events Queensland


Day 15: Hervey Bay to Brisbane Apollo Branch - 282km (3 hours 30 minutes)

Make the most of your final day by stopping at the Kin Kin General Store, Moffat Beach and Serenity Falls as you make your way back into Brisbane.  

Ready to explore?



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