Take a trip outback heading north west, far west. From Roma with the biggest cattle sale yard in Australia to Tambo Teddies and the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa for a good soak. You’ll need it after driving through the red dust! Also on this touring route is Longreach with the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Boulia for the famous Camel races and footprints of the dinosaur stampede. For those who love a fright, go for a walk after dark and tell the story of the Min Min light.
| Day 1:
|| Brisbane to Roma
Visit: Roma Saleyards | Travel: 477km
| Day 2:
|| Roma to Charleville
Visit: Royal Flying Doctor Service | Travel: 268km
| Day 3:
|| Charleville to Barcaldine
Visit: Cosmos Centre | Travel: 409km
| Day 4:
|| Barcaldine to Longreach
Visit: Tree of Knowledge | Travel: 107km
| Day 5:
|| Longreach to Winton
Visit: Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame | Travel: 179km
| Day 6:
|| Winton to Boulia
Visit: Lark Quarry | Travel: 363km
|| From here head down to Adelaide or on to Darwin or Uluru
Brisbane to Roma Itinerary: Day 1
Pick up your Apollo and watch the city skyline of Brisbane disappear behind you as you enter the city that almost stole Brisbane's capital status - Ipswich. Then it's hello Roma - the capital of the Western Downs and the home of the Big Rig. Schedule at least a night in Roma as there is much to see. Every Tuesday and Thursday, you can join in the excitement at the Roma Saleyards - the biggest store cattle selling facility in Australia. With special catwalks for visitors to see all the action, there's arguably nowhere else you can have such an experience. After shaking off the dust, there is still much to do. Visit the Romavilla Winery - the oldest winery in Queensland, Mt Abundance Homestead and do the Hospital Hill Walk.
Roma to Charleville Itinerary: Day 2
Into bushranger territory, the Warrego now takes you on your journey through Mitchell, through the villages of Muckadilla, Amby and on to Charleville. Roll on Charleville -and the end of the Warrego Highway. You'll notice as the kilometres slide by, the change from rolling grazing country to Mulga scrub edging the road as you drive further west to Charleville. Tinted orange from the red dust, it forms a valuable food source in times of drought and provides a perfect refuge for the birds and animals of the western plains. Schedule a couple days in Charleville and enjoy the diverse attractions. For an appreciation of life in the outback, drop in to the Charleville School of Distance Education and the visitor centre of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Charleville to Barcaldine Itinerary: Day 3
Before leaving Charleville, experience the Cosmos Centre, a small observatory which introduces you to the world beyond. Have a farewell drink at the historic and rather opulent Corones Hotel before heading north to Augathella or a byway to Quilpie and its opal fields. Augathella is 84 km northbound. The Mighty Meat Ants are synonymous with Augathella. You’ll come across them in one form or another. Either, as they take to the field during the footy season in the winter months, or by way of the town’s logo. Just try to avoid them if taking a picnic. Tambo is 119 km north of Augathella and without a bushranger to hang their hats on the townsfolk came up with a brilliant attention getter. Teddies! Tambo Teddies were created during the years of low wool prices, drought and little future on the horizon for the townsfolk.
Travel from Charleville to Barcaldine, a town filled with history and colour, often referred to as the garden city of the West because of its beautiful gardens and wide tree-lined streets. The town has a few other surprises. The big one being the memorial to Australian workers. It's the Australian Worker's Heritage Centre. Set on five acres, this centre should keep you interested for a good couple of hours - or longer. The strong links with workers, and the union movement all started in 1891 with a long running shearers' strike, a conflict which came to a head when striking shearers gathered under the shade of a giant Ghost Gum to air their grievances.
Barcaldine to Longreach Itinerary: Day 4
Leave Barcaldine, home to the Tree of Knowledge, to rest your travel weary body in the healing waters of the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa. The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is one of the largest artesian groundwater basins in the world. It underlies approximately one-fifth of Australia and extends beneath arid and semi-arid regions stretching from the Great Dividing Range to the Lake Eyre depression. Feel the benefits of these therapeutic mineral waters as you soak your travel weary muscles in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa. Step on in and immerse yourself in the rejuvenating mineral waters of this artesian spa. These warm waters have been waiting up to two million years to alleviate your weary muscles and are believed to contain healing properties. The best part is that entry is absolutely free! Arrive into Longreach! Home to Starlight's Lookout, the jumpup used in Captain Starlight's infamous cattle heist.
Longreach to Winton Itinerary: Day 5
Soak up the history and heritage in the legendary township of Longreach, home to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders Museum, Powerhouse Museum and a wealth of entertainment and friendly hospitality before heading onto Winton. When you arrive in Winton, make sure you visit Winton's Waltzing Matilda Centre for a dose of Australian folklore and the rustic mining settlement of Opalton to search for treasure. Stop for a cold one at Middleton's pub before admiring the mesa at awnpore Lookout.
Winton to Boulia Itinerary: Day 5
Experience Winton, the dinosaur capital of Australia. Travel 120km South West of Winton to Lark Quarry, around 95 million years old and currently the only recorded dinosaur stampede on earth. The footprints tell us about a cooler, wetter world, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. When you leave Winton, stop for a cold one at Middleton's pub before admiring the mesa at Cawnpore Lookout. Browse the marine reptile fossils at Boulia's Stonehouse Museum and have yourself a Min Min Encounter.