This trip stretches from the coast into the heart of the outback, along The Overlanders Way. It goes west, far enough to pass the “middle line” of the state and displaying in full technicolour glory the size and variety of this country.
It’s the most customisable route – we’ve recommended driving all the way out to Julia Creek, but you could also stop in for the Festival of Small Halls performance in Hughenden (13 November 2019) or Charters Towers (14 November 2019).
Leg 1 - Townsville to Charters Towers (1 hour 30mins)
Hit the highway heading west! Your first stop is Charters Towers, once the biggest town in Queensland after Brisbane.
This gold rush town once bustled with life, the wide open streets and sweeping architecture built to home the thousand of prospectors, come to make their fortune. It seems fitting that this treasure chest was home to Queensland’s last bushranger, who lies in the local cemetery near Jupiter Mossman, the young Aboriginal boy who helped discover gold in the area.
This is the perfect place for a coffee stop – grab a delicious caffinated beverage and keep chasing that horizon!
Leg 2 - Charters Towers to Hughenden (2 hours 35mins)
Hello, dinosaur country! Hughenden is situated on the edge of a vast pre-historic inland sea, once home to many terrestrial dinosaurs as well as marine reptiles, making this area well known as ‘dinosaur country’.
Option 1: Grab some lunch in town and visit “Hughie”, the seven metre-tall Muttaburrasaurus before you leave. He lives at the Flinders Discovery Centre, alongside an impressive fossil collection.
Option 2: If you’ve made this a weekend trip, grab some supplies and detour 30mins north to the Porcupine National Park. You can eat your lunch and look out over the gorge. Alternatively, Mt Walk nearer to town has a lovely lookout!
Leg 3 - Hughenden to Richmond (1hr 15mins)
Nearly there! Have an afternoon tea break, and stretch your legs down the heritage walk through town.
Looking around at the landscape, it’s hard to imagine this service centre to the many surrounding stations was once a vast inland sea – until you find a marine fossil! Trigger your imagation with a quick cool off in Lake Fred Tritton. Teeming with fish and offering a cool outlook in the striking reddish surrounds, this is the perfect family stop.
Leg 4 - Richmond to Julia Creek (1hr 35mins)
You’re here! Get checked into your accom and out onto the streets for the most spectacular outback sunset you’ll ever see.
We open the doors to the Civic Centre at 6.30pm, but you’ve you’ve still got gusto in you after the show (about 9 – 9.30pm), you can head to Visitor Information and Interpretive Centre to see the Julia Creek Dunnart, a tiny endangered marsupial who lives in a special nocturnal viewing area.