Travelling The Overlanders Way - Townsville to Mount Isa
Queensland’s Overlanders Way stretches from the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and pristine beaches of North Queensland, to the rugged rocky outcrops and red sand of North-West Queensland and into the Northern Territory. The Overlanders Way will take you through architecturally rich historic towns, a dinosaur graveyard and to the home of some of the world’s quirkiest events – all without even having to leave the bitumen!
Follow in the footsteps of Australia’s droving pioneers, who strategically drove mobs of thousands of cattle from the Northern Territory and across Outback Queensland’s vast interior to the coastal markets. Discover the true, unspoilt beauty of the outback and relish in the remoteness and serenity of the bush on this unforgettable journey across Queensland.
The Overlanders Way features numerous interesting sights and towns along the journey, from tropical Townsville, the gold rush town of Charters Towers, the Australian Dinosaur Trail and “Little Grand Canyon” of Hughenden, the Kronosaurus Korner and fossil hunting sites of Richmond, Julia Creek & its artesian baths and very own Dirt ‘n’ Dust Festival, the infamous birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Cloncurry and Mount Isa, the ‘oasis of the outback’ and home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest rodeo.
Stops & Highlights Between Townsville to Mount Isa
Townsville - Charters Towers
Learn about the HMS Pandora, which sank on the Great Barrier Reef, at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, see local wildlife at the Townsville Billabong Sanctuary or try fresh regional produce at the North Shore Farmers Market. The Strand runs along the beach and offers many dining, café and bar options. Magnetic Island, just a short ferry transfer away, is home to a colony of koalas and comes alive with young, energetic locals and visitors from around the world for a monthly full moon party. As you head west towards Charters Towers, call in at Ravenswood to see magnificent restored buildings and mining remnants such as mullock heaps, old shafts and chimneys stacks. Then continue on to Charters Towers, a beautifully preserved part of North Queensland history.
Townsville - Charters Towers Continued...
Queensland's last bushranger was laid to rest at the Charters Towers Cemetery, and you will also find the graves of other notable Australian figures, including Jupiter Mosman, the Aboriginal horse boy who discovered the first gold nugget at Charters Towers. From the glory days of the late 1800's Gold Rush, head to Hughenden to step back even further in time to the prehistoric era of the dinosaurs, featuring a third of the Australian Dinosaur Trail. Along the way, stop at the historic Coolabah Tree, Porcupine Gorge National Park and the Burra Range and Mount Walker lookouts for uninterrupted views of the densely wooded buffel country. In Pentland, visit the Norwood Police Cells for a glimpse into the tiny town's past and take a break at the welcoming Pentland Hotel.
Charters Towers - Hughenden
Hughenden - Richmond
Step back into the present and wander Hughenden's bougainvillea-lined streets and lush gardens where naturally round limestone moon rocks are scattered throughout.
Explore the Bush Tucker Gardens on the banks of Lake Fred Tritton where you will find local native plants labelled with their traditional medicinal purposes. The lake has sandy beaches, a boat ramp, free barbecues and a playground, making it an ideal place to relax, swim and fish for barramundi or red claw. Richmond's business district of yesteryear can be discovered on the Heritage Walk, which includes a replica of an original 1860s homestead.
Richmond - Julia Creek
Learn how the Great Artesian Basin sustains life in the outback, enjoy soaking in an artesian bore bath, have a picnic on the moon rock chairs and tables, or go underground to explore the geological features that shaped the region. Follow the nature trail or take an historical walk through the township. The remains of a WWII Directional Finding Installation can be seen near the airport. Come April, the town population swells to over 3,000, for the annual Dirt 'n' Dust Festival. The program includes a triathlon, horse races, bull rides and typical outback novelty events such as mud snorkelling races!
Julia Creek - Cloncurry
On the theme of aviation, visit the original Qantas hangar where the first passenger flew from Longreach to Cloncurry in 1922. Cloncurry was named by explorer Robert O'Hara Burke and you can see his drink bottle at the Burke and Wills display in the Cloncurry Unearthed Museum. Boasting its very own 'ghost town', you can learn about the former Mary Kathleen Uranium Mine settlement at the Mary Kathleen Memorial Park. There is the Cloncurry's Stockman's Challenge & Campdraft, as well as other attractions, including the Cloncurry Cemetery, with graves dating back to the 1880s, the Court House built in 1898, and Chinaman Creek Dam, where you can swim, picnic and take in an outback sunset.
Cloncurry - Mount Isa
Descend 22 metres underground to feel the earth move with the firing of the drill face and use real mining equipment. Outback at Isa also houses an outback park and the Riversleigh Fossil Centre. Join the resident palaeontologist on a lab tour to see exciting local fossil finds. Lake Moondarra, a few kilometres out of town, offers excellent barbecue facilities, swimming, fishing and a lookout. Before leaving Isa, call in to the School of the Air for a glimpse into classes conducted via satellite internet with students from remote communities and cattle stations. See the WWII Underground Hospital, visit the National Trust Tent House, take a surface mine tour and see inside the Bureau of Meteorology.
Enjoy 10 days of unlimited travel in Outback Queensland!
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