Road Trip - Brisbane to Outback Queensland - 6 Nights - 6 Days - 1,549 km
Start Point: Brisbane CBD (could be GC motel / Brisbane Airport)
Finish Point : Winton
Duration: 6 Days - 6 Nights
Road Trip Brisbane to Winton - 1,549 k
6 Nights - 6 Days
Overview of Trip Experience
The most rewarding way to experience Outback Queensland is self-drive. You’re the tour leader, and you set the pace as well as the agenda. Just remember it’s a busy one - amazing landscapes, engaging history, vivid culture, generous, genuine people, not to mention the stories and big spaces that will have you coming back for more.
Outback Queensland deserves more than the 6 - days touched upon in this introductory itinerary. The ideas within you can easily replicate, or better still, expand or shorten to suit your own time and budget. Enjoy the side trips to magic places, gleaned from the locals in each town, regarding the best things to see and do between Roma and Winton.
Day One - Brisbane CBD to Roma - 478 km, 5h 42 mins
Nothing is better than watching the Brisbane traffic diminish in your rearview mirror. You’re heading for the stress free roads of the Queensland Outback. Day one keeps it simple - just under 2.5 hours between the friendly towns of Toowoomba and Chinchilla. Plenty of time for a refreshing pit stop and wander around. Did you remember a shady hat? You’re going to need one before this adventure is over. The bolder and broader your Akubra the better.
After arriving in Roma - gateway to Outback Queensland, overnight at the Kings Motor Innl. Ease those road trip muscles with a dip in the secluded saltwater pool, and at the same time work up an appetite for the generous serves in Kings Steakhouse Restaurant.
After a big breakfast spend a busy day getting to know Roma which is full of even bigger surprises. Like the first place to discover gas in Australia. At The Big Rig re-live the experience for yourself via the interactive and informative displays. Did you know? The Roma Saleyards are the largest cattle saleyards in the Southern Hemisphere. Not to be missed - Auction day 8.00am Tuesday and Thursday.
Look out for the famous bottle tree over 9.5 metres in circumference. And Roma has a special place for their fallen - Hero’s Avenue has 140 bottle trees for every local soldier lost in WW1. You can have such an exhausting day in Roma you may want to stay another night with your hosts at the Kings’ Motel. Otherwise head off to Charleville late morning.
Side trip #1 - Roma to Bonus Downs Farmstay - 132 km, 1 h 45 mins
If you’re looking for somewhere to feel at home in that Akubra then slip out of Roma early afternoon and drive towards the sunset. Overnight at Bonus Downs Farmstay. Wonderful hosts, comfortable accommodation and delectable farm style cooking.
Day Two - Roma to Charleville - 266 km, 2 h 46 mins
Night Two - Cosmos Country Motor Inn
An easy does it day with Mitchell your first stop. Spend an hour or two at the Great Artesian Spa and enjoy a relaxing and soothing 39-degree soak. Or try the cooler pool. Rev up with a coffee from the local bakery and get back on the road to Charleville. Here you’ll find enough action to warrant a two-night stand with the Bilby Centre, the heritage Corones Hotel, WW 2 airfields, weather station and some of the best stargazing in Australia at The Cosmos Centre. Best of all you’ll be staying with good company at the Cosmos Country Motor Inn.
Side trips #2 - Charleville
In and around Charleville will keep you busy. Hardly any light pollution and a favourable lattitude ensures brilliant stargazing most nights. The Bilby Centre is a genuine hands on experience for all ages. Enjoy a genuine outback pub or three. The Corones tour is a treat with their scones, jam and cream. Watch the weatherman launch his balloons at the Bureau of Meteorology. And discover the WW 2 secrets of Charleville Airport. More Stetson than Akubra.
Day Three - Charleville to Blackall - 303 km, 3 hr 6 mins
Night Three - Acacia Motor Inn, Blackall
Fuel up on a hearty breakfast in Charleville, then aim for Tambo by lunchtime. Enjoy the outback scenery as you cover an easy 201 km / 2.5 hours of driving. Pop into Fannie Mae’s Cafe for lunch then cuddle one of the famous Tambo Teddies. Created by three ladies who wanted to create jobs for the town and a new industry. Over 40, 000 have been made. Gotta love the spirit of the Outback!
Enjoy the Coolibah Walk located along both banks of the Barcoo River, the Post & Telegraph Museum, and the Grassland Art Gallery. Head for Blackall aka Merino Country mid afternoon 102kms / approx 1 hr and overnight at the Acacia Motor Inn. Enjoy a hearty steak and generous serves of veggies over dinner at the Barcoo Hotel before a sound nights sleep at the Acacia Motor Inn.
Day Four - Blackall to Barcaldine - 108 kms, 1 h 12 mins
Night Four - Acacia Motor Inn, Blackall
Spend the morning wandering about Blackall and take the fascinating wool scouring tour about the vital role of wool in Australia. Feel like a spa? Blackall Aquatic Centre has naturally fed artesian spa. Checkout the Black Stump before heading out around midday for Lara Station Wetlands, a little north of Blackall. A tranquil bush camping site surrounded by wetlands and birdlife and a thermal pool. Marvel at the trees scattered throughout the water and cooling off in the “cool pool”, an awesome spot to have a swim and a bit of a cleanse by grabbing some mud from the bottom and rubbing it on your skin – nature’s bath tub at its best.
A short 28 km drive and you’re in Barcaldine. A must see is the Tree of Knowledge all lit up. This big green sculpture was originally a real tree (a 200-year-old ghost gum) and regarded as the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). This was because the town was the headquarters of the 1891 Australian shearers’ strike where policy and decisions were made.
Worth a look also is The Australian Workers Heritage Centre.
Best accommodation bet is the easy drive back to Blackall for another restful night at the Acacia Motor Inn.
Day Five – Blackall to Longreach - 214 km. 2 hr 16 mins
Night Five - Abajaz Motel
Some easy driving is rewarded with a stop in Ilfracombe for lunch and a cold beer at the Historic Wellshot Hotel. Over one hundred years old with a remarkable collection of hats, cash on the roof and local memorabilia. Not forgetting genuine characters in the bar and around the town. Longreach is an easy 20-minute drive and you’re going to have plenty to do and see. This is one big historic town. So plan a few extra days at the Abajaz Motel.
Side trips you must do include: The Qantas Founders Museum; Cobb & Co Stagecoach Experience; Starlight’s Cruise on the Thomson River; Stockman’s Hall of Fame; take a selfie on historic Longreach Railway Station to name a few.
Day Six - Longreach to Winton - 180 kms, 1 h 49 mins
Night Six - Visit Welcome to Queensland Accommodation
Just up the track is Winton. If the landscape looks prehistoric, well, it certainly is. Here you’ll find the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum sitting atop a classic jump up or mesa plateau.
Go behind the scenes at the lab, or better still join in a dinosaur dig. Meanwhile back in this classic outback town other legends await. The Banjo Patterson statue celebrates our unofficial national anthem of Waltzing Matilda. Locals reckon it was first performed at the North Gregory Hotel. The pubs still there, so have a cold beer to Banjo. Your time in Winton will be busy. Here are a shortlist of things to see and do. Welcome to the wonders of the Queensland Outback. Golden Chain trust you have enjoyed the drive.