8 Incredible Outback Queensland Experiences To Have On Your Big Lap

by Rose Foster

1. Go driving, and keep on driving

Outback Queensland is popular for Big Lappers, which is why there are many established drive routes. Four of the most favoured are The Adventure Way, which links Brisbane to Innamincka, The Matilda Way, from Cunnamulla to Karumba, The Overlander’s Way, from Townsville to the Mount Isa, and The Warrego Way, from Brisbane to Birdsville.

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2. Hike Through a Towering Gorge

Located two hours from Roma, Carnarvon Gorge is a favourite of hikers and nature lovers with its incredible array of trails and natural formations. Spend a night at the remote Big Bend campsite (accessible by hiking only) to truly appreciate the landscape.

You should also check out Porcupine Gorge (Hughenden), Lawn Hill Gorge (Boodjamulla NP), Hell Hole Gorge (near Quilpie) and Robinson Gorge (Expedition NP).

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3. Rock out in Birdsville

Outback Queensland is the home of many wacky and innovative events, and Birdsville hosts two of the best: the Birdsville Races and the Big Red Bash. The races are the Melbourne Cup of the desert while Big Red Bash is the world’s most remote music festival and a damn good one at that. Both are not to be missed.

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4. Take A Bath

The tiny town of Eulo near Cunnamulla is famous for the Artesian Mud Baths that have helped soothe the bodies of many weary travellers. For a memorable experience, opt for the nighttime experience to soak under a starry night.

There are also artesian baths at Charlotte Plains, The Great Artesian Spa at Mitchell, and Julia Creek Caravan Park which don’t just offer a wonderful wellness experience, but also insta-worthy views. Julia Creek even provides cheese and biccies while you bathe!

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5. Go dinosaur hunting

Outback Queensland is the epicentre of dino-adventures. Visit Winton and the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum to see a huge collection of dinosaur fossils. See the 3,300 ancient footprints in Lark Quarry Conservation Park. Meet “Hughie” in Hughenden and “Cooper” in Eromanga Natural History Museum. Or learn more about fossil hunting at Kronosaurus Korner in Richmond.

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6. Find Hidden Gems

There are a number of places in Outback Queensland where you can go fossicking for rare gems! Find Opals in Yowah, Opalton and Quilpie or uncover amethystine quartz, amethyst, alluvial gold or maltese crosses in Cloncurry. You can also fossick for peridot and other gems and discover moonstone at Moonstone Hill. The towns in The Gemfields are (unsurprisingly) popular spots for finding zircon, sapphire, peridot, rubies and emeralds.

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7. Country feeds

The meals are bigger in the Outback and after a long drive, the drinks always taste colder. Take a pitstop in each town’s pub (or pubs) to see what’s on offer and meet the locals. These watering holes usually offer more than good grub…

North Gregory Hotel is known as the first place Waltzing Matilda was sung publicly, the Wellshot Hotel in Ilfracombe has an incredibly quirky interior and the Walkabout Creek Hotel is the famous filming location of Crocodile Dundee. Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show takes the Outback hospitality to the next level.

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8. Experience Outback Life

There are a number of ways to experience the Outback way of life. From iconic pioneer and farming history attractions to cool hands-on experiences, there are a vast array of ways to get a feel for Outback life. Try the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, an Outback Pioneers tour in Longreach or the Roma saleyards. Or, why not try a farmstay at Shandonvale Station, Charlotte Plains or Kilcowera Station.

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Want access to the best free camps, top walks, events, local secrets (and more) in the Outback Queensland region? Click here to get your Big Lap Bible now.

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