Goondiwindi – Cloncurry – Townsville
This list was started by Mark Bryant – we stayed with Mark last year, and he generously gave us tips for our venture to him and his family at Cloncurry. As we finished a massive circuit of Queensland, we had a few more places to add to the list!
Be warned, there hasn’t been a national park, pub or small town that doesn’t interest us! This includes any road not yet travelled or river not yet crossed.
There is much to see on your road trip depending on where you start from so I will list the ones I think you may all be interested in.
Many have websites which give a good insight into what is on offer. If you aren’t visiting in ‘tourist season’ – check if they are open.
Public Art Trail was impressive. My favourite was the Angus Wilson’s pelican at the river.
See Yelarbon Silo Art on your way.
Beautiful free riverside camps, out of town.
“The Big Rig”, a history of oil exploration in the Roma and Moonie oil fields.
Cattle sales in Roma every Tuesday and Thursday. This will depend on how the drought affects cattle numbers, but Roma is the biggest cattle selling centre in Australia.
If you like sewing – visit the Ace Drapers in McDowall St. Trust me, it is no ordinary haberdashery!
Some great events, too like the Picnic Races and Easter in the Country.
We only saw a fraction at the Station Stay there, but it is firmly on my list to come back to and drive the entire length and camp at the two National Parks here.
We trekked ‘the Big 4’ plus the Boolimba Bluff, about 20 km of stepping stone action – rewarded with beautiful ancient galleries, ferns, ravines and mountain top views. I woudl liek to come back and check out the Mt Moffat Section.
“The Cosmos Centre”, great for stargazing in the colder months when there is a clear atmosphere.
“The Wool Scour”, has a live shearing display and a history of the wool industry in Central –west Queensland.
“The Jackie Howe Centre”, another interesting exhibit.
Bakery and Visitor Centre, with lots of murals around town.
Awesome campsites here! See the Trumpeters and biblical street art, plus the flood markers for the Jordan. If you aren’t stopping, lunch at the pretty Redbank Park (one of the campsites).
“The Australian Worker’s Heritage Centre”, a history of the Labor party and AWU. Make sure you check out the Tree of Knowledge and the surrounding information.
We also saw a cattle train here – it was so long!
A display of interesting, obsolete machinery. Called the Machinery Mile, it is really worth the wander through. Our boys grew tired of Heatley saying “Now Grandad had…” there was so much familiar to him. A wonderful addition to a town.
Say hi to the calf in the Pub’s Beer Garden. Wellshot Hotel is a great place to take a photo in their quirky barstools! There is a natural spa in the local swimming pool – just down from the pub.
“The Qantas Museum”
“The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame”
Great shops in the main street – especially the shoe shop!
Late evening there is a river cruise and on-board evening meal. This would be depending on water levels in the Thompson River.
“ The Waltzing Matilda Centre” – absolutely excellent (I am a Banjo Patterson lover)!
“The Age of Dinosaurs Museum”
“Lark Quarry”, about 100 kilometres south of Winton shows well preserved dinosaur tracks.
There are several shops displaying opal found in the Winton district. Walk the streets for jumbucks and Banjo Patterson references everywhere.
“Arno’s Wall” a crazy wall with kitchen sink and all.
Willie Mars Chinese Market Garden was a walk down in history!
The Blue Heeler Pub – and some resident brolgas.
Walkabout Creek Hotel – you can have a drink with Crocodile Dundee!
“John Flynn Place”, and “Flying Doctor Museum”.
We visited the lookout west of town and Chinaman Creek Dam. Lovely homewares shop in town, and the supermarket is worth a look with their bulk buys!
“Outback at Isa” an underground mine replicating the actual Mount Isa mine. This display was developed when Mount Isa Mines stopped actual underground tours. I haven’t been in it yet but people who have tell me it is actually better than the actual mine.
Also, there is a fossil display depicting the Riversleigh Fossil Field which is about 200 kilometres north of Mount Isa.
Easier to access from Cloncurry, about 5 hours drive from Cloncurry. There is camping in the national park and good facilities at Adels Grove which is 10 kilometres outside the park.
You’ll find it as Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) in our guides.
A highlight is seeing the little dunnart, and feeding time! Youll find it at the Tourism Information Centre which has won awards – take the time to wander the displays and learn about life for locals, here.
An absolute must is the artesian baths. Book a cheese platter, and BYO drinks. It’s located at the Caravan Park, but non-residents can visit the baths, too. The Caravan Park is next door to the local pool – with waterslides to boot!
More dinosaurs at the information centre – inside and out. And a fantastic water play area at the dam and picnic grounds.
Picnic beside the Flinders River, the longest river in the state – I’d love to see it with water in it! Check out the windmill rotunda in the main street and dinosaur.
Porcupine Gorge and the Pyramid Campground – north of Hughenden. Wow! Known as Australia’s “Little Grand Canyon”.
A lovely public park and pick up some honey at the roadside stall! We were too early for the pub! At the time – we recommend the short cut ‘tourist drive’ from Porcupine Gorge to here.
Kooroorinya Reserve (if you are headed that way) – has a waterfall in the wet season. I’d like to get to their race meeting.
A walk down the main street is worth it – I’d like to do their historical walking and ghost tours.
Titleys and the main store were all we saw – except the dump point. It’s a good one! On my list for next time is Towers Hill, the Leahton Park Texas Longhorns, see a movie at the drive-in and a side trip to Ravenswood.
I guess we aren’t rural anymore! We have family here, so over the years would recommend:
Markets and the city centre browsing.
Kissing Point Miltiary Area and Jezzine Barracks – just visited again on this trip and it has been redeveloped – the history is so well laid out! A must.
The Strand beachfront promenade – the kids will love it! Bring togs for the waterpark. Still a favourite each time we visit.
Bring togs again for the Riverway Lagoons – you won’t need them for the riverside picnic at Rossiter Park. Sticl to the walking and cricket!
You will need to book early any accommodation or campsites you require especially Carnarvon Gorge, Adel’s Grove and Pyramid Campground. also book early for attractions like the Stockman’s Hall of Fame.