Cruise to Karumba’s magical sunset viewing destination, a sand island in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Witness a spectacular gulf sunset as you dine on delicious fresh seafood and enjoy the tranquillity that surrounds.
The Riversleigh Fossil Site has provided more knowledge on mammal evolution in Australia than any other. Because of its unrivalled richness, the expanse of time covered by its record, and the quality of the fossils it yields, Riversleigh was World Heritage listed in 1994.
Discover a wealth of cultural and natural heritage within Carnarvon Gorge, an enormous formation of towering white sandstone cliffs and chasms filled with rainforest, caves, rock art and wildlife.
Today you will be greeted by our friendly and professional Tour Directors at the time and location specified above. We then depart Brisbane Airport early this afternoon en route to Toowoomba, situated on the crest of the Great Dividing Range. Toowoomba is the largest non-capital inland city in Australia with a population of approximately 150,000. It is well known for its many beautiful parks and gardens which benefit from the town’s rich volcanic soils.
This afternoon we enjoy a tour of this strong regional city before checking in to the fully refurbished Burke & Wills Hotel for our overnight stay. Meals (D)
This morning we enjoy a wander through Queens Park and visit the Cobb & Co Museum for an informative tour. Leaving Toowoomba, we cross the rich and fertile plains of the Darling Downs before visiting Dalby, home to the largest grain receival depot in Queensland.
We pass through Chinchilla and Miles before arriving at Roma where we enjoy a tour at the Big Rig Oil Patch. Tonight, we stay at the Roma Explorers Inn. Meals (B,L,D)
We continue north into the Carnarvon National Park. An oasis in the heart of Queensland, Carnarvon National Park is characterised by towering white sandstone cliffs and pockets of rainforest. Well known for its incredible abundance of wildlife, the park is home to over 180 species of birds, 90 reptiles, 22 frog species and six species of gliders. It's also a refuge for Australia’s two monotremes, the Platypus and Echidna.
There are numerous guided walks available in the park, depending on your level of fitness. Your guides will help you choose the walk that's right for you. Spot an elusive Platypus on a gentle nature trail or, for the more seasoned walkers, head up the gorge to Moss Garden where water seeping out of the limestone supports a lush carpet of mosses and ferns.
This afternoon we depart Carnarvon Gorge and travel to Emerald, a coal mining town, responsible for the export of over 14 million tonnes of coking and thermal coal each year and home to a number of prosperous gemfields with the industry producing world class sapphires. We overnight at the Maraboon Motor Inn. Meals (B,L,D)
This morning we depart Emerald and head further ‘outback’ towards Longreach. We pass through Alpha, the name being derived from the Alpha Pastoral Station, established in 1863. This was a very large station, dominating the area and growing to more than 1,600 square kilometres by the 1890s.
From here we continue to Jericho and Barcaldine, which played a significant role in the Australian labour movement and the birth of the Australian Labor Party. In 1891, it was one of the focal points of the 1891 Australian shearers' strike, with the Eureka Flag flying over the strike camp. The landmark Tree of Knowledge, under which the strikers met, stood outside the railway station.
We arrive at Longreach this afternoon and spend the next two nights at Saltbush Retreat, a boutique outback lodge. This evening we enjoy a cruise on the Thomson River, followed by dinner on the riverbank. Enjoy a delicious two course meal around the campfire followed by an evening immersed in the spirit of Harry Redford in the ‘Starlight’s Spectacular’ sound and light show. Meals (B,L,D)
Longreach is named after the 'long reach' of the Thomson River on which it is situated. Regarded as the heart of the outback, it is one of Queensland’s most prosperous agricultural regions and one of the founding centres of QANTAS.
This morning we enjoy a tour of the School of Distance Education before visiting the iconic Stockman’s Hall of Fame, opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988.
Later today we experience the Qantas Founders Museum which houses a Boeing 747 and the airline’s first 707. Enjoy a tour inside both aircraft and wander through this exceptional museum. Meals (B,L,D)
This morning we depart Longreach and head for Winton, stopping along the way to visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. Enjoy a guided tour before arriving into Winton, a town with a rich history and links to the Great Shearer’s Strike, Qantas and Waltzing Matilda.
However in recent years the town is almost as well known for something far more ancient, the Dinosaurs! This afternoon we visit the Lark Quarry Conservation Reserve, containing the world’s only record of a dinosaur stampede.
We overnight at the Boulder Opal Motor Inn in Winton. Meals (B,L,D)
Before leaving town, we enjoy a visit to Winton's Waltzing Matilda Centre. Rebuilt after the devastating 2015 fire, the centre features a world class museum that tells the story of Waltzing Matilda, along with an art gallery and exhibition space. We then continue northwest to Cloncurry, passing by the Walkabout Creek Hotel at McKinlay which featured in the legendary film ‘Crocodile Dundee’.
We continue on to Mt. Isa, arriving mid-afternoon. We spend the next two nights at the Red Earth Hotel, a luxurious boutique style hotel in the centre of town. Meals (B,L,D)
Mt. Isa began as a mining town following the discovery of substantial deposits of lead in 1923. It is now one of the world’s top 10 producers of copper, silver, lead and zinc. This morning we enjoy a town tour before visiting ‘Outback at Isa’ home to a vast array of tourism attractions. First, we'll take an underground tour of the Hard Times Mine.
Then visit the unique Riversleigh Fossil Centre which interprets the World Heritage Listed fossil sites at Riversleigh, along with an art gallery, the 'Isa Experience exhibit and a fish hatchery project.
This afternoon enjoy free time to relax at the hotel or stroll through the CBD of Mt. Isa. Meals (B,L,D)
This morning we set our sights east to the outback township of Cloncurry. The Cloncurry River was named after Lady Elizabeth Cloncurry from County Galway in Ireland. It was named by the explorer, Robert O'Hara Burke. Lady Cloncurry was his cousin. When the town was surveyed it took the nam e of the river.
The first-ever flight of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia took place from Cloncurry on 15 May 1928, using a de Havilland DH.50 aircraft hired from the then small airline, Qantas.
We visit the John Flynn Museum, which In 1928 Flynn established the Aerial Medical Service in Cloncurry which took his caring service to remote homesteads and communities. The display includes some interesting personal memorabilia and explanations of how the whole Flying Doctor system worked in the early days.
Flynn's story is the triumph of an unceasing commitment against huge odds. The museum also records the remarkable work of Alfred Traeger, the man who invented the push pedal radio. We continue sightseeing before checking into the Gidgee Inn Motel and enjoy some true Aussie outback hospitality. Meals (B,L,D)
Our journey today takes us due north along the Burke Development Road towards Normanton with lunch at the Burke & Wills Roadhouse.
For years, the Burke & Wills Roadhouse has become a strategic stop for travellers. Located on Lot 51 Burke Developmental Road Four Ways Queensland, this roadhouse is just halfway between Cloncurry and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Due to the vast remoteness, Burke & Wills Roadhouse becomes an essential stop for locals and travellers to break up any journey or for fuel and food. We learn of the expedition in 1860/61 before heading onto Normanton and into Karumba.
Located on the banks of the Norman River, Karumba came to importance in the 1930’s when it became a stop-over point for flying boats on the run from London to Australia.
This afternoon we enjoy a special Sand Island sunset dinner cruise in the Gulf. Dine on local seafood while watching a sensational gulf sunset. (Includes wine and beer. Alternative meals are available). We overnight at the End of the Road Motel. Meals (B,L,D)
Note: Due to the closure of Adel’s Grove we will be spending the next two nights at the End of the Road Motel.
This morning we join one of the last great characters of rail travel - The Gulflander. This historic little train takes us on a journey from Critters Camp through to Normanton.
From here we head back to Karumba to discover the amazing secrets of the mighty barramundi at The Les Wilson Barramundi Discovery Centre, the only hatchery in the world to breed the Southern Gulf strain of this iconic fish!
This brand new interactive and state-of-the-art Interpretive Centre provides the history, stories, lifecycle, and habits of these sought-after fish. On completion enjoy our second night at the End of the Road Motel. Meals (B,L,D)
Note: Gulflander journey may change subject to operating hours.
We depart this morning and travel back to Normanton, situated on the Normanton River, before continuing on to Georgetown. From here we head south to Cobbold Gorge, a geological wonderland set on Robin Hood Station. We overnight at Cobbold Village in modern cabins with ensuite bathroom facilities. Meals (B,L,D)
This morning we take part in a 2 hour river cruise on Cobbold Gorge. The gorge stretches for approximately 6 kilometres and consists of a series of waterholes bound by spectacular rocky cliffs. Afterwards, we'll make our way to Undara Volcanic National Park, which protects the longest lava tube cave system in the world. We arrive at Undara Experience and check in to our unique accommodation consisting of restored railway carriages and pioneer huts, all with private ensuite facilities
Today a local Savannah Guide will take us on a tour through part of the lava tube cave system. Created when the Undara Volcano erupted over 190,000 years ago, the lava that poured out was enough to fill Sydney Harbour three times over. The lava flows lasted a long time, which allowed the outer edge to cool while the interior kept flowing, creating the tubes seen today.
Tonight enjoy dinner in the outdoor style restaurant as an outback sunset fades into a clear starlit night. Meals (B,L,D)
Departing Undara we begin the final leg of our journey to Cairns. On the way we pass through the scenic Atherton Tablelands and visit the stunning Millaa Millaa Falls. We arrive mid-afternoon and check in to The Shangri-La The Marina . Enjoy luxurious marina-view rooms in this perfectly positioned hotel along the Esplanade.
Tonight, enjoy our final dinner together in the hotel restaurant and celebrate our adventures through Outback Queensland. Meals (B,L,D)
After breakfast enjoy a free morning before being transferred to the airport or your accommodation if staying on in Cairns. Meals: B
*Note: Itinerary is under review and subject to change. This tour also operates with a reverse itinerary. Please see departure dates below for reverse itinerary dates.
*Note: Distances and times provided are an indication only.
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