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We finally crossed the Northern Territory border into Outback Queensland, on day 167 of our travel around Australia in 185 days. Just across the border we reached the town of Camooweal, where we had heard about a great free camping spot on the Georgina Billabong. We arrived at around lunch time and found a fantastic spot on the billabong.
Outback Queensland was not at all what I imagined. Although the terrain was dry and barren, because at that time the outback was in drought, there were limitless things to do and see. There were country towns with warm big hearts that welcomed you into their bosom; there were rivers and dams abundant with fish and birdlife; there were stories of drovers, stockmen and outback heroes; there were dinosaur bones and fossils dating back eons ago; there were vast cattle stations; there were rich mines and fields of gemstones.
Distance: From Barkly Homestead (NT) 260kms
Where We Stayed: Camooweal Billabong Camping Area
Camping Area Facilities:
HOT TIP: Take a seat by the billabong and watch the prolific water birds, including brolgas, and the sunset shedding a pink hue on the water.
After leaving Georgina Billabong we arrived into Mt Isa, where we did some laundry and stocked up on supplies, before taking a look around this mining town. Around mid afternoon we set off for Corella Dam, approximately 58kms from Mt Isa.
Distance: From Camooweal 224kms
Where we stayed: Corella Dam Camping Area
Camping Area Facilities:
HOT TIP: You can pick up a crab pot or similar from Camooweal and try your hand at trapping some Red Claw fresh from the dam. They are delicious to eat!
We were faced with a choice of either continuing due east to eventually reaching Townsville, or taking a right hand turn near Cloncurry and heading for Rockhampton. We chose the latter as we really wanted to see Winton and Longreach.
Distance: From Mt Isa 468kms
Where we Stayed: Long Waterhole, Winton (4km south of town)
Camp Spot Facilities: Only an area for overnight stay with no facilities down 2km of dirt road.
HOT TIP: The Dinosaur Stampede is an absolute must see in Outback Queensland and the town of Winton is a lovely little place.
Distance: From Winton 180kms
Where we Stayed: Thomson River Camp Area, Longreach (4kms west of town)
Cost: $3 per site (maximum 4 night stay)
Camping Area Facilities:
HOT TIP: Longreach is a fabulous country town with lots to offer the tourist. You could easily spend at least 4 days here.
Distance: From Longreach 197kms
Where we Stayed: Redbank Park on Jordan Creek in Jericho
Cost: Donation appreciated
Camp Area Facilities:
HOT TIP: This was a great camping area in a bush setting with plenty of room to spread out.
Distance: From Jericho 224kms
Where we Stayed: Emerald Botanical Gardens beside Nogoa River bridge
Rest Area Facilities:
HOT TIP: Free camping at the Emerald Botanical Gardens is actually outside the gardens and the facilities are inside the gardens. As you are located in close proximity to the main road through Emerald it is a little noisy.
To read more about our travels across Outback Queensland see Discovering Outback Queensland: Camooweal to Emerald
After leaving Emerald we headed due east through the Dawson Ranges to Rockhampton. We were excited for two reasons – to see the Queensland coast again and to see our beloved son. As it turned out our son was working here temporarily and we were very keen to catch up with him after almost 7 months. The next instalment will feature the Capricorn Coast down to the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, the penultimate leg of our trip.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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Budget janNovember 27, 2017
Look at the size of those red-claw. We’ve been to a lot of these places. Some have changed since by looking at your photos. Not McKinlay Jericho or Corella Dam. Lovely by this series.
KathyNovember 28, 2017
The Red Claw were a bonus. We couldn’t get over the the fact that there were water-filled dams and rivers in the Outback, even though it was ravaged by drought. We found it fascinating, especially the vast empty spaces and the friendly country towns.
Julie SmallDecember 3, 2017
Really enjoying this series. What an odyssey. I just love the Outback – it appears empty on the surface but there really is a lot out there and a photographers dream I think.
KathyDecember 3, 2017
Yes there most certainly is. There is so much more to the centre and outback of Australia than meets the eye. A photographer’s dream for sure!