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Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

  • November 27, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 4 Comments
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

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.

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

The famous Walkabout Creek Hotel in McKinlay

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.

Day 167 – Camooweal

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

A campfire on the Camooweal Billabong

Distance: From Barkly Homestead (NT) 260kms

Where We Stayed: Camooweal Billabong Camping Area

Cost: FREE

Camping Area Facilities:

  • There are no toilets
  • Campfires are allowed
  • Pet friendly
  • Flat shaded sites along the billabong
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Some of the waterbirds on the Billabong

Local Attractions:

  • Fishing on the Billabong
  • Trapping Red Claw in the billabong
  • Prolific water birds great for bird watching
  • Swimming in waterholes
  • Bushwalking
  • Camooweal attractions
  • Camooweal Caves National Park

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.

Day 168 – Corella Dam, Mt Isa

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Camping on the shores of Corella Dam

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:

  • Nearest toilet is at Clem Walton Park 2km away
  • Great campsites right on the dam
  • Campfires are allowed
  • Dog Friendly
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Red Claw caught in Corella Dam

Local Attractions:

  • Fishing on the dam
  • Trapping Red Claw in the dam
  • Bird watching
  • Bushwalking
  • Swimming
  • Mt Isa attractions 58kms away
  • Cloncurry attractions 54kms away

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!

Day 169 – Winton

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.

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Main Street of Winton

Distance: From Mt Isa 468kms

Where we Stayed: Long Waterhole, Winton (4km south of town)

Cost: FREE

Camp Spot Facilities: Only an area for overnight stay with no facilities down 2km of dirt road.

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

The Dinosaur Stampede in Winton

Local Attractions:

  • Winton town
  • Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry
  • Bladensburg National Park
  • Waltzing Matilda Centre

HOT TIP: The Dinosaur Stampede is an absolute must see in Outback Queensland and the town of Winton is a lovely little place.

170 & 171 – Longreach

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Free Camping Area on the shores of the Thomson River at Longreach

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:

  • Gravel sites on the banks of the Thomson River
  • Toilet block
  • Picnic area
  • Boat ramp
  • Garbage bins
  • Dog friendly
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame in Longreach

Local Attractions:

  • Thomson River boating and fishing
  • Swimming
  • Longreach attractions including Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Outback Museum
  • Thomson River cruises

HOT TIP: Longreach is a fabulous country town with lots to offer the tourist. You could easily spend at least 4 days here.

Day 172 – Jericho

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Redbank Park on the Jordan Creek in Jericho

Distance: From Longreach 197kms

Where we Stayed: Redbank Park on Jordan Creek in Jericho

Cost: Donation appreciated

Camp Area Facilities:

  • Riverside location
  • Large open park with shady trees
  • Toilets
  • Picnic area
  • BBQs
  • Campfires allowed
  • Dog friendly

Local Attractions:

  • Fishing in the creek
  • Canoeing/kayaking in the creek
  • Birdwatching
  • Bushwalking
  • Town of Jericho attractions

HOT TIP: This was a great camping area in a bush setting with plenty of room to spread out.

Day 173 – Emerald

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Free Camp area in Emerald near Botanical Gardens

Distance: From Jericho 224kms

Where we Stayed: Emerald Botanical Gardens beside Nogoa River bridge

Cost: Free

Rest Area Facilities:

  • Toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Picnic area
  • Dog friendly
  • Walking distance to town
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Outback Queensland

Fairbairn Dam at Emerald

Local Attractions:

  • Emerald attractions
  • Emerald Botanical Gardens walking
  • Fairbairn Dam/Lake Maraboon
  • Sapphire gemfields fossicking
  • Blackdown Tableland National Park
  • Peak Range National Park
  • Japanese Gardens in Blackwater

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By 50 Shades, November 27, 2017 <p>Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She 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, movies, 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.</p>
  • 4

50 Shades

<p>Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She 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, movies, 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.</p>

4 Comments
  • Budget jan
    November 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.

    • Kathy
      November 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 Small
    December 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.

    • Kathy
      December 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!

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