Brisbane | Innaminka
The Adventure Way takes you from Brisbane, to the outback plains where the mulga slowly gives
way to a treeless gibber landscape and Queensland meets South Australia at Innamincka.
BRISBANE TO TOOWOOMBA 1hr 39 mins | 127km
Retrace the tracks of Cobb & Co, as you traverse the unique and fascinating Adventure Way. Bitumen roads now replace the rutted tracks once taken by horse drawn coaches of all but the last 150 km, enabling even those in a two-wheel drive to experience the richness of this route. The rewards are spectacular – vivid sunrises and sunsets, night skies with millions of stars. You won't be on the road long till you understand why they call it the Adventure Way! You could easily accomplish the whole drive in two days but then you would miss all the exciting activities and sites along the way. Head west on the Warrego Highway and watch the city skyline of Brisbane disappear behind you as you enter the city that almost stole Brisbane’s capital status – Ipswich. It is not long and you are passing through the Lockyer Valley, the salad bowl of Queensland, home to top quality local producers that work hard to create unique and exciting products. Situated adjacent to the Lockyer Valley, on the Great Dividing Range, is Toowoomba and where the Southern Queensland Country experience begins where you can slow down, breath deep and enjoy a taste of life in the country. The Toowoomba region has a lot to offer visitors, renowned for its magnificent parks and gardens, scenic views and provider to gourmet food and wine culture. It is a region of unparalleled beauty, offering the contrasts of the seasons; the colours and characters of the countryside; rich heritage and the release from big city pressures to enjoy country pleasures.
TOOWOOMBA TO ST GEORGE 4hrs 7 mins | 367km
After experiencing the Garden City, it is then time to continue along the Warrego – the next stop Dalby. Dalby is the regional centre of the Western Downs located just over 200 kilometres west of Brisbane. With plenty of local history and culture to experience, from Pioneer Park Museum and a local Heritage Trail to exploring Bunya Mountains National Park, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. Head to St George via the Moonie Highway where you will pass Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, southwest of Dalby, and enjoy the only naturally-occurring freshwater lake in the region. Stop and explore Moonie where the area is noted for its quality grain, cattle and prime lamb production, before continuing on to St George. From the moment you arrive to the time you leave, St George relaxes the senses in all the right ways. Perched on the banks of the mighty Balonne River, it is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Balonne Shire. A star feature, the two-kilometre stretch of shady riverbank walkway which begins below the Jack Taylor Weir, exercise equipment and information signs on fish and bird species unique to this area. In an unassuming small brick building in the main street of town, you will find the humble emu egg carved into a stunning, illuminated piece of art at the Unique Egg. Pick up copies of the Cotton Self Drive Trail and the Heritage Trail at the Visitor Information Centre. While away some time at the Riversands Winery or take a ride on a 1917 T Model Ford Bakery Truck. If you are into fishing or want to explore Nindigully, Thallon, Dirranbandi, Hebel and Bollon take a look at the Southern Inland Fishing Loop itinerary (in Itineraries).
ST GEORGE TO CUNNAMULLA 3hrs 12mins | 294km
For the serious campers and 4WD enthusiasts, Thrushton National Park is 40 kilometres north east of Bollon and accessible via dirt roads. Situated on the banks of the Warrego River, Cunnamulla is an unexpected oasis. Boasting beautiful street scapes and activities, this picturesque country town offers something for everyone. With a diverse assortment of native flora and fauna both within the town and surrounds region, Cunnamulla is a must see for nature enthusiasts. The Cunnamulla bushlands, located on the eastern entrance to the town, showcases some of the areas superb eco-systems as you leisurely strong along the 1.6 kilometre trail. Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary, is a must-see for bird enthusiasts playing host to over 200 bird species. After enjoying your choice of activity, whether it be bush walks, sandboarding, town and industry tours, river cruises, fishing, getting you photo taken with the magnificent Cunnamulla Fella Statue or a journey back in time along Cunnamulla & heritage trail, enjoy a good coffee or bite to eat at one of the towns many cafe’s, restaurant or pubs. Before you leave town make sure to call into the Artesian Time Tunnel at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre to learn about the artesian basin and how essential it is to life in the outback. For more information on Cunnamulla see the Discover Cunnamulla Itinerary (in itineraries)
CUNNAMULLA TO THARGOMINDAH 2hrs 7mins | 196km
Continue west to the friendly town of Eulo. A small but proud community that is famous not just for the infamous “Eulo Queen” and the hotel named after her but also for the abundant local produce as well as opal and craft which can be purchased in the town. Accommodation or camping options are behind the hotel and on the banks of the Paroo River, go bird watching, fishing, relax and enjoy the tranquility, take in the Billabong and Granite Nature Drives. For more information on Eulo see the Discover Eulo Itinerary (in Itineraries). Take a detour (73 km includes some dirt roads) off the main road to visit the friendly opal town of Yowah where you can get some tips from the locals before trying you luck fossicking for your own opals.
For more information on Yowah see the Discover Yowah Itinerary (in Itineraries) 40km east of Thargomindah is the beautiful Lake Bindegolly National Park. Only when there is local rainfall, there are three large lake systems, Lakes Hutchinson, Toomaroo and Bindegolly and an aggregation of small ephemeral lakes dominate the park’s landscape. The wetlands have diverse characteristics—being permanent or ephemeral; and fresh, brackish or saline in nature.
The park supports large populations of eastern grey, red kangaroos, western grey kangaroos, wallaroos, dunnarts and, with more than 22 species of mammals recorded. Other fauna recorded include 40 species of reptile, 14 species of frog and 205 species of bird. Head further west to Thargomindah and drop into the VIC to purchase a tour pass for their self- guided, living history display of the hydro power plant, old hospital and jail. Thargomindah was the first in Australia, third in the world to produce hydro electricity. Combine this tour with over 5km of walking trail, which includes the beautiful Bulloo River walk, and you will have enough to keep you occupied for at least three days.
THARGOMINDAH TO NOCCUNDRA 1hr 38mins | 141km
It’s best to leave early on your drive to Innamincka, which is just across the border in South Australia, so that you can take a short detour and stop along the way at the historic Noccundra Hotel. Sneak off the Adventure Way just 20km on sealed road to visit and bush camp right on the Wilson River. The original hotel was built around 1860 and after burning down, was rebuilt in 1882 of sandstone quarried from Mt Pool in NSW which was transported by camel train. It is the second oldest hotel in Queensland to have been continuously licensed since being built. The architecture of this building will transport you back in time to the 1800s when Noccundra was contained within the pastoral holding of Nockatunga Station and existed to provide the workers and the stockmen, who worked the stock route along the Wilson River, some relief to the hardships of station life, isolation and extreme climatic conditions. You can book a room, a powered campsite or bush camp across the road on the Wilson River with public amenities located right next to the hotel. A large Waterhole exists within the Wilson River adjacent to the Noccundra Hotel, and is referred to as the Noccundra Waterhole. South-west of Noccundra Waterhole, the course of the Wilson River spreads out, on its way across the plains. Today the Wilson River is a well-known fishing spot where Golden Perch (Yellow Belly), freshwater Catfish, Spangled and Silver Perch can be caught. Yabbies are plentiful during the winter months of May to August. The Wilson River is a tributary of Cooper Creek.
NOCCUNDRA TO INNAMINCKA 6hrs 59mins | 310km
The road is sealed to the border, with a small section of dirt road near the Ballera Gas Field. Just prior to reaching the border, make a detour to the Burke and Wills & Dig Tree & site. Discover the journey of Burke & Wills and experience one of Australia’s biggest ill-fated exploratory expeditions of all time by visiting Australia’s national icon, the Dig Tree. Arguably one of the most famous trees in Australian history which still stands as an enduring reminder of our pioneering spirit and extreme harsh conditions of the outback. If trees could talk, you would be mesmerised and mortified at the hardships, the miscommunication and the circumstances which lead to the death of both Burke & Wills. To truly feel and experience the story, it should only be read on site at the interpretative signage display. Explorers Burke & Wills were the first to cross Australia from south to north and although fraught with disaster, the expedition was still deemed successful. To this day there is still mystery surrounding the story and this legendary tree as new revelations come to light. The subject of multiple investigations, research and controversy, its significance, its story and the management of this tree is now in the safe hands of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. Bush camping is generously provided free of charge by the property owners of Nappa Merrie Station. To make the most of camping on Cooper Creek, all campers should be fully self- sufficient. The Royal Historical Society of Queensland collect a small conservation and management entry fee to all vehicles. The fee of $10/vehicle and $30/bus is spread very thinly and assists in preserving the Tree, the area within the fenced reserve and the ranger. The road to Innamincka from the border is unsealed. There are a number of places of interest just outside Innamincka, including the Cullyamurra Waterhole with its Aboriginal rock carvings.