10 Days in Outback Queensland
Believe it or not, travelling the outback is possible even if you don't have a caravan, grey hair and time up your sleeve.
University is great, but being on dirt roads is better. As soon as our last exams were over, it was “Time to hit the road!” as Aussie Legend Russell Coight would say. Ten days, 4500kms and another unforgettable encounter in Outback Queensland was our idea of a mid-semester holiday.
As we all know there is no defined line that says, “You are now in the outback.” As awesome as that would be, we think it’s better left up to the interpretation of the individual traveler. For some it’s seeing the fast open horizon everywhere you look, for others it’s the red dirt under their tires. For us, it was coming across wild emus outside of Roma whilst on our first full day of driving to Charleville- open road and total outback freedom!
We love travelling the outback because so often the highlight of a location isn’t the activity we had planned. Instead it’s what we don’t expect that steals the show. After visiting the Cosmos centre we headed to our campsite just outside of Charleville, the Evening Star Caravan Park. To our surprise there was a large hype of activity for game one of the State of Origin! There was a large communal fire roaring with multiple dampers, both coloured maroon and blue. The shed had a large TV in the corner and it was filled with passionate supporters gathering in their camp chairs for kick off! We grabbed our maroon jumpers and jumped right in amongst everyone! Unfortunately the blues jerseys out numbered us despite the fact we were in the heart of Queensland. Who can blame them for coming up here for the good weather? It ended up being a perfect spur of the moment night that was an experience we couldn’t have done anywhere else.
The outback doesn’t come to you, you have to get out and get it yourself, so back on the road we went! Up early and leaving our new friends, and “enemies”, in the dust, we headed towards Longreach. We travelled the only way we know how, taking as many dirt roads as we could! Our reward, the Outback’s wild side! We saw flocks of Galahs, Echidnas, Emus, Eagles and endless amounts of Kangaroos – Austin would always shake his head in disbelief and say, ‘It truly is alive out here.’
We pulled ourselves off the dirt roads and into a very popular free camp outside of Longreach. We settled in quickly, just in time to watch another gorgeous sunset in the outback. As we learnt throughout our trip most outback travellers love a good chat! We found ourselves looking very out of place amongst all the luxurious campervans. That was until we met “Trekking Downunder”. Amy and Ryan came over that evening for a chat and before we knew it a couple hours had past. Since that night we have caught up with this amazing family twice and remain in close contact with our adventures.
Whilst looking for a campsite in Longreach, a sign caught our attention: Starlight Lookout - 4wd only. What more of an invitation could we have asked for? Why not get there to see the sunrise to add to the adventure? We raced along the rugged track to find only a slight hill. After circling it a few times in the dark, it had to be it! It was the only elevated point in the area. Unfortunately the sunrise wasn’t the magical one we were chasing but still an amazing start to the day and we even got a little cheeky… oh the confidence wide open spaces gives you!
From Longreach we headed to Rubyvale for a night, then out to explore Blackdown Tableland National Park before heading to our next major destination, the tropical oasis of Carnarvon Gorge!
Rolling into Carnarvon Gorge as most people were leaving for the day, made everyone look at us like we were crazy. We started our 10km trek on foot, all loaded up with our camping gear for a night at Big Bend Camping area. This became one our favourite experiences together so far. Starting later in the afternoon resulted in having the second half of the gorge all to ourselves, providing a simply stunning evening surrounded by jaw dropping scenery and tranquility. We found it hard to keep our feet moving, all we wanted to do was admire the rapidly changing scenery.
What a magical part of the world we live in. One night we spent with red dirt under our pillows and an endless horizon. The next we are deep in a gorge on a creek bank letting the sound of flowing water put us to sleep.
The remainder of our trip included a night just outside of Carnarvon gorge at Sandstone Point campground. From there we hit the gorgeous beaches of Byfield National Park, located north of Rockhampton for a night. We then headed to Awoonga Reservoir before returning to the coast at Eurimbula National Park Outside of 1770 before returning to Bris Vegas!
Check out our video to see how we explored one of Queensland's most famous national parks. Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up and hit subscribe, so you can come along for the ride as we take the More Adventurous Path.