Outback Queensland is hiding a number of unforgettable indigenous experiences on this small group tour for senior travellers. Especially at the Brewarrina Fish Traps, and Carnarvon Gorge, for example where you can experience and learn about dreamtime creation stories, age-old cultural practices and traditions, and Aboriginal art.
Small group tour of central Queensland- 11 days
This small group short tour is for Queensland and those regions that are allowed entry in the state - restrictions can change often and up to date information can be found on the local government website. Proof of residence is required when placing a booking.
Get well and truly off the beaten track on Odyssey 's 11-day Australian outback tours of Queensland. Away from the usual tourist centres - Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Port Douglas, Mt Isa and the Daintree Rainforest - our Odyssey Travellers will discover the big skies, stunning pastoral and desert landscapes, and fascinating history of the outback communities of western Queensland with your . This Aussie for seniors is part of a collection of small group tours that explore the interior regions of . Travellers on this into the Aussie learn about , British farming approaches in the and the history of the Europeans and Australia. Odyssey seeks to change how you view this landscape which can seem to be a desert at first look.
Our of the Australian outback in Queensland begin and end in Brisbane. We head west into Queensland and back, pausing along the way to explore and learn at each stop on day (s) with local guides, as we head west then up into North Queensland and south back to Brisbane. This is suitable for the mature and senior traveler whether as a couple or
This, like all Odyssey Traveller small group tours is limited to 12 people. As a in the current environment, we are committed to that is safe for you and your rather than being a member of tours.
Odyssey Traveller's start in Brisbane and then will across to Roma for the first night and a welcome dinner.
In the morning we continue to west to Charleville, a regional town with a history that leaves you wondering... What was the 3,500 American members of the armed forces secret mission in the second world war in Charleville? Who drank the champagne from Amy Johnson's bath?
This spends 2 nights in Charleville. Whilst here the group have the opportunity to go star and planet gazing, take time to the historic town and understand the value of wool to a town like Charleville in the early 20th century period. Take a of the heritage listed Hotel Corones with a rags to riches story linked to Qantas, Greek islands, Brisbane and .
From Charleville, we head across to Windorah or Yarra and then to Longreach.
The following day we journey further into North Queensland and Queensland's to Longreach from Charleville, Tambo Blackhall, Emmet and Isisford arriving in the late afternoon. Our Queensland spends two nights in Longreach, the home of the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, which showcases the history and culture of life in working as a stockman, drover or shearer on a station, perhaps this is the home of the Australian home of the pioneer after the community. As well as our Longreach tours this small group visits the Qantas founder's museum. Longreach was one of the founding centres for Qantas, the third oldest airline in the world (after KLM and Avianca), founded on 16 November 1920. One of the airline's original hangars remains in use at Longreach Airport and is listed on the Australian National Heritage List. The Qantas Founders Museum also includes among its displays a decommissioned Qantas Boeing 747-200 aircraft.
After our Longreach tours we east for a in Barcaldine and an overnight stay. The name Barcaldineoriginates from the Oban region in Scotland and is pronounced bar-call-din. Barcaldine is home to the Tree of Knowledge, which marks the birth of the labour movement in . The tree grew outside the Railway Station for around 180 years until 2006, when sadly, it was poisoned by an unknown culprit. Today, the famous tree has been preserved and placed under an award-winning structure that gives the illusion of a canopy over the Tree. Head to the Tree at night for the best views, as the memorial is lit beautifully by special lighting. Whilst here we leanr about the importance of to Australian society of shearers and the drover and the begining of the 20th century.
In Barcaldine, we spend the afternoon learning about the origins of the Australian Labour Party, and view architectural curiosities, such as the masonic lodge - seemingly out of place in this small central west Queensland town.
Travelling back into the , we head to Carnarvon , where we spend two nights. Carnarvon is a rainforest oasis in the semi-arid heart of Central Queensland, and a major camping ground and centre of tourism. Towering white sandstone cliffs form a spectacular steep-sided with narrow, vibrantly coloured and lush side-gorges. Boulder-strewn Carnarvon Creek winds through the . The is home to a range of significant plant and animal species, many of them relics of cooler, wetter times. Remnant rainforest flourishes in the sheltered side-gorges while endemic Carnarvon fan palms Livistona nitida, ancient cycads, ferns, flowering shrubs and gum trees line the main . Grassy open forest grows on the cliff tops. The creeks attract a wide variety of animals, including more than 173 species of bird.
Rock art on sandstone overhangs is a fragile reminder of local peoples ' long and continuing connection with the ancient landscape of the . Ochre stencils, rock engraving and freehand paintings make up some of the finest rock art imagery in . We will have the opportunity with a to view and learn about these paintings at Cathedral Cave, which lies at the end of the main path through the , and is indicated by archaeological evidence to be the main campsite for indigenous people who used the .
Return to Brisbane
Leaving Carnarvon . These tours retrace the path back to Brisbane where we arrive in the late afternoon. This concludes on our return to Brisbane. we to Roma for an overnight stay with as farewell dinner as this will be the last night together on this
Articles about Australia published by Odyssey Traveller:
For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.
External articles to assist you on your visit to Brisbane & Outback Queensland:
- Outback Towns | Outback Queensland
- The 10 Best Things to do in Outback Queensland
- Three Western Queensland Towns Worth Visiting
Having made your own way to Brisbane we meet inn the morning and begin the journey inland to Roma, home to the southern hemisphere’s largest cattle sale yards. Roma is located approximately 500km from the capital city.
That evening we have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant for you and your .
Accommodation: Roma TBC
Overview: Today we travel west to Charleville, the drive should take approximately 3h. We will spend 2 nights in Charleville.
The city has an interesting history linked to the WWII when in 1942 it was home to nearly 3500 American servicemen and we will view what remains of their stay during the war.
Accommodation: Hotel Corones or similar
Overview: Today we explore the city and its history, we will visit the Charleville Historic House Museum and its building that dates back to 1887.
We’ll also learn more about the time the local airport became temporarily part of the USA in 1942 on a secret WWII tour.
In the evening we will star gaze at the magnificent outback sky at the Charleville Cosmos Centre & Observatory.
Accommodation: Hotel Corones or similar
Overview: We continue our journey west to Windorah, located in the Far West region of Queensland, about 500km from Charleville. This small town has a population of just 80 people.
Windorah’s main attraction is Cooper’s Creek, located just outside the township. Here’s the only place where two rivers, the Thomson & Barcoo, join to form a creek. Another attraction in the area are the amazing Sand Hills, located at Ourdel Station, west of the town, where we can experience views and some of the reddest sand ever seen.
Accommodation: Windorah TBC
We depart Windorah and travel north for 300km until we arrive in Longreach. We visit the Stockman’s hall of fame, a with a of Longreach and a visit to the Qantas founder’s museum.
Longreach was one of the founding centres for Qantas, technically QANTAS was founded in Winton.
Accommodation: Longreach Motor Inn or similar
Today is about Dinosaurs, as we spend the day in Winton (approx. 2h north of Longreach)
We visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum to learn about the Cretaceous sauropods that roamed the Winton area 95 million years ago. The dinosaurs were found on the property of a man named David Elliott – amazingly, in the form of an almost complete skeleton of a Sauropod! After our visit to the Dinosaurs Museum, we learn more about dinosaurs on a day to Lark Quarry, one of the most fascinating tourism centres in Queensland’s outback . 95 million years ago, Lark Quarry was part of a great river plain, with sandy channels, swaps and lakes brimming with freshwater mussels, lungfish and crocodiles. Rainfall was over a metre per year, so the surrounding lowland forest was lush and green.
This is an amazing day as a step back in geological time and should also include the opportunity to see some of the volunteers who to Winton to assist on the dig, cleaning fossils in the lab and cataloguing.
Accommodation: Longreach Motor Inn or similar
Today we travel east for about 1h to Barcaldine.
Barcaldine is home to the Tree of Knowledge, which marks the birth of the labour movement in Australia . The tree grew outside the Railway Station for around 180 years until 2006, when sadly, it was poisoned by an unknown culprit. Today, the famous tree has been preserved and placed under an award-winning structure that gives the illusion of a canopy over the Tree. Head to the Tree at night for the best views, as the memorial is lit beautifully by special lighting.
In Barcaldine, we spend the afternoon on a learning about the origins of the Australian Labour Party, and view the and architectural curiosities, such as the masonic lodge – seemingly out of place in this small central west Queensland town. There are plenty of stories and to be shared here to hear as we explore the town.
Accommodation: Landsborough Lodge Motel or similar
Travelling south-east for about 5h we head to Carnarvon, where we spend two nights. Today is a travel day, we arrive in late afternoon, stopping as and when required by the group on the road.
Carnarvon Gorge is a rainforest oasis in the semi-arid heart of Central Queensland, and a major camping ground and centre oftourism. Towering white sandstone cliffs form a spectacular steep-sided gorge with narrow, vibrantly coloured and lush side-gorges. Boulder-strewn Carnarvon Creek winds through the gorge. The gorge is home to a range of significant plant and animal species, many of them relics of cooler, wetter times.
Accommodation: Takarakka Bush Resort or similar
Today, we have a full day exploring the park. Not only fauna and flora but the Aboriginal rock art. A will share their knowledge and stories with the .
Carnarvon Gorge lies within the spectacular and rugged ranges of Queensland’s central highlands. Lined with vegetation and fed by the waters of numerous side gorges, Carnarvon Creek winds between towering sandstone cliffs. The gorge is a cool and moist oasis within the dry environment of central Queensland.
Recognised nationally for its outstanding natural and cultural values, Carnarvon Gorge protects unique and significant plants and animals—many of them relics of cooler, wetter times. Permanent springwater, cooler temperatures and low levels of direct sunlight provide the conditions that allow remnant rainforest to survive here in the dry central Queensland climate.
Carnarvon Creek always flows, even when it hasn’t rained for months. Water falling as rain in the high country slowly percolates down through the porous sandstone, eventually meeting an impermeable (waterproof) band of rock known as shale. Unable to continue its journey downwards, the water moves sidewards along the sandstone and escapes through breaks, seeping out at places such as the Moss Garden and at other springs within the gorge.
The springs and creeks of the gorge support a mosaic of habitats, home to an enormous diversity of life. Whether you choose to walk the main track or simply relax at the park visitor area, you will have many opportunities to encounter and discover the gorge‘s plants and animals.
Mornings at the gorge are colourful as the sunlight meets the cliffs and a symphony of birdsong fills the air. Kangaroos and wallabies can be found around the picnic area and at night echidnas can be seen strolling about. The call of yellow-bellied gliders, owls and the bush stone curlew are often heard after dark.
Steadily flowing water has carved this gorge out of ancient sandstone. The same water, still flowing from the rock, has drawn travelers to Carnarvon Gorge for many thousands of years. Aboriginal people have a long and continuing relationship with this dramatic landscape. While visitors to the park usually associate Aboriginal history with the park’s rock art sites, the connection for Aboriginal people is with the entire landscape. The dreaming says that the rainbow serpent Mundagurra created Carnarvon Gorge as he travelled through the creek system, coming in and out of the water, and carving the sandstone as he travelled.
The fragile art on the gorge‘s sandstone walls reflects a rich culture. Ochre stencils of tools, weapons, ornaments and ceremonial objects provide an insight into the lives of the gorge‘s first people. The gorge is often described by today’s Traditional Custodians as a place of learning – an area of great spirituality. This land still teaches, with many visitors to the park gaining a new understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture and history.
Rugged ranges and rough terrain made this area difficult for early European explorers. Ludwig Leichhardt led the first European group into the region in 1844, passing to the east of the gorge. Two years later Thomas Mitchell and his party passed to the west. It is thought that Mitchell named the ranges after the Caernarfon Ranges of Wales.
European setters followed soon after, with grazing runs established in the area in the 1860s. A mix of resourceful and colourful characters sought a life in this hard, remote area. High country to the south was named ‘The Ranch’, possibly by cattle duffers, while side-gorges were perfect for ‘lying low’.
In 1932, a 26,300ha section of the gorge was declared as national park, after lobbying by the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland, which had organised expeditions into the area. The many sections of Carnarvon National Park now cover 298,000ha of the central highlands.
Cathedral cave lies at the end of the Main Track and the turn-off is only metres from the boardwalked site. Ample seating is provided along the multi-level boardwalk with interpretive signs pointing out key motifs. There are some motifs shared with the Art Gallery, such as the net patterns, but plenty unique to Cathedral Cave. See if you can find the stencilled rifle.
Based on archaeological evidence, Cathedral Cave was the main campsite for indigenous people using the Gorge whereas the Art Gallery appears to have been primarily ceremonial in nature. Cathedral Cave’s massive overhang certainly provides more shelter in adverse weather than the comparatively shallow overhang at the Art Gallery.
When the Gorge was still being used as a cattle lease, Cathedral Cave was where cattle were coralled while the Gorge was being mustered. Unfortunately, the cattle damaged some of the rock art whilst penned in.
Accommodation: Takarakka Bush Resort or similar
Overview: We travel further south today making our way to Roma, a journey of about 300km where we spend the night.
Here we will enjoy our farewell dinner and reminisce about the wonderful experiences we shared in the Australian Outback of Queensland.
Accommodation: Roma TBC
Overview: After breakfast we complete our drive back to Brisbane where our tour concludes.
What’s included in our Tour
- 10 nights accommodation.
- 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners.
- Transport by modern and comfortable 4wd or other vehicle suitable for the highway conditions.
- Entrances and sightseeing as specified.
- Services of Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
- Detailed Preparatory Information.
What’s not included in our Tour
- Return Domestic airfares.
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature, such as telephone calls and laundry.