Outback Qld Road Trip
Explore | outback | Roadtrip | Queensland

Outback Qld Road Trip

Sydney to Cairns the long way

by Susie Baber  |  5 August 2022

Just two weeks to get from Sydney to Cairns via some of the most stunning outback scenery in Australia was a big ask. We could have spent two months and still not seen everything we would have like to. But with the limited time we had available we made some hard calls and narrowed it down to a very busy fortnight of travel. There were some veeeeerrrry long days of driving, dirt roads and corrugations played havoc with my time and distance calculations. Such as it is, here is a list of the places we stayed and stops we made along the way.

Day one | Sydney to Moree

On the way:
Gunnedah Silo Art
Thermal pools at Moree

Stayed: Moree – Gwydir Caravan park $30 for two people on an unpowered site

Kilometres travelled: 601

Read more about Gunnedah Silo Art and Moree

Day two | Moree to Canarvon Gorge

On the way:
Mungindi and the One Ton Post
Thallon Silo Art
Nindigully Pub for lunch
Roma bottle tree

Stayed: Sandstone Park, yes toilets, no showers or power. $105 for three nights.

Kilometres travelled: 700

 Read more about The One Ton Post, Thallon Silo and Nindigully Pub

Day three | Overnight hike in Canarvon Gorge

Stayed: Big Bend walk in camping, Canarvon Gorge. $6.85 per person/night

Kilometres travelled: 9 by car and 14km by foot

Read more about Canarvon Gorge

Day four | Hiking back out of Canarvon Gorge

Kilometres travelled: 9 by car and 11km by foot

Day five | Canarvon Gorge to Lara wetlands

On the way: The Big Easel at Emerald

Stayed at: Lara Wetlands. $25 cash for 2 people 1 night. Toilets and showers, thermal pool, free kayaks and bikes.

Kilometres travelled: 565

Read more about Lara Wetlands

Day six | Lara Wetlands to (just outside) Winton

On the way:
The Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine
Qantas Founders museum at Longreach

Stayed at: A rest spot about 40km before Winton- our first night of free camping.

Kilometres travelled: 289

 Read more about Qantas Founder Museum

Day seven | Winton to Mary Kathleen

On the way:
Age of Dinosuars
Selwyn Ranges
Mary Kathleen mine site

Stayed at: Free camp in the Mary Kathleen old town centre, level concrete sites, no facilities

Kilometres travelled: 489

 Read more about Age of Dinosaurs and Mary Kathleen

Day eight | Mary Kathleen to Adels Grove

On the way:
Mt Isa for breakfast and photos from the Hilary Street lookout
Riversleigh Fossil Site in the southern part of Boodjamulla National Park.

Stayed at: Adele’s Grove, $88 for 2 people for 2 nights

Kilometres travelled: 375

Read more about Boodjamulla National Park and Adeles Grove

Day nine | Exploring Lawn Hill Gorge

Hiked and kayaked the gorge

Kilometres travelled: 21 (to the National Park and back)

Read more about Lawn Hill Gorge

Day ten | Adels Grove to Croydon

On the way:
Burke and Wills Roadhouse
Normanton for a drink at the Purple Pub and Krys the Croc

Stayed at: Croydon Caravan Park, $33 for a powered site

Kilometres travelled: 580

Day eleven | Croydon to Cobbold Gorge

Relaxed afternoon, bushwalk to lookout and a swim

Stayed at: Cobbold Gorge, $34 for an unpowered site

Kilometres travelled: 222

 Read more about Cobbold Gorge

Day twelve | Cobbold Gorge to Undarra Experience

Cobbold Gorge tour in the morning

Stayed at: Undara Experience, $70 for unpowered site for two nights

Kilometres travelled: 233

Read more about Undarra

Day thirteen

‘Wind Tunnel Explorer’ tour
Kalkani Crater walk

Kilometres travelled: 33 (to crater walk and back)

Day fourteen | Undara to Cairns

Millstream Falls
Atherton Tablelands

Kilometres travelled: 199 and then 20km on the back of a towtruck

Read more about Atherton Tablelands

Share this story