Australia’s Sunshine State fuses outback history with modern-day adventure on an infinite trail of discovery. Follow Discovery Drive and you’ll be surrounded by vibrant scenery as far as the eye can see. Here are some highlights you’ll find along the way in this fantastic part of Queensland.
Dubbed the ‘oasis of the outback’, Mount Isa is one of the largest cities in the world by land mass, and has more surprises than you might think for an old mining town. The locals love their fishing, water sports and outdoor lifestyle, and the area is dotted with picnic spots, walking paths and exercise facilities. Take some time to visit Lake Moondarra on the outskirts of town, which looks especially beautiful at sunset.
The coastal city of Townsville is lucky enough to bask in sunlight almost every day of the year. Rise early to explore the museums and wander down streets lined with 19th-century buildings. Immerse yourself in bustling activity, and spend the evenings strolling along The Strand, dining at beachfront restaurants, or enjoying a barbecue in front of ocean backdrops. Townsville is your gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, so why not go snorkelling among the fish while you’re there?
The town of Richmond is a hub for dinosaur and fossil enthusiasts. A must-see here is Kronosaurus Korner, where you can try your own hand at finding fossils at one of Richmond’s free fossil hunting sites, and then take them to be identified.
You can’t explore this part of the country without visiting Hughenden. Thrillseekers can enjoy a four-wheel drive adventure on the diverse terrain throughout the shire, finishing with a trip to Mount Walker (10 kilometres south of Hughenden) for a glowing outback sunset. Hughenden is also home to the Flinders Discovery Centre, where you can see dinosaur fossils from all over the world. The highlight is Hughie, the life-size skeletal replica of a muttaburrasaurus that’s seven metres tall!
Pictured is Porcupine Gorge National Park, Queensland. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.