Queensland’s famed Overlander’s Way offers travellers a glimpse of the best that Australia’s Sunshine State has to offer. From island to outback, the trail is laden with timeworn treasures, charming tropical spectacles and red ochre landscapes.
TOWNSVILLE TO CHARTERS TOWERS – 137 KILOMETRES
Boasting more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Townsville is the perfect place to shake off your winter blues and start your spring holiday. With stunning tropical islands, expansive rainforests and breathtaking alfresco dining destinations, visitors will never be left wanting.
After your (mandatory) visit to the remarkable Great Barrier Reef, continue your exploration of colourful sea life with a visit to the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and then head to Townsville’s Maritime Museum. Here, visitors can expect to discover lighthouses, artefacts from both the Defender and Yongala shipwrecks, the Royal Australian Navy’s own HMAS Townsville, and plenty more.
City Lane, Townsville’s first creative laneway precinct, is a haven for those eager to taste cuisines from every corner of the globe. It’s a New York–inspired laneway with an upbeat and trendy atmosphere to match.
CHARTERS TOWERS TO HUGHENDEN – 246 KILOMETRES
For the history buffs among us, Charters Towers is the place to be. Discover Australia’s wartime history on the First World War Digital Heritage Trail, and on tours of the town’s World War II Bunkers.
If you’re eager to hear peculiar tales about ghostly characters, the Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail is sure to delight. Even if you’re not interested in stories of phantoms, the trail covers the highlights of the town, including One Square Mile, the Stock Exchange Arcade, the Towers Hill Lookout and Queensland’s oldest stamp battery, the Venus Gold Battery. Charters Towers is also the perfect base for four-wheel driving adventures, with five trails of different lengths and difficulties that all offer picturesque sights and natural displays.
HUGHENDEN TO RICHMOND – 115 KILOMETRES
On the trail from Hughenden to Richmond, you’ll venture into rugged scenes of black soil plains and mountainous volcanic basalt country. Start in Hughenden’s Porcupine Gorge National Park, where you can discover sedimentary rocks that have existed for hundreds of millions of years. Walking tracks wind above the gorge, where intermittent waterholes and clear creeks weave through the brilliant Pyramid camping ground at its base.
Hughenden is known for its Flinders Discovery Centre, which is home to an amazing collection of fossils and gems from both local and global sites. A life-size replica of the Muttaburrasaurus, named ‘Hughie’, is the star of the show.
RICHMOND TO JULIA CREEK – 149 KILOMETRES
The outback town of Richmond is best known for its marine fossil discoveries. Head to Kronosaurus Korner for a prehistoric adventure, where you’ll unearth ‘Krono’ (Kronosaurus queenslandicus), a 10-metre tall marine reptile; ‘Penny’ the pliosaur, Australia’s most complete marine vertebrate fossil; and plenty more. Continue your exploration of ancient history on Australia’s Dinosaur Trail, where you’ll have access to free fossicking sites to try your luck at finding a fossil of your own!
In town, follow the Heritage Walk to 21 local historical and cultural sites of interest, before continuing your exploration into the town’s past with a visit to the Roman Catholic Church and the Moon Rocks Monument in Lions Park. Park yourself for a night or two at Lakeview Caravan Park, a friendly outback park with a fantastic view of Lake Fred Tritton, where you can fish for barramundi at the end of a long day of sightseeing.