The Overlanders Way4-day itinerary
The Overlanders Way is an experience you’ll never forget. This self-drive track served as an important line during World War II and stretches across 1,550km taking you from the ocean to the Outback.
You can travel from the Great Barrier Reef to Australia’s Outback in a matter of days, so make sure you pack your flippers and hiking boots.
Day 1: Townsville to Hughenden (390km)
Beginning at the tropical city of Townsville in Queensland, be sure to take in the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. Kick off your drive to Charters Towers and explore the history-filled small town. Discover the World War II bunkers, visit Pioneers Cemetery, and if you’re feeling brave, join the Ghosts of Gold heritage trail.
Make a stop at the White Mountains National Park and take in the diverse surrounds of white sandstone bluffs and gorges as well as spectacular wildlife and bird life. At Hughenden, head to the Flinders Discovery and Visitor Centre to see the skeletal replica of a Muttaburrasaurus as well as an exhibition of fossils from the local area.
Day 2: Hughenden to Mount Isa (521km)
Continue your dinosaur adventure at Richmond. Take the kids on the Australian Dinosaur Trail for plenty of hands-on fossil fun. Head to Julia Creek for lunch. Julia Creek was used as a major transport hub for freight and passengers before the expansion of the railway. See if you can spot the endangered but feisty marsupial, the Julia Creek Dunnart.
Another 137km down the track you’ll find the cattle-grazing town of Cloncurry, adjacent to Cloncurry River. Here you’ll discover the history of the first Royal Flying Doctor Service, established in 1928, at the John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery. Mount Isa offers underground mine tours, or try your luck digging for fossils at the Fossil Centre.
Day 3: Mount Isa to Barkly Homestead (450km)
Find your way to Camooweal, the ‘Gateway to the Northern Territory’. Make sure you stop in at the caves on the edge of the Barkly Tablelands at the Camooweal Caves National Park.
Now it’s just a short drive to the NT border. Once you’ve passed the border there’s plenty to do before you hit Tennant Creek. Detour to Connells Lagoon to see some of Australia’s endangered wildlife. If you’re here in June, visit the famous Brunette Downs Station Rodeo, where hundreds of locals flock to town and dress up for the event.
Day 4: Barkly Homestead to Tennant Creek (212km)
Onwards to Tennant Creek, there’s plenty of history to discover. Check out the Aboriginal history Nyinkka Nyunyu, then go to the Battery Hill Mining Centre and experience the underground mines for yourself.
Just south of Tennant Creek lies Karlu Karlu / The Devils Marbles. These large domed rock formations are a great place to walk around, and the perfect spot to set up a picnic.
Finish off the trip at the beautiful Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges. This 1,120 square kilometre national park has many walking tracks, glorious natural waterholes and camping spots.