The Adventure Way in Queensland, Australia, stretches almost directly west from Brisbane’s city light-filled streets to across the South Australian border into the heart of Australia’s outback.
Along the fully sealed route you will retrace the tracks of the first people movers into the region: Cobb and Co and swagman.
We can only imagine what life must have been like back then! For our modern day traveller, there’s nature, history, industry and more to explore along this now comfortable route themed the Adventure Way.
Here are five of our top things to see along the Adventure Way.
1-Dalby Sale Yards
Leaving Brisbane there is little doubt when you reach Dalby you are in one of the agricultural hubs of Queensland. Fields of cotton, wheat and sorghum line the road forming an ever-changing kaleidoscope to the horizon.
For something a little different, time your drive for sale day. The Dalby sale yards hosts the largest same-day prime and store cattle sale in the country.
It’s also the second largest cattle sales centre in Australia, with more than 200,000 cattle sold through the yard each year.
Meet the men and women that bring the beef to our plates at a grass roots level.
Top Dalby Sale Yard Tips
-Try a meal at the local canteen; they have fabulous steak sandwiches.
-Pioneer Park Museum is a good place to stop and stretch with plenty of room for van parking.
2-Smallest town on the Adventure Way – Bollon
Most people skip through Bollon. Blink and you could miss this small country town situated 634km west of Brisbane between St George and Cunnamulla along the Adventure Way.
Giant River Red Gums fringe one side of the town along Wallum Creek. These mighty old trees are home to a large population of koalas and birds.
The koalas are so populous that visitors see them in the trees that grace the main street, within the state school playground and often crossing the road.
Top Bollon Tips
-Deb’s Cafe is awesome and we can recommend the burgers. All the locals and truckies stop here.
-There’s a free caravan and camping area along the creek with showers and toilets. It’s linked to the small town by a 1.2km creek-side walkway. You may even see an echidna along the walk.
-Thrushton National Park is only 60kms north of Bollon via a dirt road.
3-Lake Bindegolly National Park
You’ll find Lake Bindegolly between Cunnamulla and Thargomindah along the Adventure Way, approximately 150km west of Cunnamulla.
Lake Bindegolly is a series of salt and freshwater lakes. They form the shape of a ribbon and are home to more than 195 species of birds and other outback critters.
More than 300 species of plants can viewed and the most impressive is the Acacia ammophila, now threatened with extinction.
No camping is allowed in the national park but there is a sheltered area adjacent to the road with picnic tables and an information board.
Top Bindegolly Tips
-Lake levels depend on local rain and rains north diverting the water down to lakes. During dry times the water’s edge may be a long walk in. Be prepared for remote travel as there is no mobile phone coverage.
-Visit nearby Currawinya National Park. There are fresh and salt water lakes, ruins, woolshed and the Paroo River for starters to see.
-Along the Adventure Way, a set of binoculars is an added bonus for viewing the wildlife especially at Lake Bindegolly.
4-Thargomindah Hydro Bore
Did you know Thargomindah (see main photo) was the first town in Australia and third in the world to produce hydro-electric power?
It was done by using the power of artesian water and you can view the water from the same bore pumping from around 808 metres underground. But don’t touch it!
At an average temperature of 84°C it is hot enough to boil an egg or fry your skin if you dip you hand into it.
Top Thargomindah Tips
-Each day during April to October there is a Hydro Power Plant demonstration commencing at 4.30pm. It’s well worth the visit.
-See some of the old buildings around town like the original hospital and Leahy’s house, all well preserved.
-Spend time along the Bulloo River the life blood of the district. It’s brilliant for wildlife spotting, fishing and cray bobbing.
5-The Dig Tree
Camp along the mighty Cooper Creek – the only creek in Australia formed by two rivers – within cooee of the Dig Tree.
The Dig Tree on Nappie Merrie Station, on the Queensland/South Australian border forms an important part of the early exploration attempts of Australia.
Burke and Wills and their team of 19 men were the first to cross Australia south to north, so they thought.
A unit of the initial exploring party was left at the Dig Tree to form a base camp and await the return of the advance party traversing north.
They waited five weeks after the anticipated arrival date back at the camp before leaving provisions were buried and the directions to find them carved in a tree.
For some reason this was never found and only one of the party survived.
Carved in gigantic Coolabah tree dated to be over 150 years old and almost now unrecognisable, are the directions to find the buried supplies:
B LXV Trunk, creek side
Dig 3FT NW Trunk, land side
Dec 6 60 April 21 61 Limb upstream
Today the Dig Tree is a remote camping location along this famous creek. There are no amenities except for toilets at the information hut.
Top Dig Tree Tips
-See the Face Tree, carved by John Dick in 1898 it’s the face of joint expedition leader Robert O’Hara Burke. It is still clearly visible today. The tree is located 30m downstream of the Dig Tree.
-Throw a line in and you are almost guaranteed a catch. The best time to set a line is late afternoon. Yellowbelly (perch) and Catfish are the two biggest catches.
-Call into the Innamincka Hotel and have a drink to those that have passed before you with a glass of Burke and Wills Port.
-Wildlife watching – Due to its limited number of visitor’s, wildlife is abundant along this part of the creek. Birds, kangaroos, wallabies, emus and the list goes on. Best times for viewing are early morning and late afternoon.