NOW’S the perfect time to visit Queensland’s amazing Outback – after the long summer rains, the region is spectacularly beautiful.
The rivers are flowing, the billabongs alive with birds and wildlife and the skies a brilliant blue.
It’s a place where locals are happy to stop for a yarn, or share a cup of tea.
They’ll tell you where the fish are biting, or about a local beauty spot to stop for lunch.
You don’t have to have endless weeks to explore the region – you can spend as little as a long weekend and still have a real Outback experience.
There are lots of shorter trips you can easily plan or if you can, take your time and enjoy a real Outback odyssey to remember.
There’s a surprising variety of accommodation with options including comfy air-conditioned motels, historic hotels, character-filled pubs, friendly caravan parks and farm stays on working stations.
One of the biggest surprises of the Outback is that there are almost two dozen national parks, each with their own special character.
Many have camping sites and are top spots for bird watching, bush walking or just kicking back and enjoying nature’s beauty.
The hardest part about visiting Queensland’s Outback is deciding when to go.
One tip is to find out about some of the great events that are scheduled throughout the year.
There’s the Outback’s famous races: lizard racing in Eulo, camel racing in Boulia, the iconic Birdsville Races or the biggest rodeo in the southern hemisphere in Mount Isa from August 6 to 8 – to name a few!
You don’t need a 4WD to venture Outback – major roads are sealed and maximum distances between most towns are usually half an hour to an hour.
The Outback is criss-crossed with highways and byways. Together they form a series of themed roads linking together some of the key experiences that travellers can enjoy – there’s the Matilda Highway from Cunnamulla to Karumba on the Gulf, the Overlander’s Way which follows in the footsteps of our pioneers from Townsville to Mount Isa, and the Dinosaur Way.
The visitor information centres in each town are an excellent source of local know-how. The friendly staff are only too happy to make recommendations or tell you about some of the excellent organised tours available.
For more information grab a copy of the 2010 Queensland Outback Travellers’ Guide or visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/outback_home.cfm