Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the 'Plains of Promise', as people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities.

The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work.

The Dowling Track is a 4WD experience linking Back ‘O’ Bourke and beyond to Quilpie in SW QLD.

Immerse yourself in the rich and diverse heritage as you travel this unspoilt land. See the stars stretch forever. It is where your journey becomes more important than your final destination.

Bourke:

Bourke is the centre of the wool, cotton and citrus region as well as a popular tourist destination. Situated on the Darling River, Bourke has a rich heritage, immortalised in both poetry and song, since the famous Henry Lawson lived here and his experiences moved him to state, “if you know Bourke, you know Australia.” Charles Sturt passed through the district in 1828, however, it wasn’t settled until 1835when, Sir Thomas Mitchell constructed a Fort, Fort Bourke, named after the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke. Call into the Bourke Information Centre for all the details on tours and attractions. Bourke will charm you.

Fords Bridge:

Fords Bridge, located on the Warrego River was once a small flourishing town with a butcher shop, Post Office, school and race track. Today ‘Fordsy’ is a sleepy town of four.

Call into the historical Warrego Hotel, 1913 from locally made mud bricks, thought to be the only pub in Australia still standing constructed from mud bricks.

Yantabulla; Originally called Yanda Bullen Bullen, aboriginal for ‘plenty to eat’, once was a prosperous town of nine houses, a hotel, store, school, police station and a cordial factory. Vincent Dowling once owned a homestead in Yantabulla, and Cobb and Co had a changing station here. Little remains today other than the spirit of those early days.

Hungerford:

Hungerford is located on the QLD/New South Wales border, separated by a Rabbit Proof Fence, where you open a gate from one state to the next. Named after Irishman Thomas Hungerford, who with his brother pioneered country in New South Wales and Queensland. The Royal Mail Hotel, built in 1873, was originally a staging post for Cobb and Co and today is still an important part of the community. A Biannual field day is held in Hungerford each June.

Thargomindah:

Thargomindah is a special town with a unique history. First, in Australia and third in the world,( just one day after Paris) to have street lighting generated by Hydro Power. Discover Thargomindah’s rich history with a town tour of the original hospital, circa 1888, Leahy House, circa 1885 and Thargomindah’s original newspaper printery, circa 1884.

Call at the Information Centre for details.

Toompine:

The quaint Toompine Hotel is a perfect example of what you expect of an Outback Pub. The sign at this old Cobb and Co staging post says it all: Toompine- the pub with no town! Ask for direction to the lonely little Toompine Cemetery and find out why it is called a ‘cemery’ ( not a cemetery.)

Quilpie:

Home of the Boulder Opal and ‘Colour of the Country’, located on a mulga ridge on the western side of the Bulloo River, out of flood reach.

A number of Australia’s most famous graziers, including the Costello’s, Tully’s and Duracks pioneered the land around Quilpie and the historical records of these families have become an important part of Australia's grazing history.

Quilpie opal is world famous and local fossicking is available 1.5km west of the town. Visit the vast attractions of Quilpie, including the opal altar, lectern and font of the Roman Catholic Church, Baldy Top lookout, Lake Houdraman, Quilpie Art Gallery and much more.

Contact the Quilpie Museum and Visitor Centre for further information.

Route Sections:

* This touring route involves remote outback driving, so ensure your car is mechanically sound, carry enough water in case of a breakdown and most importantly ensure someone knows where you are and an ETA for your destination.

Bourke <> Kilcowera Station:

  • Route: Bourke-Hungerford Road <> Dowling Track (305 km - about 4 hours) - Mostly Unsealed

Leaving Bourke, the first main stopover is Hungerford which makes a great lunchtime stopover at the iconic pub. From Hungerford, the Dowling Track runs along the SW/QLD border through Currawinya NP before heading north up to Kilcowera Station. This section is also unsealed but well maintained. Kilcowera Station (members of Outback Beds) makes a great stopover.

Kilcowera Station <> Quilpe:

  • Route: Dowling Track (282 km - about 4 hours) - Unsealed and sealed.

Leaving Kilcowera, it is an easy 90min drive to Thargomindah before continuing north along the Dowling Track through Toompine and into Quilpie.


 
 

 

- -

 Dowling Track Map

Dowling Track Map

Corner Country Touring Routes

  • The Dingo Fence, Corner Country Australia

    Tibooburra Loop

    The largest side-trip (loop) off the Darling River Run takes in the western-most part of outback New South Wales, the
  • Driving the Silver City Highway between Broken Hill and Tibooburra, Corner Country

    Corner Explorer

    The massive Sturt National Park spans the dunes of the Strzelecki Desert across the ancient mesas of the Grey Range
  • Droving Horses at Cooper Creek, Outback Queensland, Australia

    Cooper Creek

    Cooper Creek, Windorah Outback Queensland Steeped in folklore and Australia's rich explorer's history, Cooper Creek is one of those must-see

    Cooper Creek, Windorah

    Outback Queensland

    Steeped in folklore and Australia's rich explorer's history, Cooper Creek is one of those must-see outback destinations that will not disappoint. Originally known as Cooper's Creek, today it is simply Cooper Creek and references to it by the former name is quickly corrected by those living around the vast area it covers. It is most famous as the river where Australian explorers Burke and Wills died in 1861 while returning from their successful expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

    Bourke, Wills, Mitchell and Sturt, names etched deeply into the Australian psyche through their explorative efforts into the unknown interior of Australia in the mid-late 1800s.

    At the time, very little was known of the outback and the intentions of the various expeditions were to better understand the region and determine its potential for settlement.

    By comparison to how we travel through the outback today with our modern vehicles equipped with the comforts from home, not to mention the ability to source provisions along the way, it must have been a daunting prospect for those early explorers that ventured into the Never-Never.

    Following in the footsteps of the early Australian explorers is motivation enough for many travellers as it provides a true sense of the pioneering spirit and connects us both culturally and physically to this land.

    Today we can cover hundreds of outback kilometres per day and it is intriguing to gaze off to the horizon and imagine those early explorers traipsing across the barren land with only the support of horses/camels that, on a good day, would cover only 20kms. Add to that, their provisions had to be carried with them as there was little known about bush-craft or how the land could provide essential supplies. Foremost in their minds would have been the sourcing of water from the few known outback waterways.

    Through the efforts of Captain Charles Sturt, who over a number of journeys was able to not only identify and locate the Darling River system but also the Cooper Creek, which were considered essential links for successful expeditions.

    The expedition of Burke & Wills followed in Sturt's footsteps with the intention of being the first successful traverse of the continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria via Outback NSW and Queensland.

    The team (nearly) reached the Gulf, but Bourke & Wills died on the return leg at the now famous 'Dig Tree' on the Cooper Creek near the Queensland/South Australian border. Of the fifteen men that started out, only one made it back to Melbourne. Despite this, after many years, the expedition was deemed a success.

    For many, the Dig Tree epitomises Bourke & Wills as does the Cooper Creek, and the iconic waterway also symbolises the Channel Country of western Queensland. Their ill-fated journey elevated the name Cooper Creek to legendary status; one that epitomized the efforts to explore this country and how cruel this harsh land can be on those who ventured out to the unknown.

    Part of the Lake Eyre Basin, the Cooper and its tributaries is Australia's second-longest waterway after the Murray-Darling and starts its journey as the Thompson River west of the Great Dividing Range south-west of Townsville and is joined by the Barcoo near Barcaldine. Its catchment area spans outback Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and NSW, and is made up series of ephemeral waterways that flow into Lake Eyre, Australia's largest Lake.

    Fed by the monsoonal rains of northern Queensland, the water can take months to reach Lake Eyre provided there is enough rainfall to overcome the many creeks and waterholes along its 1,300km journey. The flow is further diminished through absorption into the very dry outback landscape.

    But when conditions are right, the water supply is sufficient to fill the ephemeral waterways of the Channel Country and the Cooper flows into the vast expanse of Lake Eyre; as well as the Diamantina and Georgina rivers.

    To stay on its bank is to connect with the essence of the outback and the notion that these waterways are the lifeblood of the outback.

    One of the best places to experience the Cooper Creek, and much easier to reach than the 'Dig Tree' is at Windorah, 330km south-west of Longreach.

    If coming from the south, a great place to start the journey is Bourke on the Darling River as it is considered to the true start of the outback. Heading north to Thargomindah via Hungerford gives an insight into the adventure that lays ahead. Located on the border between NSW and Queensland, Hungerford is not much more than a historic pub (Est 1873), but a pub steeped in outback history including visits by outback poet Banjo Paterson. It is a great place to stop for a break.

    From 'Thargo', the route heads west is along the Adventure Way, which runs from Dalby to Innamincka, before heading north along the Bullo Development Rd. Near the change of direction, north is the town of Noccundra, a tiny hamlet that consists of only a hotel (built 1882) and is an ideal place for a 'driver-reviver' and a bit of exploring. The town is located on the Wilson River, not far from its confluence with Cooper Creek and it is said that not only did Burke & Wills camp near the junctions, but also Sturt in his expedition during the mid-1840s.

    Talk about following in the footsteps...

    Continuing north, the next destination is one for the trivia buffs. If asked what town is furthest from the Australian coastline many answers that the place would be in Northern Territory or Western Australia when in actuality it is in Queensland and not far from Windorah. The little town of Eromanga is in fact further (790km) from the coast than any other town in Australia. One to add to the list of unique places been and one to include in your next trivia night.

    An added bonus for Eromanga becomes apparent if you need to fill up with fuel as it is surprisingly cheap. Surprising when you think how isolated it is, but not so surprising when you see the oil refinery on the outskirts of town. Nice to find a bit of price relief in the outback.

    From Eromanga, Windorah is about 330km northwest and an amazing experience awaits about 10km out of town. After the long drive through the outback to get this far, the open country gives way to a tree-lined waterway and crossing the bridge provides an amazing vista of the iconic Cooper Creek and it is easy to imagine how our early explorers must have felt when reaching one of the outback rivers or creeks along their journey.

    This section of the Copper Creek is well supplied with water, more so than the lower reaches towards the QLD/SA border and, as such, makes a magnificent place to camp. A word of warning for those who like things 'far from the maddening crowd', the Copper Creek near Windorah is crowded around the weekend of the Birdsville races held the first weekend of September. During this time it is full of people coming to and from the iconic outback race weekend. Other times though, it is a true oasis.

    Nearby Windorah is a small service town that caters well for the RV traveller with a service station, fuel, café, hotel/motel, minimart, and a Visitor Information Centre complete with the Whitula Museum. Just outside Windorah is the Solar Farm, with the huge mirrored reflectors creating a surreal sight as you enter the tiny town.

    The name Windorah is a translation of an Aboriginal word that means 'place of big fish', and that provides a great insight into one of the main activities available while camping on the Copper. Add to that, the yabbying is also great. While bird-lovers are well catered for with the river providing a rich habit for a vast array of outback bird species.

    The river can also throw up some surprise and those lucky enough might also view a uniquely outback experience when one of the local drovers brings his team of horses down to the river for a frolic in the cooling waters of the Cooper. A truly amazing sight.

    With the RV set up for the stay, and a camp chair in place, it is truly the thing of dreams. The heady aroma of the gum trees tinged with the unmistakable smell of river-water evaporating in the warm outback air is most prevalent sensation as the sun slowly sets. The end of the day also gives rise to flocks of birds flying low along the river back to their nests. Initially, it is the ducks with only the sound of the wind passing over their wings to alert the riverbank dwellers. But, the more raucous and unmistakable sounds of the galahs that can be heard a few km away as they approach and their sound slowly fads as they head east for the night, quite an exquisite experience!

    To travel in the footsteps of our early explorers and experience one of our great waterways might be full of many RVing clichés, but sometimes that is exactly why we do it.


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    Cooper Creek, Windorah

    Outback Queensland

    Steeped in folklore and Australia's rich explorer's history, Cooper Creek is one of those must-see outback destinations that will not disappoint. Originally known as Cooper's Creek, today it is simply Cooper Creek and references to it by the former name is quickly corrected by those living around the vast area it covers. It is most famous as the river where Australian explorers Burke and Wills died in 1861 while returning from their successful expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

    Bourke, Wills, Mitchell and Sturt, names etched deeply into the Australian psyche through their explorative efforts into the unknown interior of Australia in the mid-late 1800s.

    At the time, very little was known of the outback and the intentions of the various expeditions were to better understand the region and determine its potential for settlement.

    By comparison to how we travel through the outback today with our modern vehicles equipped with the comforts from home, not to mention the ability to source provisions along the way, it must have been a daunting prospect for those early explorers that ventured into the Never-Never.

    Following in the footsteps of the early Australian explorers is motivation enough for many travellers as it provides a true sense of the pioneering spirit and connects us both culturally and physically to this land.

    Today we can cover hundreds of outback kilometres per day and it is intriguing to gaze off to the horizon and imagine those early explorers traipsing across the barren land with only the support of horses/camels that, on a good day, would cover only 20kms. Add to that, their provisions had to be carried with them as there was little known about bush-craft or how the land could provide essential supplies. Foremost in their minds would have been the sourcing of water from the few known outback waterways.

    Through the efforts of Captain Charles Sturt, who over a number of journeys was able to not only identify and locate the Darling River system but also the Cooper Creek, which were considered essential links for successful expeditions.

    The expedition of Burke & Wills followed in Sturt's footsteps with the intention of being the first successful traverse of the continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria via Outback NSW and Queensland.

    The team (nearly) reached the Gulf, but Bourke & Wills died on the return leg at the now famous 'Dig Tree' on the Cooper Creek near the Queensland/South Australian border. Of the fifteen men that started out, only one made it back to Melbourne. Despite this, after many years, the expedition was deemed a success.

    For many, the Dig Tree epitomises Bourke & Wills as does the Cooper Creek, and the iconic waterway also symbolises the Channel Country of western Queensland. Their ill-fated journey elevated the name Cooper Creek to legendary status; one that epitomized the efforts to explore this country and how cruel this harsh land can be on those who ventured out to the unknown.

    Part of the Lake Eyre Basin, the Cooper and its tributaries is Australia's second-longest waterway after the Murray-Darling and starts its journey as the Thompson River west of the Great Dividing Range south-west of Townsville and is joined by the Barcoo near Barcaldine. Its catchment area spans outback Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and NSW, and is made up series of ephemeral waterways that flow into Lake Eyre, Australia's largest Lake.

    Fed by the monsoonal rains of northern Queensland, the water can take months to reach Lake Eyre provided there is enough rainfall to overcome the many creeks and waterholes along its 1,300km journey. The flow is further diminished through absorption into the very dry outback landscape.

    But when conditions are right, the water supply is sufficient to fill the ephemeral waterways of the Channel Country and the Cooper flows into the vast expanse of Lake Eyre; as well as the Diamantina and Georgina rivers.

    To stay on its bank is to connect with the essence of the outback and the notion that these waterways are the lifeblood of the outback.

    One of the best places to experience the Cooper Creek, and much easier to reach than the 'Dig Tree' is at Windorah, 330km south-west of Longreach.

    If coming from the south, a great place to start the journey is Bourke on the Darling River as it is considered to the true start of the outback. Heading north to Thargomindah via Hungerford gives an insight into the adventure that lays ahead. Located on the border between NSW and Queensland, Hungerford is not much more than a historic pub (Est 1873), but a pub steeped in outback history including visits by outback poet Banjo Paterson. It is a great place to stop for a break.

    From 'Thargo', the route heads west is along the Adventure Way, which runs from Dalby to Innamincka, before heading north along the Bullo Development Rd. Near the change of direction, north is the town of Noccundra, a tiny hamlet that consists of only a hotel (built 1882) and is an ideal place for a 'driver-reviver' and a bit of exploring. The town is located on the Wilson River, not far from its confluence with Cooper Creek and it is said that not only did Burke & Wills camp near the junctions, but also Sturt in his expedition during the mid-1840s.

    Talk about following in the footsteps...

    Continuing north, the next destination is one for the trivia buffs. If asked what town is furthest from the Australian coastline many answers that the place would be in Northern Territory or Western Australia when in actuality it is in Queensland and not far from Windorah. The little town of Eromanga is in fact further (790km) from the coast than any other town in Australia. One to add to the list of unique places been and one to include in your next trivia night.

    An added bonus for Eromanga becomes apparent if you need to fill up with fuel as it is surprisingly cheap. Surprising when you think how isolated it is, but not so surprising when you see the oil refinery on the outskirts of town. Nice to find a bit of price relief in the outback.

    From Eromanga, Windorah is about 330km northwest and an amazing experience awaits about 10km out of town. After the long drive through the outback to get this far, the open country gives way to a tree-lined waterway and crossing the bridge provides an amazing vista of the iconic Cooper Creek and it is easy to imagine how our early explorers must have felt when reaching one of the outback rivers or creeks along their journey.

    This section of the Copper Creek is well supplied with water, more so than the lower reaches towards the QLD/SA border and, as such, makes a magnificent place to camp. A word of warning for those who like things 'far from the maddening crowd', the Copper Creek near Windorah is crowded around the weekend of the Birdsville races held the first weekend of September. During this time it is full of people coming to and from the iconic outback race weekend. Other times though, it is a true oasis.

    Nearby Windorah is a small service town that caters well for the RV traveller with a service station, fuel, café, hotel/motel, minimart, and a Visitor Information Centre complete with the Whitula Museum. Just outside Windorah is the Solar Farm, with the huge mirrored reflectors creating a surreal sight as you enter the tiny town.

    The name Windorah is a translation of an Aboriginal word that means 'place of big fish', and that provides a great insight into one of the main activities available while camping on the Copper. Add to that, the yabbying is also great. While bird-lovers are well catered for with the river providing a rich habit for a vast array of outback bird species.

    The river can also throw up some surprise and those lucky enough might also view a uniquely outback experience when one of the local drovers brings his team of horses down to the river for a frolic in the cooling waters of the Cooper. A truly amazing sight.

    With the RV set up for the stay, and a camp chair in place, it is truly the thing of dreams. The heady aroma of the gum trees tinged with the unmistakable smell of river-water evaporating in the warm outback air is most prevalent sensation as the sun slowly sets. The end of the day also gives rise to flocks of birds flying low along the river back to their nests. Initially, it is the ducks with only the sound of the wind passing over their wings to alert the riverbank dwellers. But, the more raucous and unmistakable sounds of the galahs that can be heard a few km away as they approach and their sound slowly fads as they head east for the night, quite an exquisite experience!

    To travel in the footsteps of our early explorers and experience one of our great waterways might be full of many RVing clichés, but sometimes that is exactly why we do it.


    • cooper-creek-outback-queensland-10
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    Cooper Creek, Windorah

    Outback Queensland

    Steeped in folklore and Australia's rich explorer's history, Cooper Creek is one of those must-see outback destinations that will not disappoint. Originally known as Cooper's Creek, today it is simply Cooper Creek and references to it by the former name is quickly corrected by those living around the vast area it covers. It is most famous as the river where Australian explorers Burke and Wills died in 1861 while returning from their successful expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

    Bourke, Wills, Mitchell and Sturt, names etched deeply into the Australian psyche through their explorative efforts into the unknown interior of Australia in the mid-late 1800s.

    At the time, very little was known of the outback and the intentions of the various expeditions were to better understand the region and determine its potential for settlement.

    By comparison to how we travel through the outback today with our modern vehicles equipped with the comforts from home, not to mention the ability to source provisions along the way, it must have been a daunting prospect for those early explorers that ventured into the Never-Never.

    Following in the footsteps of the early Australian explorers is motivation enough for many travellers as it provides a true sense of the pioneering spirit and connects us both culturally and physically to this land.

    Today we can cover hundreds of outback kilometres per day and it is intriguing to gaze off to the horizon and imagine those early explorers traipsing across the barren land with only the support of horses/camels that, on a good day, would cover only 20kms. Add to that, their provisions had to be carried with them as there was little known about bush-craft or how the land could provide essential supplies. Foremost in their minds would have been the sourcing of water from the few known outback waterways.

    Through the efforts of Captain Charles Sturt, who over a number of journeys was able to not only identify and locate the Darling River system but also the Cooper Creek, which were considered essential links for successful expeditions.

    The expedition of Burke & Wills followed in Sturt's footsteps with the intention of being the first successful traverse of the continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria via Outback NSW and Queensland.

    The team (nearly) reached the Gulf, but Bourke & Wills died on the return leg at the now famous 'Dig Tree' on the Cooper Creek near the Queensland/South Australian border. Of the fifteen men that started out, only one made it back to Melbourne. Despite this, after many years, the expedition was deemed a success.

    For many, the Dig Tree epitomises Bourke & Wills as does the Cooper Creek, and the iconic waterway also symbolises the Channel Country of western Queensland. Their ill-fated journey elevated the name Cooper Creek to legendary status; one that epitomized the efforts to explore this country and how cruel this harsh land can be on those who ventured out to the unknown.

    Part of the Lake Eyre Basin, the Cooper and its tributaries is Australia's second-longest waterway after the Murray-Darling and starts its journey as the Thompson River west of the Great Dividing Range south-west of Townsville and is joined by the Barcoo near Barcaldine. Its catchment area spans outback Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and NSW, and is made up series of ephemeral waterways that flow into Lake Eyre, Australia's largest Lake.

    Fed by the monsoonal rains of northern Queensland, the water can take months to reach Lake Eyre provided there is enough rainfall to overcome the many creeks and waterholes along its 1,300km journey. The flow is further diminished through absorption into the very dry outback landscape.

    But when conditions are right, the water supply is sufficient to fill the ephemeral waterways of the Channel Country and the Cooper flows into the vast expanse of Lake Eyre; as well as the Diamantina and Georgina rivers.

    To stay on its bank is to connect with the essence of the outback and the notion that these waterways are the lifeblood of the outback.

    One of the best places to experience the Cooper Creek, and much easier to reach than the 'Dig Tree' is at Windorah, 330km south-west of Longreach.

    If coming from the south, a great place to start the journey is Bourke on the Darling River as it is considered to the true start of the outback. Heading north to Thargomindah via Hungerford gives an insight into the adventure that lays ahead. Located on the border between NSW and Queensland, Hungerford is not much more than a historic pub (Est 1873), but a pub steeped in outback history including visits by outback poet Banjo Paterson. It is a great place to stop for a break.

    From 'Thargo', the route heads west is along the Adventure Way, which runs from Dalby to Innamincka, before heading north along the Bullo Development Rd. Near the change of direction, north is the town of Noccundra, a tiny hamlet that consists of only a hotel (built 1882) and is an ideal place for a 'driver-reviver' and a bit of exploring. The town is located on the Wilson River, not far from its confluence with Cooper Creek and it is said that not only did Burke & Wills camp near the junctions, but also Sturt in his expedition during the mid-1840s.

    Talk about following in the footsteps...

    Continuing north, the next destination is one for the trivia buffs. If asked what town is furthest from the Australian coastline many answers that the place would be in Northern Territory or Western Australia when in actuality it is in Queensland and not far from Windorah. The little town of Eromanga is in fact further (790km) from the coast than any other town in Australia. One to add to the list of unique places been and one to include in your next trivia night.

    An added bonus for Eromanga becomes apparent if you need to fill up with fuel as it is surprisingly cheap. Surprising when you think how isolated it is, but not so surprising when you see the oil refinery on the outskirts of town. Nice to find a bit of price relief in the outback.

    From Eromanga, Windorah is about 330km northwest and an amazing experience awaits about 10km out of town. After the long drive through the outback to get this far, the open country gives way to a tree-lined waterway and crossing the bridge provides an amazing vista of the iconic Cooper Creek and it is easy to imagine how our early explorers must have felt when reaching one of the outback rivers or creeks along their journey.

    This section of the Copper Creek is well supplied with water, more so than the lower reaches towards the QLD/SA border and, as such, makes a magnificent place to camp. A word of warning for those who like things 'far from the maddening crowd', the Copper Creek near Windorah is crowded around the weekend of the Birdsville races held the first weekend of September. During this time it is full of people coming to and from the iconic outback race weekend. Other times though, it is a true oasis.

    Nearby Windorah is a small service town that caters well for the RV traveller with a service station, fuel, café, hotel/motel, minimart, and a Visitor Information Centre complete with the Whitula Museum. Just outside Windorah is the Solar Farm, with the huge mirrored reflectors creating a surreal sight as you enter the tiny town.

    The name Windorah is a translation of an Aboriginal word that means 'place of big fish', and that provides a great insight into one of the main activities available while camping on the Copper. Add to that, the yabbying is also great. While bird-lovers are well catered for with the river providing a rich habit for a vast array of outback bird species.

    The river can also throw up some surprise and those lucky enough might also view a uniquely outback experience when one of the local drovers brings his team of horses down to the river for a frolic in the cooling waters of the Cooper. A truly amazing sight.

    With the RV set up for the stay, and a camp chair in place, it is truly the thing of dreams. The heady aroma of the gum trees tinged with the unmistakable smell of river-water evaporating in the warm outback air is most prevalent sensation as the sun slowly sets. The end of the day also gives rise to flocks of birds flying low along the river back to their nests. Initially, it is the ducks with only the sound of the wind passing over their wings to alert the riverbank dwellers. But, the more raucous and unmistakable sounds of the galahs that can be heard a few km away as they approach and their sound slowly fads as they head east for the night, quite an exquisite experience!

    To travel in the footsteps of our early explorers and experience one of our great waterways might be full of many RVing clichés, but sometimes that is exactly why we do it.


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    Cooper Creek, Windorah

    Outback Queensland

    Steeped in folklore and Australia's rich explorer's history, Cooper Creek is one of those must-see outback destinations that will not disappoint. Originally known as Cooper's Creek, today it is simply Cooper Creek and references to it by the former name is quickly corrected by those living around the vast area it covers. It is most famous as the river where Australian explorers Burke and Wills died in 1861 while returning from their successful expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

    Bourke, Wills, Mitchell and Sturt, names etched deeply into the Australian psyche through their explorative efforts into the unknown interior of Australia in the mid-late 1800s.

    At the time, very little was known of the outback and the intentions of the various expeditions were to better understand the region and determine its potential for settlement.

    By comparison to how we travel through the outback today with our modern vehicles equipped with the comforts from home, not to mention the ability to source provisions along the way, it must have been a daunting prospect for those early explorers that ventured into the Never-Never.

    Following in the footsteps of the early Australian explorers is motivation enough for many travellers as it provides a true sense of the pioneering spirit and connects us both culturally and physically to this land.

    Today we can cover hundreds of outback kilometres per day and it is intriguing to gaze off to the horizon and imagine those early explorers traipsing across the barren land with only the support of horses/camels that, on a good day, would cover only 20kms. Add to that, their provisions had to be carried with them as there was little known about bush-craft or how the land could provide essential supplies. Foremost in their minds would have been the sourcing of water from the few known outback waterways.

    Through the efforts of Captain Charles Sturt, who over a number of journeys was able to not only identify and locate the Darling River system but also the Cooper Creek, which were considered essential links for successful expeditions.

    The expedition of Burke & Wills followed in Sturt's footsteps with the intention of being the first successful traverse of the continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria via Outback NSW and Queensland.

    The team (nearly) reached the Gulf, but Bourke & Wills died on the return leg at the now famous 'Dig Tree' on the Cooper Creek near the Queensland/South Australian border. Of the fifteen men that started out, only one made it back to Melbourne. Despite this, after many years, the expedition was deemed a success.

    For many, the Dig Tree epitomises Bourke & Wills as does the Cooper Creek, and the iconic waterway also symbolises the Channel Country of western Queensland. Their ill-fated journey elevated the name Cooper Creek to legendary status; one that epitomized the efforts to explore this country and how cruel this harsh land can be on those who ventured out to the unknown.

    Part of the Lake Eyre Basin, the Cooper and its tributaries is Australia's second-longest waterway after the Murray-Darling and starts its journey as the Thompson River west of the Great Dividing Range south-west of Townsville and is joined by the Barcoo near Barcaldine. Its catchment area spans outback Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and NSW, and is made up series of ephemeral waterways that flow into Lake Eyre, Australia's largest Lake.

    Fed by the monsoonal rains of northern Queensland, the water can take months to reach Lake Eyre provided there is enough rainfall to overcome the many creeks and waterholes along its 1,300km journey. The flow is further diminished through absorption into the very dry outback landscape.

    But when conditions are right, the water supply is sufficient to fill the ephemeral waterways of the Channel Country and the Cooper flows into the vast expanse of Lake Eyre; as well as the Diamantina and Georgina rivers.

    To stay on its bank is to connect with the essence of the outback and the notion that these waterways are the lifeblood of the outback.

    One of the best places to experience the Cooper Creek, and much easier to reach than the 'Dig Tree' is at Windorah, 330km south-west of Longreach.

    If coming from the south, a great place to start the journey is Bourke on the Darling River as it is considered to the true start of the outback. Heading north to Thargomindah via Hungerford gives an insight into the adventure that lays ahead. Located on the border between NSW and Queensland, Hungerford is not much more than a historic pub (Est 1873), but a pub steeped in outback history including visits by outback poet Banjo Paterson. It is a great place to stop for a break.

    From 'Thargo', the route heads west is along the Adventure Way, which runs from Dalby to Innamincka, before heading north along the Bullo Development Rd. Near the change of direction, north is the town of Noccundra, a tiny hamlet that consists of only a hotel (built 1882) and is an ideal place for a 'driver-reviver' and a bit of exploring. The town is located on the Wilson River, not far from its confluence with Cooper Creek and it is said that not only did Burke & Wills camp near the junctions, but also Sturt in his expedition during the mid-1840s.

    Talk about following in the footsteps...

    Continuing north, the next destination is one for the trivia buffs. If asked what town is furthest from the Australian coastline many answers that the place would be in Northern Territory or Western Australia when in actuality it is in Queensland and not far from Windorah. The little town of Eromanga is in fact further (790km) from the coast than any other town in Australia. One to add to the list of unique places been and one to include in your next trivia night.

    An added bonus for Eromanga becomes apparent if you need to fill up with fuel as it is surprisingly cheap. Surprising when you think how isolated it is, but not so surprising when you see the oil refinery on the outskirts of town. Nice to find a bit of price relief in the outback.

    From Eromanga, Windorah is about 330km northwest and an amazing experience awaits about 10km out of town. After the long drive through the outback to get this far, the open country gives way to a tree-lined waterway and crossing the bridge provides an amazing vista of the iconic Cooper Creek and it is easy to imagine how our early explorers must have felt when reaching one of the outback rivers or creeks along their journey.

    This section of the Copper Creek is well supplied with water, more so than the lower reaches towards the QLD/SA border and, as such, makes a magnificent place to camp. A word of warning for those who like things 'far from the maddening crowd', the Copper Creek near Windorah is crowded around the weekend of the Birdsville races held the first weekend of September. During this time it is full of people coming to and from the iconic outback race weekend. Other times though, it is a true oasis.

    Nearby Windorah is a small service town that caters well for the RV traveller with a service station, fuel, café, hotel/motel, minimart, and a Visitor Information Centre complete with the Whitula Museum. Just outside Windorah is the Solar Farm, with the huge mirrored reflectors creating a surreal sight as you enter the tiny town.

    The name Windorah is a translation of an Aboriginal word that means 'place of big fish', and that provides a great insight into one of the main activities available while camping on the Copper. Add to that, the yabbying is also great. While bird-lovers are well catered for with the river providing a rich habit for a vast array of outback bird species.

    The river can also throw up some surprise and those lucky enough might also view a uniquely outback experience when one of the local drovers brings his team of horses down to the river for a frolic in the cooling waters of the Cooper. A truly amazing sight.

    With the RV set up for the stay, and a camp chair in place, it is truly the thing of dreams. The heady aroma of the gum trees tinged with the unmistakable smell of river-water evaporating in the warm outback air is most prevalent sensation as the sun slowly sets. The end of the day also gives rise to flocks of birds flying low along the river back to their nests. Initially, it is the ducks with only the sound of the wind passing over their wings to alert the riverbank dwellers. But, the more raucous and unmistakable sounds of the galahs that can be heard a few km away as they approach and their sound slowly fads as they head east for the night, quite an exquisite experience!

    To travel in the footsteps of our early explorers and experience one of our great waterways might be full of many RVing clichés, but sometimes that is exactly why we do it.


    • cooper-creek-outback-queensland-10
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    • cooper-creek-outback-queensland-11

    Cooper Creek, Windorah

    Outback Queensland

    Steeped in folklore and Australia's rich explorer's history, Cooper Creek is one of those must-see outback destinations that will not disappoint. Originally known as Cooper's Creek, today it is simply Cooper Creek and references to it by the former name is quickly corrected by those living around the vast area it covers. It is most famous as the river where Australian explorers Burke and Wills died in 1861 while returning from their successful expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

    Bourke, Wills, Mitchell and Sturt, names etched deeply into the Australian psyche through their explorative efforts into the unknown interior of Australia in the mid-late 1800s.

    At the time, very little was known of the outback and the intentions of the various expeditions were to better understand the region and determine its potential for settlement.

    By comparison to how we travel through the outback today with our modern vehicles equipped with the comforts from home, not to mention the ability to source provisions along the way, it must have been a daunting prospect for those early explorers that ventured into the Never-Never.

    Following in the footsteps of the early Australian explorers is motivation enough for many travellers as it provides a true sense of the pioneering spirit and connects us both culturally and physically to this land.

    Today we can cover hundreds of outback kilometres per day and it is intriguing to gaze off to the horizon and imagine those early explorers traipsing across the barren land with only the support of horses/camels that, on a good day, would cover only 20kms. Add to that, their provisions had to be carried with them as there was little known about bush-craft or how the land could provide essential supplies. Foremost in their minds would have been the sourcing of water from the few known outback waterways.

    Through the efforts of Captain Charles Sturt, who over a number of journeys was able to not only identify and locate the Darling River system but also the Cooper Creek, which were considered essential links for successful expeditions.

    The expedition of Burke & Wills followed in Sturt's footsteps with the intention of being the first successful traverse of the continent from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria via Outback NSW and Queensland.

    The team (nearly) reached the Gulf, but Bourke & Wills died on the return leg at the now famous 'Dig Tree' on the Cooper Creek near the Queensland/South Australian border. Of the fifteen men that started out, only one made it back to Melbourne. Despite this, after many years, the expedition was deemed a success.

    For many, the Dig Tree epitomises Bourke & Wills as does the Cooper Creek, and the iconic waterway also symbolises the Channel Country of western Queensland. Their ill-fated journey elevated the name Cooper Creek to legendary status; one that epitomized the efforts to explore this country and how cruel this harsh land can be on those who ventured out to the unknown.

    Part of the Lake Eyre Basin, the Cooper and its tributaries is Australia's second-longest waterway after the Murray-Darling and starts its journey as the Thompson River west of the Great Dividing Range south-west of Townsville and is joined by the Barcoo near Barcaldine. Its catchment area spans outback Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and NSW, and is made up series of ephemeral waterways that flow into Lake Eyre, Australia's largest Lake.

    Fed by the monsoonal rains of northern Queensland, the water can take months to reach Lake Eyre provided there is enough rainfall to overcome the many creeks and waterholes along its 1,300km journey. The flow is further diminished through absorption into the very dry outback landscape.

    But when conditions are right, the water supply is sufficient to fill the ephemeral waterways of the Channel Country and the Cooper flows into the vast expanse of Lake Eyre; as well as the Diamantina and Georgina rivers.

    To stay on its bank is to connect with the essence of the outback and the notion that these waterways are the lifeblood of the outback.

    One of the best places to experience the Cooper Creek, and much easier to reach than the 'Dig Tree' is at Windorah, 330km south-west of Longreach.

    If coming from the south, a great place to start the journey is Bourke on the Darling River as it is considered to the true start of the outback. Heading north to Thargomindah via Hungerford gives an insight into the adventure that lays ahead. Located on the border between NSW and Queensland, Hungerford is not much more than a historic pub (Est 1873), but a pub steeped in outback history including visits by outback poet Banjo Paterson. It is a great place to stop for a break.

    From 'Thargo', the route heads west is along the Adventure Way, which runs from Dalby to Innamincka, before heading north along the Bullo Development Rd. Near the change of direction, north is the town of Noccundra, a tiny hamlet that consists of only a hotel (built 1882) and is an ideal place for a 'driver-reviver' and a bit of exploring. The town is located on the Wilson River, not far from its confluence with Cooper Creek and it is said that not only did Burke & Wills camp near the junctions, but also Sturt in his expedition during the mid-1840s.

    Talk about following in the footsteps...

    Continuing north, the next destination is one for the trivia buffs. If asked what town is furthest from the Australian coastline many answers that the place would be in Northern Territory or Western Australia when in actuality it is in Queensland and not far from Windorah. The little town of Eromanga is in fact further (790km) from the coast than any other town in Australia. One to add to the list of unique places been and one to include in your next trivia night.

    An added bonus for Eromanga becomes apparent if you need to fill up with fuel as it is surprisingly cheap. Surprising when you think how isolated it is, but not so surprising when you see the oil refinery on the outskirts of town. Nice to find a bit of price relief in the outback.

    From Eromanga, Windorah is about 330km northwest and an amazing experience awaits about 10km out of town. After the long drive through the outback to get this far, the open country gives way to a tree-lined waterway and crossing the bridge provides an amazing vista of the iconic Cooper Creek and it is easy to imagine how our early explorers must have felt when reaching one of the outback rivers or creeks along their journey.

    This section of the Copper Creek is well supplied with water, more so than the lower reaches towards the QLD/SA border and, as such, makes a magnificent place to camp. A word of warning for those who like things 'far from the maddening crowd', the Copper Creek near Windorah is crowded around the weekend of the Birdsville races held the first weekend of September. During this time it is full of people coming to and from the iconic outback race weekend. Other times though, it is a true oasis.

    Nearby Windorah is a small service town that caters well for the RV traveller with a service station, fuel, café, hotel/motel, minimart, and a Visitor Information Centre complete with the Whitula Museum. Just outside Windorah is the Solar Farm, with the huge mirrored reflectors creating a surreal sight as you enter the tiny town.

    The name Windorah is a translation of an Aboriginal word that means 'place of big fish', and that provides a great insight into one of the main activities available while camping on the Copper. Add to that, the yabbying is also great. While bird-lovers are well catered for with the river providing a rich habit for a vast array of outback bird species.

    The river can also throw up some surprise and those lucky enough might also view a uniquely outback experience when one of the local drovers brings his team of horses down to the river for a frolic in the cooling waters of the Cooper. A truly amazing sight.

    With the RV set up for the stay, and a camp chair in place, it is truly the thing of dreams. The heady aroma of the gum trees tinged with the unmistakable smell of river-water evaporating in the warm outback air is most prevalent sensation as the sun slowly sets. The end of the day also gives rise to flocks of birds flying low along the river back to their nests. Initially, it is the ducks with only the sound of the wind passing over their wings to alert the riverbank dwellers. But, the more raucous and unmistakable sounds of the galahs that can be heard a few km away as they approach and their sound slowly fads as they head east for the night, quite an exquisite experience!

    To travel in the footsteps of our early explorers and experience one of our great waterways might be full of many RVing clichés, but sometimes that is exactly why we do it.


    • cooper-creek-outback-queensland-10
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  • Driving to the Corner Country, Outback NSW

    Lake Mungo - Corner Country Adventure

    Experience the awe-inspiring landscapes and the anthropological significant Lake Mungo as well as a taste of the lower Darling including
  • Leaving Broken Hill head out to historic Silverton to take in the many attractions. Enjoy lunch at one of several business houses before taking the road northwards across the Mundi Mundi Plain, heading for an over night stay at Pine View adjacent to the Wild Dog Fence.

    Dog Fence - Silverton to Corner

    Leaving Broken Hill head out to historic Silverton to take in the many attractions. Enjoy lunch at one of several
  • In the 1880s a miner’s trek to the Albert Goldfields began in Wilcannia, and ended several weeks later on the goldfields of Mt Browne, Milparinka or the Granites (Tibooburra).

    Cobb & Co Tracks

    In the 1880s a miner’s trek to the Albert Goldfields began in Wilcannia and ended several weeks later on the
  • In Sturt's Steps follows a route that approximates that taken by Captain Charles Sturt during his 1844-45 inland expedition.

    Sturts Steps Touring Route

    Sturt's Steps follows a route that approximates that taken by Captain Charles Sturt during his 1844-45 inland expedition. With no public
  • Across the Corner Country a series of interconnecting stock routes were developed to enable sheep and cattle to be walked to market safely. Teams of drovers were engaged to handle the job, often taking months for the journey.

    Travelling Stock Routes

    Across the Corner Country, a series of interconnecting stock routes were developed to enable sheep and cattle to be walked
  • There are many outback towns that claim to be ‘really unique’ but White Cliffs is really one one of the truly 'must-see' destinations. It is very small by comparison to Lightning Ridge, another Opal mining town but here, most of the living is done underground.

    Mutawintji NP - White Cliffs Loop

    There are many outback towns that claim to be ‘really unique’ but White Cliffs is really one of the truly
  • Four wheel drive enthusiasts...the Corner Country has it all. The Silver City Highway may be mostly sealed these days, but there are still hundreds of kilometres of unsealed roads linking station properties and townships alike.

    4WD Touring Farmstays

    Four-wheel drive enthusiasts...the Corner Country has it all. The Silver City Highway may be mostly sealed these days, but there
  • Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the 'Plains of Promise', as people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities.

    The Dowling Track

    Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area,

    Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the 'Plains of Promise', as people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities. The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work. The Dowling Track is a 4WD experience linking Back ‘O’ Bourke and beyond to Quilpie in SW QLD.

    Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the 'Plains of Promise', as people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities. The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work. The Dowling Track is a 4WD experience linking Back ‘O’ Bourke and beyond to Quilpie in SW QLD.

    Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the 'Plains of Promise', as people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities. The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work. The Dowling Track is a 4WD experience linking Back ‘O’ Bourke and beyond to Quilpie in SW QLD.

    Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the 'Plains of Promise', as people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities. The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work. The Dowling Track is a 4WD experience linking Back ‘O’ Bourke and beyond to Quilpie in SW QLD.

    Travel in the footsteps of Vincent James Dowling and other early pioneers who over 100 years ago discovered this area, known as the 'Plains of Promise', as people travelled the track looking for a new life and new opportunities. The Australian author, Henry Lawson walked from Bourke to Hungerford and back in the hellish summer heat looking for work. The Dowling Track is a 4WD experience linking Back ‘O’ Bourke and beyond to Quilpie in SW QLD.

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Touring Essentials