A great way to see the Quilpie Shire without the hassles of packing the car and hooking on the van every day is to base yourself in Quilpie and enjoy day trips to some of other towns and their sites in the Shire. Start off with our Pioneers and Prehistoric day trip.
Head west from Quilpie for approx. 35km and stop on the right hand side of the road at the Grey Range sign. Looking beyond the Mulga and Gidgea trees you will see the Grey Range. The Grey Range is a line of hills in Southwest Queensland and Northwest NSW and extends from the Gowan Range to the Barrier Range.
Just 2km down the road is the intersection (known locally as the ‘23 mile’) where you will turn left towards Eromanga. Park at the truck stop at the intersection and have a look at the surrounding dead trees. The Boree trees were victims to a large grasshopper plague that swept through the area back in 1937. From the ’23 mile’, continue for approx… 70km to Eromanga. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Oil Donkey on the side of the road and stop for a photo.
As you drive in to Eromanga you will see on your right the iOR Oil Refinery, which was built in 1985. Diesel and unleaded is available here with a 24hr card machine so stock up while you can. Duck across the road to the Eromanga Café and grab yourself a delicious coffee and homemade cake before you head out to walk with dinosaurs.
Head 3km south from Eromanga and follow the signs to the Eromanga Natural History Museum (ENHM). Your about to enjoy a Walking with Giants Guided tour through the Museum and meet Australia’s largest dinosaur. These tours go for 1hr and run at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm so plan your day trip accordingly.
After your tour you would have worked up quite an appetite so head to the Royal Hotel for a delicious lunch. This Hotel was built in 1885 and if the walls could talk I’m sure they would tell some good yarns. After lunch ask at the bar for the keys for the Living History Centre, a fabulous museum showcasing the history of the area and featuring a video of local residents telling the history.
Before you leave, take a stroll around Eromanga along the town’s historical walk. Signs will tell you all about the buildings that stand or once stood at each location and about their story and how it intertwines with the history of Eromanga. Take the Kyabra Road leaving north of Eromanga, making sure to get a photo at the ‘Furthest town from the Sea’ sign on your way out. Follow this road for approx. 50km, where you will find the Kyabra Waterhole on the right hand side of the road. In the 1860’s, pioneer John Costello and his family settled here on the property ‘Kyabra’. This is a beautiful spot for a picnic, cuppa, swim or a fish. Spend some time enjoying the serenity and the local birdlife that call this oasis home.
When you ready, jump back in the car and keep heading north for approx. 45km, where you will meet the Diamantina Development Road and the Thylungra Waterhole. This waterhole was home to the Boothamurra people and in 1868 Thylungra Station was taken up by the Durack family of ‘Kings in Grass Castles’ fame. Take a break at the table and chairs by the waterhole and enjoy reading the information signs.
NB: Entry to the station is restricted, however the station homestead can be sighted from the Diamantina Development Road.
From here you will head south along the Diamantina Development road back towards Quilpie, approx. 105km. You will notice red sand hill’s along your journey and in parts, signs on the landscape due to open cut mining of opal. As you near Quilpie, pull in to the Opal Fossicking area (2km out of town), and enjoy some time fossicking for opal. This is a Council run site so no permit is required.
From here you can either head back in to town or follow the signs to Baldy Top Lookout, approx. 5km from the Fossicking area to enjoy an Outback Sunset. A perfect end to a day of exploring the Quilpie Shire. (TIP: Before you head out to Eromanga of a morning order a hamper from the Heritage Inn in Quilpie to pick up in the afternoon and take with you to enjoy at Baldy Top).
For more information on things to do in the Quilpie Shire visit: www.visitquilpieshire.com