A life enriching Australian outback adventure to the Corner Country where three States meet. Offering an emotional connection to a vast and beautiful desert heartland and Spirit of Australia. Visit the Sturt National Park, legendary Cooper Creek and Channel Country, Burke and Wills Dig Tree, the remote outposts of Birdsville and Innamincka – experience the “land of infinity” – 14 days departs Brisbane
Single Supplement AUD$751. Special Discounts apply to this tour. See Clause 4 of the Terms and Conditions. Early Bird price reverts to the Regular Price 6 months prior to each tour departure date. Minimum number of guests for this tour is 7.
2018 prices available and bookings received from mid 2017. Meanwhile register your interest for pre-release advice.
Picture yourself, standing alone on a million acre property, gazing at the vast horizon and curvature of the earth.
The far ranging big Red Kangaroos, families of curious Emus, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Whistling Kites, tall and graceful Brolgas, stately Bustards and the endangered rabbit eared bandicoot or Bilby.
Whether you are born of the city or bush, the Corner Country tour is your chance to experience the heartland in comfort and style. It is here:
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Pre departure administration, meet ‘n greet and tour briefings in Brisbane the afternoon prior to departure.
You’ll commence your holiday with a leisurely highway and back road journey to St George across the Darling and Western Downs of Queensland with a tailgate picnic lunch en route. Recalling explorer pathways, Cobb & Co, coaching days, European settler challenges and Aboriginal displacement. Natural history focus will be on the Brigalow belt and Prickly Pear invasion, the Great Artesian Basin, outback bird and wildlife. Late afternoon, enjoy a visit to a self educated bushman and celebrated Emu Egg engraver.
Accommodation: a family motel in the regional town of St George.
You’ll continue travelling into the outback with a tea break at Bollon (pop 150) and lunch at Cunnumulla, home of folklore characters and heroes. Enjoy an afternoon visit to Eulo, the quirky village of strange monuments, bomb shelter, date farm and opal mining. You are in sheep, cattle, oil and gas country with bore water utilised in Australia’s first Hydro-Electric Scheme.
Dinner and overnight motel accommodation at the remote town of Thargomindah (pop 250)
Today you continue west to the remote outpost of Noccundra (pop 4) for lunch at its heritage listed stone pub, lovingly restored and sitting alone in the desert. You’ll then pass through the 5,291 kms long feral dog fence into NSW. Tibooburra is your base for two nights set amidst a pile of 450 million year old granite tors with a pub set in folklore, the watering hole of internationally renowned Australian artists, their works adorning the bar walls. Discover the town on foot and chat with the locals.
Dinner and accommodation for two nights – Tibooburra Family Hotel
The Outback School of the Air, Mt Wood outback pastoral station and the nearby ghost town of Milparinka will be featured today. Visit Preservation Creek where inland explorer Charles Sturt and his expedition were trapped for a long hot 6 months then in contrast enjoy a refreshment at the Albert Hotel (1882) built in heady gold rush times. Spot the Wedge-tailed Eagles, the big Red Kangaroos and Emu which feature on Australia’s coat of arms as you commence your visit to the Sturt National Park.
Enjoy a remote 4WD journey through the back tracks of Sturt National Park, desert country strewn with colourful flat top mesas, periodic wetlands surrounded by white sands, transforming to the rolling red sand ridges of the Strzelecki Desert. Arrive at isolated Cameron Corner (Pop 2 or 3) where three state borders meet, the sole lonely outpost for refuelling thirsty vehicles and hungry adventurers. After lunch you’ll travel through a million acre desert cattle station and onto our overnight accommodation for two nights at Epsilon Station. Your hosts are a hard working young family, leading producers of organic export beef. Travel through endless red sand ridges, and across vast clay pans, recounting the legend of one of Australia’s most daring cattle stealing drives, the stories of pioneering Afghan Cameleers and the cattle king, Sir Sidney Kidman.
Accommodation: Outback Station quarters with shared facilities for 2 nights.
Time for you to relax and immerse in the life and activities of a remote outback station.
You travel to the village of Innamincka (pop 10) nestled on the banks of Cooper Creek, beside Innamincka Station once owned by Sidney Kidman and contemplate the floods which have all but destroyed the town on various occasions. You’ll visit significant sites of the ill fated Burke and Wills north-south trans Australia expedition, the legendary Coolibah Tree on Nappa Merrie Station protected and managed by the Royal Historical Society, the Dig Tree and Face Tree, the grave site memorials to these intrepid explorers.
The Outamincka Bar of the Innamincka Pub fills with local and transient characters. Aboriginal rock engravings and trade routes of old are located near the Cullyamurra and other water holes, home to large numbers of Pelicans and inland water birds.
Accommodation: The Innamincka Pub motel suites for two nights
Today will involve a visit to Coongie Lakes National Park, an accredited Ramsar wetlands site, or other Cooper Creek sites noted for their extensive bird populations, particularly after summer floods have arrived thousands of kilometres from the northern seasonal monsoonal rains. This is also a mid tour optional rest day should you so desire.
You travel one of the most remote tracks of Australia through the Innamincka Regional Reserve crossing dry water courses and artesian bore sites, visiting the heritage listed and once Australia’s largest shearing shed in the heart of the desert, and later the Cadelga Station ruins. Stories of camel teams, Aboriginal shepherds, and the cruel response of nature to attempted European settlement abound as you cross the endless gibber plains.
You arrive in Birdsville (pop 100) and the motel suites of the iconic Birdsville Pub, accommodation for 2 nights.
Legendary Birdsville, located on a ridge, stuck between two deserts was once described by early explorers as “a desperate region having no parallel on earth” but today has become the mysterious magnet for those who seek the therapy of isolation far from city noise and pollution and an amazing diversity of birds. There are Billabongs and Waddy Trees, the Diamantina River and quirky town enterprises to discover. In the afternoon you’ll visit the edge of the Simpson Desert to climb Big Red the largest of 1100 parallel red sand ridges hundreds of kilometres long and brilliantly fired by the setting sun. The full senses of desert isolation and vast horizons provide an emotional ending to the day.
Today you travel away from the desert heartland for Windorah (pop 80), through country that inspired the poetry of our most celebrated bush poet. There are ruins, flood channels and red sandhills, the channel country producing flood water overflows on a 64 kms front. There are legendary rivers, the Barcoo, the Thompson, the Cooper and the village of Windorah where pioneers, the Duracks, commenced construction of the local hotel (1878).
Accommodation: Village hotel or Cabins
We leave Windorah, travelling east initially on a highway run toward Quilpie with breaks at settlements numbering 2 to 6 people. We deviate on back roads to Eromanga, centrally located in a great artesian basin of the same name. Here the internationally standard Eromanga Natural History Museum has been established to receive, process, conserve and showcase the fossils, natural and cultural heritage of the upper Lake Eyre/ Cooper Basin. The Museum has access to 70 significant dinosaur and megafauna sites and has become a centre of excellence for arid Australia palaeontology with its laboratory, collection room and informative tour guides.
Accommodation: Quilpie Motor Inn
We continue homeward bound for an overnight stop in Roma. Part way we visit Charleville with its Cosmos Centre and an introduction to Aboriginal dreamtime cosmology. Our prime interest will be viewing a solitary, nocturnal omnivorous marsupial called the Greater Bilby which has enjoyed the fascination of international visitors and even Royalty. This endangered species is otherwise known as the Rabbit Eared Bandicoot sporting a silky grey coat, long tail, long snout, long sticky tongue, great sense of smell and large hairless ears. Later we catch up with a \”bushie\” who presents a captivating account of how he and his enterprising family have survived the hardships and ravages of the Australian bush during droughts and flooding rains. His remote property is home to large populations of Brolga, Bustards and other birds. We then motor on to Roma for an early evening arrival and dinner at the Roma Explorers Inn.
Following casual travel breaks at the rural service centres of Miles, Dalby and Toowoomba we follow the Warrego Highway back to Brisbane reflecting on a unique journey to the heartland: vastness, isolation, uncanny silence, star filled horizons, colour, contact with outback characters, abundant bird and wildlife, heroic and fateful explorer history, properties as big as nations.
Somewhere in all this you will have discovered the Australian spirit.
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