Self Drive Routes
You could spend a week driving around the Central Highlands - it is a perfect place to enjoy magnificent scenery, explore at your own pace and to ‘get off the beaten track’. Stop at one of the Visitor Information Centres to pick up some suggestions for self-drive itineraries, a map, and some local knowledge on road and weather conditions. Routes vary in length from 2-3 hours, to a full days drive, so pack a picnic and enjoy the trip.
To get started, you might like to visit:
Springsure: Koalas, Farming and History.
This scenic route takes you to the top of Mt Zamia, which overlooks Springsure. Enjoy a picnic at Fred’s Gorge, or see for miles from one of the lookouts. Continue north through Eclipse Gap, along the Acturus Road where you may be lucky to spot a koala along Springsure Creek. The Orion area is some of the best agricultural country in Central Queensland, and was developed by the Queensland British Food Corporation after World War II to produce food to feed Britain. As you head back to Springsure, view the original road up the Staircase Range which was constructed by hand in the 1880s, out of the natural sandstone formation which gives the area its name.
Springsure: Beautiful Buckland.
"The Home of the Rivers" or “The Roof of Queensland ” are two common names for the spectacular Buckland Tableland. This section of the Great Dividing Range contains the headwaters of the Warrego, Maranoa, Comet, Nogoa and Barcoo Rivers. This tour will show you some beautiful panoramic views of the Buckland Tableland and the rugged beauty of the Buckland Gorge.
Capella : Bound for Bundoora Dam
This loop will take you through broadacre farming and grazing country of the foothills of majestic Peak Range. As you pass open cut mines, you may see one of the huge draglines in action – the Bowen Basin has one of the richest coal deposits in the country. Enjoy a picnic or a spot of fishing at the Bundoora Dam, and visit the local town of Tieri before returning to Capella.
Willow Gemfields Loop
There are several fossicking areas across the Gemfields. Fossicking licences are required if you want to try your luck, or visit one of the gem parks. There are tourist routes to the gemfields from Emerald or Capella.
Emerald : Lake Maraboon loop
Travelling from the Great Inland Way to the Capricorn Highway, you will see the irrigation channels which supply water to the town, local farms and coal mines. The Fairbairn Dam is a great spot to enjoy a picnic, fishing, swimming or boating.
On the Central Highlands, we really are in the middle of everything. Use the area as a base while you travel up to the historic gold-mining town of Clermont, east to Dingo and the Blackdown Tableland, or south to the spectacular Carnarvon Gorge. Any of the friendly staff at the visitor information centres can help you plan a trip to suit your interests. Drop in and see them soon!