Photo of a waterfall flowing into a pool | Featured image for Outback Queensland Road Trips blog for East Coast Car Rentals.

Queensland has more to offer than pristine beaches and if you’re looking for a new adventure in Queensland, it’s time to head to the Outback. With open skies and rugged roads, Outback Queensland is safe for eager adventurers and families. There are plenty of great Outback Queensland road trips to take, so you can explore at your own pace. Whether you’re looking for a short trip or a long journey, there’s something for everyone.

Outback Queensland is a unique and untouched region of Australia that is waiting to be explored, and there’s no better way to do it than with East Coast Car Rentals. At one of several airport car hire locations across the Queensland coast, you can hit the road and start exploring all that the Outback has to offer. If you’re wondering what the right Outback Queensland road trips are to take, we’ve compiled a list of routes to consider, depending on how much time you have and which direction you choose to head in.

Popular routes through Outback Queensland

Brisbane to Carnarvon Gorge

Beginning at our Brisbane Airport car rentals depot, head north-west to Carnarvon Gorge. Known for its towering sandstone cliffs and swimming holes, as well as a biosphere that is home to 173 species of birds, 60 mammals, and 90 types of reptiles, Carnarvon Gorge is a unique wilderness that has been preserved since 1932. The national park is also known for its Aboriginal rock art and engravings as well as free-hand paintings, carved into the sandstone walls.

This location is ideal for serious hikers and families as Carnarvon Gorge offers not only day walks but shorter trails to explore the park and is best to visit during the winter months of April­­ – September. For a full Outback experience, stop at Toowoomba or Roma to refuel and refresh and experience some of Australia’s Outback towns.

Winton to Tambo

Perfect for first timers on Queensland road trips, the road from Winton to Tambo is sure to impress. Stretch this five-hour trip over a few days to properly explore this region of Outback Queensland. Start in Winton, where the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and the Waltzing Matilda Museum will excite children of all ages, before heading to Longreach to view an exhibit of aeroplane artifacts and displays. Head to Blackall, famous for its shearing industry, before grabbing a soft and cuddly souvenir in the Tambo Teddies workshop in Tambo.

Gold Coast to Cameron Corner

Start this Outback road trip at our Coolangatta car hire airport depot and head south-west, leaving the ocean in your rear-view mirror. Cameron Corner meets three state borders – Queensland, South Australia, and New South Wales. Due to its hot, arid climate, Cameron Corner is best to visit in the winter months when the region is still warm but not overbearingly hot. Enjoy the mud baths at Eulo and explore the Burke and Wills Dig Tree, a heritage-listed eucalyptus tree.

Rockhampton to Barcaldine

For road adventures across the red dirt, head down Capricorn Way. This driving route from Rockhampton to Barcaldine will take you through some unusual sights, like a giant replica of Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Gemfields, ancient Aboriginal sites and geological landmarks, before landing in Barcaldine, where you can try a cup of Indigenous coffee at Coolamon Coffee. With four days being the recommended time to complete this trip, this road trip is perfect for couples or families looking for something short but memorable.

Townsville to Camooweal

For a northern Outback adventure rich with history and unique animals, start at Townsville and make your way through to Camooweal. As you leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll find yourself entering a world of vast open spaces and natural beauty. Upon travelling further into the Outback, keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos, emus, and the Texas longhorn cattle. Inland fishing and the Gold Rush history can be found in Charters Towers before you eventually reach your destination of Camooweal.

Located on the border of Queensland and the Northern Territory, it’s the perfect place to explore the Outback further. There are plenty of hiking and camping opportunities in the area, so make sure to take advantage of them.

Cairns to Burketown

This trip begins on the Great Barrier Reef, and although you won’t want to depart from this beautiful Australian landmark, trust us when we say you won’t regret it. This Outback adventure features tropical rainforests and red dirt country and begins at our Cairns airport car rentals depot in far north Queensland. From Cairns, head west through the rainforest-covered Atherton Tablelands and enjoy its towering mountains, pristine rivers, and lush rainforest.

You may even spot some exotic wildlife along the way! The landscape changes dramatically as you head further west past Mount Garnet, where the land becomes dry and barren. But even in this remote part of Australia, there are still plenty of things to see and do. Pass through the small towns of Cloncurry and Julia Creek before reaching your final destination, Burketown, a tiny Outback town situated on the banks of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Don’t forget your fishing rods so you can enjoy some of Australia’s best fishing.