School is out for another year and families have started travelling across North West Queensland for the festive season.The North West Star interviewed 20 locals to get their insight on the top tourist destinations around the region. Here is our list:
1- Drovers Camp
The Drovers Camp is situated 188-kilometres west of Mount Isa on the Barkly Highway one-kilometre from Camooweal on the eastern outskirts. Here the droving era of Australia is being preserved for future generations and recognizes the contribution of drovers to the development of the nation’s cattle industry in the way of a Memorabilia Shed and a Gallery housing photos, maps, artwork and general memorabilia.
2- Adels Grove and Lawn Hill
Adels Grove is adjacent to Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and provides gorgeous spring-fed waterways. If you don’t feel like swimming leisurely cruises through the gorge are provided or you can hire a canoe and explore the gorge yourself.
Adels Grove is situated about 293km north-east of Mount Isa past Riversleigh Station through O’Shannassy and Gregory Rivers and past Riversleigh Fossil Fields. Partly sealed road but a 4WD is recommended as there are three concrete causeways over rivers that can be slippery.
3- Gregory River
Gregory Downs is a very small community, situated on the banks of the Gregory River which is too beautiful to pass by. The spring-fed limestone country, has its fast flowing, crystal clear water and is excellent for swimming and camping and to sit back and appreciate the natural beauty of the Gulf Savannah.
The Gregory is 446km north of Mount Isa via Cloncurry- partly sealed.
4- Hard Times Underground Mine
Located in Mount Isa you will descend into the mine in the Alimak Cage, you begin to explore the history of mining as the guides enthral you with their stories of the good times and the hard times that are had working deep under the earth. You’ll see how the tunnels are formed and shaped by the majestic boom drills and mucking units.
5- Porcupine Gorge in Hughenden
Porcupine Gorge highlights towering cliffs of sandstone, vine forest and deep waterholes along the creek, making it a very popular stop for tourists.
Known as Australia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’ with its cool, clear, flowing, towering cliffs of vibrant coloured sandstone and dense vegetation. The Gorge can be appreciated from the two lookouts or intermittent waterholes.
Porcupine Gorge is located approximately 60 kilometres north of Hughenden.
6- Devils Marbles
The Devils Marbles are huge granite boulders scattered across a wide, shallow valley, 393 km north of Alice Springs and 760 km south of Katherine.
The Devils Marbles are located in the traditional country of the Warumungu, Kaytetye, Alyawarra and Warlpiri people.
Formed by erosion over millions of years, the Devils Marbles are made of granite, which surfaces like an island in the desert. They vary in size, from 50 centimetres up to six metres across.
7- Northern Territory and Queensland border
Jump from state to state at the Northern Territory and Queensland border. Located 15 minutes west of Camooweal you can grab a classic photo with the border’s signs.
8- Mary Kathleen Town and Uranium Mine
Mary Kathleen is located in the Cloncurry Mineral Fields 56-kilometres east of Mount Isa on the Barkly/Flinders Highway. You can drive through the remains of the once thriving uranium mining town and experience the ghost town atmosphere. A short drive through the town and off-road you can look down into the abandoned uranium mine with turquoise water that’s colour changes throughout the day.
9- Fountain Springs
Fountain Springs is an off-road adventure with the turn off from the highway located 60.7-kilometres from Mount Isa. Following the track to Ballara, passing by the Corella River and the site of the old Ballara township, to Fountain Springs, travllers will witness a permanent waterhole with abundant birdlife.
10- Kronosaurus Korner
Visiting Australia’s premier marine fossil museum, Kronosaurus Korner, is a prehistoric adventure where visitors can see some of the most awe inspiring marine creatures. Located in Richmond.