Tablelands - Brisbane Road Trip via internal routes and coastal road.

Submitted: Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 23:44
ThreadID: 102577 Views:1982 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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I am planning a June school holidays road trip from the Tablelands (where i live in FNQ) to Brisbane with the family. 2 kids under six in a small camper and Ford Territory, RWD (not AWD so no just gravel no real off roading). I want to go down inland and come back on the coast or vice versa. Is the following a good route...we want to stop on the way to see touristy things like views, mining towns, etc...This is my first long trip in Australia with kids.


Sat June 22nd

Day 1 ...Atherton to Beliyando Crossing via Greenvale/Charters towers on the Gregory. I don't want to stop north of Charters as we have travelled this area. How long will this take...est about 10h (leave by 6am and get there around 6pm with stops)

Day 2
June 23... Morning look around and on to Emerald on theGregory. Est 3h (or should we just go on the Gorge? and spend 2 nights there)

Day 3 ... Travel to Carnovan Gorge (Album Falls camp) via Rewan road. Camp. Est 3h.

Day 4... Leave mid day for Roma via Carnovan Access Road to Wiesly. Est 3h

Day 5... Dalby via the Warrego Hwy (or if there is nothing interesting en-route just drive through to Gold Coast). Est 3h.

June 27
Day 6... To Gold Coast and with family till July 5. Est 4h

Day trips from Gold Coast (to be planned)

July 5
Tin Can Bay / Rainbow Beach via Cooloola Way or if 4wd required via Gympie to Hervey Bay. Est 4h (or just direct to Fraser)

July 6
Hire 4wd for day or overnight camp on Fraser Island (day/overnight trip)

July 7
Drive to Mount Etna Caves National Park, The Caves, North of Rokhapton on Bruce via Maryborough (Est 4h).

July 8
Caves NP explore

July 9
Drive to Mackay (Est 3h)

July 10
Drive to Atherton via Townsville and Innisfail
Est 10h

Is there anything we should drop or are there must includes in this. We aren't into fishing or long hikes but would like to explore the views, enjoy a swim etc. Not interested in anything North of Charters Towers or Arlie Beach as we have done these trips / can do them on long weekends.

For the overnight enroute camps we want to stay at free or low cost sites (rather than the $35+ places like Big4 sites) - how do I get a list of these around towns such as Roma, Emerald etc (is a good resource?)?

Thank you all,
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Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 00:52

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 00:52
Hi George

I cannot comment on much of your planned routes but have travelled some of these areas.

The best printed resource for free and low cost is Camps Australia Wide 7 which can be purchased through the EO shop. This is reliable as it is kept up to date via their website for camp closures and changes. I print the update pages for the places were will be travelling through before each trip and keep them in the car with the Camps book.

At Carnarvon Gorge whilst there are three short walks without the need to enter the Gorge, the Gorge itself is a long walk trail with many side features. This walk would not really be suitable for young children. I do not know what you mean by Album Falls camp. To see Carnarvon Gorge there is little option but to stay at the expensive but well appointed Tararakka campground. If you Google " We wanted to know how many days we should spend at Carnarvon Gorge to see most of the sights" you will find a question and answer page giving details of the walk at Carnarvon Gorge.

At Roma Visitor Centre the history of the early chance discovery of oil and natural gas at Roma is showcased, although this may not hold the interest of your little ones.

We free camped at Judds Lagoon Yuleba and at Chinchilla Weir. We went past Dalby and enjoyed a weekend at Jondaryan Woolshed, where historic buildings have been brought together with machinery and animal displays. It has interest for all age groups and is a quiet rural camping area.

I hope this is a start for you.



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AnswerID: 512489

Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 14:09

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 14:09

With kids 8 years and older we have twice spent 3 days at Canarvon Gorge and still wanted to stay longer. However with young kids that would be different, as the main walk is about 20-25km return with "mandatory" sidetrips.
The thing I would be taken into consideration for you is how cold it will be at night for your children. Though the days will be great, becuase of cold nights I'd be minimising time in June from CQ south camping with young children in the inland and as much as it pains me to say it, maximising your time on the coast.
Freebairn Dam 20-30km south of Emerald is a good place to camp (CP) overnight instead of Emerald.

AnswerID: 512504

Follow Up By: George C - Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 22:16

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 at 22:16
Thanks...we recently moved to Australia.

I thought the best time to visit anywhere north of Rocky is during winter especially North Qld and the Center (Alice Springs) etc...both due to rain in the summer and the heat...

We are driving down to Adelaide and Melbourne during Christmas so I could do Carnovan then but won't it be very hot?

Cold nights should not be to much of an issue as we have a Caravan...just pack warm blankies or I guess we can stay at a powered site at

Thanks for the reminder though -I will probably look more at places with powered campsites but minimal facilities rather than free sites to keep the costs low.

Is there much to see in Emerald itself?
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