Calling all DIY dykes—QLD Outback could be your destiny.

A woman travelling into the wilds of Australia is more common than you might think. Many women tow off-road caravans, camper trailers, or car-top tent setups, and many lesbians who own a 4WD or All Wheel Drive vehicle want to put their gear to the test. Yes, lesbians love their camping, and Australia presents one of the world’s best opportunities for adventure in the Great Outdoors: the Outback.

Australia has a backyard to suit any level of on- and off-road driving you could want to try.

Outback Queensland is a place that mesmerizes and inspires you with its vast open spaces, long straight roads and amazing ancient landscapes. Rich red sand dunes against the brilliance of a huge blue sky and after early winter rain, fields of yellow and white wildflowers cover the dunes.

A great way to get the most out of a visit to Outback Queensland is to travel with people that have been showcasing this region for many years. Deb and Graham, who own and operate Travel West Tours (travelwest.com.au), are based in Charleville. Their tours operate as 4WD Tag Along Tours to Birdsville, Innamincka and the Corner Country. People just love this as they get to travel in the privacy of their own vehicle but know that Graham and Deb are up front and there if they need any help. The driving is not extreme and going with Travel West will mean you don’t drive past places of significance. The tour goes for 7 days and includes motel accommodation (bliss) and all meals. Travel West caters for non-smokers only and people have applauded their decision. To do this trip you need a 4WD with high/low ratio, a second spare tire, a vehicle navigation system such as a UHF radio, and fuel capacity to cover 600km. If you’re towing a camper trailer or van you can leave this for the week you’re on tour at Charleville Bush Caravan Park or if you need accommodation, Charleville Bush Cottage is a great option (charlevillecaravanpark.com.au)

Departing Charelville we travel west through an avenue of mulga trees and onto Quilpie, famous for its magnificent opals. A visit to the opal altar features local artwork—country people are amazing artists and their passion is shown through their finished works.

Explore the area and learn about the pioneering pastoral Durack family (depicted in the classic Australian novel Kings in Grass Castles) before reaching Cooper Creek. Our overnight stop is Windorah, and an afternoon cocktail at the homestead-style Western Star Hotel & Motel (westernstarhotel.com.au) will make you feel like you are in Outback Queensland. 

Birdsville is the next destination for two nights. Many Aussies have always wanted to visit the iconic pub in this remote little town, made famous by the Birdsville Races. The races are a special annual event held on the first weekend in September and one for the ‘bucket list.’

Another bucket list feat: a drive up Big Red, the tallest sand dune in the Simpson Desert. Imagine the feeling of standing on top of the dune and taking in the vastness and silence at your feet, and then traversing further into the Simpson Desert over many more dunes before Deb’s legendary pot of tea and some of the best Anzac biscuits ever! Imagine the remoteness travelling in your own vehicle, battling the elements to Cordillo Downs, once Australia’s largest sheep station (it’s about 3,000 square miles), famous for shearing over 85,000 sheep in one season. Then onto the famous Dig Tree, a heritage-listed “coolibah” where ill-fated explorers Burke & Wills kept their supplies. On the way to Innamincka, look out for large flocks of corellas (a species of white cockatoo) by the waterhole. We spend two nights at Innamincka, one of the most remote tourist destinations in the world, but with first class accommodation and meals! Burke & Wills made Innamincka famous as it’s nearby to where they perished back in 1861, but today it’s famous as a classic tiny Outback settlement.

Follow the Strzelecki Track to Cameron Corner, where the borders of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia meet. We dine out at the Cameron Corner Store—it is yet to be Michelin star rated, but you will experience the best money can buy. As we head out we travel through the Dingo Barrier Fence, across the New South Wales border and onto the quaint little town of Tibooburra. Granite boulders are a feature of the landscape and the town has two great pubs. We will spend two nights here.

Your adventure comes to an end in Tibooburra after breakfast, and if you didn’t need to go back to Charleville to pick up your van, you could continue south to Broken Hill and beyond, east via Wanaaring to Bourke or continue to be amazed at all Outback Queensland has to offer by heading north to Noccundra (great historic pub there), onto Thargomindah, Eulo and Cunnamulla—there’s plenty to see along the way.

You will experience why people fall in love with Outback Queensland—there is so much beauty and history, not to mention the characters you will meet along the way.    

 

*This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of LOTL. 

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