Home' LOTL : Jan 15 Contents 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 mesmerises 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 pasto-
ral Durack family (depicted in the classic Australian novel
Kings in Grass Castles) before reaching Cooper Creek.
Our overnight stop is Windorah, and an afternoon cock-
tail 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 vast-
ness 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
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.
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.
Calling all DIY dykes—QLD Outback could be your destiny.
BY LYNNE HOCKING
34 lotl.com • Lesbians On The Loose Magazine
FEATURE | TRAVEL
8/12/14 2:28 PM
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