Taste More Farm Life on this Outback QLD Road Trip from Townsville

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There’s nothing so iconically Australian as an outback adventure, and a road trip from Townsville is tantalisingly within reach. Generations of Australians have grown up hearing legendary stories of cattle ranchers and pioneers, stunning red soil landscapes, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Now you can take your little Australians to taste farm life in North Queensland’s outback around Townsville and the west.

Our family adventure will take you west of Townsville along the Flinders Highway, with an easily accessible little diversion south of Townsville, too.

Travelling past sugar cane plantations and tropical fruit orchards, rivers and mountains, grazing lands and open plains, our suggestions will take you to some spectacular outback farming locations. Get ready to experience incredible cattle and livestock, horsemanship and cattle driving, and rural farm life, and learn exactly how many of our foods are produced when you taste farm life in Queensland’s north-west.

Road trip from Townsville map

Below is the map of where to find these Western QLD places to taste farm life.

Leahton Park – Texas Longhorn Tours

If your kids love farm tours, then booking a Texas Longhorn tour is an absolute must! Although you won’t see the traditional cattle on this tour, here you’ll find the unique Texas Longhorn. These fascinating, huge horned cattle originate all the way from Texas – USA, so this really is where the Queensland outback meets the Wild West!

The property is located just 10km north of Charters Towers and owners Lynda and Mick are only too happy to show you around. Tours start with a film that gives you a good overview of the history of the Texas Longhorn, as well as life on the property. You then head over to the “love shack”, where Lynda explains how they breed the cattle on the property.

Next is where the real fun begins– time to take a safari of the property. There are two modes of transport on offer: a traditional horse-drawn wagon ride or a more modern Polaris Ranger buggies. As you tour the property, your guide will point out the cattle and tell you more about them. You’ll also get plenty of time to take photographs of these unique animals.

After the property tour, it’s time for some yummy smoko. You’ll have billy tea and some scrumptious homemade sweets. And don’t forget to check out the horns of JR before you leave. Previously a Guinness World Record Holder, JR’s horns, which span more than 100 inches, are on display in the JR Gallery of Horns– it’s a great photo opportunity.

In addition to Texas Longhorns, other animals on the property include African Ankole Watusi, Mexican Sardo Negro, Indian Gyr, American Bison, Scottish Highland and Asian Water Buffalo. You won’t see such an eclectic range of cattle anywhere else in Australia!

Opening Hours: Wagon Tour is Wednesdays at 9 am and Safari Tour is daily at 9 am, except on Wednesdays.

Address: 441 Urdura Road, Charters Towers

Website: Visit the Leahton Park website here.

Facebook: Visit their Facebook page here.

Corella Creek Country Farm Stay

For a totally relaxing and authentic farm stay experience that kids will love, head to Corella Creek Country Farm Stay 50kms from Julia Creek in North Queensland. Corella Creek offers a peaceful haven for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city-suburban living and experience life on a real outback working farm.

Guests at the farm can help with feeding the animals and birds and collecting the free-range eggs. There’s also a sanctuary on site for injured and orphan animals, both domestic and wild, so there may be some cuddling and bottle-feeding to be done too! As a former teacher Georgi, your host, is always keen to share her cooking and animal husbandry knowledge with children and families. Georgi also runs a well-stocked café of locally produced and homemade Australian outback cuisine.

Corella Creek Country Farm Stay is home to cows, goats, sheep, ducks, hens, and abundant native fauna. For a little while it can be home to you, too. Accommodation is budget but very highly rated. You can camp in your own tent or caravan or stay in self-contained studio rooms. You could even experience bathing under the stars in naturally heated artesian water in your private bathtub!

Things to experience at Corella Creek Country Farm Stay include:

  • animal care
  • wildlife rescue secrets revealed
  • art gallery
  • campfire gatherings and barbecues
  • picnics
  • fishing for redclaw
  • developing eco-village and shop

You can drive to Corella Creek Country Farmstay (it’s just off Flinders Highway) or fly into Julia Creek airport for a free airport transfer. Just remember to book at least 24 hours in advance.

Opening Hours: Main tourist season is April to October

Address: Lot 1 Nelia Bunda Road, Nelia, QLD, 4823

Facebook: Visit their Facebook page here.

Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge & Campdraft

Cloncurry, around 780km west of Townsville, is real Australian cattle grazing country. It might feel like a trek to get out there, but the journey is worth it; Cloncurry is known as the “Friendly Heart of the Great North West” and the township has twice been crowned Queensland’s Friendliest Town.

There’s a surprising amount to see and do in this well-serviced outback town. Cloncurry is the birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and home to a commemorative museum. There are several lookouts and historical places to visit, lots of referencing to famous outback pioneers, and, of course, plenty of evidence that you are in cattle country!

For families wanting a true taste of outback ranching culture, a visit to the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge & Campdraft is a must.

Held annually since 1983, the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge & Campdraft showcases the equestrianism and cattle driving skills of real Australian ranchers. It has grown to become one of the greatest horse events in Australia, drawing competitors and spectators from all states. Campdrafting is a unique Australian sport whereby a rider separates one cow or bull from the herd in a small yard and steers it around a set course to demonstrate their horse’s manoeuvrability and their own skill as a rider.

The event takes place over five action-packed days in July, when the weather is dry with a comfortable average maximum temperature of 26 degrees. This year’s family friendly event is scheduled for 12-17 July, with demonstrations from adult and junior riders, food and market stalls, entertainment, and FREE camping.

We recommend hiring a campervan in Townsville– or packing the 4WD with a tent– and following the Overlander’s Way. Your adventure will take you through Charters Towers, Hughenden, and Julia Creek before finishing your journey at the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge & Campdraft.

You can camp onsite amongst the competitors and visitors where you can share campfire hospitality and hear stories of genuine outback life.

Opening Hours: Daily 12–17 July, 2022 (annual July event)

Address: Hensley Drive, Cloncurry

Website: Visit the Cloncurry Challenge website here.

Facebook: Visit their Facebook page here.

Achacha Tropical Fruit Plantation

What is achacha? We’re glad you asked! Achacha is a highly prized tropical fruit originating from Bolivia’s Amazon Basin. It has a sweet, tangy, refreshing flavour quite unlike anything else in your fruit bowl, and you can get you hands on it at Palm Creek’s Achacha Tropical Fruit Plantation!

The Achacha Tropical Fruit Plantation is the first of its kind in the world. The trees were planted in 2003 and the first fruits harvested in 2009. A visit to the Plantation will teach you all about the fruit and its uses, and there’s a whole lot more to experience there too.

Achacha Tropical Fruit Plantation is certified organic. Visitors can learn about and observe a variety of regenerative and low-impact agricultural practices in action.

Bees pollinate the Achacha blossom, and you can see them creating the Achacha Blossom Honey in the flow hives (and then buy some for your toast!). The Plantation also produces mangoes, soursops, star apples, star fruit and other delicious exotic fruits.

Chickens also live at Achacha Tropical Fruit Plantation, enjoying the luxury of the state-of-the-art Solar Powered Chicken Caravan!

Achacha Tropical Fruit Plantation is open to visitors seasonally, and offers a wonderful lesson in tropical horticulture.

Address: 34348 Bruce Highway, Palm Creek, QLD, 4809

Website: Visit the Achacha website here.

Facebook: Visit their Facebook page here.

A family holiday to North Queensland is a great opportunity for kids to taste farm life in a variety of forms, from ranching to small homestead and growing market produce. The immersive learning experience is far more memorable than any they would get in the classroom and encompasses so much more.

Road trip from Townsville

If you haven’t time for the big drive up there, you can fly into Townsville Airport to pick up a hire car, or fly from Townsville to Julia Creek airport to see the outback from the air. However you get there, you–and the friendly North Queensland locals–will be glad that you visited!

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