Jun 21, 2021
Your Guide to Hughenden
Hughenden is an incredibly beautiful slice of Queensland perched on the edge of a vast prehistoric sea. The region is filled with the history of marine and terrestrial dinosaurs, the glory days of sheep production, national parks with canyons, waterfalls, and landscapes that stretch seemingly forever, art trails capturing sculptures, mega-art on silos and more.
Getting to HughendenYou can arrive to this charming and historic town via plane, rail, bus as well as driving. Nestled in Queensland’s rugged outback, Hughenden is situated on the Overlanders Way approximately half way between Townsville and Mt Isa.
Mt Isa & Townsville to Hughenden
The fully sealed Flinders Highway (Overlanders Way) takes drivers from Townsville 376 km west to Hughenden. Alternatively drivers can travel 519 km East of Mt Isa on the same road.
Hughenden to Richmond
Hughenden is approximately 1 hours drive, 115 km east of Richmond along Flinders Highway.
Bus Queensland runs regular services between Townsville and Mt Isa that take a break in Hughenden. Greyhound Australia runs a service between Townsville and Tennant Creek in Northern Territory via the Flinders Highway that passes through Hughenden.
REX airlines fly to the town with regular flights multiple times per week.
Queensland Rail operates the Inlander passenger train giving travellers the opportunity to experience the rugged beauty of the outback with services twice weekly.
Top Things to do in Hughenden1.Silo Art by Famous DRAPL & Zookeeper
See DRAPL and The Zookeepers incredible silo art installation on the on the town’s first water tank at over 80 years old. There’s a second water tank, so you can expect a second piece of art to follow!
2.Discover Porcupine Gorge
Uncover the magic of Australia’s ‘Little Grand Canyon’ at Porcupine Gorge National Park in the Shire of Finders. You’ll find this breathtaking spot 1,174 km northwest of Brisbane and 60 km north of Hughenden. The region is home to the Yirendali Aboriginal people who welcome visitors and ask that everyone respects their beautiful land. The area was named after the deep permanent waterholes that appear to have been speared into the ground by a giant porcupine rolling about! They are in great contrast to the towering sandstone cliffs, pockets of forest and the endless savanna plains surrounding the craters.
3.Visit the Flinders Discover Centre
Over 3000 dinosaur fossils have been discovered in the district including the famous Muttaburrasaurus as well as the Hughenden Sauropod, Queensland Pterosaur and a variety of other marine reptiles such as shells, molluscs and fish.
These relics of history from the cretaceous period, are captured beauituflly in the Flinders Discovery Centre.
We’d be amiss not to mention Hughie, a 7-metre life size skeletal replica of a Muttaburrasaurus, the ornithopods that roamed the area just over 100 million years ago. Interestingly 60% of Hughie is fossilised bones recovered from the area! There are four specimens of the same kind roaming the fringes of the Great Inland Sea.
BONUS: Don’t miss ‘Mutt’ next door – a full-bodied Muttaburrasaurus!
4.Snap a shot at #HughendenLookout
Situated 10 km south of town, Mount Walker boasts 6 spectacular look outs, including the famous Hughenden Lookout, as well as Raey Lookout, Jardine Valley Lookout, Mount Etna Lookout, Sunset Lookout, and Ironbark Lookout. Each offers 360 degree views standing over 450 m above sea level. You’ll find the entrance 8km down Muttaburra Road.
5.Drive down Basalt Byway
Witness a land untouched on your drive down Basalt Byway. The scenic drive takes you through picturesque volcanic basalt countryside, dotted with excellent lookouts, flora and fauna as well as a number of four-wheel drive tracks including the epic Eromanga Sea Byway which follows the edge of the prehistoric sea where it once lapped.
6.Marvel at Kooroorinya Falls
This secluded waterfall calls visitors into Kooroorinya Falls National Park to marvel at it’s beauty in the wet season and appreciate the billabong at its base in the dry months. There is plenty more to do in the area including bird watching, fishing and walks.
Hughenden National Parks & MountainsThe area, rich in natural beauty, has been graced with six epic regions to visit.
Porcupine Gorge National ParkAustralia’s Little Grand Canyon is home to cool flowing creeks, towering sandstone cliffs, deep permanent waterholes, and dense forests.
The gorge is a dominant feature that reveals abundant insight into the spanning hundreds of millions of years of geological history with layers of basalt, sandstone and more in it’s strata of sedimentary rocks.
Mount WalkerThe mountainous region boasts not only incredible waterholes and an enormous gorge, but also a well mapped out mountain walk that features 6 incredible lookouts to appreciate the vistas. Named after explorer William Landsborough after Frederick Walker this is a must-see for any budding photographer.
White Mountains National ParkThe appropriately named park features a complex gorge system characterised by brilliant white sandstone formations that cover an impressive 108 000 hectares of rugged outback Queensland terrain.
During dry season the land is arid; however, wet season brings the region to life as a catchment for streams and rivers that venture south and eventually feed into South Australia’s Lake Eyre and the Gulf of Carpentaria.
This remote area is relatively undeveloped and should only be explored by the most experienced and well-equipped bushwalkers.