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15 Things to do on the Sunshine Coast

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is just 100kms north of the capital city of Brisbane, a short 45-60 minute drive. There’s so many things to do when you are in this sensational region and we’ve compiled a list of 15 things you should do on the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast, known as the Sunny Coast to us locals, has numerous stunning stretches of beach and amazing National Parks to discover from the Coastline to the Hinterland.

There are beautiful waterfalls and a long list of activities and attractions.

Excellent Sunshine Coast accommodation is available for all types of visitors and the weather is generally perfect all year around.

Table of Contents

Our 15 Things you Must do on the Sunshine Coast

Here are 15 Things you really Must do on the Sunshine Coast.

Some are well known while a few others are much less notable but equally fun and perfect to experience during your stay on the Sunshine Coast.

15 Things you Must Do on the Sunshine Coast
Millie at Australia Zoo

1. Australia Zoo

Crikey mate, it’s Australia’s most infamous Zoo.

Australia lost an enormous icon when Steve Irwin left us but his legacy lives on through the must see Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

Home of the Crocodile Hunter you can visit so much amazing wildlife including dangerous animals like Salt Water Crocodiles, Tigers and venomous Snakes.

There are African Safari animals such as Giraffes, Cheetahs, Zebras and Rhinos plus you can see the world’s largest Koala Hospital.

When you purchase your entry ticket in to Australia Zoo it includes entry for the day from 9am to 5pm, all wildlife shows, children’s activities, Laughing Frog Waterpark and more.

Australia Zoo is one of 15 Things you must do on Sunshine Coast
Croc show at Australia Zoo
How to get to Australia Zoo:

Take Steve Irwin Way exit off the Bruce Highway north of Brisbane to Beerwah and follow the sign to Australia Zoo.

What to take with you:
  • Water, there are water fountains around the park to fill up your water bottles.
  • Food is allowed to be taken in to the Zoo and there are picnic grounds available to stop and enjoy your lunch.
  • Camera to capture those animal moments.
  • Comfortable shoes for a long day on your feet.
Big Karts is another thing you must do on the Sunny Coast
Big Karts Sunshine Coast

2. Big Karts

While in the area stop in for some action at the Big Kart Racetrack and get the adrenaline pumping with Karts that race up to 70kmh.

This is the largest Commercial Go Kart track in Australia and is going to get your competitive juices racing as you work hard to go quicker and compete to produce faster lap times.

It’s a perfect way to spend a few hours with your family and mates.

Family Day for Cameron's Birthday included Big Karts
Ready for Racing at Big Karts

Before setting off on laps around chicanes, bends and hair pins there will be safety training by staff and helmets will be provided.

Book your Big Kart Racetrack tickets and make your way to Steve Irwin Way at Landsborough on the Sunshine Coast and have a great time.

Beautiful Noosa National Park
Boiling Point in Noosa National Park

3. Noosa National Park Coastal Walk

The Noosa National Park is located near Noosa Heads and is the ideal location to spend yet again, another perfect Queensland day.

Noosa National Park Coastal Walk takes you around the Noosa Headland past pristine beaches and stunning views back to Noosa North Shore.

See Boiling Point Lookout, Dolphin Point, Lookout, Granite Bay, Fairy Pools, Hell’s Gates, Alexandria Bay and Devils Kitchen along a 4.2km return walk.

Please remember, no pets are allowed in Noosa National Park to protect the local wildlife.

Noosa National Park camping is not available however you can stay at Noosa North Shore Campground nearby. A quick Ferry ride over from Tewantin and make your way to the Campground.

Stunning Noosa National Park is one of the things you must do on the Sunshine Coast
Noosa National Park Coastal Walk
Where is it?

Noosa is 160kms north of Brisbane.

How to get there?

Follow Park Rd in Noosa along the ocean front until you reach the Noosa National Park Carpark. It gets very busy, you may need to be patient.

What to take?

It can be very hot in summer, take a wide brimmed hat, plenty of sunscreen, insect repellant and enough water. Wear good comfortable walking shoes.

In winter ensure you have a jacket as it can get very cold at the Headland.

Don’t forget your Phone and a Camera.

Where to stay?

For Camping and RV stays we suggest Coolum Beach Holiday Park or the Noosa North Shore Campground.

Eumundi Markets
Entry to Eumundi Markets

4. Eumundi Markets

Our Eumundi Markets Review

The Eumundi Markets began in 1979 as a way for local craftspeople to sell some wares in their local community.

Over the years the markets grew extraordinarily and today is one of Queensland’s largest and most popular market.

From Noosa to Eumundi Markets it is approximately a 21 km drive and will take you around 25-30 minutes.

There’s great shopping for clothing, shoes and local handmade craft and there is plenty of delicious food and places to eat.

How many stalls are at the Eumundi Markets?

There are 600 stalls and the markets attract 1.6 million visitors each year.

What day is the Eumundi Markets?

The Eumundi Markets days are every Wednesday and Saturday.

One of 15 Things to do on the Sunshine Coast - Eumundi Markets
Eumundi Markets
Eumundi Markets Parking & Pets

Parking at the Eumundi Markets is available and costs $6.  The Eumundi Markets is dog friendly but they must be maintained on a leash.

What are the Eumundi Markets hours?

The Eumundi Markets open every Wednesday from 8am to 1.30pm and every Saturday from 7am to 2pm.

Where are Eumundi Markets?

They are in the main street of town which is close to the Bruce Highway and is approximately a 90 minute drive north of Brisbane.

How to get there?

Travel on the Bruce Highway to the Sunshine Coast and take the Eumundi exit 224 and follow the signs. Otherwise you can enjoy the shuttle service direct from your Hotel on the Sunshine Coast to the Eumundi Markets and return.

How much does it cost?

Entry is Free, there’s $6 cost for parking.

While in town visit the Imperial Hotel, home to Eumundi Brewery for a great meal, a refreshing Ale and take a Free tour of the Brewery.

Buderim Falls also known as Serenity Falls
Under Buderim Falls in Buderim Forest Park

5. Buderim Forest Park, Sunshine Coast

The Buderim Forest Park is a hidden gem on a secluded 45 hectare of rainforest with waterfalls, streams and walking trails.

It is home to many animals including Paddymelons, Gliders and goannas while Black Cockatoos and Lorikeets are just some of the birds that call this Nature Reserve home.

This secret valley is also home to the beautiful Buderim Forest Park Waterfalls, otherwise known as Serenity Falls. You can view the falls from directly underneath or the bridge makes a perfect vantage spot.

As you follow the stream down from the waterfalls you will find small rock pools perfect to cool off on a hot Queensland summer day.

Enjoying the rock pools and small cascading water at Buderim Falls
Buderim Forest Park
How long is the walk to Buderim Falls?

There are 2 entries to Buderim Park Forest and we visited from Quorn Close. From there it was a short 600m walk to the Falls.

Are dogs allowed at Buderim Falls?

Buderim Park Forest is a Nature Reserve and therefore dogs and pets are not allowed.

What to take with you!!

Wear good comfortable shoes for some rock walking, drinking water, your phone and a camera.

The Race is on at Pomona King of the Mountain
Pomona King of the Mountain

6. Watch the Pomona King of the Mountain Run

To get a genuine understanding of this event, I recommend doing the climb yourself in the weeks or months prior to the event.

I’ve climbed a few mountains and whilst I’m a little older and less fit now, Mount Cooroora was without doubt my most challenging mountain climb.

By doing this climb yourself you will really appreciate the absurd fitness and skills of these athletes who race from the town centre uphill for over 1km just to get to the base of the mountain.

You will want some level of fitness to do this mountain. There are stages where it can get very challenging with very steep upright climbing involved.

I’m embarrassed to say it took me around 50 minutes to climb to the top and around 25 minutes to get back down.

And that’s just from the base, without the run to the mountain first and back. Jason who I started the climb with was much faster and was up within around 25 minutes and around 15 minutes to get back down.

At the top of Mount Cooroora
Mount Cooroora, Pomona
King of the Mountain Race

The Race Record was set in 2009 at 22 mins 43 seconds. That’s running to the mountain, climbing it up, back down and then running back to the start. It does my head in to think it’s even possible to do that.

The race is 4.2kms and the Mountain is 439m high. In comparison, nearby Mount Coolum which I have climbed twice is just 207m high.

The Pomona King of the Mountain race is held annually in July since 1979. Due to the events of 2020 the Race has had to be cancelled for the first time since it began.

The whole day is a wonderful event with a great carnival atmosphere. There’s market stalls, food, beverages and events to entertain.

It’s really worth spending the day at the Pomona King of the Mountain race and marvel at the incredible fitness of all the men and women involved.

Where is Pomona?

From Noosa to Pomona, a small hinterland town on the Sunshine Coast, it is just 30kms. Pomona is approximately 135kms north of Brisbane and is a short 10 minute drive from the Bruce Highway.

Read more: Our review of the Cooroy RV Stopover

Coolum Beach Surf Club - One of the Things to do on the Sunshine Coast
Coolum Beach Surf Club

7. Lunch or Dinner at Coolum Beach Surf Club

The Coolum Beach Surf Club is one of our favourite places to enjoy a meal or afternoon drinks on the Sunshine Coast.

Sensational views directly out over Coolum Beach in addition to good food and a great bar makes this the perfect place for a Sunday afternoon.

Coolum Surf Club Menu has an excellent variety and of course Seafood is a real specialty.

They also have a range of Pizzas on the menu and succulent steaks.

Dinner at Coolum Beach Surf Club
Dinner at Coolum Beach Surf Club

Coolum Surf Club Membership is just $10 if you would like to join.

The best thing is, for Coolum Beach accommodation the Coolum Beach Holiday Park which we really enjoy, is right next door. No need to count your drinks when visiting here.

Coolum is our favourite place on the Sunshine Coast, it has excellent beaches, less crowds and there’s plenty to do or as little as you would like.

The amazing Montville Clock Shop
Montville Clock Shop

8. Montville and Maleny

For the best things to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland head to Montville and Maleny.

What is there to do in Montville and Maleny?

When you visit you’ll find the Montville Shops which are really worth the time to explore and see the range of unique items for sale. My favourite is the Clock Shop, a huge array of modern and traditional time pieces.

Close to Montville is the Kondalilla Falls. Here you can take a beautiful rainforest walk through to Waterfalls and Swimming holes and enjoy the stunning views along the way.

How far is Montville from Maleny?

From Montville it’s just a short 15km drive to Maleny that will only take you about 15 minutes.

How far is Montville from Brisbane?

Brisbane is approximately 100kms north of Brisbane. It’s a very popular day trip for those from Australia’s third largest city and bike riders love the mountain ride up to the region.

A must thing to do on the Sunshine Coast is to have a Maleny Ice Cream
Ice Cream at Maleny Food Co

Along the way from Montville to Maleny is a number of places to stop, one of which is the Maleny Lookout.

There are a number of lookouts in the area and Gerrards Lookout provides extensive views over the valley back towards the Sunshine Coast beaches.

Also along the drive you will find Maleny Cheese and Maleny Dairy, both worth stopping in to check the tantalising tastes of cheese, yoghurts and other wonderful products.

Maleny Yoghurt is my favourite brand, so creamy and full of flavour.

Once you make it to town there’s some great Cafes and Maleny Ice Cream at the fabulous Maleny Food Co is one of our favourite in all of Australia.

The Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a beautiful region to visit. You won’t be disappointed.

Sea Life Aquarium - another thing you must do on the Sunshine Coast
A feeling of being underwater at Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast

9. Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast

Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast, formerly Underwater World is located at Mooloolaba near the wharf. It’s a Marine wonderland with an amazing array of sea life and beautiful creatures.

With over 3 levels of fun and entertainment there are animal encounters at every turn.

The underwater shark tunnel is an ocean adventure you have to experience. It is 80m long tunnel with views of Coral Reef and Caves and an marinelife including Grey Nurse Sharks, Stingrays, Eels, Reef Sharks and an assorted species of fish.

Each day there are Seal demonstrations and Sea Life Aquarium Sunshine Coast do a very important job as a rehabilitation centre for Turtles and Seals.

How long does it take to go through Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium?

There is a lot to see over 3 levels and shows. Allow yourself at least 90 minutes but it’s easy to spend a few hours enjoying the Seals and Sharks and finding Nemo.

The children will also have a great time with interactive displays and opportunities to meet the Seals and discover an Underwater World that they will certainly enjoy.

How to get there?

Sea Life Sunshine Coast Aquarium is on the Mooloolaba Spit next to the Mooloolaba Wharf. There is ample nearby parking with 3 or 4 hour time limits.

Head to Mooloolaba Spit along Parkyn Parade until you see Sea Life Aquarium on your right.

How much does Sea Life Aquarium cost?

You can book your discount tickets here for just $36 for Adults and $24.80 for Children.

What time does it open?

Opening hours are 9am to 3pm daily with last entry to visitors at 2pm. On School Holidays it is open until 5pm.

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Atlantic Clipper Full Day Sail is another fun and exciting experience in the Whitsundays. We can highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Tasmania’s best tours is the Tasman Island Cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys out of Port Arthur. Three hours of cruising the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoying an up close look at hundreds of seals as well as dolphins and birdlife.
A swim with the Humpback Whales is a must thing to do
Swim with Humpback Whales

10. Swim with Humpback Whales in the wild

One of our ultimate lifetime experiences was to swim with Humpback Whales in Western Australia and now you can experience it right here on the Sunshine Coast.

Jump off the back of the boat and wait for the inquisitive whales to come say hello.

Your guides will look for the calm Humpback Whales who are passively making their way up and down the Coastline. Jumping, Breaching and playful Whales will not be approached.

Humpback Whales are curious by nature and some will come over to see you. It’s this moment that will take your breath away. A moment in life you never could imagine or think possible.

Read more: Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

Your Mask, Snorkel, Fins and Wetsuit are all included in the price. There are also some light snacks and water available during the day.

A full safety briefing is provided before the day starts outlining everything you will need to know.

Book your day with the experienced team at Sunreef, the first in Australia to offer swimming with Humpback Whale tours from $229

Where is the best place to swim with Humpback Whales?

The Queensland Coastline has over 24,000 Whales migrate north to have their baby whales before returning back again to the southern waters.

Mooloolaba on the Queensland Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to see Humpback Whales up close.

How long does it take:

Allow 4.5 hours for the tour including approximately 4 hours in the ocean waters.

Is it safe to swim with Humpback Whales?

With an experienced tour guide you will be safe. You will be in open ocean waters and will need to have a reasonable level of swimming capability.

Enjoy the experience of a Lifetime with the team at Sunreef Mooloolaba.

15 Things you must do on the Sunshine Coast - Whale Watching
Whale Watching Cruise

11. Whale Watching Cruise Mooloolaba

If jumping in and getting wet to swim with the Humpback Whales is not your thing but you would love to get up close to experience these truly amazing Mammals the team will take you on a Cruise you won’t forget.

They will even guarantee you will see Humpback Whales or your money back.

Whale watching season starts in July and goes through to October each year.

Your tour will take place on a luxury 65 foot Catamaran named Whale One and includes lunch and loads of knowledge shared from your informative Captain.

If you are like us and not experienced boaties we recommend taking sea sickness tablets prior to starting your tour. We take Kwells Sea Sick tablets approximately half an hour prior to leaving.

Enjoy a great half day out Whale Watching with the outstanding crew from Sunreef Mooloolaba for just $75 for adults

Whale watching is amazing
Humpback Whales
What to take with you?

You will be on the open ocean during winter, take suitable warm clothes with you. Don’t forget your camera and phone.

Polarised sunglasses are the best when out on the water and will further enhance your experience.

How long is the tour?

The Tour is 2.5 to 4 hours depending on the day.

The Cruise leaves from the Mooloolaba Spit on the Sunshine Coast. Mooloolaba is approximately 1 hour drive north from Brisbane.

The Noosa Everglades are a must do on the Sunshine Coast
Noosa Everglades

12. See the Noosa Everglades

Did you know, Noosa is one of only 2 places in the World that is home to a diverse Everglade system that is home to a rich eco system, marine life and incredible assortment of birds including the rare Jabiru?

Other than Noosa the only other Everglade system in the world is in Florida.

Located in the Great Sandy National Park the Noosa Everglades stretches into the far northern reaches of the Noosa River.

Unlike Florida, there are no Crocodiles in the Noosa Everglades wetlands.

Book a Noosa Everglades Afternoon Wilderness Cruise here>

Harrys Hut

For accommodation, Camping is available near Harrys Hut, an old loggers Timber cottage built in 1957. Harry was a pharmacist from Cooroy who would camp nearby and bought the hut once logging discontinued. It is no longer used but is protected and maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Enjoying a relaxing kayak on the Noosa Everglades
Kayak the Noosa Everglades

Access in by vehicle is best by 4wd as the track is rough with washouts and potholes in parts. It is not suitable for Caravans or Motorhomes.

Fishing in the Noosa Everglades produces Bass and Mangrove Jack from it’s Brackish to Fresh Tea Tree waters.

A great way to see the Noosa Everglades is by Kayak or through a scenic cruise.

Choose your Eco Cruise through the Noosa Everglades with Noosa Everglades Eco Safari and experience a wilderness like nowhere else in the world.

Our tips

Take sunscreen, insect spray and hat with you. Take something to eat and water with you, there is no drinking water available.

The track would be muddy and treacherous in the wet, best to go in good weather.

Another thing you must do on the Sunny Coast is visit the Ginger Factory
Buderim Ginger Factory

13. The Ginger Factory Yandina

Jump on board the Train and take a tour around the Sunshine’s Coast Ginger Factory located at Yandina.

Entry to the Ginger Factory is Free, you just have to pay for the Tours and Rides.

The Fudge is a tasty treat and don’t miss seeing the Live Bee show and taste the honey afterwards. Do the factory tour and discover everything about Ginger and see how they turn it in to the amazing range of products they have available.

The Ginger Factory Cafe menu boasts a range of yummy meals and we couldn’t go past sampling a delicious ice cream.

Take the train ride around the Ginger Factory
Buderim Ginger Factory Train

There’s something here for all ages and the kids will have a great time.

This great pass by the Ginger Factory provides entry to all shows,rides and tours of the Factory as well as tastings.

How to get there

Take the Yandina Coolum exit from the Bruce Highway about an hour drive north from Brisbane.

Take the first exit at the roundabout and turn right at the next roundabout and follow the road to 50 Pioneer Road Yandina.

The Ginger Factory Opening hours

Each day from 9am to 5pm.

Coloured Sands at Rainbow Beach Coloured and Honeymoon Bay
Rainbow Beach Coloured Sands and Honeymoon Bay

14. Full Day 4WD Beach Tour

One of the most under-rated beach drives in Australia is Noosa North Shore to Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.

Honeymoon Bay along this stretch of beach is spectacular with the coloured sand cliffs over looking to the stunning tranquil turquoise waters along the white sandy beach.

Visit the Double Island Point Lighthouse and then have lunch at the fantastic Rainbow Beach Surf Club with amazing views over the ocean.

The remains of the Cherry Venture Shipwreck
Cherry Venture shipwreck remains
Cherry Venture Shipwreck

Ask your tour guide about the ship wreck of the Cherry Venture which ran aground along Teewah Beach in 1973. The rusted remains were removed in 2007 however since the heavy seas from Cyclone Oswald in 2013 the remains of the hull can be seen within the sand.

You are going to want to make sure your batteries are fully charged in your cameras for this trip. The photo opportunities are endless.

We love this region and the natural beauty here is a major reason Rainbow Beach makes our list of the 7 Towns in Australia we could live.

We did this tour, our driver was Glenn, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The Great Beach Drive 4WD Tour is the perfect way to see Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach.

15. Visit the iconic Big Pineapple

The Big Pineapple was once one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia with over one million visitors per year. Pineapples have long been grown in abundance in the Woombye and Palmwoods region.

In its heyday, the Big Pineapple showcased tropical fruits, nuts and sugarcane produce, tours of the working plantation and homemade produce was served in the restaurant.

Sadly, the Big Pineapple closed in 2010-2011, however the buildings remain due to their heritage listed status.

Today, it is home to the Wildlife HQ Zoo, the Big Pineapple Information Centre along with the big fibreglass pineapple and in March 2021, The Tree Top Challenge opened at the Big Pineapple.

The Big Pineapple – Big Things of Australia

Since 1971, The Big Pineapple has been one of many big things in Australia.

The Big Pineapple is a 2-level fibreglass structure and stands 16 metres high. It can be clearly seen at the front of the 165 hectare sight originally known as the Sunshine Plantation. Stop in and have the obligatory photo with this iconic big thing.

Read about more: Big Things of Australia

What does it cost?

There is no entry free to visit The Big Pineapple. Everyone pays the kid’s price of $5 to ride the train however it is currently not in operation.

Note – A separate admission price applies to The Tree Top Challenge Course and to visit the Wildlife HQ Zoo.

How to get there

From Brisbane, travel north along the Bruce Highway/M1 and take Exit 201 towards Nambour.

Keep left and follow the signs for Nambour Connection Road, Nambour. Merge onto the Nambour Connection Road.

Then make a U-turn at the crossover before taking a slight left. Take another slight left onto the restricted-usage road. Turn left and continue along the restricted-usage road.

The Big Pineapple will be on the left in 240 metres.

Tree Top Challenge

Challenge yourself on the high ropes and zipline courses and explore 8 acres of stunning rainforest at The Big Pineapple.

The Tree Top Challenge is one of Queensland’s premier ecotourism operators and has received a gold Queensland Tourism Award.

Get your adrenaline running at the Sunshine Coast Tree Top Challenge, Australia’s highest and most thrilling adventure park with 120 challenges and 12 huge flying foxes over 6 courses. Reach heights of 35m in the tree tops and glide along on the ziplines that range from 20 metres to 140metres in length.

There is a separate Junior Course especially built for kids aged from 3 to 9. The junior course includes 70 high ropes games and 5 zip lines spread across 4 different courses.

Open 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturday and Sunday

Book The Tree Top Challenge Sunshine Coast here>

Wildlife HQ Zoo

Located also on the grounds of The Big Pineapple is the Wildlife HQ Zoo. Home to native exotic animals from around the world after being relocated from the Alma Park Zoo in Brisbane.

The 200 animals were relocated after Alma Park Zoo closed in March 2014 and in July 2021 the team at Wildlife HQ achieved accreditation under the ZAA Accreditation Program which ensures a high standard of welfare for all of the animals.

Become a Zoo Keeper for the day at Wildlife HQ, visit the Zoo Cafe and find out about the animals that feature in film and on TV!

Open every day from 9am to 4pm.

Great Places to Stay in the region

Pin – 15 Things to do on the Sunshine Coast!

Have you ticked off any or all of these 15 must do things on the Sunshine Coast? Tell us if you have any other ‘must do’ things to add.

Safe Travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

Mataranka, What to do and where to stay

Mataranka Feaature

Mataranka is a small town in Northern Territory and the Capital of the Never Never, just 431 kms south-east of Darwin.

Coming from the south on your road trip, you’ve probably just enjoyed a fantastic Barra Burger and a beer at Daly Waters Pub less than 2 hours drive away.

The Stuart Highway has now brought you here to Mataranka and if you’ve seen the photos from other travellers you’ll know why this is a must stop destination.

This is a great place to pull up stumps for a few nights after some long days driving and just relax and enjoy the Australian outback.

Mataranka Capital of the Never Never

About Mataranka

Mataranka to Darwin is still a 4 and a half hour drive away yet, with many great sight still to see along the way.

Katherine is just up the road and only 115 kms, just over an hour’s drive between the two towns.

The population of Mataranka is approximately 350 people but thousands of tourists arrive in town during the winter dry season.

The region has a strong Indigenous history and you can witness Aboriginal Art at the Stockyard Gallery’s exhibit and visit the Never Never Museum to learn more about their local stories.

Mataranka

Mataranka Weather

The weather in Mataranka is consistently warm during the day and the best months to visit are April to September during the dry season.

Our first stay was in July and our other two stays have both been in the month of May.

Apart from the winter months, the average temperatures for the most part of the year range between 19.7°C to 37.9°C with the hottest month on average being October.

July is the coldest month with an average maximum of 30.5°C and the minimum temperature down around 13.6°C.

The area is generally very dry in the winter months but during the wet season roads may be cut off for long periods.

Bitter Springs is one of the main attractions in Mataranka
Spectacular Bitter Springs

Things to do in Mataranka

Bitter Springs

One of the most popular attractions in Mataranka is Bitter Springs.

An amazing 30.5 million litres of water rises from underground and it is heaps of fun to float down with the gentle flow of water.

You will find the water temperature sits at around 34°C all year round but the springs are generally closed from November to May due to flooding in the wet season.

This amazing crystal clear naturally fed spring is lined with paperbarks and cabbage palms.

There is now a paved pathway from the car park to this ever popular swimming hole.

The entry and exit points from the springs is via a small set of stairs with a handrail.

Bitter Springs is located in the Elsey National Park and is just 2 kms from the township of Mataranka.

Simply turn off the Stuart Highway into Martin Road.

Just 500 metres past Bitter Springs Cabins and Camping you will arrive at the Bitter Springs car park.

Kev enjoying Bitter Springs

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Mataranka Thermal Pools

Mataranka Thermal Pools

The Mataranka Thermal Pools are just one of the two natural thermal pools in the Elsey National Park.

These paperbark, palm fringed Mataranka Hot Springs offer a safe place for swimming in crystal clear waters that are consistently warm all year round.

Easily accessible from within the Mataranka Homestead and just a short walk from the car park.

Anyone can visit the Hot Springs by walking through the Mataranka Homestead, easy free parking is available at the front.

Mataranka Giant Termite Mound

Giant Termite Mound

Right in the heart of Mataranka is a giant termite mound. It is the world’s largest man-made termite mound.

There are over 2000 species of termites and nearly 90 can be found within the Northern Territory.

Termite mounds are a very common sight in The Top End as their homes dominate the landscape.

Barra Feeding at the Territory Manor Mataranka
Our son Matt feeding the barramundi at the Territory Manor

Territory Manor Barramundi Feeding

Territory Manor is a local Motel and Caravan Park which is both family and pet friendly.

You can stop and stay or drop in for lunch any day.

Twice a day, the Territory Manor feed the Barramundi in the dam beside their licensed restaurant.

If you want to brave it, you can even take part in the barra feeding. The Barra have a very explosive action when being fed which is amazing to witness close up.

Admission to the barra feeding at the Territory Manor is free but a gold coin donation is appreciated.

Meeting Nathan Whippy Griggs

Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

A visit to Mataranka is not complete without catching Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

Nathan is an extremely talented whip cracker and holds five Guiness World records.

One of his World records being for the most times a whip can be cracked in a minute.

Unbelievably Nathan can crack a whip 697 times in just one minute.

Nathan has been cracking whips since he 14 and performs regularly in Mataranka from May to August and in other towns around the country throughout other months of the year.

Admission is free to the Mataranka Homestead to see Nathan perform live and he simply relies on people making a donation or purchasing a whip and other merchandise after the show.

Mataranka Falls

The hike to the Mataranka Falls is an 8 km return walk from 12 Mile Yards.

The track is well marked with blue arrows and is mostly flat with a hard surface but some patches are sandy.

There are some scenic view points as it follows the Roper River along the way to the falls.

If you are expecting a high plunging waterfall you will be disappointed.

The Mataranka Falls consist of small cascade of less than a metre in height.

Note there is definitely no swimming at Mataranka Falls or in the river as salt water crocs inhabit these waters.

Read more about Darwin & the Top End: Things to do in Darwin, NT

5 Essentials – Ryobi Tools for Traveling

  1. A chainsaw certainly is an essential tool while traveling especially when camping and 4WDing. Perfect for cutting up wood for the campfire and ideal for clearing tracks of fallen branches when 4WDing. I really like the Ryobi Chainsaw and will be looking to buy one very soon to match all of my other Ryobi tools.
  2. The Ryobi Cordless Hand Vacuum has been super handy for the motorhome while traveling and now it is also great to use in our 4WD.
  3. Even prior to traveling, I have always used a Ryobi Cordless Drill. They are an essential tool for use at home and while on the road.
  4. We have had heaps of use from our Ryobi 18v Area Light. It’s great for fishing, camping and outdoor entertaining and even when we want to save power at night while free camping. Just charge it up the next day when you have solar.
  5. There are so many uses for our Ryobi Blower while traveling. Blowing the leaves off the top of the slideout before bringing it in, accelerating the campfire, clearing away any dirt, grass or sand from around your campsite.
Our preferred place to stay in Mataranka - Little Roper Stockcamp

Mataranka Accommodation

Mataranka caters for all travellers with a wide variety of accommodation to choose from.

There’s bush camping, motel rooms, cabins as well as powered and unpowered caravan park sites.

Between the Homestead, Caravan Parks and Motels the area has you covered for whatever accommodation you require during your stay.

Little Roper Stockcamp

Enjoy an incredible and unique outback experience at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Every morning at 8am except Sundays, owner Des boils the billy and cooks up little johnny cakes.

It is great gathering around with fellow travellers for a chat over a free cup of tea while enjoying a couple of johnny cakes for just $2 each.

After morning smoko, stick around as at 9am Des brings out the resident snakes and lizards for kids big and small to get up close and personal with.

Campfire Cooking Little Roper Stockcamp

The Communal Fire is lit every afternoon at 5pm and offers another great gathering point at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Cook dinner over the fire in your camp oven or you are welcome to use one of the camp ovens provided.

There are rustic showers and toilets, washing machines and water but it is bore water.

A number of friendly farm animals on-site are also a great way to keep the kids entertained.

Contact Details for the Little Roper Stockcamp:

Phone: 0427 880 819
Address: 547 Homestead Road Mataranka NT
Website:

Read everything to know here: Little Roper Stockcamp

Des cooking up johnny cakes at Little Roper Stockcamp

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Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping in Mataranka

Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Located just 3kms from the Mataranka township the Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping is also just a short walk to the magnificent Bitter Springs.

Right on the banks of the Little Roper River, it not only provides an informal camping area in a relaxed natural bush setting, it is also an awesome spot to go barra fishing.

The spacious Campground has powered sites with bore water on tap where you can choose your own site and you can stay unhitched if you wish.

Pet Friendly Bitter Springs Camping

Facilities include toilets, showers, a camp kitchen and laundry.

An on-site kiosk stocks bread, milk and ice and be sure to try their frozen fresh locally grown mango!

Unpowered sites are available alongside the bank of the river.

Campfires are allowed in the unpowered campground but not in the main powered camping area.

Pets are welcome and we were able to stay with our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS.

Generators are not permitted.

Contact Details for Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping:

Phone:  08 8975 4838
Address:  255 Martin Road, Bitter Springs, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website: 

Read more: Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Bitter Springs Caravan Park - our first stay in Mataranka
Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

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Mataranka Homestead at night

Mataranka Homestead

The Mataranka Homestead is home to the We of the Never Never Homestead and the Mataranka Thermal Pools.

A large camping area is available with both powered and unpowered sites as well as cabins and motel style accommodation.

Facilities at the Mataranka Homestead include a pool, bar and restaurant plus a store which stocks bread, milk, souvenirs and basic clothing and fishing supplies.

There are three amenities blocks and two laundries throughout the grounds.

Nathan Whippy Griggs regularly performs at the Mataranka Homestead
Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

Pets are permitted but restricted to Campground One only due to the fact that the homestead is located in National Park.

Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in the campground. Pets are not permitted in the Elsey National Park.

There are no on-line bookings available, it is simply a first in best dressed basis or you can call them on (08) 8975 4544.

Be sure to witness Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

He performs every night except Monday nights from May through to August.

Contact Details for the Mataranka Homestead:

Phone: 08 8975 4544
Address: 642 Homestead Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Mataranka Homestead

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Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park - one of the places to stay in Mataranka

Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park

Just 500 metres from the heart of Mataranka township is the Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park.

Powered Sites, Family Rooms and Double Share Motel Rooms are the accommodation options on offer.

Facilities include a swimming pool, spa, a huge camp kitchen, barbecue and laundry.

Territory Manor Buggy from We of the Never Never movie

There is also an outdoor undercover licensed restaurant which is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The old buggy from the ‘We of the Never Never’ movie features in the restaurant as a buffet bench.

One of the other features of the Territory Manor is the Barra Feeding and the camping area is pet friendly.

Contact Details for Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park:

Phone: 08 8975 4516 or 08 8975 4612
Address: 51 Martin Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Territory Manor Barra Feeding Mataranka

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Elsey National Park on the outskirts of Mataranka

Jalmurark Campground

Located in the Elsey National Park, the Jalmurark Campground offers a large camping area with unpowered sites providing 2WD access for caravans, motorhomes and tent camping.

Facilities at the Jalmurark Camping Ground include toilets, showers and barbecues.

There are no bins so you need to take your rubbish with you.

The use of generators not permitted. Pets not allowed in the National Park.

Fires allowed in the designated fire pits only. Collection of firewood from the sides of the main roads is permissable.

You must be at least 50 metres away from the water when washing with soaps or detergents.

Bookings are to be made prior to your arrival. Book on-line through the Northern Territory Parks Booking System.

Contact Details for the Jalmurark Campground:

Phone: 08 8975 4560
Address: John Hauser Drive, Elsey, Northern Territory
Website:

United Mataranka

Mataranka Fuel Stations

There are actually 3 fuel stations in the small town of Mataranka.

Ampol Fuel is at the Mataranka Store & Service Station plus there’s the Mataranka United Service Station and the BP Mataranka Roadhouse.

All three are located within metres of each other in the main street of Mataranka.

On the three occasions that we have visited Mataranka over the last few years we have found diesel prices at the United and BP are slightly cheaper than at the Ampol.

There is however a 5c Fuel Discount Offer for Mataranka Central when you stay at the Mataranka Homestead.

We always use Petrol Spy app to find the cheapest fuel prices for any location throughout Australia.

Read more:  How to Save Money on Fuel

Mataranka Main Street

Take your time and experience everything to see and do in Mataranka.

It is a genuinely interesting and fascinating Australian outback town with many features and intriguing things to experience.

Other places to stay in the region:

Pin – Mataranka

Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka

Have you visited or spent some time exploring Mataranka?

Tell us about your experience in Mataranka.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

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Adventurers Diary

The Story of John, The Highway Man

John the Highway Man Feature Image

At just 23 years of age, John The Highway Man as he is now known, took leave from his bank job of 5 years and went for a walk.

His intention was to go for 3 months, just to wander and feel free.

John never went back.

He was missing for 25 years.

This is the story of John The Highway Man

John the Highway Man walking down the highway in NSW

While travelling Australia and traversing the long highways all around our vast country you really do see and meet some amazing, interesting and quirky people.

Way out in the middle of absolutely nowhere you see people riding bicycles, unicycles, postie bikes, riding tractors, in cars so old they out date some of us and making their way from A to B by extraordinary means.

But this is a story of a man who has chosen a completely different mode of transport, his legs.

He’s been using them to walk the country’s roads now for over 40 years.

It really is a fascinating story of a man who found peace and solitude walking the highways of Australia.

In his words ” I’m just a wanderer”

We met John in NSW and chatted and this is his story.

Who is John the Highway Man?

His real name is Grant John Cadoret.

As Adele and I approached the town of Forbes in regional NSW in our Winnebago Esperance Motorhome we both noticed a fellow on the side of the highway walking north.

We were around 30 kms south from the town when Adele recognised him and said, “that’s John the Highway Man”.

I looked in my mirrors and checked the side of the highway and made sure it was safe for us to pull over.

Fortunately we had no vehicles behind us and space off the side of the road.

So we stopped and had a chat.

John the Highway Man

About John

John grew up in the Victorian country town of Minyip, just over 300 kms north west of Melbourne.

It was 1977 and at the young age of 23, John decided to take some leave from his good banking job, just to go for a walk.

It was only meant to be for a short time, certainly not for the decades how it has ended up.

Out here as he trod the earth, looked out over farmland, and searching within himself, he found solitude and peace as time went by.

3 months turned into 3 years, then 5, then 10 and before he knew it, he’d been gone a long, long time.

John said to me as we chatted, “when I first started out no-one would give me a ride when I wanted one. Now everyone offers me a ride but I prefer to walk”

Communication in the 1970, 80’s and even early 90’s of dial up was nothing like it is today.

There were no mobile phones, no internet, no Facebook, no Social Media at all.

The way we communicated was very different and much slower.

We did have pay phones and postcards though so his family struggled over the many years not hearing from him and believed he must have died.

John understood he’d been gone a long time and the longer he left it the harder it became to reach out and contact his loved ones.

Ultimately, he chose to let sleeping dogs lay.

His parents, he thought, would likely be dead by now so he continued on his marathon walk along the Australian Highways.

Where did he get money from?

He didn’t have any money, he didn’t need any.

At no time has John stopped to work along the way nor has he received any benefits or Government money.

Without property, without a vehicle and having no material needs he didn’t need money.

How did he survive?

John ate and drank what he would find on the roadsides of the highways.

He would come across food that had been thrown out car windows plus bottles and cans of drink tossed to the sides of the roads.

Along the way the kindness of other people would sometimes provide him food to eat.

Pools of water would otherwise be a source for somewhere to drink.

He became a modern day Swagman and learnt the survival tactics he needed.

Kev talking to John The Highway Man

During our chat I said to him, you should write a book. His response was “I prefer to read them”.

John stops at libraries and always has a book or two with him.

He does now have a small Kindle pad with him that he charges with a little solar panel you see on top of his backpack as he walks.

I found John to be very humble. He was happy to chat but I needed to lead the way with questions.

People stop and talk to him, some say they’d love to be doing it. John says, it’s always a fine day when they say it.

Finding John the Highway Man

Decades had gone by when a journalist heard about him having gone missing and decided to try to find him.

Amazingly, he did.

He stopped his car and chatted with him on the side of the road, talking about where he had been and listening to his stories.

The journalist went back and told his family, who had long decided he must have died, why else would he have never contacted them after so many years.

His sister broke down in tears and desperately wanted to see him.

John’s mother was at first unsure, not believing it was actually him.

In time her emotions went to anger, mad that he would still be alive and not contacted her.

Understandably there were a huge range of emotions for everyone involved.

The Journalist returned back to find John, once again travelling the Highways, looking for that needle in the haystack of the contented Swagman on his unique journey.

Eventually he found him once again, this time providing John his sisters phone number and told him his family wanted him to contact them.

Grant John Cadoret

Reuniting with his Family

It took a little time, some months, before John made the call.

His sister Michelle, a school teacher, was interrupted during class. There’s a phone call they told her, you need to take it.

It was John!!

The family reunited and now John returns regularly to visit. 

He discovered that his mother and father had split up over time and his father now lives in Queensland.

Where can you see John?

He doesn’t walk as far any more.

When I asked him if he was heading up to Queensland he said no. “Everything up there wants to kill you” he told me.

Ohhh, you mean snakes, spiders and dingoes I asked.

No he said, “Ants”.

“Any time I sit down they swarm all over me up there.”

He said he doesn’t go past Warwick now.

John told me he walked to Western Australia once in his earlier years but he doesn’t go back now.

Mostly you find him along the Highways of NSW and Victoria or maybe just a little over the border into Queensland.

In his early days, John says the police would pull him up for hitchhiking but now they all know him.

“They would ask me for ID, the problem is I’ve never had a credit card or any form of identification”, John said.

I asked John where he was aiming to get to today.

“I don’t know” he said. “I’ll just keep going until I’ve had enough and then I’ll stop”.

We asked him does he have an idea of where he wants to get to each day, “No” he said.

He has no plan each day, he just meanders along at his own pace in his own space.

Although introverted and quiet, John is friendly and kind also.

Pulled over when we spotted John The Highway Man
We pulled over when we spotted John the Highway Man

John the Highway Man on Social Media

John himself is not on Social Media, he has no idea what it is, just that it’s a thing and how people now know about him.

Today there are several Facebook pages dedicated to the adventures of John the Highway Man.

People watch out for him and post online where is he and how he is doing. 

They share their stories of him and what was said when they met.

One page is called The Highway Man: A: Grant Johns journey. The original page.

Another is The Highway Man, Grant Johns Helping Hands.

Please keep in mind John’s safety when sharing information on social media.

Don’t make him a target for thieves or leave him in a vulnerable position to anyone who may take advantage of his lifestyle.

What to do if you see John

Ensure before you apply the brakes on your vehicle that there is no-one close behind you and where you pull over you do it safely, for the sake of you, your family, John and other travellers.

Find somewhere that’s safe to stop to talk and it won’t hinder or be a distraction to others.

John is actually usually quite social, he likes to chat and is often happy talking for as long as you want to.

Remember, he chose this life and has been doing it a long time.

It’s his life and he’s happy so don’t talk with him as if he’s poor or suffering. He is doing exactly what he has chosen to do.

He doesn’t accept lifts so if you offer he’s very unlikely to do so.

John can only carry so much gear so while he appreciates gifts, he may not always be able to take it with him.

He likes coke and people bring him food and water, batteries and new boots or clothing.

I’ve learnt since we met that he likes a Rum too. Wish I knew that at the time and I’d have poured one for us both.

Apic with John The Highway Man

This is an incredible story of a true Aussie character.

A guy who chose to be different. In fact, he has said he knew he was different and just wasn’t fitting in.

Society can be a real challenge for some of us and John found his own space and his own place.

Hopefully we will get to meet him again.

Pin – John the Highway Man

Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man

Have you ever spotted John the Highway Man walking down the highway and stopped to have a chat?

Tell us if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting John.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung s21 Ultra Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this is an insane camera within a phone. The S21 Ultra comes with up to 100 times zoom and high quality camera. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at for travelling.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

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YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Things to do in Ilfracombe Qld

Things to do in Ilfracombe Feature

For a small outback Queensland town, there are quite a number of fun, interesting things to do in Ilfracombe.

Named after the small Devonshire town in England, Ilfracombe was founded in 1891 and was once the transport hub for the Wellshot Station, the largest sheep station in Australia.

Back in the early days, Ilfracombe had three hotels each with accommodation and their own dance hall. 

It also had two general stores, a couple of butchers, a baker, a saddler, dressmaker as well as a billiard saloon, a coach builder and a soft drink maker.

Now, the once thriving population has dwindled to between 200 and 300.

Ilfracombe has some great things to do

Located between Barcaldine and Longreach, Ilfracombe is known as the Hub of the West as their welcome sign suggests!

It’s just a 20 minute drive or just 27.2 kms from Ilfracombe to Longreach.

By road it is 80.9 kms from Barcaldine to Ilfracombe and around 52 minutes to drive between these two towns.

Naturally it is hard to compete with major attractions of Longreach but Ilfracombe provides a great outback atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle.

A quiet little town where you can enjoy peace and tranquility and a great base from which you can explore the entire region.

The main street of Ilfracombe

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Machinery Mile in the main street of Ilfracombe

Top Things to do in Ilfracombe

Here are 8 great things to do in Ilfracombe most of which are located right in the heart of town:

1. Take a walk down Machinery Mile

An easy way to get some exercise in Ilfracombe is to take a walk down Machinery Mile and back and you will clock up over 3 kms.

You will be amazed at some of the old machinery that makes up Machinery Mile, most of which has been collected from within a 100 metre radius to Ilfracombe.

This incredible timeline of tractors, dozers, trucks, carts, tanks and much more stretches out for a mile of the main street in Ilfracombe.

A couple of them are very rare and are one or two of the their kind left in the world.

Machinery Mile is free of charge however donations are gratefully accepted via the donation box to help maintain the machinery.

Wellshot Hotel -one of the top 8 things to do in Ilfracombe

2. Drop into the Wellshot Hotel

Be sure to drop into the Wellshot Hotel for a drink or two and sit your bum down on their quirky bar stools.

You simply can’t miss having a photo on these iconic stools at this iconic pub!

Stay for lunch or dinner and take the time to learn about the history of the hats, enjoy the rustic charm and quirky features that this outback pub has to offer.

Try your luck and see if you can successfully pin a $5 note to the roof of the bar.

Read more: Wellshot Hotel

Ilfracombe Artesian Pools
Ilfracombe Artesian Spa

3. Bathe in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool

Take a therapeutic dip in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool.

Feel the benefits of the warm therapeutic mineral waters. It is great to soak your weary muscles when you stop after a long day driving.

The waters of the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa are from the Great Artesian Basin which is one of the world’s largest artesian groundwater basins.

The Great Artesian Basin underlies one-fifth of Australia and extends beneath regions of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory.

It stretches from the Great Dividing Range all of the way to the Lake Eyre depression.

Standard Daily Opening Hours for the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Pool are 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Display depicting the General Store in the early days

4. Visit Langenbaker House

The Langenbaker House is one of the first houses in Ilfracombe.

Since the 1890’s it belonged to Harry & Mary-Anne Langenbaker and remained in their family for just over 100 years.

It was acquired by the Ilfracombe Shire Council in 1991 after the last Langenbaker family member passed away.

This humble home has been preserved and is open to the public for guided tours.

It stands as a memorial to the Australia Outback Town’s people illustrating their way of life.

Inside the house it still largely resembles what it was like while the Langenbakers were raising their 11 children.

One of their sons became blind in an accident in 1921 therefore the furniture was left in exactly the same place so he could find his way around.

Ilfracombe Post Office

5. Pop into the Ilfracombe Post Office

The beautiful old tongue and groove building is home to not only Australia Post but also the Ilfracombe Library, a Gift Shop and a Second Hand Clothing store.

In 2010, the Ilfracombe Post Office celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the first motor mail delivery in the Commonwealth of Australia which went from Ilfracombe to Isisford.

6. Look through the Wellshot Centre

Learn about the early beginnings of the Wellshot Station.

The Wellshot Centre is an interesting place to visit as it outlines the history of the one of Australia’s greatest sheep stations.

The Wellshot Centre is also the Ilfracombe Visitor Information Centre.

Wellshot Station holds the world record for shearing the largest number of sheep off the same property in one season back in 1892.

Another record in the shire was the record for moving 43,000 sheep, the largest mob of sheep as a single flock in 1886.

7. Check out the Romani Hall Memorial – Gun Museum

The Romani Hall Memorial contains glass cabinets full of machine guns and weapons.

There are bombs, pistols, rifles, grenades and lots more.

All of the items in the museum relate to the war with the museum dedicated to Australia’s Light Horsemen.

It is a tribute to the young men in the Ilfracombe district who enlisted in the armed forces.

8. The Twelve Mile

Just 20 kms out from Ilfracombe towards Isisford is The Twelve Mile.

To find The Twelve Mile, go past Stockyard Creek and it will be on your left. 

Then turn at the Twelve Mile sign before driving another 100 metres to behind the dam.

Before heading out, pick up a map from the Wellshot Information Centre.

The self-guided map will assist you to explore this incredible formation.

Tree of Knowledge
Tree of Knowledge illuminated at night

Great Things to do in the Ilfracombe nearby region

There are more great things to do in the Infracombe surrounding region in towns like Barcaldine, Patrick, Aramac and Longreach.

Be sure to check out these other great attractions while you are close by.

Barcaldine

Tree of Knowledge

Barcaldine is just under 81kms from Ilfracombe and is most famous for the Tree of Knowledge.

The ghost gum is located in front of the Barcaldine Railway Station and it was under this tree that the 1891 Shearer’s Strike workers met.

The Tree of Knowledge was the site of the reading of the manifesto in 1892 leading to the formation of the Labour Party in Queensland.

Sadly this very notable tree which had been added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992 was poisoned in 2006.

Visit the Tree of Knowledge especially at night to see it beautifully illuminated with evolving coloured lights.

Barcaldine Great Shearers Strike

Great Shearers Strike

A tremendous and temultuous event in Queensland’s history was the Great Shearers Strike back in 1891.

At the time, Australia was going into its worst ever depression and unemployment was rife.

The price of wool had fallen and shearing was one of the most demanding but lowest paid jobs.

1,000 shearers put down their shears and marched through the streets of Barcaldine until their demands were met.

The demands were for the continuation of existing rates of pay; protection of worker’s rights and privileges; just and equitable agreements and the exclusion of low-cost Chinese labour.

The strike marked as the beginning of the working man’s voice lasted 4 months and 13 strike leaders were arrested and actually sentenced to 3 years hard labour.

Lara Wetlands
Lara Wetlands

Patrick

Lara Wetlands

When visiting nearby Barcaldine, be sure to head out to Lara Wetlands and camp up beside the lake for a few days.

It is a birdlover’s and photographer’s paradise.

Soak up the warmth in the natural hot spring pool, cook up a feast on a campfire, witness sensational sunsets and sunrises, paddle the lake in one of the complimentary kayaks.

Another option is you can use some old fashioned pedal power to explore the lake perimetre on the complimentary bicycles.

Read more about: Lara Wetlands

Aramac Sculpture Trail
One of over 40 unique sculptures dotted around the Aramac Lake Dunn Sculputre Trail

Aramac

The Aramac Sculpture Trail

Aramac is around 45 minutes from Barcaldine and is the where you can start the Aramac/Lake Dunn Sculpure Trail.

Miluynda Rogers, a local sculptor has created over 40 sculptures.

This unique art installation has Miluynda’s creations dotted around a 200km loop circuit.

It is one of the biggest permanent outdoor sculpture exhibiitons in the world and took us the best part of 6.5 hrs to complete the entire triangular circuit between Aramac, Lake Dunn and Jericho.

Longreach Sign

Longreach

Just 27.2kms and a 20 minute drive from Ilfracombe is Longreach.

Just add the things to do in Ilfracombe and Longreach and you can easily spend quite a few days in this awesome Queensland outback region.

Two of Adele’s 5 favourite tours in all of Oz are tours from Longreach.

Read more about: Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame

Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame

One of the most popular attractions and things to do in Longreach is the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

Following a $15m makeover, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is even bigger and better since our visit in first visit in 2017.

You can choose to do the Stockman’s Experience Tour which includes the Live Show, Entry to the Museum and Galleries plus the new Cinematic Experience or you can just opt for the Museum & Gallery Entry only.

Definitely include this iconic attraction to your list of things to do in Ilfracombe and nearby region.

Qantas Founders Museum

Qantas Founders Museum

We enjoyed three of the Qantas Founders Museum tours and experiences when first visiting Longreach in 2017.

Firstly we wandered through the main exhibition hall of the amazing Qantas Founders Museum as well as the Heritage Listed Qantas Hangar.

Our second experience was going behind the scenes of the Boeing 707 and 747 as part of the 1.5 hr Airpark tour.

Since we visited they have constructed a roof  over the iconic aircraft to protect them from the harsh outback sun.

Last but not least and the true highlight of the Qantas Founders Museum was the 747 Wing Walk, a once in a lifetime experience.

Since our first visit in 2017 they have added the Luminescent Longreach – Light and Sound Show which would be great to do as well.

Outback Pioneers

Longreach

Outback Pioneers

The Kinnon Family are true outback pioneers.

They have really reinvented tourism in Longreach and they have a number of awesome tours and experiences.

Take an exhilarating Cobb & Co Stagecoach ride.

It is Australia’s only stagecoach gallop!

This amazing 4 hr tour includes riding the restored Cobb & Co Stagecoach through the main street of Longreach, galloping along a stretch of the original Longreach – Windorah mail run.

Also included is a traditional Aussie Morning Tea, a classic Australian movie in the retro cinema with canvas seats and the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show – a tribute to the old time travelling shows.

Check out our: Top 10 Things to do in Longreach

Places to Stay in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

You can’t miss the Ilfracombe Caravan Park, just look for the red truck perched up on top of the entry way to this outback van park.

Accommodation options on offer include 55 Caravan Sites all with Power & Water and a range of fully self-contained cabins.

The cabins include Deluxe Queen Ensuite Cabins, a Family Cabin, a Pet Friendly Cabin and Queen Ensuite Villas.

Wellshot Hotel

Wellshot Hotel Campground

Located behind the Wellshot Hotel is the Wellshot Hotel Campground.

This is a paid campground where you can pull up stumps in your Caravan or Motorhome after a long drive or following a big afternoon session at the Wellshot Hotel lol.

Camping facilities at the Wellshot Hotel Campground include toilets, showers, drinking water, bins, laundry facilities and hook up to power.

It is accessible to caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers, campervans and tent camping.

Pets are permitted.

Other great places to stay in the region:

Where to Eat and Drink in Ilfracombe

Wellshot Hotel

We had it on good authority that the Wellshot Hotel has awesome Steak Sandwiches.

Naturally, we had to stop into the Wellshot Hotel and experience one of the Steak Sangers for ourselves and we weren’t disappointed.

The Wellshot Hotel offers a wide range of meal options for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including delicious home made pies.

Choose to dine inside in the Dining Room, outside in the Beer Garden or be like us and eat your lunch up at the bar!

The Coffee Hatch

At the front of the Wellshot Hotel is The Coffee Hatch.

Not only does the Wellshot Hotel have the coldest beer in the west, it also serves up the best coffee.

Choose from the usual coffees, Cappucino, Hot Chocolate, Chai Latte, Espresso or a good old Flat White.

You can also enjoy a refreshingly cold Iced Chocolate on a hot summer’s morning. Grab a delicious piece of cake or crossiant to go with your drink.

Open Monday to Saturday 6am – 12 noon and Sundays from 8am – 12 noon.

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

During tourist season, the Ilfracombe Caravan Park offer a set menu for a delicious hearty meal when staying at the park.

Choose from 5 different reasonably priced meals and there’s one dessert.

Spoil yourself with a home cooked meal simply by booking and paying at Reception before 3pm on the day and be seated at a table in the ‘Shed’ for your dinner.

Kath's Kountry Kitchen

Pin – Things to do in Ilfracombe

Have you ticked off any of these things to do in Ilfracombe Qld?

Tell us about your most memorable experience of Ilfracombe.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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