Drive Brisbane to Broken Hill
Driving from Brisbane to Broken Hill offers many touring route options with two distinct adventures available.
The first option is via the Corner Country where the three states meet, or by following the Condamine River (a major Darling River tributary) to the Darling River (Run) down to Menindee and finishing with a short drive to the Silver City.
Broken Hill has always been a ‘must-see’ destination, so much so that in 2015 it Broken Hill became the first Australian city to be included on the National Heritage List. That's impressive!
The Silver City has evolved from iconic outback mining town to the cultural centre of Outback NSW; an edifying transformation of an oasis in the desert for both locals and visitors alike.
"It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
Ursula K. Le Guin
The Adventure Routes
While the more direct (sealed) route from Brisbane to Broken Hill - via Moree, Goondiwindi, and Nyngan - is best if you don't like anything 'off-bitumen', the two adventure routes are on well-formed gravel roads and only about 200 km longer... and much more of an outback experience.
After all... what's the rush?
Along the Condamine & Darling Rivers
** This is an abridged version of the Brisbane to Adelaide touring route, for a more detailed version, including the lower Darling and Murray River sections, please see The Darling River XTM touring route.
About the Upper Darling Catchment
The Condamine–Balonne Rivers catchment forms one of the largest catchments in the Murray–Darling Basin, rising from elevated areas of the Darling Downs. The Condomine is sourced from near Mt Superbus in the Main Range National Park and passes through Killarney; becoming the Balonne near Condamine.
At 1,195 km (Condamine, Balonne and Culgoa channel) it provides a wonderful, and natural, touring route from Southeast Queensland down to Bourke.
* NOTE: If you are travelling with a caravan do an overnight at either Killarney or Warwick, un-hitch and explore the area around the source of the Condamine near the Head and Main Range National Park.
The Condamine, Balonne, and Culgoa Rivers
Distance: 1,041 km
Located about 190 km south-west of Brisbane, Killarney is set beautifully in the shadow of the Main Range (Great Dividing Range) 515 m above sea level, beside the Condamine River.
In nearby Main Range National Park, the source of the Condamine River can be traced up to Mt Superbus and slowly gathers a bit of momentum as it meanders gently through the Cambanoora Gorge (also known as the Condamine Gorge)
The 14 Crossings Drive through the gorge is highly recommended (check water levels before attempting) and as the name suggests, the drive zig-zags across the river fourteen times along the river section upstream of Killarney. Absolutely and well worth the effort! BUT, be sure to check water levels with Warwick tourism before doing it.
In the area also are the excellent Queen Mary Falls, Daggs Falls and Browns Falls; located along The Falls Drive.
Apart from the very impressive old Queensland hotel in the main street, the appeal of Killarney lies in the natural features around the town, but the connection to the river is evident; there is sculptor Lana Tyacke's sensuous sandstone "Eternal Flow" work a plaque which reads
"A prayer for a clean flowing river system from Killarney through to the Murray River, out to the Southern Ocean"
The perfect place to start the journey as we follow the pristine mountain waters of the Main Range in South East Queensland, through outback NSW to its confluence with the Murray River and on to Lake Alexandrina and the South Ocean.
Killarney - Warwick
Killarney to Warwick (34 km)
- Warwick Killarney Rd
Often referred to as the capital of the Darling Downs, Warwick is located on the western side of the Great Dividing Range and near the headwaters of the Condamine River.
Characterized by elegant churches and some grand schools, Warwick is located in the southern Downs about 40 km south-west of Brisbane.
Warwick was settled over 150 years ago, with much of its great architecture preserved (The “Heritage and Historic Building Trails” feature many of the well-preserved churches, cottages, railway stations, schools and monuments – each with its own story.
One of Warwick's favourite sons is Thomas Byrnes, a talented son of poor Irish immigrants, he rose to be Queensland Premier in 1898, whose imposing statue stands in the main street.
Two must-see attractions along the trail are the Warwick and District Historical Museum and the Abbey of the Roses.
October is a great time to visit with the Warwick Rodeo and the Morgan Park Raceway; the main reasons Warwick refers to itself as the “Horsepower Capital of Australia”.
Menindee to Broken Hill
The run from Menindee to Broken Hill is an easy 115km of the sealed road with some great vistas along the way… especially once you cross Stevens Creek and start to get a view of the ‘Line O Load’ of Broken Hill
Accommodation Partner - Outback Resort, Broken Hill
Unexpected luxury in a breathtaking rugged outback setting – opening August 2018. Offering a unique combination of nature and luxury, Broken Hill Outback Resort is designed for anyone seeking quality accommodation in the heart of the Australian Outback.
With a mix of powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites on level, grassy areas complete with high spec amenities block, camp kitchen, kids playground, 24 King Spa Cabins, Bar/ Restaurant our resort provides all guests with luxury, comfort and convenience.
Around the Corner
Somewhat of a grand tour, but one that is worth the extra distance.
The route from Brisbane to Broken Hill via the Corner Country takes in the beautiful Toowoomba, through the Darling Downs and onto iconic Dalby, St George and Cunnamulla via the Balonne Highway.
From Cunnamulla, the route continues west along the Adventure Way through Thargomindah before heading south to the remote town (well pub) of Noccundra.
From Noccundra, it is a 180km drive south to the New South Wales-Queensland border (Warri Warri Gate) and into the amazing Sturt National Park, before continuing south through Tibooburra and past Milparinka (a ‘must-see’ experience for Depot Glen, Poole’s Cairn and Poole’s Grave).
From Milparinka, it is a nice run (sealed/gravel 50/50) down the Silver City Highway to Broken Hill.
The Adventure Way retraces the old horse-drawn coach routes of Cobb & Co, transport tracks that were once dirt trails but are now bitumen roads and suitable for any mode of transport.
This wonderful touring route incorporates the Gatton Valley, Toowoomba high up on the Great Dividing Range, the plains of the Darling Downs, and the outback plains of Outback Queensland.
Head off the Adventure Way and down to a stopover at Noccundra, and its iconic Hotel, before heading down to the NSW/QLD border and the run the Broken Hill via the Silver City Highway.
- Brisbane to Dalby: 211 km
- Dalby to St George: 304 km
- St George to Cunnamulla: 295 km
- Cunnamulla to Thargomindah: 197 km
- Thargomindah to Noccundra: 137 km