LOOKING for somewhere to go with the kids these school holidays?

There are plenty of gems scattered throughout the outback for tourists to enjoy.

Here’s a list of 15 places to see in Southwest Queensland these school holidays:

1. Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge © Central Highlands Development Corporation Photographer Jesse Lindeman
Carnarvon Gorge © Central Highlands Development Corporation Photographer Jesse Lindeman

Immerse yourself in lush forests, picturesque rock formations and sacred ancient history of Carnarvon Gorge.

Lying on the border of the Maranoa and Central Highlands regions, the gorge is a great place to go camping, bushwalking and sightseeing with the family.

2. Cosmos Centre

Alan Hartley, co-ordinator of Charleville Cosmos Centre & Observatory
Alan Hartley, co-ordinator of Charleville Cosmos Centre & Observatory

If you’re looking to escape the big bright city lights, come out to Charleville’s Cosmos Centre for a vast natural view of the Milky Way.

3. Riversands Wines

Some of grapes at Riversands Wines begin to wither on the vines from excess water while others are absolutely perfect away from the floodwaters. Pics Tim Marsden 6/1/11
Some of grapes at Riversands Wines begin to wither on the vines from excess water while others are absolutely perfect away from the floodwaters. Pics Tim Marsden 6/1/11

The Balonne Shire often gets overlooked as one of Queensland’s best wine producing regions, but Riversands Wines will hopefully show you what St George has to offer.

Located adjacent to the Balonne River, the winery hosts plenty of attractions like the Garden Cafe, cellars and vast open vineyards.

4. Betoota

Betoota Hotel’s owner Robbo Haken (left) and his colleague Roach
Betoota Hotel’s owner Robbo Haken (left) and his colleague Roach

Home to Betoota Bitter, the Betoota Pub, and the birthplace of the Betoota Advocate, tourists love to flock to this southwest town with a population of 0.

It’s only 10 hours from Roma!

5. Warrego River

The Warrego River near the Allen Tannock weir, Cunnamulla - Photo Steve Pohlner
The Warrego River near the Allen Tannock weir, Cunnamulla - Photo Steve Pohlner

Named many millennia before the highway, this mighty river is a great place to fish, take a stroll and have a picnic.

Whether you’re at Cunnamulla or Charleville, there’s plenty to do along this vital waterway.

6. Big Rig

The Big Rig project
The Big Rig project

It’s one of the southwest’s biggest big things, and everyone’s welcome to stop by at the Big Rig as they come into Roma.

Have a look at the Maranoa Region’s history, grab a bite at Beck’s Chopping Board and take some selfies next to this massive monument.

7. Roma Saleyards

Roma Saleyards in full swing.
Roma Saleyards in full swing.

Everyone knows it as the largest saleyard in the Southern Hemisphere, but you’d have to see it in action to believe it.

Store sales are usually held on Tuesday mornings, and the interpretative centre is a sight to behold!

8. Charlotte Plains Station

ESCAPE Charlotte Plains Station in Cunnamulla - Credit - Tourism and Events Queensland.jpg supplied
ESCAPE Charlotte Plains Station in Cunnamulla - Credit - Tourism and Events Queensland.jpg supplied

This picturesque property hosts a massive sheep station, (literal) artesian baths and beautiful landscapes, and is a great outback getaway for the kids.

It is located 45km east of Cunnamulla on the Balonne Highway.

9. Sadleir's Waterhole

SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - Out the front of the new Sadleirs Waterhole pub at Morven
SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE DISCUSS USE WITH YOUR EDITOR - Out the front of the new Sadleirs Waterhole pub at Morven

Be part of history as one of the first visitors to Morven’s brand new pub!

This modern country hotel is a great place to meet the locals, grab a beer and have some COVID-safe fun!

10. Balonne River

Photo: St George and Surrounds
Photo: St George and Surrounds

The mighty Balonne River is the lifeblood of Surat and St George, running from the Condamine River in the north, down to Dirranbandi.

Sit by the banks, go for a relaxing stroll, or let Captain Brett take you for a Sandytown River Cruise!

11. Great Artesian Spa

Travellers making a splash at Mitchell Spa
Travellers making a splash at Mitchell Spa

It’s one of Mitchell’s most popular tourist attractions and all are welcome to take a dip at this spa located on the corner of the Warrego Highway and Maranoa River!

12. Visit the Cunnamulla Fella

Corey Maxwell, Kayden Munn and Paige Tanner on the Cunnamulla Fella statue
Corey Maxwell, Kayden Munn and Paige Tanner on the Cunnamulla Fella statue

Built in the honour of Slim Dusty’s song of the same name, this fella from Cunnamulla will be a great sight to see.

13. Neil Turner Weir

Neil Turner Weir Pic: Lachlan Berlin
Neil Turner Weir Pic: Lachlan Berlin

There’s still plenty of options for nomads who are passing through Mitchell.

Feel free to get in touch with Maranoa Regional Council about camping spots next to this wonderful weir.

14. Fossicking

News 3/1/1985 Yowah opal fields . Norm of Yowah working in his opal mine. Yowah is 'The Friendly Opal Field' 165 kilometres west of Cunnamulla. It is the home of the Yowah Opal Nut and the Ironstone Matrix Opal, an opal type to be found only in this part of Queensland. Opal was first discovered here towards the end of the 19th century and production still continues. It could be your lucky day, so
News 3/1/1985 Yowah opal fields . Norm of Yowah working in his opal mine. Yowah is 'The Friendly Opal Field' 165 kilometres west of Cunnamulla. It is the home of the Yowah Opal Nut and the Ironstone Matrix Opal, an opal type to be found only in this part of Queensland. Opal was first discovered here towards the end of the 19th century and production still continues. It could be your lucky day, so

The tiny outback town of Yowah holds the southernmost opal fields of Southwest Queensland.

See if you can score one of these precious rocks!

15. Wilderness Way

A look at Virgin Rock, Springsure.
A look at Virgin Rock, Springsure.

The tiny town of Tambo has lots of lovely scenery to offer, especially if you’re up for a road trip.

Take the Dawson Developmental Road towards Springsure to see what Wilderness Way has to offer.