Spotlight on: Julia Creek

Visit the heart of outback Queensland on your next road trip.

Located along the Overlander’s Way, the main road trip route from Townsville to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, Julia Creek is at the heart of the outback.

The town was the first European settlement in north-west Queensland and was founded in 1862, just one year after explorers Burke and Wills’ ill-fated expedition through the region.

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One feature you won’t miss when driving into Julia Creek is the 30m wineglass shaped water tower which can be seen from up to 20km away. Built in 1971, the tower has the capacity to hold 100,000 gallons of water from the town’s artisanal bores. The tower lights up blue at night which makes for some interesting photo opportunities.

After a long drive, relax at the Artesian Bath House at the Julia Creek Caravan Park. The four private bath houses are modelled after rainwater tanks and can be opened to enjoy the view over the outback plains. Each bath house features two large clawfoot tubs and bath bombs, face masks and some wine and cheese are available to purchase for a unique relaxing experience.

From April to September, join locals and travellers alike each Monday night for Bush Dinner at the Julia Creek Caravan Park. Enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared each week by a local community group and share a yarn with true-blue outback Aussies by the open fire. Two-course dinners are $15 per person and all money raised supports the local community. You will need to BYO cutlery, drinks and chair.

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Location

Julia Creek is located 647km west of Townsville and 1628km north west of Brisbane.

Best time to visit

Warm days reaching 28 degrees make winter the ideal time to visit the region. The Julia Creek Dirt N Dust Festival is held each April. 

Where to stay

The Julia Creek Caravan Park offers self-contained units, powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites with free wi-fi, a camp kitchen, modern amenities block, laundry and dump point.

There is also a designated free camping area along the water’s edge of Julia Creek suitable for self-contained RVs. Free 96-hour permits are available from onsite Camphosts during peak season or from the Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre.

Motel and farm stay accommodation is also available.

For the kids

The Julia Creek Swimming Pool and Water Park features water slides and a shaded playground which will keep the kids entertained for hours. Entry is free for people staying at the Julia Creek Caravan Park.

Older kids will enjoy the town’s skate park and free bike hire from the caravan park.

Driving tips

Take care when passing and overtaking road trains. Ensure you have a clear line of sight and be prepared for the vehicles to move from side to side as you overtake. If a road train approaches on single lane roads, slow down and move off the road to the left if it is safe to do so. 

Heading to Julia Creek? Follow the Overlander’s Way from the reef to the outback.