#Tent, van or hotel. Here's where to go
The diverse array of towns, villages and locales dotted throughout Queensland’s west is matched only by the variety of Outback accommodation you’ll discover along the way.
There are iconic sheep stations, lush tree-lined camp sites, and cosy Outback lodges and inns to discover.
Here’s where to stay when you next venture west into Outback Queensland – where to pitch a tent, park a camper van or simply find a warm bed for the night.
#((1)) PELICAN REST TOURIST PARK
Located just a stone’s throw from the Balonne River, Pelican Rest Tourist Park is a shady, grassy eight-acre that boasts a stack of airconditioned cabins alongside large drive-through campsites.
The light-filled modern cabins are brightly decorated and come in one of seven sizes. All feature kitchenettes, flat-screen televisions and outdoor seating, with the larger cabins boasting verandahs and full-sized fridges.
The camp sites are dotted with trees and gardens, lending Pelican Rest the feel of a bucolic oasis in the middle of the Outback. Unpowered and powered sites of various sizes are available, with the smallest a still-sizeable 25 square metres.
The location is on the edge of town, meaning there’s plenty of peace and quiet, but you’re still just a walk away from the main drag of Victoria Street with its pubs, bakeries and shops.
#((2)) CHARLOTTE PLAINS STATION
Outback station accommodation doesn’t come much more iconic than Charlotte Plains, a 9,000-hectare property that runs several thousand head of sheep.
But the station is these days better known for its Outback farm-stay experiences. The thing to do here is pitch a tent or roll out a swag on a site located next to the station’s Instagrammable star – a collection of porcelain baths in which guests soak in 42-degree-Celsius water, naturally heated and sourced directly from the Great Artesian Basin, half a kilometre beneath the ground.
Elsewhere, there’s shearers’ accommodation if you’re chasing something more salubrious, with queen and twin rooms available (although you’re about an eight-kilometre drive from the baths here).
Activities beyond bathing include property tours, yabby delving, birdwatching, camp cooking and generally observing the hustle and bustle of station life.
The station is an easy 40-minute drive outside of Cunnamulla. Make a night or two of it.
#((3)) THE ROCKS MOTEL
A lot of places promise a new era of Outback accommodation but The Rocks Motel Charleville is the real deal. Set across 20 modern, air-conditioned rooms, it’s a terrific spot to base yourself while exploring Charleville’s enviable collection of attractions, which include the WWII Secret Base museum, the Charleville Cosmos Centre, and the Charleville Bilby Experience.
The rooms here come in a variety of sizes and setups, ranging up to a family quad and two-bedroom family kitchen room, with all featuring queen beds; a verandah; a microwave, capsule coffee machine and kettle; and free wireless internet. The fit-out is all cool tiles and recessed lighting, adding to the sense of a classy Outback bolthole.
The motel sits on the corner of Wills Street and the Warrego Highway, giving you easy access to town, but there’s also a lot to stay in for here, such as a pool, and a first-class restaurant, On the Rocks, which serves elevated mains matched to an extensive wine list and a back bar stocked high with whisky.
#((4)) BAILEY BAR CARAVAN PARK
Bailey Bar Caravan Park is a Queensland road tripper favourite, known for its well-equipped cabins, crisp amenities, shady green lawns and handy location close to town.
Arguably, though, it’s the signature dinner nights that make this more an experience and not just another place to park the trailer. On Sunday and Friday nights it’s a camp-oven stew; on Tuesdays, a spit roast cooked over coals; and Wednesdays a communal barbeque. The food is fantastic but more importantly these meals lend the park an easy-going feel, as travellers rub shoulders with other folks heading west, or perhaps nomads travelling north on the Matilda Way.
There’s a fabulous range of cabins and units available depending on how many you’re travelling with, alongside 50 powered camp sites.
#((5)) OASIS MOTOR INN BLACKALL
The old Acacia Motor Inn has been freshly refurbished as Oasis Motor Inn, creating clean, modern Outback accommodation right in the centre of Blackall.
The Outback accommodation here gets the details right, with natty artwork, cushion-top king-size beds and Zambeli Collection Wild Leura toiletries. Otherwise, all rooms come with a bathrobe, satellite television, and there’s wireless internet throughout the motel.
Rooms range in size from king rooms and deluxe kings to family rooms, with some accommodating pets, in case you have a furry travelling companion. The Larger rooms also include coffee pod machines and recliners.
There’s a restaurant, The Woolshed, on site, along with a café that serves espresso coffee, smoothies and kids’ milkshakes. But the motel is located right in the guts of town on Shamrock Street, giving you easy access to Blackall’s pubs, bakeries and shops.
#((6)) Tambo Mill Motel & Caravan Park
Look for the windmill on Arthur Street to find this pretty, hedge-lined Tambo Mill Motel & Caravan Park that has 18 well-appointed rooms in a variety of sizes, along with 21 powered camp sites.
The rooms all feature televisions, refrigerators, microwaves, tea and coffee making facilities, and private bathrooms, while the camp sites are sizeable drive-through numbers.
Otherwise, the caravan park lands you in the centre of town, with the Tambo Tavern, the Royal Carrangarra Hotel, Tambo Teddies, Fanny Mae’s Cafe, Grassland Art Gallery and a Foodworks all within easy walking distance.
When staying put, there are barbeque facilities and a lovely, brick-lined swimming pool that sits at the heart of this fabulous little slice of Outback accommodation.