All the major settlements along the 1000km stretch between Townsville and the Northern Territory border are mining towns, spaced so far apart that precise names are redundant: Mount Isa becomes “the Isa”, Cloncurry “the Curry”, and Charters Towers “the Towers”. It’s a shame that most people see this vast area as something to be crossed as quickly as possible – even if time is limited, Charters Towers’ century-old feel and Mount Isa’s strange setting are worth a stopover. With the freedom of your own vehicle you can explore the scenic Porcupine Gorge National Park, which is a great place to swim, and the spectacular oasis of Lawn Hill Gorge.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Australia remains a classic travel destination. A steady stream of gap-year backpackers, career breakers and round-the-world-trippers head down under to sample …

22 Nov 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Road trip Australia: 6 of the best routes

Pack your stuff, throw it in a camper van along with a surfboard and don’t look back… This might be an old cliché but it’s one for good reason: Australia…

18 Oct 2016 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney or Melbourne: the great Aussie debate

Sydney and Melbourne have been battling it out for supremacy as long as Europeans have been setting sail for Australia. Both are capitals of their respective st…

03 Oct 2016 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month