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This Winter You Can Literally Follow The Music On A Road Trip Through The Queensland Outback

This Winter You Can Literally Follow The Music On A Road Trip Through The Queensland Outback

It’s been a ridiculously long time between gigs for most of us, but ever so slowly live music is returning to us in a very real way and that’s worth a celebration. Heck, it’s even worth one of the most epic road trips of your life.

Even music festivals are back in all their glory, but Queensland is looking to shake up the traditional format of your fave festivals by creating one helluva road trip itinerary through some of their best outback towns. Literally chasing sunshine and good tunes? That’s a yes from me.

From June to July this year, the Queensland Music Trail (QMT) curates a series of unique musical events in some super cool locations that would be worth the road trip even on their own. You can buy tickets to each event separately (so yes, you can pick and choose your faves), some are free and others will set you back around $40 to $50.

Wondering how to get involved? Here’s your perfect itinerary.

Stop 1: Brisbane to Jimbour

Drive: Three hours
Dates: June 25 – 27

Kicking off about three hours drive from Brisbane in Jimbour, the QMT will be setting up ‘The Opera at Jimbour‘ in the famous Jimbour Homestead for three days of intimate opera and chamber music performances by members of the Opera Queensland and other chamber musicians.

While you’re there, you can indulge in great food, tasty wine and craft brews, and wander through the local crafts at Jimbour markets.

Stop 2: Jimbour to Charleville

Drive: Five hours and 40 minutes
Dates: June 29 – 30

As one of the best places in Australia to go star-gazing, it’s only appropriate that the Charleville event is named ‘Music For Stargazing‘. Headlined by Kate Miller-Heidke and William Barton, this BYO picnic rug event will bring you world-class chamber music under the clear glow of the Milky Way.

Be sure to check out the Charleville Cosmos Centre and Observatory while you’re there, one of the few places where you can watch the stars at night or day.

Stop 3: Charleville to Quilpie

Drive: Two hours
Dates: July 1 – 2


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A post shared by Khory Hancock (@environmental_cowboy)

You’ll be starting to get uniquely Australian outback scenes now, with the dramatic red rocks of Baldy Top being one of Quilpie’s most striking features.

It’s also the sight of the next QMT event, ‘Echoes In The Dust‘. Bring your own camp chair and snacks and settle in to watch the spectacular sunset, and imaginative visual theatre and soundscapes by two of Queensland’s most inventive contemporary performance companies — Topology and Dead Puppet Society.

Stop 4: Quilpie to Windorah

Drive: Three hours
Dates: July 3 – 4

Deep in cattle country, Windorah is pretty iconic for its red sandhill beauty, and for once being home to the world’s largest dinosaurs. It’s also home to Coopers Creek, a unique natural formation caused by two rivers that meet in the middle to create a creek.

It’ll also be the site of ‘Oasis Afternoons‘, two days of laid-back acoustic sets by Karl S. Williams, Emily Wurramara and Hussy Hicks

Stop 5: Windorah to Birdsville

Drive: Four hours
Dates: July 6 – 8


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A post shared by Birdsville Big Red Bash (@bigredbash)

This epic journey of top-notch Aussie tunes and stunning outback landscapes all ends with the famous Big Red Bash in Birdsville. Renowned as the world’s most remote music festival, this epic three-day music festival draws some big names over the years — like Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, The Living End, Missy Higgens, Ian Moss and so many more.

The 2021 event is sold out, but there are limited tickets available through the Big Red Bash resale facility, so good luck.

It’s not just the music that draws people to this small town on the edge of the Simpson Desert — it’s also home to the famous and iconic ‘Big Red’ sand dune — a 30 metres tall monster marling the official gateway to the desert.

Now I know what you’re thinking — I made it all the way to Birdsville, but how do I get back? Don’t even worry about it, we have the perfect itinerary for your return journey right here.

(Lead image: Instagram / @qldmusictrails)

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