Outback adventure awaits for school holiday fun

Quilpie Shire brings bikes, water and dinosaur fun to the red heart of Outback Queensland

Quilpie Shire is making its mark as the adventure capital of Outback Queensland, gearing up for an action packed school holidays.

Whether it’s climbing Hells Gorge, tearing up the red earth on motorbike, taking a step back in time with Australia’s biggest dinosaur at Eromanga, yabbying, fishing, tree and rock climbing, kayaking or surfing desert sand dunes there’s an abundance of fun (most of it free!) in the Quilpie Shire.

“These school holidays we’ll host the popular Quilpie Motorbike Gymkhana & Enduro which provides out back off road dirt bike riding on some of the State’s most spectacular tracks, as well as serving up some of the best adventure tourism offerings.  And some, like Australia’s biggest dinosaur, are entirely unique to our beautiful patch of Outback Queensland,” said Karen Grimm, Manager Tourism & Economic Development Quilpie Shire Council.

Before the pandemic, Adventure Tourism was booming globally – with destinations such as South America, the Antarctic, Western Europe, Central Asia and the Mediterranean amongst the most popular choices.

“With OS travel off the cards it’s really made Australian’s take stock of what they can do in their own backyard.  I think it’s also seen many families yearn for simple pleasures with their kids.  A digital detox and days spent kayaking, fishing and exploring our beautiful outdoors have never looked so good.  And holidaying in our region is incredibly affordable and accessible.  We have sealed road all the way into our Shire and most of the things to do out here are free,” added Karen Grimm.

In 2019 intrepid families were identified as the #2 of six of the fastest growing groups with an appetite for Adventure Tourism, and that’s certainly proven the case in the Quilpie Shire region.

“We have had so many families visit us this year – it’s definitely been one of our largest growth markets.  We traditionally had more grey nomads, but it’s lovely to see families also exploring the Outback.  And it doesn’t have to be all adventure based activities,” said Karen Grimm.

Quilpie is home to a stunning opal altar in St Finnbarr’s Catholic Church – created from local boulder opal, and offers the chance to fossick for opal, hit a round of golf on the red earth Quilpie Golf Course and the Eromanga Natural History Museum offers kids a real life educational experience to learn about the dinosaurs who roamed the region nearly 10 million years ago, including Australia’s biggest dinosaur ‘Cooper’.

For motorbike enthusiasts the local roads and tracks of the Quilpie Shire offer a dirt bike riding haven for all ages, while the upcoming Quilpie Motorbike Gymkhana & Enduro event will run at full-throttle across the weekend of September 25 & 26.

“We remain COVID free in Outback Queensland, and there’s no better socially distanced activity than off road motorbike riding.  Forget just wearing a mask, you have a full helmet on and there’s good distance between competitors.  And there’s also lots of space for family and friends to watch competitors in the event,” added Karen Grimm.

The surge in interest in the Quilpie Motorbike Gymkhana & Enduro event is in-line with an increase in off-road dirt bike sales of more than 40%* in 2020.

Off road bikes have allowed people to get out of densely populated cities and into rural regions such as Quilpie where thousands of kilometres of isolated riding can be enjoyed in a stunning Outback landscape.

The mild warm mild weather of spring rounds out the long list of reasons to add the Quilpie Shire to school holiday bucket lists.