Big things road trip in Northwest Queensland

big things road trip

With over 150 big things (and counting!) across Australia, there’s plenty to see on a road trip.


Time to go big or go home and embrace the unique side of our culture and the quirky towns that make it so diverse. Tick seven big things off your bucket list and grab a Facebook snap or two while you’re at it on a road trip in Northwest Queensland.

Opening image: Muttaburrasaurus. Image: Tourism and Events QLD.


Big Barramundi in Normanton

Measuring six metres long, the Big Barramundi symbolises Normanton’s fishing culture – with barramundi being one of the most common species of fish found in the Norman River. Although a natural sight to behold, the Norman River is also home to the fierce saltwater croc. Because of its location, the river is directly connected to the Arafura Sea and is primarily saltwater, which gives barramundi and salties room to roam the river inland.


Family at the Normanton Croc statue. © Courtney Atkinson (AWOL Family)

Big Crocodile in Normanton

Arguably one of the better-known stops of Normanton’s big things is Krys the Savannah King – a true-to-size, 8.6m saltwater crocodile (the largest captured in the world), which was shot on the banks of the Norman River in 1957. The story goes that after Krystina Pawlowski shot the massive crocodile, she began to feel remorseful that she and her husband Ron had hunted thousands of crocs over the years. So to redeem herself, she started the first crocodile farm in the Karumba region. Hunting the biggest crocodile initiated a large-scale conservation effort around the country.


Marine fossil museum. © AWOL Family (Courtney Atkinson)

Krono the Brontosaurus Queenslandicus & Wanda in Richmond

During this wild expedition, take a step back in time – 110 million years to be exact – and come face to face with a life-size brontosaurus at Kronosaurus Korner. Also check out the amazing remains of marine reptiles, dinosaurs, pterosaurs, birds, fishes, crustaceans, cephalopods, gastropods, bivalves, echinoderms, plants and trace fossils situated at Australia’s premier marine fossil museum.


The Big Golden Nugget in Croydon. Image: supplied

Big Gold Nugget in Croydon

Once a booming gold rush town in the late 1800s, Croydon is now most famous for its big things. The Big Gold Nugget outside of the Croydon Visitor Information Centre is a nod to the town’s rich gold history. It is also famous for its historic train – The Gulflander – that leaves Normanton every Wednesday and makes its way 150 km east to the town of Croydon.


The Big Ammonite in Hughenden. Image: Supplied

Big Ammonite in Hughenden

One of the rarer and unexpected finds is the Big Ammonite in Hughenden, which forms part of Northwest Queensland’s dinosaur trail. The fascinating topography demonstrates that this now arid landscape was once completely underwater.


Say hello to “Hughie” the dinosaur. © Narelle Bouveng

Hughie the Muttaburrasaurus in Hughenden

Become friends with Hughie, a 7-metre life-size replica statue that was cast from the bones of a Muttaburrasaurus. At the Flinders Discovery Centre in Hughenden, you can see the massive scale of the bones the dinosaur was modelled on.


These gems will keep you busy for at least a week during your road trip in northwest Queensland. If you do need a campsite for some shuteye, Camp 119 might suffice. Burke and Wills camped at this very spot on their legendary expedition.

For more awesome things to do in Outback Queensland, including places to eat, play and stay, check out our podcast.

And for a guide to the most iconic outback towns in Australia, click here.


Travel to the outback

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