Hughenden is a small town on the Flinders Highway in the North-West of Queensland, one of three towns on Australia's dinosaur trail. That is a tremendous reason to try to visit (especially in the dry season of May to September) as weather is cooler and the river heights lower, and it is at least as a touring proposition, an irresistible, almost unmissable outpost in an outback touring schedule, with attractions that are worth experiencing at least once in a lifetime. Especially those of the dinosaur fossils. Hughenden's main pub has a Muttaburrasaurus
statue outside, hence the town's dependence on such rich prehistory where it was once at the edge of an inland sea.
There are, however, different alternative attractions which can really contribute to Hughenden being a less specialised outback tourist destination, with camping, the Burke and Wills story relevant Coolibah Tree (and thus Hughenden's amazing role in Australian history), the heritage-listed Grand Hotel
, nearby fossicking, as well as many tourism aspiring national parks
such as Porcupine Gorge National Park with the base of 'Australia's Little Grand Canyon' ideal for camping - and, is, in fact, accessible by 2WD vehicles on the sealed road according to local knowledge
Hughenden is a true centre of outback tourism with many other reasons to visit, including its many sculptures and historical sites
on its art and history trail. There are many drive,s which although mainly based around dinosaur tourism, are also used for getting great views of rugged wilderness, a special old cemetery (for its elaborate carved headstones), a memorial swimming pool and a plethora of nice active spaces, such as parks and a large lake for recreational purposes.
Even the most sought after tourist information advice on Hughenden will state be weather aware on such driving holidays. Although accessible by public transport, it is too small a place to run chartered tours, so self-drive adventures are the main option but also are extremely memorable yet diverse in what they can offer tourists.
The four bolded links below really summarise the town of Hughenden and the dinosaur tourism, with some interesting links within to tourist centres, accommodation and tips and hints on travel there.
is a wide-ranging summary of things to do, places to stay and how to get there. It is the most definitive online guide on visiting Hughenden.
has some similar yet less in-depth information to the official site.
is the official website of the three towns of Richmond
, Hughenden and Winton
, and can be used to form a round trip to visit dinosaur remains in special museums and related places of interest.
And, the Flinders Shire Council official website has quite a lot of useful information for travellers and residents at flinders.qld.gov.au
, including the Brodie Street revitalisation project
- which is planned to improve the main street of Hughenden.
Getting to Hughenden is best done by larger vehicle but it can be accessed by train, bus and plane mainly usually from Townsville. Weather is unpredictable and the Flinders River with nearby roads can be flooded cutting the town off, albeit quite temporarily. Although rail and bus are great ways to visit, it should be noted that large or off-road vehicle hire in Townsville, in the drier winter months, really maximises the touring options.
Accommodation wise, there is the Allen Terry Caravan Park
near the rail station, some good pub accommodation options as well as motels. It's comparable accommodation wise to several towns in Queensland in that one to two thousand people population range, with motels, motel-hotels, hotels and caravan parks being presented as well as possible in what can be tough circumstances for locals who must base their budgets around unpredictable weather conditions. Although it must be restated that weather is better from a touring perspective when the Flinders River
and rains are drier and that definitely occurs from May to September. Although statistically, July to September is significantly dry, with April and October just within acceptable visiting limits of around twenty millimetres in a month. It's very dry weather overall, but the idea is in those more wet season months, when it falls, it really is quite concentrated.
I caught The Inlander
train there and got off the train for a bit of a look around. It was very quiet both at the more reasonable time of 8.55 pm yet also at 2.27 am on the way back to Townsville. In saying that though, the place has me thoroughly fascinated by public transport holidaying options, and the many smaller attractions of the town (such as Holdens Bakery
) are something I would be thoroughly delighted to experience and explain perhaps in further articles albeit in future years/dry seasons. It is ultimately, something that can be approached a lot more confidently with self-drive holidaying but not impossible by public transport - it's also possible to combine the various options such as hour flights from Townsville with Regional Express Airlines
. The trees around the railway station looked very much like the accompanying Coolibah Tree
photo but the light was very dark due to the evening timing of the visits and so I've left a nice look at the train at Hughenden as a feature photo:
I think the main reason Hughenden is so little known despite its significance, is due to the multitude of tourist places on offer in Australia - yet for the dinosaur enthusiast or a Burke and Wills enthusiast or someone just wanting to see a community live well in tough conditions, it's one fascinating place to get to know a little or a lot more better.
Photos sourced from Facebook.com
, from Wikipedia
, and from www.hughendenvanpark.com.au
as well as from visithughenden.com.au
and taken by author (from Inlander train). Further tourist-related enquiries can also be made at [email protected]
97130 - 2023-06-12 04:19:20