Australia

Outback Retreat 2022

Here’s an opportunity to explore the outback and yourself.

This 15-day adventure starts with two-night stay in shearing quarters on a station with the group and then off to Queensland, as far as north as the Undara Lava Tubes, west of the Atherton Tablelands, Far North Queensland.

Dates: Friday 21st May to Friday 3rd June 2022

Costs: $1210 per person in 8-seater van (incl. GST)

Deposit of $550, with the balance due by 2 months before on 21st March 2022. Or $880 per person in own vehicle (incl. GST)

Inclusions: Accommodation for 14 nights, breakfasts and lunches for most days, incidentals, 2 dinners at Hartwood Station, art kits, Lava Tube tours, drinking water, and mindfulness activities. Transport costs, if travelling with group.

Not included: Dinners out, snacks, memorabilia, alcohol, repairs to swag or equipment, laundry costs, accommodation in Condobolin (if required), foot warmers, masseur.

Itinerary:

DAY 1 – Friday 20th May – Forbes to Nymagee (265 kms)

We will gather to check out the Sculptures on the Lachlan, between Forbes and Condobolin, before heading north to Nymagee, meaning the place of tranquility, to stay at Hartwood Station shearing quarters.

DAY 2 – Saturday 21st May – Hartwood Station

The whole day will be spent relaxing and exploring the 40,000-acre property including a trip to the highest mountain for stunning views and a bushwalk.

DAY 3 – Sunday 22nd May – Nymagee to Lightning Ridge (428 kms)

After a hearty breakfast, we will be off to Nyngan for lunch before venturing further north to Lightning Ridge. We will try to arrange an opal tour or at least a visit to an opal museum. We will be staying at an outback resort and venture out for a pub dinner.

DAY 4 – Monday 23rd May – Lightning Ridge to Roma (414 kms)

This is the day to soak in some country air and meander across the Darling Downs to Roma. Some landscape art along the highway will break up the journey. We will be staying on the ground of the Roma historic rifle range.

DAY 5 – Tuesday 24th May – Roma to Emerald (402 kms)

This is the day of travelling up through the Great Dividing Range. There will be opportunities to stop and take photos and do some art therapy, as well as guided meditations. We will be staying at the Emerald Tourist Park.

DAY 6 – Wednesday 25th May – Emerald to Charters Towers (477 kms)

There will be much flora and fauna to see, as well as the landscapes to take in. There will be  a picnic lunch on the way. We will staying at the Big 4 Holiday Park.

DAY 7 – Thursday 26th May – Charters Towers to Undara Resort (378 kms)

A shorter trip up onto the Atherton Tablelands that will take the group to the Undara Resort, where we stay for two nights in a bit of luxury. There will be time to continue the art therapy with a stop on the way. 

DAY 8 – Friday 27th May – Undara Lava Tubes

This is the day to explore the Undara Lava tubes starting with a Bush Breakfast. There will be two tours of the lava tubes through the day. There are also some bush tracks to explore. 

DAY 9 – Saturday 28th May – Undara to Atherton (190 kms)

After a bush breakfast cooked by the resort staff, we will travel to Atherton to explore the local shops and stay together in a large cabin at the Big 4 Caravan Park in Atherton. Time for some washing and to brush the red dust off.

DAY 10 – Sunday 29th May – Atherton to Mission Beach (143 kms)

Up early, the day will start with a meditation and art session at the Curtain Fig. We will also explore the crater lakes and waterfalls of the tableland then venture down to Mission beach for an afternoon relaxing around the pool and a sunset beach walk at a resort and hotel accommodation.

DAY 11 – Monday 30th May – Mission Beach to Charters Towers via Townsville (368 kms)

After a resort breakfast and some relaxation time, we head off to Townsville for lunch on top of Castle Mountain overlooking Townsville, then back to Charters Towers for the trip south. There will be time to explore Townsville.

DAY 12 – Tuesday 31st May – Charters Towers to Emerald (477 kms)

Having down the loop around Far North Queensland, we return almost the same way home through familiar territory. We will be staying a different caravan park at Lake Maraboon, near Emerald.

DAY 13 – Wednesday 1st June – Emerald to Roma (402 kms)

This will be a day of travelling down the middle of Queensland. There will be time to master your artistic and creative skills. There will be another stay at the rifle range.

DAY 14 – Thursday 2nd June – Roma to Lightning Ridge (414 kms)

Another day of travelling, the longest distance for the trip, including crossing the Queensland-NSW border. A good day for photographs and walks. We will be staying at the same tourist park as the way up.

DAY 15 – Friday 3rd June – Lightning Ridge to Condobolin (428 kms)

A farewell will take place at the “Utes in The Paddock” exhibit, before a group dinner at a local pub. Note: Accommodation in Condobolin is not included in the package and will need to be pre-booked privately.

Highlights from the 2021 Outback Retreat

The 11-day adventure started with a roast lunch on a country homestead, then we travelled to the Far West. As far as Camerons Corner near the border of NSW and Queensland.

The Outback NSW retreat featured in Living Expressions publication July 2021. Download the copy of the feature story here.

Art time – watercolour