Things to see and do as you drive from Townsville to Cloncurry for the Cloncurry Stockman's Challenge and Campdraft!

From the world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and pristine beaches of north Queensland to the rugged rocky outcrops and red sand of north-west Queensland and into the Northern Territory, the Overlanders Way takes you through architecturally rich historic towns, dinosaur centres and to the home of some of the world's most quirky events; without even leaving the bitumen!  Keep reading to check out a fantastic drive itinerary from Townsville to the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft.

Townsville to Charters Towers

As you head west from Townsville towards Charters Towers, call in at Ravenswood to see magnificent restored buildings and mining remnants such as mullock heaps, old shafts and chimneys stacks. Then continue on to Charters Towers, a beautifully preserved part of North Queensland history.

Charters Towers to Hughenden

This gold mining town was once the largest city in Queensland after Brisbane. During the gold rush, the town boasted 65 hotels and 29 crushing mills. The stories and legends of the gold rush have been brought to life on the Ghosts of Gold Heritage Trail: The discovery of Gold at the foot of Towers Hill; the Grandeur of the historic One Square Mile; Greed at the Stock Exchange Arcade; and the Ghosts of the Venus Battery. From the glory days of the late 1800s gold rush, head to Hughenden to step back even further in time to the era of dinosaurs. Along the way, stop at Burra Range or Mount Walker lookouts for an uninterrupted view of the densely wooded buffel country. In Pentland, visit the Norwood Police Cells for a glimpse into the tiny town's past and take a break at the welcoming Pentland Hotel.

Hughenden to Richmond

Hughenden is the heart of dinosaur country; in prehistoric times, it sat on the shoreline of a great inland sea. Nearly 3000 dinosaur and marine fossils have been found in the surrounding countryside. To get a true idea of the beasts that roamed these lands, check out the life-size replica Muttaburrasaurus. 'Hughie', as the skeleton was nicknamed, is on display at the Flinders Discovery Centre. Porcupine Gorge, known locally as 'Australia's little Grand Canyon' is 63 kilometres north of town and Blackbraes National Park, with its unique basalt features is around another 90 kilometres north. Venture 'underwater' into the prehistoric inland sea to Richmond, the fossil capital of Australia.

Richmond to Julia Creek

In Richmond, explore the amazing collection of marine reptile fossils at the award-winning Kronosaurus Korner. The museum is home to Australia's best-preserved dinosaur skeleton, Minmi, and the Richmond Pliosaur, one of the world's best skeleton fossils. See the fossil preparation area, then grab a map and fossick at one of the free designated sites and have the fossil centre curator identify your find. Explore the Bush Tucker Gardens on the banks of Lake Fred Tritton where you will find local native plants labelled with their traditional purposes. The lake has sandy beaches, a boat ramp, free barbecues and a playground, making it an ideal place to relax, swim and fish for barramundi or red claw. Richmond's business district of yesteryear can be discovered on the Heritage Walk, which includes a replica of an original 1860s homestead. Head further west to Julia Creek for spectacular outback sunsets and a chance to gaze at a thick blanket of stars that covers an outback night.

Julia Creek to Cloncurry

Meet Digby, the Julia Creek Dunnart, a tiny endangered marsupial who lives in a special nocturnal viewing area at the Visitor Information and Interpretive Centre, called 'At The Creek'. This multi-award winning centre is built from recycled materials sourced from local railway fettler's cottages and focuses on the themes of water, Country and people. Learn how the Great Artesian Basin sustains life in the outback, have a picnic on the moon rock chairs and tables, or go underground to explore the geological features that shaped the region. Follow the nature trail or take an historical walk through the township. The remains of a WW2 Directional Finding Installation can be seen near the airport.

Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft

The Curley Cattle Transport Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft is on again from 12th to 17th July 2017.  Regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia, the Curry Challenge is an elite and prestigious event, drawing competitors from all states in to a fierce and thrilling competition. The event is held at the Cloncurry Equestrian Centre, Cloncurry QLD.

To experience this authentic Australian country lifestyle and competition, join our mailing list to keep up to date with what’s on at the 2017 Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft!



Ray Ryder will perform at the Curry Challenge!

Ray Ryder

Ray Ryder is fast becoming Australia’s hottest new country rock performer. In late 2016 this talented multi-instrumentalist released his debut self-titled album of original high energy guitar and banjo driven county rock/pop tunes. The album has been receiving national airplay and great reviews on radio stations from capital cities like Melbourne to outback Australia.

In October last year he kicked off his national ‘Bringin’ It To The Country Tour’ in Western Australia (WA). By June he will have travelled 20,00km and performed more than 45 concerts all over WA from the wheatbelt town of Koorda to Kununurra in the Kimberley. In 2017 he will visit the home of country music Nashville twice - for a series of showcase performances.

Ryder’s exceptional talent has also been recognised by the promoter of one of Australia’s biggest events The Big Red Bash. In July he will perform in a line-up of legends of Australian music at The Bash –  Lee Kernaghan, Missy Higgins, Troy Cassar-Daley, James Reyne, Mark Seymour, Ian Moss, Kate Ceberano and Russell Morris.

Ryder was previously the frontman for his group One Step Ahead, also known as OSA Rock, which were Australia's most sought-after touring show band. Ryder is recognised as a multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician and entertainer who has been impressing fans, old and new alike, around Australia and overseas for more than 20 years. 

Ryder has long been hailed as one of the industry’s hardest working musicians who has achieved a high level of success. He has performed at thousands of different venues and events around Australia including pubs, clubs, RSLs, high profile private parties, major events, mine sites, rodeos, TV shows and theatres. He started his music career alongside former members of the successful 60's era groups The Four Kinsman and The Troupadores. He has also been in demand as a session musician and the face of many TV advertisements, the most recognisable being the national Retravision advertisement -'You Got It!'.  He has shared the stage with Sting, Chris Isaak, Bryan Ferry, John Farnham, Shirley Bassey, James Morrison, the Screaming Jets and many more.

Connect with Ray Ryder:

Ray Ryder will be performing on Saturday Night of the Cloncurry Stockman's Challenge and Campdraft!  Don't miss it!

The Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft is an annual campdrafting and challenge event celebrating the talent and passion of horsemen and is regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia.  For more information, join our mailing list to keep up to date.

Meet Josh Smith...

Josh Smith

He was the winner of the 2015 Curry Challenge, but do you know everything there is to know about Josh Smith?


Where you are from?

From a small property 40 km south of Rockhampton QLD

How long you have been competing/riding?

I have been riding for 26 years and competing in campdraft and challenge events on and off for the past 18 years

Favourite part of the sport?

Favourite part of the sport would have to be the family friendly atmosphere and the mateship.  Everyone is happy to help one another out

Favourite part of the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge?

Wining the Cloncurry Stockman's Challenge in 2015 was and will always be a career highlight for me


The Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft is an annual campdrafting and challenge event celebrating the talent and passion of horsemen and is regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia.  For more information, join our mailing list to keep up to date.

Top 5 things to do in Cloncurry during the Curry Challenge!

Thinking of heading out to the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge but don’t know what else there is to do in town when you have had your fill of horse competition action?  With 2017 being the 150th Year of Cloncurry, there is so much to explore and experience.  Founded by Ernest Henry in 1867 with the discovery of copper, Cloncurry’s core industries include grazing, transport services, copper and gold mining.  These are our top 5 picks of things to see and do:

Hi from Cloncurry!


Located off the main highway into Cloncurry is Mary Kathleen Park.  This park has ample parking (if you bought your RV or caravan), a covered BBQ area and a children’s playground (to feed and run the sillies out of the kids), all in shaded parklands. Stretch your legs and go for a short walk up to the lookout, past the unique water feature and take in the stunning panoramic view of Cloncurry and the surrounding rugged landscape.

There is also an array of outdoor mining and farming equipment displays along the walking track. A feature of these displays is the 1941 Ford V8 Rail Ambulance. This was used when the roads were impassable and was first commissioned back in 1956 and operated until 1971. This historic vehicle is proudly part of the railway collection located in the park.

Cloncurry Unearthed (Visitor Information Centre and Museum) is also located in the park. It houses a unique collection of memorabilia from the now deserted town of Mary Kathleen. Take a step back in time with historical collections, photographs, Indigenous artefacts and one of Australia’s most comprehensive gem and mineral collections.


John Flynn Place Museum and Art Gallery celebrates the visionary bush clergyman John Flynn, and the innovations in flight and communications pioneered through to creation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The service was launched in Cloncurry in 1928. The museum pays homage to this crucial part of outback life and the pioneers who had a vision for the service.

Wander the museum and enjoy stories, photographs and memorabilia. View the artworks on display in the Fred McKay Art Gallery. You will find Cloncurry has enjoyed a multicultural past.


On the drive to the Chinaman Creek Dam, stop at the Cloncurry Lookout which provides another fantastic panoramic view of the township and the Cloncurry River.  Don’t forget your camera!  This lookout is perfect for those Facebook or Instagram pics (#cloncurry #currychallenge) and making friends and family at home jealous!


Visit the Burke and Wills Memorial 43km west of Cloncurry on the bank of the Corella River. Explorers’ Burke and Wills passed through the Cloncurry area in 1861 on their expedition from Melbourne to the Gulf.

Pay a visit to the historic cemeteries dating back to the 1880s. Here you will learn about early Afghan migrants at the cemetery on Sir Hudson Fysh Drive and the Chinese cemetery on the western side of town.


Chinaman Creek Dam is a lovely area to watch the changing colours of Mt Leviathan at sunset, stretch your legs wandering the water’s edge or enjoy a picnic.


The Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft is an annual campdrafting and challenge event celebrating the talent and passion of horsemen and is regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia.  For more information, join our mailing list to keep up to date.

Meet Hugh Miles…

He was the back to back winner of the 2012 to 2013 Curry Challenge, but how well do you know Hugh Miles?

Where you are from?

Tamworth, New South Wales

How long you have been competing/riding?

I’ve been competing for about 15 years now

How many events you have won/competed in?

I’ve won 2 Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenges, back to back in 2012 and 2013. I also compete in both cutting and campdrafting, I’ve been lucky to have had a bit of success in the last 15 years

What is your favourite part of the sport?

The people and lifestyle. It's a great thing to be able to do what you love for your job and be your own boss and travel while doing it it's a great life we have

What is your favourite part of the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge?

The prestige of the Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge is definitely a massive draw card. It's one of those events any horse trainer would like to win!  I was very fortunate to do it so early in my career


The Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft is an annual campdrafting and challenge event celebrating the talent and passion of horsemen and is regarded as one of the greatest horse events in Australia.  For more information, join our mailing list to keep up to date.

Hugh Miles