Time to make those travel plans

Time to travel outback.

IT’S time to start making plans travel plans for next year whether it be the southwest Queensland Outback, the rugged beauty and history of Tasmania or heading offshore to Norfolk Island.

CT Travel has released its itineraries for the new year, offering an exciting range of tours, from short getaways to two-week adventures. And the word to the wise, is to start thinking about it now before all the seats are snapped up.

“We have some really interesting tours lined up already,” Paul Brockhurst from CT Travel said.

“One not to be missed is a fly / Coach trip exploring southwest Queensland.”

The Southwest Loop will be over 12 days from July 19 next year and is an opportunity to cover the long distances the easy way.

Taking a flight to Longreach and then back from Charleville with Coach travel in between means there will, literally, be no hard yards.

But there will be plenty to see travelling by luxury coach through the heart of the Outback.

After two nights in Longreach and another two in Winton, the trip turns west to Boulia and then south through Bedourie, surrounded by Eyre Creek at the base of a sand dune – population 140 – and on to Birdsville for three nights.

“These are the little spots on the map that have so much to offer and are on many a bucket list but can be a challenge for many of us to get to,” Paul said.

“A spacious, modern air-conditioned coach is the most comfortable and safest way to travel the long distances on our highways and by-ways.”

The three-night stopover in Birdsville includes a day’s flight across the border to Innamincka in South Australia – population 44 – and a river cruise on Cooper Creek, famous for its role in the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition.

The outback comes to life at sunset in a sea of red and orange and there’s no better place to see it than from Big Red, the first sand dune of the Simpson Desert, that stands at 40m high.

From there it’s through Windorah for a night in Eromanga – population 45 – the furthest town from the sea in Australia.

In another claim to fame, is that Australia’s largest dinosaurs have been unearthed here and visitors can “dine with the dinosaurs”. This area has been touted by scientists as the most exciting and prolific dinosaur site in Australia.

Then it’s on to Charleville via Quilpie, before flying home.

“These are the little Outback places we’ve heard of and now it’s time to find them and the many secrets they hold,” Paul says. “We know all the must-see places of interest, and fuel prices and accommodation aren’t your problem as it’s already sorted as part of the package.”

Also coming up next year is a 15-day tour of Outback New South Wales on the Darling River Run, from 26 April.

It’s a journey across open plains and far horizons, visiting Goondiwindi, Lightning Ridge, Burke, Silverton and Cobar and Broken Hill to name but a few.

Despite its name White Cliffs residents live underground to escape the heat, and that’s where visitors stay too.

Immerse in history, culture and natural beauty at Norfolk Island for eight days from 16 February, or head to Tasmania for 14 days from 7 November.

“There’s a lot planned and something for everyone,” Paul said.

“We’re ready to go.”

Full tours details of upcoming tours are on the CT Travel website.

Visit cttravel.com.au

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