In the Shire of Mckinlay you will find the quaint town of Julia Creek. If you are driving the Overlanders Way, you will pass through this tiny town and most travellers will use it as a rest stop on their journey. What it is lacking in size, it makes up for in the atmosphere.
Before settling into an afternoon in Julia Creek, head on out to the neighbouring town of Mckinlay. You won’t be disappointed. A town of approximately 14 people, you would think there was not much going on here. As tumbleweeds rolled down the main street, I wondered why anyone would visit such a remote town. Until I saw the town pub, Crocodile Dundee’s Walkabout Creek Hotel. This pub was the backdrop for the famous bar brawl scene from the blockbuster movie, Crocodile Dundee and much of the town also featured in the movie. A few photos for Instagram and a closely contended tumbleweed race down the main drag, and it was back to The Creek.
Surprisingly, I didn’t see any creek on my visit, but I am told there are two water holes near Julia Creek that make for ideal swimming, fishing, bird watching and picnicking. One is on the Flinders River called Punchbowl Water Hole which is 45-kilometers northeast of Julia Creek and the other is Sedan Dip, 100-kilometers north of Julia Creek.
I did however find a magical place to take a dip, or should I say a bath. The Artesian Baths at Julia Creek Caravan Park is possibly one of the most unique experiences you will find out here. Jump in and relax as you watch the sun set over the glorious landscape all while enjoying a cheese platter and a glass of wine (or poison of your choice). The bath areas are private and built with wood and corrugated iron to give you a true outback bush bathing experience.
Just before the sun dipped below the horizon, I made my way to the iconic large windmill to relish in the dying light and reflect on my time in Julia Creek. My memories of my time here will outlast long after I return home.
Where to stay
Julia Creek Caravan Park is where you want to be in Julia Creek. It caters for caravans, motorhomes, camping and even has self-contained units. The visitors here rave about the award-winning Bush Dinner nights each Monday night, where local produce is cooked by a local non-profit community group, and you can catch a live gig or hear a local yarn told by a true blue outback Aussie while sat around the campfire. All for just $15 per person!
Where to eat
Julia Creek Top Pub at Julia Creek Hotel is just that, a top pub in town to get your grub and a cold brewski. A piece of history, the first Julia Creek Hotel burnt down so the Metropole Hotel in Charters Towers was purchased and relocated to this site in Julia Creek where it was renamed the Julia Creek Hotel. Meals are large, tasty and at a great price too! The toughest part is choosing what to order
For more on Julia Creek, visit outbackqueensland.com.au/town/julia-creek
Disclosure: The writer explored Julia Creek with assistance from Tourism Events Queensland