You may be accustomed to a pub crawl, but have you heard of a bakery crawl?
We, at Creek to Coast, are no strangers when it comes to scoping out the best pie… from the coastline to the country, we’ve tried just about every flavour bakers offer. In fact, three years ago we caused a bit of a stir online when we published a blog, naming what we think are the best pies in the country… and we’ve got the experience to back it up.
While Blackbutt Bakery is also up there as one of our favourites…
… here’s a bakery crawl you might like to replicate when travelling Queensland’s Outback with a caravan in tow.
It starts in Barcaldine, just a lazy thousand kays north west of Brisbane.
Barcaldine is a town that was built on the sheep’s back – in fact the tally at one point was almost half a million. History was made here in the 1890s when a shearer’s strike blew up over non-union workers.
The “Tree of Knowledge” is a monument to that time… but another way you can get acquainted with the region’s sheep farming is in the form of a lamb pie at Satisfaction Bakery!
Just down the road is Barcaldine Tourist and Caravan Park… a great place to base yourself to explore the area. Their grassy sites and comfy cabins are always popular in tourist season.
And while in town, be sure to visit Dunraven Station… a sheep and cattle property that dates even further back than Barcaldine. It’s been in the Doneley family for over a century – and today you can explore that history by joining one of their 4WD tag-a-long tours. They run each Tuesday and Friday morning and cover over 30 kilometres of the property. Smoko is included. Call Roberta on 0427 511 651 to book yours.
Back on the road and Longreach is only an hour west.
If you’ve been to the bush, you’ll know you simply cannot beat country hospitality… and it’s come a long way from tea and scones.
At Branch Café, on the main street of Longreach, barista-made coffee and eggs benny are the perfect mix of city meets country.
But hey – if it’s a traditional meat pie that kick-starts your morning – the local bake shop is always a winner.
Merino Bakery are well-loved for their fresh bread, and pies – but it’s their old-school treats that also keep the customers coming.
Grab yourself a couple for the road as Winton is a further 2-hour drive west. There are rest stops on the way, if you’re towing and need to pull over somewhere safe. And once you’ve made it to town – you’ll find there’s plenty to do.
Winton is the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda. It was first performed at the North Gregory Hotel in 1895. Today, you can stay in the latest edition of the pub and enjoy live entertainment, a good feed and bush poetry on most evenings… or, it’s a short walk back to the van park behind Tattersalls Hotel. They have room for 52 rigs!
While in town, you may even run into Struth from The Crackup Sisters. She gave us a couple of good tips in the video above for the stretch of road between Winton and Boulia.
Before you hit the road – stop by The Australian Hotel for an old-fashioned horse and carriage ride. It’s a great way to take in the sights and sounds of Winton – while tucking in to their famous breaky pie.
The drive from Winton to Boulia takes you a further 4-hours west… across some amazing landscapes.
Boulia has a population of about 300 that swells to thousands each July for their annual camel races. It’s a major drawcard for the region.
And if you do find yourself passing through, book in for a few nights at the town’s only caravan park… it’s got the best view of the Burke in Boulia… perfect for throwing in a coupla’ crab pots.
Before you get Birdsville, Bedourie marks the halfway point between it and Boulia. Stop over and have a round at Bedourie’s nine-hole golf course – it’s a hoot… also a great place to perfect your swing for Birdsville’s million-dollar hole-in-one… it’s on in July.
Speaking of, Birdsville is only a two-hour drive south of Bedourie. It sits on the edge of the Simpson Desert.
You’ll need to take it easy on this stretch because after it’s been flooding in Channel Country, the detours can be challenging. But once you do get to town – it’s hard to miss the local tourist park.
Their cabins and units overlook the billabong… with powered sites right on its bank. Come Big Red Bash season – this place is absolutely humming, with people who’ve travelled from all over… for the world’s most remote music festival.
Breakfast, is of course, at the Birdsville Bakery. Have a go at their curried camel pie – it’s another reason why people travel from all over. And when an Outback event is on, it’s normal for the bakery to welcome around 15,000 customers in a week. So, be sure to bring some patience. It’s worth it.
Every sunset in the Outback is perfect – big call, we know. But it might just bring a tear to your eye… especially if you make the climb up Big Red to watch it dip below the horizon and cast a golden glow across some incredible landscape…
Our backyard is certainly worth exploring. So, what are you waiting for? Pack up your van and head west. These country towns are ready and raring for you to visit. There is a stack of Outback events on now until the end of the season.
If your van is in need of a service or perhaps requires the ‘all over’ for a trip this size – pop in and see Todd from AllBrand Caravan Services as part of the McArthur Industries Group in Sandgate. He’ll be sure to get you sorted for one BIG adventure.
The Caravanning Queensland website also has a stack of helpful information when it comes to towing your van safely, as well as suggestions for places to stay and activities to do in each region.
Their next show is on from June 6 – 12, 2022 at the Brisbane Showgrounds in Bowen Hills. It features almost every major brand of caravan available on the market today.