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Hughenden - Cities, Towns and Localities
From rolling black soil plains, to dramatic sandstone gorges capped with volcanic basalt flows, Hughenden encapsulates the spirit of the Australian outback. Yet there is another facet to Hughenden, buried in the landscape, revealing a long distance past. If you trek along the Eromanga Sea Byway (a bush track in the Flinders Shire), you can gaze across what was once an ancient inland sea, littered with fossil remains of the sea creatures that once called it home.

As well as the ancient countryside brimming with fossils, there is also the famous Porcupine Gorge, swimming, fishing and bird watching being some of the popular activities in the region. Hughenden is part of the Australian Dinosaur Trail.

Drop into the Flinders Discovery Centre, where you can step back in time with the exhibition of dinosaur fossils from around the world and a growing display of fossils from the local area. You can also meet 'Hughie' the 7 metre skeletal Muttaburrasaurus and enjoy the amazing light and sound show that takes you back over 500 million years to the beginning of the formation of Porcupine Gorge National Park.

South of Hughenden is Mount Walker, with excellent 360บ views. From here, you will feel like you are standing on a prehistoric island that was once surrounded by the inland sea.

Explorer William Landsborough camped on the site of the present town of Hughenden in March 1862 while searching unsuccessfully for the lost Burke and Wills expedition. The town then being surveyed in 1877 by Ernest Henry in February 1864. He named the location after Hughenden Manor, the home of his maternal grandfather in Buckinghamshire, England.

The railway arrived in 1905 ensuring the towns prosperity, the shire today covers an area of some 41,000 square km one of the largest in Queensland.

Located in the Flinders Shire, Hughenden is the business and commercial centre of the region. Other townships within the Shire include Prairie, Torrens Creek and Stamford. Hughenden is situated on the banks of Queensland longest river, the Flinders and is located on the Overlander's Way (Flinders Highway).

Check out our listing of Hughenden accommodation and Dinosaur Trail accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre Flinders Discovery Centre
Hughenden Visitor Information Centre
37 Gray Street,
Ph: 07 4741 2970
Monday to Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday to Sunday
(April to October)
9 am - 5 pm
Saturday to Sunday
(November to March)
9 am - 1 pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday
Hours may vary, contact visitor centre
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Hughenden Attractions

• There are a number of drives in the region, including:

More information is available by dropping into the local visitor centres.

Basalt Byway
• Navigate the Basalt Byway, a scenic drive plotted through rugged basalt countryside created by volcanic eruptions from the Mount Sturgeon lava flow over 5 million years ago.
Eromanga Sea Byway, Hughenden - Prairie
• Drive along the edge of the "prehistoric sea" with an excellent lookout boasting panoramic views. Fossick for shells and small fossils along the way, a perfect way to make your own discovery or even something yet to be discovered.
'Hughie' Muttaburrasaurus Display
• Hughenden Visitor Information Centre and Dinosaur Display boasts a 7 metre replica of a Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni skeleton. The dinosaur is affectionately known as Hughie.
Porcupine Gorge National Park
• Located 45 km north of Hughenden on the unsealed Kennedy Road, this Gorge, sometimes known as the 'little Grand Canyon', drops 120 metres from the surrounding countryside. Sometimes called the Little Grand Canyon. The gorge is notable for its deep water pools, inhabited by tortoises and its flora which includes paperbarks and casuarinas. When camping it is recommended to bring your own water supplies especially during the dry season. Follow the link to download a fact sheet.
White Mountains National Park
• Rugged and remote wilderness park between Charters Towers and Hughenden. Spectacular sandstone bluffs and gorges. Wildflower display in the heaths late winter/early spring. Northern section inaccessible. Access to south-east corner from Flinders Highway. For self-sufficient visitors and experienced walkers. Bushwalkers must register with the Ranger. Camping permitted must be booked in advance.
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Fossil Facts

In 1865, the vertebrae of the Ichthyosaur were the first cretaceous fossils to be found in Australia.

One of Hughenden star attraction is 'Hughie', a life size 7 metre, skeletal replica, of a Muttaburrasaurus. Hughie was cast from the original bones of a 110 million year old dinosaur found in the Flinders Shire.

Did you know that the Muttaburrasaurus has a hollow bony chamber in its nose. This was believed to have been used to make loud noises or enhancing the animal's sense of smell.

A Queensland Pterosaur, the Anhungurea, was a flying reptile with a wing span of 4 metres. If the Anhungurea broke a finger, this would spell disaster, as the fingers supported the wing membrane, which meant it could not fly.

Ammonites could grow to over 2 metres in diameter. They were named after the Egyptian god Ammon, because the spiral shape resembled the horns that the god was commonly depicted as having on either side of its head.

The word Sauropod means lizard-footed and it was the largest land animal ever discovered.

Source: Australia's Dinosaur Trail brochure

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Hughenden Events

• Queensland Events
Porcupine Gorge Challenge
• June
• With the first challenge held in 2001 in conjunction with the Centenary of Federation celebrations, the Porcupine Gorge Challenge has been going from strength to strength. This event not only challenges serious competitors but provides the opportunity for locals and adjoining communities to enjoy the event, set in the wonderful natural attraction of Porcupine Gorge National Park. Competitors travel from around Australia to compete.

Categories include Open Men’s, Ladies and Under 16 and Under 12 section for boys and girls, with the overall winner taking pride of place on the perpetual trophy. A special perpetual trophy is also awarded to the first local Flinders Shire resident past the post. Prize monies is given to the first 4 place getters in the Open Men’s and Ladies sections, Junior’s are awarded with individual trophies and a prize pack.

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Hughenden Local Services

• Hughenden Newspaper/Publication - The Flinders Whisper - e whisper
• The Flinders Whisper is a free weekly newsletter produced by the Great Northern Telecentre, that is distributed throughout Hughenden, Richmond, Prairie, Torrens Creek, Stamford and Pentland. In addition to the printed copies, there is also the Ewhisper, an electronic version of the Whisper, available for download every Wednesday. See website for more information.
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Hughenden Distance

Hughenden is at the cross roads of the Flinders Highway, the Kennedy Developmental Road (also known as the Dinosaur Way) and the Hughenden Muttaburra Road Road. Hughenden is also on the popular tourist drive and experience known as the Overlander's Way, a 1,550 km driving adventure that connects Townsville on Queensland's east coast to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.
Distance to Hughenden
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Hughenden:
• Barcaldine 498
• Boulia via Winton 578
• Brisbane 1,567
• Cairns 602
• Charters Towers 249
• Cloncurry 398
• Emerald via Charters Towers 716
• Julia Creek 262
• Muttaburra 211
• Longreach 392
• Mount Isa 521
• Richmond 114
• Townsville 384
• Winton 215
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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• Hughenden Maps
Bing Maps - Winton, QLD
Google Maps - Winton QLD 4735

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Hughenden Other Links

• Hughenden Community/Local Government Links
• Hughenden Community Links
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