Basalt Byways

The Basalt Byway is a four-wheel-drive road that winds through the landscapes north of Hughenden. This trail takes you through some spectacular landscape, with rolling basalt walls forming deep meandering valleys. Many of the valleys you will pass through have excellent lookouts that demonstrate the depth and length of the valleys.

Features: Excellent lookouts, wildlife

Perfect for: 4WD enthusiasts, birdwatchers

Access: Head out of Hughenden on the Kennedy Developmental Road, heading north

One specific overlook towers over an open downs region, with the township of Hughenden in the background. There is a lot of flora and animals to see, and spotting the occasional kangaroo, dingo, or emu is always a highlight of the journey. The bird life is numerous, and the wildflowers and flowering gums are stunning throughout the wetter months of the year. The Flinders Poppy, for which Hughenden is famous, blooms in the dry months of the year among the downs, forming rivers of crimson through the wide plains.

The Basalt Byway is a 95-kilometer-long 4WD trail that winds through the landscapes north of Hughenden. This route takes you through some spectacular territory, with rolling panoramas of basalt walls and deep valleys. Basalt rock is often the first lava to erupt from a volcano; this location and soil type are extremely fertile and are classified as good grazing habitat.

The area you are travelling through offers a wide range of soils and natural features. There are several fantastic lookouts to see from that reveal the depth and length of many of the valleys you’ll pass through, with one in particular exhibiting a wide downs region with the town of Hughenden in the distance.

This track takes you through many grazing properties, these properties used to be mainly sheep stations but as time has gone by they have changed over to cattle grazing. History tells stories of pioneering families who lost everything in the great floods that swept through these valley areas many years ago.

There is an abundance of flora and fauna to look at spotting the odd Kangaroo, Dingo and Emu is always a feature of the drive. The bird life is abundant and in the wetter months of the year the wildflowers and flowering Gums are spectacular, amongst the downs area the flower called the Flinders Poppy which Hughenden is well known for, flowers in the drier months of year, creating rivers of red along the open plains.

Travelling on this track would undoubtedly excite 4WD enthusiasts. Throughout the wetter months, this trail crosses the Flinders River, which has plenty of wonderful water holes, perfect for casting a line or taking a dip.

To access the Basalt Byway, use the Kennedy Developmental Road north out of Hughenden. A route to the left about 2 kilometres from the Flinders Discovery Centre will take you immediately onto the Basalt Byway. This is an unsealed route, and we recommend that you drive according to the road conditions. Please stay on the road because you will be passing through private property.

If you open a gate please close it behind you!