Drummond Range Lookout

via Alpha
23’39.364, E197’12.272

The storm roars on as rain lashes the region and wind bends the trees in incredible arcs. Rivers and lakes swell from their comfortable grooves through the rainforest as mud oozes over the landscape, trapping flora and fauna in the moment. Welcome to Alpha 200 million years ago. Beware of mudslides- or you might become fossilized too!

Stone Age in the Drummond Range
Alpha and the surrounding region offer evidence of an incredible geo journey. As you hold a piece of fossilized wood, or admire the Drummond Range, you are connected to an ancient story. Violent volcanoes, dramatic shifts in the earth’s crust and years of harsh environmental changes have drastically transformed this landscape.

265- 235 million years ago the Drummond Range formed when crustal compression occurred, folding the sediments and uplifting the terrain.

Around 1884 pioneers settled further west along the Tropic of Capricorn, the town of Alpha was established over the Drummond Range. The name taken from the Greek word meaning – “the beginning” – is claimed by locals as the beginning of the west and the entrance to the Central Highlands. Today the Drummond Range sits at 451 metres above sea level and residents and visitors to Alpha still find fossilized wood today, reminding them of the region’s Geo Journey.

How can I experience Artesian Waters?

Drummond Range Lookout:
Enjoy an expansive view across the Drummond Range at this lookout, a short detour from the Capricorn Highway.

Fossick for Fossilised Wood:
Head to the Rowley Roberts Tourist Information Centre, Alpha, where the volunteers can show you examples of petrified wood and direct you to where you might discover your own piece in a natural setting.

For more information
Visit the Rowley Roberts Tourist Information Centre, Alpha.


Heading West
Passing through Jericho to Barcaldine, home to the Tree of Knowledge, before resting your travel weary body in the healing waters of the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa. These mineral waters from the Great Artesian Basin support many industries in Central Queensland.Your next geo-stop, heading east:
Ifracombe Spa, Ilfracombe
Heading East
East of Drummond Range awaits the Sapphire Gemfields, the largest, richest gemfields in the southern hemisphere. Stop in for a mine tour and check out the beautiful selection of hand cut stones at the Rubyvale Gem Gallery. From here head to Emerald, where you will find an ancient fossilised tree aged 250 million years old outside the Town Hall.Your next geo-stop, heading east:
Sapphire Gemfields