If you are travelling in outback Queensland, there is one place you just have to put on your list of ‘must do’s’ and that is the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail. The trail consists of 40 sculptures by local artist Milynda Rogers. We had an absolute blast driving the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail and highly recommend it to anyone who is into quirky artwork.
The Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail is located just out of the small town of Aramac in Central West Queensland. Aramac is just over 65 kilometres north of Barcaldine or 127 kilometres north-east of Longreach. A detailed map of the trail is available at any of the local Visitor Information Centres or a PDF version is available HERE.
DRIVING THE TRAIL
The Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail covers a distance of approximately 200 kilometres. We travelled the trail in a clockwise direction starting on Eastmere Road. This section of the trail is fully sealed, but once you get past Lake Dunn and onto Ballyneety Road, the road is unsealed for the rest of the way back to Aramac.
Both Ballyneety Road and the Jericho-Aramac Roads are dry weather roads only. Our suggestion is that both these roads are suitable for high clearance four-wheel drive vehicles only.
The trail can be completed in around five hours, but if you want to make the most of all there is to see, we suggest taking a little longer. It took us a total of nine hours and we felt rushed towards the end.
TIPS BEFORE LEAVING
It is pretty remote out here. There is no fuel and no shops, other than the kiosk at Lake Dunn which is only open from Friday to Monday between April and September. Also, there is no phone reception until you get to Lake Dunn. There are no toilet facilities anywhere except at Lake Dunn. So we recommend that you:-
- Fuel up before you leave.
- Pack a picnic lunch to take with you (Lake Dunn is the perfect spot to stop for lunch)
- Carry some extra water with you it can get quite hot even in the middle of winter.
- Take a first aid kit with you.
- Let someone know where you are going and what time you are expecting to be back (even if it’s just a fellow camper)
- Be prepared to toilet in the bush if you need to. As most of the trail runs through Private Property, make sure that if you do need to go to the toilet you leave no trace.
- Keep an eye out for stock on the roads.
- Some parts of the unsealed road sections are badly corrugated or have deep sandy ruts in them
- If the area has received rain recently the edges of the road may be very boggy
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The artist that created all the sculptures along the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail is local, Milynda Rogers, aka Scrap Metal Sheila. A quote on her website says, “I am intrigued by old tools, motor parts and generally rubbish of all sorts, I love melting steel.” This can definitely be seen by the materials she uses to create her artworks. Many of her sculptures feature rusty barb wire which is just amazing to see.
PICKING A FAVOURITE
We would have to say that picking a favourite is nearly impossible. They are all so cleverly done. So I will say that we found some appealed to us more. For me I absolutely loved the Returned Soldier. The location of him and the time of day that we were there (late afternoon) just added to the overall beauty of this piece. I also loved the Ram but for quirkiness I couldn’t go past the Emu and Chicks. The chicks bodies were made out of motorcycle fuel tanks!
For Brenden, he loved the Fighting Red Roos and the Frill Neck Lizard. He was also able to identify lots of the bits and pieces that have gone into making these sculptures.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE
WHITE STATION HEALING CIRCLE
Driving the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail is not just about the sculptures. The whole area is full of natural beauty and ever changing landscapes. On your way to Lake Dunn make sure you stop at the White Station Healing Circle. This healing circle is connected to six others around the world. The circle is used for prayer, meditation and healing. Whilst there, make the climb up to the lookout above the healing circle. We were told that this area was used for the station owners daughters wedding. The view from the top is absolutely spectacular. Please note that both the Healing Circle and lookout are on private property, so be respectful when you are there.
Lake Dunn is a large freshwater lake located at the end of Eastmere Road. It is a very popular spot for camping, all types of water sports and bird watching. You will find lots of places to set up camp along the foreshore area of the lake. There is even power available. There are also very clean showers and toilets and also washing machines. Camping at Lake Dunn costs $10.00 per night for unpowered and $15.00 for power. It’s a beautiful spot so it would be well worth the drive out there.
Almost at the end of the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail you will find Horsetailer’s Gorge. The easiest way to access it is to drive past the Returned Soldier sculpture and then turn left. The track winds it’s way through an area that was once used by drovers. The gorge formed a natural barrier that kept their horses from straying at night time.
We finished off our day driving the Lake Dunn Sculpture Trail by checking out the Brolgas. They looked fantastic in the late afternoon light.
Aramac is just a tiny dot on the map. But it is a great spot to base yourself whilst you explore the surrounding area. In Aramac you will find a shop and a pub which also has free camping behind it. When in Aramac, keep and eye out for the White Bulls dotted around town. They are a nod to infamous cattle rustler, Harry Redford.
We chose to stay at the Aramac Camping Grounds which has power and water and fantastic new amenities. It is $15.00 per night but when you pay for two nights, you get three free. The sites are not huge and you choose your site based on what is available. There are also two other free camps and another campground for self-contained campers that is $8.00 per night and needs to be booked on line.