This tiny town on the banks of the Barcoo River, about 101km south of Blackall, was first settled in 1863 and is the oldest town in central-western Queensland. Befitting its age and well-preserved timber buildings dating back to the middle of the 19th century, Surat is regarded as a living museum presiding over an area of contrast where the landscape ranges from rugged mountain cliffs to open downs. You can absorb much of the distinctive beauty of the region on a self-drive tour of the Salvator Rosa section of the Carnarvon National Park 120km to the east of Tambo - not far in Outback terms, but a 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for the trip. An hour's drive to the north-west, Blackall's 1888 Old Court House is well worth a visit, along with the Museum, across the road, which is open on weekdays. Famous explorer Major Thomas Mitchell explored this area during his 1845 central Queensland expedition and first sighted the Blackall River from a spot near where the town now stands.