Stock routes

About the Queensland stock route network

Stock routes have no separate title or tenure from the underlying road reserve, and the same roads are used for walking and agisting stock and vehicular transport. Reserves for travelling stock include camping and water reserves, pasture reserves and trucking reserves.

The network is primarily used by the pastoral industry:

  • as an alternative to transporting stock by rail or road
  • for pasture for emergency agistment
  • for long-term grazing.

A stock route can be a road that is declared to be a stock route under Queensland legislation, or it may simply be any route that has customarily been used for walking stock.

Queensland stock route network map

Download the Queensland stock route network map (PDF, 1.7MB).


Stock routes have been part of Queensland's rural history for more than 150 years, evolving as settlers drove stock along corridors that followed river systems, Indigenous trade routes and trails.

Between 1860–1890, established stock routes were recognised and dedicated as roads. Use declined in the 1950s and 1960s when road improvements made road transport more convenient and efficient.

Recently, increases in fuel prices and continuing drought have made the stock route network a cost-effective alternative for moving stock and a vital source of pasture for emergency grazing.

Cultural heritage

The stock route network contains significant cultural heritage and has been celebrated in the works of Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson. The Combo Waterhole at Winton is thought to be the location of the story that inspired Waltzing Matilda.

Environmental value

The stock route network has significant environmental value, in part because its unique interconnectedness and geographical extent allows for the movement of wildlife.

Many stock routes are in highly cleared landscapes and are adjacent to waterways, providing habitat for threatened species.

In this guide:

  1. About the Queensland stock route network
  2. Stock route management
  3. Stock route travel permits
  4. Grazing (agistment) permits for travelling stock
  5. Review of local government decisions
  6. Stock route water facility agreements
  7. Stock Route Management System (SRMS)

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