Outback Queensland Holidays Made Simple
Some people can be daunted by the thought of an outback trip – images of 4WDs, rutted roads, and roughing it – but it’s simple to have an inspiring adventure that doesn’t need special vehicles or camping equipment.
Choosing Your Destinations
The Queensland outback is a huge area. If you have limited time or this is your first outback holiday, it’s best to focus on a destination that has plenty to offer and the facilities to give you comfortable accommodation and good food.
A holiday that is centred around the Longreach and Winton region is an ideal choice because the tourist facilities are well-developed while still having all the genuine feeling of the pioneering west with big skies, big sunsets, big sheep and cattle stations, and a big welcome.
Longreach is also easily reached on good roads without a 4WD. There’s a choice of routes with interesting towns along the way for an overnight stay. If you want to take it really easy, you can fly from Brisbane or Townsville, or travel by the famous Spirit of the Outback train from Brisbane or Rockhampton.
For the ultimate no-hassle approach, you can book an inclusive, escorted Outback Pioneers holiday in Longreach so all your tours, transfers, accommodation, and most meals are taken care of.
Where to Stay
From caravan parks to motels, Longreach has a good choice of 3- and 4-star accommodations. If you book an Outback Pioneers inclusive holiday, you stay at the pioneer-themed The Staging Post in the heritage heart of town. Most other accommodation is along the Ilfracombe Road – convenient for the museums, but a walk or taxi ride into town.
Longreach’s famous Country Buffet Breakfasts in the heritage surroundings at The Welcome Home are the best way to start an outback day. They’re included in the holidays and open to the public Monday to Saturday. There are evening dining options at The Welcome Home too, and a choice of other restaurants, cafés and pubs around town.
Longreach and Winton are the epicentre of award-winning outback attractions, and you’ll be inspired by the possibilities.
On most people’s outback bucket list is a sunset cruise on the Thomson River. This has been in the news this year when Outback Pioneers founder, Richard Kinnon, bought an additional paddlewheeler, the Pride of the Murray and transported it overland from Echuca to Longreach to add more capacity for the many guests who are keen to experience this. The heritage paddlewheeler, almost a century old, has become a tourist attraction in its own right, and the subject of many iconic photos. Even with the extra spaces available, it’s important to book in advance.
A ride in the Cobb & Co stagecoach through Longreach town and out along the original Longreach-Windorah bush track is also a must-do. It’s the only place in Australia where you can gallop in a stagecoach – an exhilarating feeling and a real taste of pioneer travel.
No outback trip is complete without visiting a station. Nogo Station near Longreach is one of the most fascinating with its connections to local legend Harry Redford (Captain Starlight), its Merino story in the historic shearing shed, and its station safari to see outback animals and learn about station life past and present.
Other favourites are the Qantas Founders Museum to discover the pioneers of flight and the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame. And don’t miss The Station Store where you can shop like a pioneer in an incredible emporium of outback goods.
In Winton, the award-winning Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum goes from strength to strength, and the Waltzing Matilda Centre celebrates Banjo Paterson’s famous song, first performed in the town’s North Gregory Hotel.
Stories and Smiles
Wherever you go in the Longreach region, you’ll be drawn into the stories of pioneers and outback life today. The characters you meet will be as memorable as the places you see and the outback humour will have you laughing until your cheeks ache!
Time your visit between April and October to find all the experiences and facilities open. Allow up to a week (plus travel) if you want to include time in Winton. If you just want the best of Longreach, you’ll need 3-5 days in town, depending on the day of the week you arrive.
Bring your hat, comfortable clothes (including a jacket for winter nights), and a willingness to let the outback dust work its magic on you.
Book early for 2023 for one of Australia’s most iconic and under-rated destinations.