Longreach is a small town of about 4,200 people in central western Queensland. The drive is about 12.5 hours from Brisbane and is completely on tar sealed roads. The outback town of Longreach, Australia gained its name after its positioning on the ‘long reach’ of the Thomson River.
The friendly outback town makes for an excellent holiday destination or stopping point on your Queensland road trip. You’ll find natural beauty as well as fascinating tourist attractions in this friendly town, where you can experience life in the Aussie outback and learn about the region’s important role in Australian history.
Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.
First stop on your list will be the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame which pays tribute to Australia’s pioneering legends and outlines our Outback history. There are six galleries to explore in the Hall of Fame, starting with a short video of interviews with different stockmen in the Longreach region (including women, Aboriginal, and young stockmen too). This helps set the scene to learn about the rich history of outback families and to consider the changing reality for stockmen today.
Remember to join experienced Head Stockman John Hawkes for an informative insight and tribute to the skills of all stockmen past and present. Horse Kenny and Olly the Steer are but a small part of the lunch and night show of horsemanship and the showcasing of traditional Australian Stockman skills that are still used today. You’ll be entertained, captivated and leave having a sense of pride in being a part of keeping the spirit of the outback alive.
Qantas Founders Museum
The award-winning museum tells the story of Qantas Airways through interpretive displays, interactive exhibits, aircraft and an impressive collection of artefacts. If you’ve ever wanted to see inside a heritage hangar, explore a Boeing 747 and 707, go inside the cockpit, learn how to ‘arm the doors’, see the black box recorder, go inside a luxury jet, fly a fighter plane simulator, or walk on the wing of an aircraft, then the Qantas Founders Museum is for you.
Cruises & Outback Shows
We loved the Outback Pioneers Cruise Experience which was an evening on the Thomson River complete with entertainment by Heartland Theatre. Heartland Theatre is the Outback’s premiere musical experience and a unique evening’s entertainment with a intimate candlelit bush dinner. Award winning yet humble local musicians entertained all with the personalized combination of songs, bush poems and jokes while we enjoyed a country home cooked style meal.
Camden Park Station Tour
We got to meet the Walker family on their property as you experience a working sheep and cattle station. We meet Outback Dan, fifth generation farmer, who will guide us through his family’s historical homestead, cattle yards, shearing shed and took us for a walk down the “Queen’s Path”, in honour of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s 1970 visit. We waked through the historical Homestead Gardens, Shearing Shed and Cattle Yards then tour the farm after a scrumptious smoko.
Cobb and Co were the pioneers of stagecoach travel and mail services throughout Australia. On their Cobb & Co Stagecoach Experience we traveled in a restored stagecoach on their award-winning tour – first at a leisurely pace through town and then full-tilt along a stretch of the original Longreach-Windorah mail route. You get to hear the pounding hooves of the magnificent horses on the outback dirt road. Hear the rattle and creak of the coach. Hold on to your hat for the only stagecoach gallop in Australia! It’s exhilarating. It’s entertaining. And it’s the closest you can get to feeling what it would have been like in the pioneer past. After the 45 minute stagecoach ride and photos, we slowed down with a traditional smoko (the original Aussie tea break), a classic
Australian movie in retro cinema seats for the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show, which has fun for all the family in a tribute to the old travelling shows.
First and foremost, when travelling in Outback Queensland you are asked to please acknowledge and respect the values and beliefs of Indigenous Australians as they have a long standing view that the landscape is the very core of all spirituality!
Road hazards such as livestock (think city traffic jam), long distances on flat terrain can take some getting used to. This goes without saying, but OBEY the speed limit – it’s there for a reason.
While travelling on the major highways, fuel stops are rarely more than 200km apart, so it may not be necessary to carry spare fuel...but if you happen to come across a “no fuel” sign...that's exactly what it means. Ensure you always travel with extra water, first aid kit, spares for tyres (with the correct pressure), radiator hoses, fan belts and not to mention a good tool kit!
When driving in the Outback be mindful you are sharing the space with our stock, kangaroo and emu friends. Kangaroos tend to be more active during sunrise and sunset (so stay vigilant).
Check the mobile coverage areas while planning your trip. Both Telstra and Optus networks are covered in Longreach, Mount Isa, Charleville and Birdsville(Telstra Next G network will still be available within a 20km radius of most other towns), but you will find limited coverage in the far South West corner of Queensland. If you're planning that Outback adventure, then perhaps invest in a satellite phone.