Experience a true escape from urban life in Far West Qld’s epic outback

Nov 24, 2020
Travel onboard the Spirit of the Outback as part of your journey to inland Queensland. Source: Supplied

Vast stretches of untouched land are part of the appeal of Australia’s Outback; it’s so far from the hustle and bustle that this visiting special part of our country really is an escape from everyday life.

When you’re venturing through the kilometres of red dirt and endless horizons, you truly feel as if you’ve ‘got away from it all’. The air is clean and instead of people, all you see are mobs of kangaroos. The sunsets are epic, with shades of pink, orange and red, then as darkness falls, they’re replaced with the ultimate stargazing experience.

And while the Red Centre is what many Australians picture when imagining an outback experience, Queensland also offers an amazing outback (as does New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia – but that’s a whole ‘nother story)!

At the centre of the outback story is Longreach, one of the best-known towns in Queensland’s west and home to the Qantas Founders Museum and the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame. That makes it a perfect starting point for an outback adventure, where you transition from hectic urban life to the slower pace of the outback. And this where a great new Starts at 60 community tour of Far West Queensland is setting off from next year!

Community members will call Longreach home for the first two nights of the 10-night trip, giving them a chance to get to know the other friendly over-60s on the tour. The Longreach stay will feature visits to iconic attractions including the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum, plus a Drover’s Sunset Cruise to view that spectacular sky-colour change from day to dusk and then night.

Unwind on the Drover’s Sunset Cruise along the Thomson River in Longreach. Source: Supplied

Departing Longreach, the trip will follow the mighty Thomson River to Windorah, which is said to be the only place in the world where two rivers form a creek. The magnificent contrasting colours in Welford National Park, from the golden spinifex and white-barked ghost gums to the stunning red sand dunes, will make some perfect photo opportunities.

From here the tour journeys to Birdsville, where travellers will spend two nights at the iconic Birdsville Hotel. Built in 1884 and steeped in history, this pub is a popular bucket-list destination all on its own. But this tour takes in the legendary Birdsville Race Track, home to the popular Birdsville Races which are held each year, too, before moving on to Big Red – a 40 metre-high sand dune that marks the symbolic eastern edge of the Simpson Desert, where tour members will witness another glorious outback sunset.

The excitement doesn’t stop there, though, with the next stop at Bedourie, a remote town located on a sand dune that overlooks the Eyre Creek floodplain. This is followed by a journey to the town of Boulia and a visit to the Min Min Encounter, a tribute to the mysterious Min Min Light phenomenon.

Toast the glorious outback sunset from atop Big Red, a 40 metre-high sand dune on the eastern edge of the Simpson Desert, near Birdsville. Source: Supplied

The last stop before the trip back to Longreach is Winton, where travellers will enjoy lunch at the historic North Gregory Hotel where Waltzing Matilda was first played, and a visit to the newly rebuilt Waltzing Matilda Centre and the Australian Age of Dinosaurs for a fascinating tour of the laboratory, collection room and Dinosaur Canyon.

But even that isn’t the end of the outback experience, because after arriving back in Longreach, tour members will board the Spirit of the Outback for a journey back to Brisbane. It will be one last but lovely farewell to the vast outback, with picturesque views from every window of the train.

This fully inclusive holiday is set for departure in September next year, so there’s plenty of time think about all of the fun you’ll have with a group of like-minded travellers exploring some of the wonders Australia has to offer. But don’t wait too long to book, because the tour is expected to sell out fast!

Have you visited Queensland's outback? Is it on your bucket list?

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