Outback Queensland Destination Guide
Outback Queensland Holidays
Wetlands and waterholes, pockmarked lunar landscapes, red desert sand dunes and cattle stations so large you’ll need to pack breakfast, lunch and dinner just to visit the neighbours; Outback Queensland is a big place, full of big characters and big history.
When you look at it on a map, Outback Queensland takes up pretty much the whole interior of the state, with major townships such as Mount Isa, Longreach and Charleville.
Here, you can follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs in Winton, grab a beer in a grand old hotel, frock up for the bush races and witness some of the world’s best stargazing, not to mention visit the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda, Qantas and the Royal Flying Doctor Service, kayak through a remote gorge, or simply relish the vast open space in this big sky country.
Outback Queensland is a big place with big attractions. You might choose to take it easy, floating down rivers in Cobbald Gorge or Lawn Hill, or up the ante by sand-boarding the red dunes.
Feel the thrill of following in the footsteps of an ancient reptile, joining a dig to dust off dinosaur bones, or trawling through the impressive displays in the museums throughout Outback Queensland, like the Qantas Founders Museum or Stockman's Hall of Fame.
Take time to learn the stories of the past and where Aussie legends were born, and experience an action-packed stay by coinciding your trip with an Outback event. From festivals and campdrafts to races and rodeos, there’s a full calendar of colourful and quirky events from which to choose.
Eat & Drink
Nowhere else but Outback Queensland can you sleep under star-studded skies, bond with a bushman over a beer, dig for million-years-old dinosaur fossils and watch camels race against the clock.
There's nowhere better to get a taste for the Outback life than at a local pub. Pin the Birdsville Hotel, the Blue Heeler Hotel in Kyuna, Winton's North Gregory Hotel, the Nindigully Pub, and Barcaldine's Shakespeare Hotel on your map.
Whether the local watering hole is a grand old federation building or a tin shack, there’s always a cold beer, a big steak and a tall tale. Experience a working sheep and cattle station and sit around a camp fire for some authentic bush tucker and billy tea.
Where to Stay
Outback Queensland can be split into four regions: South West, Far West, Central West and North West, each with a handful of townships to their name. With a town every 100 to 300 kilometres, in Outback Queensland you're never too far from a friendly smile and comfortable place to rest your head.
Pull up in one of the many caravan parks or camping sites throughout the region or, for that homely feeling, try one of the bed-and-breakfasts. Hotels and motels offer everything from basic to luxurious rooms to self-contained units. For a true blue Outback experience, stay on a working station where you will make lifelong friends and be made to feel as though you’re part of the family.
If you're looking for a shopping holiday, Outback Queensland isn't it. Still, you can pick up some quirky souvenirs along the way and there are endless memories for you to take home and cherish. Visit the towns of Hughenden, Richmond and Winton on Australia’s Dinosaur Trail, with a swag of museums between them for learning about the ancient giants that once roamed our great southern land.
In Longreach, you can tick off the Big 3 with a pass to the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders’ Museum and two Kinnon & Co tours: the Cobb & Co stagecoach ride and the Thomson River sunset cruise.
Outback Queensland Like a Local
Whether you arrive by train, plane or road, you’ll have the best point of view if you simply look up. Make like a local and watch a purple and orange-hued sunset over the sand dunes of the Simpson Desert, or climb into a swag and camp out under the moonlight on the banks of an Outback River.
For something a little more hands-on, gaze through a telescope at the clearest of starry skies at an Outback observatory in Charleville, or head north into the Gulf Savannah, wet a line and land yourself a wild barramundi.