13 Day Tour - Longreach & Outback Queensland
Longreach is in the centre of a vast area known as the Central West, in the geographical heart of Outback Queensland. There are some fascinating things to see and do
Longreach is in the centre of a vast area known as the Central West, in the geographical heart of Outback Queensland. There are some fascinating things to see and do in this part of the world – a region that attracted bush poets like Banjo Patterson and pioneers, like the early post World War One pilots who formed the Queensland and Northern Territory Arial Services. This service in turn helped form the Flying Doctor Service. What really makes the area are the characters who live here. On this tour we are sure to meet plenty of them.
Day 1 (LD) WAGGA WAGGA TO RAYMOND TERRACE: Monday, 8th April 2024
What a tour we have ahead of us as we head off to Longreach & Outback Queensland via the Gold Coast. Once the coach is loaded and we have everyone on board we are ready to go. We head over to the Hume Highway and travel north through Gundagai and Goulbourn and then into the Southern Highlands. Lunch today is at the Mittagong RSL Club. Then we continue via Sydney to Raymond Terrace for our first night on tour.
(Meal inclusions: Club lunch/Welcome dinner)
Sir Francis Drake Inn, Raymond Terrace
Day 2 (BLD) RAYMOND TERRACE TO THE GOLD COAST: Tuesday, 9th April 2024
The New South Wales North Coast is one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations. We will see a little bit of it today as we make our way on the Pacific Highway through to Kempsey. Here, we stop to salute the King of Country at the Slim Dusty Centre. Discover the tale of the boy born David Gordon Kirkpatrick who became the well-loved Slim Dusty. Further up the road is Port Macquarie. Founded in 1821, it is one of the oldest towns in the state and was a convict settlement until 1840. “Port” as it is fondly known by the locals, has both a river frontage (the Hastings River enters the sea here) and a series of ocean beaches starting right in the town. Late afternoon we arrive on the Gold Coast for a 2-night stay.
(Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel/Light lunch)
Mantra at Sharks, Southport
Day 3 (BLD) EXPLORING THE GOLD COAST: Wednesday, 10th April 2024
Today, our morning is spent at one of the most famous attractions on the Gold Coast – SeaWorld. This is a world class theme park with so much to see and do. Late morning, we head into the Gold Coast Hinterland to a little place called Wongawallan. The very British Fox and Hounds Hotel is the Gold Coast’s only authentic English Pub (and the only pub in Australia to have been transported from England!) At Fox & Hounds why not sample a British Ale and some traditional fare such as Toad in the Hole, Yorkshire Pudding, Atlantic Cod and Beef & Guinness Pie weekend Roasts. Tonight will be special! There is no place on earth like the Australian Outback… and no show on earth like the new show at the Australian Outback Spectacular – Heartland.
It’s an all-new story with true Australian characters, Reg and Marge, who are battling a severe five year drought on their farm. This heart touching story will resonate with many as it delves into real world struggles that many Aussie farmers are dealing with today. With the help from some unlikely characters and friendships, the pair overcome the harsh realities of life in the Australian Outback. Prepare to embark on a vivid and spectacular ride into the heart of the Australian bush under the iconic red roof with a delicious three course dinner. What a fabulous night!
(Meal Inclusions: Breakfast in the hotel/Pub lunch/Dinner at the Outback Spectacular)
Mantra at Sharks, Southport
Day 4 (BLD) THE GOLD COAST TO BUNDABERG: Thursday, 11th April 2024
This morning we head to Yandina and the Ginger Factory on the Sunshine Coast. We will enjoy a tour tracing the life of ginger from planting to final use. See ginger growing in the patch and then view the factory from the observation deck to see production. After a light lunch we can visit the Gingertown shops and Nutworks. We then continue on through the National Trust town of Childers. The township is set on top of rolling hills of red soil framed by green fields of sugar cane. In 1902 a disastrous fire destroyed much of Childers. The subsequent rebuilding has given us the amazing variety of architectural styles still largely intact today. A great example is Gaydon’s building (1894) in Churchill Street which is now the home of Childers Pharmaceutical Museum. We arrive in Bundaberg with time to freshen up before dinner.
(Meal Inclusions: Breakfast and dinner in the motel/Light lunch)
Burnett Riverside Hotel, Bundaberg
Day 5 (BD) BUNDABERG TO EMERALD: Friday, 12th April 2024
An iconic attraction in Bundaberg is the Bundaberg Rum Distillery – and that is where we are heading this morning! This Australian spirit has been rolled out of the production line for well over 100 years. Today we are here for a self-guided tour. We’ll be able to look, feel and taste our way through the making process starting with the raw material molasses to the aromas of maturing spirit. Next we head to Rockhampton. Located on the banks of the Fitzroy River, Rockhampton sits astride the Tropic of Capricorn. After a relatively small gold rush, cattle soon became the big industry. Rockhampton is the regional capital of central Queensland and has several well preserved, riverside buildings within its business district. On arrival we have time to stretch our legs and buy lunch before we join the Capricorn Highway travelling through Blackwater and on to Emerald.
(Meal Inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in motel)
Western Gateway Motel, Emerald
Day 6 (BLD) EMERALD TO LONGREACH: Saturday, 13th April 2024
This morning we have time to look at the National Trust listed Railway Station. Built in 1900 and restored in 1986, the Station. With its wrought iron latticework and pillared portico, truly is a beautiful building. We can also view an ancient, fossilised tree aged 250 million years outside the Emerald Town Hall. On the road again, we will stop to enjoy our picnic lunches as we travel through the outback towns of Bogantungan and Alpha before travelling to Barcaldine. This town is steeped in the history of the early pioneer’s struggles. Hear about the shearers strike in the 1890’s and see the “Tree of Knowledge” next to the Barcaldine Railway Station, which marks the spot where the Australian Labour Party was formed. We also visit the Worker’s Heritage Centre. It is the only national attraction dedicated to celebrating the lives and proud heritage of everyday working people. The displays tell the stories of the railway workers and blacksmiths, the farmers, nurses, and teachers who shaped the nation. This afternoon, we stop in Ilfracombe where we have time to “wet the whistle” at the famous Wellshot Hotel. The last leg of today’s journey is to Longreach, a town which played a significant role in the early development of Central Queensland and Outback Australia. We arrive in Longreach and, after our day on the road, we can settle in and unpack for the next three nights.
(Meal Inclusions: Breakfast and dinner in the hotel /Picnic lunch)
Longreach Motor Inn, Longreach
Day 7 (BD) EXPLORING LONGREACH: Sunday, 14th April 2024
On today’s adventures we will uncover some national treasures, such as the historic 1922 QANTAS hanger, at the QANTAS Founders Museum. The historic photographs, memorabilia and multi-media displays bring alive the inspirational stories of one of the world’s pioneering airlines. We then cross over to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame where we have made a booking for the Outback Stockman’s Show. The show encompasses the modern-day aspects of being a stockman, as well as telling the tales of what it used to be like in the past. We have some free time in the Hall of Fame. Tonight, we enjoy a sunset cruise and dinner on the banks of the Thomson River. Relax on the top deck of the Longreach Explorer and take in 360-degree views of the Thomson River. Enjoy entertaining and informative commentary detailing river and cultural stories. Unwind with complimentary nibbles platters and purchase drinks from the licensed onboard cash bar. As the sunset fades into starlight, we dock at Smithy’s Outback Dinner & Show for a night of great food and live entertainment under the stars. There will be an open fire and bush poetry. It will be a fantastic night.
(Meal Inclusions: Breakfast in the motel/themed dinner)
Longreach Motor Inn, Longreach
Day 8 (BD) EXPLORING WINTON: Monday, 15th April 2024
Out towards Winton, on the top of what the locals refer to as a “jump up” is a fascinating attraction called The Australian Age of Dinosaurs. It is located on a rugged mesa plateau formation that stands 75 metres above the surrounding plains. We will have a clear view to spot any dinosaurs in the vicinity! The area surrounding Winton is full of archaeological digs. Today at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs we take a tour and learn about this prehistoric phenomenon and see real dinosaur bones being prepared in the laboratory. The facility has won many awards for its design and content. From here we go into the township of Winton. It was in this area that Banjo Paterson wrote his famous poem about the swagman and the jolly jumbuck, and “Waltzing Matilda” was first heard. The Waltzing Matilda Museum has been rebuilt after a fire destroyed it, so it is even bigger and better than it ever was, a must-see attraction in Winton. We then head back to Longreach. Dinner tonight is at the QANTAS Founders Outback Museum.
(Meal inclusions: Breakfast in the motel/2 course dinner at QANTAS Founders)
Longreach Motor Inn, Longreach
Day 9 (BLD) LONGREACH TO MITCHELL: Tuesday, 16th April 2024
We farewell Longreach this morning and make our way back to Barcaldine and then onto Blackall. This town is home to the legendary gun shearer Jack Howe and is where he set the almost unbelievable record of shearing 321 sheep with blade shears in a day. A bronze statue now stands as a monument to the man and the achievement. Blackall also claims to be the home of the black stump which has always loomed large in rural Australian mythology as a place beyond which was no man’s land. as we turn south to begin our journey home. We continue through Augathella to Mitchell for our overnight stop.
(Meal Inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the hotel/Picnic lunch)
The Cambridge Motel, Mitchell
Day 10 (BLD) MITCHELL TO LIGHTNING RIDGE: Wednesday, 17th April 2024
This morning we pass through an interesting place called Muckadilla. We enjoy a brief stop at the Muckadilla Whistle Stop and Native Bush Gardens. The Whistle Stop houses local memorabilia, including a tribute to Australia’s shortest serving Prime Minister and local lad, Frank Forde. We will see the Major Mitchell Monument and Leichhardt Monument – both of which pay tribute to the explorers who passed through the region from 1846. Next stop is Roma – home to the largest saleyards in Australia. We have an appointment in Roma at Big Rig Oil Patch. The outdoor museum tells the story of the formation of gas in coal reserves. After an early lunch we begin our journey south heading through St George, Dirranbandi and over the border into New South Wales for a 2 night stay in Lightning Ridge.
(Meal inclusions: Breakfast & dinner in the motel/Light lunch in Roma)
Wallangulla Motel, Lightning Ridge
Day 11 (BD) EXPLORING LIGHTNING RIDGE: Thursday, 18th April 2024
After breakfast we head across to the Walk-In-Mine to experience the atmosphere of an underground mine. We also have a tour including a video presentation and explanation about opal mining. We then visit the showroom to view the opals that came from the mines in this area. Next is some free time to purchase an early lunch and to have a wander along the main street. Our afternoon appointment is at the Chambers of the Black Hand. Opened in April 2007, this is a unique tourist mine, 11.2 meters down. Local artist Ron Canlin has created the most amazing paintings and sculptures, including The Last Supper, Archangel Gabriel the Chinese Terracotta Warriors. Ron is constantly carving new work such as a samurai warrior, so there are changes every day as there is no end to his talent. The second level is a mine that has been worked for over 100 years and all the old shafts and drives that were dug by the old timers are still there. On this level you get a Geology tour on the different strata’s opal formation, which is an experience not to be missed. It is amazing and there is nothing else like it in Australia.
(Meal inclusions: Breakfast & Dinner)
Wallangulla Motel, Lightning Ridge
Day 12 (BLD) LIGHTNING RIDGE TO COONABARABRAN: Friday, 19th April 2024
This morning we bid farewell to Lightning Ridge and travel to Walgett and Coonamble, then east into the Warrumbungle National Park. This mountain range juts abruptly from the expanse of inland plains, born of violent volcanic action some 13 million years ago. The National Park is home to hundreds of native animals and wildflowers bedeck the mountains and plain lands of the park. We spend time travelling though the national park, experiencing the peace and tranquility of this magnificent, protected environment. The picnic areas within the park are plentiful and it’s at one of these areas we stop to enjoy our lunch. Our overnight accommodation is at Coonabarabran.
(Meal inclusions: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)
Matthew Flinders Motel Inn, Coonabarabran
Day 13 (BL) COONABARABRAN TO WAGGA WAGGA: Saturday, 20th April 2024
After breakfast we travel south via Wellington and Molong to Cowra for lunch at the Japanese Gardens. Afterwards we have time to explore the Gardens – designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Ken Nakajima. The 5-hectare Japanese Gardens follow the edo style walking garden of the Shugakin Imperial Villa in Kyoto built between 1655 and 1659. The garden itself is designed to represent the landscape of Japan and features a stream cascading in waterfalls into two large ponds. Later this afternoon we arrive back in Wagga Wagga to complete a sensational 2-week tour.
(Meal inclusions: Breakfast in the motel/Light Lunch)
Tour Cost (GST inclusive)
$5490.00 per person (twin/double share)
$ 840.00 single supplement
For further information, or to book your ticket please – CONTACT US
All itineraries are subject to change due to occasional restrictions in opening times/days of some attractions, e.g. churches, wineries. We cannot be held responsible for any changes due to closures, inclement weather.
april 8 (Monday) - 20 (Saturday)