How many towns with a mere population of 3000 can offer up days and days of things to do? Longreach, the unofficial capital of Central Queensland can lay claim to this with things to do in Longreach that will impress even the most worldly of travellers.

Perhaps best known as the home of QANTAS, however the interest in Longreach doesn’t stop with the pioneering airline history but stretches far and wide and is bound to capture the interest of any visitor because of the breadth and depth of things to do in and Longreach.


The history of our nation’s airline all housed in this impressive outback museum. You will travel right back to the beginning; learn about the pioneering spirit with history and stories shared by the local passionate guides. Once you delve into the history it’s incredible discovering what was achieved at a time when Australia was still a very young nation.

I loved seeing the old aircraft as part of the guided Airpark Tour option and I think if you visit and don’t book the tour you’re missing a major part of the museum. I was lucky to visit since the introduction of the Luminescent Longreach light and sound experience. I also like that it adds a new experience to your evenings while visiting town. The show is presented extremely well – taking you through a timeline of the airline’s history; it was more than I expected from any in house museum show, and just another reason that makes the Qantas Founders Museum a must visit when in Longreach.

Side note: for the major airplane aficionados – check out the option to do the 747 Wing Walk.


It was a lot more than I ever expected. Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is world class when it comes to a museum in our outback! My first impression was the level of sophistication of this experience. Starting out with a beautifully produced cinematic experience ‘Stockman’s Tale’. It’s just 20 minutes but sets the scene for a visit.  At your own pace wander through the various levels of the Hall of Fame and allow plenty of time as there’s a lot to take in. With an in house café it works well to break the visit with a coffee break, or lunch. Then there’s the Stockman’s Live show to bring you right up to life today as a stockman. It’s also top notch and impressively entertaining as it’s a live show with working dogs, sheep and horseman.


Enjoy the hospitality of the delightful Walker Family. If was good enough for our Queen and Prince Phillip to add to their Australian visit, it’s good enough for me! This is a working sheep and cattle station, and more recently the family have made a major investment into solar farming – and entire new ball game for industry in the outback.


With so much to do in Longreach don’t forget to take some chill time and take in their magnificent outback sunsets. A very chilled way to enjoy the sunset is with a gentle cruise onboard the Longreach Explorer – best spot is top deck! Enjoy the vista while sipping an ale or wine, taking in the tranquil view to the Coolibah-lined Thomson River and of course, the pretty outback sunset. Along the way, captain will share stories and history of this unique outback town.

Thompson River Turtle


Come off your Thomson River sunset cruise and join Smithy’s Outback Dinner & Show. It’s a pretty outdoor settig, under the Coolibah trees with a  two-course camp oven themed dinner and in true outback style; freshly baked damper and billy tea finishes the meal to a ‘t’.  


It’s hard not to be impressed by the way children of the outback gain their education through long distance learning. See first hand lessons in progress (given you visit during school hours) and explore the facilities that support children living in some of our Australia’s most remote country.

Longreach School of Distance Education tour


Anchored by the Wellshot Hotel, Ilfracombe is a short drive from Longreach and can boast its own unique character. 

The pub, The Wellshot hotel found it’s resting place in Ilfracombe back in 1890 having been relocated by bullock and cart back in the day from some other locations. No visit to Ilfracombe is complete without a visit to this pub, and a seat in their wide bottomed chairs (and pic too). There’s a story behind the hats pinned to the walls and money stuck to the roof; I won’t spoil the story and will leave that to your visit to find out what’s behind it. The Wellshot offers up some country pub grub, a great coffee stall, accommodation and of course drinks.

Machinery Mile is another clever attraction; an outdoor display, running a mile along the main street. It’s a nice amble along checking out old machinery, some very rare and collected from the region.


Wellshot Hotel Ilfracombe with Encounter Travel


You’ve come all the way to outback Central Queensland so be sure to add the not so far away town of Winton to your itinerary – the land of the dinosaurs. Winton is growing in recognition as a tourist hub for visits to outback central Queensland, and for good reason; it is home to the largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils in the word.

There’s a number of different experience to make up a complete visit; the Fossil Preparation Laboratory, Collection Room, Dinosaur Canyon and the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument.  


Australia Age of Dinosaurs


Dedicated to the story of Waltzing Matilda. A beautiful tribute to an unofficial Australian anthem.

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled:
"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda, with me………………….


On a final note; there’s a big attraction that I mention last but by no means least, and that’s the local folk you will meet along the way as you enjoy good old fashioned outback hospitality.

Join us. Longreach Outback Explorer

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About the author

Justine Waddington

Justine Waddington is the founder and director of Encounter Travel, a company that creates holiday groups exclusively for solo travellers. As a solo traveller with 60 countries under her belt and 15 years of arranging travel groups, Justine is in the unique position of being able to offer tips and advice from the perspective of an experienced solo traveller and also that of a travel agent.

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