A journey from Longreach to Winton in Outback Queensland uncovers a lot about Queensland’s early days.
Explore Queensland’s outback history in Longreach, starting at the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders Museum and Powerhouse Museum. Find out how country kids do their schooling through one of the largest classrooms in the world at the School of Distance Education then take a Cobb and Co. coach ride. Just before sunset step aboard the Thomson Belle paddle wheeler cruise to spend an evening on the Thomson River for dinner and a show, and get a good night’s sleep before setting off on a country adventure.
Day 2 to 4
Hire a 4WD in Longreach and head to the Lochern National Park on the Thomson River, an important natural habitat of more than 24,000 hectares with many lagoons and waterholes that provide refuge for birds including cockatoos, emus, kites and stately brolgas. The Lochern Habitat Drive (approximately 40 kilometres return), takes two to four hours. Fishing in the waterholes is permitted (size and bag limits apply) and barbecue your catch for dinner at a bush camp at Broadwater Waterhole.
Drive to Stonehenge, signing the visitor's book on the way – Stonehenge style – by writing your town name with stones – a quirky tradition started years ago by the then mailman. Stop in Stonehenge for morning coffee, then drive on to John Egan Pioneer Drive to view magnificent landscapes sculpted over millions of years into amazing rock formations.
Enjoy the views from Swanvale Lookout, particularly at sunset, and arrive in Jundah in time for happy hour and some old fashioned outback hospitality at the Jundah Hotel, (and a bed for the night).
Day 3 to 6
Drive on through red mulga country to see the best example of dinosaur running tracks in the world that have been preserved for 95 million years and take a guided tour of the Dinosaur Stampede site at Lark Quarry Conservation Park. There are more than 3000 fossilised footprints scattered over the rock face. Continue on to Winton to see the world's largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils at Australian Age of Dinosaurs, but this is also the birthplace of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and the Waltzing Matilda Centre is the only museum dedicated completely to a song. It’s also the only town you’re ever likely to see a Dunny Derby, held every two years as part of the town’s Outback Festival. Make a diary note.