Outback Queensland covers a tremendous part of the state, and there is so much to see and do. Here are just some of the key centres worthy of a pit-stop or an extended stay.
The central western township of Birdsville is about 1,570 kilometres from the Queensland capital of Brisbane and it’s mainly known for three things: its proximity to the vast and beautiful Simpson Desert; the Birdsville pub, brimming with locals and host to an impressive collection of hats; and the annual Birdsville race day, when the Birdsville airstrip is packed with campers and small-engined aircraft.
However, there’s so much more to do around Birdsville than dune surfing, drinking and punting. Various waterways offer opportunities for kayaking, swimming and fishing, while there are several museums to explore that showcase the region’s history. A starting point is the Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre.
With a population of a little more than 3,100, Longreach attracts thousands of visitors every year in search of an authentic Outback experience. Begin at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, a museum and entertainment experience that pays homage to the history of the men and women, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who have called this corner of the world home.
Drop into the Longreach Visitor Information Centre to find out more about the Qantas Founders Museum, Heartland Theatre performances, helicopter tours, nature walks, self-guided driving adventures and campsite feasts under the mighty western sky.
Millions of years ago, Outback Queensland was a vast, inland sea and dinosaurs roamed its lush, tropical shores. This region, from Mt Isa to Quilpie, defines one of the newest tourist attractions in the Outback – Dinosaur Country – where the bones of these impressive creatures are regularly being revealed.
Visitors can spend an hour or two exploring Hughenden’s Flinders Discovery Centre or spend a week with Queensland Museum paleontologists digging for dinosaur bones. Do a self-drive tour of the Dinosaur Trail: visit Richmond’s Kronosaurus Korner and Winton’s Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, then head to Muttaburra and Hughenden to check out the giant Muttaburrasaurus.