Rich with breathtaking landscapes, ochre and rugged roads and fair dinkum friendly locals, outback Outback Queensland is big, diverse, and welcoming. The region offers a range of landscapes, from desert and dunes, wetlands, rocky mountains, to old fashioned mining towns. With plenty of sealed roads, extensive day tours, modern facilities, and many accommodation options, Outback Queensland is the perfect place to plan your next family road-trip or personal expedition.
What to see and do:
Carnival of the Flowers
Every September, Toowoomba’s public parks come alive with a kaleidoscope of colour for the yearly Carnival of Flowers festival. With over 170,000 blooms, visitors will be able to view brilliant floral displays at several parks as well as enjoy live entertainment, local musos and storytellers. Don’t forget to also enjoy the Ferris wheel, twilight tours, and several foodies experiences on offer.
Cobb + Co Museum
Part of the Queensland Museum Network and home to the National Carriage Collection, Cobb + Co Museum features a variety of interactive displays, exhibits and heritage trade workshops. Be immersed in the charming National Carriage Collection as you learn about how horse-drawn vehicles contributed to the development of Queensland. If you’re with kids, the little ones will love The Coach Stop play area which will allow them to dress up in old fashion clothes and ride a life-sized replica horse.
Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame
The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is a spectacular museum which pays tribute to the people of outback Australia. Follow along as displays and exhibitions unfold Australia’s interesting history, from the arrival of the Aborigines more than 40,000 years ago to the British settlement to the establishment of agriculture, mining and other industries in country Australia. Other themes include the role of technology in farming and communication, as well as the development of outback properties and life in the outback.
Qantas Founders Museum
QFM is a world-class museum and cultural display, eloquently telling the story of Australia’s national airline. Through interactive exhibits, informative displays and an impressive collection of genuine artefacts, discover the founding story and operations of Qantas Airways Ltd. There are also guided tours which will give you the opportunity to stand inside an engine and walk on the wing of a plane.
Captain Starlight’s Lookout
Overlooking Longreach, this Lookout is located on top of a mesa in the middle of nowhere, provides the ultimate vantage point to view the outback’s desolate flatness rolling out towards the horizon.
Outback at Isa
As the town’s major tourism facility, Outback at Isa has a multitude of activities where visitors can learn about Mount Isa’s mining and rodeo history, including the Visitor Information Centre, Isa Experiences, Regional Art Gallery, and the Riversleigh Fossil Discovery Centre. One of the undeniable highlights here would be the Hard Times Mine Underground Tour, a thrilling hands-on underground tour taking you through the Hard Times Mine.
Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo
Hailed as the largest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere, this Rodeo attracts bull riders from over the world with serious prize money of $230,000 up for grabs each year. Experience a blood and adrenaline pumping program packed with bull riding, saddle bareback, ladies barrel racing, steer wrestling, and breakaway roping. Don’t forget the hotly-contested rodeo queen competition, if that’s more your style.
The short trip up to the lookout and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Mount Isa. Ideal times to go are the early evening, where you’ll be able to catch the smelter stacks being silhouetted against the Outback sunset. When the sun fully sets, the mine lights begin to twinkle with the billions of stars in the night sky. This magical view can be enjoyed alongside a casual meal at one of the shaded picnic tables.
How to get there:
Outback Queensland is wide and diverse and travel routes normally vary depending on your destination. However, most generally take a flight into Townsville or Brisbane before stopping over to switch to a regional flight or rent a car to start their road trip.
Best time to go:
The best times to travel are between March and October, where the temperatures are cooler and more comfortable. The warmest temperatures are during the summer months, from December to February.