Top 10 Family things to do in Longreach

There’s plenty to do and see at Longreach – a perfect mix history and modern conveniences!  Take one of the countless tours (land, air or water), take the kids to the skate park, aquatic centre, stroll around one of the museums, take in a show or two or if nature is where your interests lie you’ll be spoilt for choice with the national parks to explore either on foot, using pedal power or for the more adventurous four wheel driving.  Camp, fish, bird watch to your hearts content.   

The town is rich of outback history that is bound to make you channel your inner stockman!  So grab the bull by the horns and get out there and explore to your hearts content… but here are few tips to get you started!

First stop on the “to do” list is the Camden Park Station Historic Homestead!

Meet the Walker family and visit their property that hosted the Queen and Prince Phillip as you experience a working sheep and cattle station very close to town.  Book one of the tours with Outback Dan (a genuine living icon of the Outback) enjoy the historical Homestead Gardens Shearing Shed and Cattle Yards then tour the farm after a scrumptious smoko. 

The tours vary and take in the Swagman's Grave, the Historic 'dry bottom' Chainman's Well, Artesian Spring and Bore, Longreach's Highest Lookout, The 'Queen's Path' where Queen Elizabeth II walked and the oldest Private Ballroom in the Outback!

Absorb all the history and beauty at this truly remarkable homestead.

The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre is Australia’s premier outback heritage institution. Inside, the Centre’s five themed galleries proudly display the history behind some of Australia’s greatest and bravest explorers, stock workers, pastoralist, and Aborigines. The museum also houses a vast reserve collection which forms a unique work-in-progress display. From behind a glass wall, visitors can view archival material, photographs, artworks and various other items used for research and in new display development.

While you’re there take in live Outback Stockman's Show - meet a real Stockman and his animals in a one of a kind live show. From April through to October with daily shows running Tuesday to Sunday for either matinee or evening sessions (check website for exact details).

The Qantas Founders Museum is a world-class, award winning museum and cultural display, eloquently telling the story of the founding of Qantas through interpretive displays, interactive exhibits, replica aircraft and an impressive collection of genuine artefacts.  For the aeroplane enthusiasts you’ll marvel at the Museum’s signification collection and replicas. 

Check out the Powerhouse Museum for a nostalgic trip down memory lane that will make you appreciate all the creature comforts we have become so used to now and a great way for the kids to get a feel for the past. You will find the largest preserved rural generating facility in Australia; see the big engines, coal train, machinery and trucks of old. The Social History Museum houses old shop fittings, an old school room and history of the Longreach Region. Nogo’s Boundary rider’s cottage is a step back in time with horsehair mattresses, wood burning stove and windup telephone!

For a tour with a difference, take in a 75 minute historical cemetery tour and hear the stories of the town’s former residents as you navigate your way through Longreach Cemetery. Hear about what helped shaped them into the people they were, whilst also learning about the mysteries of the town.  Some of the stories to be told are of the Longreach Cinderella, Old Towner, a cemetery outcast and an aboriginal tracker who tracked down the last bushranger in Queensland!  Every ticket sold will be donated to the Longreach Archival and Historical Research Group Inc and to go towards Cemetery restoration and promoting and preserving the history of Longreach.  So not only will you be learning all about Longreachs’ rich Outback history, you will be helping restore the memories! Win/win really!

If sitting back with a beer or a glass or chardy is more your style then I suggest you look into the cruises on offer!

The Drover's Sunset Cruise - Relax on the top deck with 360 degree views of the majestic Thomson River. Your Captain with entertain you with stories about the river, its wildlife and Indigenous links. You can purchase drinks from their licensed bar and enjoy complimentary nibbles.  The boat will stop at Sunset Bend to toast the sunset and take in the stunning colours of the outback sky.  As the colours fade into starlight, they dock at Smithy's Outback Dinner & Show

The Starlight Cruise Experience - Board the only paddle wheeler west of the Great Divide or on the historic Thomson Princess Riverboat and enjoy an adventure to the heart of Outback tradition and legend. After a gentle cruise down the majestic Thomson, you go ashore for a traditional stockman’s camp-fire dinner, followed by bush poetry with a local outback storyteller. Next, is the Starlight’s Spectacular Sound & Light Picture Show – a unique big-screen presentation featuring locals in the amazing adventures of the notorious cattle thief known as ‘Captain Starlight’.  Finally, as the night is drawing to a close, you will enjoy the timeless favourite – billy tea and damper!

Treat the family and take them along to see the Harry Redford “Old Time Tent Show” Based on the traditional outback travelling shows, it’s hard not to be charmed by the simple delights of bush theatre. This is Aussie outback humour and ingenuity at its best! It’s a hilarious hour of entertainment featuring animals, stockmen and improvised live theatre with a laugh a minute. Kids love it and so do adults. The show runs daily at 12noon

Have a bit of fun and visit Kinnon & Co’s Station Store to book  an Old Time Photo Session, getting dressed up from a wardrobe of pioneer clothing for a portrait in the old style – the closest pioneers got to a selfie! No #fambam #lovethem insta photos back in those days.

The nature lovers won’t miss out either! There is a plethora of National Parks to choose from to walk, jog, bike, or four wheel drive your way around. Pitch a tent and immerse yourself in all nature has to offer - there’s plenty of waterholes to refresh yourself after a hard days trek.  Red dessert dunes, grassy plains, red gums, wildlife…what more could you want?  What’s that Skip….how’s the serenity? Bloody oath mate!

So really, to coin a phrase from Lara Bingle “where the bloody hell are ya”, for a fair dinkum outback experience – do yourself a favour and book your trip stat!

Cristy Houghton