Days 9 – 10 Longreach
(213km / 2¼ hrs)
Longreach was one of the founding towns for Qantas, the national airline and one of the oldest airlines in the world. One of the airline's original hangars remains in use at the airport and is listed on the Australian National Heritage List.
Longreach is now the home of the Qantas Founders Outback Museum, which includes amongst its displays a decommissioned Qantas Boeing 747-200 aircraft and Qantas's first jet aircraft, a Boeing 707. In recognition of Longreach’s place in history of Qantas, as well as a play on the airliner's extended range, all of Qantas's Boeing 747-400s have "Longreach" printed on both sides of the first jetway entry/exit doors.
Longreach is also home to the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, which was officially opened in 1988 by the Queen. The centre showcases the history and the culture of life in rural Australia and since opening, over 1 million people have passed through its doors.
Days 11 – 12 Winton
(180km / 2 hrs)
“Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong…” You’ll be forgiven for relentlessly singing this famous tune while you’re in Winton, as it’s the home of Banjo Patterson’s ‘Waltzing Matilda’. You can learn all about Banjo and the adopted national anthem at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton.
The unofficial Australian anthem isn’t the only this that Winton is known for; it’s also dinosaur territory. At the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, just outside of Winton, you can see the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils.
Winton also boasts the world’s only recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede, there are 3,300 stampeding footprints immortalised in stone which are more than 95 million years old and they can be seen at the Dinosaur Stampede at Lark Quarry Conservation Park.
Day 13 Mount Isa
(468km / 5 hrs)
Mount Isa is known locally as the 'oasis of the outback’ and is a gleaming mirage on the horizon for travellers from every direction. Nestled on the banks of the Leichhardt River and among the ochre-red Selwyn Ranges, Mount Isa is a melting pot of culture and industry and also home to the world's third-largest rodeo.
Explore the huge Mount Isa Mine - the world's largest single producer of copper, silver, lead and zinc. Back in 1923, John Campbell Miles found a silver-lead ore outcrop and this rich deposit is still producing high volumes of ore today and is classed as one of the world's great mines. Take a visit to the Hard Times Mine which is a working replica mine, designed and operated by miners, where you can get an insight into mining in Mount Isa.
Visit one of the Queensland’s largest Royal Flying Doctor bases, the School of the Air, which provides education to students on remote properties as far as 1000 kilometres away. You can also explore the National Trust Tent House, a WW2 Underground Hospital and the Beth Anderson Museum which contains antique medical equipment.
Days 14 – 15 Karumba
(565km / 6½ hrs)
Karumba is a fishing destination on the banks of the Norman River where, each winter, fishermen from all over Australia and further afield come to try their luck in the fish-rich waters of the Gulf.
Previously, Karumba was a small, sleepy town but it has now evolved into two interconnected, but separate, towns, there’s the industrial side with its wharves, barramundi farm, prawn processing plant and MMG Century Mine loading facility, then there’s the tourist side with caravan parks, cafes and the Sunset Tavern with its views across the mouth of the Norman River, plus there is the famous Mud Crab and Crocodile tour.
Days 16 – 17 Cobbold Gorge
(458km / 6¾ hrs)
The Cobbold Gorge is located deep in the heart of the Gulf Savannah region of Far North Queensland and is a hidden outback oasis. In order to protect this unique environment, access to Cobbold Gorge is by an optional guided tour only and we recommend booking these well in advance.
Gorge Tour - This three-hour tour includes a walk to the escarpment followed by a boat cruise through the gorge.
Ultimate Outback Adventure - This full-day tour allows you to venture further into the sandstone escarpment, viewing towering sandstone arches and fossicking for agates. Learn about the history of the area, including a visit to the grave of pioneer John Corbett, before enjoying a relaxing boat cruise through Cobbold Gorge.
Scenic Helicopter Flights - 15-minute or 30-minute flights over Cobbold Gorge and Newcastle Ranges.