Queensland Rail Travel’s Spirit of the Outback train takes city slickers from the heart of Brisbane to the heart of the Outback in 24 hours. It’s one of those “Must do” experiences, allowing travellers to enjoy the journey before they reach the destination.
From new cabins, to stylish new lounge areas, the train has undergone an overhaul – so there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets on board. There’s economy seats and sleepers, to all-inclusive first class which features fabulous food and a private cabin. Queensland Rail Travel is offering a special summer promotion 2-for-1 deal on the Spirit of the Outback.
A wonderful place for guests to base themselves in Longreach is at the new Kinnon and Co Slab Huts. They combine pioneer simplicity with 4-star comfort. There are 11 unique huts, each with charming features like four-poster beds, rustic kitchens and all the well-thought-out traditional touches to make guests feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.
Kinnon and Co also offer tours of their working sheep and cattle property – Nogo Station. The tour includes a sheep shearing demonstration and gives visitors a real glimpse of just how tough life on the land can be. It also tells the stories of the legends that helped shape the outback and includes a guided tour and country smoko at the restored Nogo Homestead, originally built in 1904.
The Kinnon family also run the Station Store & Cafe back in town. Out the back you’ll find the famous Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show and inside is an outback emporium where visitors can pick up all their country goods and souvenirs.
Winton is about 2 hour’s north-west of Longreach. It’s a small town with a lot to offer. It’s known as the birthplace of Qantas; home to the boulder opal and it’s the Dinosaur Capital of Australia. It’s also famous as the birthplace of Waltzing Matilda and the legend lived on through Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre, until fire destroyed it earlier this year.
The Qantilda Museum was saved and it houses a large collection of artefacts and memorabilia that tells the history of Winton. Plans are already underway for the Waltzing Matilda Centre to be re-built bigger and better than ever.
The Winton Outback Festival started 43 years ago as a way to stimulate the drought-stricken community and now the biennial event draws thousands of visitors from all over Australia and the World.
The 5-day festival has a jam-packed line-up of kooky events and entertainment that certainly brings the Wild to the West. There’s the Outback Ironman & Ironwoman competitions; the World Crayfish Derby; street parades; truck pulls; Derek Boyer – Australia’s Strongest Man; bush poetry; kids activities; entertainment and the world famous Dunny Derby.
The Winton Outback Festival will be returning in 2017, but there’s certainly plenty to see and do in the outback in the meantime.
Queensland Rail Travel
1300 660 390
Outback Queensland Tourism
Kinnon & Co