You don’t get more Aussie than the Outback, and Queensland has a huge swathe of red sand in its interior. Check out 20-million-year-old bones in the country’s dinosaur capital, discover a green oasis in the middle of the desert, join in a one-of-a-kind outback festival and sleep under a star-filled sky.
The Central West is the heart of Outback Queensland, a place built by pioneers and stockmen. Visit Longreach, the birthplace of an Australian icon at the Qantas Founders Museum and learn about the region’s fascinating history at the Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Learn about Waltzing Matilda in Winton where the song was original performed.
Longreach Airport is on the edge of town, with flights arriving from Brisbane and Townsville. You can also catch the Spirit of the Outback train from Rockhampton.
Things can get wild in Queensland’s rugged North West. Visit the thriving mining town of Mount Isa, saddle up for the Mount Isa Rodeo, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, and drop in at the historic Underground Hospital built during WWII. Canoe through vivid red gorges in the Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and search for ancient fossils in the limestone outcrops of Riversleigh World Heritage Area. Head to Hughenden to see 'Hughie', the seven-metre Muttaburrasaurus and an impressive fossil collection. And, don’t leave without visiting the Porcupine Gorge National Park.
Mount Isa Airport is about 10 minutes outside of the town and welcomes flights from Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane.
The closest section of Outback Queensland to Brisbane, the South West is home to colourful characters, wedge-tailed eagles and boulder opals. Bathe in mineral-rich mud at the Eulo Mud Baths, meet a tiny endangered marsupial at the Charleville Bilby Experience Centre and peer into the heavens at the Charleville Cosmos Centre.
Charleville Airport has flights to Brisbane and regional Queensland centres. You can also drive from Brisbane – the journey takes about 8.5 hours.
Queensland’s Far West is the place for adventurers. Explore the rugged Simpson Desert by 4WD, see the Big Red sand dune glow at sunset and watch thousands of migratory birds flock to the wetlands of the Diamantina National Park. If you’re looking for outback entertainment, catch a famous Australian band at the Big Red Bash or back a winner at the Birdsville Races.