Outback Pioneers' award-winning outback tours and experiences, based in Longreach, is all about holidays and experiences that bring the pioneer past to life and take you to the heart of what it means to live large in a region many hundreds of kilometres from big-city boundaries.
You'll be thrilled when you board the stagecoach for Australia's only Cobb and Co gallop along part of an old mail route. Or cruise the splendid Thomson River from sunset to starlight in a historic paddlewheeler followed by stockman's dinner by the campfire. There's nothing quite like the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show with its mix of mayhem, animal antics and crazy humour. And you must visit historic Nogo Station - a working sheep and cattle station where you can see Outback Pioneers' shearer at work and enjoy what is possibly the best home-baked 'smoko' in the west!
If dinosaurs are your thing, there's a Outback Pioneers day tour to Winton too visiting the Australian Age of Dinosaurs museum. Whichever of the experiences you choose, you feel you are sharing a real outback experience with genuine outback people who live and breathe the region's past, present and future.
Outback Pioneers' air-conditioned coach tour to Winton travels the 180 kilometres from Longreach and gives a local's insight into the scenery and attractions.
Winton is known for its dinosaur fossils and the Australian Age Of Dinosaurs museum is one of the highlights of the tour - an opportunity to learn more about the amazing creatures that once walked this part of the world. You'll also visit Corfield and Fitzmaurice - a magnificent example of a general store, which is heritage listed by the National Trust. Opened in 1878, it was Winton's first general store and today houses a great selection of handmade crafts and a mini museum which includes more of the region's dinosaur history.
You'll also enjoy a leisurely lunch at the legendary North Gregory Hotel, first opened in 1879, a visit to the Diamantina Heritage Truck and Machinery Museum, the Musical Fence, the Willie Mar Chinese Gardens and Arno's Wall.
The Winton Discovery Experience runs on Saturdays. Bookings are essential.
Outback history and a contemporary working station come together at Outback Pioneers' Nogo Station near Longreach.
Abigail (née Kinnon) welcomes you to her home and cooks up a wonderful morning tea while you experience a sheep-shearing demonstration by a champion shearer and go on the 'station water run' - a daily part of station life, checking water sources and making sure livestock have water. You'll pass by the remains of the stockyards where local legend Captain Starlight is said to have kept his ill-gotten cattle and it's not hard to imagine the cattle-duffer holing up here before heading 3000 kilometres south with 1000 head of cattle.
Back at the homestead, Abigail will share the house's history and you can explore some of the public rooms to get a sense for what life would have been like here in the pioneering past.
The Outback Pioneers tour is by air-conditioned coach, which picks you up from your accommodation and takes you around the historic sites of Longreach before travelling the 15 kilometres out to Nogo. Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7.45am to 11.45am. Bookings essential.
Relive the heyday of stagecoach travel with Outback Pioneers' unique and award-winning stagecoach gallop. On the Cobb and Co experience you'll travel in a restored stagecoach - first at a leisurely pace through town and then full-tilt along a stretch of the original Longreach to Windorah mail route. Hear the pounding hooves of the magnificent horses on the outback dirt road. Hear the rattle and creak of the coach. Hold on to your hat for the only stagecoach gallop in Australia! It's exhilarating. It's entertaining. And it's the closest you can get to feeling what it would have been like in the pioneer past.
After the ride and photos, slow down with a traditional smoko (the original Aussie tea break), a classic Australian movie in retro cinema seats and their Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show, which has fun for all the family in a tribute to the old travelling shows.
The four hour experience starts from the Station Store in Longreach - bookings essential. The Cobb and Co Stagecoach Gallop and Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show can also be booked separately.
This is Aussie outback humour and ingenuity at its best presented by the Kinnon family troupe and their four-legged friends! 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.
Based on the traditional outback travelling shows, it's hard not to be charmed by the simple delights of bush theatre - but be warned - the folks in those days didn't have quite the same standards of political correctness so you'll need to leave your high horse at the gate and share a few old-fashioned jokes in the good-natured spirit they are intended.
The show commences at Monday to Friday at 12 noon. This is part of the Outback Pioneers Cobb and Co Stagecoach Experience or can be booked separately.
Make sure you don't miss Outback Pioneers' cruise to experience the only paddle-wheeler west of the Great Divide or the historic Thomson Princess Riverboat and enjoy an adventure to the heart of outback tradition.
After a gentle cruise down the majestic Thomson, where birds flock home to roost on the riverbanks at sunset, they go ashore for a traditional stockman's camp-fire dinner under the stars, followed by bush poetry with a local outback storyteller.
Next, the bush is illuminated by the Starlight's Spectacular Sound and Light Picture Show - a unique big-screen presentation featuring the Kinnon family and locals in the amazing adventures of the notorious cattle thief known as 'Captain Starlight'. This movie is a tribute to the bush skills of the rogue drovers and was specially commissioned by Outback Pioneers to celebrate this story of audacity and daring.
Finally, in the atmospheric surroundings of the bush at night, enjoy the timeless favourite - billy tea and damper. The tour departs Monday to Saturday 4.45pm - bookings essential.
A four day break to relax and experience something different.
Discover a slower pace of life where you can leave your stresses and technology dependence behind.
You'll stay with Kinnon and Co in either their deluxe Homestead Stable or Pioneer Slab Hut. Then reconnect with your inner pioneering spirit by doing the Cobb and Co Stagecoach Experience, exploring the Qantas Founders Museum, relaxing on the Starlight's Cruise Experience and discovering the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame. There is plenty to do in Longreach.