- TRAVEL SPOTLIGHT
Longreach & Winton in outback Queensland.
2. HOW TO GET THERE
There are regular flights from Brisbane to Longreach, and it will take you a little over 2 hours flight time. Travelling to Longreach by car is also a popular way to go, and you’re looking at roughly 1,200 Klms one way (about 13 hours of driving). You can also take the Spirit of the Outback and visit by rail. You’ll be onboard for about 26 hours, and Longreach has its own train station so you conveniently disembark right in the heart of town. Car hire is available in Longreach once you arrive.
Winton is about 170klm northwest of Longreach. The county roads can be challenging at the best of times, add into the mix road trains combined with dirt roads, and this can create more challenges. If you don’t feel confident driving and would prefer to join an outback tour, there are several providers. Joining these tours means you can sit back and relax and the tour group will drive you around.
3. WHAT WE LOVED
The Qantas Founders Museum was without a doubt the Longreach highlight for us, particularly the night time Light Show.
The Stockman’s Hall of Fame was partially closed due to renovations, however that didn’t stop us from wondering around outside and taking in the aura of the building, splendid grounds & standing beside the iconic statue of the Ringer.
If you’re a “Crown” fan take the short trip out of town to Camden Park Station. During the Australian Royal Tour in 1970, The Queen and Prince Philip visited this property, which today is still a working cattle & sheep station.
There is a little town called Ilfracombe (about half an hour drive from Longreach) and it has a great little pub that does fantastic meals. The pub is very child friendly, with a big verandah wrapping around the pub and a big back yard for kids to run around in.
We were pleasantly surprised at how good the shopping in Longreach was, with several little boutique shops along the main street, coupled with bigger shops if needing essential items.
And finally we must add the Cobb & Co stage coach ride, Captain Starlight Lookout and Thompson River Cruise to the Longreach highlights list too!
The dinosaur trail was definitely the Winton highlight! Visiting Lark Quarry and seeing dinosaur footprints that are believed to be over 95 million years old was mind blowing & amazing. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum has the world’s largest collection of Australian Dinosaur fossils, and we must add the Canyon walk onto the highlights list too.
Winton is the birth place of Waltzing Matilda, so we felt it almost necessary to visit the museum.
After a big day of dinosaur bone hunting, culture & history, we can recommend the Winton public swimming pool & waterpark, as a great place to cool off and relax.
4. WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE
The average maximum temperatures during summer in Longreach is 36-37C degrees and 23-26C degrees during winter. During winter, temps can get down to between 7-8C degrees, so definitely pack a jumper if you’re visiting during the winter months.
Summer in Winton has averages between 36-38C and during winter temps average between 25-27C.
5. HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE THERE
The greater Longreach region records approx. 3500 in population with Winton checking in at around 1600 people.
6. WHERE TO STAY
The Longreach area has many accommodation options from motels & hotels to caravans, cabins & camping. There are also some great self-contained options. We stayed at The Albert Park Motel and it was clean and tidy with a pool and restaurant attached. Pricing was approx. $120 per night for a big room sleeping comfortably 2 adults and 2 children.
I have included the link below for more options to help you make the right accommodation choice for your family:
Unfortunately, our accommodation in Winton proved to not be the best choice for us, so I am reluctant to put it on the recommendation list. However, Winton has many more accommodation options as listed below:
- Winton Outback Motel
- North Gregory Hotel
- Boulder Opal Motor Inn
- Matilda Hotel
- Banjo’s Holiday Units
- Matilda Country Tourist Park
- The Pelican Caravan Park
7. WHAT’S THE FOOD LIKE
Dining in both Longreach & Winton is plentiful with a variety of options to choose from. In Longreach we can recommend the bakery, RSL, Harry’s and The Longreach Tavern. They all had good fresh food (big portion sizes) at reasonable prices. All places were extremely kid friendly & very welcoming.
We didn’t have one bad meal experience in Winton either, with the food highlight being The North Gregory. The pub has an outdoor dining area with lots of grass for kids to run around on and even includes a small kid’s playground. The meals came out quickly & with the kids entertained, it was a nice place to relax and enjoy dinner.
8. WHAT ABOUT THE FINANCES
Flights with Qantas Link were approx. $500 return (from Brisbane) per adult and $470 return (from Brisbane) per child. Admission into the various museums and other tourist attractions can vary depending on what activities you want to do and also the time of year. Links below with admission details to help you with the budget:
9. KID FRIENDLY RATING
We’re giving this trip a 4 out of 5!
10. SOME INTERESTING FACTS
# Did you know that Longreach is the official home of Qantas? It is in fact the birth place of Qantas & the first EVER Qantas flight took off from the Longreach airport!
# The water in Winton smells putrid (due to it being sourced from the artesian basin), however it is safe & drinkable. Just hold your nose while you drink, or buy yourself some bottled water!
That’s it for today’s travel spotlight! Have a safe & happy day out with the little people in your lives.
Enjoy your travels,