A journey of complete contrast between the Queensland outback and Great Barrier Reef

Given the two iconic perceptions of Australia, the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef, this journey presents a celebration of both.

Immerse yourself in the heart stirring spirit of the bush through quality national exhibits presented by authentic  outback folk. Enjoy wilderness walks, country towns and their communities, then savour the beauty and world heritage wonders of two pristine Queensland islands.

Visit the “Age of Dinosaurs, Museum of Natural History”, the “Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre”, Winton and Longreach townships, Salvator Rosa and Carnarvon Gorge National Parks, World Heritage Lady Musgrave and Fraser Islands and Great Barrier Reef – a scenic travel holiday with some delightful guided walks.

2021 departures and prices now available. Register now for your priority reservation and advanced releases.

Note:  We expect our post-Coronavirus touring program under the “new normal” will recommence on August 23, 2020. Until then we are ensuring guests can secure a reservation for any 2020-21 tour without any financial risk of a deposit. Normal pricing and discount offers will remain. Deposits will be requested once restrictions are eased and tours have confirmed access. We expect tours to remain the same. Health authority advices and protocols will apply. Secure your reservation by firstly, enquiring today.

Tour Highlights

Why you'll like this tour

Prepare yourself for new experiences every day. A journey enhanced by optional guided walks, side tours, outback town immersion and the traditional welcome of bush people.

  • Visit the age of dinosaurs and stampede tracks frozen from a moment in time, 95 million years ago
  • Celebrate the spirit of endeavour and contribution of bush heroes
  • Dine where Australia’s national song, Waltzing Matilda was first performed
  • Journey along old bullock trails, dubbed the “Wilderness Way“
  • Immerse yourself in the sandstone peaks, walls, gorges and canyons of Salvator Rosa and Carnarvon Gorge National Parks
  • Spend quality time viewing galleries of Aboriginal Rock Art
  • Take a day cruise to a pristine island paradise complete with coral gardens forming an azure lagoon. A jewel in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
  • Join a 4WD beach safari to the world’s largest sand island with its extensive sand blows, multi-coloured sand cliffs, delightful freshwater “perched lakes” and towering forests
Enlarge Map
outback-queensland-great-barrier-reef

Itinerary

Day 1 Symbolic outback arrival in Longreach for a tour briefing, then time to go Waltzing Matilda to Winton

Guests usually arrive in Longreach on a Qantas flight from Brisbane early to mid morning (train journey is also an option). You will be greeted at the airport and transferred to our tour briefing venue. Then go Waltzing Matilda with Nature Bound to the far west town of Winton, set in a timeless landscape.

Features

  • You will travel west to the outback township of Winton, most likely to be welcomed by a flock of crazy gregarious and colourful Galahs
  • First priority is to visit the Waltzing Matilda Centre for an early insight into Australian folklore and people of the far west
  • Learn of the Centre’s spirited recovery from a heritage and soul shattering fire
  • Take the rest of the day to enjoy the sights of this genuine country town, on foot, a blend of modern and old world features
  • Drop into the heritage listed Corfield & Fitzmaurice General Store 1878. Winton’s first store and now celebrating much of the natural history in the region
  • The town has hosted a number of outback movie productions in recent years
  • Dine at the grand old lady - the North Gregory Hotel 1879, where Waltzing Matilda our national song was performed for the first time

Accommodation

Boulder Opal Motor Inn with ensuite rooms - 2 nights.

Meals

Town cafe Lunch and A/Tea

Historic hotel, restaurant dinner

Travel

Driving:  174 kms relaxed travel in 2 stages

Walking: Casual roaming at travel breaks, feature stops and around town

Day 2 Imagine, once a wetland landscape in the age of dinosaurs, 95 million years ago

Awake to the dawn antics and sounds of those local Galahs and after breakfast embark on a transformation into the Dinosaur territory bordering Winton.

Features

  • The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. The world’s largest collection of Australian Dinosaur fossils
  • Centre of Excellence for the location, processing and presentation of Australia’s outback natural history
  • An ultra-modern exhibit located high on a rugged mesa plateau or “jump up” rising from the characteristic black soil plains
  • The only recorded dinosaur stampede on earth has been protected for public education and viewing at the Lark Quarry Conservation Park. 150 two legged dinosaurs stampeding on a great river plain, so different from present day
  • More than 3,300 fossilised footprints dating back around 95 million years have been preserved, closely verified by Australian and international scientists. Major finds from this era are still being unearthed across the region
  • Visit Bladensburg National Park featuring an old station homestead and shearing shed set in the unique Channel country dotted with flat topped mesas.
  • Chance sightings of large Red and Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Emus, Brolga and the heaviest flying bird, the Australian Bustard with its stately, “snooty” walk

Accommodation

Boulder Opal Motor Inn with ensuite rooms

Meals

Motel restaurant breakfast

Tailgate M/Tea, lunch, A/Tea

Motel restaurant dinner

Travel

Driving:  170 kms in 5 stages

Walking:  Casual roaming at travel breaks and feature stops

Day 3 Returning to “long-reach” named after the reach of the river on which it sits

Firstly, a little more time to explore the Winton township and unique country stores before you head back to Longreach and settle in for a new wave of outback experiences.

Features

  • Qantas, our national airline was actually born in Winton but raised in Longreach
  • A visit to the Longreach based Qantas Founders Outback Museum
  • Celebrate the “flying kangaroo” history and beginnings in this town and inspect the inner sanctums of its retired jets
  • Walk the garden path to the nearby Stockman’s Hall of Fame to view the quoted memories and verse of outback heroes
  • We reflect on a friend, RM Williams, Australia’s celebrated bushman who was instrumental in bringing the Hall of Fame from dream to reality
  • We share some personal story telling around Tom Quilty, RM and a national endurance horse ride conceived to honour the spirit of bush horsemanship
  • Learn more of our droving heroes, their epic feats and contributions. Unsung Australians like Nat Buchanan and Edna Jessop
  • Dinner this evening will be most appropriate at the stylish Cattleman’s Bar and Grill

Accommodation

Albert Park Motor Inn with ensuite rooms - 2 nights

Meals

Motel restaurant breakfast

Town cafe lunch

Tailgate M/Tea, Cafe A/Tea

Feature dinner grill

Travel

Driving: 174 kms in 2 stages

Walking:  Roaming at travel breaks and local features

Day 4 Longreach, proudly established as the outback capital of Australia

From productive black soil plains and pastoral affluence around sheep and cattle, to the rich repository of bush history and legend, there is no finer place to nurture your awareness of the Spirit of Australia and connect with the outback. All you then need is an Akubra Hat and a pair of R M Williams boots.

Features

  • Early morning you’ll enjoy a fascinating visit to the School of Long Distance Education and observe students logged in from far-isolated family pastoral stations
  • The tyranny of distance presents no challenge to isolated children and educators in this Australian institution. Here you can tune into the largest classroom in the world, live “on air” with a lesson in progress. A heart warming experience
  • Enjoy an informative visit to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre, one of the finest national exhibits in Australia
  • Paying tribute to the explorers, pioneers, stockmen and ringers, Aboriginal peoples and especially the women of the outback who helped to open up our vast country
  • The native gardens are adorned with impressive engraved tablets of folklore and verse, a chance to absorb the true spirit of the outback
  • Take a sunset dinner cruise on the “long-reach” of the Thomson River, one of the main channel country tributaries that flow into Cooper Creek which featured tragically in the 1860-61 Burke and Wills Expedition

Accommodation

Albert Park Motor Inn with ensuite rooms

Meals

Motel restaurant breakfast

Cafe M/Tea, A/Tea, lunch

Dinner cruise

Travel

Driving:  0 kms Local access only

Walking: Roaming at local features

Day 5 Enjoy the finest outback experiences in serendipity moments on a lonely back road

Today you’ll leave Longreach on local back roads destined for the tiny village of Tambo. This is tough country susceptible to droughts, fire and flood matched by tough, resilient and enterprising people. Settled on a history of wool production along its famous artery, the Barcoo River.

Features

  • Tambo, now known for its industrious ladies who in hard times in the wool industry, established a fledgling enterprise, creating and selling “Tambo Teddies” to bring revenue to the town. Their global success is now history
  • You’ll cross the Barcoo River, immortalised in the humorous works of our popular bush poet, Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson, about a Bush Christening
  • “On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few, and men of religion are scanty, on a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost, one Michael Magee had a shanty”
  • Discover that Australia has a vast water reserve known as the Great Artesian Basin on which all early settlement of the outback was reliant.
  • Travel through the outback access roads by Avington Station and discover the villages of Isisford and Blackall with its historic steam driven woolscour and artesian bore water plant.
  • Complete your day in Tambo with a stroll along the “Coolibah Walk” beside the Barcoo River viewing the Coolibahs and River Red Gums, home to many species of inland birds and wildlife.

Accommodation

Tambo village motel with ensuite rooms

Meals

Motel restaurant breakfast

Cafe M/Tea and Lunch

Tailgate A/Tea

Local country hotel dinner

Travel

Driving: 338 kms back roads travel in 5 stages

Walking: Casual roaming at travel breaks and feature stops.

Stroll through Tambo village and along the Barcoo River

Day 6 Wilderness back roads lead to some dramatic sandstone crags and spires

Depart Tambo for the jewel of the Central Highlands, Carnarvon Gorge choosing the historic “Wilderness Way” and diverting to Salvator Rosa National Park for a scenic short walk or two.

Features

  • Journey along the Wilderness Way where bullock teams once serviced the pioneering pastoral industry, dragging huge wagons of wool hundreds of miles to eastern ports
  • Early massacres were the outcome of conflict between Indigenous peoples and new settlers
  • Take a walk in the remote Salvator Rosa National Park with its imposing “Spy Glass” mountain peak and other strange crags dominating the landscape
  • Nearing Carnarvon Gorge, the great white escarpment of the Central Highlands emerges
  • Settle into your bush inspired, stand-alone private lodges for the following three nights amidst primitive Macrozamia Palms and grazing kangaroos

Accommodation

Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge 3 nights

Meals

Motel room service breakfast

Tailgate M/Tea, A/tea, Lunch

Lodge restaurant dinner

Travel

Driving:  499 kms in 5 relaxed stages throughout the day

Walking:  3 short walks totalling 3.5 kms / 1.5 hrs long on designated gravel Salvator Rosa National Park trails

Day 7 Beneath the towering walls lies an abundance of natural and cultural history

A day of immersion in nature’s pristine oasis, protected by towering sandstone walls. Understandably an historic gathering place for our First Nation’s people seeking an abundance of food plus water supply to assist in their rock art story telling.

Features

  • After a hearty lodge breakfast, you’ll embark on a full / long day walk on easy terrain along one of Australia’s most dramatic and scenic outback destinations, Carnarvon Gorge
  • Complete all or part of the walk as you desire
  • Carnarvon Creek has eroded a canyon 35 kms long through the expansive Central Queensland sandstone high country, 1200m above sea level
  • Discover the most dissected sandstone gorge system in Australia
  • Here is 200 million years of geological history
  • 3,500 years of Aboriginal culture and rock art to be viewed at two main sites, Cathedral Cave and the Art Gallery
  • Massive white sandstone walls towering up to 200m high
  • Side canyons and an amphitheatre provide a cooling environment protecting delightful moss gardens and the King Fern, a “living fossil” unchanged in form for over 200 million years
  • Birdlife is prolific and kangaroos graze happily as you pass by
  • The personal adventure extends to the art of rock-hopping across many creek crossing, assisted by the stepping stones conveniently placed by National Park Rangers

Accommodation

Private wilderness lodge ensuite cabins

Meals

Lodge restaurant breakfast and dinner

Hikers pack lunch with M/tea, A/Tea sustenance

Travel

Driving:  0 kms Local access only

Walking:  Optional / flexible 18.2 kms / 6 hr return (or part) gorge walk on sandy trail with formed rock hopping creek crossings

Day 8 Get physical, or chill out in an intimate gorge, peacefully a time for mindfulness

Time to explore some of the least visited side reaches of the great gorge and connect with country by peacefully sitting and listening to the inner self, “Dadirri”, more commonly termed contemplation.

Features

  • Boolimba Bluff is the initial objective for the day, a trail of stony staircases taking you to the top and head of the gorge
  • Expansive views extend across surrounding ranges and vast valleys
  • The original inhabitants of the gorge left a rich history leading up to their removal by white man, to disconnecting reserves. Stories of cave dwelling, secret men’s and women’s business are all but lost or forgotten, but worth contemplating in the cause of truth telling
  • Enjoy a selection of short walks into secondary gorges for some delightful, naturally air-conditioned exploration
  • The sculptured side-gorge walls are sometimes only an arms span apart, ensuring sunlight only sparingly reaches the floor of the canyon, setting up a micro climate all of its own.
  • You can choose your walks or otherwise spend time relaxing in the serenity of the lodge.

Accommodation

Private wilderness lodge ensuite cabins

Meals

Lodge restaurant breakfast and dinner

Hikers pack lunch with M/tea, A/Tea sustenance

Travel

Driving:  0 kms Local access only

Walking:  Optional early climb to the head of gorge for the fit and keen, 6.4 kms / 3 hr return. Casual strolls to other gorge features

Day 9 Farewell to the outback as you head for the coast and Great Barrier Reef

Chance you might see our nation’s “Coat of Arms” on the move, the Emu, Kangaroo and even some sprigs of wattle holding over from the winter bloom. The tour theme “Outback to Reef” rings clear, showcasing two of Australia’s most marketed icons.

Features

  • Enjoy a comfortable country drive east, through cattle fattening and major coal mining regions taking in the villages of Rolleston, Bauhinia, Moura, Banana and Biloela
  • Each of these towns has a place in history and the odd quirky story to reveal, true or not so true. Which town was named after a yellow bull?
  • You’ll pass through local government areas, the size of Belgium
  • Observe massive coal mining operations, an industry now the focus of passionate and concerned debate in the face of global warming and climate change
  • Settle in to your upmarket motel or apartment rooms for two nights and smell the sea air.
  • Destinations Agnes Water and Town of 1770, the claimed birthplace of Queensland, The second Australian mainland landing site of explorer Captain James Cook
  •  Agnes Water, our home for two nights, is a serene seaside retreat surrounded by natural wonders and centre of the Discovery Coast
  • 1770 is your stepping off point for an experiential sea cruise and day on the southern end of the world heritage Great Barrier Reef

Accommodation

Private Agnes Water holiday apartment room with ensuite for 2 nights

Meals

Lodge restaurant breakfast

Tailgate M/Tea, A/Tea and town cafe lunch

Local Tavern dinner

Travel

Driving:  474 kms in 5 relaxed stages

Walking:  Casual roaming at travel breaks and feature stops

Day 10 Paradise does exist but it takes a boat trip and passion for nature to discover "the ultimate"

The adventure and romance of relaxing on a tropical island paradise just 14 hectares in size and 45 min cruising out to sea is nothing short of inspirational. Here an island of smashed coral, borders a pristine azure lagoon, creating a sanctuary for seabirds, Green and Loggerhead Sea Turtles

Features

  • An early in house breakfast before you head to the ocean going catamaran departing from the historic village of 1770
  • A spectacular day on world heritage Lady Musgrave Island, a true coral cay located on the southern extremity of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Here is a pristine island hideaway of coral sands, remote from mainstream tourist invasion
  • View wonderful coral gardens, colourful marine life, an azure lagoon protected by a horseshoe reef located some distance out in the South Pacific Ocean or Coral Sea
  • Take an island walk in the Pisonia Forest and treacherous nesting place of the Noddy Terns. A symbiotic relationship gone wrong
  • Swim and snorkel to your hearts content with resident schools of fish, Green and Loggerhead Sea Turtles in an idyllic tropical marine setting, fit for a cast-away movie

Accommodation

Agnes Water apartment ensuite rooms

Meals

Continental breakfast to room

M/Tea, A/Tea, Lunch on cruise vessel

Village restaurant dinner

Travel

Driving:  0 kms - Special boat cruise to Lady Musgrave Island

Walking: Casual stroll on the island plus swim or scuba the reef for marine viewing

Day 11 Journey through tropical farmlands and onto the holiday mecca of Noosa

A day of reflection passing through lush tropical farming scenery. View beautiful historic village buildings and savour the Sunshine Coast beaches

Features

  • Today a scenic country drive south through the fertile tropical farmlands of avocado and macadamia plantations and the sugar cane belt of Queensland
  • Site of historic South Sea Islander slavery, men, women and children forced or persuaded to leave their island homes to clear the rainforest, plant and harvest the sugar cane
  • Homeland of the Bundaberg Distillery, best rum making facility in Australia
  • Pause and roam in Childers, adopted as a National Trust Town and memorial to 15 young backpackers who lost their lives in a murderous, horrific hotel fire
  • On arrival in Noosa a late afternoon stroll in solitude on the idyllic beach

Accommodation

Noosa Village holiday motel with ensuite rooms - 2 nights

Meals

Village cafe breakfast,

Tailgate M/Tea, A/Tea

Cafe Lunch

Village restaurant dinner

Travel

Driving:  400 kms in 3 relaxed travel stages

Walking: Casual roaming at travel breaks and feature stops

Day 12 How can so much natural beauty and life exist on an island of drifting sand?

Step on board for a chance in a lifetime 4WD beach and bush safari on an island made purely of drifting sand, earning the declaration as a unique world heritage site.

Features

  • A continental style breakfast available in your room will facilitate an early departure on a special 4WD beach safari to the iconic world heritage Fraser Island
  • A day full of unique features on this the world’s largest sand island
  • A scenic adventure taking in part of 140 kms of remote beaches washed by timeless rolling waves
  • View beach cliff faces of multi-coloured sands
  • Bump along sandy forest tracks for intimate encounters with wild flowering scrub and towering forests
  • Relax and swim in a pristine freshwater lake “perched” in talc white sand
  • View the massive creeping sand blows,
  • Chance sighting of Australia’s pure bred Dingoes

Accommodation

Noosa Village motel with ensuite rooms

Meals

Continental breakfast in room

Tailgate M/Tea, A/Tea and BBQ Lunch on safari

Evening village restaurant dinner

Travel

Driving: 140 kms local 4WD Beach and Island Safari

Walking: Casual roaming at various feature island stops

Day 13 From Hell's Gate and sublime beaches to a volcanic plug, before a perfect holiday conclusion

After a relaxed sidewalk breakfast in the Noosa Village you slowly travel through to Brisbane and your Outback to Reef adventure concludes.

Features

  • Take an early sunrise headland walk to Hell's Gate on the local fitness trail in Noosa National Park with its secluded beaches and coves, viewing the marine life (migrating Humpback Whales in season), bronzed Aussie surfers riding the iconic waves, abundant birdlife and occasional Koalas.
  • Enjoy the sand between your toes on a short beach roam before lunch.
  • Inspect the unique and swampy Wallum Country with its abundant birdlife and characteristic Australian flora
  • Climb Mt Ngungun (253m) one of the striking Glass House Mountains named by English seafaring explorer Captain James Cook.
  • Tour concludes mid to late afternoon in Brisbane

Accommodation

Tour concluded. Post tour accommodation in Brisbane at guest’s discretion and cost.

Meals

Local cafe Breakfast, M/Tea, A/Tea and lunch

Travel

Driving:  113 kms in 3 relaxed stages over the day

Walking:  Short 1.5 kms return climb in Glass House Mountains; 1 kms return flat Wallum beachside stroll: 4 kms return beach and headland walk on formed trail, early morning

Best Value Inclusions

  • All accommodation
  • All meals with breakfast, lunch and min 2 course dinner with choices
  • Morning and afternoon teas.
  • Glass of wine with dinner if you wish
  • Spontaneous travel treats and refreshments.
  • Tour transport and naturalist guides
  • All National Park entry fees
  • A number of feature entries
  • Pre-tour briefing and meet ‘n greet function
  • Local guides and guests, as available.
  • 4WD beach safari to World Heritage Fraser Island
  • Full day Lady Musgrave Island cruise and visit
  • Dinosaur exhibit
  • Stockman’s Hall of Fame visit
  • Qantas Founders Outback Museum visit
  • Long Distance School of the Air visit
  • Informative travel reference kit
  • Use of on-board reference materials and facilities
  • A meaningful tour memento
  • Personalised pre-tour planning advice to maximise your enjoyment of the experience
  • What we don't include:
    • Expenditure of a personal nature
    • Pre and post tour travel and accommodation arrangements (including connecting flight to Longreach)
    • Travel and comprehensive contingency insurance

Pricing & Departure Dates

All Inclusive Prices. Loyalty and Group Discounts apply - enquire

2020 Departures

Departs Concludes Early Bird Offer Regular Price
23 Aug 2020 04 Sep 2020 - pp / twin share $8570 pp / twin share Book Now
Departs 23 Aug 2020
Concludes 04 Sep 2020
Early Bird Offer - pp / twin share
Regular Price $8570 pp / twin share
Book Now

2021 Departures

Departs Concludes Early Bird Offer Regular Price
23 Aug 2021 04 Sep 2021 $8518 pp / twin share $8818 pp / twin share Book Now
Departs 23 Aug 2021
Concludes 04 Sep 2021
Early Bird Offer $8518 pp / twin share
Regular Price $8818 pp / twin share
Book Now

WHAT OUR GUESTS SAY


  • "Your tour reached into the very outback spirit of Australia as promised, the landscape, the people and folklore. I only hope many more Australians huddled around the coast line will visit their country heartland and appreciate what my wife and I experienced. Walking the canyons of Carnarvon Gorge was a highlight and not too difficult and the Stockmans Hall of Fame exceptional for a country initiative. I now know why all my fishing and boating mates would like Lady Musgrave Island to remain their secret hideaway"
    Brian (Australia)

Have you completed this tour? Click here to submit a review!

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