3/126 Albert Road, Warragul VIC 3820 Phone: (03) 5623 5151 Fax: (03) 5623 4952 Email us EMERGENCY NUMBER +61 (0)419 213 274
18th August – 30th August 2019
Personally escorted by Linda Owen
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Departs Melbourne: 18th August 2019
Concludes: 30th August 2019
Sunday 18 August: Melbourne – Longreach
In the morning we depart Gippsland and head to Melbourne airport for our Qantas flight to Longreach via Brisbane. On arrival we will be met and transferred to the JUMBUK MOTEL, or similar, for the next three nights.
In the late afternoon, we set out on the Drover’s Sunset Cruise with tasty on-board nibble platters. We will stop at Sunset Bend to toast the sunset and take in the stunning colours of the outback sky. We will then dock and we take our seats at Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show. Relax under the stars and savour a two course camp oven themed dinner as talented musical artists perform on the River Stage.
Monday 19 August: Longreach
We visit the world class Qantas Founders Museum, telling the story of the founding of Qantas through interpretive displays, interactive exhibits and a remarkable collection of genuine artefacts. We will have lunch at the Museum and a bit of fun doing the Wing Walk.
There will be some free time in downtown Longreach before we head out on a personalised tour of the famous Camden Park Station. We explore the historic homestead where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited for morning tea. Enjoy the expansive view from the verandah and capture the experience of outback life. We visit a circa 1920 shearing shed and gain an insight into the history of grazing in the Outback on this extensive station tour. Enjoy dinner at sunset, under the stunning outback sky.
Tuesday 20 August: Longreach
Today we will learn all about the Longreach School of Distance Education, one of the largest classrooms in the world. Imagine a classroom more than twice the size of Victoria, where the playground is as vast as the outback. Observe their school in action and learn how education is delivered using technology ‘in the bush’.
We will also discover the inspiring stories of our pioneering heroes at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame as we wander the five themed galleries.
In the afternoon we meet the Smith Family at historic Rosebank Station for great hospitality and a relaxed homestead afternoon tea. Dinner tonight will be at the Qantas Founders Museum.
Wednesday 21 August: Longreach – Windorah
After breakfast, we leave Longreach and follow the mighty Thomson River floodplain to Windorah, said to be the only place in the world where two rivers form a creek! On our way we stop at Stonehenge for morning tea. In Windorah we check in to COOPER CABINS & WESTERN STAR HOTEL for an overnight stay.
Some of our sights today will be seeing the magnificently contrasting colours in Welford National Park; golden green spinifex, white-barked ghost gums and stunning red sand dunes. We take in the serenity with a picnic lunch in the National Park beside one of the many Coolibah-lined waterholes. In the late afternoon, we’ll take a short trip out of town to toast the sunset from beautiful wind-swept red sand hills.
Thursday 22 August: Windorah – Birdsville
Heading west today, we see the JC Hotel Ruins, once part of the township site of Canterbury, before reaching Betoota – population zero! Established in 1885 to collect cattle tolls and later a Cobb & Co change station, the last resident died in 2004, making Betoota a ghost town. Take in spectacular views from Deon’s Lookout and see the Dreamtime Serpent Indigenous artwork, an impressive hillside installation created with gravel and gibbers.
At the end of the famous Birdsville Track we arrive in the frontier town of Birdsville. We will spend the next three nights at the BIRDSVILLE HOTEL. After we check in. we shall have lunch at the Birdsville Hotel and then there will be free time to explore the town.
Friday 23 August: Birdsville
Our tour of Birdsville today will take in the Wirrarri Centre to view local artists’ work in their extensive gallery. We will see the well known Birdsville Track and stroll down to the banks of the tranquil Birdsville Billabong. Lunch will be at the Birdsville Hotel.
Tonight, we toast the glorious outback sunset from atop Big Red, a 40-metre-high sand dune marking the symbolic eastern edge of the Simpson Desert.
Saturday 24 August: Birdsville
A free day for you to explore Birdsville. An optional activity is a spectacular half hour scenic flight with breathtaking views over the Simpson Desert and Big Red. (price on application). Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.
Sunday 25 August: Birdsville – Boulia
We leave Birdsville and head north to Boulia. We can take a close-up look at the rare and ancient Waddi Trees, see the Carcory Ruins, a remnant of European settlement, and the nearby flowing Artesian Bore. We shall stop at the remote town of Bedourie, located on a sand dune, overlooking the Eyre Creek floodplain. Here we see the historic Royal Hotel, built in the 1880s with adobe bricks and still very much in its original condition. Witness spectacular 360-degree views from the Vaughan Johnson Lookout before arriving in Boulia early afternoon. We overnight at DESERT SANDS MOTEL, Boulia.
Monday 26 August: Boulia – Winton
This morning we visit Boulia’s Min Min Encounter, a tribute to the famed Min Min Light phenomenon and explore the Stonehouse Museum, one of the first homes built in Western Queensland, located at the Boulia Heritage Complex, which is also home to an impressive Marine Reptile Fossil exhibit.
We travel on a scenic drive to Winton stopping at Cawnpore Lookout to take in the stark flat-topped beauty of the surrounding Lillyvale Hills.
We stop for a casual pub lunch at the historic Middleton Hotel, originally a coach staging post, for entertaining yarns. We head on to Winton and will have some free time to relax or wander the Opal Walk. We will stay at the NORTH GREGORY HOTEL, Winton, for the next two nights.
Tuesday 27 August: Winton
We shall explore Winton today, visiting the Waltzing Matilda Centre, the only museum dedicated to a song and hear wonderful stories surrounding Winton’s links to Australia’s unofficial national anthem while learning about the interactive and fascinating displays. Mid-afternoon, we visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs laboratory, for a guided interpretive tour of the laboratory, collection room and Dinosaur Canyon. Tonight, is a very special dinner at a sunset barbeque overlooking the plains where dinosaurs once roamed!
Wednesday 28 August: Winton – Longreach
We depart Winton this morning and make our way back to Longreach. We shall check in at the JUMBUK MOTEL for the night and the remainder of the day is at leisure before we get together again for dinner.
Thursday 29 August: Longreach – Brisbane
This morning we say farewell to Longreach and transfer to the Longreach Railway Station for our overnight train journey on the SPIRIT OF THE OUTBACK, in first class cabins, to Brisbane.
Friday 30 August: Brisbane
The Spirit of the Outback arrives in Brisbane around noon and we shall be transferred to Brisbane Airport for our Qantas flight back to Melbourne. We arrive in Melbourne in the late afternoon and will meet our coach to be transferred back to Gippsland.
Longreach is named after the "long reach" of the Thomson River on which it is situated. The town was gazetted in 1887, and the railway reached the town in 1892, causing the population to grow. A number of Queensland towns have their streets named to a theme. In Longreach, the streets are named after species of birds, with the streets running east-west named after water birds and those running north-south after land birds. The main business street is called Eagle Street. Other streets honour Hudson Fysh, an Australian aviation pioneer, and Sir James Walker, a farmer and long-serving mayor of the former Longreach Shire council.
Noted for its isolation and wild country, Birdsville is a classic ‘must visit’ Outback Town. The town began life as ‘Diamantina Crossing’ in 1881. Later given the name of Birdsville in 1885, reportedly a compliment to the local birdlife. The name Burtsville, after the popular settler J. Burt was also proposed but was eventually declined. The town’s original function was as a ‘tariff wall’ between Queensland and South Australia. Tolls which had provided the town’s income finally ceased in 1901 with the formation of the Federation and the town population declined. Birdsville today is a modern community with a sporting complex, gymnasium, two galleries, a bakery, air services, motel, hotel, caravan park and cabins, coffee shops and restaurants, general store, post office, medical clinic, fuel and auto services, and a police station.
Banjo Paterson wrote the lyrics for the famous Waltzing Matilda ballad in 1895, while staying at Dagworth Station outside Winton. He first played the unofficial national anthem at Winton’s North Gregory Hotel. The hotel is a favourite stop for Winton visitors. Recognised as the ‘home’ of Australian bush poetry, Winton hosts the annual Bronze Swagman Award. This is one of the country’s most prestigious literary awards. The iconic Australian airline, Qantas started here in November 1920. They held the first board meeting in the Winton Club way back in 1921! However, if you want to visit the Qantas Founders Museum, you’ll have to head to Longreach. Winton has an undisputed rich history with links to the Great Shearers’ Strike, Waltzing Matilda and Qantas. In recent days, dinosaur discoveries have attracted new visitors to the region.
YOUR TOUR ESCORT
Linda Owen is an experienced travel agent with more than 12 years in the industry. Her love of the outback and knowledge of this area will enhance your Queensland Outback experience.
For all of our Gippsland Travel personally escorted tours, our tour escorts pride themselves on attention to detail and personal care.
Linda will ensure that everyone travelling in her group will have a wonderful adventure.
$6768.00 Per Person. Based on Twin Share Accommodation
$751.00 Single Supplement (limited single rooms available)
Australian State Seniors Card Discount Available- $63 per person.
Card must be presented upon paying deposit.
FULL DEPOSIT: $500pp to secure place on tour.
This deposit is non-refundable once the tour is guaranteed.
FINAL PAYMENT: Due Wednesday 29th May 2019.
**Upgrade to Business Class on flights – on application
**Extensions and additional arrangements available on request
**Should you travel on flights other than the group flights, the airfare component will be adjusted accordingly.
Notice of cancellation must be made in writing to Gippsland Travel Centre.
Date of Cancellation:
9th June 2019
$500pp deposit non-refundable
Date of Cancellation:
10th June – 14th July 2019
50% of Tour Cost
Date of Cancellation:
15th July 2019 onwards
100% non refundable
Prices correct as per 15 Oct 2018