Queensland’s Year of the Outback encourages more tourists to discover the state’s inland.

Story John Dunn

Queensland has declared 2019 the Year of the Outback and is putting in place facilities and events to lure and welcome visitors to the wide variety of attractions way out there, where many believe the real Australia lies.

“There’s a fascinating land in our west that visitors are only beginning to appreciate,” says Peter Homan, general manager of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association. “It goes back to prehistoric times with the dinosaur and fossil exhibits, it acknowledges and pays tribute to Indigenous culture and it traces its hard-won economic development over the years through the cattle and mining industry – all described so proudly by the people who live there.”

Funds are currently being spent to promote the outback and provide infrastructure that will allow tourists to see and experience sights found nowhere else. The Queensland Government is putting $15 million towards it, including grants of up to $100,000 for local government, community and festival organisations and local businesses to improve existing events and establish new attractions and facilities.

For instance, two rail motors will be funded to provide a unique three-day train journey between Emerald, Longreach and Winton, a glass-bottom bridge will be built over part of the dramatic Cobbold Gorge near Forsayth at the base of the Cape York Peninsula, and contributions will be made to the planned museum that will house Cooper, Australia’s largest dinosaur, at Eromanga.

The Diamantina Council will be assisted in renovating the old courthouse at Birdsville to showcase the town’s colourful history, and camping parks will be established at Aramac, Jericho and Muttaburra, where no commercial camping grounds currently exist. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #125

Outback Magazine: June/July 2019