Outback to Reef tours 2021 - Photo
Longreach and Winton tour packages 2021 - Photo
Outback holidays on the Spirit of the Outback train 2021 - Photo
Queensland Dinosaur tours  - Photo

itinerary

Day 1. Tuesday 25 May – BRISBANE to LONGREACH

To start our adventure, enjoy an afternoon welcome reception in the KG bar of the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane, right beside the iconic Roma Street Station. We recommend that you arrive at the hotel in Brisbane no later than 3PM. Meet your tour leader as well as your fellow travellers while enjoying a beverage and canapes before heading to the platform for our date with the Spirit of the Outback. After checking in and locating your sleeping berth, relax and settle in for our 6.10 pm departure. From the comfort of your air-conditioned, first-class sleeping berth you will enjoy a fascinating journey from Brisbane to Longreach. A chefprepared dinner is served in the train’s “Tuckerbox” dining car and afterwards you can unwind in the “Shearers Rest” lounge car as evening descends on our northbound train. Overnight: On board the Spirit of the Outback (D, B, L)

Day 2. Wednesday 26 May – LONGREACH

Wake up to a vista of the Central Ranges, while towns like Bluff, Blackwater and Emerald roll by as we enjoy our cooked breakfast. Soak up the ever-changing landscape as we head further into the heart of the Queensland outback, passing sleepy Central Queensland towns like Alpha, Jericho and Barcaldine in the afternoon, leading to our destination of Longreach at 7.15 pm. Named after the “long reach” of the Thomson River, the town had only been gazetted for five years when the railway arrived in 1892. Longreach is situated right on the Tropic of Capricorn and has a population of just over 3,000, boosted by travellers who come to see the great museums, notably the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Museum. Overnight: Albert Park Motel, (or similar), Longreach (B, L, D)

Day 3. Thursday 27 May – LONGREACH to WINTON

After breakfast, we take the short stroll to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Australia’s premier outback heritage institution. Explore the museum, which showcases an eclectic mix of objects touchscreens, open displays, photographs, artworks and audio-visual presentations. After a live show we have time for lunch at the Hall of Fame café. After lunch we will head on foot to the Qantas Founders Museum. The museum tells the story of the four key figures who founded Qantas and highlights what life was like in Queensland in the 1920s. We will also attend a 1½-hour Jet Tour for a behind-the-scenes look at both a 747 and 707. In the afternoon, we board our private coach from Red Dirt Tours to take us the 180 kilometres to Winton and check in to our hotel. This evening you will enjoy dinner in the hotel’s authentic retro dining room. Overnight: North Gregory Hotel (or similar), Winton (B, D)

Day 4. Friday 28 May – WINTON

This morning after breakfast at the hotel we begin the exploration of Australia’s rich Dinosaur legacy. Vicki from Red Dirt is on hand once again to take us on a guided tour of the wild country to the west of Winton, leading us across the outback to the exceptional Lark Quarry National Monument. It was here that the world’s best preserved fossil proof of a Dinosaur stampede was discovered by the local station manager in the 1960’s. Your time here includes a guided tour, a film and some time for lunch. Back at Winton, a somewhat more recent history is on show with a visit to the Waltzing Matilda Centre, the first museum in the world dedicated to a song. The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours at leisure. Overnight: North Gregory Hotel (or similar), Winton (B, L)

Day 5. Saturday 29 May – WINTON

This morning, enjoy free time to explore the classic outback town of Winton. You may wish to visit the heritage truck and machinery museum, check out the famous boulder opals and wander the streets that feature many interesting heritage buildings and interesting shops. After lunch on your own Vicki will pick you up for the drive out visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. Here you will have plenty of time to wander the displays and our guide will show us around and host the walk-through Dino Canyon. To cap off the day we enjoy and early dinner at Age Of Dinosaurs and visit the new Observatory which has only just opened and is a great addition to the Outback story. The rest of the evening back in town is at leisure. Overnight: North Gregory Hotel (or similar), Winton (B, D)

Day 7. Monday 31 May – RICHMOND, HUGHENDEN, CHARTERS TOWERS

Departing first thing we hit the highway, the Flinders’ Way that is, heading east along the Dinosaur trail to the town of Hughenden. Here we take time to explore the Flinders Discovery Centre which is well stocked with fascinating specimens but houses heaps more than just Dinosaurs. To follow up this theme and complete the Dinosaur story, we take time to do some of our own fossil fossicking just a short way out of town after which you have some free time at the Windmill Café to freshen up before continuing onto Charters Towers a few hours further east along the Flinders Highway. We arrive in the late afternoon and settle into our hotel for the next 2 nights. Dinner this evening is at the hotel. Overnight: Cattleman’s Rest Motor Inn (or similar), Charters Towers (B, L, D)

Day 8. Tuesday 01 June – CHARTERS TOWERS

Our day in ‘The Towers’ starts with a guided walk of the heritage buildings in the heart of town. The Arcade where one of Australia’s most volatile Stock Exchanges operated in the boom times of the 1890’s. Later in the morning we head a short way out of town to the Venus Gold Battery for a guided tour of the largest surviving Battery in Queensland. Built in 1872, this mill provided gold extraction facilities to miners for over a century. The huge “stampers” pounded away through the day and night extracting the precious gold from quartz up until 1973. The afternoon free to take an optional tour via the Burdekin River to the National Trust Gold Rush town of Ravenswood, here you can enjoy a guided walking tour of the compact historic townscape. Back in Charters Towers the evening is free at leisure. Overnight: Cattleman’s Rest Motor Inn (or similar), Charters Towers (B, L)

Day 9. Wednesday 02 June – CHARTERS TOWERS to TOWNSVILLE

This morning heading west we travel to Townsville to begin a day exploring the city and its unique setting nestled as it does at the base of Castle Rock. On arrival take a tour of the Army Museum of Queensland located in the beautiful Jezzine Barracks. The museum collects objects and stories relating to the history of the Australian Army in North Queensland. After lunch at the esplanade you have time to visit the Reef HQ, the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. We then check into your centrally located hotel and an evening at leisure. Overnight: Grand Chancellor Hotel, (or similar), Townsville (B)

Day 10. Thursday 03 June – TOWNSVILLE

We start the day with a ferry cruise to wonderful Magnetic Island. Upon arrival the island tour coach takes us to experience the history and landscape of the island. Observe some of the wonderful wildlife and enjoy the scenery of this unique island. Lunch will be on your own at a selection of places at Horseshoe Bay after which there will be time to relax and walk on the island before our return ferry cruise. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner. Overnight: Grand Chancellor Hotel, (or similar), Townsville (B, D)

Day 11. Friday 04 June – TOWNSVILLE (B)

After breakfast this morning our tour comes to an end. Transfers to the airport for flight home, or onward for another adventures.

MEET YOUR TOUR LEADERCHRIS HARDING

Chris Harding is Vice President of the Australian Railway Historical Society, NSW Division. Chris fell under the spell of rail as a child, when he would walk from his home in the Sydney suburb of Belmore to watch trains in action at the Enfield Railway Yards, then home to over 300 steam locomotives. Although side-tracked by a high-flying career in the banking industry, Chris continued to have an active interest in railway history as a tour guide and office-bearer at the NSW Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere. After leaving the banking world, Chris had the opportunity to pursue his passion full-time, first working for 3801 Limited, the operating company of the famous steam locomotive 3801, and later managing the ARHS Railway Bookshop at Sydney’s Central Station. He also became a popular media contact for commentary on historic and current railway events, frequently appearing on talkback radio and television programs. Although retired, Chris still enjoys working with his mate and founder of Railway Adventures, Scott McGregor hosting many railway adventures in Australia and Europe.

dates & pricing

Twin Share Sole Use Departs 2021
$5425 $5990 May 25
  • Deposit payable $1000 per person
  • Final payment due by 16 March 2021

Highlights & inclusions

  • Overnight journey on the Spirit of the Outback in first-class sleepers with dinner, breakfast and lunch next day provided
  • Visit the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum
  • Soak up the wonders of the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument
  • The services of your special driver/guide Vicki for most of the journey
  • Explore exceptional Dinosaur museums in Winton, Richmond and Hughenden
  • Special evening fossil digs and paleo themed dinner at the Age of Dinosaurs
  • Soak up the old gold story and stamper battery display at Charters Towers
  • Explore tropical Townsville with visits to Reef HQ Aquarium and Magnetic Island
  • A gentle pace, many meals and the best accommodation available on tour
  • 10 nights in comfortable, centrally located accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, 4 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Drinks included with welcome and farewell dinners
  • Comfortable chartered coach for transfers and excursions
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with expert local guides
  • All excursions and entrance fees to attractions,as listed in the itinerary
  • Tipping and gratuities

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