Outback Articles

“Great Southern Land” say’s it all

30 years ago, a song was written about our Great Southern Land.Inspired by the landscape three decades on, Friend of Australia Iva Davies partnered with everyday people and well known musicians to celebrate the legacy of this powerful song.

"Great Southern Land" You Tube

And here are a few other photos for you to enjoy!

Click on an image to enlarge and use arrows to view as slideshow

August 30 2012

10 reasons Winton is a MUST SEE!

Great Winton Accommodation and attractions!

One of the most exciting destinations in the Outback is Winton.  With awesome annual events, world class attractions, famous historical and cultural occurences, the penning of our National Song, and the world's only recorded evidence of stampeding dinosaurs...this town is a must see for any outback adventurer!

Winton is approximately 9 hours drive west of Roma and has all the modern facilities you need to make your journey as safe and comfortable as possible.   With a range of accommodation, Eftpos, fuel, hospital, hotels,  LP gas, great food, mechanical repairs, pharmacy, police, post office, RACQ, and a great shopping centre.

Winton has a rich history with links to the Great Shearers' Strike, Waltzing Matilda and Qantas, but today the town is almost as well known for something far more ancient - dinosaurs.  Some of the great attractions and accommodation you'll find in Winton are:

1. Lark Quarry
Visit the world's only recorded dinosaur stampede and the trackways that inspired the stampede scene in the movie "Jurassic Park".  This amazing Centre recreates the scene of 95 million years ago when Dinosaurs ruled the earth.

2. Waltzing Matlida Centre
One of the most famous visitors to Winton was Banjo Patterson.  While on a holiday in 1895, he penned Australia's favourite ballad and National Song ""Waltzing Matilda"".  You can experience the inspiration behind the song at the Waltzing Matilda Centre.

3. Open Air Theatre
Kick back...relax and enjoy "5 Star" service under the clear, majestic Southern Sky and take in the latest in movie entertainment. 

4. Opal Fossicking
Opal is Australia's National Gemstone and Winton has its very own unique opal known as Boulder Opal.  You can try your luck fossicking for beautiful boulder opal. 

5. Combo Waterhole
The place where Banjo Patterson took inspiration from when creating "Waltzing Matlida".

6. Outback Festival
You havent 'experienced' the outback until you've entered the Australian Dunny Derby, or witnessed the World Crayfish Derby Race Meeting, part of the line up of unique events at the Winton Outback Festival.

7. Camel Races
Come along and witness the wild wild west at it's best. Outback Camel Racing is an event you have to experience at least once in your life!

8. QBOA Opal Festival
Don't miss Winton's Opal Festival in July when some of Queensland's best boulder opal and opal jewellery is on display and for sale. 

9. North Gregory Hotel Motel
The North Gregory Hotel Motel is steeped in history with the first performance of Waltzing Matilda on 6 April 1895.   The pub can accommodate just about anyone with ensuite rooms, hotel rooms, backpackers, even a free tourist park, and also have large family rooms available.

10.Matilda Country Tourist Caravan Park
The Matilda Country Tourist Park offers every modern facility along with the special service that you only find in a family owned and operated business. They'll set you on the right track about the region's attractions, with brief talks at intervals throughout the day on what to see and do while you are here.

To plan your trip to Winton, click Winton Tourism Information get more .

May 04 2011

2011 New Age Caravans Big Red BR 21 Model Caravan

At Outbacknow we regularly get asked about the products and services we use when travelling and how they perform. A common ice-breaker at a park, campsite or when parked in town is for a new friend to wander over to your rig and enquire about some aspect of it that has caught their attention, so it would only seem logical that we pass on some of this information in the form of Product Reviews. The reviews will be a mixture of new and used products and we feel that the “used” product reviews will give a more practical feel to quality and functionality away from the flash packaging or showroom floor. A saying I relate to in this instance is “just as many lures are designed to catch the fisherman as the fish”. Used products will be limited to 1 – 3 years old (depending on the product) so as to be still relevant to purchasers of a new or current release product.

This review is on a 2011 New Age Big Red BR 21 Caravan, a 23 foot long Caravan weighing around 3000kg fully laden.

Inside the caravan is cooled with an Ibis Aircommand 3.2kw Rooftop air-conditioner, and hot water is provided with a Suburban 22lt gas/electric system, more than adequate for 2 people. The caravan has a front Island queen bed with cupboards surrounding it, centre kitchen with 186lt Dometic class T, 3 way fridge/freezer, Thetford gas/electric cooktop with oven, and sink - opposite an L-shaped lounge and table (on the door side).  There is a rear ensuite with separate Thetford cassette toilet, a small top load washing machine, vanity and full-sized shower. The van has TV and Radio/CD and lighting is 12 volt LED, in fact the only appliances that run only on 240V are Microwave, Washing Machine and Air Conditioner.

We have added extra battery and solar panels to enable longer stays off the grid.

New Age Caravans construct their cabinetry from solid timber rather than veneered frames and of course that makes the caravan weight a little heavier but on the up side they are substantially more solid and robust and are more stable in windy conditions.

Outside, the chassis is galvanised with a 2 inch lift kit on standard spring suspension and the A-frame supports twin 9kg gas bottles, has mesh in the middle of it to carry firewood or stuff that you don't want inside the cabin (top idea), a Dometic awning, slide-out BBQ (that we use often instead of the oven), small fold-out table and a heavy duty rear bar that carries the spare tyres. Underneath it has 2 water tanks totalling 140lt. There is a deep full width front boot which is accessed from the front of the caravan and a reasonably large generator storage cupboard accessed from the exterior of the caravan and located on the door side near the rear, which is very handy. There is plenty of storage.

Overall we are more than happy with our New Age Caravan and it should hold its value. The cupboards and interior cabinetry have all stood up well, the Laminex bench tops and walls have no major marks despite the fact that we have probably spent around 18 months living in the van. One feature that is a little annoying but has been rectified in later model caravans is that it is easy to knock and break off the small plastic locating tabs securing the bottom of the slim-line venetian blinds to the wall, allowing the blind to move around unrestrained. The tabs are easily replaced and can be purchased cheaply at Spotlight or similar stores. New double glazed windows with the blind between the 2 window panes have fixed this in later models. The caravan body and chassis are still in as-new condition

We have towed this caravan around 50,000 km across outback Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria mostly on sealed bitumen and formed gravel roads so it hasn't had a particularly rough time but there has been no major faults. Dual axle means it is also easy to tow with no tendancy to sway whilst being towed. The freezer and Air Conditioner both struggle above 40°C - the air-conditioner will drop the ambient air temperature down by around 10 - 12°C and I am told this is fairly normal by independent fridge mechanics. The fridge is ok but frozen bread and icecream suffer a bit.

With the benefit of hindsight a couple of things I would change is to put extra water tanks underneath although it is not a major problem to retrofit them and I would also have the independent suspension fitted instead of the standard spring suspension, eliminating the customary settling and subsequent drop in height by 2 or 3 inches. There are also companies that specialise in refitting suspension should you wish to change. I would also probably buy the club lounge rather than L shaped lounge which might make it more relaxing and comfortable to sit on (personal preference) and replace the round plastic pads on the wind-down stabilisers located on each corner of the van (they crack and break) for after-market aluminium or metal ones.

I must emphasise that these problems are not unique to New Age, as all caravan manufacturers rely on specialist component manufacturers for many of their inclusions such as doors, windows, showers, cassette toilets, cooktops and ovens, hot water services, fridges and air conditioners, (as well as brakes, stabilisers, suspension and chassis) and they all have to stand up to movement and vibration far beyond those in domestic houses. Any issues we had were dealt with quickly and efficiently by the dealer and suppliers.

All in all our New Age Big Red Caravan is a good, robust, functional and particularly attractive caravan that has served us well and will continue to do so.

May 18 2014

A families courage to follow their dream and travel Australia

Have you ever wanted to follow your dream?

Do you have the courage to sell up all your possessions, leave the securities of full time employment and lifelong friends - to throw caution to the wind and just do it?

Some are wondering, who the bloody hell are the McLeans?

So here is a brief story of our life.

For years we discussed travelling Australia. Raising 3 girls, living day to day in suburbia, having the same old daily routine & having no savings due to the increasing prices of living, we decided it was time for a huge sea to bush change. 

So in August 2010 we decided enough was enough. With a little help of  funds from my sister and tax returns, we decided, if we didn’t do it now, we never would.

We debated loans for a 4wd and caravan or to sell what belongings we had, pay out some bills, pay cash for a camper trailer and flee. So the camper trailer is what we decided on.

On January 9, 2011 we left our family (including our 20 year old daughter Amy, as she had her own life and boyfriend), our cat Mickey, some of our dearest and closest friends, secure jobs and a pretty good life on the Gold Coast for the open road. Leaving the coast with $5000, no income until we found casual jobs and our securities in life, was very hard.

So here we are! Jason, Beth, Mercedes and Keiyah

Follow the Mcleans blog

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August 11 2011

A Taste of The Ghan

For many years the folk of Alice Springs (Stuart) relied on “Ships of the Desert” (Camels) to bring all their supplies from Adelaide, although very welcome; due to the harsh climate and the unpredictable camel, this supply chain was unreliable.

On the 6th of August 1929 “The Ghan” rolled into Alice Springs for the first time. This service continued to improve and still serves the community over 80 years later.

Construction of the Alice Springs – Darwin line commenced in 2001 and in February 2004 (after 126 years of planning) the Ghan and its passengers reached Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Click on the follow video links to see a short history of "The Ghan" filmed prior to the standard guage line being constructed.

The Ghan is Going Part 1 of 4

 

The Ghan is Going Part 2 of 4

 

The Ghan is Going Par 3 of 4

 

The Ghan is Going Part 4 of 4

August 07 2012

Advertise your Vacancy for FREE

Let us introduce a service that we at Outbacknow have been offering employers and employees of regional Australia for some time now and have re-launched because we have seen demand grow steadily and substantially.

Travellin Jobs Australia links a workforce that is either travelling already or is planning to travel and actively searching for employment opportunities outside their area, with employers in regional and outback Australia who have vacancies.

These potential employees are keen as they will have paid to receive the jobs bulletin with vacancies listed in it and include families, couples and individuals with broad experiences; many of which will have their own accommodation.

Positions they seek include: Full-time, Part-time, Casual, Seasonal, Relief and Volunteer; and jobs might include Administration /Book Keepers, Council Employees, Harvest Labour, Motel / Caravan Park Cleaners, Grounds persons, Relief Managers, Event staff – Ticket sellers, Car park attendants,  Hospitality workers, Receptionists, Volunteer positions to name a few. Some will be seeking more permanent Tree-Changes positions and others prefer seasonal work.

We offer this service free of charge to regional employers knowing that many of those jobs would not be advertised nor filled, and the flow-on benefits to the local economy not be realised if employers had to pay for it.

Contact us for more information and to list your vacancy

September 10 2012

Australia - the city and the Outback: it’s all about the colour

My name is Paula McManus, I am an amateur photographer living in Adelaide. I enjoy fresh, fun and natural photography.

I love taking photos, especially of people and nature. I try to capture that ‘something’ that I see – the emotion, the personality, the colours – photography is an art all its own and with each shot there is the randomness, the wonderful surprise of capturing the moment.

I am fairly new to photography, only taking an involved self-taught interest that began in December 2008. Since then, I've 'discovered' the beauty of my city, my state and the great Australian outback.

I love being a tourist in my own country; the unique flora and fauna, the wonderful people and the striking and vivid colours. Photography has opened up my country to me and I try to get out into it and photograph it as often as I can. Access to the great Australian outback is within easy reach of everyone! This country is a photographer's dream. 

During the past 12 months, I have been extremely fortunate to see some of this great land from the ground and from the air. I've seen the parched River Murray at dawn from a hot air balloon, I've driven the red roads of the South Australian and New South Wales outback.

I've been thrilled, twice, to see the incredible sight of flood water in the desert - both times from the air - over Lake Eyre and The Darling River/Menindee Lakes system. 

I love the Barrier Highway: Highway number A32 that connects Adelaide to Broken Hill.

Also the wild and untamed Yorke Peninsula, the timeless River Murray and the breathtaking Fleurieu Peninsula. I am constantly reminded how lucky we are to live where we can access such varied beauty within an easy drive of the Adelaide CBD.

I hope you take the time to view some of my photos and I hope that they inspire you to go for a drive on the weekend and see what you can see.

For more information on Paula's work or services please see the below:

Email                             Facebook                            Photo Sales

Outbacknow wishes to thank Paula for the use of some of her photos throughout the Outbacknow website

Click on an image to enlarge and use arrows to view as slideshow

July 13 2011

Australian Outback Maps - Why Are They So Hard To Find?

Did you know one of the hardest things to find is an Australian Outback Map?

One of the most popular keyword phrases is "Australian Outback Maps".  The question is - why is it so hard to find maps to help you plan your journey around outback Australia?

The answer is simple...the "outback" is HUGE!  A generic map of the Australian outback doesn't have enough detail to be of value to you to plan your trip.  Once you have mapped out a specific route, it is likely you would need a number of maps from different towns, shires and States to help you navigate through the bush.  By that time, you have at least three maps with various levels of detail.

OutbackNow has tried to 'ease the pain' by providing Outback Travel Itineries from a high level where you can find a route from every Capital City through the outback to Darwin as well as many other itineries. We also have a link to Google Maps on every outback town on the site which helps you find directions to local accommodation and tourist attractions in each town.

To use the Google maps, simply click on the first map view shows you the town in relation to the State, on the left hand side of the screen, you will see a + and - grid that looks like railway tracks.  Click on the + or move the cursur towards the + and you will notice the map produce street names, and in some instances you can see the roof tops of buildings. 

There are a limited number of Travel Itineraries on the site simply due to the huge number of variations of possible itineraries.   There are boundless unique towns that are "off the beaten track" which offer amazing experiences, and as part of your outback adventure is about discovery - half the fun is stumbling across them.

If you would like more information on getting from A to Z in the outback, email us and we will publish the most popular itineries on the site to make it easy for you and other travellers to journey around Australia.

 

May 04 2011

Australian Outback Towns

Outback Towns – Tourism Australia

"When you know Bourke, you know Australia". Henry Lawson

Outback towns are the life-blood of the Outback. They form the heart of Outback communities and their social hub. They’re also full of Outback characters – like publicans, drovers, shearers, smithies and the Aboriginal stockmen; along with the station owners and graziers who come to town to stock up on supplies.

It’s here you’ll get the opportunity to immerse yourself in the life of Outback locals and meet some real Aussie characters. Revel in the mateship, have a good belly laugh and join in some truly Aussie events such as fundraising events for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Buy a ticket in a meat raffle, play ‘Two-Up’ , or place a bet on a cane toad race.

You’ll find our Outback towns out past the spinifex of Inglewood, past the cactus near Goondiwindi, out beyond Moree where the galahs peck at the cotton seed by the side of the road. Way, way out where the fences and telegraph poles have ceased to be; where the horizon stretches out to touch a pale blue sky. The ‘Outback’ may be hard to define, but you’ll know it when you see it.

Red dust roads across the country lead to shanty towns full of character and heritage, where the locals wear Akubra hats and riding boots. Our incredible history has been recorded in towns such as Longreach, Winton, Blackall and Barcaldine in central Queensland, and the NSW country towns of Warialda and Moree which, with their wooden and tin shopfront awnings, resemble Wild West towns from the 1800s.

Our sheep and wheat growing country is full of straightlaced retro towns such as Manilla, Condoblin and Goondawindi which seem to have been preserved from the 1960s.

There are the iconic mining towns of Broken Hill, Silverton, Tennant Creek and Kalgoorlie, and the one-horse towns like William Creek, Birdsville and Daly Waters, which are little more than a pub, a petrol pump and a few houses.

There’s Birdsville, the tiny settlement on the edge of the Simpson Desert at the northern end of the notorious and dangerous Birdsville Track. And Tenterfield, the birthplace of Peter Allen, the ‘Boy From Oz’ who sang about the Tenterfield Saddler.

Then there’s Bourke, the dry and dusty outback town in far North West NSW which provoked author Henry Lawson to write after his visit in 1893, “If you know Bourke, you know Australia”. The “Back o’ Bourke” is more than a geographic location; it’s part of the Australian language and part of our folklore. So, pack up your swag and come out the back of beyond to the ‘Back o’ Bourke’.

 

Key outback town facts...

  • Bourke is a must visit on your Outback adventure as it was once the world’s largest wool-trading centre. The Carriers Arms in Bourke was once a Cobb & Co Inn and a temporary home to our legendary poets Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson.
  • Coober Pedy on the edge of South Australia’s Great Victoria Desert in South Australia, produces 90 per cent of the world’s opals. Its population is made up of more than 40 nationalities and, with year-round extremes in temperature, more than 50 per cent of the population live in below-ground ‘dugouts’.
  • The best way to see White Cliffs, another remarkable opal mining town famous for its underground accommodation, is from the air. It looks like a strange moonscape pockmarked by an estimated 50,000 disused diggings.
  • Silverton, once a thriving mining centre of 3,000, is now a virtual ghost town of about 50 inhabitants with a number of historic buildings, several art galleries and museums and a pub. Now a popular destination for movie makers, this typical Outback town has been the backdrop for more than 140 films and commercials, such as Mad Max 2, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Razorback and Young Einstein.
  • Strahan in Tasmania was named “The Best Little Town In The World” by the Chicago Tribune.
  • Built on the wealth of silver mines, the Silver City, Broken Hill, has emerged as a major arts destination in western NSW. Famous Outback painter Pro Hart, lived and worked here and painters and photographers talk about the ‘amazing light’. Once the site of the world’s richest deposit of silver, lead and zinc, today it’s a vibrant mecca for artists and film-makers who draw inspiration from the surrounding landscape. Nearly 30 private galleries and studios are stacked with an eclectic mix of European and Aboriginal art.
  • Tamworth in NSW is the home of Australian country music, while Tenterfield houses the Tenterfield Saddlery, made famous by Peter Allen. Nearby Bald Rock, is our second largest rock after Uluru.
  • The world’s largest geographical city, the fascinating Outback mining town of Mount Isa, also hosts Australia’s biggest rodeo.

Uniquely Australian...

  • Discover the outback towns of northwest NSW. This region is full of iconic towns like Wilcannia, with a population of only 750 and a large Aboriginal community. Moree, on the Gwydir River, which is famous for its therapeutic Artesian Spa Baths, while the Art Gallery houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal art.
  • At the Sapphire City of Inverell you can fossick for gemstones, visit the Inverell Transport Museum, the Art Museum, or the Draught Horse Centre.
  • The cotton capital of Australia, Narrabri is covered mid-year with the “snow” of ripe cotton plants. The Australia Telescope is at Culgoora, just west of town.
  • Famous for black opals, Lightning Ridge is the principle opal mining town in NSW.
  • Visit Cobar’s Great Western Hotel, a reminder of its heyday, which claims its verandah, at over 100m, is the longest in Australia. The mining company’s office is now the Pastoral, Mining and Technological Museum.
  • You’ll find true Outback spirit at Tennant Creek in Australia’s Red Centre. Gateway to the Devils Marbles and the Davenport National Park, it’s an original frontier gold mining town. In 1874 an overland telegraph station was established at the original Tennant Creek, 11km to the north of the present town.
  • Daly Waters in the Northern Territory is a tiny town with only a few houses, a population of 23, a legendary pub known far and wide for its quirky character and a rickety post office covered in outback paraphernalia such as stockwhips. The walls and ceiling of the pub are covered with relics from the past, bras and knickers, signed banknotes in every imaginable currency and drivers’ licences from around the world.
  • Kununurra is the gateway to some of Western Australia’s remarkable natural attractions. The mighty Gibb River Road begins here. This red dirt track journeys through a landscape of gorges, waterfalls and cattle stations the size of small European countries. It’s easy to think you’re the first person to visit the area – that is until you stumble across ancient Aboriginal rock art.
  • Kalgoorlie on Australia’s West coast is like walking on the set of a Wild West. Explore mines and museums, pan for gold or visit one of its historic pubs. Kalgoorlie’s wide streets and grand old buildings are full of people living the prospecting dream. If you’re lucky you might come across some ‘old timers’ playing bush ‘two-up’ – a traditional game where people bet on the toss of a coin.
  • Gold fever also lingers at Halls Creek. Visit the old mud brick post office, or swim in waterholes. See the China Wall – a long quartz vein – and the Wolfe Creek meteorite crater.
  • Known as the Gateway to the Gorges, Derby sits on the edge of King Sound with the vastness of the Kimberley Ranges – spectacular gorges, waterfalls, rivers, water lily covered billabongs, sweeping plains and Aboriginal art sites – at its doorstep. It’s a perfect place to stock up on provisions and take in the local sights. Meet the locals on a station stay. Visit Chamberlain Gorge with its Aboriginal paintings; Zebedee Springs featuring Livistonia Palms and thermal pools and Emma Gorge, renowned for its picturesque rock pools.
  • The Australian Outback is dotted with great little communities – from Australia’s smallest town of William Creek (population 16 at last count) to the opal mining frontiers of Coober Pedy and Andamooka; from Birdsville with its famous pub and annual horse races to the mining town of Leigh Creek, with its 2.85km coal train. Hire a plane out of William Creek to fly over Lake Eyre; it’s awesome with or without water. Lean on the dog fence outside Coober Pedy. It was built in the 1950s to keep dingoes out of the rich pastoral lands to the south. Visit the Aboriginal heritage museum in the Arabunna Aboriginal Community Centre in Marree.
  • Experience the unforgettable thrill of reeling in a giant barramundi in the tropical waters off the tiny Outback town of Burketown, home of the World Barramundi Fishing Championships, where the locals love to share a fishing yarn or two with visitors.
  • Meet and mingle with real life Outback characters trackside, as you cheer on the camels racing on the red dirt track at the famous Boulia Camel Races.
  • Bush races are big events on the Outback calendar, even if the ‘locals’ have to drive for hours to get there. Head to Roma in Western Queensland, for the Roma Cup or Roma Picnic Races or join thousands of visitors who fly into the tiny Outback town of Birdsville for its annual race meeting.
  • It is hard to imagine any place in Australia which evokes quite the sense of loneliness and isolation as that of Birdsville, on the edge of the Simpson Desert. It operates like some kind of mysterious magnet to people who want to go to the most isolated place on the continent.
  • Settle into canvas chairs for old nostalgia movies under the Outback stars at the Winton outdoor cinema in central Outback Queensland. Enjoy old Movietone news reels and cartoons under the stars and a cup of tea afterwards.
  • Try a round of golf Outback-style at the Yowah Golf Course, but be careful because chances are you’ll hit an opal instead of a golf ball. Tee off on a nine-hole course of sand greens and earth fairways.

For further information please contact:

Tourism Australia Global Public Relations

GPO Box 2721

Sydney NSW 1006

Phone: +61 2 9360 1111

October 03 2013

Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre (ASHOF)

The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 29 April 1988.

This is a special year for the Hall of Fame and we have some events planned to celebrate.

The contribution the Hall has made to regional tourism and in promoting Australian Rural Heritage has truly made its mark as a nationally significant icon of the bush.

To mark the occasion of the official opening by Her Majesty a cake cutting will occur in the foyer of the Hall on Monday 29 April. The Board of Directors are meeting on site this day and everyone is welcome to come and share in the occasion from 3pm.

Jane Grieve was Executive Director of ASHOF for the ten years prior to opening and will be on hand to sign her new book. Jane’s story, “In Stockman’s Footsteps” recounts her memories as a central figure with the ASHOF Founding Directors to see the project through to completion.

On Saturday 4 May we invite all Longreach and regional locals to join in the festivities at our 25th anniversary “Open Day”. This weekend coincides with our 23rd annual Drovers Reunion and people of all ages are welcome to join in the games with Drovers and learn some skills from days gone by.

There will be face painting and a jumping castle for the kids, and families are welcome to dine at the Cattlemen’s Bar & Grill.  

Tony Jackson will be exhibiting the skills of his Australian working dogs conducting a sheep dog trial. You can also come and meet Lachie Cossor our Outback Stockman’s Show performer who will be doing extra performances throughout the day.

Locals are welcome free of charge to the Museum and the show so bring the kids along for a day out. 

Emily Pankhurst is also launching her new book titled “Boss Drover and his mates” which tells the story of her much loved husband and drover, Clarry Pankhurst.

If you have a special story to share about the opening, or you played a hand in the development of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame we would love to hear from you. Curator, David Masel will be available all weekend to document and record individuals stories so they are preserved in the archives and your contribution can be recognised.

Rosemary Champion is also looking to recruit more people to represent the QLD Branch of ASHOF and keep the connection and history of the Hall strong.

If you are willing to get involved please let her know.

Our key event for the year, the “Outback Horse and Heritage Expo is being held in Longreach 25-28 July. The draw card of this inaugural event is the sport of Campdraft, showcasing the truly unique and traditional displays of horse and cattle skills. A Bronco Branding competition will also be run over the weekend.

There will be live entertainment and camping is available on site. All horse disciplines are welcome to showcase their sport, so please get in contact to find out how to be involved. We would like to hold a grand parade and are seeking volunteers to assist with the running of this major event.

For our members travelling to Brisbane for the Exhibition, on Friday August 9 ASHOF are hosting the annual “Graziers and Pastoralists lunch” at Brisbane Tattersall Club. MC Rupert McCall will be introducing our many guest speakers including Jane Grieve to share her stories about the early days of planning for ASHOF. Shane Webcke will also be on hand to discuss his love of the bush. For bookings contact brett@greenandgoldevents.com.au

 The Silver Anniversary Ball is being held on Saturday October 5 at Cattlemens Bar & Grill in Longreach. A three course meal and live entertainment will be provided so people can dance the night away under the stars, or catch up with friends in the marquees. Tickets available through the Hall and more details will follow.

The popular annual “Bushman’s Breakfast” in Adelaide, coincides with the cricket test and this year will also include our 25th anniversary celebrations. The breakfast is confirmed for Friday 6 December and event details will be updated on our social media outlets throughout the year.

March 11 2013

Australian Stockmans Hall Of Fame - One Of The 50 Classic Outback Attractions

Explore the spirt of the outback at the Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame.

Each year, thousands make the pilgrimage to explore one of outback Australia's most famous destinations - Longreach in Queensland.  While Longreach boasts many tourist attractions, the Stockman's Hall of Fame is famous for its tribute to Australia's bush heritage and celebrates the legacy of the stockman.

A Classic Outback Attraction

Recognised as one of the top 50 classic outback attractions, the Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame was formed from a conviction that there was a need to capture and record the fast disappearing culture and unique history of Australia's pioneers. A commitment was made to establish a monument to the people that created that history.

It is a museum, gallery, entertainment facility, theatre and historical library where facts relating to the outback are preserved and illustrated for the education and entertainment of Australians and visitors to Australia.

To this end the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame has become a mecca for those making the pilgrimage journey to its unique location at Longreach, in outback Queensland. The Outback Heritage Centre features extensive displays on the natural and cultural history of Longreach and the Australian Stockman, providing a fascinating insight for visitors to the region.     

The Museum has developed a national reputation for its collection and preservation of the stories of the nation's rural past and its innovative education programs and interactive displays.

May 04 2011

Australia’s Artesian Spas, Bore Baths, Thermal Springs and Hot Springs, some great places to visit.

Two great loves of Aussies are camping (some prefer to be called motor-homers or caravanners) and Artesian Hot Springs or; depending where you come from – Bore Baths, Artesian Spas or Thermal Springs; and what better experience can you ask for than to put the two together and camp beside the healing waters of one of these natural springs.

The mineral rich waters act to soothe the body and relax the mind – just the thing after a hard day’s work or exploring our beautiful country. The therapeutic properties of artesian waters are reputed to aid the bodies’ muscular, immune, cardio-vascular, skin, lymphatic and nervous systems and are of particular interest to sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is no wonder they are so popular.

Many of these Artesian Hot Springs have Commercial Campgrounds and Caravan Parks at or nearby the springs to cater for the travelling visitors. Some charge entry fees to use the pools while others are free to use when you stay at the park or campground.

Here is a selection of Australia’s favourite and some lesser known Artesian Spas, Bore Baths Thermal Springs and Hot Springs to include in your travels.

Katherine Hot Springs is a popular swimming and recreation park on the banks of the Katherine River, within the town of Katherine and downstream from the stunning Nitmiluk NP in the NT. Camping is available at nearby Caravan Parks.

Mataranka Thermal Springs and Bitter Springs are two beautiful palm-fringed pools located about 115kms south of Katherine at Mataranka. Both pools form part of Elsey NP and are high on the list of tourists visiting the Top End of Northern Territory and Darwin. Several camping options are close by.

Tjuwaliyn (Douglas) Hot Springs Park is a unique oasis in the sparse woodlands west of Pine Creek and Hayes Creek in the NT. The park is popular as a stop-over and campsite with tourists “doing the Big Lap” through Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Dalhousie Springs is one of Australia’s most remote Hot Springs, located in the remote Witjira National Park near the South Australia – Northern Territory border. The park, campground and Hot Springs are a welcome distraction for 4WDers crossing the Simpson Desert to Big Red and Birdsville.

Hastings Caves State Reserve & Thermal Springs is Hobart’s and Tasmania’s best kept secret. Relax in the luxuriously warm springs, explore the caves or take a walk in the reserve. Several camping options are available nearby.

Hepburn Springs is a town where you can be pampered to your heart’s content (for a price). The Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve on the other hand is free to enter and family friendly. There are several camping options nearby.

Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre is at Moree in NSW, also known as Spa Capital of Australia, a popular stop-over with Grey Nomads and Caravanners to enjoy the healing waters bubbling up from the Great Artesian Basin below. Camping is available at the local Caravan Parks where they have their own spas for visitors to enjoy.

Eulo Artesian Mud Baths & Mud Spa on the outskirts of Eulo in Western Qldis more of an Artesian Mud Spa than an Artesian Spa but none-the-less popular with healthy lifestyle convertees. Relax in one of the bathtubs in the open-air bath house and follow up with a beautifying mud-pack. Camping is available nearby.

At Charlotte Plains Outback Magic near Cunnamulla in Qld you can camp beside the 1890’s station bore and luxuriate in the picturesque natural artesian bore pond or one of the cast iron baths filled with the mineral-laden liquid….just divine.

Innot Hot Springs is a small town along the Savannah Way in North Queensland. The hot springs bubble up through the sandy bed of Nettle Creek and are free to access. Innot Hot Springs Leisure & Health Park is a Caravan Park on the banks of the creek which offers guests a series of pools at differing temperatures to enjoy.

We owe much of Australia’s thermal water supply to The Great Artesian Basin which covers about one quarter of the Australian Continent (another reason we are called the lucky country) so why not put it on your “Bucket List” to soak up some of nature’s therapeutic liquid next time you take a break in our beautiful Australian Outback.

For a fascinating look at the origins of The Great Artesian Basin and where our wonderfully therapeutic Artesian Spas, Bore Baths and Hot Springs originate click here.

April 12 2014

Back O’ Bourke Outback Show

The addition of the nationally renowned Outback Show to Bourke's tourism line-up will see the iconic outback town claim a stake in the increasingly important regional tourism industry, according to Bourke shire council tourism and development manager Phil Johnston.    

The Outback show, which features horseman Luke Thomas and his bullocks, camels, stock and heavy horses, was a major drawcard in Longreach and now is proving to be the same in Bourke, complementing Bourkes other major attractions the Back'O'Bourke Exhibition Centre and PV Jandra Paddle Boat Tours.

Luke will present a humerous look at the everyday life of an outback stockman - with the aid of his well trained team of dogs, stock-horses, bullocks, camels and cows; during his daily (6 days per week) show. The entertainment will include horse riding, droving, yoking up a bullock team and working them just like you might expect on some of the local Darling River sheep stations or cattle stations in the 1800's.

The fun and educational show fits well with local life as depicted in some of the exhibits at the Back'O'Bourke Exhibition Centre and ties together the whole centre quite neatly - a daily event not to be missed when you visit Bourke.

February 28 2014

Bore Baths, Artesian Spa, Hot Springs,The Great Artesian Basin, Hot Spots!

There is only one thing to do after a day long travelling adventure - and that is to kick back, relax, and soak up the minerals of a therapeutic hot bore bath.  Thanks to the Great Artesian Basin, parts of the Australian outback offer a myriad of hot spots for travellers to indulge in a relaxing soak.

Depending on where you are, (NSW calls them Bore Baths, whereas Queensland calls them Artesian Spas), one thing is certain, a soak in one, is the best remedy for soothing aches and pains and can help to alleviate arthritus.

Fans of bore baths will frequent them daily for about 40 mins to an hour. 

Depending on the temperature (around 40 degrees Celcius), you can submerge your body and take in the earth's nutrients via the mineral waters.  After an evening soak you are guaranteed a good night's sleep.

So how did the Great Artesian Basin come about to be....lets take a look

Most artesian spas / bore baths are Free of charge and run by local councils. 

If the artesian bath is located out of town, always check with the local Visitor Information Centre about opening times and road conditions. 

Here is a suggested list of artesian bore baths to include in your Great Artesian Spa Tour:

Moree, various locations

Located in outback NSW, Moree has a number of accommodation houses that have access to their private artesian spas.

Bourke, Comeroo Camel Station

Enjoy a weekend at the multi-faceted tourist retreat.  Experience camel riding, relax in  private artesian spas and get involved in a working sheep station.

Pilliga Bore Baths

If you are visiting Narrabri or Coonabarabran in NSW , you can take a trip to the Pilliga Bore Baths on your way to Walgett and Lightning Ridge.  Entry is Free.

Burren Junction Bore Baths

About 40 minutes from Walgett, you will find the Burren Junction Bore Baths. There is accommodation and facilities available. Entry is Free.

Lightning Ridge Bore Baths

Lightning Ridge has many accommodation houses and the Bore Baths are 5 minutes drive from the centre of town. Entry is Free.

Blackall Aquatic Centre

Blackall in Queensland has a well kept aquatic centre with an artesian spa.

Mitchell Great Artesian Spa Complex

Relax and let the world go by at the Great Artesian Spa (or Bore Baths) complex, Mitchell's major tourist attraction

Cunnamulla, Charlotte Plains Farmstay

Enjoy nature's bore bath at ""Charlotte Plains"" a working sheep and cattle property 54 kilometres east of Cunnamulla.

Ilfracombe Artesian Spa

Journeying towards Longreach, make a stop at Ilfracombe to experience the natural mineral waters of an Artesian Spa.  Kick back, relax and unwind.

Bedourie Artesian Spa

Bedourie's Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool Complex has a 22 person Therapeutic Spa, which is one of the favourite for locals and visitors alike.

May 05 2011

Camels, Camel Rides and Camel Races

There is no doubt that Camels hold a fascination with a lot of Aussie’s and partly due to our historic reliance on them and their handlers (Afghan Cameleers) in opening up, exploring and transporting supplies around  Australia’s arid interior.

Where would places like Alice Springs, Marree, Broome, Bourke and Broken Hill be without camels? Expeditions by Warburton, Gosse, Giles, Burke & Wills and many others relied on the Cameleers critical bush skills and tracks like Strzelecki, Birdsville and Oodnadatta are the result.

So it seems logical that camels would be used to promote tourism in some of these towns with Camel Rides along Cable Beach or Camel Races in Outback Queensland – camels are just so much fun.

Marree Australian Camel Cup in South Australia during July might be a good place to start, with Camel Tug Of War and Camel Polo thrown in for a laugh before exploring the famous Birdsville Track on the way to Birdsville (you’re way too early for the Birdsville Races) but you’ll probably be hanging out for a curried camel pie at the Birdsville Bakery.

Then on to Bedourie for some more Camel racing action and while you’re in town make sure you take the time to include a relaxing soak in their Artesian Spa at the Aquatic Centre.

Next weekend it’s on to Boulia for a fantastic weekend including live music, markets and fireworks, camel rides and heaps more. Do not leave town without unravelling the mystery of the Min Min lights at Min Min Encounter in the Visitor Information Centre.

Winton Camel Races will provide yet another weekend of fun in this final event of the Western Queensland Camel Festival calendar.

After the races there is just so much to see in this exciting town; from dinosaur footprints at Lark Quarry and fossilised bones at Australian Age of Dinosaurs to the story of Banjo Paterson’s Waltzing Matilda at the Matilda Centre, Boulder Opal at Opalton and a dozen or so other interesting attractions around Winton.

From Winton you have plenty of options of where to explore next; North-East to Hughenden, Charters Towers and Townsville, North-West to Cloncurry, Mount Isa and Northern Territory or South to Longreach, Barcaldine and down into NSW, there is just so much to see.

And if you still want more camel action why not check out Forbes, Alice Springs, Mitchell or Tara.

May 05 2014

Caravan, Camping, Fishing, Touring and 4WD Shows around Australia

On this page you will find information and links to many of the Caravan, Camping, Fishing, Touring and 4WD Shows around Australia.

NSW Caravan, Camping, RV, and Holiday Supershow at Rosehill Racecourse, April 26 to May 4 2014

Darwin 4WD Boating & Outback Camping Expo, at Darwin Showgrounds, Winellie. May 10-11 2014

Queensland Caravan, Camping and Touring Holiday Show,  at RNA Showgrounds Brisbane June 4-10 2014

Explore Australia Expo at Melbourne Showgrounds June 20-22 2014

Toowoomba Outdoor Adventure and Motoring Expo at Toowoomba Showgrounds, August 1st -3rd 2014

Melbourne National 4x4 and Outdoor show, Boating and Fishing Expo at Melbourne Showgrounds, Aug 22-24 2014

Melbourne Leisurefest at Sandown Racecourse, Oct 2-5 2014

South Australian Caravan & Camping Show at Wayville Showground, February 2015 Dates TBC

Melbourne Caravan, Camping & Touring Supershow at Caulfield Racecourse, March 5-10, 2015 Dates TBC

Perth Caravan and Camping Show at Claremont Showgrounds, March 19-23 2015

Brisbane National 4X4 and Outdoor Show at RNA Showgrounds Brisbane, March 20-22 2015

April 22 2014

Charleville - More to do than you could ever have imagined!

Charleville is another one of those outback towns where you can cram your itinary full of events and attractions or simply lay back and unwind! There are many interesting places to see and activites to do around Charleville.  You can enjoy magical stargazing, jazz under the stars and relaxing by the banks of the Warrego River!

Here is a 3 day travel itinerary for making the most out of your Charleville trip:

Day 1:  Day one is full of discovery!

The Historical House Museum is one of the best ways to delve into the local history of the land.  This amazing little time capsule tells the stories of the first settlers to the area and why the town was first created.

Then head to the Royal Flying Doctor base so you can experience first hand, how important this service is to locals in the outback .

The last discovery for the day is a trip to the Corones Hotel for a cold beer.  This magnificent old pub has been restored to its former glory days and makes for a great backdrop for re-living "what life was like" in the early days.

During the evening, take a never forgotten journey into the Universe. The Cosmos Centre is the best place to discover the millions of stars and planets that make up the spectacular nights sky. Cosmos guides will share thir knowledge, whilst giving you the opportunity to witness the Galaxy first hand through powerful 12 inch Meade telescopes.

Day 2: Enjoy a gruelling gym session, then kick back and relax!

Charleville has one of the best equipped gymnasiums in the outback.  The gym is ideally located at the Showgrounds and has a range of facilities to cater for any fitness level.

After an intense time exercising - the afternoon is for relaxing. The best place for this would undoubtedly be on the banks of the Warrego River. Here you can go birdwatching, picnicking or attempt to lure a nice Yellowbelly onto your line.  
During the evening, you can grab a bite at the RSL and enjoy a night at the club.  For the naturist, a Bilby Night Tour is a must.  You do need to call to book in!

Day 3: Discover a homestead of national historical significance!

On the road to Quilpie you'll find the Myendetta Homestead.  Enjoy a morning tea on the beautiful verandahs of this magical outback Australian homestead.  Finish the day with an amazing Outback Air Tour of the Mulga Country.

If you are in Charleville early November, giddy up for the Charleville Cup!  For details make sure you check out the events calendar to give you the latest information on dates for Charleville events.  Looking for somewhere to stay, click Charleville accommodation!

May 03 2011

Check out Australia’s best outback art galleries!

The Australian outback is a wonderland of living art, culture and inspiration.  The colours, landscapes and people make for captivating works of arts and fascinating subjects for art enthusiats.

Regardless of your destination, each town has a local gallery or artist who captures the unique qualities of the region and transforms into an artistic representation of the bush.

The arid red soil of the outback, the picturesque western plains, the spectacular pink and purple sunsets, native animals on dusk, all are the subjects of creative works by many established bush artists, poets, painters, photograpers, sculptors, designers and writers.

Take some time out to browse through a gallery or take a stroll through the local gardens of the towns you visit.  You'll find bush poets in pubs, yarn spinning around campfires, arts in our parks, indigenous dance groups, and more. You'll see art from thousands of years ago to the contemporary art of today.  Immerse yourself in our unique culture and heritage seen through the eyes of Australias' very own outback artists.Take the outback inside.

We have scaled the bush to find some of the best artists to check out, on your  next outback adventure:

If you would like to be included on our Outback Artists list, or know someone who should be, please email info@outbacknow.com.au

May 03 2011

Coober Pedy - you’ve never seen anything like it

"Coober Pedy-you’ve never seen anything like it”

Welcome to Coober Pedy, opal capital of the world. Famous for many things including its underground lifestyle with dugout homes, churches, museums, motels, shops and galleries; this cosmopolitan town lays claim to supplying the lion’s share of opals to the world.

You can’t come to Coober Pedy without soaking up some of its mining history at The Old Timers Mine or having a round of golf at one of the outback’s most unique Golf Clubs – a must for all serious (and not so serious) golfers. See more of Coober Pedy's Outback Tours and Attractions

Several guided tour options are available from Ando Tours (underground B & B), Riba’s and the Old Timers Mine ranging from 1.5 hours, full day and evening tours.

Sites to take in include one of the few drive in theatres still operating today.

Step back in time to our childhood with your regular screenings – details available from the Visitor’s Information Centre.

Various locations around town have been the backdrop for big budget movies and commercials including the Breakaways, the Painted Desert, Moon Plain and The Dingo Fence; all well worth a visit.

The lunar like landscape devoid of trees and grass makes for a spectacular sunset scene and a photographers delight.

Unique accommodation can be found at Underground B & B, and Riba’s Underground Camping and Tourist Park, something you will not experience anywhere else in the world.

Coober Pedy also makes a great starting point to explore the surrounding towns of Oodnadatta, William Creek and Marree – which houses an interesting Graveyard of local rail and transport history of the area, or the beginning of your exploration of the Oodnadatta, Strzelecki or Birdsville track, Lake Eyre or even The Simpson Desert – a word of warning though – make sure you and your vehicle are properly prepared if you intend to venture off the main roads and into the outback.

Remember: This is still frontier country!

Coober Pedy Home Page

June 27 2011

Discover Bourke with Mateship Country Tours

As Henry Lawson says...'if you know Bourke, you know Australia.'

Every Australian should visit Bourke to get a sense of what the outback character and lifestyle is all about.  As you can appreciate, there is a very unique story to tell of Bourke.  To understand it, you need to hear it from Bourke's best story teller. 

Stuart Johnson will take you on a 3-4 hour discovery tour of the town where you will absorb first hand the past and present stories of the outback's most famous town.

The Mateship Country Tours covers Bourke's heritage, high tech citrus and grape farming, at Back 'o' Bourke Fruits , Darling Farms, Clyde Agriculture who are now the largest landowners in Australia.

Expect to see cotton farms with some of the country's largest water storage systems and you'll be impressed with the Jojoba and Pera Bore.

The tour consistently earns the highest praise from both domestic and international visitors.  It is a must see for any traveller.  Over 45,000 people have enjoyed the tour over the past 11 years.  

You will also discover the legend of the mighty Darling River and its robust steamboat history.  Stu will take you to one of the most amazing natural attractions in the outback - the Mysterious Oxley.  

You will be captivated by the stories, and will get a chance to experience a sense of the special identity of this famous watering hole.  This oasis was a rendevous for swaggies, drovers, and bullock drivers.

Dont miss one of the best tours the outback has to offer! 

May 04 2011

Discover One Of The Queensland’s Most Authentic Outback Experiences

Experience a delicious authentic camp oven dinner. Escape to Blackall during winter (May to August) and you can enjoy one of the outback's most famous and delicious feasts! 

A campoven dinner is one of the best ways to warm up those chilly winter nights, and the Blackall Caravan Park is proud to boast an excellent inhouse campoven cook who will prepare you one of heartiest, sumptous and tantalising treats you'll eat in the bush!

You will discover the taste sensation of good ole' country cooking. The menu usually consists of Roast Meat with baked vegetables followed by Damper with golden syrup and Billy tea.

It is a great opportunity to mingle with fellow travellers, listen to the resident musicians and relax.

The Blackall Caravan Park is ideally suited to accommodating motor homes and recreational vehicles. 

There is plenty of room, and the Park has become a regular meeting place for travellers coming from  all over Australia because of its central location, quality facilities, affordable rates and friendly hosts. Come and see this wonderful Oasis in the Outback. Your hosts, Debbie, Norm & family can offer you a very comfortable and quite stay at their 3 Star park.

The Park boasts ensuite cabins and units,  grassy shaded drive through sites, camp sites, 2 amenities blocks, laundry, dump point, EFTPOS, pet friendly (on application), kiosk, and tourist information.

The Caravan Park is one of Blackall's most versatile locations. Located just 3 minutes from the centre of town, you can easily walk to most tourist attractions including the rejuvenating hot artesian spa at the Blackall Aquatic Centre, the Blackall Woolscour, Jack Howe Statue and the original Black Stump.

 

May 05 2011

Drought Buster Deals!  10 Top Outback Farmstays

Farm or station stays are a fantastic way for you to experience life on the land. Whether it is shearing sheep, mustering cattle, or riding horses, farm or station stays offer a unique holiday experience which are both, challenging and rewarding.

With prices starting from as little as $35 per person, per night, compared to other holiday options, outback farmstays offer great value for money with unparalleled fun. On the farm, children can ride, run, create, build, dig, explore, adventure and imagine. While there are plenty of things to do to keep them busy, it will be the games and the experience they create for themselves which they will truly remember.

For the grown ups, try your hand at helping out with farm activities, or if relaxation is what you are after, farmstays boast great walking tracks, bird watching, photographic opportunities, spectacular views, brilliant sunsets, and at some, there are natural (Bore) baths to soak in.

TAKE A look at 10 of the best farmstays in outback Australia:

Carisbrooke Stations, QLD

Charlotte Plains, QLD

Cameron's Farmstay and B&B Nyngan, NSW

Meadow View Farmstay Tottenham, NSW

Merluna Station Stay Weipa, QLD

Food & Huts by Mt Oxley Bourke, NSW

Bokhara Hutz Brewarrina, NSW

Lorne Station Lightning Ridge, NSW

Bonus Downs Farmstay Mitchell, QLD

Bimbimbi & Little Hollow Homesteads Chinchilla, QLD
 

May 05 2011

Earth Yields Another Opulent Boulder Opal

Earth Yields another opulent boulder opal. A Quilpie man has discovered a boulder opal expected to rival the $1.2 million Galaxy opal found in 1989.

Opal Miners Queensland president Greg McKay was with miner Allan Kisiel when he cut the boulder 5 weeks ago to expose the 11cm x 9 cm gemstone. "There was elation.  It's not every day that you get a piece of that quality and size," Mr McKay said. Mr Kisiel, who has been mining for 25 years, excavated the stone in about 18m of sandstone on his leased claim on cattle land abut 265km northwest of Quilpie.  He has already sold it to a private cutter for an undisclosed price.

"The money side is important but not that important," he said.  "I enjoy searching for treasures of the earth, which is opals."

He intends to continue mining after celebrating his good fortune.  "I might splash it around and go for a holiday,' he said, shen asked how he would spend his windfall.

The Galaxy opal, unearthed in Jundah, was the about the same size as this one, Mr McKay said.

Source:The Courier Mail, Monday 6 November 2006 by Tuck Thompson

May 03 2011

Escape To A Cosy, Outback B&B This Winter!

The outback offers a wide choice of styles of accommodation or lodgings, from traditional bed & breakfasts, homestays, retreats, self contained cottages, and spas. We've done the hard work for you, and found some fantastic Outback's BnBs.

Lodging or staying with the hosts of our many member properties throughout Outback Australia is the ideal way to make the most of your travels, whether it be a family vacation, honeymoon, simply a getaway, to celebrate a special occasion or even a business trip.

Follow a lovely day with a comfortable night's sleep and a superb breakfast and you'll soon realise what makes visitors want to come back soon - our good old-fashioned hospitality and the natural wonders of outback Australia.

Here are some great deals for Australia's best Outback BnB's!

Riverside Motel
Bourke, NSW
4.5 Stars

Cameron's Farmstay and B&B
Nyngan, NSW
Close to town

Sonja's BnB
Lightning Ridge, NSW
Beautiful little B&B

Mt Tenandra Homestead
Corawa Park Coonabarabran and Coonamble
email for prices

Underground  B&B
Coober Pedy SA 
email for prices

May 05 2011

Escape To Charters Towers This Autumn

Aussie Outback Oasis Cabin & Van Village

Charters Towers' only fully Tourist Park offers 10 acres of spacious shady parkland surroundings, ultra clean modern facilities and extra large drive thru powered/un-powered sites catering for every style of traveller. If you're looking for a little bit of luxury in the outback, our self contained cabins & Deluxe Villas are sure to impress.  

There's a surprising amount on offer in Charters Towers - Stroll through the city to see many of our heritage listed architecture, visit Australia's largest surviving battery relic, the Venus Gold Battery. So come and see why people love staying in our friendly park as you explore the rich heritage of Charters Towers. Experience for yourself what all the talk is about!

Features:

  • BIG4 Member Park
  • Salt water Rock Pool  
  • Austar available in cabins/villas
  • Modern BBQ / Kitchenette Area
  • Large Sites - Powered and Unpowered Sites
  • Drive through Slab and Grass Sites (big van friendly)
  • Modern Amenities
  • Bus and Tour Group Friendly
  • Drive though Dump Point
  • Self-contained Air-conditioned Ensuite Cabins and Villa's (Linen Supplied)
  • Bird Watching
  • Barramundi Viewing
  • Wireless Internet (Net 4)
  • 10 acres of Park Land Setting 
  • Jumping Pillow

10 Acres Delightful Parkland BBQ/pool and Laundromat on site

Visitor Information Centre

May 04 2011

Explore Australia Expo Melbourne Terms and Conditions

Competition Terms and Conditions

Win 1 of 10 double passes to Explore Australia Expo at the Melbourne Showgrounds June 20-22 2014. Each double pass is valued at $34.00au

How to Enter:

Like Outbacknow Australia’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/outbacknow.australia

Like Melbourne’s Explore Australia Expo show

Share the competition on your facebook page.

(For more competitions and other promotions or enquiries visit http://www.outbacknow.com.au)

Terms & Conditions

By entering this competition, participants warrant that they have read carefully and have fully understood and accept these Terms and Conditions. Information on how to enter forms part of the terms and conditions of entry.

Facebook is in no way sponsoring, endorsing, administrating or associated with this competition.

Competition commences 01.05.14 and closes 30.05.14 at 5.00pm. Winners drawn at 5.30 pm 30.05.14 from all current eligible entries.

Each prize consists of 1 double pass (single day entry) to Explore Australia Expo at the Melbourne Showgrounds June 20-22 2014 valued at $34.00au. Transport is not included.

The entrant acknowledges and agrees that neither the promoter nor Facebook will not be liable for any loss suffered by the entrant whatsoever in relation to their entry, the prize or 

Prizes must be taken as offered and are not exchangeable, redeemable for cash or for resale. Prize winners will be notified via private message to the Facebook account used to enter; they have used to enter the competition and will have 7 days to respond with a valid postal address. Prizes unclaimed after 7 days will be redrawn.

All other Standard terms and conditions are available at http://www.outbacknow.com.au/index.php/terms

May 02 2014

Explore The World Capital Of Black Opal!

Explore the world capital of black opal - Lightning Ridge in a deluxe airconditioned coach with an experienced local guide.  Experience noodling on some of the most successful mining areas in the world
 
The tour takes in a visit to most amazing tourist attractions in Lightning Ridge.   We also take you to the 3 Mile Open Cut, Artesian Baths, unusual local camps, including the unique structure of Amigo's Castle, and  exclusive to our tour is a visit to the Black Queen antique lamp museum.   

We will take you to Bodel's Camp, one of the oldest camps on the diggings and you will get to go underground at the Walk-in-Mine.  Experience a cutting and polishing demonstration with full explanation about Lightning Ridge Opal. Clean amentities are available for this comfort stop.

Lightning Ridge is rich in local art and culture - you will witness a number of sites that capture the true essence of the Australian outback.

The tour includes a private view of one of the most spectacular opal collections in town. Included in the tour is a delicious serving of fresh Devonshire Tea.

May 05 2011

F-35 Aircraft Simulators in Longreach

The Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach, is pleased to announce the arrival of three of its four flight simulators for the general public to get hands-on flying experience that is as close as it gets to the real thing.

We look forward to having you here to test the experience. 

The QANTAS Founders Museum in Longreach has taken another step in linking the past with the future.

The Museum was established by the Western Queensland community in 1996 not only to tell the story of the foundation of the airline which has become an Australian icon but also to inspire current and future generations of Australians with the story of vision, struggle and persistence in achieving a goal.

The Qantas story began in World War One when a pilot named Paul McGinness and a Gunner/Observer named Hudson Fysh teamed up in Number One squadron of the Australian Flying Corps in Palestine. The aircraft they used was a Bristol Bf.2b which was the leading reconnaissance, ground attack and defence aircraft of 1917.

Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service obtained its first aircraft in January 1921 and began regular scheduled services in November, 1922.

Through sheer persistence and dogged hard work it proudly became Australia’s overseas airline in 1934 and has grown to become one of the most-respected air companies in the world – and one with which nearly all Australians feel an affinity.

We see it as ours.

Today’s Number One squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force, based at Amberley, the largest RAAF base in Australia, now operates FA-18 Super Hornet aircraft but is due to start using the new Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning 2 in 2015. This is the latest reconnaissance, ground attack and defence aircraft – carrying out the same role McGinness and Fysh were almost one hundred years ago.

Under the guidance of Chairman Rodney Seccombe and CEO Tony Martin, the QANTAS Founders Museum has just installed three F-35 flight simulators for visitors to experience and fly.

The F-35 simulators are Queensland-designed and made and the fighter jets are fully networked, so the user can command their aircraft in various modes of simulation interaction between pilots, including the opportunity to participate in co-operative joint strike missions, modern fighter jet dogfights or as an individual user in the highly realistic experience of flight.

They are part of a display showing the contrast between aerial combat, training and equipment that crews had in 1917 through to modern day.

The next step is to install a Bristol Bf.2b simulator (currently being designed and constructed) and will be the only one of its kind in the world. The Bristol Bf.2b simulator is expected to be launched early 2013.

Visitors to the Museum will be able to experience what it was like to fly an open-cockpit fighting biplane in World War One and compare that with flying the most modern military aircraft in the world today.

October 02 2012

For An Adventure Of A Lifetime, Discover Outback Australia!

The kids have packed up and moved on, you're retired, (or just damn tired), and the nomadic lifestyle of the so called 'Grey Nomad' beckons. Maybe a trip overseas would be nice , all the places you've ever dreamt of visiting, all of the romantic and historic getaways that you've seen on the movies. Sure, overseas travel does have plenty to offer, but as most soon realise , the lifestyles created by Hollywood's spindoctors costs more than most can afford, not many of us can handle the difference in cultures, very few can speak the language and in a world filled with the everyday fear of terrorism, travel here in good old outback oz does'nt seem so bad after all!

A bulk of the evergrowing number of domestic tourists visiting Australias outback have lived there working life in the cities, never knowing what was right here under their noses. Of course everyone has heard of Ayers Rock and Kakadu National Park, the Mt Isa Rodeo and Longreach's Stockmans Hall of Fame, but have you ever heard of the Grawin Opal field, where this arid moonscape supports three tin shed puds, more sheep than you could count in a nightime of sleeps and a collage of colourful characters all toiling toward their dream of untold wealth. Or has anyone told you about the blind mechanic that runs the garage in Windorah? Probably not!

But around every turn another geographical twist arises to drop your jaw or a local with a grin as big as the Simpson Desert and a warm heart and handshake even bigger is there to greet you and take you on an unforgettable tour of your next memory.

In early 2006 Outback Now was launched to offer information to tourists and locals and provide the platform for what will become somewhat of an online outback community. The need for a site such as Outback Now has arisen from the frustration of web surfers inability to find a one stop outback shop. Previously 'surfers' could find one site with accommodation, one with Events, some with attractions and very few with constantly updated information. Although not specialising in the hardcore 4WD'ing, Outback Now tries to provide you, the tourist, with as much practical information as possible, whilst creating an awareness that each town, no matter the size, holds more than just a passing glance.

Our points of difference to many other tourism directories is that we are privately owned and actually get off our butts and visit the towns which we promote. Our dedicated team are constantly on the road saying G'day to everyone we can, collecting information and eagerly trying to find new ways to improve what we do. After all it is listening to your opinion and taking your ideas on board which will make Outback Now your complete travel companion.

You' wanted maps and weather, so we give you maps and weather. Through Google's extensive and unbeatable function of global mapping, you can now find maps on every outback town, including Satellite imagery which allows you to zoom in and almost grab a kangaroo by the tail.

Our other new addition is weather for each town. Although not accessible for every town, we endeavour to get the nearest possible towns forecast. The optimum time for any outback travel is in the cooler months between March and October, however if mid 40 degree temperatures don't frighten you off, the local's will be quick to offer you a cold beer and an airconditioned swag.

As most of you have already retired back to your cooler southern abode or others ponder on the thought of a romantic escape, keep us in mind as you do your research for your next great escape, and if there is anything, no matter how small an input, please do not hesitate to shoot us through an email, because without your help we can't keep Outback Now your number one outback travel site. Our gaurantee to you is that we'll keep trying 'til the cows come home!

May 03 2011

Free Choice Camping and Fishing Spots near Charleville Queensland

FISHING AND CAMPING NEAR CHARLEVILLE

The Visitor Information Centre at Charleville have advised us of some awesome fishing & camping spots for self-contained campers on the rivers and creeks surrounding the town. Yellow Belly, Jewfish, Murray Cod, Black Bream, Spangled Perch, Red Claw and Blue Claw are all prizes eating fish & crustaceans found in the popular Warrego and Ward Rivers (& Creeks) near town.

As always be self-sufficient including medical supplies, food and water, be vigilant of the weather (access & flooding), abide by local fishing laws and leave no trace of your visit.

There are no facilities at these spots and how you treat them will dictate how long they remain open for use by your fellow travellers.

August 27 2013

Free Choice Camping at RISK!

Immediate Actions

Various stakeholders are already strenuously campaigning to hinder RV tourists’ rights to choose where and when they stay in overnight campgrounds, rest areas and/or showgrounds.

If ignored, the current lifestyle enjoyed by RVers may be drastically changed and we will have no choice but to stay in commercial caravan parks when travelling in our RVs.

Our Members and members of other RV clubs have voiced their desire to have the option to stay in either commercial or non-commercial accommodation and to utilise the lowest cost overnight accommodation that is available to them.

These options may include a caravan park, showground, campground, rest area, RV Friendly Town™, or Destination.  Statistically, self-contained road based tourists stay in caravan parks one night in three, therefore, savvy caravan park owners will go out of their way to attract as many of our Members as they can, which, as business people, they should.

Already there are considerable restrictions being imposed on our freedom of choice philosophy. After receiving four complaints from private caravan site owners about councils providing free or low priced overnight RV camping services, the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator determined that council-provided camping services were in breach of competitive neutrality principles under the National Competition Policy (NCP) that government organisations are required to follow.

This meant that councils were forced to adhere to the principles of competitive neutrality and apply a ‘full cost attribution model’ approach when operating these services.

Many showgrounds in Queensland have been closed to RV tourists, despite the fact that commercial caravan parks are being used as accommodation bases for mining industry employees, leaving a shortage of available sites for tourists.

On a local level, Mudgee in NSW closed the showground to RV tourists, except for overflow camping, which is charged at the same rate as the caravan parks; and Darwin in NT is set to crack down hard on freedom campers who park up for the night in city streets or car parks. We probably all know of other specific examples. 

There are over 65,500 individual Members of CMCA, over 51,000 campervans and motorhomes and approximately 450,000 caravans registered in Australia.

The majority of these RVers own self-contained vehicles and want the freedom to choose where they stay. They are kindred souls who share and support a common lifestyle, and do not wish to restrict their camping to caravan parks.

CMCA Members are asked to support the RV Lifestyle Support Fund to the extent that they are financially able.

Members of NACC (National Association of Caravan Clubs) and ATCMCC (Australasian Touring Caravan, Motorhome and Camping Club) are also being urged to contribute towards the Fund, which will be used to cover the significant costs incurred in campaigning for freedom of choice camping.

The Fund and its objectives will be announced at the Annual General Meeting of the NACC on 24 September 2013 in Rockhampton, QLD and the Annual General Meeting of the CMCA on 23 October 2013 in Narrabri, NSW.

MoTOURing Australia

MoTOURing is an informal association of the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA), the National Association of Caravan Clubs (NACC) and the Australasian Touring Caravan, Motorhome and Camping Club (ATCMCC) documented by means of a Memorandum of Understanding.

Many Members of CMCA and caravan club members of MoTOURing have encouraged us to establish a fund to help finance the activities involved in preserving and promoting freedom of choice camping. As a result, we are now launching an ‘RV Lifestyle Support Fund’.

The objective is to improve, enhance, promote and protect the interests of RV tourists by representation, under the name of MoTOURing Australia, to government and industry bodies.

RV Lifestyle Support Fund

The Fund is being established to raise voluntary contributions to enable MoTOURing Australia to pursue its objective.

Contributions may be made by forwarding a cheque or money order to:

CMCA (MoTOURing)

PO Box 254

HRMC Warabrook

NSW 2310

Credit card payments can be made by phoning CMCA NHQ on 02 49 788 788.

When making payments, please state that they are for the RV Lifestyle Support Fund. The Fund will be jointly administered by CMCA and NACC.

*Article reproduced courtesy of the Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd from their magazine, The Wanderer, September 2013 issue.*

Click on an image to enlarge and use arrows to view as slideshow

September 11 2013

Fuel Costs for traveling around Australia

Fuel Costs

I stumbled across a little gem the other day at the Brisbane Caravan and Camping Show, in the form of a booklet titled ‘Fuel Prices – The Good News’. Naturally it caught my eye – anything to help the wallet, right?

The booklet is put out by the Caravan and Camping Industry Association NSW, and looks at various scenarios; from a 14 day 600km driving holiday right up to a 180 day trip around Outback Australia (“The Big One”). It covers family cars, 4WD’s (both towing) and motor homes. The study, conducted by KPMG (international audit, tax and advisory services) covers all costs that a family would reasonably incur whilst holidaying. The study looks at the cost of food, site fees, maintenance, entertainment etc, but draws our attention to the impact (or moderate impact) that various price increases in fuel will have on the overall cost of a holiday. And there lies the secret – it gets us to focus on fuel costs for what they are – a component of your total holiday costs, not the huge cost we might otherwise think it is. The study concludes that a 20c per litre increase in the cost of fuel results in an overall increase in daily costs of about 2% - the cost of a cup of coffee.

I checked out their website Caravan-Camping  as well when we got home, and that gives you even more detail, including a handy calculator to help you estimate any scenario that you might encounter.

Thank you CCIANSW – a very handy resource and good to see a glass (or tank) half full focus on holiday costs.

A footnote – not everything is more expensive in regional areas or the outback. Rents and wages are a component of costs adding to prices of everything you buy and both are under less pressure in regional areas. For example – A tenant of a new shopping mall in a city will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in rent (factoring in the cost of land etc), that has to be passed onto the consumer. Often this cost is lower in regional areas, offsetting the cost of transport and therefore helping the budget a bit.

June 17 2011

Get away for a Dirty Weekend in the Australian Outback!

One way to get down and dirty with a loved one this year is by checking out all the action of the outback's dirtiest events...

Mungindi Mud Trials

Experience the thrill of a real outback experience with the Mungindi Mud Trials. A day of pure adrenaline, speed, skill, mud, dirt, flies, blow outs and action is set to thrill spectators and off road enthusiasts. Enjoy watching the cars earn there points while playing in the mud.

Gascoyne River Dash

The river dash is now run as a dry river dash for buggies, motor bikes, 4WD's and off road machines. It is an annual event and attracts entries both locally and statewide. It is a gruelling race which tests both the driver/s and vehicles stamina.

Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival

The Dirt and Dust Festival is an annual community-run event staged in Julia Creek, along the Overlanders Way. The Festival is based around one of the toughest triathlons in Australia, run at 12 noon, starting at the local water hole.

Birdsville Races

Entering Birdsville, you may well wonder was this worth the drive, because my friends, this is one of the most remote places on earth. However to those with their eyes completely open, she holds a beauty like no other outback town and a beating heart that near jumps out of itself every September.

May 04 2011

Get Cosy In An Outback B’N'B

9 of the most Romantic outback Destinations

The outback has hundreds of outback BnB's to rekindle those romantic flames.  Let sparks fly as you get cosy among the gum trees at one of the many BnB's, farmstays or holiday retreats set up to help you relax and unwind.

We have many accommodation houses including BnB's, farmstays, holiday retreats, motels, pubs to choose from in each of the following towns:

  1. Do some lovin' in Longreach
  2. Get whisked away in Winton
  3. Go Krazy in Katherine
  4. Fall in love in Lightning Ridge
  5. Take your beauty to Barcaldine
  6. Champagne in Charleville
  7. Cuddle up in Kununurra
  8. Enjoy a good red in Roma
  9. Get cosy in Cunnumulla

Looking for other town options,  or use the search bar to find any outback town

May 04 2011

Great Inland Way

Great Inland Way Itinerary      Great Inland Way Tour

February 10 2014

Great Inland Way Article Sydney to Cairns

The Great Inland Way is the journey of a lifetime, weaving its way from Sydney through the rugged Blue Mountains – rich in natural attractions and on through the rolling hills of crops and vineyards; over the wide open plains and cattle country of outback NSW and Qld to the rainforest covered tablelands that is the backdrop for Cairns. But just like the wines that are produced at some of the boutique wineries along the way, the 2600km journey should be savoured not rushed.

The World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains are one of Australia’s most spectacular icons, beckoning for you to explore some of its picturesque towns and magnificent National Parks. Admire the colonial architecture at the historic village of Hartley and pause for a while in Lithgow, famous for its industrial heritage and birthplace of the Australian iron and steel industry. Visit Blast Furnace Park, State Mine Heritage Park, the Small Arms Factory Museum or the 19th century engineering masterpiece - The Great Zig Zag Railway; all shining examples of Lithgow’s proud past. 

Since the early 1900’s Bathurst has been synonymous with motor racing; cars and motorcycles, Speedway and Grand Prix – not only because of the several historic racing circuits around the city and the races, festivals and events that seem to happen every few weeks but because Bathurst is also home to The National Motor Racing Museum, covering the history of speedway, drag racing, rallying, open wheelers, sports cars, touring cars and motorcycles.

It is with anticipation that you press on, your journey takes you through the exciting wine and farm produce district surrounding Orange, home to several Food and Wine themed festivals during the year. Indulge your senses at some of the boutique wineries or local farmers markets before taking in the historic town of Wellington, home to the well-known Wellington Caves and Phosphate Mine.

Explore the World renowned Taronga Western Plains Zoo, an African safari right in the middle of NSW or any one of the 25 or so other attractions that will keep the family occupied for ages at Dubbo.

Turn off the Newell Highway at Gilgandra, home to the Coo-ee Heritage Centre and follow the Castlereagh River through the picturesque towns of Gulargambone, gateway to the Warrumbungle Mountains National Park and Siding Spring Observatory; and Coonamble, where you can participate in a genuine Australian Cattle Drive.

At Walgett you enter Artesian Spa Country where the therapeutic liquid flows out of the ground at about 40 degrees at several locations nearby including Lightning Ridge. It is well worth spending a few days in ‘the Ridge’ – a frontier town with character (and characters) and home of Australia’s national gem – the prized Black Opal.

Just across the Queensland border lies Hebel, a town whose rich and interesting history is narrated in the form of public art, a gem of a country pub, and a quaint General Store. A few kilometres up the road is Dirranbandi, last stop on the south west rail line and home to the famed Cubbie Station; and St George but not before you take a small detour to the iconic Nindigully Hotel, a classic friendly outback Qld pub. The Balonne River at St George has a reputation as one of the best inland Qld fishing spots, but that’s not all St George is famous for – drop into the Visitor Centre to unlock more secrets including where to find extraordinary hand carved illuminated emu eggs, sample some local wines and grape jams, or perhaps relax and unwind on board a river cruise.

The Cobb & Co Changing Station at Surat is well worth a stopover on the way to Roma, a thriving beef cattle town and site of the first oil and gas discoveries in Australia. Experience the whole story at the Big Rig Tourist Complex on the eastern edge of town. An hour north of Roma is Injune, gateway to the spectacular Carnarvon NP and Carnarvon Gorge; an oasis of cool tranquillity featuring secluded moss-covered gorges, ancient Aboriginal art sites, crystal clear streams, abundant wildlife and birdlife – Mother Nature’s finest works. Several other National Parks can be accessed along the road between Injune and Rolleston.

A few kms up the road is Springsure where you will find Old Rainworth Fort, built in 1862 as protection against aboriginal attack; and Virgin Rock, an uncanny resemblance to the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus that overlooks the town. The bustling town of Emerald sits on the crossroads of the Great Inland Way and Capricorn Hwy; Gateway to the Sapphire Gemfields and with Lake Maraboon on its doorstep, Emerald is worthy of a few days’ stopover - there’s plenty to see.

Pop into Capella and check out the Capella Pioneer Village and the rustic Lighthorse Memorial before joining a tour around the gold & coal town of Clermont. Unearth fascinating history on ‘the town that moved’ including copper, gold and coal mining, floods and the railway, picnic at Hood’s lagoon or enjoy a feed of freshly caught Red Claw at beautiful Theresa Creek Dam.

You will pass through the tiny town of Belyando Crossing enroute to the city affectionately known as ‘The World”. Charters Towers, a city of Grandeur, Greed, Gold and Ghosts boasts lashings of beautifully restored historical buildings to see, museums, the Venus Gold Battery and so much more - captivating would be an understatement.

Head north-west through Greenvale and The Lynd Junction, before stopping off to explore the world’s longest lava tube system at Undara Volcanic NP. Stop off for a dip at Innot Hot Springs, 16 kms east of the interesting little mining town of Mt Garnet or a ‘coldy’at the highest pub in Qld - Hotel Tully Falls in Ravenshoe.

The next stretch of Great Inland Way will see you passing by pristine rainforest, cascading waterfalls, picturesque lakes and the rolling green pastures of the Atherton Tablelands. The area, known as ‘food bowl of the tropics’ supports thriving tea and coffee plantations, coffee roasters, tropical fruit and fruit wine producers, dairies, gourmet cheese production and a distillery; but no trip to the tablelands would be complete without a visit to the famous Kuranda Markets. Spend a few days on the tablelands – it’s too good to rush.

From Kuranda it’s just a hop, step & jump to the tropical city of Cairns (or better still Skyrail Cableway over the rainforest one way and return by Kuranda Scenic Railway – what an adventure) Cairns offers great shopping, fantastic restaurants and the step-off point for a day on the Great Barrier Reef – just magic.

The final leg of the Great Inland Way takes you back into the rainforest, through the tiny town of Lakeland, the departure point for Cape York (another great adventure) and on to Cooktown one of Australia’s most historically significant towns that pays tribute to the place where Lt James Cook anchored ‘The Endeavour’ for repairs in 1770. After visiting the many attractions of Cooktown there is no more fitting place to end your journey along the Great Inland Way than to witness a stunning North Queensland sunset over Cooktown and the Endeavour River from Grassy Hill, reflecting on all that you have experienced along the way; but even with all those memories, you've hardly scratched the surface of what this beautiful country has to offer….      

Great Inland Way Itinerary                Great Inland Way Map

March 28 2014

Guide to Free Campsites 2014 - 15… On The Road Magazine

                      

                    More information can be found at   On the Road Magazine

June 10 2014

Introducing the Hillbilly Goats

The Hillbilly Goats

Kick your shoes off, put your hoe-down & hang on to ya britches! .... The Hillbillygoats will have you up hootin’ and a-hollerin’ as they perform their up-tempo arrangements of Mountain-Grass Music, Hillbilly Roots and Old Time Blues.

We first ran across this group at the Barcaldine Tree Of Knowledge Festival where they were billed as headline act. Their unique and fun style had the crowd on their feet and dancing to some old-time songs with an up-tempo beat. It was electric. I quickly found out they had played at an impressive list of festivals in the last year or so including Tablelands Folk Festival, Wallaby Creek, Yungaburra, Port Douglas Carnivale, Cairns Blues Festival and Cooktown Discovery Festival to name a few.

The Goats are leaving an impressive hoof-print everywhere they go! 4 years of PUB GIGS, FESTIVALS and FUNCTIONS have seen this band emerge into far-northern favourites with a herd of goat-fans in convoy.

Touring regularly with Bill Chambers, the Goats are taking their name to distant paddocks. It’s a perfect musical combination - Bill Chambers has the old hillbilly licks and flat-picking style to compliment the Old Time energy & harmonies of the Hillbillygoats "Pub Show" as well as their "Out of the Mountains" show...

“OUT OF THE MOUNTAINS” their latest album is a progressive musical journey that begins centuries ago with the settlement of immigrants in the Appalachian Mountains and features Bill Chambers guitar works on several tracks. Due to lack of entertainment, they created their own fun through music. Singing songs they brought with them from their native countries evolved over time and rooted itself as a new form of music that was influenced heavily by a mixture of Irish, Scottish and African rhythms. This "Mountain Music" has endured for hundreds of years, giving birth to what we now know as Blues, Bluegrass and Country music along the way.

Featuring Banjo, Bones, Mandolin, Double Bass, Guitars, Dobro, Harmonica, Drums, Spoons, Harmonies and Comedy, this band is a whole lot of yeeha! So whether you are a pub, club, festival or individual wanting a great band for your own function, the Hillbillygoats have a show that will not let you down

"...this energetic band would create a fabulous, fun night out....the musicianship is outstanding and the arrangements are well constructed using clean honest vocals with an emphasis on storytelling..." Lonnie Martin, The Folk Rag (Nov 2011)

“...After just retuning from major festivals in the USA, I reckon the Hillbillygoats are up there with the best in the Old-Time scene...” Bill Chambers (Aug 2012).

November 02 2012

Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival Press Release March 2014

March 21 2014

Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival signs headline act

About the Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival

The annual Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival will celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2014.
Started in 1994, the Dirt n Dust Festival is a three day celebration of Queensland’s outback, offering non-stop challenges and entertainment including Australia’s toughest sprint triathlon, a junior triathlon, an outback race meet, PBR bullrides, the Australia’s Best Butt competition, live music, family entertainment and novelty events such as the national Bog Snorkelling Championship.

Held in the tiny town of Julia Creek – with a population of 400 and approximately eight hours west of Townsville – the Festival attracts more than 4,000 visitors from across Queensland, Australia and the world.

The 2014 Festival will take place on April 11 – 13.

About Mick Lindsay

A self-taught guitarist, Mick Lindsay hit the music scene in 2003 with all the momentum of a freight train. Lindsay first came to light in "The Telstra Road to Tamworth" as a grand finalist (Top 8 in Australia) in 2005, which allowed him to showcase some finely honed vocal chops, and ‘rhythm and lead’ guitar skills that would leave "Johnny B. Good" hanging his head in shame. The Road to Tamworth, lead to regular appearances on the Country Music Channel (CMC) that quickly put Lindsay on the map.

Handpicked as one of 21 artists from Australia and New Zealand to attend the CMAA, (College of Country Music,) Lindsay emerged from the college with a series of original songs under his belt and says he has been humbled at the support of his audiences for his original work.

Lindsay first picked up a guitar in high school after the death of his grandfather.
“All the family came home for the funeral and my uncles and cousins were in bands down south so one thing lead to another,” said Lindsay.
“Listening to them play and sing - It was a lightning bolt moment and it hit me hard. I still remember how powerful it was. They showed me a couple of chords and for the next year I was on a mission. I spent countless hours daily glued to the strings.”

Lindsay went on to surpass all expectations with profound natural ability. Proving himself to be an outstanding guitarist, he was eager to experiment in blending genres: With uncanny genius he created his sound. Before long Lindsay was playing prestigious festivals, stadium gigs and supporting for headline acts such as: Australia's rock icon Ross Wilson of "Daddy Cool" fame. Established country crooner, Brendon Walmsley says Lindsay “is a gifted guitarist and vocalist with a natural stage presence."

For more information check out the festival page.

November 27 2013

Lakeland to Cape York Peninsula

Lakeland or Lakeland Downs as some prefer to call it is a small outpost in the Laura Valley at the intersection of the Mulligan Hwy and the Peninsula Developmental Road (the start of the trek) to Cape York. It contains little more than a Roadhouse, Store, Café, Caravan Park and Hotel but services all who venture on one of Australia’s last great adventures – ‘the Cape’ as well as local cattle stations and farms. Lakeland was named after William Lakeland – an early prospector credited with discovering gold at several sites on Cape York Peninsula and forging some of the early roads in the area.

60kms North West of Lakeland along a sealed road is Laura – in Quinkan Country, named after the local Aboriginal inhabitants and home to both Quinkan & Regional Cultural Centre and the Laura Aboriginal rock art galleries. Laura was an important supply centre for the Palmer River Gold Fields in the 1870’s.

Travel past Laura is on gravel roads (often rough and corrugated with creek & river crossings) towards the tip of Cape York, and Roadhouses are conveniently located between 60kms & 150kms apart at Hann River, Musgrave, Coen, Archer River, Moreton Telegraph Station and Bramwell Junction. The roads are suitable for high clearance 4wd but not suited to towing caravans. Most settlements offer campgrounds and several have cabins or units. Coen is one of the larger settlements on the Cape and ideal to stock up on supplies for the rest of the trip.

At Bramwell Junction (next fuel is 220kms away at Bamaga) the track splits and The Bypass Road bypasses the original Overland Telegraph Line (OTL) Track which can still be travelled with extreme care by experienced 4wders only as it is no longer maintained, in poor condition and with several deep creek and river crossings. The 2 tracks cross near Fruit bat falls and re-join at the Jardine River Vehicular Ferry. A fee is payable to cross by ferry but from that point it is only approx. 85kms via Bamaga (another well-serviced town) to the Australian mainland’s most northern point – the ‘tip’ of Cape York and the point of celebration as another bucket-list item is ticked off.

There are dozens of side trips to places like Palmer River Goldfields, Weipa, Lakefield NP, Port Stewart, Captain Billy Landing, Lockhart River and Iron Range National Park to name a few that can be taken, but often require planning, extra fuel and sometimes permits as some of the trip will traverse Aboriginal or private land.

Some of the things you might not have encountered before in your travels could include – long distances between settlements, no mobile phone coverage for most of the journey, limited services for fuel, repairs, food and accommodation, rough and corrugated roads, slower travel speeds and higher fuel consumption, water crossings, wildlife including crocodiles (no swimming), camping restrictions and permits, alcohol restrictions and bans, quarantine restrictions, impassable roads and other issues. Most roads north of Laura are subject to flooding and extended closures during the wet season, re-opening will depend on the duration of the wet season. The trip will require well serviced and reliable vehicles and well prepared and experienced drivers. Many tours operators also operate on Cape York Peninsula.

 

For further information and to assist planning and preperation check Exploroz and Tourism Cape York

December 04 2013

Lets chat about Tourism and Accommodation in Mining Towns!

Tourism and Accommodation in mining towns.

Many road trips from S.E Australia to North, Western and Coastal Queensland and from S.E Queensland to Western Queensland or N.T. will take the traveller  through towns like Dalby, Chinchilla, Miles, Roma, Injune, Emerald or Clermont; and unless you have been living under a rock the last few years, these towns are now in the grip of a mining boom.

It is a common belief among some that these areas should be given a wide berth, that traffic congestion, road conditions and securing accommodation are issues best avoided so choose another route.

Recently we had reason to travel through these towns (with a caravan) and found not all the news to be bad. I know that there are still car-based travellers that turn up and expect a room without first booking ahead, but as time goes by those become fewer and fewer.

Most choose to book sometimes 6 to 8 weeks ahead. Caravan and camping tourers – well that’s another story!

Most of the councils and particularly the Visitor Information Centre staff are working hard to find alternatives including some free camping options to keep the tourists enjoying the many attractions these towns offer.

If you can’t find a site at one of the 4 caravan parks in Dalby; try some of the nearby towns of Bell or Kaimkillenbun, the Lake Broadwater National Park or check with the VIC for other options.

At Chinchilla the VIC staff were pleased to tell us of the Chinchilla Weir (a free camp for max of 2 nights stay) and all its features, other camp grounds include Archers Crossing south east of town and at Kogan. Also the VIC at Chinchilla houses a collection of Petrified wood from the local area where you can purchase a fossickers licence and map of local fossicking areas.

The Miles VIC staff will advise you about the showgrounds, Possum Park, Columboola Country Caravan Park or free camping at Gil Weir. Make sure you have a look through the Miles Historical Village and Museum while you’re at the VIC.

1st stop when visiting Roma would have to be the Big Rig Tourist Complex that houses the VIC and other great attractions. There you will be advised of another place to stay if you can’t get a spot in the 3 caravan parks. Bassett Park is at the town’s showgrounds and racing precinct on the northern edge of town and offers basic amenities, power and water only if the other parks are full.

Injune offers a basic camp ground with power and water at the Rodeo and Cutting grounds on the edge of town if the towns caravan park is full, a fee is payable at the VIC. There is also a road side stop about 70kms north of town with no facilities or a camp ground again with no facilities at Lonesome National Park north of Injune.

Emerald has 2 caravan parks to try but if they are full the options are: beside the bridge and the botanical gardens in the centre of town, Lake Maraboon / Fairbairn Dam caravan park about 30 kms from town or the nearby Gemfields towns of Anakie, Sapphire or Rubyvale where there are plenty of caravan parks and accommodation to choose from.

An hour north of Emerald is the township of Clermont; there you will find the Clermont caravan park. If the park is full, you may like to try Theresa Creek Dam camp ground. This is a well-appointed (fees apply) camping ground but does not offer power and is located about 20kms west of Clermont.

Please note:

The point we want to make in this article is to show that whilst some councils have taken their eye off the tourism ball and focused their time on the challengers that mining activity in the area has thrown at them, there is still plenty to do and see in these towns.

Accommodation is available but you may need to plan your journey and book ahead or take advantage of the many basic camp sites on offer near the towns.

The Outbacknow Team.

 

 

May 25 2012

Lucky Tourists $20,000 Richer After Weekend At Lightning Ridge

More and more tourists are flocking to the opal mining town of Lightning Ridge in Northern New South Wales, after South Coast couple - the Cerrones discovered opal worth a whopping $20,000 at the Visitor Information Centre noodling area.

The local Visitor Information Centre offers a "noodling area", where tourists can pan through metres of opal dirt in search of their very own gemstone treasures. Most tourists are lucky enough to find pieces of potch and colour to show off to friends and family. But for Mary and John Cerrone, their luck makes the most worthy of opal miners cast a green eye.

After watching an opal cutting demonstration, Mary knew just what to look for and spent Saturday afternoon fossicking on the mullock heaps. Mary caught what is known in the industry as "opal fever"

More and more tourists are flocking to the opal mining town of Lightning Ridge after tourists discovered opal worth a whopping $20,000 at the Visitor Information Centre. They returned early Sunday morning to take advantage of the bright early sun to try specking again.

After a short while, Mary discovered a stone that appeared to have some colour, so took it to local jeweller, Jo Lindsay of Lost Sea Opals. Ms Lindsay polished the stone and exposed a magnificient 14.92ct gem red on black opal and another red opal weighing 5.78ct. Together the stones are worth around $20,000.

The story is typical of the nature of opal mining. Regardless of the amount of technology and earth moving machinery, while you need preparation, a good eye for detail, success of an opal miner is largely due to luck. Local opal miners, provide the dirt for the tourists to "noodle in" and unfortunately for one local miner, one man's trash, is another tourists treasure!

The Cerrones are now celebrating their new found fortune and vow to return to Lightning Ridge to try their luck again.

May 05 2011

Millmerran Sheep Races 10th Anniversary

The 10th Annual Millmerran Sheep Races is proudly brought to you by GLB Quarries and Logistics.

A big thank you to GLB for their major sponsorship of the 2013 Millmerran Sheep Races held once again on the last Saturday of August, the 31st at the Millmerran Showgrounds. This is a celebratory year and this quintessentially Australian family day out has reason to celebrate! Bring along your family, friends and colleagues to enjoy an action packed, fun filled day.  Gates open at 11am and entry is free.

Racing with a difference! Yes we have a 6 race meet starting at 1pm and have specially bred sheep racing down the track with their securely fitted jockey’s. Watch out this year for The Great Gravel Grazer and Jason’s Jolly Jumper, they’re sure to run well on the new track. The day culminates in the Calcutta at 4.30pm where the first two place getter’s from each race hoof it out in the final. We welcome back again this year our compere, ABC radio’s David Iliffe, expert race commentator Mark Droney and special guest sheep wrangler Shane Webcke.

Purchase a once off armband so the kids can run off and have a whole day full of excitement in the kids’ entertainment area. There is also the Make and Play Centre, which not only entertains the children with puppet and magic shows but allows the kids to be creative by making puppets, furbies, necklaces and much more. Feed the kids up on an outback BBQ, hot chips or grab a snack from the canteen.

For the ladies, enjoy yourself relaxing in the wine marque. Socialise whilst sipping on a selection of fine wines and listening to the beautiful music. Explore new fashions whilst watching the stylish fashion parades by our two local fashion houses. After the fun of the wine marque make your way to the trackside café. Have a well deserved coffee or tea with a scrumptious treat.

Be sure to come dressed in your racing best. Fashions on the Field has proven in the past to be extremely competitive. There are great prizes to be won for best dressed male and female, contemporary male and female and best hat. Be sure to make the effort, you most certainly won’t be disappointed.

The bar is open from 11am and the beer will flow until midnight. After the Calcutta Final the sheep retire and you can stick around to enjoy a hearty meal from the Shearer’s Kitchen, a succulent roast or a lamb hotpot. Local band CC and the Crusade will headline Brisbane band Golden Child to entertain the crowd until midnight.

Bring your campervan or tent to camp in the near by camping ground or catch the courtesy bus home. Join us back at the venue on Sunday morning for a hearty breakfast.

All in all this year’s 10th Anniversary Millmerran Sheep Races will be a day to remember!

For more information contact Hilary Harvey 0419144244 or Patrick Nason 0427 221663
 www.millmerransheepraces.com or find us on face book.

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June 11 2013

Millmerran Sheep Races Weekend

On The Road Magazine Article July 2014

The "On The Road Magazine" is available from your local newsagents or subscriptions from ontheroad.com.au
 

To view the article click here or on the download info sheet

Download Info Sheet June 06 2014

Nindigully Pig Races Video

Please help us make the 2013 Nindigully Pig Races bigger and better then ever see more

For more information on the Nindigully Pig Races please click here

October 29 2013

Nothing Beats Queensland

Queensland - it's time for a road trip

Nothing Beats Queensland

Nope, you won't beat Queensland for a warm and sunny getaway.

The roads are open, the sun is shining and now is the time to visit!  (To those in the Southern parts of Australia - save on electricity and let Queensland's sun warm you up!)

The floods are long gone and the landscape is looking fantastic. If you've made plans to come to Queensland this year, don't delay them! And if you haven't made plans to visit, you'd better come and see what you're missing out on.

There's plenty of work for those looking for it, and the list of things to do is just getting longer. The roads are open and trafficable and Queensland is waiting for you to arrive (well we certainly can't wait to have a drink with you!)

So pack up your caravan and we'll see you soon in sunny Queensland!

A good brew found in Toowoomba

Pete and the crew at Toowoomba Homebrewers on James Street are the latest trendy spot to stock our full wine range.

All our wines, ports, liqueurs and pottery items are available at the Homebrew centre. It's just like dropping into our cellar!

So if you're looking to pick up a few bottles of your favourite, or wanting to try your hand at creating your own beer and spirits, Toowoomba Homebrewers is the spot for you!

Special deals NOW on Riversands Wine at Toowoomba Homebrewers - ask in store for details.

What's happening down the paddock?

Out of adversity comes opportunity. That's definitely the case down the paddock at Riversands.

Quite a few trellis posts (the ones that are up and down every row) needed replacing after the floods. The ground swelled which has caused some of the posts to dislodge and lean over. So we thought 'while we're fixing the posts, let's take the opportunity to plant some new vines.'

Here's the juice from the vines

June 09 2011

October Gleams With Outback Opal

Celebrate October with Australian Opal! 

Opal is the birthstone for people born in October.  There is no better place for finding one of these spectacular gemstones than in the heart of the Australian outback!  Australia produces the world's best opal and the outback boast's Australia's best opal towns.

Celebrate your loved one's October birthday by treating them to something spectacular - opal.  Opal comes in a great range of colours and all types of jewellery including necklaces, pendants, earrings, rings and watches.

4 Great Opal Ideas For October

1. Have a relaxing hot artesian bore bath
Head for the nearest Opal mining town, book into luxury accommodation and be treated to a hot artesian bore bath.

2. Go opal jewellery shopping!!!!

  • Sunrise Opal Mines
  • Lost Sea Opals
  • Black Opal Tours

3. Try your luck at opal fossicking!

Explore opal fields and have a go at opla fossicking - imagine if you found a special piece of opal?

4. Take an outback adventure to an opal mining town!

Here is the quick heads up on the best mining spots in Australia - experience first hand fossicking and check out the spectacular Australian Opal!

  • Quilpie
  • Lightning Ridge
  • White Cliffs
  • Coober Pedy
  • Winton

Did you know - opal is Australia's National Gemstone?

May 03 2011

On the Way

A useful website that will assist you to get more out of your trip along the Overlanders Way.

October 02 2013

Outback Art, Sculptures and Pictures

Wayne Strickland's love for horses and Australia's heritage shows in his sculptures, paintings and stories.

He uses his lifelong association with the men and horses of the Australian Outback and Australian Bush to create masterpieces on canvas and in bronze, fibreglass and resin.

His work is on display in museums and galleries around the world including his famous sculpture of the great Phar Lap that is on display in the Victorian National Gallery.

He specialises in telling his stories through his artwork.

Wayne Strickland Gallery

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May 23 2011

OUTBACK AUSSIE EVENTURES LAUNCHED

 

OUTBACK AUSSIE EVENTURES LAUNCHED

 

Award-winning Outback tourism operator Outback Aussie Tours launched a new enterprise to meet the changing needs of tourism in remote regions.

To celebrate the success of the Outback Queensland Eventures campaign, Outback Aussie Tours has launched a range of new packages to make Outback Queensland Events more accessible.

ThenewOutback Aussie Eventures packages were announced to coincide with the launch of the second year of the Outback Queensland Eventures campaign.

This year, the campaign has introduced a social media activation component through Facebook, to encourage consumers to make an Outback Promise to visit the region at least once in their life.

This exciting new addition to the campaign was launched on Friday by Queensland Tourism Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Minister Jann Stuckey MP at the Norman Hotel, in Brisbane.

Principal of Outback Aussie Tours, Alan Smith, said that the move towards packaging tourism product around events was driven by a changing market.

“The demand for Outback product is changing,” said Mr Smith, “people are becoming busier and want shorter and more intense experiences.”

He said wrapping product around events gave that intensity, a chance to see the Outback on display and also a chance to experience the vast solitude of the inland environment.

“And visitors are becoming more demanding of tourism operators, the day of the waffling tour guide is over. People today demand facts delivered in an informative and entertaining way.”

Outback Aussie Eventuresgives an opportunity for consumers to wrap highly planned experiences around events such as the Birdsville Races in September, the Angel Flight Outback Trail Blazer in October and other events like the Winton Outback Festival.

“All these events and more will become available as a seamless event experience operating from and to an established transport portal such as Longreach with daily flights from capital cities and regular rail services,” Mr Smith said.

Outback Aussie Eventureswill also cater for conferences for corporations and groups wanting a unique Outback experience.

Outback Aussie Tours and Outback Aussie Eventures are based in the Outback Queensland town of Longreach.

 

For further details contact Outback Aussie Eventures on 07 4658 3000 or email at info@oat.net.au

March 19 2013

Outback Australia - Top 10 Hot Spots

There is so much to do in the Australian outback.  Here is just a small snapshot of some of the fantastic tourist destinations you can explore...

1. Longreach

There is so much to do in outback Queensland's famous town. Experience the amazing Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, relax and unwind on the magical Thomson River Cruises, or view the Qantas Founders Outback Museum. There is always the option of the exhilarating MV Longreach Explorer, or why not enjoy Banjo's Outback Theatre and Woolshed.

2. Winton

Known for its stunning boulder opal, this is an ultimate outback holiday destination. Visit the dinosaur stampede at Lark Quarry or discover the history behind Australia's national song at the Waltzing Matilda Centre. For thrill seekers you cant go past the wild Winton Camel Races or Outback Festival.

3. Ayers Rock

Yulara really is base camp for the amazing mountains of Uluru and Olgas. From Yulara you can explore one of the most amazing rock formations in the world and for Simpsons fans, the Olgas can look like Homer laying flat sleeping, from a certain position.

4. Mount Isa

Mount Isa is a famous outback town nestled on the banks of the Leicharht River, the town is predominately a major industrial, commerical and administration centre. However, it is the history in mining, fossils and indigenous culture which makes it a real drawcard for tourists to outback Queensland

5. Katherine

This is the ideal town to set off on a red centre adventure. Here you can go to the breathtaking Katherine George, head south to Uluru, west to the amazing Kimberley's, or north to Darwin. Along the way, you will find brilliant National Parks boasting waterfalls, water holes and great walking tracks.

6. The Kimberley's

This tourist region offers exhilarating lookouts and boasts some of the most impressive scenery of North Western Australia including the Ord River and Mirima National Park Prehistoric looking ridges encase the banks of the Ord. You will be amazed by the serenity and calmness of the landscape.

7. Coober Pedy

This outback town is a great base to explore the Stuart Highway to the red centre and Darwin. Don't miss Lake Ayer and the surrounding National Park. You can go underground in the world capital of opal and enjoy the mesmerising arid landscapes and peacefulness of the desert.

8. Bourke

Being the one of the main centres of the outback, Bourke is a very popular tourist spot. The Kid man's Way offers fantastic camping sites with raw natural beauty. You can learn of the amazing heritage of Australia's best bush poets including Henry Lawson, and the Darling River is idea for some water sports, fishing and boating activities.

9. Broken Hill

Located in the heart of the Australian outback, this area is popular for exploring mines, and is a living museum. With exquisite art and craft shops, including Pro Hart's amazing work and sweeping views of the red, arid plains, it is perfect for a stopover to take inspiration from the magical scenery.

10. Lightning Ridge

Packed with tourists, this town boasts over 20 tourist attractions and opal mining adventures. There is so much to see, with fantastic scenic drives, walking tracks, therapeutic bore baths and friendly locals. It is the ideal base for a relaxing holiday to escape the winter blues.

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May 05 2011

Outback Mates - a local ambassador program

 

 

 

 

 

Outback Mates

Tourism continues to play an important role in the future economy of this region and with this in mind the Outback Queensland Tourism Authority (OQTA) and the Barcaldine Regional Council have combined resources to establish the 'Outback Mates' Program.

Covering the Barcaldine Regional Towns of Alpha, Aramac, Barcaldine, Jericho and Muttaburra this new initiative embraces the essence of why travellers love Outback Queensland. Apart from the natural beauty, it is the friendly and sincere nature of the locals which keep them coming back.

'Outback Mates' is a local ambassador program aimed at helping and greeting visitors to the regional as part of their daily job or activities. Those appointed as 'Outback Mates' may be council workers, business people or retired 'townies'.

They will be identified by an 'Outback Mates' uniform and will assist visitors with general information, local insights and probably a few tall stories. This is a voluntary position sanctioned by the employer and will work closely with the Visitor Information Centre to greatly enhance the visitors experience to the region.

This unique program will put visitors in touch with local identities and connect them to the region in a way not previously available and is another reason why Outback Queensland is known as tourist friendly.

Through promotion of the program and travellers word of mouth it is expected these 'Outback Mates' will become known by visitors as a friendly source of information, local knowledge and general advice.

They can be contacted through the local Visitor information Centres in each of the towns.

August 11 2012

Outback Queensland secures Bondi Lifeguards

February 09 2014

Outback Travel Centres Carnarvon and Newman

The Outback Travel Centres at Newman and Carnarvon are the first of many first class facilities that will service the needs of travellers, professional drivers and locals in the remote North of Western Australia. The company has acquired land for another 2 Outback Travel Centres at Karratha & Port Hedland to be built starting 2014.

Offering fuel, multiple quality dining options, rest and accommodation facilities in modern premises, gone are the days of a half-cold pie & a can of softdrink at a dusty roadhouse as the only option. Travellers can enjoy a quality sit-down meal from an extensive menu, clean shower and toilet facilities traveller’s lounge with internet and 24 hour convenience store.

The Newman centre also offers new accommodation, gym and sporting facilities, a pool and of course the Capricorn Bar & Grill with its own unique and quality offering.

For more information check out Carnarvon, Newman or Capricorn Bar & Grill

November 27 2013

Outback Travel Centres’ Professional Driver Club

Become a member of Outback Travel Centres' Professional Driver Club (PDC) and have your fatigue break in style.

As a professional driver, you deserve a break. So relax in our air conditioned Driver Club Lounge and get refreshed in our serviced bathroom with a steaming hot shower and luxury 'fluffy' towel!

How to join.

You can join the Professional Driver Club for only $20 when you purchase 450 litres of diesel and present your receipt. Fill out registration form provided at the shop. Once your card is activated you will have access to the club area that includes the Driver Club Lounge, toilets, showers and laundry.

Service and rewards include:

  • Free access to the Club Lounge.
  • Free internet access on Club computers.
  • Free Wi-Fi and Coffee.
  • Free serviced showers when purchasing 450 litres or more of diesel fuel.
  • Exclusive member-only promotions and discounts.
  • 10% off restaurant menu board.

Join at Outback Travel Centre Carnarvon or Newman (WA)

For more information click here.

February 28 2014

Outback with a difference! Remote with lots of water

For those of you that can only manage a few days break over the summer I have a great idea for a getaway – one that we took advantage of ourselves just last summer.

A few of us got together and hired a catamaran from “Millennium Cat Sailing Charters” and sailed around Moreton Bay, mooring off Tangalooma Resort and exploring Moreton Island (Brisbane’s best keep secret).

We chose a Catamaran because not all the “crew” (i.e. me) were sea-dogs and a Catamaran is as stable as it gets in the water.

You can put your Chardy or coffee down on the table without fear of spillage in all but the roughest seas (Moreton Bay is great like that).

We spent the week snorkeling the crystal clear waters off the wrecks at Tangalooma and Bullwar, sailing, fishing and sightseeing. We saw Dolphins, Turtles, Dugongs, Whales, Squid (calamari) and thousands of colorful aquarium type fish.

The evenings aboard the Cat were magic – bbq’s on the deck with the lights of Tangalooma in the background watching the dolphins frolic in the warm waters and listening to the sounds of gentle waves lapping the boat.

About the Catamaran:

Millennium Cat is a Seawind 1000 Catamaran, Australia's most popular sailing catamaran - very solid & comfortable - easy to sail.

She has 2 x 20HP Honda engines, electric anchor winch, and all the mod cons.

Up to 10 people can share this fantastic bareboat experience - there are 4 double cabins plus the saloon table drops down to create a huge double bed - sheets, towels & pillows are provided - just bring your swimmers & beach towel.

A fully equipped galley has a gas cooktop/griller, oven, fridge & freezer - all plates, cutlery, glasses - you bring your own food & drinks.

The Bathroom has a flush toilet, vanity, hot and cold fresh water shower.

Large Saloon has seating for 10 people and flows out to a large Deck area with a gas BBQ & more seating - huge esky too!

All the mod cons - GPS Plotter Navigation, Auto pilot, wind & depth instruments, Dual Helms, VHF Radio, CD Stereo, HD LCD TV with DVD - excellent local Brisbane TV reception.

Some Ideas for Charter.....

Weekend Getaway Specials

Early boarding Friday afternoon, night in Marina, maybe visit some of the many fine Restaurants available in Manly.
Head off early Saturday
Return by 4 pm Sunday afternoon

Seven Day Adventure Special

Early boarding Friday afternoon, night in Marina, great Restaurants in Manly
Head off early Saturday
Return by Friday 4pm

Skipper accompanying for instruction based on an hourly rate.

Skippered Day Trips for up to 20 passengers available:

For Skippered Group day trips contact us at Millennium Cat Sailing Charters for a quote based on your requirements, catering, numbers etc.

 

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October 31 2011

Promote your Business on Outbacknow

If you are a Business OwnerEvent Organiser, Festival Committee Member, Tour or Attraction Operator responsible for attracting people to come and enjoy your business, festival, attraction or town, let Outbacknow be the solution to your problem.

For some years now we have been promoting Businesses, Festivals, Events, Tours and Attractions in Regional and Outback Australia and have built a reputation (and several large databases) among travellers, visitors, tourists and festival-goers who read the Outbacknow  newsletter, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and go to the Outbacknow website looking for places to stay, entertainment and experiences just like yours and they tell us they love what they see.

They also tell us (the promotion of) your business, festival or attraction is another reason for them to travel to your town and enjoy all that it offers.

Internet advertising complements local forms of advertising like Radio, TV, Newspapers and National Print Media such as Magazines but at a fraction of the cost per advertisement yet given the volume of internet usage can be just as effective.

Combine this with a large database of followers on social media and e-newsletters makes for a powerful and wide-reaching campaign.

Contact us for an obligation-FREE chat to find out how little it costs and how easy it is to get more visitors to your Business, Festival, Event, Tour or Attraction.

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October 29 2013

Put some colour into your outback holiday with Australia’s best opal events

Without a doubt, one of the most impressive products extracted from the red earthy soils of the outback is Australian opal. This spectacular gemstone is found deep in the heart of the bush and is highly sort after as a precious commodity in the world market.

One of the easiest ways to find the world's best opal is by going to Australia's best opal shows. There are a number of opal events in outback NSW and Queensland, and the Coober Pedy Opal Festival in South Australia.

Whether you are looking for one-off designer jewellery, gifts for friends, collectors pieces or a rare, unique specimen of spectacular opal to call your own, you are bound to find it at an opal event.

Plan your winter escape around one of these fantastic opal events:

Coober Pedy Opal Festival: Easter each year

Coober Pedy holds its annual opal festival and opal miners Hall of Fame inductions every Easter from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.

Winton QBOA Opal Festival: Usually 1st Friday in July

The Queensland Boulder Opal Association's Opal Festival is held so that the miners, buyers, retailers, exporters and jewellers can meet at a central venue to do their buying, selling and socialising.

Yowah Opal Festival: Friday, July each year

Dont miss the World windlass races, Opal Jewellery Design Competion and 2 days of action packed outback fun with the Yowah Opal Festival.

 Lightning Ridge Opal Festival: Late July each year

Celebrate the culture and character of Lightning Ridge's Opal Festival.  Be dazzled by the spectacular designs entered in the International Opal Jewellery Design Awards.  The event is one of the world's most prestigious opal jewellery design competitions will be held in Lightning Ridge.

Check outbacknow events to confirm dates.

May 04 2011

Rediscover dinosaurs!

Australia's outback was once part of the 'Great Inland Sea'.  Over 110 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the arid plains.  Nowadays, the outback is rich in world class dinosaur fossils, bones and shells.

There are many opportunities for you to tag along with a palaeontologist to rediscover dinosaurs. Visit a number of different fossil sites, help dig up fossils and learn how palaeontologists go about solving some of the problems that confront them when collecting fossils. Visit several fossil sites in the Central West of NSW and Central Queensland.

Visit world famous fish fossil deposits, learn how and where to find fossils; how to collect them and how to make proper records of your finds. Learn how to identify them and how to make casts. Take a closer look at the rocks in which the fossils occur and with the help of your guide learn to interpret the fossil sites. Work out what kind of environment the now fossilised lifeforms used to live in, what the climate was like and what the now fossilised creatures might have eaten.

For specific Fossil Fever tours and attractions, click on any one of these outback towns:

May 03 2011

RV Friendly Towns and FREE Independent Camping

It is with much interest that we watched the unfolding of events over the last few weeks that began with the renouncing of its RV Friendly Town status by the town of Nyngan in NSW by closing their free campground.

(RV Friendly Towns are an initiative of CMCA – Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia – that are applied for and bestowed upon towns that attain a set criteria covering free (or inexpensive) short term 24-72 hr. camping for self-contained vehicles no more than 5 kms from the PO, access to medical facilities, access to a waste disposal dump point, parking for RV’s close to town centre shopping facilities, access to potable water etc.; in order to attract RV tourism to that town)

We must point out that a town can claim to be tourist friendly without being “RV Friendly” but given the numbers of self-contained RVers demanding alternatives to traditional Caravan Parks will this be enough to get them to stop & spend in a town without a free campground? (The term "free" in this context often refers to low-cost/inexpensive campgrounds such as showgrounds and National parks where facilities are limited and charges cover little more than cleaning costs)

It has been suggested by some that RV tourists do not contribute much to the economy of a town. We would question that... It is simply not true (nor possible) that “free Campers” do not spend money in towns they pass through. On the contrary many spend the money that they save on caravan parks in other establishments and businesses in those towns - spreading it around.

When we travel (and we often enjoy the town’s hospitality in their free camps) we cannot get away without leaving at least $100 at the supermarket and probably more than that at the Servo. If we “free camp” we use the Laundromat and walk around the shops whilst waiting for the washing.

We buy wine, coffee & cake or a pie from the local bakery and at least once a week, go out for dinner at the hotel, club or local Chinese Restaurant. We visit attractions; we get our tyres repaired or replaced as needed and the vehicle serviced. Some of these businesses would not see our money if we spent it on caravan parks - and besides there is just something special about camping beside the river that you just cannot get from a caravan park.

Judging by the nibbles, beverages and conversations that come out at ‘Happy Hour’ we are not the only ones that see it this way. We are told the average local spend (excludes rego, insurance and things not directly related to travel) is upwards of $400.00 per week per couple which includes some caravan park fees - yes we still choose to stay in some parks.

A point that might have been overlooked by Nyngan council is that Nyngan is in competition with hundreds of other Towns across Australia for the tourist dollar including some pretty high profile towns with high profile attractions that are prepared to offer some concessions in exchange for economic benefits to their town.

Travellers will flock to well-presented free campgrounds in attractive settings with good facilities.

They will pause for the permitted 24, 48 or 72 hours allowed and visit as many attractions as they can, patronising businesses that they would not otherwise have, had they bypassed the town in favour of another free campground further up the road or had no choice but to pay for facilities in a caravan park that they do not require (pool, playground, and for the self-contained – showers, power & water)

Many are on fixed incomes and simply cannot afford the extra costs of traditional caravan parks, so if forced into these Caravan Parks other businesses in town will not benefit from their spending.

With around 64,000 CMCA members and thousands of other caravanners & RVers on the road at any one time it is no wonder that literally hundreds of towns around Australia want a piece of their tourism dollar and are prepared to offer RVers certain benefits (including free camping) in exchange for inclusion in and promotion of CMCA’s friendly towns initiative and it’s resultant benefits to the town.

We would encourage all Caravanners and RVers to become members of CMCA (very inexpensive for what you get - including their political voice), abide by their “Leave No Trace”® scheme thereby offering authorities less opportunities to close rest areas and support RV Friendly Towns.

We hope for the sake of many of the town’s businesses that sanity prevails down Nyngan way….

 

Foot Note:

Cook Shire Council (NQ) is conducting a trial in Cooktown at their Adelaide Street Rest Area to assess this very subject. Below is an extract cut & pasted from the Cook Shire Connect Facebook page and it is interesting to note that 87% of respondents said they have just come from the Rifle Creek Rest Area to the south and 46% said they would not have visited Cooktown if it had not been for the (new) Rest Area. The additional money generated ($19,000.00 for June 2013)to the businesses in Cooktown as a result of this trial must be very pleasing considering the rest area has only been open a few weeks and is not yet well known among the travelling public.

**ADELAIDE STREET REST AREA – QUICK STATS

During the month of June 2013:

* 136 vehicles were issued permits

* 58 surveys have been returned to Council from visitors staying in the Rest Area

* 71% of visitors had not been to Cooktown before

* 46% would not have visited Cooktown if it had not been for the Rest Area

* $19,084.95 had been spent in the community

* 87% said they had just come from the Mt Molloy/Rifle Creek rest area prior to their 48 hour stay in Cooktown

After they leave the Rest Area:

* 43% said they would head to another paid site in Cooktown or Helenvale

* 14% said they would head to another paid site in Lakeland

As the Adelaide Street Rest Area trial period is almost at the half way mark, Council will be compiling a comprehensive report on the facts, figures, successes and challenges to this point.

Look out for the report which will be published in the Cooktown Local News by the end of July 2013, after which it will be available on Council's website.

** extract cut & pasted from the Cook Shire Connect Facebook page

July 30 2013

Savannah Guides Schools

Savannah Guides Limited develops the skills and careers of tour guides.
It is a non-profit, member based network of tour guides and operators that works with its partners to support “Protectors and Interpreters of the Outback”.
 
A Savannah Guides “School” is not a course with assessment or a qualification. It’s simply our name for professional development conferences held at various locations across Northern Australia twice each year.
They are a part of our Tour Guide accreditation process although most participants come for the open knowledge and skill sharing, networking with ecotourism and community leaders and to enjoying a fascinating part of the country in more detail.
 
Members and non-members are very welcome. Schools are a great opportunity for any Tour Guide, tourism industry member, community representative or nature lover to gain a real insight into quality tourism operations from 'behind the scenes'.
 
Previously Savannah Guides Schools have been held at over 40 locations from El Questro Station in WA to Cairns in Qld, Cape York and Darwin in the north to Alice Springs in the south and in many National Parks in between. The schools are usually 4 days duration and held around March/April, then again October/November each year.
 
Savannah Guides invites you to experience WA's Kimberley region at our next Savannah Guides School to be held October 9-12, 2014. This three day workshop (plus optional pre and post activities) will showcase the dramatic landscape of the region, its frontier history and the enormous tourism future of Australia’s North West.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
February 28 2014

Savannah Way

From reef to outback the Savannah Way is one of Australia’s last frontier journeys. Running from Cairns, across the base of Cape York to Normanton & Karumba it skirts around the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Qld/NT border; on to Katherine in the Top End and across to Broome in Western Australia's North West.

Cairns is a vibrant cosmopolitan city surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef on one side, tropical rainforests and palm fringed beaches. Enjoy fabulous shopping and warm balmy evenings strolling along the esplanade before heading up to the Atherton Tablelands to start your adventure; here the wet season has rejuvenated the land, creeks bubble and roar over awesome waterfalls on their way to the coast.

Call in on a coffee plantation and sample some of their liquid gold, try your luck fossicking for topaz near Mt Surprise or visit Undara Volcanic NP and check out the lava tubes, part of the longest lava flow from a single volcanic crater on Earth.

Visit outback copper and gold mining towns and marvel at their many National Trust and Heritage Listed buildings restored to their former glory as well as stunning natural attractions at Copperfield and Cobbold Gorges. A trip from nowhere to nowhere (Normanton to Karumba) aboard the Gulflander Train is one of Outback Australia’s truly unique train journeys and one to remember.

As you near the coast the wetlands between Normanton and Karumba and around Burketown offer excellent birdwatching, wildlife and fishing. Take a couple of days out to explore another of the Gulf’s little gems; Sweers Island Fishing Resort where you can experience those famous Gulf sunsets, the spectacular Morning Glory Clouds that sweep across the Gulf in spring, fishing or explore the island at a leisurely pace.

Flights are available from Karumba or Burketown.

A detour to Lawn Hill NP will reward you with beautiful scenery, aboriginal art sites and canoeing up the gorge as well as amazing fossils at nearby Riversleigh.In a bit over a thousand kilometres you will have seen heritage and history, fossils and gems, stunning gorges and beautiful birdlife, grasslands and wetlands ,rainforests, waterfalls, wildlife and aboriginal art….and you haven’t even left Queensland.

This exciting Outback Australian adventure filled journey is too good to put it on your bucket list; book it now.

Savannah Way Itinerary

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February 03 2014

Simpson Desert Racing Carnival

The other race that stops a nation and an entry on everyone's bucket list who loves to travel Australia is of course the famous Birdsville Races held each September.

Because the good folk of Diamantina Shire (in which Birdsville is located) love to see you and want you to spend a little bit more time exploring their neck of the woods they have formulated a crafty plan to hold you hostage for an extra couple of weeks. Their plan involves what is now known as the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival.

The carnival begins one week prior to the Birdsville Races at the little-known ghost town of Betoota when the Betoota Race Club (yes there is one) hosts the Betoota Cup Raceday. Arriving one week early and attending the laid-back country race meeting will allow travellers to explore and experience more of the Diamantina Shire on the way to the famous Birdsville Races. After Birdsville, visitors to the Shire are also invited to attend the Bedourie Races and Rodeo and the Bedourie Ute and Travellers Muster, both held on the weekend following the Birdsville Races at the little town famous for inventing the Bedourie camp oven and that is also home to the Bedourie Artesian Spa.

So…If you would like to spend a little bit more time in the Diamantina Shire exploring everything that they have on offer, (perhaps camping beside a billabong) a great opportunity and excuse to get out there is to take in the 4 events of the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival held from last weekend in August for three consecutive weekends and concluding mid-September.

Then at least you will have ticked 4 more experiences off your bucket list….

June 26 2014

Slim Dusty - Tourism Association Invests in Future

February 28 2013

Something to read -  voice of the Outback

Purple Roads....

The newest novel by Fleur McDonald -

Voice of the Outback grew up among the farming communities of Orroroo in SA and now lives east of Esperance, on 8,000 acres. Here, she works with her husband, has two children and a menagerie of dogs, cattle, sheep, crops, not to mention tractors and other machinery!

Fleurs Other books include Red Dust and Blue Skies

 

The book....

When Anna and Matt finally buy their dream farm, their struggles aren't quite over. First it's patchy rain and poor crops, then Matt has an accident ... and even when the heavens finally open all might yet be lost.

 

Anna and Matt Butler were childhood sweethearts with a dream of owning their own land, a dream they achieved through hard work and determination.

But as the seasons conspire against them and Matt is involved in a terrible accident, the couple face financial ruin and the loss of their farm.
As they fight for everything they hold dear, they suddenly find themselves caught up in events much bigger and more dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

Purple Roads is a story about maintaining faith in yourself, staying true to your ideals and, most of all, the belief that some things are worth fighting for.

Click on an image to enlarge and use arrows to view as slideshow

August 13 2012

Stay On Track Outback

The "Stay on Track Outback" campaign is a road safety initiative of the Queensland Police Service and the brainchild of Dominic Richardson, the police officer in the tiny town of Tambo, in Queensland's south-west.

Queensland's regional police experience a surge in accidents on outback roads each winter tourist season, caused by tourists unfamiliar with hazards such as gravel roads, long distances between towns, wildlife crossings and road trains. Many of them have invested tens of thousands of dollars in their rigs and are relatively new to the nomad lifestyle but whose driving experience is often largely limited to suburban commuting and freeways. Most would not have towed much previously and few will undertake a towing education course prior to hitching up.

The website is definitely not designed to discourage outback and regional travel, indeed it offers suggestions and ideas on how to enjoy the journey and arrive safely. With this awareness, regional roads are in many cases easier to travel whilst towing than those in the city.

The "Stay on Track Outback" website has links to over 20 other relevant websites covering emergancies, road conditions, weather, fire & rescue, mobile phone coverage, road safety, travel and caravanning information, outback driving etiquate and heaps more - a really interesting website.

You can find the "Stay on Track Outback" website here.

November 21 2013

Take a trip back in time 50 years when you next visit the Qantas Founders Museum

Take a trip back in time 50 years when you next visit the Qantas Founders Museum.

Our new Gallery 1 display is ‘Round the World by 707’ and will bring back lots of memories for anybody old enough to have travelled on the first Qantas jets.

Those not old enough to remember will get a glimpse of what international air travel was like in the 1960s when jets were the absolutely latest thing!

We’ve pulled out all those old travel posters with their wonderful, if slightly clichéd, artwork that were designed to entice Australians to visit a world we’d only heard and read about until then.

See how air fares reduced compared to weekly wages when the 707s went into service and see how they’ve come down since.

Discover the story of the 10-minute 707 flight that almost ended in disaster and find what’s under the ‘skin’ of the mysterious ‘Black Box’.

And, believe it or not, you’ll find a time when the rich and famous thought a vinyl bag was a genuine status symbol!

It’s all FREE in Gallery 1 at the Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach for a limited time.

                 

February 15 2013

The Adventure Way

Your journey from Brisbane to Adelaide along the Adventure Way is just that – an adventure.

It will take you through lush agricultural country in the Lockyer Valley up the escarpment and into the vibrant garden city that is Toowoomba – a city that celebrates its history with pride.

Toowoomba offers fine dining, art galleries, shopping, and theatre as well as heritage trails, Cobb and Co museum, military museum, a tombstone trail and dozens of fine examples of architecture dating back to our pioneer past.

Leaving Toowoomba we head west through Oakey – home of the “museum of Australian Army Flying”- a must see attraction before continuing on to Jondaryan where you will enjoy Australia’s only open air working museum – The Jondaryan Woolshed.

At Dalby stop off at the visitor information centre in Thomas Jack Park – their friendly staff will send you off with enough information to fill in a couple of days  exploring this rich and diverse city.

Moonie – site of Australia’s first commercial oil field is also known for its beautiful murals depicting the town’s history. Stop off at the Rural Transaction Centre and take in the Moonie Heritage Trail.

Travel through Westmar and on to the beautiful town of St. George on the banks of the Balonne River. Scenic walks, fishing and bird watching are popular pastimes; as are visits to The Unique Egg (Emu egg carvings), The Heritage Centre and Aboriginal Bush Tucker Garden and Jack Taylor Weir. No visit to St. George would be complete without “knocking a coldie off” at the famous Nindigully Pub (45kms south) or treating yourself to a coffee or enjoying some award winning wines or liqueurs at Queensland’s most western winery – Riversands Vineyards. Better leave yourself a couple of days to get through St. George.

From St. George head west through Bollon where you can enjoy an Aboriginal Cultural tour or visit the Heritage and Craft Centre before arriving at another gem of Western Queensland – Cunnamulla.

Stop off at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre and they will send you on your way with enough information and stories to keep you entertained for days. You will see the Artesian Time Tunnel, Art gallery and museum; enjoy the Warrego river walk, bushlands and town harvest trail before continuing on to Eulo for a therapeutic mud bath and spa.

Visit Palm Grove Date Farm and winery, take in the town’s history at the Eulo Queen Hotel and enjoy some R & R fishing or camping by the Paroo River.

At Yowah you might partake in some opal fossicking or 9 holes of golf on a course with a difference – sand greens and earth fairways.

Take a break at the well serviced town of Thargomindah and enjoy some of its many attractions.

Tour Australia’s first Hydro Electric Scheme, historical buildings, walking trails, throw in a line or simply relax by the Bulloo River.

Further afield, take in the historic Noccundra Hotel, the beautiful Lake Bindegolly National Park or Cameron Corner, where the borders of Qld, SA and NSW meet.

On the way to Innamincka, stop off at Nappa Merrie Station and take in Burke and Wills famous “Dig Tree” on the Cooper Creek – also well known for its fishing.

The remote outpost settlement of Innamincka lies on the stock route now known as the Strzelecki Track and within the Innamincka Regional Reserve.

Take in an authentic outback pub experience, the towns interesting indigenous and pastoral heritage and visit the Trading Post.

Leaving Innamincka, you travel south along the Strzelecki track to Lyndhurst then through the stunning Flinders Rangers towns of Leigh Creek, Hawker and Quorn, all worthy of a stopover to experience the beauty of this area before continuing on to Adelaide.

The Adventure Way is a journey you cannot rush – there is just too much to see; a true Outback Adventure that will change you forever!

Adventure Way Map

Adventure Way Itinerary

August 19 2011

The Best of Barcaldine!

A recent study of this historic outback Queensland town has revealed that  Barcaldine plays host to some of the most unique outback attractions. Of course the iconic Tree of Knowledge will always hold pride of place in local and tourists hearts, but as most already know the tree was poisoned and only with the care of some very skilled arborists, remains in a critical but stable condition. A bounty has been offered to find the despicable idiot behind the poisoning.

No matter what the result Barcaldine is also supported by some awesome tours and attractions to keep the inquisitive tourist occupied for at least a week.

The Australian Workers Heritage Centre is one of the best outback experiences, because of its size and unique buildings that will first capture your attention. From Railway Workers, blacksmiths, farmers and factory workers, mothers, nurses and teachers - the Heritage Centre pays tribute to the lives of these extraordinary people who helped to shape our great nation into what it is today.

The Barcaldine and District Folk Museum lives in the old National Bank building which now sits on the corner of Beech and Gidyea Sts and is home to one of the best local history museums you will see.

If it's action, adventure and a true taste of the Australian Outback you are looking for do not leave town without going on an Artesian Country Tour. Tom Lockie will mesmerise you with his homegrown charm and amazing knowledge of the bush while taking you to some of the most awe inspiring local locations.

While your hearts still racing, grab the reigns and head out to the Barcaldine Jockey Club. If you are lucky enough to catch one of the club's 7 meetings, with legandary identities like Blackall's Charlie Prow and local up and coming trainer Todd Austin going head to head, a thrilling day of galloping action will be assured.

For those looking to enjoy Barcaldines softer side, a trip 'Between the Bougainvilleas' or to 'Roses and Things' may be in store, or even a wander around St Peter's Church, Masonic Lodge or poke your head into one of Barcy's historic hotels.

If you are looking for great accommodation, we suggest you try the Barcaldine Tourist Park, or Landsborough Lodge Motel, (you can view accommodation and photo's by clicking on the links).

May 03 2011

The Great Australian Doorstep

DVD Sale NOW ON!

We are having a sale on our DVD range.

  • Series 1 & 2 are just $10 each
  • Series 4 is just $25.00

As our Gift to you we are throwing in Free Postage
All Series have 6 hours of viewing. Contact us now

We are back on the decks & Radio airwaves and filming Series 5 of our TV Show is almost complete.

MEDIA RELEASE:  FIRST REGIONAL CARAVAN & CAMPING RADIO SHOW

The Great Australian Doorstep brand, headed by former AFL star Peter Spida Everitt and his wife Sheree, have launched Australia’s first regional Caravan & Camping Radio Show, which will air regionally around Australia on 31 Southern Cross Media stations.

The Great Australian Doorstep Radio Show is a spin off from Spida and Sheree’s popular Channel 7Two TV Show, also entitled The Great Australian Doorstep, in its fourth season,  airs every Saturday at 5pm.

The Great Australian Doorstep Radio Show can be heard every Sunday morning from 6.00-7.00am.  The show will cover an extensive market as it is available on 31 stations across the country.

The Great Australian Doorstep Radio Show will be all things caravan, camping & 4wding around Australia.  With Sheree’s strong Kiwi heritage and their vibrant personality clashes it will make for entertaining listening.

“The best times of our life have been in the last four years while filming our TV Show. Caravan & camping around Australia really is ‘living the dream”.

“You will be really surprised at some of the gear on the market these days. We will talk about some really interesting holiday parks to stay, places to visit, great deals to be had, road closures and safety while on the road” Spida said.

The Great Australian Doorstep will air on 31 stations regionally around Australia on the Southern Cross Network.

Radio station infomation sheet is below or email: sherre@greataustraliandoorstep.com

Download Info Sheet June 07 2011

The Great Australian Ride

For years I have often thought to myself, “I wonder what's really out there”! Then that day came, you know the one! The one when you can take no more, where you question your own value and purpose in the world. When the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same. For me it was like a light switch and I could resist no more, consumed with stories of distant Outback Adventures my inquisitive nature needed to be relinquished, set free and escape this suburban chaos.

Read more by clicking on the Download info sheet

Download Info Sheet

Click on an image to enlarge and use arrows to view as slideshow

June 25 2012

The Outbacknow Roadshow

The team at Outbacknow are packed and ready to hit the road again, this time through Outback NSW and Northern Victoria in their brand new caravan compliments of New Age Caravans.

We believe showing off Outback Australia to the travelling public is a dream job and we drew the lucky straw.

We Showcase the Towns, attractions and businesses to travellers who might otherwise overlook the outback’s unique beauty and charm in favour of the glitz and glamour of a city ‘holiday’ but to me you haven’t had a real holiday till you’ve taken in an outback sunset with a glass of wine after a day of exploring or sat by a campfire staring up at the millions of stars overhead….

Our trip takes us from Nindigully in South West Queensland (home of the famous Nindigully Pig Races in November) through 40 odd towns as we zigzag across Outback NSW and Northern Victoria taking in some of the most spectacular scenery and attractions along the way.

We visit iconic towns like Lightning Ridge, Bourke, Cobar, Broken Hill, Menindee Lakes, Mildura, Hay as well as dozens in between.

We call in on the Deni Ute Muster and Cobar’s Festival of the Miners Ghost as well as some unique attractions and stunning National Parks.

Made possible by the generous support of sponsors such as New Age Caravans, media partners The Great Australian Doorstep TV and Radio show, On The Road Magazine, Australian Travelling Angler Magazine, Pat Callinan’s 4x4 Adventures (Mr4X4) and Outback Tourism Businesses, our trip and exploits can be followed on the Outbacknow website and Facebook.

So if you see us on the road or in a park, come on over and say “G’day”

Hope to catch you somewhere in the Great Australian Outback!

 

August 31 2011

The Psychology of People….Making your advertising work

          The Psychology of People……….Making your advertising work

People are funny creatures - if you tell them something, they generally don’t believe you unless they trust you, or they have heard the same thing before – probably again from someone they trust.

It is a very confident and informed person that will back their judgment and pay up cold hard without doing further research; and this is why it is so important to get your message right when advertising.

Consumers are hardened to traditional forms of advertising and the internet is no exception.

How many times do you try to research a travel destination or accommodation where the message on the webpage is copied word for word from the visitor information centre website or the businesses own website.

This form of reinforcement only serves to discredit both the source and the duplicate webpages concerned.

This brings me to next point: reinforcement is an important part of psycology. Your advert must reinforce a positive image that the consumer has already seen; or will go on to see.

Weather it is Outbacknow, your own website or a magazine article that finally convinces the consumer to trust your product or service; each plays their part in the decision making process, and you can’t shortcut this process.

At Outbacknow we use a very successful blend of information, pictures and key words. We research what people are searching for and present it to them as they want it presented.

Finally: do not look at similar forms of advertising as a duplication or waste of money. Take 2 websites for example…. Each will have a different audience, different reach, different traffic flow and hopefully a different reinforcement of the same message (already discussed)

A website with wide reach (newsletter databases, bulletins, established audience etc.) and a high traffic flow can serve to provide traffic and build exposure to a website that is not well known – and reinforces the message at the same time – after all isn’t exposure why we advertise in the 1st place?

BUT: psychology being what it is; you might need to hear this message again from another trusted source…..

See you around somewhere in the great Australian Outback

June 22 2011

Things that happen in Queensland’s outback town of Julia Creek

I don’t know what would posess anyone in their right mind to want to torture themselves swimming, cycling and running for over 30 kms in some of outback Australia’s most inhospitable climate but plenty want to try.

Australia’s most unique triathlon (now part of the Saucony Adventure series) stirred into life in 1994 when a couple of blokes at the local pub wanted to do something to put Julia Creek on the map.

The Triathlon - swum through a muddy creek, ridden and ran on searing bitumen was the starting point for what has now become the Iconic Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival, growing to include the:

  • Dirt & Dust Bullride, part of the PBR Australian National Tour
  • The BHP Artesian Express Horse Races with exclusive Red Claw Luncheon (from local produce)
  • The Dirt and Dust Ute Muster
  • Australia’s Best Butt Competition
  • Bog Snorkelling
  • Live Music
  • Kid’s Entertainment
  • Plus 25 odd categories of the Triathlon itself

$10,000 in money and prizes lure competitors to the triathlon whilst $8,000 in prize money and qualifying points towards the Australian Finals make for a bruising Bullride.

A free concert featuring popular country music artists Luke Dickens and Victoria Braillie and ongoing family entertainment road out an action packed weekend at Julia Creek.

Julia Creek is located half way along the Overlander’s Way, between Townsville and Tennant Creek and is one of Australia’s most exciting drives.

Make sure you allow enough time to explore this beautiful part of Australia’s Outback Queensland.

January 23 2012

Toilets and Dump Points across Australia

We stumbled over another interesting bit of information after talking to one of our Visitor Information Managers recently – a website that lists Public Toilets and Dump Points across Australia – a useful bit of information for travellers.

www.toiletmap.gov.au not only lists over 14,000 toilets and dump points across Australia by location, it also includes:

  • Opening hours
  • Availability of parking
  • Disability access
  • Baby change facilities
  • Sharps disposal units
  • Showers
  • Drinking water
  • Caravan dump points.

This interactive website includes a trip planner, search bar, GPS locations, is available on mobile phones and even has an IPhone App.

You can browse by Route, Town, Points of interest and GPS – some important features when travelling with children or elderly passengers.

Never again will you be caught short…..

September 10 2011

Travel along the Adventure Way Brisbane to Adelaide

Adventure Way information

Adventure Way Itinerary

August 26 2011

Travel the Overlanders Way

Spanning 1550 kms across the rugged Australian outback from the tropical city of Townsville - gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and on to the 1930’s gold rush town of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory; is the Overlanders Way.

The fully sealed highway offers the modern day adventurer an opportunity to trace the stock route chosen by drovers (overlanders) who brought vast herds of live cattle from the Cattle Stations of the East Kimberley to the markets and port facilities on the North Queensland coast more than a century ago.

The Overlanders Way is a key link between Highway One on the East Coast and the Explorers Highway in the Northern Territory travelling through some stunningly beautiful countryside and iconic outback Australian towns.

To spend a few days enjoying the cosmopolitan city of Townsville – capital of the North, its trendy coffee shops & alfresco restaurants, its beautifully restored heritage buildings, waterfront precinct, the Great Barrier Reef or “Maggie” (Magnetic Island) might be just what the Doctor ordered to get you into explorer mode and ready for your adventure along the Overlanders way.

The 1870’s gold rush turned Charters Towers into Queensland's second largest city. Its prosperous past is evident in every street, Charters Towers even boasted its own Stock Exchange. A heritage walk is the best way to take in this awesome and beautiful town – don’t rush; there’s more than a few days of exploring for you in “the World” as it is affectionately known. Call into the Visitor Information Centre on Mosman Street to purchase or hire an interesting audio CD and map on the city’s history and features to get you started.  

White Mountains National Park straddles the Overlanders Way between Charters Towers and Hughenden.  Featuring spectacular white sandstone bluffs and gorges, brilliant wildflowers and diverse landscape ranging from forests to sand dunes make this park a significant habitat for wildlife and birdlife, some of which can be seen from Burra Range lookout on the highway.

At Hughenden, the Flinders Discovery Centre and Visitor Centre houses a full skeletal replica of a Muttaburrasaurus as well as an amazing exhibition of fossils from both the local area and around the world; the Porcupine Gorge Light and Sound Show and Shearing the Stragglers display (the story of the demise of the local sheep industry) – all well worth a visit. About 60 kms north of town is Porcupine Gorge National Park, Australia's ‘Little Grand Canyon’ with its towering cliffs of vibrantly coloured sandstone, contrasting green vegetation and crystal clear flowing creek – just the place for a refreshing dip and a few days camping.

Richmond, located on the banks of the Flinders River and known for its marine fossils was once rugged country submerged beneath the Great Inland Sea almost 120 million years ago. Kronosaurus Korner (which houses the Visitor Centre) is considered to hold Australia’s most exciting Marine Fossil display including several significant and rare skeletons and can be found in the centre of town. Richmond is also known for its bougainvillea-lined streets, parks and gardens, and Lake Fred Tritton; well stocked with Barramundi and Redclaw and a popular water sports venue. You will need to spend a couple of days in Richmond.

Julia Creek is an RV friendly town where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets and clear starry skies and is home to the Julia Creek Dunnart - an endangered marsupial only found within a 100km radius of Julia Creek. Check out the display at ‘At the Creek’ – the town’s multi award winning Visitor Information Centre and major Tourist Attraction along with restored Queensland Police jail cells, three restored railway fettlers’ cottages and other displays. If you’re lucky enough to be travelling through Julia Creek in April take in the Dirt & Dust Festival – a truly unique triathlon that could only happen in a place like Julia Creek.

The ‘Curry’ (Cloncurry) enjoys a rich history as both the founding place of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and destination of the first Qantas flight in 1922 (The original Qantas hanger is still in use today) You will be awed by the John Flynn Place Museum & Art Gallery which houses the history of the RFDS; and Mary Kathleen Memorial Park which houses history and memorabilia on Cloncurry, the former township of Mary Kathleen, the Burke and Wills history display, a comprehensive mineral and gem collection and the Visitor Centre. These and a dozen or so other attractions will keep you enthralled for at least a couple of days – no need to hurry…..

The Isa’ is one of those truly iconic cities of outback Australia and your exploring starts at Outback at Isa, the cities Visitor Centre. At the centre you can experience first-hand the daily workings of an underground mine at The Hard Times Mine, observe palaeontologic research during daily lab tours with the resident Palaeontologists at the award winning Riversleigh Fossil Centre or enjoy the beautiful Outback Park. There are plenty of other attractions including Mount Isa Family Fun Park - the largest all abilities playground in Queensland, the fabulous fishing at Lake Moondarra and being the gateway to both the spectacular Lawn Hill Gorge and the world-heritage listed Riversleigh Fossil Fields, Mt Isa is just the place to spend a few days.

Located within the Mount Isa City boundary but around 200 kms west of Mt Isa is the town of Camooweal - "The Western Gateway to Queensland" and being that Camooweal’s main street is actually the highway, makes this the longest main street in the world! Camooweal Caves National Park, south of town contains caves and sinkholes created when the soluble dolomite is eroded by water to form an extensive system of caverns under the ground and is a popular place to visit, as is Freckleton's Store, Camooweal Cemetery and the Drovers Camp Information Centre.

Barkly Homestead is a welcome stopover on the last leg of your journey along the Overlanders Way. Enjoy the outback hospitality and a cool drink before you head for the big smoke of Tennant Creek.

Tennant Creek was the site of Australia’s last gold rush and together with the rugged yet beautiful surrounding countryside and the influence of Aboriginal art and culture make this town one of Australia’s exciting destinations. Make your first stop the Tennant Creek Visitor Information Centre at Battery Hill Mining Centre where you can look over the original 1930’s Government gold stamp battery or enjoy an underground mine tour, explore a World War 2 camp hospital – now museum, the Old Telegraph Station or the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre. The ancient Aboriginal mythology of the fossilised eggs of the Rainbow Serpent (Devils Marbles) south of town or The Pebbles just north of town will have you enthralled – there’s just so much to do in Tennant Creek.

Probably the hardest thing you will have to decide now is where will the rest of your adventure take you from here – North to Katherine and Darwin or South to Alice Springs? The Overlanders Way is just the start…..

Overlanders Way Itinerary

Click on an image to enlarge and use arrows to view as slideshow

September 19 2012

Unravel The Mystery Of The Australian Outback Phenomenon

Ssshhhh...it's late, it's dark, if you are very quiet, you can hear the embers of the fire crackling as you curl up in your swag, the crickets get louder, every so often, you hear a rustling of leaves...what is it, what could it be? You lay back and your gaze is on the spectacular Southern sky, with a million stars sparkling at you, you look for shooting stars and other un-identified flying objects...

...Then out of the corner of your eye, you see small bright lights appear and disappear as quickly as a flashing neon sign. The lights appear hovering in front of you, as you move your head to try and see the cause of the light, the light moves with you.

What happened? Where did they go? Are they real or did you just imagine it?

Min Min Encounter

Unravel the mystery of the Australian outback phenomenon of the Min Min lights with a visit to Boulia's Min Min Encounter.

The Min Min Encounter is a unique theatrical experience incorporating animatronics, fibre optics and loads of other high tech wizardry. The encounter is a tribute to the long honoured art of the bush yarn, all based around the famed Min Min Light phenomenon. At the Min Min encounter you will have an outback experience like no other. In the 45 minute show you will be introduced to the story of the Min Min Light by various characters who claim to have taken on a journey through Min Min country to have your own Min Min experience complete with spine tingling effects and an unpredictable ending.

Min Min Cafe

Refreshments including sandwiches, cakes, drinks and cappuccinos are available from the Encounter's Cafe also within the facility. The whole centre is wheelchair accessible.

Opening Hours & Admission

Date: Weekdays: Weekends:
April to September 8.30 am to 5 pm 9 am to 5 pm
September to March 8.30 am to 5 pm 9 am to 2 pm
Closed Christmas 24 Dec to 1st Monday in January  

 

Ticket Type: Ticket Price:
Min Min Encounter Adult $15
Min Min Encounter Child/Concession $13
Min Min Encounter Family Rate (2A + 2C) $35
Stone House Adult $5
Stone House Concession $3
Stone House Family Rate (2A + 2C) $10
Combo Ticket (Joint Min Min Encounter & Stone House Museum) $17 Adult
Combo Ticket (Joint Min Min Encounter & Stone House Museum) $13 Conc
Combo Ticket (Joint Min Min Encounter & Stone House Museum) $37.50 Family

Min Min Encounter & Information Centre Herbert Street Boulia  QLD  4829

May 05 2011

Waltzing Matilda Day Celebrations in Winton!

WALTZING MATILDA DAY 2013

On Saturday April 6, 2013 the annual celebration of Australia’s most requested; most sung; most played song… Australia’s unofficial National Anthem, “Waltzing Matilda”, will be held at the North Gregory Hotel, Winton.

In celebration of “Waltzing Matilda Day” 2013, Winton Shire Council, The Waltzing Matilda Centre & the North Gregory Hotel will proudly present and host the “Vision Splendid Dinner”.         

History records that Banjo Paterson and Christina Macpherson penned the words and music to Waltzing Matilda following the Great Shearers Strike at Dagworth Station in January 1895 and legend has it that on April 6 that year, the very first public performance of Waltzing Matilda took place at the famous North Gregory Hotel at a banquet held in honour of the Queensland Premier of the day, former grazier, Sir Hugh Nelson, and pivotal moments of our nations history have taken place in and around the outback splendour of the Winton District ever since.

History Lives In Winton - and Waltzing Matilda Day 2013 will celebrate the history made in and around Winton, and those who helped make it.

The “Vision Splendid Dinner” will recognise through awards, the involvement and celebrate the achievement of some of the many people directly involved in many of the regions recorded historical events.

After all, some of Winton’s historical events and achievements are Australia’s historical events and achievements… The Great Shearers Strike, Waltzing Matilda, QANTAS, Opals, Dinosaurs and recently Goyote and the Winton Musical Fence; it is an impressive list!

The evening will raise funds for the Waltzing Matilda Centre Limited and conjointly celebrate Winton’s significant contribution to Australia’s Film Industry; hence the evening will feature films past (The Proposition), present (Mystery Road) and future (Banjo & Matilda) and include a presentation from special guests from the ‘Outback’ film industry.

                                                                                                                                      

WALTZING MATILDA DAY 2013

 

What -                       Waltzing Matilda Day

When -                      April 6, 2013

Where -                    North Gregory Hotel, Winton

Why  -                      Winton’s Past Celebrated And Its People Recognised

 

We hope to see you in Winton… “where his ghost may be heard…..”

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Thomas Upton  Chief Executive Officer Winton Shire Council Phone   0746 572666

And

Col Kenna ‘Creator’North Gregory Hotel 0438 288 896

February 19 2013

We’ve found a way for you to Live the Dream

New Age Caravans and OutbackNow have joined forces!

Outbacknow is the most comprehensive FREE online guide to the Australian Outback – featuring Towns, Events, Festivals, Attractions, Accommodation and Jobs.

Born out of a passion for travel, to live and experience our beautiful country, we discovered the real Australian experience and adventure was only available in the outback.

Now we want to share it with you!

If you are looking for bird watching, camel races, driving adventures, dining under the stars or just star gazing, the Outbacknow website will guide you in the right direction including outback itineraries and maps.

Maybe your interests are country music, fossicking for gems, fishing, heritage trails, wineries or quirky festivals then this free resource will take you there.

YOUR JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY STARTS HERE

Outbacknow has joined forces with New Age Caravans and together with Outbacknow Jobs we’ve found a way for YOU to LIVE THE DREAM

The Recipe:

1. Use the Outbacknow website to plan your adventure
2. Purchase a New Age Caravan as your home away from home
3. Utilize the Outbacknow jobs bulletin to keep you on the road a little longer

Enjoy the journey with us – keep an eye out for the Outbacknow / New Age Caravan somewhere in the outback.

May 25 2011

What is Outback Australia?

Outback Australia is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia, although the term usually can refer to any lands outside the main urban areas. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush"

The Australian Bush is something unique, referring to landscape generally of dry soil, thin to thick woody shrubs and bushes under a sparse canopy of eucalypts trees.

Early explorers found the Australian outback extremely harsh but with persistence they identified area’s that had enough water to support repeater stations that would allow them to establish the Overland telegraph line around the 1870’s.

The bush was admired as a source of inspiration by the likes of poets Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson.  Through their poems and stories these poets allowed the reader to identify with the outback in their own way.

Relating to the bush in this way was a big step forward for the early Australians as they struggled with the outback.

The legacy of the harsh but fragile Australian outback is rich in the spirit of the bush.

Even in this rugged natural beauty there is plenty of wild life, though sometime hard to see as they hide in the bushes during the day to keep cool, venturing out in the evening and early morning.

Birdlife is abundant around the watering holes at dawn and dusk in the outback. You will see unique Budgerigars, Cockatoos, Galahs and many little varieties of finches, a must for bird watchers with a camera.

In central Australia camels thrive, used by early explorers for transport and to carry packs, they were abandoned when no longer needed and now roam the inland free with Brumbies – horses that have escaped from stations and become wild.

Horses are still used on outback stations although with the requirement to move cattle quicker, many stations have advanced to 4WD’s, motor bikes and helicopters.

Still there is the need for experienced outback station all-rounders – Jackaroo’s and Jillaroo’s to work and look after the livestock.

If it weren’t for the early explorers who risked their lives to open up the Australian Outback to settlement and those that continued in their footsteps, we would not be able to enjoy what the spectacular Australian Outback has to offer.  

Many of our early stock routes are now the highways we travel to access the numerous outback towns of Australia and the use of camels “Ships of the Desert” have become popular with tourism and camel racing in the outback.

June 16 2011