Go off the beaten track on this luxury small group 4WD tour of the Southwest and Channel Country. Along the way you'll fall in love with the many charms of Roma, Mitchell, Charleville, Eromanga, Quiplie, Yaraka, Isisford and Longreach — and tick two iconic outback trains off your bucket list!
Learn the important contributions made by pioneers in country towns including Roma, Mitchell, Charleville, Eromanga, Quiplie, Yaraka, Isisford and Longreach. This tour is a great opportunity to explore the backroads and hear the stories of locals making these towns home. On this Brisbane to Brisbane roundtrip, everything is taken care of, right down to your meals.
Your Holiday includes:
Inspired by the surrounding landscape, the Mitchell Motel & Cabin Park was designed to make your visit a unique, comfortable and relaxing experience. Each room contains an en-suite bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, reverse cycle air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a flat screen television and fridge. Additionally, each of their cabins are equipped with a microwave oven.
Mulga Country Motor Inn, Charleville is often compared to an “Oasis in the outback”. Set in 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens on offer it is more than just a motel. With a lagoon style pool and a covered patio area over looking the grounds and pool. Each room is self contained and easy access ground floor containing a refrigerator, microwave, toaster & kettle.
Quilpie Motor Inn, offers a great place to rest & relax within an easy stroll to downtown Quilpie. Well-appointed ground level rooms that offer tea and coffee making facilities with toaster, split air reverse cycle air conditioner, refrigerator, block out curtains and microwaves in most rooms.
Saltbush Retreat is located within walking distance from the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Qantas Founders Museum and offers a range of accommodation options. You’ll stay in the air-conditioned Outback Cabins which feature a patio with garden views. As well as a well-equipped kitchen with a refrigerator, a microwave, a stovetop and an electric kettle. There is also a flat-screen TV, a DVD player, a seating area and ironing facilities. The private bathroom has a shower and a hairdryer.
Your First Class Sleeper on the Spirit of the Outback is a private cabin which provides a comfortable seat during the day and converts into a bed at night. Enjoy all-inclusive chef prepared meals in the Tuckerbox Restaurant and the latest movies on entertainment tablets in the Shearers Rest Lounge, which is exclusive to First Class customers. Your First Class cabin also contains a 240v plug to power your personal electronics.
Please note: When booking, you will need to provide us with your concession card details. Any clients who are unable to provide concession card details will be charged the adult fare.
** Solo Travellers - please note that due to limited availability on the Spirit of the Outback, solo travellers will share a twin cabin on the overnight Spirit of the Outback journey and enjoy a single room whilst on tour
Seniors (QLD & Interstate Government Seniors):
Call our Brisbane-based travel team on 1300 414 198 (for the cost of a local call anywhere in Australia) to secure your place on this group holiday.
Please note this tour commences and concludes in Brisbane
Day 1: Tuesday - Brisbane to Mitchell
Board your REX Aircraft in Brisbane for a 1 hr 15 minute flight to Roma. Enjoy a relaxed nonstop flight in a SAAB340 turbo-props aircraft (maximum 36 passengers) complete with inflight service. Get a birds-eye view of the lush Darling Downs agricultural region before heading west to big sky country. You will be welcomed on arrival in Roma by your Savannah Guides Operator driver. Feel the energy and excitement of a real cattle auction at Australia’s biggest cattle selling facility, Roma Saleyards. Join a personal tour by retired graziers of the facility where up to 7,000 head of cattle are brought for sale. Learn the important contribution made by the true grit pioneers of our oil and gas industry on a guided tour of The Big Rig. Following lunch we drive west to Mitchell, home of the Great Artesian Spa, a unique experience drawing on the waters from the Great Artesian Basin (bring your togs). Enjoy a welcome dinner at this relaxed venue.
Day 2: Wednesday - Charleville
Board the famous Westlander this morning on a rail journey through Queensland’s western frontier. Unwind, as you sit back, relax and drink in the incredible open plains and landscapes of South West Outback Queensland. Your driver will meet you at Charleville Railway Station just in time for lunch and a tour at the historic Hotel Corones. Built in stages, the hotel was completed in 1929 at a cost of £50,000 during Charleville’s wool industry boom. With its jazz hall, embossed plaster ceilings and en suite bathrooms, it was considered an oasis for graziers, wool-buyers and commercial travellers.
On a tour of the Charleville Bilby Experience, see some super cute bilbies during their night-time activities in their nocturnal house. Learn about the amazing efforts made by this group of passionate volunteers to save the Bilby from extinction. Tonight, see the incredible night sky brought into focus with the help of powerful Meade telescopes at the Cosmos Centre. Their experienced sky guide will enthral you with stories of the Cosmos.
Day 3: Thursday - Quilpie
En route to the Channel Country and Quilpie this morning, we’ll pass through Cooladdi, one of the smallest towns in Australia to retain its own postcode. Discover the history and unique landscapes of Quilpie town on a locally guided tour with a 5th generation pioneering family member. This afternoon we’ll visit The Lake, Quilpie. Native birds flock to this lush oasis, taking pride-of-place on a 2,500 acre property and Kalahari goat stud that was originally surveyed in the late 1800s. Your host Dan Hoch will board your coach at the station entrance for a guided tour of their property followed by sunset drinks beside the picturesque Lake Houdraman. Dinner tonight will be at your accommodation.
Day 4: Friday - Quilpie & Eromanga
Today we’ll drive around one hour to Eromanga, the furthest town from the sea. At the Eromanga Natural History Museum, you’ll see skeletal remains from one of the largest animals to have walked the earth. Join a guided tour of the workshop, laboratory and collection centre and meet giant titanosaur sauropods Cooper and George. You’ll also see the incredible Eulo megafauna fossils. While in town we’ll visit the Living History Centre and see one of Australia’s iconic outback pubs, the Eromanga Royal Hotel est. 1885. Once a Cobb and Co staging post the hotel was built from locally-made mud bricks. We return to Quilpie late afternoon.
Tonight, take your seat on the expansive green space in front of the supersized outdoor screen for the brand new Quilpeta Night Show. You’ll be guided through an interactive journey of the story of Quilpie stepping back some 95 million years ago. Learn about the Quilpie’s First Nation Maranganji people, the colourful Boulder Opal story and early pastoral settlements. Dinner tonight will be at your accommodation.
Day 5: Saturday - Longreach
Get ready for some backroad adventure touring today as we skirt a popular section of the Barcoo Way adventure drive. This is an incredibly scenic drive along some sections of sealed and unsealed roads. See Boomerang Waterhole at Welford National Park with its golden-green spinifex, white-barked ghost gums and red sand dune landscapes. On the way to Yaraka, we travel along an old bush track to the ruins of Magee’s Shanty. Legend has it that Banjo Patterson wrote his iconic poem ‘A Bush Christening’ about an event that happened at this very site. Once part of the giant Milo sheep station, Yaraka was well known for its wool production. It’s also the ‘end of the line’ for the planned but not completed Great Western Railway. After lunch at the Yaraka Hotel we’ll drive to nearby Mount Slocombe lookout. This place just oozes awesomeness from every angle of its 360 degree vista.
Travelling east towards Isisford, we’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Yang Yang Ranges. Isisford lays claim to a 98 million year old crocodile. It’s official name is ‘Isisfordia duncani’ and you’ll see a replica of this beauty at The Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre. Banjo Paterson spent much time at Isisford and the environment provided inspiration for some of his work including Clancy of the Overflow and A Bush Christening. Late afternoon we’ll arrive in Longreach. Dinner tonight will be at Harry’s Restaurant.
Day 6: Sunday - Longreach
Today’s activities will include three top Longreach experiences. Spend an idyllic morning on the Thomson River aboard the Longreach Explorer. This beautiful waterway is part of the Lake Eyre Basin and is one of the healthiest eco systems on the planet. Incredibly, it has a water catchment half the size of Victoria! Explore the fascinating themed galleries of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and wander the world-class Qantas Founders Museum, eloquently telling the story of the founding of Qantas. This evening for our Farewell Dinner, settle back under the stars at Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show. Enjoy full table-service as you tuck into a delicious two-course camp oven themed dinner followed by freshly baked damper and billy tea. Their talented outback performer will entertain you with songs and stories – an experience that is bound to be a highlight of your Outback holiday.
Day 7: Monday - Longreach to Brisbane
Wake up to your last outback sunrise and enjoy a tasty breakfast before checking out of your accommodation. After breakfast be transferred to the Longreach Railway Station to join the Spirit of the Outback for your journey to Brisbane.
Day 8: Tuesday - Arrive in Brisbane
Say farewell to your fellow travellers during the morning as your amazing Outback Adventure ends on arrival in Brisbane's Roma Street Station around midday.
Flight details: Flight from Brisbane to Roma departs Brisbane at 8:55am.
Low level of fitness is required for this tour. Not suitable for guests needing wheelie walkers or wheelchairs.
Want to avoid the single supplement? If you're willing to share, we can happily pair you with another solo traveller. Subject to COVID-19 vaccination, availability of another guest of the same gender willing to share, otherwise a single room rate will apply.
Touring Bus Features:
Concession Cards: All concession card numbers must be advised at the time of booking and a copy of both sides of your card is to be sent to Travel at 60 once your booking is confirmed. Any customers who do not provide a concession number will be charged the adult fare.
QLD Pension Entitlements: Queensland resident pension card holders are entitled to four (4) rail travel entitlements each calendar year. Additional fare applies for any Queensland Pensioners who have used their rail travel entitlements. A copy of both sides of your card is to be sent to Travel at 60 once your booking is confirmed. Any customers who do not provide a concession number will be charged the adult fare.
Please note that Queensland Rail periodically conduct planned and unplanned maintenance to tracks throughout the Queensland Rail network. Disruptions caused by this is out of our control. We will endeavour to advise you as soon as possible of the situation and alternative travel options.
Please note non-refundable deposit of $250pp is required within 7 days of booking.
Final payment due no later than 19 April 2022 (for June departure) or 9 August 2022 (for October departure).
Please note the flight departs Brisbane for Roma at 8.55am.
A minimum number of 12 passengers is required for this tour to proceed. The day to day itinerary is subject to change without notice. Same gender solo pair up is subject to availability. If we are unable to match you with another traveller the sole use price will be charged. No changes are permitted once final payment has been made.