14 Day Longreach to the Coast

Tour 2: 01 March 2015 - 14 March 2015

Special price: $2676 p/p


Highlights include:
  • Darling River
  • Blackall
  • Stockmans Hall of Fame
  • Quantas Founders Outback Museum
  • Starlights Spectacular
  • Great Dividing Range
  • Bundaberg
DAY 1: (LD): SYDNEY TO NYNGAN: Sun 06 July 2014
This morning we depart on our holiday featuring outback Queensland to the coast.  Today’s travel takes us to central western NSW.  This morning we enjoy the beauty of the Blue Mountains as we travel west through Lithgow to Mudgee for our lunch stop at the Mudgee Bowling and recreation club.  From here we make our way to Nyngan for our first overnight stop. 

DAY 2: (BD): NYNGAN TO CHARLEVILLE: Mon 07 July 2014
After a hearty breakfast we continue north to Bourke on the banks of the Darling River.  Here we enjoy the local sights before travelling across the border into Queensland.  We make our way to Cunnamulla, located on the banks of the Warrego River and the starting point for the Matilda Highway.  From Cunnamulla we continue through Wyandra to Charleville, where we have dinner and a restful night.  (Breakfast and dinner at the motel, Lunch own expense)

This morning we drive north through Blackall, home to the legendary gun shearer Jackie Howe and where he set the almost unbelievable record of shearing 321 sheep with blade shears in a day.  A bronze statue now stands as a monument to the man and the achievement.  From here we continue our journey north to Barcaldine, a town steeped in the history of the early pioneer struggles and the evolution of Australia as a nation.  We take a tour of the town and hear about the shearers strike in the 1890’s and see the “Tree of Knowledge” memorial next to the Barcaldine Railway Station which marks the spot where the Australian Labour Party was formed.  From here we continue onto Longreach, a town which has played a significant role in the early development of central Queensland and outback Australia.  It is a focal point in the early days of QANTAS and is the home of the now famous “Stockmans Hall of Fame”.  As we settle into our rooms, get comfy, as we will be here for the next three nights.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, Lunch own expense)

Today we are going to have a special experience as we get an insight to the area through the eyes of local graziers and pioneer families. We will meet the owners of a local station called Strathmore and learn about their operations and the challenges of operating on the land. We then head back into town and really step back in time – at Kinnon & Co in the main street. Their Station Store has an amazing range of traditionally made leatherwear and a treasure trove of historic nostalgia. While we are here we will meet that famous horse and the larrikin owner and his son who present a live show “Starlights Spectacular” – a legends tribute. It will be a lot of fun.  We return to Longreach and visit the Stockmans Hall of Fame.  Here we will see outback antiques, videos that make use of modern technology to tell old stories, an 1866 settlers hut and all the stockmans paraphernalia is on show.   Tonight we soak up a spectacular outback sunset as we enjoy the Drover’s Dinner Extravaganza. On the banks of the Thomson River we will sit back and be charmed by our outback entertainers and savour the traditional and exotic flavours of our outback themed cuisine. This will be a memorable evening. (Breakfast in the motel/Light lunch at Kinnon and Co/Drovers dinner on the river) 

DAY 5: (BD): LONGREACH: Thu 10 July 2014
Enjoying a sleep in today has us making our first visit of the day to the School of Distance Education, which is another consideration to living in the outback.  Next, our coach takes us to the Qantas Founders Outback Museum, adjacent to the historic 1922 Qantas hangar, which has been restored as part of the project.  There is a café here that we can purchase lunch from.  The complex houses the museum, theatrette and exhibition hall, visitor information centre and restaurant.  Historic photographs, memorabilia and multi-media interactive displays eloquently tell the inspirational stories of overcoming the problems of long distance travel in Outback Australia.  A Boeing 747-200, donated by Qantas Airways Ltd, is the latest addition to the exhibit and forms a spectacular part of the museum's outdoor display.  Our guided tour provides us with an appreciation of the vision and achievements of the Qantas Founders, which is "that Qantas would one day become one of the worlds’ greatest airlines”.  Back at the motel there may be time to have a swim in the pool before dinner tonight.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, Lunch own expense)

DAY 6: (BLD):  LONGREACH TO EMERALD: Fri 11 July 2014
After breakfast we depart Longreach and travel via Barcaldine then continue along the Capricornia Highway until we turn off to The Gemfields.  We have lunch before we meet our guide at the Anakie Gemfield Hotel Motel who takes us on a fossicking tour.  Next stop - Emerald!  Emerald is the commercial hub of Central Queensland.  See the historic railway station built in 1900 and now classified by the National Trust.  Outside the Town Hall we also see a fossilised tree that is estimated to be 250 million years old.  It was unearthed on the banks of the Mackenzie River when a railway bridge was being constructed to one of the local mines and donated to the town on the event of its centenary by BHP Mines.  After our sight seeing we settle into our motel for dinner and our overnight accommodation.  (Breakfast and dinner in the motel, Lunch provided in Anakie)

DAY 7: (BLD):  EMERALD TO YEPPOON: Sat 12 July 2014
After breakfast we depart Emerald and east travel through the town of Blackwater then across the Great Dividing Range to the coastal plain and Rockhampton.  Located on the banks of the Fitzroy River, Rockhampton is known as Australia’s “beef capital”, and sits astride the Tropic of Capricorn.  After a relatively small goldrush, cattle soon became the big industry.  Rockhampton is the regional capital of central Queensland and has a number of well preserved riverside buildings within its business district.  On arrival we enjoy a locally guided tour of the city including a visit to the city’s famous Botanical Gardens, where we have our picnic lunch.  This afternoon we make our way across to Yeppoon and check into the Mercure Capricorn Resort for the next 3 nights.  (Breakfast and dinner at our accommodation, Picnic Lunch)

DAY 8: (BLD): YEPPOON / CRUISE: Sun 13 July 2014
After breakfast we arrive in Roslyn Bay where we board our boat for today’s cruise around this magnificent area.  Our first port of call is the pontoon, which is located on Big Peninsula near Great Keppel Island.  Here, we enjoy the many splendours this area has to offer, both on top of and below the water.  The pontoon is a large platform area with umbrellas and snorkelling platform for safe entry to the water.  Our visit to the pontoon includes a glass bottom boat cruise and for those that wish, a shuttle to nearby Secret Beach.  From the pontoon we transfer by boat to Great Keppel Island for lunch and some free time this afternoon to enjoy the island.  After a fabulous day we cruise back to the mainland and return to the motel for dinner.  (Breakfast and dinner at the resort, Lunch provided)

DAY 9: (BD): YEPPOON – LEISURE DAY: Mon 14 July 2014
Free day – (Breakfast and dinner at the resort, Lunch own expense)

DAY 10: (BD): YEPPOON TO HERVEY BAY: Tue 15 July 2014
This morning we depart Yeppoon, stopping on the actual line of the Tropic of Capricorn as we leave town.  We travel down the coast to Gladstone where we see the huge Aluminium refinery which is the world’s largest and Port Curtis, now a major bulk port for the rich mineral deposits mined in proximity to this central coast region of Queensland.  From Gladstone we travel onto Bundaberg, home to the famous Bundaberg Rum and birthplace of reknowned aviator Bert Hinkler.  We stop for a visit at the Hinkler House Memorial Museum and the origin of many Australian hangovers - the rum distillery for a tour and a sampling.  From Bundaberg we continue onto Hervey Bay and our next two night’s accommodation.  (Breakfast and dinner at the motel, Lunch own expense)

DAY 11: (BLD): FRASER ISLAND: Wed 16 July 2014
This morning we board the ferry at River Heads for a day on magnificent Fraser Island.  Being the largest sand island in the world, Fraser hosts an amazing range of rainforests, freshwater lakes, sand dunes and miles of beaches.  As the island has no roads and all access is via sand tracks and the beach, we take a 4WD tour of the island, showing us the many island sights, the crystal clear freshwater lakes, the magnificent wilderness and rich rainforests.  Fraser is also famous for its dingo population.  The dingoes on the island are the most pure bred in Australia.  Visit one of the best known landmarks on the island - the Maheno Shipwreck, blown ashore during a cyclone.  Enjoy a delicious lunch and after an exhilarating and memorable day touring Fraser Island (and perhaps a swim in a clear lake – so bring your bathers) we return to the mainland.  (Breakfast and dinner at the motel, Lunch provided)

DAY 12: (BD): HERVEY BAY TO GOLD COAST: Thu 17 July 2014
Today we continue south along the Bruce Highway.  Our morning stop is at Noosa Heads, a popular tourist resort on the fabulous Sunshine Coast.  Enjoy a stroll along Hastings Street with its great range of shops and boutiques or spend some time enjoying the beach.  From Noosa we follow the Sunshine coast through Maroochydore and Caloundra before continuing via the Gateway Bridge to the Gold Coast.  On arrival we enjoy some free time in Surfers Paradise before dinner at our motel restaurant and overnight accommodation.  (Breakfast and dinner at the motel, Lunch own expense)

This morning we say farewell to Queensland as we depart the Gold Coast and cross the border back into New South Wales.  We travel through the Tweed Valley en-route to our morning stop at Byron Bay.  Located at Cape Byron, Australia’s most easterly point, Byron Bay is a popular coastal resort and now home to some of Australia’s most rich and famous.  From Byron Bay we continue along the scenic coastal route to Ballina then onto Grafton, renowned for its Jacaranda trees.  From Grafton we travel to Coffs Harbour, NSWs’ premier tourist resort and enjoy a short tour of the city.  This afternoon we continue south down the coast travelling through Kempsey and onto Port Macquarie, a vigorous resort town at the mouth of the Hastings River.  The town has grown enormously since the early 1970s and claims to have the best climate in Australia.  We enjoy dinner and overnight accommodation here.  (Breakfast and dinner at the motel, Lunch own expense)

DAY 14: (B): PORT MACQUARIE TO SYDNEY: Sat 19 July 2014
After breakfast we enjoy a short tour of the town before continuing along the scenic coastal route through Lake Cathie to Laurieton.  Here we make our way up to the top of North Brother Mountain for a fantastic view over the coast and the surrounding area.  From Laurieton we rejoin the Pacific Highway and travel south through Taree and Newcastle to join the Freeway and make our way home to Sydney.  (Breakfast in the motel, Lunch own expense)