Longreach Australia

Discover the spirit of Matilda country

Longreach is a place to experience the true spirit of the Outback. Set on the banks of the Thomson River, surrounded by endless Mitchell Grass plains, the town offers a wide range of activities to visitors on their Queensland holidays. It is indeed a major centre in Outback Queensland.

Old country hotel in Longreach AustraliaRoyal Hotel in Longreach

When you travel in Queensland along the Matilda Highway, you can spend a few days in this lovely country town to explore history, museums, Outback hospitality, nature and wildlife.

Longreach's population is by far outnumbered by about 1 million sheep and cattle in this major wool growing and cattle breeding district. The 360° view of the horizon filled with millions of stars at night, the Milky Way, it is amazing. Be sure to go away from the city lights to experience the unique Australian Outback sky. You will love it.

Some Quick Facts about Longreach

  • Population: 2,970 (2011 census)
  • Location: Approx. 1,180 km north-west of Brisbane on the Matilda Way
  • State: Queensland
  • Post Code: 4730
  • Elevation: 191m
  • Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
  • Best time to visit:
    April to October is the best time to visit when you want to avoid the summer heat.
  • Facilities:
    Longreach has full town facilities, hotels, motels, shops & a hospital.

History of Longreach Australia

Malintji, Iningai and Kunngkari Aboriginal people lived in the district prior white settlement.
Edmund Thomson was the first to explore the area and named the Thomson River in 1847.
Thirteen years later, William Landsborough and Nat Buchanan thought the vast Mitchell grass plains were suitable for pastoral leases.

The township of Longreach was finally gazetted in 1887. The Queensland National Bank bought the first plot of land. After completion of the railway line from Rockhampton, Longreach became a prospering regional centre.

Watch this fantastic video to learn more about Longreach's history.

Points of interest in Longreach

Australian Stockman's Hall Of Fame & Outback Heritage Centre

This outstanding museum is a spectacular tribute to the people of Outback Australia. Plan to spend at least a few hours exploring this extraordinary complex. It gives you so much understanding of the huge task to explore and settle Australia's vast inland.
Want to know more about this fantastic place? Click here to read more about the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame.

Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach AustraliaStockman's Hall of Fame

Qantas Founders Outback Museum (Longreach Airport)

You won't miss that! The huge Boeing 747 jumbo is overlooking the town and guides you to the airport and this very interesting museum. You can inspect the jumbo by arrangement. The museum itself tells the story of Qantas, the second oldest international airline in the world. Only the Dutch KLM is older.

The old hangar was the base for Qantas from 1922 to 1934. And of course the history of Qantas is connected with the Royal Flying Doctor and the Flying Surgeon services. Actually, the latter was the first of its kind in the world when the service started in Longreach in 1952.

A Qantas Boeing 747 at the airport in LongreachBoeing 747 at the Qantas Founders Museum at the airport in Longreach

Longreach School of Distance Education (Sir James Walker Drive)

Visit one of the largest class rooms in the world. Follow a "live" school of the air lesson. See how Outback kids are taught. Schools of distance educations are scattered all over the Australian Outback to teach children in remote settlements and on stations. It is amazing.

Thomson River

Take a walk along the river, relax after the strenuous visits to the museums. Do some bird-watching, explore the nature. You can even take a dip into the river. Take your time to watch a glorious sunset. It is just wonderful.

Beautiful sunset on the Thomson River in LongreachSunset by the Thomson River in Longreach

Visit historic Ilfracombe

About 30 km east of Longreach the little hamlet Ilfracombe is known as the town with the machinery mile. Historic machinery is displayed along the main road - tractors, graders, drills, boilers - you name it, and find it in Ilfracombe.

And after you have "worked" with all that great tools, why not drop into the Wellshot Hotel for a well-deserved drink? This unique Outback pub shouldn't be missed.

An old thingy at the machinery mileMachinery Mile in Ilfracombe

Accommodation in Longreach

It is really worth to stay a couple of days in Longreach, as there is so much history of Australia to discover. The town offers a good range of accommodation. Visitors can choose from a bed in old-fashioned hotels, modern motel rooms and cabins at the caravan parks.

For more info about where to stay and other facilities click here.

Read more about the destinations along the Matilda Way

Below you'll find more useful articles to help you plan your journey.