Think of Longreach as a game of Trivia – filled with culture, cuisine, entertainment, and history – inviting you to try your hand at each category and learn a thing or two about the town.
From the meaning behind the name to the natural wonders it encompasses, here are 18 things you never knew about Longreach.
1. Known as the ‘heart’ of the Queensland
If you’ve never been to Longreach and not entirely sure of its location, it’s super easy to find. Simply pull out a map of Queensland and point your finger smack bang to the middle of the state and voila! You’ve found Longreach. It’s central location and friendly locals has earned it the reputation as the ‘heart’ of Queensland (and the Outback).
2. No uber – but there’s a taxi!
While you won’t be able to order an Uber while in Longreach, Tanks Cabs has you covered with the taxi service run by long time local, Tanks.
P.S. She incidentally makes the town’s best Peach Blossoms – but more on that later!
3. The Royal family love Longreach!
Did you know Longreach is a royal favourite? Members of the royal family have visited the town not once, but twice over the past ten years, enjoying the outback hospitality. Longreach has played host to Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Here’s hoping for Meghan and Harry too!
4. You can sleep like a royal too
Wake up refreshed for your days of exploring the town in a 5-star bed at theLongreach Motor Inn.
The centrally located accommodation boasts a place on the Gold List of Australian Accommodation, paired with the award-winning Harry’s Restaurant onsite to satisfy all of your holiday cravings.
5. The town boasts a dessert delicacy
You haven’t eaten a true outback meal until you’ve sampled this Longreach dessert – a peach blossom. Tasting as good as it sounds, the pink-coloured sweet takes a slightly different spin on a couple of dessert classics. Imagine the love child of a cupcake and a lamington – a cupcake-shaped sponge coated in jam and rolled in coconut, then piped with whipped cream. Mmm, drool.
6. It’s not all red dirt
It might be in the centre of the outback, but Longreach has a softer side to its natural beauty, which can be explored in the Longreach Botanic Walk. The 2.5km interpretive flora trail is located in the middle of town, weaving past some of the town’s highlights like the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Saltbush Retreat.
7. It takes flying to new heights
Did you know it’s practically the birthplace of QANTAS? Step back in time at the QANTAS Founder’s Museum, where you can explore the history of the airline and evolution of its aircrafts. Get close to the action with a F35 flight simulator experience, step inside a cockpit, and tour the fleet of early Qantas planes (including a life-size replica of its very first aircraft). Save the best till last with a walk along the wing of a Boeing 747. The museum is one of two places in the world where you can walk on a wing – so put that one high on your to do list!
8. It’s a hub of classic outback entertainment
There’s no chance of running out of things to do in Longreach, with plenty of quintessentially outback shows on offer. Laugh for an hour straight at the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show, witness the skills of a stockman at the Outback Stockman Show, and dine under the stars at Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Live Show.
9. You’ll never guess what the town is named after
It’s a difficult one, we’ll understand if you’re stumped. The town Longreach was given its name from the founder’s astonishment at just how long the reach of the Thomson River was. Didn’t guess that one did you?
10. The town has a small obsession with birds
We’re not kidding, just check out the street signs.
All streets running east-west are named after water birds, in which the streets just happen to be in the same direction as the Thomson River, home to countless species of water birds.
The streets running north-south are named after land birds, which has proven to give the town a laugh or two when the local emus walk down their designated street like they own the place!
Check out where else you can spot feathery friends in the outback with this guide.
11. It’s a hot spot, literally
With summer temperatures rivalling an industrial oven, there’s a logical reason why bathing in a tub of ice suddenly becomes appealing when you’re in Longreach. The Tropic of Capricorn runs directly through the centre of town, spiking the temperatures and sparking a deeper connection between locals and the beloved air-con.
12. The town sparkles at night
Known for its #insta-worthy night skies, Longreach doesn’t disappoint when it comes to a star-studded show. Jump on board the Starlight’s River Cruise for a night of stargazing on the Thomson River, listening to outback stories, and enjoying classic outback bites such as damper. For the best vantage point during the day, head to Starlights Lookout, 55km north-west of town. The 10 minute hike to the top is well worth it for the jaw-dropping views of the town and its surroundings.
13. You can get trained in all things transport
No matter how you got to Longreach, it’s no match for the outdoor transport experience of the Outback Pioneers Cobb & Co Stagecoach ride. Straddle up for an adventure and follow the original Longreach mail route on a restored horse-drawn carriage. Not so crazy for horses? If you’re not up to battling the elements, jump aboard the relaxing Spirit of the Outback that takes you along the scenic journey from the Brisbane city lights through the outback towns of Emerald and Barcaldine to your destination of Longreach.
14. You can step back in time with a lesson on the country’s farming history
Interested in how your food goes from paddock to plate? Get schooled in all things agriculture at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame. Step foot on the property to be greeted by a spectacular Outback digs made of corrugated iron, timber, and stone. Enter to explore the five themed galleries on some of Australia’s greatest members of the agricultural industry, artefacts, interactive displays and presentations that play tribute to the heroes of remote Australia.
15. It’s a prime spot to explore The Thomson
Located a short 4.5km north-west of town, the Thomson River is a must-do when visiting Longreach. The river offers plenty of space for recreational activities, from casting a line and camping along its banks, to strolling down the walking tracks and relaxing on its small beach-like areas. The river also plays host to a variety of wildlife that make for a fun I-spy game, including pelicans and other waterbirds, and loads of fish and turtles.
16. You can learn a thing or two
When your daily drop-off to school involves a few hundred kilometres and more hours spent behind the wheel than learning, distance education is the best solution. Learn how the rural communities surrounding Longreach receive their education with a tour of the School of Distance Education Centre, where one of the largest classrooms in the world is brought together by technology. Note: Tours only run during school terms.
17. It’s a must-stop along the Matilda Way
Last but not least, if you’re embarking on the great Outback roadtrip, the Matilda Way, then Longreach is in your midst and its one spot you’ll definitely want to make your pit stop. From Cunnamulla in the south to Karumba in the north, the Matilda Way takes you through some of the most quaint (not to mention draw-dropping) outback towns, including Charleville, Winton, and Cloncurry.
Have you been to Longreach? Tell us about your experience in the comments below
This post is sponsored by Longreach Motor Inn.