9 Outback Characters to Meet in Longreach

1. Your stagecoach driver

There’s always a smiling face to welcome you aboard the Cobb & Co stagecoach. Take your seat and then you’re off on an unforgettable ride through the bush on the old Longreach-Windorah mail route.

All of the Outback Pioneers stagecoach drivers are expert horse-handlers and have a wealth of knowledge to bring your experience to life. If you are on the Longreach Storytelling Holiday, you also have a Backstage Pass to see the horses harnessed and to have a longer chat with the stagecoach driver.

2. Your paddlewheeler skipper

A sunset cruise on the Thomson River is on everyone’s bucket list and it wouldn’t be the same without the insights and humour of your paddlewheeler skipper. Whether you’re on the Pride of the Murray paddlewheeler or the Thomson Belle paddlewheeler, immerse yourself in the history of these iconic vessels while you glide through the sunset on the Starlight’s Cruise Experience.

Don’t forget your camera to capture all the colours of the outback sunset!

3. Scotty the Barefoot Bush Poet

A Starlight’s Cruise Experience also gives you a chance to meet one of Longreach’s living treasures. Scotty is a genuine outback character with a wealth of stories and bush poetry to entertain you as you gather around the crackling gidgee wood campfire.

He’ll move you to tears and have you in fits of laughter while you enjoy your stockman’s dinner on the riverbank.

4. Your Nogo Station host

The station is at the heart of outback life and this is where you’ll meet people who understand the land and embody the resilient pioneering spirit. At Nogo Station one of the Kinnon family – Jeremy, Lane or Outback Pioneers founder Richard – will share stories of their life on the land. They’ll take you on a station safari to learn more about the outback animals – feral, domestic and native – that live in this region.

There’s time for a yarn or two with these entertaining characters when you stop for a saddlebag lunch under the gum trees.

5. Banjo the sheep dog

Working dogs are man’s (and woman’s) best friend here in the outback. Banjo is a Border Collie who you’ll meet at Nogo Station’s historic shearing sheds. If it’s his day off, you might meet one of the other pups being trained by Jermey and Lane to keep the Merinos in order.

They’re stars of the Merino Story, which is such an important part of Longreach’s history. Many guests would vote for them as their favourite characters of all!

6. Ned Devine

Longreach’s latest attraction is the Sunset Stagecoach Experience – a VIP experience for a group of up to 10 people. On this experience, the legendary stagecoach driver Ned Devine comes to life to take you on a journey that captures all the romance of stagecoach travel. Ned was known for his team of all grey horses and seeing his all-grey team setting off through Longreach in the late afternoon is a sight to behold.

‘Ned’ is your host and driver throughout the experience and there’s plenty of time for his stories to unfold as you stop for traditional refreshments at sunset and afterwards when he hosts you to a gourmet outback dinner.

7. The storekeeper

The Station Store in the heritage heart of Longreach at 128 Eagle Street, is a chance to step back into a shopping experience of the past. The storekeeper has her own stories to tell of the way the pioneers shopped and the outback products that are stacked high on the shelves.

Like all traditional storekeepers she has a welcoming smile and time for a chat. If you need help choosing that perfect gift or souvenir to take home, she’ll tell you all about the bush crafts, leatherware, country homewares, woollen products and more.

8. The town crier

Forget news online. Get your update from one of Longreach’s most distinctive characters. Ninety-years-young, Patrick has a voice that commands attention. He gathers a crowd and relates all the local news as well as developments from far beyond.

See him outside The Welcome Home on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8.10am.

9. The man himself!

Richard Kinnon jointly founded the award-winning Outback Pioneers with his wife Marisse and is still out and about meeting guests and hosting some of the experiences. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch his tales of an outback childhood on the Winton Discovery Day Tour or you may see him at Nogo Station or on the Starlight’s Cruise Experience.

Richard is a passionate ambassador for the outback – and a constant source of inspiration and warm humour. What he doesn’t know about outback life and pioneer times isn’t worth knowing!

To meet these great characters, book the relevant Outback Pioneers experience. See outbackpioneers.com.au for all inclusions and details.

This post is sponsored by Outback Pioneers.