Glamping tents at Wallaroo Station Glamping tents at Wallaroo Station

A trip to Queensland's Outback

Famil trips before the Queensland on Stage trade workshops were designed to show Kiwi travel agents that there is more to the state than they may think – no matter how many times they and their clients have previously visited.

A trip into Queensland’s Outback, for example, proved that there is more to Queensland than the coast.

Hosted by Peter Homan of Outback Queensland, Kiwi delegates Lynne Sinclair and Yvonne Wilson of NZ Travel Brokers, joined by Sally Bird of Outback Queensland had three days to explore three different locations.

‘The big difference between Queensland’s Outback and the other outback regions, is that our roading systems are more advanced, and the towns are more connected,’ says Homan.

The first day of the famil kicked off with a flight from Brisbane to the outback town of Charleville, and a visit to the town’s Cosmos Centre and Observatory.

The observatory part of the facility has four-night telescopes and one to view the sun with during the day, which each broker used at both ends of the day – a highlight for Sinclair.

‘I’ve never looked through a telescope to see the sun or the moon, and when you do its such a privilege,’ she says.

The group also toured what remains of a top secret American Army base from World War Two.

Near the end of their day, delegates visited the Charleville Bilby centre where they were lucky enough to encounter one of Australia’s most endangered species – the Bilby.

With modern facilities and gourmet food, The Rocks Motel in Charleville put the group up for the night.

On day two the group travelled from Charleville to Roma to meet Craig Eddie, tour guide and principal ecologist at Boobook Tours.

From Roma, they headed with Eddie to a 71,000-acre cattle station near Carnarvon National Park, Wallaroo Station.

Owned by Justine and Pauline MacDonnell, the working cattle property is in the foothills of the Carnarvon Ranges with secluded gorges, rare and wonderful cycads and Indigenous Art.

A sunset picnic, spotlighting and comfortable glamping accommodation finished off the day – another highlight for Sinclair.

‘Getting up to the Arcadia lookout and doing the walks, finishing off with wine and nibbles was very relaxing. The owners were really hospitable and it’s quite interesting to compare how they farm to how we farm in NZ,’ she says.  

On day three the group travelled to the ‘big smoke’ of Toowoomba.

Picked up in a limo courtesy of Peters Coaches, the group was taken to an exclusive first experience of the evening tours at the historic home of the National Carriage Collection, the Cobb & Co museum.

From there they headed to the lavish Zev’s Bistro for dinner before settling down at Potters Boutique Hotel for a big sleep and their journey to Queensland on Stage at Tangalooma Island.

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