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Our local area

Our centre is lucky to be in an important rural area within Queensland, surrounded by many fantastic attractions. Below are just a few of the wonderful destinations you can experience in our local area. Our centre staff will not always be able to attend excursions to these locations. If you have an enquiry about our staff accompanying your group to any of the attractions listed below, please contact us to discuss the event in detail. Though our centre staff are able to arrange the booking for you, your school or organisation must pay the venue directly unless otherwise indicated.

Barcaldine

Artesian country tours

Tom Lockie is renowned throughout the Central West for his informative and unique tours, which many visitors find to be the best in Australia. Travel around the historical Aramac area, see ancient lava flows, Indigenous Dreamtime art in one of Australia’s oldest art sites, gorges, caves, desert springs, historical settler sites, and a Cobb & Co. campsite. Tours run during the months of March, April, September and October. Please contact Artesian country tours directly for more information.

Longreach

The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame

 

This museum is a spectacular tribute to the many inhabitants of rural Australia. It covers the historical period from the migration of the Indigenous people of Australia to the continent more than forty thousand years ago, to the exploration and establishment of grazing, agriculture, mining, forestry, and other important industries in rural Australia by European colonists over the last 200 years. It also illustrates the present day environment where technology is playing an integral role in farming, business, and communications. Conceived in 1974 and founded by renowned Australian artist Hugh Sawrey, the museum took 14 years build, and was opened in 1988 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The museum is open 7 days a week from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, and is closed Christmas Day. For more information regarding admission prices and tour packages, please contact the museum directly.  

Qantas Founders Museum

 

The Qantas Founders Museum is situated within the Longreach Airport, and incorporates the plane hangar built in 1922 by Stewarts & Lloyds of Brisbane, as well as many other displays, simulators, and interactive tools. The museum features many different aircraft available for tours, some of which have unique historical significance to Australia. The museum is open from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. For admission, tour, and simulator costs, please contact the museum directly.             

Longreach Pastoral College

The college provides tours of its facilities to visitors, including a large training shearing stand, wool-classing room, and mechanic workshops. Visitors will see students working with all sorts of livestock, including sheep, cattle, horses, goats, dogs, and chickens. A tour of the college is a good introduction to life on the land for city students, and an excellent presentation of further study options for students who might be considering a career on the land.

Please contact the Australian Agricultural College Corporation for more information about the Longreach campus.

Longreach School of Distance Education

Imagine a school which communicates with its students across an area twice the size of the state of Victoria, via modern technologies. This is the Longreach School of Distance Education. Visit the school and learn how the institution teaches students who hardly ever visit the school grounds. Enter the studio and listen to an on-air lesson. Discover the challenges of learning over the airwaves. Distance education uses correspondence papers, on-air lessons and a field service program. Please contact the school for more information about its services and potential tour times.

The Longreach Powerhouse Museum

 

The Longreach Powerhouse Museum is owned and operated by the Longreach Shire Council and is the social history museum for the shire of Longreach. The largest feature of the museum is the old power station. Inside this heritage-listed building you will find the largest preserved rural power-generating facility in Australia.  Imagine a room so large that a railway locomotive could be driven into it with ease.  Now imagine machinery that dwarfs this locomotive. Beside the power station you will find the social history building with its exhibits and photographs depicting an era now long gone. This includes exhibitions of an old flight control centre, a 1948 classroom, and history of the rural men and women of Australia. The Powerhouse Museum caters especially for school groups, and all tours are accompanied by activity sheets and curriculum support. Please contact the museum for opening hours, bookings, and cost enquiries.

Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Heritage Machinery Museum and the Ilfracombe Folk Museum

 

The Ilfracombe Machinery Mile is one of the best historical machinery displays to be found anywhere in Australia and includes earthmoving machinery, standing steam engines, steel-wheeled tractors, and trucks. It is a timeline of machinery which depicts the origins and development of transport and pastoral industries in Central Western Queensland. The outdoor machinery display connects the Machinery Museum to the Ilfracombe Folk Museum, which continues to provide a view into the past via its household objects, folk art, and memorabilia. The museum is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and also is located close to a barbeque area and tourist rest stop.

Blackall

The Blackall Woolscour

 

At the Blackall Woolscour you can see the engineering achievements and determination of Australia’s wool merchants on a tour of the last steam-powered wool washing plant left intact in the country. For visitors, it’s a chance to discover the magic of steam at work and gain a fascinating insight into the way the wool-washing plant operated during its working life, from 1908 – 1978. Each tour is personally guided by one of Blackall’s resident tour guides. Along with many fascinating displays and an extensive souvenir shop, you can relax and enjoy the quiet outback scenery while enjoying a cup of tea or coffee. The facility also has picnic facilities, and visitors can take a self-guided walk around the grounds, including the old shearers’ quarters and cookhouse. For more information, please contact the museum for more information.

Blackall Aquatic Centre


The Blackall Aquatic Centre is a highlight of the Blackall area for visiting families, and is a great place for locals to visit on a hot day. At the centre there is an Olympic-length pool and artesian spa area. The water is heated all year round, to add to that feeling of bone-deep relaxation. The pool also has walk in access and a disabled lift. So whether you want to stretch out with a few training laps or let the spa soothe out the muscles while you sit back and do nothing, the Blackall Aquatic Centre is the place to go. Our coffees and homemade cake taste even better after a swim. The centre also contains a kiosk, changing rooms, toilets and showers. For more information, please see the Blackall-Tambo Regional Council information website.

Blackall Town Tour

The Blackall Town Tour covers many of the significant landmarks and historical figures from the local area.

  • Jack Howe - Jack Howe was a famous sheep shearer who lived and died in Blackall. In 1892, he shore a record of 321 sheep in 7 hours 40 minutes. He is buried in the local cemetery. A memorial statue is located in Shamrock Street outside the Universal Garden Centre. Inside the centre, various kinds of Jack Howe memorabilia can be seen.

  • Labour Federation Memorial - This is located on the median strip of Shamrock Street and commemorates the first meeting of the first shearers’ union in December 1886. This group later became the Australian Labour Party.

  • Fossilised tree stump - the fossilised tree stump in Shamrock Street opposite the Major Mitchell clock is a conifer and related to the hoop pines of today.  The wood has been preserved by opalisation and silification and is either of the Mesozoic period (225,000,000 years ago) or the Tertiary period (1,000,000 years ago). The stump was found on a local property.

  • Major Mitchell Clock - The Thomas Mitchell Clock is located in the middle of Shamrock Street. Thomas Mitchell founded Blackall in 1846, and the Mitchell grasses are named after him.

  • The Black Stump, located behind the Barcaldine State School in Thistle Street, was used for surveying purposes and permanently marks the location of the original Astro Station established in 1887. Surveyors placed their theodolites on the stump for latitude and longitude observations. The stump was used rather than a set of legs because it gave more stability to the theodolites.  This enabled the mapping of Queensland on a more accurate basis. It was considered at the time that country to the west of the Blackall was beyond the “Black Stump”.

Winton

 

For the dinosaur lovers, budding archaeologists, or those who simply crave the open road, Winton boasts a host of attractions, including the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Waltzing Matilda Centre and Lark Quarry Stampede site. A small town with some big history, Winton is not only home to Australia’s most famous swag-man and a plethora of dinosaur remains, but also the birth place of Qantas. Booking arrangements and pricing for various Winton attractions can be made through our centre staff, including overnight accommodation and catering.

Our centre is dedicated to facilitating school camps with a focus on Australian/Indigenous history and outback survival. Itineraries can be selected based on theme or tailored to suit your school's individual needs. The popular activities undertaken by schools allow students and teachers to experience a broad spectrum of what the outback has to offer, including; ‘Survivor’ activities which provide a fundamental base for those interested in Australian bushcraft and survival skills. Heritage themed activities which provide access to the rich heritage of the outback and include authentic ‘on-location’ experiences. Plus, what educational camp would be complete without archery, teambuilding activities and a campfire nurtured from the friction of two sticks enjoying toasted marshmallows whilst students reflect on their outback visit to Australia’s biggest classroom.