Welcome to the heart of Outback Queensland. Like many towns in this Great Outback, Longreach has changed greatly from its early days.
In 1860, explorers William Landsborough and Nat Buchanan came upon this area while searching for new grazing land and saw in it potential. Longreach was made official in 1887 and the name ‘Longreach’ derives from the ‘long reach’ or waterhole of the Thomson River used by drovers as a place to rest their cattle.
Today, Longreach is a service town to the Outback and acts as the hub for many government departments: Education, Primary Industries, Health and more. Not only is it a hub for the Outback, visitors can also soak up all of its history and heritage.
In its surrounding areas, visitors can explore the majestic landscape that inspired the lyrics to Banjo Paterson’s iconic ballad which resonates with all Australians. Learn about the pioneering years through innovative museums, attractions and exhibitions. Discover the essence of the Outback and its people, woven into the rich tapestry that is ‘Matilda country’.
The Central West is also the perfect place to enjoy some traditional bush tucker around the campfire and be entertained with yarns of glory days. Come and see where the legend of the stockman started, where Qantas carved its name in the history annals and where the city’s pastoral industry began.
To the south is Barcaldine, where you will find The Australian Workers Heritage Centre. A national project commemorating not just these events, which changed the course of the nation’s working history, but is a tribute to all Australian working men and women. Set in over five acres of landscaped gardens, it is also home to the Wanpa-rda Matilda Outback Education Centre – a unique residential facility for schools and community groups.
North of Longreach is Winton, rich in history, is best known as the place that AB (Banjo) Paterson wrote Waltzing Matilda in 1895, while staying at Dagworth Station. Winton is recognised as the ‘home’ of Australian bush poetry, hosting the annual Bronze Swagman Award, one of the country’s most prestigious literary awards. Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre tells the story of Waltzing Matilda, Winton and the Outback region.