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Outback ‘wins hearts’ as school groups, glampers and jetsetters usher in new era of tourism

Outback ‘wins hearts’ as school groups, glampers and jetsetters usher in new era of tourism

When COVID-19 foiled a south-east Queensland school’s annual yr 6 shuttle to Canberra, they took a last-minute switch to the outback.

Key points:

  • New demographics of vacationers are visiting outback Queensland
  • Forward of the pandemic, outback tourism relied intently on grey nomads
  • The outback is a “new and varied” journey, one distinguished school pupil says

There are more flies in the western Queensland town of Longreach, more than 1,000km north-west of Brisbane, but the teenagers were now not complaining about the switch. 

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“It be in truth fun, or now not it’s new and varied, and there’s loads to sight.”

A man in a big hat sit's a top of a cattle yarn as some school kids watch on

Outback Dan presentations the school students the design to separate the cattle in the yards at Camden Park Location open air Longreach.(

ABC Western Qld: Ellie Grounds


Camden Park Location’s Dan Walker — better known as ‘Outback Dan’ — taught teens about life on the land as successfully as the outback essentials of swag constructing, whip cracking, damper making, and bonfire building ahead of an evening camping out below the celebrities.

A group of boys learn how to put up a swag

An outback terminate would now not be complete without learning the design to roll out a swag.(

ABC Western Qld: Ellie Grounds


“You would possibly per chance in truth resonate with these children, their eyes are opened up, there’s a shrimp of saying of disconnect to reconnect,” he acknowledged.  

South-east school groups are ethical one of the new demographics for the tourism market beforehand dominated by grey nomads sooner than the pandemic.

A man standing in front of cattle yards on an outback station

Dan Walker has seen the alternate in the kind of vacationers visiting the outback.(

ABC Western Qld: Danielle O’Neal


Mr Walker acknowledged families, streak groups, and couples who would in general streak overseas were travelling out west for the first time. 

“Definitely there’s been a massive alternate in the guests to Longreach and the outback, and what they’re experiencing here is world-class … the grey nomads are still coming, which is pretty to sight, but we fetch now got a distinguished wider market now,” he acknowledged. 

Higher than 700,000 vacationers got here to the outback between September 2020 and July 2021, a 37 per cent increase on the aim inform by the situation’s tourism association.

The sunsets on a glamping tent while a couple unwind on their balcony

Upmarket lodging alternate ideas are popping up across the outback to cater for a new kind of outback tourist.(

ABC Western Qld: Danielle O’Neal


Longreach and the neighbouring town of Winton now offer glamping to cater to increased-terminate vacationers. 

Operators are also reporting an increasing number of trudge-in guests.

Brisbane native Rebecca Georgiou and her brother, Bill, flew into Longreach to explore the outback and retrace household links to the bush.


Rebecca Georgiou and her brother Bill Malandris on a household history lunge to to Longreach.(

ABC Western Qld: Craig Fitzsimmons 


“The more than just a few thing my brother and I had in mind was to grasp a gaze at and find some cloth on a household connection we had here from when we were shrimp, from the time when our older sister had married a particular person from here who got here looking for a wife in Brisbane.”

A bright orange sun sets over a long reach of a river with two boats cruising along it.

The sun sets over the Thomson River open air Longreach.(

ABC Western Qld: Craig Fitzsimmons


Tourism operators hope the new breed of guests will retain coming assist, even after borders reopen. 

Pacific Lutheran School trainer Kim Wooden acknowledged, if it were as a lot as her, the teenagers would possibly per chance well perchance be returning to the bush over Canberra.

“Canberra is an ravishing journey for school students but the outback is definitely winning my coronary heart,” she acknowledged. 

Aerial image of a bus on a dirt road in the desert

Outback Queensland is winning hearts with a new breed of tourist heading that draw.(

ABC Western Qld: Craig Fitzsimmons


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Outback ‘wins hearts’ as school groups, glampers and jetsetters usher in new era of tourism