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Brisbane to Longreach

Brisbane to Longreach
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Brisbane to Longreach



23 - 27°S
144 - 153°E

3 - 6000m ASL


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TURNING UP at Brisbane domestic airport to catch my first flight in almost three years, I left the train and checked in to catch a small Dash-8 plane north westward into the heart of Queensland.

I have been in Australia for over 25 years but have never been to the outback, covering a very significant portion of this vast country. I have travelled to numerous places in Australia, but most were along the coast and none any more than about 150 kilometres inland. Today I was going to fly a little over a thousand kilometres inland into the historic centre of Queensland.

Everyone on the flight fitted into two buses heading out onto the tarmac from where we boarded the small plane before it took off. Although Qantas has been getting all the bad press of late, looking at the figures they were the most reliable airline, and anyway the only one doing the trip out to Longreach. The plane took off under overcast skies swinging around the city centre before entering the thin cloud layer over the D'Aguilar Range and quickly reaching the sunny skies above.

After flying over the puffy clouds for a little over an hour, they cleared and I could see the vast plains some six kilometres below. The plane began its descent a little while later gradually approaching above the flat grassy plains below before finally coming to a somewhat bumpy landing on the runway at Longreach Airport at around 3:30pm.

The 33 degree dry heat was the first thing I noticed upon leaving the plane. A short walk across the tarmac led to the small modern terminal where I met Danny, my tour guide for the next four days, and three of the couples I will be travelling with. Shortly afterwards the luggage arrived and we all climbed on board a very nice four wheel drive bus and headed into the town centre just five minutes away to our accommodation at one of the hotels - well it would have been but one of the couples had upgraded to a resort just across the road from the airport, but even with this drop off the town centre was conveniently a short walking distance away from the airport.

After settling in for an hour, we met outside the hotel at 5:00 meeting several other couples on the tour. We all climbed on the bus and started heading along the main road heading eastward passing the School of the Outback, covering an area of around 500,000 square kilometres over all of Outback Queensland. Past here the land was dead flat in all directions, no hills or mountains to be seen anywhere. Here it was all farmland with no houses or animals in sight, but the grass was surprisingly clear.

About twenty minutes out from Longreach, I was convinced we were far away from civilisation and wouldn't seen any more anytime soon but ahead was the village of Ilfracombe. To our left was Machinery Mile, a mile long collection of old farm machinery nicely painted and displayed here. We explored the machinery for a while before having dinner at the very old and quaint Wellshot Hotel from where we watched a magnificent outback sunset.

We returned to Longreach in the darkness of the moonless night, following the straight highway through the totally dark farmland before the dim lights of the town appeared ahead.


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