Queensland Outback bouncing back

Six years of drought and recent catastrophic floods did its darndest to dampen the spirit of Outback Queenslander, but if you’ve ever met a community that could be called resilient, this is the one.

“Communities in the Outback are very resilient folk,” said Robyn Stephens OAM.

“It’s certainly going to be another tough couple of years for the region. But on the plus side, our outback landscape is slowly changing from brown to green; a spectacular sight sure to impress 2019 festival visitors.”

She’s talking, of course, about the now-famous Winton Outback Festival. The original festival was created not long after similar hard times in the sixties, with an aim to attract visitors to the region and inject sorely needed tourism dollars into the local economy.

“The journey to Winton is a big part of the festival experience so we’ve partnered with other outback communities to create three road trips to the festival. These fully researched and timed itineraries are designed to showcase the northwest, southwest and central west regional attractions. It’s simply a matter of visitors deciding which drive tweaks their fancy,” said Ms Stephens.  

“There is no better way to celebrate the ‘Year of The Outback’ than with an Aussie outback road trip to celebrate Outback Festival’s 25th anniversary. Families are encouraged to head west to Winton this September school holidays and to stop and say g’day to our mates along the drive.”

Perfectly located in the heart of Outback Queensland, Winton is a popular stopover for drive visitors travelling from north, south, east and west. This 24–28 September, Australia’s quirkiest festival – ‘Outback Festival’ – is gearing up to welcome some 8500 visitors. The town typically has just 875 residents.

The Outback Festival is home to the Australian Dunny Derby, the Bush Poets Breakfast and a host of unique competitions and games – not to mention entertainment from top Australian artists and bands.  

Those looking for a bit of adventure can plan ahead for the ultimate road trip using one of three self-drive adventures from Brisbane and Townsville – and back. 

And if you’re not one for long, beautiful drives, Winton is also easily accessible by air, rail and coach. Regional carrier REX services Winton on Tuesday and Thursday, with a loop departing from Townsville that connects with QantasLink flights to Longreach from the rest of the country.

The Spirit of the Outback rail journey departs Brisbane twice weekly, heading up the East Coast to Rockhampton before heading inland to Longreach to connect with the coach service. Coaches to Winton can be booked through Bus Queensland, with services arriving in Winton daily.

Find out more about the self-drive holidays and more at www.outbackfestival.com.au

Have you ever been to Winton? Would you recommend a road trip there?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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