The outback in Queensland is a large area full of endless vastness and solitude. Small towns like Longreach, Mount Isa or Winton are oases in the endlessness of Queensland's outback. The region borders on Flinders Highway in the north, New South Wales and the Northern Territory in the south and west and the hills of the Great Dividing Range in the east. There is dry tropical climate with low precipitation, clear nights and warm to hot temperatures.
A never-ending territory, red soil, dry grassland, an orange evening sun and numerous sheep and cattle farms - that is how many people imagine the Australian outback. In fact, the landscape in Queensland's outback fits this cliché of the deserted and endless wilderness. This does not mean, however, that its nature has nothing to offer. The semi-deserts and dry savannas, grasses, underground treasures like opals or sapphires, hardwood and eucalyptus trees as well as kangaroos, numerous species of birds and freshwater crocodiles make the outback an exotic place. If you have not been here, people say, you have not truly experienced Australia. Several national parks such as the Diamantina National Park and the Boodjamulla National Park show the region's typical flora and fauna and are perfect for adventurous expeditions. The latter accommodates the Riversleigh Fossil Fields, one of Australia's most significant sites of fossil finds. The unique finds are over 20 million years old and have been part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage since 1994.
The outback in Queensland, more precisely the small town of Winton, is the birthplace of the famous Australian folk song "Waltzing Mathilda". The unofficial national anthem, which fills a whole museum (Waltzing Matilda Centre) in Winston and was written by Banjo Paterson in 1895, refers to the Australian Great Shearers' Strike at the end of the 19th century. It was a significant event in the early Australian labour movement and symbolises the local identity as do the rodeo event Rotary Rodeo in Mount Isa or the Outback Heritage Centre and Stockman's Hall of Fame in Longreach. Other popular sights in the region are the Qantas Founders Museum, the Riversleigh Fossil Centre and the ghost town of Betoota, which has been a deserted place since 2004.
Sheep and cattle farms, simple villages and towns, sand slopes and opal mines - the outback in Queensland has a special atmosphere. Tourists can experience this on a visit to a farm or one of the many opal mines. You also get the authentic outback feeling at the horse race in Birdsville (the Birdsville Races) or a tour with a stage coach. The region's industrial centre is the city of Mount Isa, which impresses travellers with the yearly Mount Isa Rodeo rather than with numerous shopping miles and cafes.
The outback in Queensland is particularly suited for long hikes and expeditions. Several hiking routes such as the Thomson River Flood Plain Walk near Longreach give you the opportunity to explore the Australian hinterland, which is an important part of the red continent. The few paved roads offer the ideal conditions for a relaxed road trip through the deserted landscape.
Most people travel the outback in Queensland in the Australian spring, autumn and winter (April to October) because the temperatures are mild and precipitation is low at that time. Many of them arrive at the national airport in Longreach. The nearest international airport is Brisbane Airport.