Bonding at Undara Experience
10 Reasons kids love the Outback Queensland
Outback Queensland is the
quintessential Aussie family holiday,
writes Cristy Houghton.
utback Queensland is a holiday
for every member of the family
and an Aussie must-do. Take a
trip through history with our
nation’s pioneers, cosy up with a
camel, meet some cute critters, dream of the
stars and follow in the footsteps of dinosaurs.
All this and more awaits parents and kids on a
road trip from Charleville to Undara Volcanic
Park, Birdsville to Lawn Hill National Park.
1. Meet A Bilby
The shows at the Charleville Bilby Experience
are a must for any family – even just to prove
they’re not really made of chocolate. While
you’re there, book in for the up-close-andpersonal
encounter where you get to meet a
bilby in the keeper’s arms and have a guided
tour of the cuter-than-cute marsupial’s home.
2. Camp on a working farm
If you’re looking for a special place, Bonus
Downs Farmstay is for you. Unplug and
reconnect, pitch a tent, and take in the beauty
and historical wonder of this working station.
The kids can help round up sheep and learn
to crack a whip, while parents enjoy country
hospitality and delicious home cooking without
having to lift a finger.
3. Ride a camel in the desert
Birdsville is Australia’s most iconic outback
town and home to the Big Red Bash which has
topped the bucket list for many families and
travellers. Some big Aussie names – such as
the legendary Lee Kernaghan and Missy
Higgins – headline this event every July, giving
you the perfect excuse to head west. Take in
the red dirt, big blue sky, wide-open spaces
and distant horizons all from the back of a
camel while you’re there.
4. Go on a stagecoach ride
On Outback Pioneers’ authentic stagecoach
experience you’ll travel in a restored Cobb &
Co stagecoach along the original Longreach-
Windorah mail route then the pace steps up a
notch (or 10). Turning up dirt, with the sound of
hooves pounding beneath you, is the closest
you’ll get to feeling like you’re back in the
pioneer days. When your heartbeat returns to
normal, there’s time for photos and a classic
Australian movie in retro cinema seats.
5. Canoe down a gorge
Paddle your way through the still waters of
Lawn Hill Gorge in Boodjamulla National Park
– an ideal way to explore this picturesque
paradise. In fact, let the kids do the hard work
while you marvel at the beautiful surroundings
of sandstone cliffs, emerald waters and lush
vegetation. This is a perfect outback oasis but
beware... you may never want to leave. Don’t
have a canoe? No problem. Canoes can be
hired from Adels Grove Camping Park.
6. Be a pilot for a day
Longreach is the home of Qantas, and the
Qantas Founders Museum is a spectacular
showcase of genuine artefacts and exhibits
that tell the story of the brand and Australian
aviation history. The award-winning museum
offers tours ranging from jet tours to wing
walks, but for those who want to be more
hands-on you can indulge in a 30-minute
Lockheed F-35 simulator experience.
7. Make tracks on the dinosaur trail
Who knew Australia had such a rich prehistoric
history? There is a dedicated trail through the
Outback Queensland towns of Richmond,
Hughenden and Winton. Let the kids get lost in
their own ‘Jurassic Park’ in Winton. Dinosaur
Trackways is home to the remains of a
dinosaur stampede of at least 150 small
two-legged dinosaurs. With both pram and
wheelchair access, no one has to miss out on
this exciting chase! While in town, continue
fossicking at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs
museum, where the interactive tour is sure to
delight little ones.
8. Explore lava Tubes
Quick science lesson boys and girls! Lava
tubes are a type of cave formed when a lava
stream builds a hard outside crust. When the
lava stream clears, you’re left with an incredible
natural cave where you can walk the path of a
volcano. With the Undara Experience kids and
parents alike are sure to have great fun
exploring these unique formations.
9. Surf a sand dune
True outback folk know you don’t need
an ocean to surf. Boogie boards, pieces of
cardboard or whatever you can get your hands
on... why not take the Esky lid for a surf down
the Big Red sand dune at Birdsville! Sand
boarding is bound to appeal to young kids
and the young at heart. Be game, have a laugh
and be ready to capture that wipe-out with a
10. Search the stars
If you don’t know your Milky Way from your Big
Dipper or your Mars from your Mercury, then
head to the Cosmos Centre & Observatory in
Charleville. The staff will reel off plenty of facts
to impress the kids while you immerse yourself
in the beauty of the outback’s night sky. You
can even view the sun during the day through
the special solar scope.
Qantas flies from
Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne daily.
Longreach is a 19-hour drive from Sydney and 13 hours from Brisbane.
This article appeared in volume 52 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.