There's a lot more of Australia out the back:
Read about tourism in our remote regions on Page 10
OUTBACK Queensland is a “sleeping giant” of tourism potential.
That’s the opinion of Outback Pioneers owner Richard Kinnon.
The Longreach history buff, and grazier, believes the rich and interesting stories of the outback’s past will continue to draw tourists in droves to his part of the world. “Our remoteness is what has shaped the
adventurous, resilient spirit over the years and what makes it such a great destination to walk in the footsteps of pioneers and experience what life is really like under our huge outback skies,” he said.
“Australia was developed from the inside out. The outback is where our history started.
“Our city cousins are hungry for this type of history.
“This is the third face of Queensland – rainforests, beach and our outback pioneer heritage.”
Outback Pioneers, which was formerly called Kinnon and Co until being re-branded last week, was started by the family 10 years ago during the drought.
The family still runs their sheep properties, but all play a role in the tourism venture as well.
At the weekend, their hard work paid off, as they won a major gong at the Queensland Tourism Awards in Brisbane.
They were awarded Gold in the Cultural Tourism category.
“We started the business to subsidise the outback way of life we love but then we got enthusiastic about sharing our life with visitors and creating something special for them here,” he said.
“We want to inspire our fellow Australians and our overseas visitors with the heritage of outback Queensland – and educate them on how important this land is to our country – and of course send them away with a smile on their faces,” he said.
The business has become a famous feature of the Longreach region, welcoming about 25,000 visitors a year to a range of experiences and heritage-inspired accommodation.
The Outback Pioneers experiences include the Cobb & Co Stagecoach Experience – the only place you can gallop in a stagecoach on an old mail route, the Starlight’s Cruise Experience on the Thomson River, the Nogo Station Experience and the Winton Discovery Experience.
Each of the experiences is packed with essential outback sights and insights – from stockman’s stew and bush poetry by the campfire to sheep shearing at a historic station, to the story of local heroes Captain Starlight and Banjo Paterson.
“It gives people memories they will have for the rest of their lives,” he said. “They can smell the bull dust and the kerosene lanterns.”
TOURISM BUSINESS: Richard Kinnon is the owner of Outback Pioneers.