Outback tourism in Queensland lures school groups

Published on : Monday, September 20, 2021

When a south-east Queensland school’s annual year 6 trip to Canberra got dampened by COVID-19, they resorted to a last-minute switch to the outback.

There are more flies in the western Queensland town of Longreach, located more than 1,000kms north-west of Brisbane. However, surprisingly, the kids were not complaining about the switch.

Camden Park Station’s Dan Walker — better known as ‘Outback Dan’ — enlightened children about life on the land as well as the outback essentials of swag constructing, whip cracking, damper making, and building bonfire before a night camping out under the stars.

“You can really resonate with those kids, their eyes are opened up, there’s a bit of saying of disconnect to reconnect,” he said.

For the tourism market, South-east school groups are just one of the new demographics that prior to the pandemic remained dominated by grey nomads.

Mr. Walker explained that families, travel groups, and couples who love travel overseas were travelling out west for the first time.

“Definitely there’s been a big change in the visitors to Longreach and the outback, and what they are experiencing here is world-class … the grey nomads are still coming, which is lovely to see, but we’ve got a wider market now,” he said.

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