2018 Birdsville Desert Escape

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The picturesque South West Outback region is a fusion of stunning red sand hills, abundant wildlife and magnificent flora and fauna. Discover the magic of the far west towns and the spectacular landscapes where the Channel Country meets the desert.

Highlights:

  • Outback Stockman's Dinner and Show
  • Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame
  • Qantas Founders Museum
  • Rosebank Station Morning Tea
  • Welford National Park
  • Windorah and Cooper Creek Catchment
  • Betoota Ghost Town & JC Hotel Ruins
  • Sunset Sandhill nibbles Windorah
  • Sunset nibbles atop Big Red (Sand Dune)
  • Wirrarri Centre and Inland Hospital Ruins
  • 30 minute Scenic Flight over Simpson Desert & Big Red
  • Channel Country & the Birdsville Hotel
  • Min Min Light Encounter & Stonehouse Museum
  • Historic Middleton Hotel & Cawnpore Lookout
  • Australian Age of Dinosaurs Tour & Sunset Barbeque
  • Waltzing Matilda Centre

Inclusions:

  • All motel en suite accommodation
  • Travel by quality touring coach
  • Savannah Guides Master Operator driver and host
  • All meals (8 buffet breakfasts; 7 lunches; 8 dinners)
  • All entries/activities as per itinerary
  • 30 minute Scenic Flight over Simpson Desert & Big Red
  • Longreach accommodation arrival and departure transfers
  • Return First Class Rail between Brisbane & Longreach - BDE11 only









Itinerary:

Day 1:  Saturday - (D)

Guests on BDE11 will depart Brisbane on the Spirit of the Outback for a first class overnight rail journey to Longreach.

Day 2:  Sunday - Longreach (B,L,D)

Welcome to Longreach!  You will be met on arrival at Longreach Railway Station and transferred to your  accommodation for the next two nights.  Tonight, sit back and hear the entertaining stockman's story at the Outback Stockman's Dinner and Show.  2 nights Jumbuck Motel, Longreach

Day 3: Monday - Longreach (B,L,D)

Visit the world-class Qantas Founders Museum, eloquently telling the story of the founding of Qantas through interpretive displays, interactive exhibits and an impressive collection of genuine artefacts.  Meet the Smith Family at historic Rosebank Station for great hospitality and a relaxed homestead morning tea, then enjoy some free time in downtown Longreach.  Discover the inspiring stories of our pioneering heroes at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame as you wander the five themed galleries.  Late afternoon, unwind on the Drover’s Sunset Cruise with tasty on-board nibbles platters, before taking your seat at Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show.  Relax under the stars and savour a mouth-watering two-course camp oven themed dinner as the talented musical artists perform on the River Stage.

Day 4: Tuesday - Windorah (B,L,D)

Follow the mighty Thomson River floodplain to Windorah, said to be the only place in the world where two rivers form a creek! See magnificently contrasting colours in Welford National Park; golden green spinifex, white-barked ghost gums and stunning red sand dunes.  Take in the serenity with a picnic lunch in the National Park beside one of the many Coolibah-lined waterholes.  Late afternoon in Windorah, we'll take a short trip out of town to toast the sunset from beautiful wind-swept red sand hills.  Have your camera's ready!   Overnight Cooper Cabins or Western Star Hotel, Windorah

Day 5: Wednesday - Birdsville (B,L,D)

Heading west today, see the JC Hotel Ruins, once part of the township site of Canterbury, before reaching Betoota - population zero!  Established in 1885 to collect cattle tolls and later a Cobb & Co change station, the last resident died in 2004, making Betoota a ghost town.  Take in spectacular views from Deon's Lookout and see the Dreamtime Serpent Indigenous artwork, an impressive hillside installation created with gravel and gibbers.  At the end of the famous Birdsville Track we arrive in the frontier town of Birdsville.  2 nights Birdsville Hotel, Birdsville

Day 6:  Thursday -  Birdsville (B,L,D)

Stroll down to the banks of the tranquil Birdsville Billabong and see the well known Birdsville Racetrack.  Visit the Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre to view local artists' work in their extensive gallery and explore the Inland Hospital ruins.  Join a spectacular half hour scenic flight with breathtaking views over the Simpson Desert and Big Red.  Tonight we toast the glorious Outback sunset from atop Big Red, a 40 metre high sand dune marking the symbolic eastern edge of the Simpson Desert. 

Day 7:  Friday - Boulia (B,L,D)

Take a close up look at the rare and ancient Waddi Trees.  See the Carcory Ruins, a remnant of early European settlement, and the flowing Artesian Bore. Explore the remote town of Bedourie, located on a sand dune overloooking the Eyre Creek floodplain.  See the historic Royal Hotel, built in the 1880s with adobe bricks and still very much in its original condition.  Witness spectacular 360-degree views from the Vaughan Johnson Lookout before arriving in Boulia early afternoon.  Overnight Australian Hotel or Desert Sands Motel, Boulia

Day 8:  Saturday - Winton (B,L,D)

Visit Boulia's Min Min Encounter, a tribute to the famed Min Min Light phenomenon.  Explore the Stonehouse Museum, one of the first homes built in Western Queensland, and home to an impressive Marine Reptile Fossil exhibit.  Travel a scenic drive to Winton stopping at Cawnpore Lookout to take in the stark flat-topped beauty of the Lillyvale Hills.  Call into the historic Middleton Hotel, originally a coach staging post, for entertaining yarns and a casual pub lunch.  Enjoy some free time in Winton to relax or wander the Opal Walk.   2 nights Boulder Opal Motel, Winton

Day 9:  Sunday - Winton (B,L,D)

Visit the newly re-opened Waltzing Matilda Centre, the only museum dedicated to a song.  Hear wonderful stories surrounding Winton's links to Australia's unofficial national anthem and explore the interactive and fascinating displays.  Free time after lunch to visit other Winton attractions including the Musical Fence, Arno's Wall and the Winton Truck Museum.  Late afternoon, visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs for a guided interpretive tour of the laboratory, collection room and NEW Dinosaur Canyon.  Relax with new found friends at our exclusive sunset barbeque overlooking the plains where dinosaurs once roamed!

Day 10:  Monday - Longreach (B,L,D)

Depart Winton for an early transfer back to Longreach Railway Station for the BDE11 guests travelling on the overnight rail journey on the Spirit of the Outback to Brisbane, or to the Longreach Airport.

Day 11:  Tuesday (B)

Guests on BDE11 will arrive in Brisbane on the Spirit of the Outback

2018 Departures 

Departing Longreach (BDE9):

  • 01 April
  • 06 May
  • 10 June
  • 29 July
  • 05 August
  • 19 August
  • 16 September
  • 30 September
  • 14 October

Departing Brisbane (BDE11):

  • 31 March
  • 05 May
  • 09 June
  • 28 July
  • 04 August
  • 18 August
  • 15 September
  • 29 September
  • 13 October

EARLY EMU DEAL for 2018 Departures**:  Valid on 31March/01 April and 13/14 October departures only. Save $400 per couple for bookings made and deposited before 31 December 2017

Pricing:

Cost Per Person

Twin Share Triple Share Sole Use
9 Day (BDE9)  Longreach - Longreach $3,869 $3,729 $4,399
11 Day (BDE11) Brisbane - Brisbane $4,587 (SENIOR)* $4,447 (SENIOR)* $5,117 (SENIOR)*

*Rail subject to availability. Rail price based on return Aust. Govt. Senior Card Holder fares in a First Class sleeper on the Spirit of the Outback between Brisbane and Longreach. Please ask for Queensland Pensioner and Full Adult rail fares. Minimum tour numbers apply.  Itinerary subject to change.

** Early Emu Deal is subject to availability and change without notice.

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