The Spirit of the Outback runs twice a week between Brisbane and Longreach. From the capital of Queensland to the isolated town there are 1.325 kilometers. To cover this, the long distance train needs a little over 24 hours. The Spirit of the Outback trip is interesting for everyone who wants to leave the typical tourist paths and explore an authentic region in the outback. While the first part of the route from Brisbane to Rockhampton runs along the coast, the second section is characterized by a trip into the western interior. The train itself is very well equipped and provides its guests with a high level of comfort as well as a really exciting adventure.
Highlights, itinerary, stops& Tips
The route is divided into 2 main sections:
Brisbane – Rockhampton
Spectacular scenery can be observed out the window along the way. Whether it’s coastal resorts, views of the impressive Great Dividing Range or the barren outback, every nature fan will get their money’s worth during the journey. Furthermore, the Spirit of the Outback rolls past some places, of which probably hardly any tourist has ever heard of, let alone know where they are located. On the other hand, the first part of the route passes several well-known vacation destinations, which is why the Brisbane – Rockhampton route is also well suited for East Coast tourists. So the distinctive train on its way from south to north stops in Caboolture (near Bribie Island&) Glass House Mountains), Nambour (near Sunshine Coast), Cooroy (near Noosa), Gympie, Maryborough West (near Fraser Island), Bundaberg, Miriam Vale (near Agnes Water), Gladstone, Mount Larcom and Rockhampton, until it finally branches off inland.
Rockhampton – Longreach
The remote Rockhampton to Longreach route is something for people looking for a real outback adventure. Suddenly the train gets emptier and there are mostly only genuine Aussies on the train. It quickly becomes clear how endless and deserted the interior of the red continent is. The Spirit of the Outback passes from Rockhampton to the west the places Duaringa, Dingo, Bluff, Blackwater, Comet, Emerald, Anakie, Willows, Bogantungan, Drummond, Pine Hill, Alpha, Jericho, Barcaldine and Ilfracombe.
By the way: In Longreach, the Qantas Founders Outback Museum and the Stockman’s Hall of Fame are the main attractions of the small town. Also a trip to Winton, where the famous folk song Waltzing Matilda was written, is interesting. On the way from Winton to the mining town of Mount Isa you should definitely stop at the legendary McKinlay Pub, which became famous as the location for the Walkabout Creek Hotel in the movie Crocodile Dundee. Cloncurry near Mount Isa is the founding place of the famous Royal Flying Doctors and also worth a visit.
From Longreach it is possible to continue your adventurous tour with the bus company Greyhound Australia to Mount Isa. From here you can either take the train (The Inlander) back to the east coast to Townsville or the bus further west to the Stuart Highway, which runs across the country from north to south. The next train stop is in Tennant Creek, where you should have a look at the striking Devils Marbles. From the small town you have the option to travel with the legendary Ghan further north to Darwin or south to Alice Springs (starting point to Ayers Rock) or to Adelaide. Depending on your interests you can also book a Greyhound bus trip to Darwin, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Townsville, Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney or Broome.
If you want to explore more of the outback or take a trip along the diverse east coast, the Queensland Explorer Pass, which is very popular with many travelers, is the best choice. This can be purchased for a period of one or two months and ensures a lot of flexibility as well as financial savings. The great thing about this pass is the fact that you can make a stop at any location for as long as you like, plus you get unlimited travel on the Spirit of the Outback (Brisbane – Longreach route), the Spirit of Queensland (Brisbane – Cairns route), the Westlander (Brisbane – Charleville route) and the Inlander (Townsville – Mount Isa route). We offer the Queensland Explorer Pass as well as individual tickets to the most important places in Australia – and at the best possible prices!