$10 million tourism boost for Queensland’s outback

A display for Australia’s largest dinosaur ‘Cooper’, a glass-floored bridge for visitors to enjoy the Cobbold Gorge and upmarket artesian baths at Julia Creek are among 15 new outback tourism projects announced tonight at the Queensland Tourism Awards.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the successful projects of the government’s $10 million Outback Tourism Infrastructure fund during her speech at the sellout event.

“From Mt Isa to Julia Creek, Diamantina Shire, Barcaldine, Maranoa and Cunnamulla – we’re investing in projects that we know will lure more tourists to the Queensland outback,” she said.

“Tourism is vital to the outback’s future and this funding will help ensure we deliver the infrastructure needed to create more tourism jobs for the future.

“New attractions are critical to ensure we diversify the outback economy and help sustain communities particularly through volatile weather events, like drought.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the $10 million Outback Tourism Infrastructure fund was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s record $180 million investment in Queensland tourism.

“Tourism accounts for around 3700 jobs in this region – about 10 per cent of all jobs in the outback,” she said.

“Over the last three years, international visitor expenditure in outback Queensland has grown by more than 11 per cent to $617.3 million.

“We are the first government in Australian history to invest real funds to build new tourism attractions in the outback.

“Outback Queensland has the potential to be a global hotspot for international tourists.

“That’s why we’re investing now to partner with operators and deliver new infrastructure to lure more visitors to the outback.

“This funding will see the right infrastructure in place to provide new and unique experiences for tourists to outback Queensland, one of our greatest points of difference over competing destinations.”

Projects to receive funding through the government’s $10 million Outback Tourism Infrastructure fund include:


  • Outback Aussie Tours Pty Ltd for an Outback Rail Adventure – to fund two Rail Motors and associated infrastructure.
  • 5 Star Eco Lodges to build permanent 5 star tents with solar and water treatment plants to treat waste water.
  • Qantas Foundation Memorial to build a facility to display the history of the Qantas Super Constellation Cabins and Cockpit.
  • North Gregory Hotel – Vision Splendid Outback Tour Company – to build adventure base camp facilities along the Dinosaur Dreaming Trail.
  • Yambangku Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Tourism Development Aboriginal Corporation to facilitate unique Aboriginal and ecological tourism experiences in the Barcaldine area.
  • Barcaldine Regional Council – to build economical camping parks in Aramac, Jerricho and Muttaburra where no commercial camping grounds exist.


  • Mount Isa City Council – to revitalise the Riversleigh Fossil Centre to showcase the fossil stories of the local area.
  • Adels Grove Camping Park – for a conference room and camp kitchen
  • McKinlay Shire Council to build additional infrastructure to provide an upmarket experience at the artesian bath facility at Julia Creek Caravan Park
  • Cobbold Gorge Tours to develop, construct and install a glass bottom bridge to span an 11m gap over the Cobbold Gorge


  • Murweh Shire Council to build infrastructure to showcase Charleville’s World War II heritage.
  • Maranoa Regional Council – The Bigger Big Rig and Tree Walk – to build a visitor information centre in Roma to pay homage and celebrate Australia’s first discovery of oil and gas and other tourist attractions in the area.


  • Diamantina Shire Council to renovate the Old Court House building to showcase the history of Birdsville.


  • Outback Gondwana Foundation to build infrastructure to display Australia’s largest dinosaur ‘Cooper’.
  • Paroo Progress Association – Cunnamulla All Aboard! Time Travel After Dark – build new and renovate existing infrastructure on the history of the rail experience in the outback.

In 2017-18, TEQ supported events including the Birdsville Races, Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo, Winton’s Way Out West Festival, Outback Festival and Vision Splendid.

Ms Jones said on top of $10 million for 15 projects announced today, an extra $2.2 million was directed to the expansion and refurbishment of the Australian Workers Heritage Centre in Barcaldine.

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