Queenslanders and visitors from across the world are being encouraged to jump on board the sunshine state’s signature travel trains and head west as the outback gets into the swing of festival season.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said to help celebrate the Year of Outback Tourism, Queensland Rail would this week offer a special ‘2 for 1’ deal on its famous Spirit of the Outback, The Inlander and The Westlander trains.
“The Outback has so much to offer. The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival and the Winton Way Out West Fest have already kicked off the season and there are plenty more events just around the corner,” the Premier said.
“This includes the Vision Splendid Festival in Winton, the Mount Isa Rodeo, the Outback Masters Golf Challenge, Cobb and Co Festival and lots more.
“From droughts to floods, our communities have been doing it tough and by planning your next trip west, this is just one way we can help.
“We want to help deliver tourists in their droves and what better way to experience the outback than by train.”
Upcoming events include:
• Porcupine Gorge Challenge, Hughenden – June 15
• Outback Golf Masters Challenge, various locations – June 17 – July 28
• Saxby Round-Up, Julia Creek – June 27-30
• Quilpie Polocrosse Carnival, Quilpie – June 29-30
• Vision Splendid Festival, Winton – June 28 – July 6
• Nockatunga/Toompine Polocrosse Carnival, Quilpie – July 20-21
• Charters Towers Show, Charters Towers – July 28-30
• Mount Isa Mines Rodeo, Mt Isa – August 9-11
• Cobb and Co Festival, Surat – August 15-25
• Drover’s Camp Festival, Mount Isa area – August 23-25
• Cunnamulla Fella Festival, Cunnamulla – August 30 –September 1
• The Outback Food and Wine Festival 2019, Longreach – September 14
• Outback Festival, Winton – September 24-28
• Ewan Races, Charters Towers – September 26-28
The ‘2 for 1’ tickets are on sale between May 10 and 17, and are valid for travel in economy seats on the Spirit of the Outback, The Inlander and The Westlander between May 11 and September 30, 2019.
Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said tourism plays an important role in outback Queensland, supporting more than 3,700 local jobs.
“With the ‘2 for 1’ offer, people able to travel with a mate for free, helping to boost tourism in regional Queensland towns and supporting our outback communities along the way,” she said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is proud to support our regional communities and tourism industry, earlier this year launching a $3 million outback tourism campaign as well as a $10 million tourism infrastructure fund.”
To help launch the offer, Queensland Rail, the Outback Queensland Tourism Association and Tourism and Events Queensland will host a range of promotional activities at Central Station to show the people of Brisbane what they can expect from a holiday in Outback Queensland – starting on May 10.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said since 2015, Queensland Rail has been promoting tourism to Western Queensland through its ‘2 for 1’ sale on western services enticing people to get out and explore the west for less during times when towns and communities have traditionally seen a downturn in visitors.
“As we know, the North West Queensland floods last month caused significant damage to the Mount Isa line, with the line reopening on April 29 after 12 weeks of repairs,” he said.
“But we’re not the only ones repairing after this once in 500-year weather event, with regional towns, communities and farmers amongst the hardest hit – just another reason to take up this great offer and support local tourism, accommodation, events and hospitality.”
Each of the three outback services, the Spirit of the Outback, The Inlander and The Westlander, depart twice weekly.