Tour Description

Outback Queensland – Owners Tour

(Combined Departure)
Sixteen Days: 15th – 30th July 2024

Twin Share: $7495 per person. Sole Use: $8695 per person.

Included in the tour:
  • Home pick-ups & set downs (most metro areas – please contact us for details)
  • Picnic-style morning teas & all meals
  • All accommodation & admissions to all attractions
  • Experienced & informative tour driver/guide.


‘Join me on an adventure to the heart of outback Queensland! This 16-day tour will take you to some of the most iconic and historic places in Australia, where you’ll discover the stories of my ancestors and the pioneers who shaped this land. We visit the legendary Hotel Corones, envisioned by my immigrant great-grandfather and a jewel of western Queensland outback, which hosted celebrities like Amy Johnson and Gracie Fields. We also explore the birthplace of Qantas, the airline that started as a dream in a dusty hangar. Don’t miss this chance to experience the Outback Queensland “Owner’s Tour” with me in July 2024.’
Alex Corones, Owner, Endeavour Tours


Day One – MONDAY 15 JULY 2024

Welcome to our 16-day tour to Outback Queensland. Alex Corones, owner of Endeavour Tours will join us for a week of this adventure that will connect you with the spirit of Outback Queensland.

After being picked up from home, we depart via the northern suburbs, travelling through the agricultural areas of Roseworthy and Tarlee, stopping enroute for morning tea.

Not far from Tarlee, we detour onto the Barrier Highway and journey through small rural villages such as Saddleworth and Manoora, before arriving in Burra. An historic copper mining town established in the 1840s, many of its heritage buildings have been very well preserved. Continuing through Terowie, we detour to Peterborough for a light lunch and the chance to stretch our legs.

Returning to the Barrier Highway, we pass through small settlements before crossing the border at Cockburn in the late afternoon. We arrive in Broken Hill where our accommodation for the night will be at the Desert Sands Motor Inn Broken Hill (Ph: 08 8088 4122).

We have time to relax before our dinner.

Day Two – TUESDAY 16 JULY 2024

We farewell our hosts this morning and journey through the large expanses of open country as we make our way to Wilcannia, a small town situated on the banks of the Darling River. With the river trade reaching its peak in the 1880s, Wilcannia became the third-largest port, boasting 13 hotels, a population of 3000, a local newspaper and over two hundred paddle steamers stopping here.

We continue along the highway, stopping enroute to enjoy our picnic lunch before arriving in Cobar. A flourishing town situated at the crossroads of the Kidman Way and Barrier Highway, the name Cobar is said to mean ‘red earth’ or ‘burnt earth’. It was built around the thriving pastoral and mining industries which commenced here in the 1870s. Today the town is an important source of copper, lead, silver, zinc and gold. Mining has long been the lifeblood of Cobar, and the wealth that followed its discovery, influenced the many fine buildings still in existence.

Outside, the colourful exposed rock strata of Cobar’s first mining site rises from the famous “open-cut” lake which is formed by the rising water table. The surface of the lake reflects the ever-changing patterns and contrasting shadows and offers stunning views.

We stop overnight at the Copper City Motel (Ph: 08 8005 8271).

Day Three – WEDNESDAY 17 JULY 2024

Following breakfasts we head north to Bourke, stopping en-route for our morning tea. Situated on the banks of the Darling River, there are some wonderful historic buildings here including the Carriers Arms Inn, frequented by Henry Lawson in the early 1890s and mentioned in some of his stories.

While we are here, we visit the Back of Bourke Exhibition Centre that will bring to life the story of outback New South Wales and of course the back o’ Bourke. We continue in true country style by having lunch at the local; the Port of Bourke Hotel.

Following lunch, we travel to the charming town of Brewarrina. We stop here to stretch our legs and admire the beautiful parks on the banks of the Darling Barwon River. Our journey continues east through the town of Walgett, which is located by the Namoi River and has a history of opal mining.

This afternoon we continue onto Lightning Ridge. With its stark and scarred landscape this town has a peculiar fascination for visitors. Also famous for magnificent opals, the town is home to the unique black opal, a rare and luminous gem mined from the surrounding plains.

We check into our accommodation for the next two nights at the Lightning Ridge Outback Resort (Ph: 08 6829 0304) and have some free time to settle in before dinner.

Day Four – THURSDAY 18 JULY 2024

This morning we are in for an intriguing experience as we visit the Chambers of the Black Hand. At 11.2 metres underground, local artist Ron Canlin has created the most amazing paintings and sculptures. There is The Last Supper, Archangel Gabriel and the Chinese Terracotta Warriors, plus Ron always has a new work in progress. All the old shafts and drives that were dug by the old timers are still there and we will learn how opals are formed.

Next, we uncover Amigos Castle, a huge Italian Style Castle built by one man. We have a guided tour here, and listen to Amigo‘s story as he shares the history of how the castle was built.

This afternoon we experience the atmosphere of an underground mine at Opal Mine Adventure. Here we’ll learn about opal mining through a video presentation and visit the showroom to view the opals that came from the mine in this area.

Bevan’s Black Opal and Cactus Nursery has the largest collection of cacti in the Southern Hemisphere, boasting 2500 young and aged varieties grown from seeds collected from around the world. The oldest plant is nearly 150 years old and many are over 100 years of age. We enjoy a tour and also see the Black Opal Collection with gems.

We are then joined by a guide who will lead us on a local sightseeing tour before returning to our hotel.

Day Five – FRIDAY 19 JULY 2024

We say farewell to our hosts and Lightning Ridge as we set off on another outback adventure today.

After crossing the Queensland border we arrive in the little town of Hebel, once known as Kelly’s Point because it is believed that Ned Kelly’s brother Dan and fellow Kelly gang member Steve Hart lived here under an alias. Just goes to show you never really know who your neighbours are!

We stop at a real outback pub, the Hebel Hotel. Originally a Cobb and Co changing station / hotel in 1894 the Hebel Hotel has had the same name and still features the original hitching rail from when it first opened. Legend has it members of the Kelly gang drank at this very watering hole, so take the opportunity to soak up both the hotel’s hospitality and colourful history.

We make our way to St George, located on the banks of the Balonne River. The town was named by Major Thomas Mitchell who crossed the river on St George’s Day in April 1846. Upon arrival we have lunch at the Australian Hotel Motel.

We visit a different venture this afternoon at The Unique Egg. This is a world class collection of hand carved illuminated emu eggs, handcrafted by Steve Margaritis over a period of more than 40 years. This fascinating attraction has to be seen to be believed!

We make our way to Roma where we have time to check-in to our accommodation for the night at the Roma Explorers Inn (Ph: 07 4620 1400). There is time to freshen up before our evenings entertainment at the Roma’s Big Rig Night Show; an outdoor cinema with an interactive display depicting a traditional oil rig site. The show is thoroughly entertaining, giving an overview of the discovery of Oil and Gas in Roma and the progression of the industry in Australia.

Returning to the hotel we relax and enjoy dinner.

Day Six – SATURDAY 20 JULY 2024

Back on the road we head north along the Carnarvon Highway stopping at Injune for our morning tea.

Continuing on, we travel through the Doonkuna State Forrest before arriving at Rolleston where we will enjoy our picnic lunch at the local park.

This afternoons journey takes us to Emerald – the commercial hub of Central Queensland. Emerald is known for its rich history, culture and agriculture.

We check into our accommodation for the night at at the Western Gateway Motel, Emerald (Ph: 1300 032 759) and welcome the owner of Endeavour Tours Alex Corones, who will be joining us for the next week of our journey.

We will have some time to freshen up before our dinner.

Day Seven – SUNDAY 21 JULY 2024

This morning we begin our journey to Longreach, but before leaving Emerald, we have time to look at the historic Railway Station listed by the National Trust. Built in 1900 and restored in 1986, the Station with its wrought iron lacework and pillared portico, truly is a beautiful building. We can also view an ancient, fossilised tree aged 250 million years outside the Emerald Town Hall.

On the road again we will stop to enjoy our picnic lunch en-route as we travel through the outback towns of Bogantungan and Alpha before arriving at Barcaldine. This town is steeped in the history of the early pioneer’s. The Tree of Knowledge next to the Barcaldine Railway Station marks the spot where the Australian Labour Party was formed.

We visit the Worker’s Heritage Centre, the only national attraction dedicated to celebrating the lives and proud heritage of everyday working people. The displays tell the stories of the railway workers and blacksmiths, the farmers, nurses and teachers who shaped the nation.

This afternoon we stop in Ilfracombe where we have time to “wet the whistle” at the famous Wellshot Hotel.

The last leg of today’s journey is to Longreach, a town which has played a significant role in the early development of Central Queensland and Outback Australia.

We arrive in Longreach and check in to our accommodation for the next four nights at the Longreach Tourist Park (Ph: 07 4658 2667).

We have time to settle in before making our way to dinner.

Day Eight – MONDAY 22 JULY 2024

This morning is a special experience as we get an insight into the area through the eyes of local graziers and pioneer families. We meet the owners of a local property called Camden Park Station and learn about their operations and the challenges of working on the land.

We then head back into town and visit Kinnon and Co in the main street. Their Station Store has an amazing range of traditionally made leatherwear and a treasure trove of historic nostalgia. While we are here we enjoy the wonderful Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show. Based on the traditional outback travelling shows, this is Aussie outback humour and ingenuity at its best! It’s a hilarious hour of entertainment featuring animals, stockmen and improvised live theatre with a laugh a minute, plus a packed Billy Can lunch.

There will be some free time this afternoon for shopping and to explore the township.

Early evening we are in for another treat at the iconic Qantas Founders Outback Museum, adjacent to the historic 1922 Qantas hangar, which has been restored. The complex houses the museum, theatrette and exhibition hall, visitor information centre and restaurant. Historic photographs, memorabilia and multi-media interactive displays eloquently tell the inspirational stories of overcoming the problems of long distance travel in Outback Australia. A Boeing 747-200, donated by Qantas Airways Ltd, is included in the exhibit and forms a spectacular part of the museum’s outdoor display.

We have the whole museum to ourselves and our exclusive dinner is right in the middle of the museum displays.

A Note from Alex….
My great-grandfather was a foundation shareholder in QANTAS, having purchased 100 original shares and is also credited with naming the airline’s first five aircraft! In addition, he also provided catering services to the airline, with passengers enjoying linen and silver-service meals when the aircraft stopped for refuelling in Charleville. Fast forward to the 2000’s and our family continued the association with QANTAS as I managed the construction of QANTAS lounges in Brisbane and Melbourne. We’re proud of our history with QANTAS and I’m keen to show you where it all began.

Day Nine – TUESDAY 23 JULY 2024

Today we see some dramatic and ever-changing scenery as we make our way to Winton. The area was once home to dinosaurs and is full of ground breaking scientific discoveries and archaeological digs. We have the opportunity to learn about this prehistoric phenomenon at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. The centre hosts the largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils and the largest fossil preparation laboratory in the Southern Hemisphere. We enjoy morning tea here before heading into the township.

It was here in Winton that Banjo Paterson wrote his famous poem about the swagman and jolly jumbuck, and ‘Waltzing Matilda’ was heard for the first time in the North Gregory Hotel.

We visit the Waltzing Matilda Centre, that celebrates this iconic song and its cultural significance for Australians. The centre was rebuilt in 2018 after a devastating fire and features state-of-the-art exhibits, interactive displays, an art gallery, a cafe and a gift shop. We can learn about the history and origins of the song, the events and people that inspired it, and the various interpretations and adaptations of it over time.

We return to Longreach this afternoon and have time to relax before dinner.

Day Ten – WEDNESDAY 24 JULY 2024

Our day begins with a visit to the School of Distance Education that spans an area more than twice the size of Victoria. Here, the playground stretches as far as the eye can see into the expansive outback, and the partnership between home and school is nurtured.

Venturing to the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame we are treated to the heart-warming Stockman’s Experience. The show intertwines the modern-day realities with tales that date back to another era. Wander the themed galleries that proudly showcase the illustrious history of Australia’s greatest and bravest individuals.

Tonight, we enjoy a Drovers Sunset Cruise on the banks of the Thomson River – a timeless waterhole. We board the Longreach Explorer and grab a seat on the top deck which has 360-degree views of the majestic river. Our captain will captivate us with stories about the river, its wildlife, and indigenous links. We have nibbles and a chance to purchase a drink with a stop at Sunset Bend to toast the colours of the outback sky.

We dock at Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show venue for our camp-oven dinner with entertainment. It will be a fantastic night with long lasting memories.

Day Eleven – THURSDAY 25 JULY 2024

An early start this morning, however with what the day has installed it will be worth it. After breakfast we journey to Blackall, home to the legendary Gun Shearer Jackie Howe and where he set the almost unbelievable record of shearing 321 sheep with blade shears in a day. A bronze statue now stands as a monument to the man and the achievement.

Then it’s onto Tambo in time for lunch and a visit to Tambo Teddies; the outback teddy bear capital of Australia. Tambo Teddies is a local business that produces handcrafted teddy bears from Australian wool and here you can see how these bears are made.

We check in to our accommodation for the night at Mulga Country Motor Inn, Charleville (Ph: 07 4654 3255) with time to freshen up before dinner.

This evening we enjoy a visit to the Cosmos Centre, an open-air observatory. The centre is an audio-visual extravaganza featuring hi-tech displays that take you on an astronomical journey through the ages, unravelling many mysteries of our stars.

A Note from Alex….
Welcome to the epicentre of my family’s history in Outback Queensland! As new immigrants, my great-grandfather and his nephew would have never thought they’d end up building an empire in a remote Queensland town, but build it they did. Hotel Corones is a wonderful testament to their visionary efforts and a proud reminder for our family. I’m looking forward to taking you back to a time when Australia rode on the sheep’s back and two Greek hoteliers redefined hospitality in Outback Queensland.

Day Twelve – FRIDAY 26 JULY 2024

We embark on a tour of intrigue and discovery this morning as the local expert decodes the secrets behind the Charleville airport and how it came to be a top-secret site during World War II.

We make our way to Hotel Corones to hear the great story of Harry Corones’ journey from rags to riches. Granted privileged access to exclusive areas, we delve into the hidden layers of intrigue of this establishment and the man who built himself an empire. We enjoy a delicious morning tea here relishing the history of the hotel.

Farewelling Alex, we travel south on the Mitchell Highway to Cunnamulla, made famous by the Slim Dusty song ‘The Cunnamulla Fella’. The township of Cunnamulla was created by Cobb and Co on 3rd September 1879 when the first coach drove through from Bourke. Today it’s the only surviving south-west town along the original route.

We check into our accommodation for the night at the Country Way Motor Inn, Cunnamulla (Ph: 07 4655 0555) before dinner.

Day Thirteen – SATURDAY 27 JULY 2024

Before we leave the area, we visit the Cunnamulla Fella Centre for morning tea and see the amazing phenomenon in the Artesian Time Tunnel. The tunnel incorporates an old mine lift which transports us back 100 million years and down deep into the middle of ancient sandstone rocks that form part of the basin.

Farewelling Cunnamulla we travel south where we cross the Queensland boarder into New South Wales and enjoy our picnic lunch in the small country town of Enngonia.

We continue our journey, stopping in Bourke, where we have the opportunity to stretch our legs.

Later this afternoon we arrive back in Cobar. We check into our accommodation for the night the Copper City Motel, Cobar (Ph: 02 6836 2404) and have time to freshen up before dinner.

Day Fourteen – SUNDAY 28 JULY 2024

We have our breakfast this morning before departing Cobar and commencing our travel west.

We stop for our morning tea en-route where we will also have the opportunity to stretch our legs.

Our journey continues along the highway before stopping in the small town of Wilcannia, located on the Darling River, where we will enjoy our picnic lunch.

This afternoon we travel through large expanses of open country as we head to Broken Hill. The vast landscape, clear blue sky and red soil attract many visitors to this fascinating outback city. Known as the ‘Accessible Outback’, Broken Hill is bursting with history, its ‘Tower Mullock’ heaps representing billions of dollars that drove the economy of a fledgling Federation. On arrival, we check into our accommodation for the next two nights at the Desert Sands Motel, Broken Hill (Ph: 08 8088 4122), where there will be plenty of time to unpack and relax before dinner.

Day Fifteen – MONDAY 29 JULY 2024

Broken Hill embodies the essence of the Australian outback. With its captivating charm, this living breathing time capsule blends a bygone era of mining prosperity with the cultural hub it proudly boasts today.

Joined by a knowledgeable local expert, we’ll be guided through this remarkable town revealing its hidden treasures. We begin with the awe-inspiring Line of Lode, a monumental strip where silver, lead and zinc deposits once reigned supreme. Towering above us this imposing structure stands as a testament to the town’s mining heritage. At the top we find the Miners Memorial, a poignant tribute to those who helped support the pursuit of progress.

We make our way to the Royal Flying Doctor Base at the airport to enjoy a guided tour of this facility. We experience firsthand a real-life base in action, as well as view historical photos and other equipment.

After lunch at the Broken Hill Musicians Club we visit the Silver City Mint and Art Centre, home to the impressive Big Picture. This large acrylic painting will draw you into huge skies and the red rocky earth of ancient river beds dotted with gums, leading out to the distant Flinders Ranges.

Next, our visual senses will be delighted at the International Sculpture Symposium. Nestled amongst the Barrier Ranges, twelve sandstone artworks highlight the skyline, all with a story to tell. Located on a majestic hilltop, this unusual attraction was created by the finest sculptors from around the world.

After a full day of exploring, we make our way back to the accommodation with some time to relax before dinner.

Day Sixteen – TUESDAY 30 JULY 2024

After a wonderful tour in the outback it is time to return home.

Continuing along the Barrier Highway, we are very quickly back in South Australia, passing through the small highway towns of Cockburn, Olary and Yunta, where we pause for morning tea.

Terowie and Hallett pass by before we enter historic Burra, where a two-course lunch awaits at the local hotel.

In the afternoon we continue south, through Saddleworth and Riverton, before a comfort stop in Tarlee.

We arrive back in Adelaide and return to our homes after a spectacular outback holiday exploring outback Queensland and discovering the story of the Corones family heritage. The memories are sure to remain for a long time to come.

A Note from Alex….
Outback Queensland holds a special place in my heart, filled with memories of stunning landscapes, warm hospitality, and unforgettable experiences. I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to explore parts of this remarkable region with you.  As we embark on this adventure together, I look forward to meeting each of you in person and creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Here’s to the journey ahead, filled with discovery, laughter, and shared moments.