Home of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Longreach might have a population of only 4000. But toss in 20,000 head of beef cattle, 750,000 sheep and the tens of thousands of visitors who flock into the town to pay homage to both the giants and the villains of the bush, and you get some idea of the economic importance of this Thomson River town to the western district and the state.
Local dignitaries never let you forget that while the founding directors of Queensland and Northern Territory Air Services might have held their first board meeting in the rival town of Winton, they very quickly moved the operation to Longreach - all of which, and much more, is documented and recorded in the superbly presented Qantas Founders Outback Museum.
An imaginative and colourful tribute is paid to the hardy men, women and assorted ratbags who opened up the Australian bush in the Stockman's Hall of Fame, while the Powerhouse Museum reflects on the social history of the bush.
You can absorb more of the bush ambience on a Billabong Cruise of the Thomson River which dinkum bushies reckon is the dividing line between 'town and Outback'.