Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Queensland Government declares 2019 to be the Year of Outback Tourism

Queensland Government declares 2019 to be the Year of Outback Tourism
December 17, 2018

A $3 million campaign to highlight all that the Queensland Outback has been launched, backed by an announcement of a $10 million Queensland Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund for 15 new outback tourism projects including luxury glamping, five-star artesian baths, a glass-floored bridge across Cobbold Gorge and a new home for Australia’s biggest fossil: Cooper the dinosaur. 

Announcing the initiative, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk advised "we can’t make it rain but we can fill those hotel rooms and camping grounds with tourists.

“Every year the bush comes to the city for the Ekka. Next year, let’s return the favour and have a great holiday at the same time out west.

Premier Palaszczuk said the money would give councils, community groups and businesses help to establish new events and really throw out the welcome mat to tourists, adding “in Winton, you can dig up a dinosaur bone and see the brand new high-tech Waltzing Matilda centre bring our national song to life.

“Lawn Hill is an oasis in the desert (and) there’s the Tree of Knowledge at Barcaldine to name just a few.

“You can walk through historic planes at the birthplace of Qantas just up the road in Longreach but the Outback is not just about its attractions.

“It’s the landscape, it’s the stars at night, it’s the people and their amazing hospitality.

“Two things I can guarantee about an Outback holiday: you won’t come home hungry and you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.”

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones highlighted that the Outback is in easy reach, advising “it’s as easy as a road trip in the family car but there are also rail and other packages that will open up this fantastic part of our country.

“Hopefully, when you’re catching up with friends and family over Christmas you talk about an Outback adventure for 2019.”

Premier Palaszczuk continued “more tourists than ever before are travelling to Outback Queensland and for the first time, we expect to crack one million visitors in 2019 – that’s more than 13 per cent growth year-on-year.

“We want to make the most of this fast-growing interest in the outback and we know the Year of Outback Tourism will do just that.” 

Grants from $1000 up to $100,000 will be available for events promoters, local governments, community and festival organisations and local businesses to help throw out the biggest welcome mat the Outback’s ever had.

It will support the likes of our already great festivals, food and wine events, conferences, and unique regional events, art and cultural performances and installations to promote a regional area.

Applications for funding open early next year with the program to start from April 2019 and extend into 2020.

Minister Jones added “it’s part of our commitment to invest in new tourism attractions and events right throughout the outback and our various regions that will generate millions of dollars in years to come."

A revamped calendar of events in West Queensland has also been launched to coincide with the Year of Outback Tourism. The Outback event calendar in 2019 includes:

  • Julia Creek Dirt n’ Dust Festival, 12th to 14th April
  • Roma’s Easter in the Country, 18th to 22nd April
  • 2019 Glencore Great Western Games, 22nd to 30th June
  • Winton’s Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, 28th June to 6th July
  • Birdsville Big Red Bash, 9th to 11th July
  • Mount Isa Mines Rodeo, 9th to 11th August
  • Cobb & Co Festival (Surat Basin), 23rd to 25th August

Minister Jones concluded "Outback Queensland has something for everyone – from rich Indigenous cultural experiences to some of the world’s rarest dinosaur bones and some of the most picturesque landscapes on the globe.

“We’re delivering the infrastructure and major events needed to grow this industry.

"The Year of Outback Tourism campaign is all about selling these experiences.

“Tourism is already worth more than $350 million and supports 3700 jobs in Outback Queensland.

“We’re working with locals on a strategy that will see these numbers continue to grow in years to come and create sustainable jobs for people in the Outback.”

Related Articles

26th November 2018 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks launches Australian Outback Spectacular’s Heartland

22nd October 2018 - Infrastructure Fund launched for Queensland outback tourism

5th October 2018 - International events attended by Tourism and Events Queensland executives under scrutiny

9th August 2018 - Bumper crowds expected at historic 60th Mount Isa Rodeo

20th April 2018 - Reopening of Outback Queensland’s Waltzing Matilda Centre set to boost tourism

15th April 2017 - Open-air dinosaur museum launches in western Queensland

10th May 2016 - Outback Queensland town of Eromanga gifted G20’s giant dinosaurs

15th April 2016 - Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre to be rebuilt

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation


HYPOXI Australia Pty Ltd

HYPOXI®  is one of Europe’s most successful health and weight loss studio concepts.  It’s the first weight loss technology to incorporate exercise with advanced vacuum and…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology



SICO is at the forefront in innovative mobile folding and rolling, space efficient tables, stages, dance floors and many other products which help our customers optimise their use of space. Image…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Venues



Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology



Talk To Us For Independent Advice & Specialised Services We're business people, not sales reps IP HUB is one of Australia’s leading advisors on telecoms for both small businesses and…

read more

Marketing / Technology


Neptune Benson

Neptune Benson is a manufacturer of high quality water filtration and disinfection products for the recreational, industrial, and municipal water markets. With more than 20,000 installations…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business