‘Bigger and better’ events on the Outback horizon

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Surat's Cobb and Co Festival
Wagons roll ... Surat's Cobb and Co Festival will benefit from extra funding. PIC: Visit Yuleba

Many grey nomads plan their travels to coincide with ‘events’ in country communities … and now some of these looks set to be bigger and better than ever.

The Queensland Government has declared 2019 to be the Year of Outback Tourism … and $1.1 million in funding has just been announced in round one of the Year of Outback Tourism events program.

Queensland Country Life reports that some 27 events in 24 local government regions will benefit from the extra funding.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the idea behind the initiative was simple.

“The fascinating history, unique natural beauty, rich indigenous heritage and exceptionally friendly people of the Outback make it a major tourism asset for our state,” she said. “There are events already on the calendar to make bigger and better,  like Surat’s Cobb and Co Festival, Birdsville’s Big Red Bash, Cunnamulla’s Fella Festival and Winton’s Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival.”

The Premier said she was also excited about some new events as well, including Longreach putting on an Outback Paddle Regatta and River Fest, and the Charleville Cosmos Centre is hosting a two-night astronomical event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Outback Queensland Tourism Association general manager, Peter Homan, told Queensland Country Life that the water left by February and March rain events was pulling tourists to the region, which would be enhanced by the funding announcement.

“For instance, a tag-along tour of 100 from Wagga drank two pubs dry on their way up here,” he said. “They were dancing in the street at Wyandra – it really was Happy Hour.”

Tourism is worth more than $350m and supports 3700 jobs in outback Queensland.

  • Do you make attending country events part of your travel itinerary? Which are your favourites? Comment below.
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2 Responses to ‘Bigger and better’ events on the Outback horizon

  1. $1.1million was all that could be allocated? If it was for saving an “endangered” skink or promoting some high-profile cause, I’m sure there would have been significantly more. I guess we just have to be glad that there was funding at all.

  2. I agree. $1.1m is just a token effort

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