Outback tourism on track to grow


Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy and Outback Rail Adventures owners Sue and Alan Smith open $2.7 million in new workshop and siding facilities for two 'Silver Bullet' railmotors, RM2034 and RM2036.

· New tourism adventure brings the romance of rail to Longreach

· $2.7 million tourism initiative predicted to attract 6,000 visitors and generate $3 million annually

· Refurbished 1971 railmotors support 10 operation jobs in Outback Queensland

Two 52-year-old Queensland-built, 2000 class ‘Silver Bullet’ railmotors are part of 29 new Outback Queensland visitor experiences for 2023.

Longreach-based Outback Rail Adventures’ facilities including workshop and storage area and rail sidings were officially opened by Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy.

The $2.7 million tourism infrastructure project supports railmotors RM2034 and RM2036 on day trips across the flood plains of the Thomson River, Ilfracombe and sunset dinner tours to the Darr River.

Outback Rail Adventures is an initiative of Alan and Sue Smith, owners of Outback Aussie Tours which has been operating in the Outback for more than 35 years.

The new Outback visitor experience is one of 16 backed by the Palaszczuk Government’s Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Outback Rail Adventures has created 10 operational jobs and is predicted to bring an extra 6,000 visitors to Longreach, generating $3 million for the visitor economy annually.

The iconic 17 metre long, ‘Silver Bullet’ railmotors were built in 1971 for passenger services on Brisbane’s southside and the North Coast Line to Gympie and Bundaberg.

Outback visitor experiences supported by the Palaszczuk Government’s Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund are tipped to attract 111,000 visitors generating more than $100 million and 230 good Queensland jobs.

Assistant Tourism Minister Michael Healy said:

“Outback Rail Adventures is another important milestone in Outback Queensland’s post-pandemic tourism recovery.

“This is a wonderful way to experience the essence of Queensland’s great Outback lifestyle and the romance of rail in a truly stunning and historic part of our State.

“Outback Rail Adventures is on track with plans in train to expand into world-class regional tours across multiple days.

“As one of 29 new tourism experiences in Queensland’s vast Outback there’s never been a better time to pack a bag and go west for the holiday adventure of a lifetime.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said:

“The Palaszczuk Government is supporting Outback Rail Adventures through the Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund to grow tourism and jobs in Outback Queensland.

“Last year, the Outback welcomed around 937,000 holidaymakers and leisure visitors, generating 4,000 good Queensland jobs and $781 million for the visitor economy.

“The ‘Silver Bullets’ are a terrific example of the industry led Towards Tourism 2032 roadmap maximising opportunities on Queensland’s runway to the 2032 Games to grow our visitor economy.”

Outback Rail Adventures’ Alan Smith said:

“We have such a great number of attractions here in Longreach and surrounding localities for visitors to come and enjoy, it’s great to add another unique attraction to Outback Queensland’s tourism offerings.

“In the first phase of the Outback Rail Adventure we will be offering the Great Darr River Run, the Silver Tail Sunset, the Historic Ilfracombe Excursion and the Old Bluey’s Flyer.

“All going well future phases will include trips to Barcaldine, Emerald and Winton.”

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