This trek note starts at the old and established town of Longreach which lies on the Route 66 Landsborough Highway. It is home of the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Outback Museum. From Longreach, you will travel on some bitumen before hitting the gravel of the Longreach Jundah road through Stonehenge, Jundah and Windorah. From Windorah the red sands ridges and gibber plains dominate the scenery as the trek turns west then south down the Planet Downs – Arrabury road and then the Nappa Merrie road to Cooper Creek and the historic town of Innamincka.
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Around Longreach the terrain is predominantly Mitchell grass plains punctuated by stony ranges and mesas known locally as jump-up country. This changes to sand ridges and gibber plains from Windorah to Innamincka.
During the summer months the temperatures may reach 45 to 50 degrees C. Travel in the region between October and March is not recommended due to high temperatures and possible flooding.
The town of Longreach was settled in the 1870s and is now the largest town in the region. The old town from its humble beginnings in the 1870s as a stock route junction on the 'long reach' of the Thomson River is now fully serviced by road, rail and air.
According to history, Longreach is famous for its role with Qantas having the original hangar that housed Australia
’s first six aircraft were built between 1922 and 1934. This airline which began life in Queensland
's Outback, subsequently grew into our first international carrier. Longreach also has the Australian Stockman’s Hall Of Fame, which is a memorial to the explorers
, overlanders, pioneers and settlers of remote Australia
. It was in 1974, that Hugh Sawrey, a well known stockman and outback artist, enlisted supporters for his dream for this 12.5 million dollar memorial.
The name came about after John Costello carved his initials in a Bauhinia tree here while he was out "looking at country". Those who came after him would use that blazed tree as a marker, and eventually a pub was built on the spot
to cater for the ever-increasing trade. The manager of Canterbury station got a little weary of pulling his stockmen out of the pub and bought it and ripped the roof off. The weather did the rest, and today there is little left but mounds of clay and a few rotting timbers. Nearby there's a graveyard that reminds you that this was not a really good place for women and young children.
Windorah’s history is linked with Isisford for it was the Whitman brothers who established both towns. Originally known as Stony Point, its current name is the Aboriginal word for 'place of large fish'. This relates to Cooper Creek, which is formed by the junction of the Thomson and Barcoo Rivers just south of Jundah.