History - Longreach Tavern
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Contributing to Longreach's history.

Longreach, a rural town situated at the convergence of the Capricorn and Landsborough Highways, lies 620km west of Rockhampton. It boasts the Aramac Creek flowing southwards, eventually joining the Thomson River that meanders southwest through the Longreach District.

In 1870, the audacious bushman Henry ‘Harry’ Readford, known as Captain Starlight, carved an enduring tale of audacity and adventure in Longreach’s history. Readford orchestrated a grand heist, masterminding the theft of 1,000 cattle from Bowen Downs Station near Longreach. With unparalleled cunning, he led his band of men through the rugged terrain of western Queensland, charting an epic path down what would be famously called the Strezlecki Track, all the way to South Australia. What made his exploits even more remarkable was his ability to navigate by the stars, a skill he acquired from local Indigenous groups, earning him the nickname Captain Starlight.

Today, Longreach stands as a proud custodian of Captain Starlight’s legacy. The town reverently preserves his daring escapades through immersive exhibits in local museums, historical sites, and cultural events. Visitors are transported back to the thrilling days of Australia’s frontier history, where the wild spirit of Captain Starlight continues to captivate the imaginations of all who tread upon this storied land.

As the largest town in central Queensland, Longreach serves as a vital hub for a thriving wool and beef region. Positioned on the tropic of Capricorn, it has also become a prominent destination for the growing tourism industry, driven by the success of the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders Outback Museum.

Immersing oneself in Longreach offers a glimpse into the pioneering days of Australia, with a myriad of authentic experiences to choose from. Visitors can relive history by riding in a galloping Cobb & Co stagecoach, leisurely cruising along the river while marveling at the starry night sky, and being surrounded by the timeless landscape that inspired iconic Australian bush poets. Further enriching their understanding, world-class museums such as the Qantas Founders Museum and Australian Stockmen’s Hall of Fame invite visitors to delve deeper into the captivating stories that shaped the region’s significant place in Australia’s history.

In 2023, Waymark Hotels, a privately-owned Australian hotel and property group, acquired the Longreach Tavern and Longreach Apartments.

Built over a period of more than 60 years and with a heritage originating in the Queensland outback, the group has been leading projects that have brought vital infrastructure and amenities to communities since the 1950’s. ​

Come and see what all the fuss is about and book a table at the Longreach Tavern! ⁠