Unlike many other western towns, LONGREACH, 110km west of Barcaldine and right on the Tropic of Capricorn, is more than surviving. The lynchpin for this is the ambitious Stockman’s Hall of Fame museum, but the town was also one of the first to realize the potential of tapping Queensland’s artesian water reserves for stock farming, and was the original headquarters of Qantas. Longreach’s main drag is south off the highway along Eagle Street, where you’ll find hotels, cafés, banks, a cinema screening first-release films and a supermarket.

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