Though Qantas (the Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Service) officially formed at Winton, the first joy-flights and taxi service actually flew from Longreach in 1921, pioneered by Hudson Fysh and Paul McGinness. Their idea – that an airline could play an important role by carrying mail and passengers, dropping supplies to remote districts and providing an emergency link into the Outback – inspired other projects such as the Flying Doctor Service. Though the company’s headquarters moved to Brisbane in 1930, Qantas maintained its offices at Longreach until after World War II – during the war US Flying Fortresses were stationed here – by which time both the company and its planes had outgrown the town.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Australia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Solo travel in Australia: everything you need to know

Australia remains a classic travel destination. A steady stream of gap-year backpackers, career breakers and round-the-world-trippers head down under to sample …

22 Nov 2016 • Shafik Meghji insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month