Dive into a real experience with a Queensland outback station stay filled with country hospitality that is warm and inviting. These 16 spots will give you a true outback experience, but it doesn’t mean that you are going to be roughing it. There are some luxury station stays waiting for you too!
You can choose from stays where you’ll meet the farmer and find out just what it is like to live on an outback property and others where you will be immersed in the fascinating history of the region. Stay in shearer’s quarters or enjoy a luxury stay relaxing in an outdoor bath filled with mineral-rich thermal water. The folk out here are eager to welcome you to their patch and show you the top spots. These are experiences that you’ll never forget.
Queensland station stays where you’ll meet the farmer
Shandonvale Station, via Barcaldine.
Dust off your city clothes, this century-old station gets the gong as the education capital of the farm scene thanks to heli-mustering, freshwater yabbie fishing, and a little bit of old-fashioned butchering. The 100-year-old Shearer’s Quarters offer queen beds, 1000-thread count sheets, a fully-functioning kitchen, and a classic claw-foot bath. Fly to Longreach and take the farm limo (aka the ute) to the property. Or, skip the queues and book a three-day two-night adventure that includes a chopper crawl to the Wellshot Pub and an ATV adventure.
More about Shandonvale Station here
Wallaroo Outback Retreat, near Carnarvon
This is a huge 71,000-acre cattle farm with eight luxury tepee tents. Each tent has crisp linen and Posturepedic beds). There are six bathrooms, two rustic firepits, and an incredible timber lodge built from wood milled straight from the land. The retreat is the brainchild of farmers Pauline and Justin MacDonnell, a couple who grew up in the region and fell in love with cattle country dotted with cycad-filled gorges and Aboriginal Rock Art.
More about Wallaroo Outback Retreat here
Corella Creek Country Farm Stay, near Cloncurry.
From bargain beds to one sweet little studio, Georgie and Eric’s Corella Creek Farm Stay is the closest bookable farm stay to where Australian Survivor was filmed. The pair have flung open their paddocks with both heart and a hearty welcome. Expect thermal spa waters warmed to 33 degrees C along with on-site activities that include a $15pp behind-the-scenes farm tour.
Corella Creek Country Farm Stay is located two hours’ drive and 188km east of Cloncurry. Find out more here.
Herbertvale Station, Outback Queensland
Trade the horse for the human hoof and follow station owner Shelley Hawkins as she leads a five-day, 66km trek across a north-western pocket of Outback Queensland. Shelley travels on foot and mostly on her Herbertvale Station. Trek West Hiking hosts small group tours with a maximum of eight guests. They leave Mt Isa and traverse across spinifex plains with never-ending views, past waterholes to the limestone gorges of the Boodjamulla National Park.
Herbertvale Station is located 451 km and 5 and a half hours’ drive northwest of Cloncurry. Find out more here.
Luxury Queensland station stays
Gilberton Outback Retreat, Outback Queensland
A pimped-up tin shed on a property that is almost the size of Laos is what you’ll find at Gilberton Outback Retreat. This 88,000 square kilometre Queensland luxury station stay is home to 1200 head of cattle and one incredible guest cabin. Gilberton Station started in 1869 and has been passed down through seven generations. Guests and those who want to feel like an Outback Australian survivor, can relax, get involved in station life, explore indigenous rock art on the property or fossick for gold around an old mine.
Gilberton Outback Retreat is located four hours’ drive southwest of Cairns and halfway along the road from Cairns to Cloncurry. Find out more here
Mt Mulligan Station
Under the shadow of Mount Mulligan’s spectacular 18-kilometre sandstone ridge (ten times larger than Uluru) In the vast, rugged outback terrain of North Queensland, you’ll find Mount Mulligan Station. Located within a 28,000-hectare outback working cattle station with 1400 head of cattle, 16 guests can experience the essence of the outback at a luxury station stay. The eight luxury villas all boast majestic views of the 400m high cliff face and come with their own ATV to explore the station and the nearby Tyrconnell Gold Mine.
Mt Mulligan Station is located around 170kms west of Cairns. Find out more here.
Kinrara Expeditions from MacEacherns Camp cattle station
Tapping into 270 generations of Gugu Badhun creation stories that have helped define the remote Kinrara National Park, Callum O’Brien and his brother Shane, operate Kinrara Expeditions. This is a five-day, four-night outback Queensland adventure four hours southwest of Cairns. Operating from their 70,000-acre MacEacherns Camp cattle station, a small number of guests stay in low-impact double tents with enchanting views of the Burdekin River. Guests can join guided walks in the footsteps of the Prussian explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, kayak trips on the lush waterways, farm tours, or just sit at the lake’s edge and enjoy the rich biodiversity of the land.
Find out more about MacEacherns Camp cattle station here.
Queensland station stays with history
Moble Homestead, Quilpie
Join proud wool producers, the Rutledge family, at their home in Quilpie. The property has been passed down through five generations and now includes two huts, a homestead garden room, a shearer’s shed, and a Governess’ quarters-come-cottage that literally floats above a waterhole. A bit of exploring will lead to you to a private airstrip, tennis courts, walking trails, and a lake where canoeing, fishing, and swimming are encouraged. Sit around the campfire with the family or venture out with them on a three-day guided walk including one night camping under the stars around a local waterhole and get those Outback Australian survivor feels.
More about Mobile Homestead here
Henderson Park Farm Retreat, Capricorn
When Ben Barrett landed at Rockhampton Wharf in 1865 after a long boat trip from England, little did he know that more than 150 years later the dairy farm he first established would become a commercial beef cattle property still owned by his descendants. Today, Henderson Park is one of the most popular farm stays in the state, with accommodation for up to 33 people and educational property tours for city slickers.
More about Henderson Park Farm Retreat here.
Woodleigh Station, Atherton Tablelands
Woodleigh Station located near the Atherton Tablelands has been in the family for five generations. The owners love it, and love sharing their lifestyle, striking landscape, and outback experiences. Camp on their land, hire a cabin, or flop in the bunkhouse. Whatever style of stay you choose on this property, you can use it as a springboard for underground exploration, including the heated mineral pools at Innot Hot Springs, the Undara lava tubes, and the curious crater at the base of Mount Hypipamee.
More about Woodleigh Station here
Relax at an Outback station spa
Charlotte Plains Farm Stay, Outback Queensland
Fifty-four kilometres from Cunnamulla is a sheep station so large that it once pushed 60,000 animals through its huge shearing shed every year. While the number of bleaters has decreased since then, the farm is still a working property (take the three-hour tour and find out more) loved for its artesian bores and mineral-rich baths. Stay in self-catering shearers quarters, the shearing shed (open-air) or powered sites for campers and caravans.
More about Charlotte Plains Farm Stay here.
Alroy Station near Quilpie
Save time on cooking and book a Camp Oven dinner package when you camp out on Alroy Station. Then use your time wisely, wallowing in warm running artesian baths while staring at the stars. You can also go fishing for blue claw yabbies in the nearby Yowah Creek. Just off the Adventure Way, guests can explore the Yowah Opal Mines and take day trips to Thargomindah and Quilpie. Make your own Outback Australian survivor adventure.
More about Alroy Station here
Lara Wetlands, near Barcaldine
If space is your goal, then Lara Wetlands is your farm. With 16 acres of camping and absolutely no staked-out spaces, this 15,000-acre station comes with a lot of ‘nos’. There are no powered sites, no EFTPOS, and no rubbish bins. What it does have are flushing loos, thermal-controlled artesian hot pools, a semi-renovated homestead, and an open invitation to fill your tanks and drink as much water as you like.
Lara Wetlands is located 28km south of Barcaldine. Find out more here
Discover more of the Outback
So, there you have it! This paddock full of options proves you don’t just survive, you can thrive at Queensland station stays.
I did not know that Survivor was still being made haha. But how cool are all these places! It’s really neat that you can stay on a real-life working Outback farm and get away from real life for a bit. I love the idea of getting to meet the farmers themselves too.
There are so many choices – how does one choose just one. But for me, it would have to be the Mt. Mulligan Station. I am all about luxury stays, and would love to experience the 28,000-hectare outback with those vista views off the cliff. Plus your own ATV to explore. Where do I sign up!
This is such a unique contest.
Sounds thrilling especially due to the location at rugged terrain around Cloncurry.
This is really cool! I bet there’s a way to do the American version too!
It would be fun to get the Australian Survivor experience. There are certainly a lot of great places to stay in the outback areas. A spot where you meet the farmers would be an interesting experience. But Noonbah Station with fiery sunsets, starry views and peace might be my choice to relax.