With Outback Pioneers in Longreach, you step into pioneers’ shoes and discover experiences that take you to the heart of outback life, past and present. You’ll experience something uniquely Australian that is an iconic part of Australia’s story. It’s inspiring. It’s entertaining. It’s quirky. From a gallop in a Cobb & Co stagecoach to a station safari to see the animals that make the outback home, to a sunset cruise on the Thomson River, it’s all about living the pioneering spirit.
Who are the people behind Outback Pioneers?
The Kinnon family own and manage Outback Pioneers. They are Richard and Marisse Kinnon, founders, and their adult children Jeremy, Lane and Abigail, who are all involved in the business.
Tell us something quirky or memorable about you, your team, your customer or your business
I’m always thinking how to immerse people in the experience and make it fun. One day a woman was powdering her face before she got on the stagecoach. I said “I wouldn’t worry about that!”. I knew what she’d look like when the dust from the galloping horses on the bush track was all over her! I decided to have a little fun and, when we got back, I got the leaf blower to help dust her off. It was an idea that took off and now everyone’s lining up for the blower and they feel short-changed if they don’t get it. It did backfire once when I blew a woman’s wig off but she saw the funny side of it!
What’s the favourite thing you love about your business?
I feel an urgency to share the Australian pioneers stories’ and give people some real, raw insight into what pioneers did to build our country. It really keeps me going to see people, and especially the kids I meet in Longreach and at schools elsewhere, discovering this heritage and feeling pride in their history. I’m sowing the seeds for them to understand outback life and the spirit of those who took on the challenge and made Australia prosper. It’s all here amid the bull-dust and humour!
What’s the company background?
25 years ago I was doing a ‘rural leaders’ course and we had to develop ideas for being sustainable. I wrote a vision about sharing our stories and way of life with city folks, which turns out to be pretty much what we are doing today. I could always feel that special outback beauty and spirit I wanted to share. But it wasn’t until 2006, three years into a drought with 3,500 cattle to feed, that I realised I needed to do something to stay afloat and hold the land. Our first venture was the Cobb & Co stagecoach because I’d been fascinated by my grandfather’s stories about it since I was a kid.
What’s your ultimate vision for Outback Pioneers?
I’ll be happy if I’ve helped people appreciate the pioneers’ achievements, helped reignite the Australian spirit and inspired people to support and preserve the iconic outback way of life.
A testimonial about Outback Pioneers?
Outback Pioneers just has to be added to the bucket list. The tours are amazing! Scotty the barefoot poet brought me to tears and laughter. The Thomson River cruise – stunning scenery, beautiful cruise… This is an experience with a super 5-star plus. TripAdvisor Review, London UK, Oct. 2017
More information about Outback Pioneers
Tourism Region: QLD-Outback Queensland region
Industry sector: Attractions