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longreach field school
19-24 March 2024


We are very excited about our upcoming 81st Savannah Guides Field School as we explore Heritage Conservation and Minimal Impact at a range of fascinating sites and diverse tourism experiences in the Longreach Region. 

Field Trips will provide Tour Guides and Operators with skills and knowledge to use in their own locations. Get insights into landscapes, plants and birds. Add heritage Train Rides, Guiding Skills Masterclasses and a heap of fun to drive our unique outback learning time together! 

Come and join us!


Tuesday 19 March 2024 – Welcomes and Introductions

  • Participants arrive in Longreach
  • Suggest Participants purchase drinks for this evening
  • 2:15pm Coach Transfer from Longreach Tourist Park
  • 2:30pm Coach Transfer from Longreach Airport for Fly-In Participants
  • 3:00pm Arrive at historic Rosebank Homestead
  • 3:10pm Registration
  • Field School Welcomes
  • Introductions around the Room
  • Your Connection with Savannah Guides by Russell Boswell, Manager, Savannah Guides
  • Time to prepare for our Field School Plant Components with great take-home skills on plant identification and preservation
  • Introduction to Creating a Mini Herbarium with Sarah Swan, Friend of Savannah Guides
  • Linking of Plant Families with Jenny Milson, Botanist
  • Invasion of Snake Cactus with Jeff Newton, Regulatory Services Manager, Longreach Regional Council
  • Twitchathon Briefing – Open your mind to the world of Birds! Join our famous fun bird spotting competition to build your birding skills and knowledge
  • Sunset Drinks (BYO) on Rosebank Homestead Lawn
  • Field School Welcome Dinner

Wednesday 20 March 2024 – All Aboard our Silver Bullet!

  • Optional Birding Activity
  • Breakfast at The Woolshed, Longreach Tourist Park
  • Board The Outback Rail Adventure for our exclusive ride
  • Guiding Skills:  Collect herbarium specimans on a Mulga Country Walk at the Darr River
  • Guiding Skills:  Using the ABC of Geotourism in a secret sandstone landscape to design commentaries flowing from land and nature to people
  • Botanical Workshop:   Find a shady tree to press and label your plant specimens as you learn Herbarium skills
  • Tour of Darr River Downs Historic Homestead Precinct
  • Guiding Skills:  Workshop Conservation Actions to preserve a high visitation campsite at the Leander Sand Ridge
  • Dinner in The Woolshed, Longreach Tourist Park

Thursday 21 March 2024

Heritage Conservation: From Shield Trees to Qantas

  • Optional Birding Activity
  • Bush Breakfast
  • Guiding Skills:  Workshop with Tony Weldon and other Traditional Owners at traditional Shield Trees to discover the context of these heritage gems and discuss their future Cultural and Environmental Protection
  • Brief Introduction to Longreach Cattle Sale Yards
  • Travel to Bexley to examine the invasive Snake Cactus. Learn how woody weeds like this are threatening habitats and how land care groups are fighting back
  • Guiding Workshop:  Guiding Gear – Walking the Talk! with Michelle Whitehouse
  • Qantas Founders Museum where we experience a guided tour, scenic sunset drinks and nibbles, and the stunning Luminescent Longreach Light & Sound Show before a memorable Dinner in McGinness’ Restaurant
Three Savannah Guides out birdwatching, referring to a field guide.

Friday 22 March 2024 – Town and Country Tourism Development

  • Optional Birding Activity
  • Breakfast at Rosebank Homestead
  • Guiding Skills: Leadership Principles
  • Guiding Skills: How can we build Guests’ Conservation Awareness
  • Longreach Powerhouse Museum for a guided tour of this social and industrial monument
  • Leisure time to explore Longreach on foot.  Browse town and meet the locals
  • Bimbah / Goodberry Hills Station to meet fifth generation locals who are developing their tourism experience
  • Guiding Skills: Station Tour and Inspect the Bimbah / Goodberry Hills Bush Camp and workshop a self-drive tour
  • Sunset Lookout Drinks and Dinner

Saturday 23 March 2024 – Iningai and Ilfracombe

  • Iningai Nature Reserve for birdwatching and exploration of diverse ecosystems, from wetlands and waterholes to open gidgee woodlands before a Bush Breakfast
  • Inigai Nature Reserve Story
  • Climb aboard the Outback Rail Adventure to Ilfracombe.  See changing landscapes enroute to this classic town
  • The historic Wellshot Hotel, over 100 years old and one of the most historic pubs in the Outback
  • Explore Ilfracombe’s Machinery Mile and Wellshot Centre
  • Relax on the Drover’s Sunset Cruise on the scenic Thomson River with birdwatching and heritage commentary
  • Smithy’s Outback Dinner and Show featuring camp oven themed modern cuisine
  • Savannah Guides Jam Session!
A group of Savannah Guides enjoy a bush breakfast at Undara Experience.

Sunday 24 March 2024 – Farewells

  • 8:00am Recovery Breakfast at The Woolshed, Longreach Tourist Park
  • Herbarium Results and Displays
  • Twitchathon Results and Prizes
  • Take-Home Messages
  • 10:00am Close of Field School
  • 2:45pm Coach Transfer from Longreach Tourist Park to Longreach Airport


Getting Involved

We welcome your contributions to the Field School!  Please help make it an even greater success by:

  • Sharing this Field School Information through your networks
  • Bringing your colleagues and friends – the training, team building and camaraderie at Savannah Guides Field Schools are legendary!  Everyone is welcome!
  • Participating in the Field School Twitchathon! Listen and learn with your team-mates as you have fun and tally your confirmed bird sightings over the Field School for fun and very modest prizes!
  • Considering Membership – Savannah Guides welcomes Tour Guides and like-minded people and organisations. JOIN US!

Getting There

  • There are regular flights to/from Brisbane
  • Driving Distances and Times to Longreach:
        • Winton – 179km – 2 Hours
        • Rockhampton – 687km – 7.5 Hours
        • Airlie Beach – 830km – 9 Hours
        • Cairns – 916km – 10.5 Hours

Weather – What to Expect

  • Average Daily Maximum of 34 degrees, with a Minimum of 22 degrees
  • Most of our time will be spent outdoors

Mobile Phone Coverage

  • Telstra has the widest coverage in Australia’s outback
  • There is limited coverage with Optus
  • Ilfracombe is Telstra only

Food and Beverage

  • Your Registration Fee includes the following Meals:
        • Tue 19 Mar – D
        • Wed 20 Mar – B, AM, L, PM, D
        • Thu 21 Mar – B, AM, L, D
        • Fri 22 Mar – B, AM, L, D
        • Sat 23 Mar – B, AM, L, D
        • Sun 24 Mar – B

(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (AM) Morning Tea or Snack, (PM) Afternoon Tea or Snack, (D) Dinner

What to Bring

  • LARGE Water Bottle
  • Small Backpack / Day Pack
  • Closed Walking Shoes / Boots
  • Hat, Sunscreen, Insect Repellent
  • Cooling Towel (very effective)
  • Swimwear and Small Towel
  • Notepads and Pens / Pencils
  • Bird Field Guides and Binoculars (if you have them)
  • Plant Field Guides (if you have them)
  • Secateurs (if you have them)
  • Small Soft Insulated Bag for BYO Drink Events
  • Musical Instrument
  • Willingness to Learn and Contribute
  • Smile, Fun and Laughter
  • Face Mask (for your personal use if you wish)
  • RAT Tests (for your personal use if you wish)
  • Small Personal Hand Sanitiser

Accommodation in Longreach

This is not included in your Registration Fee.  Please arrange and book your own accommodation.

Longreach Tourist Park will be our Base.  There will be coach transfers from here to our activities.  Should you choose to stay at another property, you will need to make your own way to Longreach Tourist Park for each departure.

Longreach Tourist Park have offered the following discounted rates.  Please quote “Savannah Guides Field School” to receive the discounted rates.

  • One Bedroom Cabin                           $155 per night
  • Two Bedroom Cabin (Two People)      $200 per night
  • Two Bedroom Cabin (Three People)    $215 per night
  • Two Bedroom Cabin (Four People)      $230 per night
  • Camping and Van Sites                        $15 – $65 per night

To book Longreach Tourist Park, please email or call Fiona:

Photography Disclaimer

Photographers will be taking photos / videos during the Field School.  Images will be retained by Savannah Guides Limited for  marketing purposes.  If you have any concerns with your image being used in future promotional material please advise Management prior to or at the commencement of the Field School.