Welcome to The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame & Outback Heritage Centre.

Bringing to life the rugged landscape of the outback, our galleries reveal the incredible and often unknown stories of the everyday people who are at the heart of the outback—our unsung heroes.

In 2021, we embarked on the largest project in our 30-year history—a $15 million transformation designed to capture the imagination of travellers to central Queensland looking for a more authentic and meaningful outback heritage experience.

Our centre is now open and we look forward to welcoming you to our all new galleries and exhibits! Here is a taste of what you will experience…

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him

In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,

And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,

And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.

– A.B. “Banjo” Paterson

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Beginning of the Journey

As we enter ‘the long paddock’ it’s a moment to reset, adjust to the audio experience, and anticipate the journey ahead. On approach a stream of light becomes recognisable featuring a familiar line from Paterson’s Clancy of the Overflow and ‘The Hugh’ voices the famous stanza in sync with our footsteps through the entry tunnel:

“And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars.”

Hugh’s ‘vision splendid’

Introducing Hugh Sawrey as stockman, artist and founder. Sawrey and his fellow co-founders – R.M Williams AO, Dame Mary Durack, Ranald Chandler, Bruce Yeates, Nancy Button and Sir James Walker, came together to celebrate the ‘Unsung Heroes’ of the outback by building the Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

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The Welcome Station

Designed as a new space to gather and orientate before heading into the lower gallery, the Welcome Station features a sophisticated interactive projection wall intended as a big ‘wow’ moment to introduce visitors to the new ASHOF.

Featuring a scene from an outback station, this immersive piece is a playful activation that brings to life some of our best known bush characters using state-of-the-art motion tracking and spatial sound effects to show the Hall’s transformation from a dusty museum to a world-class visitor attraction. Two playful kelpies interact with your every move. If you run, they run. Stop and they’ll sit down beside you. They might even shake your hand!

Songlines & Stock Routes

This exhibit is produced with the assistance of an Indigenous advisory group It features an Acknowledgement of Country as part of celebrating and acknowledging the important role of Indigenous stock workers in the pastoral industry, and working on Country. The exhibit explores the origins of our travelling stock routes and the ways in which adoption of Indigenous pathways into the present-day stock route system have most likely occurred. It grounds the ASHOF storytelling experience in deep-time, linking the past to the present, and pays respect to Australia’s First Peoples.

Gone Drovin’

The notion of The Long Paddock is a distinctly Australian one, born out of the necessity to travel long distances overland to bring livestock to market. This key ASHOF exhibit immerses visitors in tales of the legendary stock routes like the Birdsville and Murranji, giving you a feel for what it was like to spend many months on horseback, caring for sheep and cattle, and braving the elements.

“This is the beating heart of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, the Long Paddock. This is where we take you up – and down – some of the great stock routes of the Outback, the very arteries of the Australian cattle industry.”

Unsung Heroes

A tribute to those who make the outback real. The Unsung Heroes of Australia share a glimpse of their incredible lives, as shearers and drovers, stockmen and women, master crafts people, entrepreneurs and intrepid pioneers. The legacy of the Unsung Heroes lives on with a projected light honour wall and interactive database allowing visitors to browse the heroes and their associated profiles.

“I will be more interested in making sure that the histories of the people who should be recorded there are adequately presented. The building is to be a cathedral to enshrine the memories of the unsung among the great stockmen of the nation.” – R.M. Williams

Pioneer’s Hut

Cyril Dahl’s authentic slab hut is a centerpiece of the new Hall galleries. Visitors are able to go inside and hear stories about the pioneering women that showed great strength and resilience in making a life and raising a family beyond the limits of settlement.

“Step inside. What you’re looking at is Australia’s very first architecture, born of our recalcitrant hardwood, a genuine Pioneer’s slab hut. This one was put together by one of the last true bush craftsmen, champion woodchopper and a true Outback legend, my old mate Cyril Dahl.”

Bush Craft

Every day bushcraft and trades developed out of a need for both self- sufficiency and survival in the Outback. This exhibit introduces a range of master craftspeople and their designs, as they worked with leather, metal, wood, stone and other found objects.

“It goes without saying that being so far from civilization – days, weeks sometimes
– the people of the Outback had no choice but to learn to make anything, and repair anything, themselves.”

Sheep’s Back

Australia ‘rode the sheep’s back’ for 100 years, with wool being the first export industry to shape the Australian economy. Our myths and legends are inspired by the tales of the lonely shepherds, the competitive comradery of the blokes on the boards of the shearing sheds, and the tenacious spirit of those who first went outback with their flocks.

“Now there were shearers, there were gun shearers. And then there was Jackie Howe. I mean, just to look at the man, he was – well – magnificent: 18 stone, 50 inches around the chest, thighs like tree trunks, and hands the size of tennis rackets. And for a big bloke he could move too! Sprint a hundred yards in eleven seconds. In his socks, or so they said.”

Furthest Corner

Evoking the spirit of innovation and community involvement that the RFDS have brought to the outback. This gallery will immerse yourself with inspiring moments and real stories of real people doing their bit to save lives across Australia.

Explore the RFDS Flight Tracker with active RFDS flights , this demonstrates how active RFDS is at any given moment. See and experience the workings of inside the plane!

Before there was the Flying Doctor there was little medical help for anyone living in the outback. Reverend John Flynn witnessed the daily struggle of pioneers living in remote areas and had a vision to provide a ‘mantle of safety’ for the people of the bush.

“If a stockman broke his leg or worse it would usually mean a very long, bumpy journey on a dray over a rough track to the nearest settlement. And if the trip didn’t kill you, the ‘care’ waiting for you at the other end often did…”

Living It Up

Outback towns provide comfort and shelter, a place to ‘wet the whistle’, have a yarn and catch up with the ‘bush telegraph’. When the bush carnival is in town, it’s fun for the young, and young at heart. Living It Up celebrates the events and festivals that bring people together, such as rodeo, races, and music. The exhibit explores how equine sports such as campdrafting and rodeo are an extension of classic stock worker skills – horse breaking, cattle drafting and roping.

“I’d ridden bulls all my life, but I only ever rode one Chainsaw. He was mean, he was tough and one of the most famous bulls in Australia – still holds the record for Bull of the Year.”

Outback Cinema

A comfortable place to kick back and see how Outback Australia has been represented on screen through a diverse range of films including ‘The Last Great Cattle Drive’, ‘Kidman’s 70th Birthday Rodeo’ and ‘The Great Australian Campdraft’

Cinema Jimmy Sharman
Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Troupe features as one of our Living it Up exhibits with the original tent banners forming the backdrop for the display. Jimmy talks about his touring boxing tent, and key boxers that went on to become household names, such as Lionel Rose

“I always started the show the same way, ‘Who’ll take a glove?’ I’d yell, and let ‘em step up. ‘A round or two, for a pound or two!’ That’s what I’d say. People couldn’t get enough of it!”

Pub with some beer

Enjoy a pub yarn and appreciate the pivotal role of the humble outback pub. This exhibit features a working bar complete with the Hall’s very own ‘Fire extinguisher lager’ named after one of Jack Absalom’s outback survival tips.

“In lots of cases people have fire extinguishers in their car and do not realise this. One of the extinguishers I always use is a can of beer. These are one of the best fire extinguishers you can get.”

Poet’s Corner

A place to read and reflect. Anchored by a wool classing table and a large bookcase of extraordinary reading material. The library’s collection reflects the activities and collecting interests of the museum. It includes:

  • Publications relating to our permanent exhibition themes
  • Standard reference sources on ships and shipping
  • Material relating to our temporary exhibitions
  • Specialist publications fiction and non-fiction literature

Outback Kids Adventure

On entry to a space, a riddle appears on screen.
The Hunt:
“Hotter” & “colder” audio effects enable discovery of the hidden item.

Found it!
As the visitor moves to the hidden item, a sticker appears on their device to tap.
Collect the sticker!

What’s Next?
After a sticker is collected Coil the kelpie prompts the young visitor to go somewhere else in the Hall of Fame to hear the next riddle.

ASHOF History

The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre is Australia’s premier outback heritage institution. Since its opening in 1988, the Hall of Fame has played host to over one million interstate and international visitors…

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