After three years of planning, the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre has swung open its doors on a whole swag of immersive experiences.
The April 1 re-opening was the culmination of a $15 million transformation of the iconic tourism destination, which has seen its galleries and exhibitions completely overhauled.
According to Tony Holzner, the co-founder and creative director of Art Processors, who were in charge of the redesign, it has overwhelmingly succeeded in capturing the imagination of travellers to western Queensland looking for a more authentic outback experience.
''We have completely transformed the centre's permanent galleries, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and experiential design to uncover and celebrate the many diverse voices of regional Australia," he said.
''This is just the starting point - our technology platform will allow the Hall of Fame to add new voices and perspectives as they continue to reach out to regional communities, making sure there's always new stories for visitors to come back to."
The new galleries include the Welcome Station, an interactive motion-controlled experience featuring some very excitable kelpies who greet visitors as they enter the main gallery space.
Also included are the voices of stockmen, stockwomen, drovers, shearers, pioneers, pastoralists, bush poets, hawkers, boxers, flying doctors, inventors, and a crazy horse named Curio.
A major new exhibit, Gone Drovin' takes visitors down the legendary travelling stock routes that drovers took to get their livestock to market, featuring tales of instinct and skill, grit and determination, mateship and luck.
There is an interactive new experience for kids - a fast-paced treasure hunt game to keep them occupied so their parents can explore the galleries at leisure.
ASHOF CEO Lloyd Mills said they had been absolutely delighted with the response from travellers in the past week.
"It's exciting to take the story forward and to be able to provide a gamified experience for children and families, enabling us to share the history of the bush across future generations," he said.
- The Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame is in Longreach, Queensland. Phone (07) 4658 2166 or visit stockmanshalloffame.com.au