Who knew? Texas Longhorns in Australia – cool Townsville attraction

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Y’all thought Longhorns were in Texas, right?

We all know everything is supposed to be bigger in Texas, especially when it comes to cattle? Maybe not so much anymore, thanks to Mick and Lynda of Leahton Park ranch in Charters Towers, Queensland.

people riding on a horse and carriage

They’re aiming to become the biggest and the best and have won that accolade on two accounts.

Firstly, they’ve got the biggest herd of Texas Longhorns in Australia and have a breeding program to help other Australian farmers interested in raising Texas Longhorns.

Secondly, Mick and Lynda also have J. R, a long-horned steer who made the Guinness Book of Records in 2013 for having the biggest longhorns in the world, measuring 2.82 metres tip to tip.

The Texans slipped on in there the next year to knock J. R from first place, but the good news is, J. R is young, so we reckon he’ll reclaim his place soon enough.

The Texas Longhorn wagon tour at Leahton Park, Charters Towers is a unique Queensland outback experience about two hours west of Townsville.

You feel as if you have almost stepped into the O.K corral. There’s a slight drawl to Mick’’ when he first introduces himself. His Texas hat and hand pistol accentuating the stories he regales you with.

Some possibly as long as J. R horns, but entertaining nonetheless.

Mick from Texas Longhorns Australia

We were fascinated with their story and how they’ve created such an interesting and unique way of farming cattle in Australia AND creating a tourist experience around it.

We arrived at 9:30am to start our Covered Wagon tour and stay the night on this Queensland outback farm.

Texas Longhorns Australia

Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours

Traditional Aussie Smoko

One of my favourite feature of our North Queensland tour experiences have been eating damper and drinking billy tea around a fire. (It’s one of the few things I’ll break my no gluten rule for!)

Billy Tea at Texas Longhorns in Australia

At the start of the longhorn wagon tour, you’ll sit down to camp oven cooked damper/scones and billy tea plus Texas chocolate Brownies served from a genuine Texas Cowboy Chuck Wagon. The damper was exceptional and an old family recipe of Lynda’s.

Eating Damper at Texas Longhorns in Australia

Mick will entertain you with hilarious stories of their venture into breeding Texas Longhorns and the story behind their farm and tours. Everyone on the tour had many chuckles and there were no boredom yawns to be seen.

And one of the other locals, “Penny” their resident kangaroo, dropped by to hang out at smoko.

Penny the Kangaroo at Texas Longhorns in Australia

Chuck Wagon Ride

people riding on a horse and carriage

After smoko, we jumped on a western covered chuck wagon to ride out onto the farm and see the largest herd of purebred Texas Longhorns in Australia.

horses walking on a trail

And there they were, resting in the paddock, including the infamous steer, JR.

cow sitting in dead grass

cow laying in dead grass

Texas Longhorns Wagon Tours in Australia

Those horns sure were big!

Buffalo and Scottish highland cattle hang out with the longhorns as well.

cows laying in dead grass

The girls had a great time and were allowed to sit up the front for a part of the ride and get up close with some of the younger cattle.

horses leading a carriage

horses leading a carriage

kids sitting in a carriage next to a cowboy

The girls had a great time and were allowed to sit up the front for a part of the ride.

Bethel Saddlery

horse saddle

Apart from raising Texas Longhorns Mick is an artisan, working in his saddlery till late at night creating magnificent custom made saddles for Australian stockman – and a couple of those Texas cowboys too!.

The tour of the saddlery will give you some inside secrets into how these highly sought after saddles are made!

Stay overnight in a country cabin

Sunrise at Texas Longhorns Wagon Tours in Charters Towers, Australia

We ended our Queensland outback experience at Leahton Park perfectly with a country cabin overnight stay. The kids had a ball chasing Mick and Lynda’s dog, Itsy.

We helped feed the horses while enjoying a pretty outback sunset.

Most enjoyable of all was relaxing on the porch, ice cold wine in hand, while reading a book, and quietly chatting to Craig as the cows moved on past to the back pastures.

a porch

The girls were entertaining themselves around the property and we could relax knowing they were safe and having fun.

After an amazing sunrise over the paddock we had a lovely breakfast with Lynda and Mick in the morning around their dining table and shared many more travel stories and laughs.

Sunrise at Texas Longhorns Wagon Tours in Australia

A stay in the cabins are best suited to couples, with a double bed and single in one cabin, but we made it work as a family.

There is no kitchen, but Charters Towers is only a 15-minute drive away. We enjoyed a light picnic dinner on the porch.

So for a unique Queensland Outback experience, head on out and meet the Longhorns. Say G’day to Mick for us, his stories and wisecracks alone are worth the trip.

The Facts

Texas Longhorn Wagon Tours

Located at Leahton Park just 10 km from the famous gold city of Charters Towers or 140 km south west of Townsville. Adults $70 Children (5-15) $40 Weds Fri, Sun


Country Cabin stay – Prices start at $180 a night for a double.


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We visited in Partnership with Tourism Queensland

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