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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.
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.
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 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!)
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.
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.
Chuck Wagon Ride
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.
And there they were, resting in the paddock, including the infamous steer, JR.
Those horns sure were big!
Buffalo and Scottish highland cattle hang out with the longhorns as well.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Website – TexasLonghorn.com.au
Trip Advisor – read what others are saying on Trip Advisor
- Tips for taking an Outback Queensland road trip with kids
- 2 week Outback Queensland road trip itinerary
We visited in Partnership with Tourism Queensland