Residents in the northwest Queensland town of Hughenden could hold clues to what happened to backpacker Tony Jones who went missing in 1982.

A small northwest Queensland town has become the focus of an investigation into the disappearance and suspected murder of a backpacker more than 30 years ago.

Police are hopeful new information about the disappearance of Tony Jones in 1982 could lead to a major breakthrough in the case.

They say a number of recent tip offs have led police to believe the backpacker travelled to or through Hughenden, inland from Townsville, between November 3 and 11, 1982.

“Prior to this point in time Hughenden has never featured in our investigation,” Townsville Detective Acting Superintendent Cheryl Scanlon told AAP on Monday.

“Our wish is to try and solve this and that’s something we hope may come out of this is.

“I’m not prepared to divulge what our information is at this stage.”

Previous inquiries had focused on Townsville and a camping site at Cloncurry River.

Mr Jones, who was 20 when he disappeared, last contacted his girlfriend and mother, both based in Perth, from a payphone in Townsville on November 3, 1982.

He told the women that he planned to hitchhike to Mount Isa to meet up with his brother Tim before returning home.

Mr Jones was reported missing about a week later and has not been seen since.

A team of detectives will spend this week in Hughenden trying to track down people who lived and worked in the town the year Mr Jones disappeared.

Detective Scanlon says although there’s no indication Mr Jones is alive, his family are hoping the new line of inquiry could give them some answers.

“Kevin Jones, Tony’s father, is very elderly, he’s in his 80s, and time is obviously pressing on,” she said.

“If we can bring some closure to this family that would be something for them.”

The high profile case sparked National Missing Persons Week, which last year marked its 25th year.

A coronial inquest in 2002 could only conclude Tony’s death was “at the hand of a person or persons unknown” and police investigations should continue.