Birdsville

Birdsville Hotel, Nick Rains / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 115

Birdsville is a tiny town at the northern end of the Birdsville Track, a major cattle route developed in the 1880s. By 1900 the town was flourishing, boasting three hotels, several stores, a customs office and a cordial factory. With the abolition of interstate tolls after Federation, the town's prosperity slowly declined. Although much smaller now, it remains an essential supply centre for local pastoralists and travellers to outback Queensland, including 4WD enthusiasts keen to take on the Birdsville Track and the Simpson Desert. Birdsville is in the Channel Country, named after the prolific river systems of the Diamantina and Georgina rivers, and the Cooper and Eyre creeks that come together as one massive wetland after the rains. 

Visitor Information

Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre, 29 Burt St; (07) 4656 3300.

www.diamantina.qld.gov.au

Nearby national parks

  • Munga-Thirri National Park

    The largest national park in Queensland at 1 million hectares, Munga-Thirri National Park is a remote and unforgiving landscape, a...more

Nearby towns

  • Innamincka

    This tiny settlement is built around a hotel and trading post on Cooper Creek. The first European explorer to visit the area was Charles...more

In Town

Working

Museum: housed in 6 buildings, the museum showcases an array of old relics from tools to pottery and farming equipment. Join proprietor John Menzies for a tour and demonstration in harness making and coach building; tours daily at 9am, 11am and 3pm; Waddie Dr.

Blue Poles Gallery: art by local painter Wolfgang John. Cafe on-site; Graham St.

Artesian bore: water comes out at near boiling point from this 1219 m deep bore; behind the bore is a geothermal power plant; Graham St.

Adelaide Street: ruins of Royal Hotel (1883), a reminder of Birdsville's boom days; Birdsville Hotel (1884), still an important overnight stop for travellers; cemetery, housing the grave sites of early pioneers.

Nearby

Simpson Desert National Park West of Birdsville, this arid national park is the largest in Queensland. The parallel windblown sand dunes are enormous – up to 90 m high, about 1 km apart, and can extend up to 200 km. A self-guide drive includes 10 sites, starting at the eastern park boundary and following the track to Poeppel's Corner. Walking any distance is not recommended and a 4WD is essential. Visit only between Apr and Oct, see note below; (07) 4656 3249; 65 km W.

Waddi Trees and Dingo Cave Lookout: 14 km N.

Big Red: huge sand dune; 35 km W.

Bedourie: Eyre Creek runs through town providing waterholes that are home to the endangered bilby and peregrine falcons; 191 km N.

Travellers note: Travel in this area can be hazardous, especially in the hotter months (approximately Oct–Mar). Motorists are advised to check the RACQ Road Conditions Report on 1300 130 595 (or www.racq.com.au) for information before departing down the Birdsville Track and to advise police if heading west to Simpson Desert National Park. There is no hotel or fuel at Betoota, 164 km E, but fuel is available at Windorah, 375 km E.

Campsites around town

Birdsville Caravan Park

Make sure to book well ahead (at least 6 months) for powered sites at this caravan park during the Birdsville Races in Sept, and bookings are recommended Mar–Nov. The park, on Florence St, covers an area of about... Find out more


Tippipila Creek camping area 126 km

Camp on the Birdsville side of this tree-lined creek, 336 km north of Marree and 180 km south of Birdsville, on the Birdsville Track. Come equipped for self-sufficient camping.... Find out more


Bush camping areas 147 km

Self-sufficient bush camping (permit required) is permitted anywhere within 50 m of public access tracks. Given the impact of desert wind and sun, low-lying areas with the shade of gidgee woodlands are recommended. Be... Find out more


Bush camping areas 152 km

Camping is permitted in the national park only within 500 m either side of the QAA Line. Munga-Thirri is extremely remote: visitors must take a 2-way radio, spare vehicle parts, fuel and a week’s worth of food and... Find out more


Coongie Lake camping area 163 km

This wonderfully remote wetland is birdwatching heaven, with a stunning array of waterbirds and raptors. There’s a choice of idyllic lake-front campsites, and unlimited scope for canoeing, photography and nature... Find out more


Kudriemitchie Outstation camping area 183 km

This historic pastoral outstation en route to Coongie Lakes National Park is 85 km north-west of Innamincka along the 4WD Coongie Track. You need a permit to camp here.... Find out more


Scrubby Camp camping area 219 km

Peaceful sites beside the north-west branch of Cooper Creek on its run to Coongie Lakes are found along Coongie Track, 45 km north-west of Innamincka. Access is 4WD only and a permit is required.... Find out more


Minkie Waterhole camping area 244 km

This expansive waterhole, 9 km south-west of Innamincka, is a more secluded alternative to the ever-popular Cullyamurra sites; a permit is required. Birdlife is abundant and a quiet camp under the mature river red gums... Find out more


Mungerannie Hotel camping area 245 km

At this popular watering hole almost halfway along the Birdsville Track, you’ll also find motel-style rooms and good no-frills camping beside the Derwent River. Permanent water means there are shade trees and a... Find out more


Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Birdsville Caravan Park

On the banks of the Birdsville Billabong, the caravan park has 52 powered sites, three ensuite cabins, nine standard cabins and almost unlimited camping sites, an amenities block and a friendly cafe. You can walk from... Find out more


Birdsville Hotel

The legendary pub is not the only place to stay in town but it is certainly the best known and easiest to find. Hop off your aircraft and cross the road, and you are in the bar. Motel-style rooms are all air-conditioned... Find out more


What's on around town

Rodeo and Bronco Branding: May. 

B

irdsville Cup Racing Carnival: 1st meeting of this annual event was held in 1882 and the tradition continues on the claypan track south-east of town; held 1st Fri and Sat in Sept, when the population swells to over 6000.

Big Red Run: Six-day ultramarathon; July.

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