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Birdsville Queensland

The name sounds like a bird's paradise, doesn't it?


Birdsville is well-known for its dust storms, the scorching heat in summer, and its loneliness. But the tiny town is also a paradise for bird & nature lovers and those who like unique Outback scenery.

The town is also famous for its horse races. The race week is held around the first weekend in September. The Birdsville races attract thousands of visitors, and everything goes a bit crazy in town. If you're around at this time of the year, don't miss the race weekend. It is an exciting Australian Outback event.

You think you finally arrive at a populated area once you've managed the Birdsville Track? Far from it!
Whichever route you took to get here, you've come a long way. And it sure takes some driving to return to civilisation. Believe me, you're still in the middle of nowhere. But hey, this is Outback Australia! You'll love it. Relax and enjoy true country hospitality in an historic town.

town in the distance
Birdsville in the southwest of Queensland is a long way from anywhere

Birdsville is situated at the edge of the Simpson desert and is surrounded by sandy plains. That's were the dust storms come from. The region doesn't receive much rain, but when it rains, it pours, and the town can be cut off for a couple of days.

However, the Diamantina River provides the town with a lovely permanent waterhole. The billabong, right behind the caravan park, truly is a paradise for bird-watching. Australia's bird life is so rich and colourful. Unfortunately, the billabong is a heaven for the mozzies, as well.
The rich birdlife gave the little settlement that was once known as Diamantina Crossing its final name.

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Like many rural settlements, this bush town had its ups and downs. Today it serves as a "major" centre in the huge Diamantina Shire. Well, it is easy to get the "major" status out here when in fact the entire shire has only two towns of any size.

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Quick Facts

Population: 115 (2006 census)
Location: Approx. 1200 km north of Adelaide, 1600 km west of Brisbane
State: Queensland
Post Code: 4482
Elevation: 47m
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time (EST), No Daylight Saving
Climate & Best time to visit:
Birdsville has a hot climate. Summers will be very hot, with average maximum temperature over 30°C from October to April. The highest temperatur was 49.5°C. Winter has warm days and cool nights.
Rain is unpredictable, the amount varies from year to year, but heavy rains usually happen in summer. Dust storms can occur in periods of strong wind, especially in spring.
April to October is the best time to visit.
Facilities include:
Hotel, Cabins, Caravan Park,
Petrol Station, Supermarket, Bakery
Health Service, Police Station,
Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre offers advice, library & internet services

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Points of Interest

  • A visit to the The Royal Hotel ruins - the hotel was built in 1883, and operated as a hotel for 40 years. From 1923 to 1937 the Royal was used as a hospital. The materials to convert it from a hotel to a hospital were brought to town by a camel train of 75 camels. Imagine that! is was a trip down memory lane. Old wagons and coaches, a blacksmith shop, pottery, jewelery, toys, there's so much to see. John Menzies will be happy to show you around. The Museum is open daily, and there are tours three times a day.

    Update: Unfortunately, the Working Museum closed its doors in September 2011. Forever? Obviously yes. It is a shame to see attractions like the working museum disappear.
  • The Royal Hotel ruins - the hotel was built in 1883, and operated as a hotel for 40 years. From 1923 to 1937 the Royal was used as a hospital. The materials to convert it from a hotel to a hospital were brought to town by a camel train of 75 camels. Imagine that!
    You can't miss the hotel ruins, they are just across the caravan park.
  • The Blue Poles Art Gallery - do you expect a gallery out there in the bush? The Blue Poles Art Gallery is run by Wolfgang John, who came from Germany to Australia in the 1960s. He fell in love with the Outback, and moved to Birdsville in 1993. If you feel hungry after seeing beautiful Outback paintings, you can take a rest at the Big Red Cafe on the premises, run by Wolfgang's son Karsten and his partner Jackie.
    It is such a wonderful country out there, for painting and photography, for everyone who enjoys nature. All you need is a little bit time, and the Outback rewards you with spectacular sunsets and sheer beauty.
  • The Birdsville Hotel is Australia's most legendary Outback Pub. Built in 1884, the hotel has a long history of being a place to spin a yarn, experience the Aussie spirit, and get an ice-cold beer.
  • During the annual Birdsville races in September things in and around the pub sure go a bit crazy. Imagine 5000 people from all around Australia invade the sleepy little town.
  • Are you keen for a sense of adventure? The Big Red Sand Dune, the most famous dune of the Simpson Desert, is just 35 km to the west. It is the first and highest sand dune in the Simpson, and a challenge for 4x4 enthusiasts.
    Please be aware that you need to be well equipped and experienced if you're going to cross the Simpson Desert, which is only recommended during the winter months.

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Events in Birdsville

The famous races at the first September weekend draw thousands of visitors into the remote town.

The star show introduces visitors to the amazing Outback night sky. Available on demand. For bookings ask at the Wirrarri Visitor Information Centre.

Impressions of Birdsville

outback town
Adelaide Street in Birdsville
inside birdsville  pub
Me bying drinks at the pub
ruin of the royal hotel
Ruin of the royal hotel
aiport in the outback
Airport next to the hotel

View Larger Map

This map gives you an idea about town's isolation. Zoom in and out, and move around to get a glimpse of the stunning dunes west of the town.

Destinations beyond Birdsville & general Outback tips

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