sandy outback road

Boulia - Home of Min Min Light

Explore the secrets of Outback Queensland


Do you believe in ghostly phenomena? In Boulia, and in surrounding areas, you can experience, and if you are lucky solve, the mystery of the ancient, eerie Min Min Light.

water tower and tank
Colourful water tank overlooking the main street

Min Min Light? What's that? No worries, I will tell you in a minute!

When you travel to Queensland's remote western region, you will experience some of the best parts of the Australian Outback. It never ceases to amaze me how lonely it is out there. Endless horizons, blue sky, and beautiful landscapes. Isn't this exactly what you expect from the Outback?

Each of the small towns has its own character, history and little secrets. Sometimes, these secrets are a little spooky.

Burke & Wills were the first Europeans in the area on their ill-fated expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1860.
The town was established 1876 to service local graziers. It got its name from the nearby waterhole, which was named Boulia by the local Pitta Pitta tribe. The waterhole is a permanent water supply when the Burke river runs dry.

Boulia is the administrative centre of the vast shire of the same name. Located on the banks of the Burke river (named after the famous explorer), the town offers good facilities for travellers.
The shire comprises 61,000 kmĀ² with a population of 600 people, 250,000 sheep, 75,000 cattle.

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The Stone House Museum was the home of the Jones family. Being one of the first homes in the area it is listed by the National Trust. Aboriginal artefacts, wagons and machinery, and some fossils of the area are on display. A baby Icthyosaur skull found south of the town is now the pride of the museum.

Min Min encounter

Finally, I come back to the spooky light. The Min Min Light has scared locals and visitors to the area since its first sighting in 1912. However, local Aborigines claim it has been around much longer and that the light represents the spirits of their ancestors.

The Min Min Light is a small strange light that appears, disappears, hovers, and seems to have a will of its own. It's a mystery, never solved, although scientists try to find an answer to the phenomena. The existence of the Min Min Light has been confirmed, though not fully explained yet.
Legend says that anyone who catches the light will never return. Are you scared?

Anyway, the Min Min Encounter is an unique atmospheric experience. The 45-minute show tells the legends about the mysterious light, using a lot of high tech wizardry and animations, and takes you through the heart of Min Min country. The show is also a trip down memory lane. Listen to people who saw the light. Fascinating, isn't it?

Do you look for more earthly things?
The vast Boulia Shire is a land of contrasts and incredible colour. Photographers love the great Outback vistas the region offers. Take your time. Things to do include

  • Fishing - catch a yellowbelly in a water hole or in the Burke river
  • Bird-watching - bird life is abundant in the region
  • Visit the Diamantina National Park for more fishing and stunning nature

Leaving Boulia, you have several choices to go.
Mount Isa is about 300 km to the north, while Winton is roughly 360 km to the east. The Winton road leads you deep into Min Min country, thus the road is called Min Min Way. Both routes are very interesting.
You can even go to Alice Springs along the Great Central Road, but hey, that's a long and lonely 800 km trip!
Finally, down south, Birdsville is waiting to be explored.

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Population: 230 (2011 census)
Location: Approx. 1,720 km northwest of Brisbane
State: Queensland
Post Code: 4829
Elevation: 162m
Time Zone: Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
Best time to visit:
April to October is the best time to visit when you want to avoid the summer heat.
Facilities:
Boulia offers all facilities travellers need.
waterhole surrounded by ancient trees
Boulia waterhole
wide main street
Main street

Destinations in Outback Queensland & general travel tips

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