So you ask me "What is beyond Birdsville?" - Good question!
The channel country in Queensland's south-west is "black stump" country. Forlorn places, shimmering mirages, exactly what we expect the Australian Outback looks like.
From Birdsville there are a few options to continue your journey, but first I'd like to answer your next question "what does black stump mean"?
Okay, the black stump is an imaginary point after which the
country is considered very isolated, remote, empty. There are many towns
in Australia that claim to have the original black stump. But believe
me, the black stump is rather in people's mind than a signpost of any
Wherever you came from, whatever direction you go from Birdsville, I promise you there is more great Outback scenery and loneliness.
Leaving Birdsville you have several choices to go to.
It is been a while since I drove the route that is also known as the Bilby Way. At that time I
thought road conditions were even worse than on the Birdsville track. At
least it was much lonelier.
However, roads in the Outback improve constantly. Now only about 70 km of road remain unsealed, and the dirt sections are usually in good condition.
Only in rare events, when Eyre Creek is in flood and the Cuttaburra crossing is closed, you need to take the Lake Machattie detour. Be prepared, the detour might be a bit challenging.
A few kilometres out of Birdsville is a very rare stand of ancient trees. These Waddi Trees only occur in a few places in the world. You can see Waddi trees here in western Queensland, around Alice Springs and in South Africa.
Listen to the eerie noise of the wind howling through these ancient trees.
Next, the ruins of the abandoned Carcory Homestead are worth a stop. It is a protected heritage site, and a good example of the type of homesteads built by the early settlers.
The above ruins are a good example of the kind of homesteads built by early settlers in Australia's remote regions. Very optimistic settlers started a pastoral venture in 1877, however, Carcory homestead was already abandoned in 1906.
The ruins are protected by federal and state heritage legislation, so please, leave them as you find them.
(Info from a sign at the homestead)
Cuttaburra crossing further north is a permanent waterhole and wetland area of Eyre Creek. It is a welcome change in the scenery, I really liked it here. If Eyre Creek is in flood, you need to take the Lake Machattie detour, a very remote track.
The fascination of Outback Australia is the ever-changing scenery. One
moment you traverse a barren spot that makes you think it is the end of
... while the next moment you cross a creek, lined with bushes and trees, and you are in a different world.
Bedourie, another small bush town with true Outback character. It is the administrative centre of the huge Diamantina Shire, located on the Georgina River.
The town's name means dust storm, and there are quite a few sand dunes around that can produce dust.
Things to see include the Mud Hut, one of the first buildings, and the Royal Hotel that opened in 1886.
The sand dunes surrounding Bedourie are very photogenic, especially in the late afternoon. Climb on top of a dune and enjoy an unique sunset. The silence is only broken by the howling wind and the sound of the birds.
Bedourie's artesian water supply is of good quality, it even feeds the pool and spa of the swimming complex. After a hot day on the dusty tracks this is just heaven, don't you agree?
Bedourie offers everything a traveller needs. For accommodation, other facilities and contact details, check the Queensland travel tips page.