Windorah and Cooper Creek

by Peter Hume

Sand dunes outside Windorah

Sand dunes outside Windorah

Best time to visit Windorah and Cooper Creek?

I will be in Australia in January to mid February 2010.
Is it possible/feasible to visit you part of the country at this time, or is it too wet?
My main aim would be to spend some time in the area and to see the Dig Tree.

Thanks for any info you can offer.

Peter Hume

Rita's response - Not recommended in summer

Hi Peter,

You plan your visit during the hottest and wettest months in south-west Queensland.

The average maximum temperatures for Windorah are 38.1°C in Jan, and 36.6°C in Feb. Minimum temps are still over 20°C in these months, and it is getting hot as soon as the sun is over the horizon.

Mean rainfall statistics are 43mm (Jan) and 49mm (Feb). Actually, the average number of rainy days is only between 3 and 4. However, Windorah and Cooper Creek are in the Channel Country. Rivers and channels are subject to flooding if there is rain up north. The Barcoo and Thomson rivers merge to build Cooper Creek about 40 km north of Windorah, and they drain a huge area.
In the wet season, the Cooper can be up to 40 km wide at Windorah. This won't happen every year, but it is hard to predict.

The Dig Tree... Are you aware that this historical site is about 420 km south-west of Windorah? More than 300 km of this route is on unsealed roads, which get quickly impassable if it rains.
You need to be well prepared, carry lots of water, fuel, spare tyre and tyre repair set, and some tools to help yourself when something happens to your car.

I don't want to discourage you. However, in my opinion travelling to the Dig Tree is not what I would recommend in summer, especially not, if this is your first Outback trip.

What is you complete itinerary? Where else do you travel before and after Windorah?

Windorah, in fact the entire south west of Queensland is a beautiful area. But I wouldn't plan a holiday there in summer, the weather could spoil it all.


Comments for Windorah and Cooper Creek

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Sep 11, 2010
Windorah/Cooper Creek
by: Tex Richters

I totally agree with all the other contributors.
It does get extremely hot, windy and dusty for long periods during the summer months. The rain is also quite varied in amount and intensity. As for best times to visit the area, I cannot recommend a better time than the first few weeks of Spring after any late winter rain. The area is awash with Wild Flowers and Native Grasses. The trees are in full bloom and the scent is amazing. There are many photo opportunities of the scenery as well as amazing sunrises and sunsets. The fishing is also excellent. I do recommend as a matter of importance to anyone to carry lots of fresh water(several containers to minimise the chance of loss should a leak happen), extra spare fuel, a good toolbox and heavy duty jack(high lift). Most of all a localised area map complete with local emergency contact details. A satellite phone is worth its weight in gold and can be hired. Enjoy the outback, leave behind only footprints and take as many pictures and memories with you as possible.

Apr 10, 2010
Summer is BRUTAL!
by: ironwill photography

I have done the trip out to Windorah and further West in early Dec 2009. As a local Brisbane photographer I spent a week out there shooting the sand dunes. Forget the average temps...while I was there it was 45+c everyday if the heat wasn't enough the relentless strong hot winds will drive you nuts.
The outback is an unforgiving place if you forget to offer the proper respect. Notwithstanding it is a beautiful part of our country and the landscapes are magnificent. I will be heading back out to Windorah this Winter 2010 (a much better time to go) for some more photography.

Nov 09, 2009
Re travel in South west Queensland
by: Terry Everson

I agree with Rita in regards to travel in South west Queensland in Summer. I have been in that area a number of times but not then. One time in late September early October, (the start of our spring) it was 44 degrees (c) and a dust storm you could not see 50 metres in front of you. Try and plan your journey for Autumn or winter months.

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