A famous notch on the outback belt of Aussie travellers, a visit to Birdsville is an absolute must. But there’s more going on there than you think…
If you’ve heard of the isolated, iconic, historic outback township of Birdsville in Queensland’s remote Diamantina region, then you’ve probably heard of the famous Birdsville Races, the vast Simpson Desert and its Big Red Sand Dune, and the circa 1884 Birdsville Hotel – where you simply must drop in for a beer.
But what else can you expect from this bucket-list outback destination? For starters, you can expect outstanding country hospitality, year-round, from some of the warmest and friendliest locals you could ever hope to meet.
You can expect authentic outback flavours; in fact, once you’ve sampled a Camel Pie from the Birdsville Bakery, you’ll have a new appreciation for what authentic outback flavour really is. In this case, it’s got a lamb-like texture with a hint of curry and a convenient C on the crust. But if you need a fall-back that’s just as authentic, try the kangaroo and claret pie or the berri quandong tart.
Expect awe-inspiring landscapes everywhere you turn. But don’t just go and gape at the 40m-high dunes of Big Red. Grab the kids, some sand boards and tackle these record-breaking slopes for some adrenaline-fuelled family fun instead. Need to wash off the dust afterwards? A family paddle in the beautiful Birdsville Billabong, followed by a spot of fishing, is just the ticket.
Expect the desert to come alive with colours, when gorgeous wildflowers carpet the terrain in a sublime mixture of yellows, purples and greens as far as the eye can see. Expect free camping, and a rolled-out welcome mat for RVs, caravans, four-wheel-drives, motorbikes and all manner of visiting vehicles.
Birdsville is the perfect stepping off point for exploring the mighty Simpson, for venturing out to Lake Eyre (maybe even to see it filled with water?), for standing simultaneously in NSW, QLD and SA where the borders meet at Cameron Corner, or for carrying on up to Alice Springs and the wonders further north.
Expect iconic, world-famous events: when the Birdsville Races are in town, so is everyone else. Visitors flock from miles around every September to witness this two-day event dubbed the “Melbourne Cup of the Outback”.
But above all, expect the unexpected. So if you haven’t been to Birdsville yet, ask yourself this question: What on earth are you waiting for?