Bedourie, an oasis in Outback Queensland, is located at the base of a sand dune.
Eyre Creek runs close by and it’s the ‘capital’ of the Diamantina Shire, home to 14 stations and around 283 residents. This region makes up one of the world’s most fragile and unique desert ecosystems and is teeming with amazing flora and fauna, friendly locals and historical buildings and sites.
Beautiful Bedourie’s top 8
1. Bedourie Camp Oven
This is the home to the famous ‘Bedourie Camp Oven’ which the Australian Government claimed it significant and ‘uniquely Australian’ in 2001. The camp oven was originally made for the Bedourie Station from spun steel with a lid that conveniently fits over the top. Previously camp ovens were made of cast iron and if they fell off the pack horses or were dropped, they often broke. Not good when that’s the pot for the next night and those for three- four weeks for dinner to be cooked in after a long day in the saddle. The Bedourie Camp Oven is said to not break and is the perfect oven for everything from bread, cakes, scones and wholesome stews to tasty roasts. You can pick up an oven and tips for cooking at the Information Centre.
2. The Mud Hut
This modest mud hut is one of the first buildings built in Bedourie. It was built in the early 1880s with mud collected from nearby Eyre Creek. The Royal Hotel, across the road, is the only other building built from the 1880s. Bedourie was once a stopover for drovers from all over Northern Queensland pushing their cattle down to the more attractive markets in Adelaide. The hut, it is thought, may have operated as a Cobb and Co rest-stop. In the 1990s it passed into the possession of Sir Sidney Kidman – the legendary Cattle King. The Diamantina Shire Council has fully restored the hut since purchasing it in 2001 from Jean Smith. The only other building from that time still standing in town is the Royal Hotel, across the road.
3. The Bedourie Hotel
Built in 1886, the hotel remained a licensed establishment since first opening. Just across the road from the Mud Hut, it is a brilliant example of this early architecture and still serves a cool drink and friendly welcome.
4. Bedourie Outback Golf Course
This picturesque desert nine-hole course has many challenges to suit beginners to the advanced players. Situated alongside Lakes Larry and Sampson, some permanent water hazards, there are also plenty of sand traps. Top tip: take the binoculars and or camera as there is some excellent birdwatching while you’re waiting for your next shot.
5. Bedourie Thermal Spa and Aquatic Centre
Ease any tired travelling muscles in the therapeutic spa with crystal-clear water filled from Bedourie’s Artesian Bore. Drilled back in 1905, the warm water (35 to 40 degrees) has been relieving aches and pains for years. If you need a stretch out the 25-metre swimming pool should do the trick. It’s as easy as paying a $20 fully refundable deposit for the key from the Bedourie Outback Visitor Centre. Go relax and enjoy.
6. Dust Storm Sculpture
Bedourie means ‘dust storms’ and in the main street is a sculpture demonstrating in an artistic form this desert phenomenon. Many are surprised to find the town boasts attractive lawns, gardens, and shrubs as water as water from the sub artesian basin way underground is plentiful.
7. Camel and Pig Races
Camel’s reign supreme in Bedourie. Come one and all. You’ll receive a warm outback welcome as you watch dozens of camel’s race. Then there’s pig racing, wood chopping and novelty events like the ‘old farts’ and ‘old boilers’. Enjoy a traditional camp oven cook-off, where you can bake your very own bread. The smells, hype and excitement are amazing while the tips on camp oven cooking are brilliant.
8. Cuttaburra Crossing
This permanent waterhole and a renowned wetland on Eyre Creek is located between Lake Koolivoo and Lake Machattie. It’s home to many species of birdlife. View the birdlife from one of the bird hides along the banks of the Eyre Creek. A truly enjoyable piece of nature in the outback: don’t a camera. Camping allowed and toilet facilities provided.
There’s more to do in beautiful Bedourie like the self-guided historical walk around town, viewing the Afghan Graves and meeting the locals. This small outback Queensland town is worthy of at least an overnight stop, maybe two. The last tip: call into the Visitor Information Centre and get up-to-date news on the best things to see and do.
Travel to Bedourie
Rex Airlines flies to Bedourie on their Western 2 Route from Brisbane to Toowoomba (Wellcamp) to Charleville to Quilpie to Windorah to Birdsville to Bedourie to Boulia to Mount Isa and return.
See the map below for details on how to travel to Bedourie and book your flight here.