Central West

This area is often referred to as 'the channel country' - a sparse land where the apparently sparse natural grasses provide extremely high nutrients - and the cattle in this area are surprisingly well conditioned.

The best time to travel this vast area is from April to October, when the days are pleasantly mild and the nights are cool, just right for viewing the millions of stars that seem so close you could touch them - the atmosphere is so clear. There is an incredible array of birdlife in the area. Some birds are so rare they're only found in the Diamantina Shire.

The surrounding desert is alive with ever changing colours and native flora and fauna. At the gibber plains of Sturt's Stony Desert, herbage grows among kilometres of polished, glass-like stones and provides feed for both cattle and native animals.




Average summer day temperature: 35.6°C
Average winter day temperature: 22.6°C
Average annual rainfall: 498.9mm
Average clear days: 172.3

Aramac is a town that is the main centre of a shire of the same name. It is 500 km west of Rockhampton, and the shire is bordered on the south by Barcaldine and the west by Longreach.


Average summer day temperature: 35.6°C
Average winter day temperature: 22.6°C
Average annual rainfall: 498.9mm
Average clear days: 172.3

The Tree of Knowledge has a special place in history and this was brought about by the great Shearers' Strike of 1891, this being the central place for meetings that were held during the strike. A monument to the shears now stands near the Tree of Knowledge. The tree is a ghost gum and is said to be approximately 170 years old. 5km north east of town - guide required.

The Heritage Centre,Shearers' Cooperative Settlement 1891,Barcaldine and District Folk Museum,Mad Micks Funny Farm,Red Mountain Scenic Escarpment,Barcaldine's Outback Zoo,Historical Working Windmill,North Delta - Arrange to see shearing in their bush-shearing shed. An 80 year old, rare to this area, Boab Tree stands near the homestead. Join in life on the property, explore, swim, shear or just eat and rest

Tree of Knowledge with Tom Lockie, Barcaldine
Tree of Knowledge with Tom Lockie, Barcaldine


Average summer day temperature: 37.1°C
Average winter day temperature: 23.3°C
Average annual rainfall: 455.2mm
Average clear days: 154.3

The Barcoo Shire encompasses the towns of Windorah, Jundah and Stonehenge. It has towering red sandhills, the Welford National Park, and fishing in the Thomson and Barcoo rivers. There are also ruins to visit and in Jundah itself, a reminder of the pioneering history can be found at the town museum.

Visit the Jundah opal fields and see demonstrations of opal cutting by local professionals.


Betoota is the gateway from the east and in the early days was known as a Cobb & Co changing station.

Betoota's water comes from the town's artesian bore.

The vivid contrasts in this harsh landscape are spectacular.
The vivid contrasts in this harsh landscape are spectacular.



Birdsville is a small town in the far south-west of Queensland. It is possibly most famous for the Birdsville Track, a notorious road which is about 520km long, from Birdsville south to the railhead at Maree in South Australia. The Track was a major stock route in the 1880s, when fat cattle herds from the Channel Country of south-western Queensland were driven down the Track to Maree for the long rail trip to Adelaide. The problems of these droving trips were legendary: scorchingly high temperatures, stinging sand storms, unexpected floods, cattle dying from exhaustion and lack of fodder. Most of the available water in this area is artesian (underground) water.

Birdsville is also famous for its horse racing - the Birdville Races are held every year in early September and are a major event - not just within the surrounding community, but Australia wide.

If you are in Birdsvile, take the time to visit Big Red, 41km to the west. It's believed to be one of the largest sandhills in the Southern Hemisphere.

Thousands of people fly in every September for the Birdsville Races.
Thousands of people fly in every September for the Birdsville Races.


Average summer day temperature: 36.0°C
Average winter day temperature: 22.3°C
Average annual rainfall: 527.5mm
Average clear days: 193.5

The Blackall township is situated on the Matilda Highway between Charleville and Longreach. The home of gun shearer Jack Howe back in the days when sheep were shorn by hand.

The town was founded by Major Thomas Mitchell, an explorer, and was named after Queensland's first governor, Colonel Samuel Wendley Blackall. The first bore in the Great Artesian Basin was drilled at Blackall in 1885.


Average summer day temperature: 38.5°C
Average winter day temperature: 22.8°C
Average annual rainfall: 261.9mm
Average clear days: 203.9

The town itself is quite small but offers a range of facilities and services including Min Min Stores, Australian Hotel and Desert Sands Motel and the Boulia Caravan Park.



Average summer day temperature: 37.1°C
Average winter day temperature: 23.2°C
Average annual rainfall: 433.4mm
Average clear days: 208.4

The Diamantina Shire is vast - Birdsville is one of the shire's towns, and it's great claim to fame is the Birdsville Races. But there's much more to this area than three weeks of racing in September, people fly into this small town from all over Australia for this event.

Another Diamantina town is Winton, a must visit is The Waltzing Matilda Centre, the world's only centre dedicated to a song.

The $3.3 million complex was officially opened in 1998. Architecturally inspired by the station homesteads of the Outback, the Centre is high-tech, innovative, interactive and promises an experience like none other




Average summer day temperature: 37.1°C
Average winter day temperature: 23.2°C
Average annual rainfall: 433.4mm
Average clear days: 208.4

Longreach,the largest country town situated in Central Queensland, was settled in the 1870's. It is famous for providing the world's first Flying Surgeon / Doctor Service in 1959 and today provides specialised medical attention to hospitals in remote communities.

The Qantas Hangar at Longreach Airport was where Australia's first six aircraft were built between 1922-34. The hangar now houses the Qantas Founders Outback Museum which is an ideal attraction for visitors to learn the history of Longreach and famous aviation stories.

The Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame at Longreach honours explorers, pioneers, stockmen, rough riders, poets, writers and artists who contributed to create the history and lifestyle of Inland Australia.

Australian Stockmen's Hall of Fame - Longreach.
Australian Stockmen's Hall of Fame - Longreach.


The town of Muttaburra was proclaimed in 1878 with 50 allotments available to the public. Stock routes stimulated Muttaburra's early growth and the main street, Bruford Steet, which was named after the first saddler who set up shop in Muttaburra

The great shearers strike caused an upheaval in the region and the whole district was under military supervision. In May 1891, there was a strike camp at the Union Hole, 3 km from Muttaburra.

In 1963, while mustering along the Thompson River, Doug Langdon stopped to give his horse a drink. When he lent down for on himself, he noticed a large rock completely out of place in the area. After investigation, he contacted the Queensland Museum and they found the second most complete dinosaur skeleton found in Australia. This "Muttaburrasaurus" had lived in Queensland around 100 million years ago.



Average summer day temperature: 34.9°C
Average winter day temperature: 21.1°C
Average annual rainfall: 528.8mm
Average clear days: 163.6

The oldest little town in Queensland's west, Tambo is now famous for it's fantastic Tambo Teddies aaall made from local wool. Initially it became an important stopping place for itinerant carriers and drovers. A blacksmith's shop was established and by 1865 there was a pub for the thirsty travellers making their way from Charleville to Longreach.


Average summer day temperature: 38.0°C
Average winter day temperature: 21.3°C
Average annual rainfall: 293.6mm
Average clear days: 188.9

Windorah, known for its landmark of huge red sandhills just 10 minutes' drive out of town, is situated alongside the Cooper Creek. This creek, formed where two rivers meet, became part of Australia's lore as great Aussie poet, Banjo Paterson, referred to it in "Clancy of the Overflow", who went "adroving down the Cooper, where the western drovers go".


Average summer day temperature: 37.5°C
Average winter day temperature: 24.3°C
Average annual rainfall: 413.7mm
Average clear days: 193.7

Home of the Waltzing Matilda Centre, in honour of A.B. (Banjo) Paterson, the author of the poem 'Waltzing Matilda' whilst at Dagworth Station, near Winton in 1895. 'Waltzing Matilda' is Australia's unofficial national anthem.

Waltzing Matilda


Once a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong

Under the shade of a Coolabah tree

And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled

"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"


Up came a jumbuck to drink from the Billabong

Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him in glee

And he sang as he stuffed that jumbuck in his tucker bag

"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me'".


Up rode the Squatter mounted on his thoroughbred

Up rode the Troopers- one, two, three

"Where's that jolly jumbuck that you've got in your tucker bag?",

"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me".


Up jumped the swagman and leaped into the Billabong

"You'll never catch me alive" said he,

And his voice may be heard as you pass by the Billabong,

"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?"

Waltzing Matilda Centre - the only museum in the world dedicated to a song!
Waltzing Matilda Centre - the only museum in the world dedicated to a song!