10 unmissable Outback Festivals and events of 2020!

Pack your bags, you’re heading bush for a boogie, beer and some top tunes! 2020 is jam packed with some fantastic new and returning outback festivals. We are ready to give you all the details on our top 10 unmissable Outback Festivals and events of 2020. Get those dancing shoes ready and the esky packed, you’ve got a busy year ahead!

One big tip for those looking to stay connected via mobiles!

Telstra has the largest coverage area and while you may not get reception between towns you will get Telstra in the Outback Towns. Some areas also have Optus coverage. If you have Vodaphone or other providers you will not get reception outside of capital cities.

Roma’s Easter in the Country Festival

Roma’s Easter in the country is a 5day celebration running from the 8th of April through to the 13th of April 2020. There is something for everyone with children’s activities such as mini train rides, the monster Easter egg hunt, ponies and animals to pat and billy kart racing.

Other activities and events over the 5 days include, various art shows and museum tours, saleyard tours, Outback tucker under the stars, “Big Rig night show” , various garden tours, craft shows, poetry readings, Xtreme bulls event,  markets, street parades, drag racing , wife carrying races, rodeo, and of course the country music extravaganza with Lee Kernaghan & The Wolfe Brothers performing live. As you can see there is something for everyone and the event showcases all the outback has to offer! It is an must do event this year. You can find further information via the official website here.

Julia Creek Dirt and Dust Festival

The Julia Creek Dirt and Dust festival has been running for 26 years, it one of the Outback’s long-standing festivals and if that doesn’t tell you why it’s made our 10 unmissable Outback Festivals list than we don’t know what will. It runs from the 17th to the 19th of April this year and has an itinerary of events you won’t be able to believe! Across the weekend you can get in on the action by testing your endurance in the Senior Dirt and Dust triathlon. Join over 300 athletes race around on one of the toughest courses and tackle the harshest conditions.

If that’s not quite your style you might enjoy the dirt and dust festivals adventure trail run instead. with 3 different categories you can choose to compete seriously in the 16km or 11km events or if your looking for something a little more fun, you can enjoy the 5.5km event and come dressed in costume, the crazier the better!! All courses have 13 country themed obstacles located throughout the course which will include a Mud Bath, Rock Run, Hurdles, Dirt Jumps, Creek run, Cargo net, Bog hole, Sandbag Carry/water truck spray/aid station / Tyre gauntlet, Sink or Swim, Rope across the creek, Croc Slide /and a Hay Bale hurdle.

Novelty Events

The Dirt and dust festival also offers plenty of  novelty events for some extra fun! These include,  Pig Racing, Cow Pat Throwing, Fly Catching along with kids fun and games like old school games, sack races, Coits, 3 legged races and many more.

If you more of a watcher than a participator, there will be plenty of action for you too. There will be horse racing on the Dirt and Dust Race day, which will also include Fashions on the Field and Country Tastes Luncheon. Last but not least you can get your adrenaline pumping by enjoying the Dirt and Dust Festival PBR Bull riding! It showcases some of the outback’s toughest and most talented bull riders and is always a night of dangerous drama, not stop thrills and pure talent!!

You can find out more about Julia Creek’s Dirt and Dust Festival via the official website and purchase your tickets here

Music in the Mulga Eulo

Music in the Mulga is a outback country rock music festival, held over 4 days from the 14th to the 17th of May. It is run on a working sheep and cattle farm, ‘Wandilla Station’ near Eulo Queensland, making for a truly unique experience.

They have an exceptional line-up again this year, if you missed The Wolfe brothers at Roma’s Easter in the Country Festival you’ll luckily be able to catch them here too. They will be joined by The Pigs, Simply Bushed, Kerry Kennedy, Bec Hance, Jimmy Bay Music, Adam Kilpatrick, Pete ‘Smokie’ Dawson, Keith Dunn and Andy Abra.

Music in the Mulga is approximately 60 minute drive from Cunnamulla so if you are not a caravaner or camper and you’re looking for accommodation Cunnamulla the top rated Cunnamulla Accommodation of and Trip Advisor is Club Boutique Hotel.

Get your tickets and more information from the official website here. 

Vision Splendid outback film festival

Winton is quickly forming a reputation of “Hollywood in the Outback”. The quiet outback town with a population of less than 1000 people has produced some big-name films such as “Mystery Road” and “Goldstone” with filming taking place in the town, it is becoming a driving force for the creation of a Regional Film Industry. The Vision Splendid Outback film festival was started in an effort to showcases local and afar talent! This year’s festival runs from the 26th of June to the 4th of July and will show screenings of the short film competition along with selected feature films. The competition is open to independent filmmakers from Australia and around the world, If you would like to apply you can do so here. This year’s theme is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”.

You can purchase your ticket via the official website here

Cunnamulla Fella Festival

The Cunnamulla Fella Festival is another gem that we’ve included on our 10 unmissable Outback Festivals list for 2020. We wrote a blog guide to last year’s Cunnamulla Fella Festival which you can read here. It will give you some idea of what you could expect for this year!! The 2020 dates have been set and the festival will take place from Friday the 28th of August to Sunday that 30th August.

Ashtons Circus at Cunnamulla Fella Festival 2019

It’s a weekend full of country music, rodeo, bushmen contest, motorbikes, market stalls, fireworks, Cowboys, bull riders, shearers, you name it! Make sure you book your accommodation and caravan and camping sites early as there is a large bowls carnival the same weekend. The Club Boutique Hotel Cunnamulla is a great base to meet friends, family and other travellers during the festival and they also run a range of events during the weekend so click the link to keep up to date with What’s on. You can purchase tickets via the official website here.

club boutique hotel cunnamulla craft bber

The Big Red Bash

The Big Red Bash is one of QLD’s biggest Outback Festivals. Unfortunately, you may have to plan far in advance to attend this beauty as it sells out in days! The 2020 Big Red Bash is held from the 7th – 9th July however it sold out in record time late last year, with record numbers set to attend as well.  The event is expecting over 9000 people to venture to this year’s event, and we can understand why!

Line Up

This year’s line-up includes, Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, Tim Finn, John Williamson, Kate Ceberano, Ian Moss, Shannon Noll, Dragon, The Radiators, Mi Sex, Wendy Matthews, Thirsty Merc, Marc Gable, Dragon, Glenn Shorrock, Caitlin Shadbolt and plenty more. If you have not travelled to Birdsville or the bash before there is a great facebook group to join. It’s called Travelling to the Big Red Bash which offers support tips and hints for the perfect trip. Remember a great trip is also about the journey not just the destination.

Restaurant & Bar Offers
On-route to Big Red Bash 2019

Cunnamulla is a town worthy of a a day or two and Club Boutique Hotel has some great functions and events pre and post the Big Red Bash. Many bashers call in to experience the last bit of luxury and comfort before they head further West. It is also the only place in the Outback where you can have craft beer on tap with their unique and exclusive Cunnamulla Characters Brewed. If you would like further information you can check out the official Big Red Bash website.

Birdsville Races

The Birdsville racetrack welcomes over 6000 guests for the Birdsville races each year. The 2020 race meet will happen on the 4th and 5th September. Attendees will enjoy two days of quality outback racing along with all-star entertainment each night at the famous Birdsville Hotel. If you’re in need of more fun than that, you’re in luck! You also have the opportunity to participate in the RFDS Fun run. A race dedicated to helping raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctors service.

In 2019 a Facebook group was started to assist first time travellers to Birdsville Races. The group is full of information and can assist anyone travelling alone to be art of a larger group. We highly recommend you join Travelling to Birdsville Races.

If you are travelling through Cunnamulla we suggest you keep in up to date with what’s on, what you can expect to experience and see on your journey through Outback Queensland and more via the following facebook page Club Boutique Hotel Cunnamulla. To purchase tickets to this year’s races head to the official website here!

The Outback Food Wine and Music Festival

I think the name of this event would just about convince anyone to go! Who doesn’t love food, wine and music? Especially all at once!  This year Outback Food, Wine and Music Festival is on from the 11th – 13th of September. Held in Longreach at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre, it is an “unmissable outback event. A degustation of food, wine, craft beers, master chef classes and live music!! You can purchase your tickets and find out further information here.

Outback paddle Regatta Festival

A second festival located in Longreach only this time your swapping the wine and food for a paddle board, kayak, canoe or dragon boat! Set on the Thomson River this years Outback Paddle Regatta Festival is being held on Saturday the 19th September.

There is something for everyone, with serious and competitive challenges available to test your skills and battle out for the prizes. Or if you are more of a “just for fun” competitor, you can take out the various water craft for a more leisurely spin! The day also hosts various novelty races and games including, duck races, giant duck races, arm wrestling competitions, mini-obstacle courses for the kids, and of course music, food and entertainment throughout the day. You can keep up to date with the schedule and find out more information via the official website here

VDM Fest  – Rock Edge Country Music Festival

Back for a 4th year and growing each time! This year VDM Vest is expanding to a 2-day Festival over the 3rd and 4th of October. It is a Rock Edge County Music Festival located in Biloela, at the Biloela Showgrounds. This year’s line-up is an epic one. With the likes of  Missy Lancaster, Anna Farquhar, Natalie Pearson, Viper Creek Band and The Tony Q Band set to take the stage! You’ll want to get in quick for this one. You can buy your tickets here.

We know it might be a mission and a half to tick all of these events off in the one year, but you can only try right!? 😉 We certainly mean it when we say they are 10 unmissable Outback Festivals and events of 2020! So we will let you decided which ones your heading to this year and which ones will be on next years list!

7 ways to beat the heat and stay safe in Outback QLD this summer.

With summer fast approaching and temperatures soaring, we thought there’d be no better time to give our local advice on 7 ways to beat the heat and stay safe in Outback QLD this summer! The heat can be relentless and it’s hard to know what you can do to cool down and stay safe but here’s how.

Keeping cool:

Cool off with a dip in one of outback Queensland’s natural swimming pools.

Outback QLD is filled with beautiful rivers, creeks and waterholes, perfect to jump right in on those summer day’s. Lucky for us the best one is right on our door step! Cunnamulla is located right on the banks of The Warrego River. You can fish, swim and kayak along the river and there are some beautiful spots to perch to watch the sunset. It is a great spot to escape the heat but we recommend trying to stay out of the sun during the middle of the day. Enjoy a morning or afternoon swim instead!

If you’re travelling further north in Outback QLD, 700km North of Cunnamulla to be exact, you will find Longreach Waterhole. Another great spot to escape the heat and jump in for a swim. Another two hours north and you can enjoy Long Waterhole in Winton. Both are worth a visit and an ideal spot to take a dip! The maps below highlight their locations from the town centres.

Further into the centre of Australia, Birdsville, has two exceptional spots to dive in and cool down. Birdsville sits right on the banks of the Diamantina River, you can swim, fish and kayak here, it’s full of adventure! If you would like to try an authentic outback experience, you can swim in a billabong in Birdsville! ‘Birdsville Billabong’ is easy to find, located on the edge of town, near the Caravan Park. You can refer to the map below for additional details.

Enjoy a nice cold beer.

This seems to be a common theme of our blogs, we aren’t surprised! As always we know the perfect spot where you can enjoy an ice cold beer, Club Boutique Hotel. Peieta, owner of Club Boutique Hotel loves having a chat about Cunnamulla’s history and all there is to know about the outback! Club Boutique hotel even offers a perfect beer for the occasion “Cunnamulla Characters Brewed” The range of craft beer replicates some legendary Cunnamulla personalities into unique flavours, certainly an experience we recommend! Of course we’d suggest staying a while in Cunnamulla too. If your continuing your outback Queensland travels beyond Cunnamulla you can check out of blog on ‘Outback Queensland’s most iconic Hotel’s and Pub’s!‘ we think you’d be wild not to stop for a cold beer at these beauties!

Enjoy some of the incredible indoor activities outback QLD has to offer.

The easiest way to beat the heat and stay safe in Outback QLD this summer, is to stay in doors. There are plenty of wonderful indoor activities available to keep you entertained!

The Cunnamulla Fella Centre and Art Gallery is located at Cunnamulla’s Visitor information centre on Jane Street. It is a great place to start, you can learn about the history of the Cunnamulla and the story of the Cunnamulla Fella. You can also grab additional information about the town and surrounding areas while you’re there!

The Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, is a must visit tourist spot and a great activity to get out of that heat! There are many things to see and do at the Waltzing Matilda Centre, including viewing of the art and photography exhibitions, dining at the cafe, browsing the Qantilda Museum and of course learning the history of the Waltzing Matilda song. Winton is also home to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. It is a wonderful family day out where you will learn and discover the history of dinosaurs in Australia!

The Qantas Founders Museum Longreach is another wonderful family friendly location where you can avoid the sun and heat on a summer day while still enjoying a day exploring! It is home to a world-class museum, cultural displays, interactive exhibits and even Qantas aircraft tours.

Take a Nap

One of our favourite ways to stay out of the mid day heat is a snooze. Not only is it relaxing and refreshing but you will be out of the sun and heat in the hottest part of the day! This would be my pick!

Staying safe in the heat:

Seek shade shelter when you can.

The sun in Australia is extremely hot and can be dangerous if you are in it for long periods of time. It is important to try and seek shade or shelter throughout the day to stay cool, avoid getting sunburnt, dehydrated or over heated. This particularly applies in the middle part of the day, when the sun is strongest. The best place to stay cool is under a big shady tree! Alternatively, try and schedule some of the indoor activities, mentioned above, for the mid day heat!

If you’re hiking, stick to the cooler part of the day.

Hiking at the best of times is hot! If you plan on doing some hiking on your trip to outback QLD, leave early in the morning or late afternoon. It is far to hot to be hiking through the middle of the day. It can be very dangerous, you need to keep cool and hike only at appropriate times.

Luckily it has been abnormally mild lately and we have not really had any hot days. So if your were planning on doing some hiking our recommendations are, the Cunnamulla Bushland gardens, Cunnamulla Sandhills, Cunnamulla sewerage estuary and Cunnamulla Warrego River Walk. The sun rises at 5am and sets late in the evening around 7pm allowing for some excellent morning or afternoon hiking weather and temperatures!

Travelling in the Heat

Staying safe on the roads in the heat is important too. A good tip if you break down on outback roads is to never leave your vehicle no matter how long you are there. When people start looking for you it is often by air and a vehicle can be easily spotted from above, however a person in the scrub can not. Try to avoid sitting in your vehicle if you break down, hop out and find a spot under a shady tree nearby if possible. It is also important to carry excess water with you, just in case. Another great safety practice is to always keep in touch with family or friends to make sure they know your plans and where you are heading. However, remember not to rely solely on technology as in many parts of remote areas there is limited to no service.

Be prepared

The most important advice is to be prepared for the heat! Sun protection is essential, a hat, sunscreen and light clothing will be helpful in protecting you from the suns rays. A fly net is also a good addition as the flies can be relentless in summer!!

We hope these 7 ways to beat the heat and stay safe in Outback QLD this summer are helpful and make for a more enjoyable journey!! Safe travels.

Outback Queensland’s iconic ‘must do’ experiences!

Of course, there are plenty of spectacular towns, landscapes and places to visit on your outback adventure (Cunnamulla included). However, there are also some incredibly characteristic and symbolic outback experiences to be had on your adventure too! We have put together a list of some of Outback Queensland’s iconic ‘Must Do’ experiences.

1. Sleep under the stars

Usually you save the best for last right? Well not today, this ‘must do’ outback experience is both magical and breath taking, and therefore takes its rightful position at the top of our list.  With no lights, no cars, no noise and no buildings, the outback sky transforms into a blanket of stars each and every night. It is one of the most beautiful and fascinating places to stargaze. There is only one way to make the experience truly unforgettable; rolling out your swag, and sleeping under the blanket, blanket of stars that is 😉

2. Have a beer with a local

Lucky for you, we have already compiled a list of Outback QLD’s most iconic pubs for you to enjoy a nice cold beer in! However even luckier for you, we also know the best local to enjoy it with! Sure, enjoying a beer is nice, but having yarn with a local while you drink it is even better. They can provide you with some fantastic insight into the outback. They have many years’ experience living, working and travelling the outback so have some great stories to tell! If you have travel questions, or itinerary questions, they are great at suggesting ‘must stop places’ for the most authentic experiences!

Peieta, owner of Club Boutique Hotel knows the history of Cunnamulla like the back of her hand and loves sharing all there is to know about the outback! If you are passing by Cunnamulla we suggest stopping for a beer and a chat! Club Boutique hotel even offers a special beer perfect for the occasion “Cunnamulla Characters Brewed” The range of craft beer replicates some legendary Cunnamulla personalities into unique flavours, certainly an experience we recommend! Of course we’d suggest staying a while to. You can read our blog on the best ways to spend 72 hours in Cunnamulla for some suggestions. Of course you can book our luxury accommodation here.

3. Swim in natural mineral waters

The Great Artesian Basin in Australia’s is the largest Artesian basin in the world. Water lies far below the surface under the majority of Queensland and into parts of South Australia and the Northern Territory. Water discharges from the Great Artesian Basin via various natural springs or via bores that have been drilled to tap into the water. Either way it can create some wonderful swimming spots filled with natural mineral enriched water. There are several places throughout QLD when you can bathe in the warm waters. It is certainly a once in a lifetime swim! Water from the Great Artesian Basin can be extremely hot and dangerous, it is important to only swim at designated swimming spots. Some of our favourite spots in Queensland include;

The Great Artesian Spa Mitchell , located in Mitchell QLD, has 2 pools filled with artesian water. One naturally heated from the Great Artesian Basin and regulated to a comfortable temperature. The second pool is far cooler and a welcomed feeling after spending a while in the heated one!

Artesian Mud Baths Eulo, located in Eulo QLD, slightly different to the usual natural swimming springs, here the artesian water discharges on the surface as mud! Mud enriched with various minerals such as Silica, Magnesium. Potassium, Calcium, Iron and Zinc. It is a wonderful day out, and while it’s not quite a swim, it is certainly just as nice! Your skin will be silky smooth after your day at the mud baths! We wrote about the Eulo Mud baths in our How to get the most out of 72 hours in Cunnamulla Blog too!

Charlotte Plains, We mentioned Charlotte Plains in our previous blog on 8 places to Camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds. A perfect spot for an afternoon swim at sunset, it doesn’t get much better.

4. Glamp in the Outback

It’s no surprise glamping made the list, glamping has been trending for a while and we’re not surprised. Combine a gorgeous bell tent, luxury linen and a plush bed with the added bonus of the outback landscapes and colours and you’ve got yourself a dream set up! It’s a totally unique experience and one we highly recommend. Club Boutique in Cunnamulla offers Glamping in Outback Queensland. You can book here. Additionally, we put together a list of the 5 best place you can glamp in Outback Australia in case your travel plans don’t include QLD just yet!

5. Learn the History

Learning the History is definitely on our Outback Queensland’s iconic ‘must do’ experiences list. The outback is home to beautiful diverse landscapes, incredible people and unique experiences. However it also has an incredibly rich history. You can learn about the outback, it’s people, monuments, landscapes and stories by chatting to locals, visiting the local information centres and of course by touring the area. Club Boutique Hotel in Cunnamulla offers wonderful town tours, you can learn the in-depth story of the Cunnamulla Fella, as well as the history of the different areas, buildings and sights of the town. Many outback towns offer experiences like this and they are well worth it!

6. Fossick for Opals

The Opal is Australia’s national gem-stone. They are mined in various places across Australia with Outback Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales being prime spots. Of course you can join in on the fun and try your luck at finding one of the beautiful stones for yourself. It is a great family activity and certainly an iconic must do while you are travelling the outback! You can mine for opals in Outback QLD at, Yowah, Winton, and Quilpie.

7. Attend an outback festival or event.

If there is one thing Outback Queensland known how to do, it’s throw a Festival! There is an abundance of festival’s and events to choose from including the Cunnamulla Fella Festival, Winton’s Way out West Fest, Winton’s Outback Film Festival, Birdsville Races, the Betoota Races Music in the Mulga Eulo and the Big Red Bash to name a few! You will need to plan ahead for an experience like this, tickets to these events are selling out in record time with record numbers! Big Red Bash 2020, sold out in 1 day this month and will see over 9000 people attend the festival next July! If that doesn’t prove these events should be on Outback Queensland’s iconic ‘must do’ experiences list than we don’t know what will!

8. Sit and enjoy an outback sunrise or sunset.

Last, but certainly not least is winding down to watch one of the outback’s most spectacular visions! Sunrise and Sunset. The most vivid oranges, reds, yellows, pinks and purples you can imagine, they make for a beautiful start or end to the day. It is hard to describe their beauty which is why we have included them on the list of Outback Queensland’s iconic ‘must do’ experiences! Time to see one for yourself.

8 places you can camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds.

There are plenty of ways to travel to outback, 5-star luxury resorts, budget accommodation, caravanning, and of course camping! It might be the least luxury way of travel, but we think it’s a great way to experience the outback for everything it is! To make your travels to Cunnamulla easier we have put together a list of 8 places you can camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds.

1. Club Boutique Hotel

We know that camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Which is why Club Boutique Hotel offers luxury camping, in the form of GLAMPING! Our glamping tents are a one of a kind, glamorous outback experience. Not only do you get to swap out a swag for a bed, but you get added luxuries like, soft cosy linen, WI-FI, a snack fridge and of course a totally instagramable boho inspired bell tent to sleep in. You can book our glamping via the book now button on our glamping page . If you’re looking for a bit of extra information on glamping, you can refer to our “5 places you can glamp in the outback” blog.

If that is still not quite lush enough for you, you can try Club Boutiques 1- and 2-bedroom luxury suites and we are positive they will be the perfect amount of comfortable and indulgent. We have every type of traveller covered, that’s for sure. You can book any of our accommodation options here. We understand that some prefer the simple (or rougher) life and that is why we have popped together this list of 8 place you can camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds.    

Getting to Club Boutique is easy! We are located at 15 Louise Street Cunnamulla. You can refer to the map below for our exact location. We have also included a picture of Club Boutique from the road so you know what to look for.

There are many different styles of camping, rugged bush camping in a swag or tent, sleeping in a van, and of course caravanning! Caravan Parks can often make it feel like you aren’t camping at all, they have great cooking facilities, the option for power, usually a shower and are often close to the town centre. They are a perfect option if the ‘swag under the stars’ on the side of the road isn’t for you! There are 3 caravan Parks included in our list of 8 places you can camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds, all with fantastic facilities and with their own notable qualities.

2. Cunnamulla and Warrego Riverside Tourist Park

Warrego River Tourist Park is located right on the Warrego River at 322 Weir Rd, Cunnamulla. The river is one of the most picturesque landscapes in Cunnamulla and surrounds, and the caravan park is no different. It recently went under some renovation and is now home to some of the most fantastic facilities and amenities we’ve seen at a caravan park! The grounds are littered with lemon, pomegranate, limes and Kumquats trees. The gardens and lawns are perfectly manicured. Gorgeous roses and an array of herbs such as rosemary, chives, and basil for your picking. The caravan park is located about 3km from the town centre, you can view the map below for some directions. You can also find further information and booking details on the official website.

3. Cunnamulla Tourist Park and Cabins

No. 3 of 8 places you can camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds is Cunnamulla Tourist Park and Cabins. Located closer to the town centre of Cunnamulla, at 65 Watson Street, it’s a great spot if you prefer walking the town! They offer powered and unpowered sites as well as cabins if you prefer a night indoors. They have plenty of facilities including BBQ’s, a laundry, camp fire, free WI-FI, and a camp kitchen. You can refer to their website for booking and prices. The map below will provide you with accurate directions to the Caravan Park.  

65 Watson Street Cunnamulla

4. Cunnamulla Cabins and Caravan Park

The last caravan park we have included on the list is Cunnamulla Cabins and Caravan Park. Also located closer to town, a spacious and budget caravan park with powered, unpowered sites including some with ensuite showers. Additionally, they have the option of $10 bush camping if you’re looking for a cheap and convenient spot to set up.  You will have access to facilities such as the camp kitchen, BBQ area and fire pit. If you are interested in upgrading for the night, they also offer a variety of budget rooms, cabin’s, cottages and motel accommodation. You can browse the different types of accommodation, available dates and booking details here

79 Emma Street Cunnamulla

Not everyone is a rugged camper, but we would recommend trying it at least once! You can’t beat the serenity of a secluded campsite or sleeping under the stars! We’ve included a few spots that are a little less luxury and a little more outback style in our list of 8 places you can camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds. Have a look below;

5. Mannbo’s Find

Can’t get much more basic than this! Located off the Mitchell HWY, Coongoola, QLD (map below) is Mannbo’s Field. Put simply it’s a red dirt field with plenty of trees and shrubs. It is the perfect place for an outback experience under the stars. Off the beaten track, peaceful and quiet, and the sky filled with stars, a place only for the adventurous! There are no facilities at this campground so you must be self-sufficient. It is important to leave the site as you found it, making sure to take your rubbish with you. The grounds are free to stay, pet friendly and accessible to motorbikes, RV’s, camper trailers and caravans . It won’t be the perfect spot for everyone but certainly for those bold enough to try a real outback camping experience!

6. Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary

Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary is located about 17km North-West of Cunnamulla. We have included exact directions and an accompanying map below to make finding the site as easy as possible. First things first, Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary is only open from March to October each year. It is most commonly used by keen bird watchers from across the country. Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 200 species of bird life! A full list of bird species is provided at the Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary offers powered and unpowered sites, caravan sites, cooking and amenity facilities. Alternatively, you can stay in the sheering quarters which accommodates up to 11 people in 6 bedrooms. Bookings are essential at Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary and should be done in advance. You can call the team on (07) 4655 1238 or you can read further information and book via the website here

Keep an eye out on Club Boutique Hotel’s blog page in the coming weeks for an additional blog spilling on the best places to go bird watching in the Cunnamulla area.

7. May’s Bend

May’s Bend is 11km North of Bourke, a little on the outer region of Cunnamulla. However, we thought it was a notable addition considering last week’s blog was a 7 day itinerary from Sydney to Cunnamulla. With Bourke featuring as an included stop-over point. This may just be the campsite you were looking for on the journey. May’s Bend is a free campsite that is accessible to all vehicle types. Tent camping is permitted, and it is pet friendly as well. The campground is located right on the Darling River making for a great swimming spot to cool off in, fishing is also allowed. Additionally, you can enjoy a fire and there is plenty of birdlife to watch here too! There is no drinking water available so ensure you have enough before setting up camp. Directions from both Bourke and Cunnamulla are outlined on the maps below.

8. Charlotte Plains

Finally, our last campground to make the list of 8 places you can camp in Cunnamulla and surrounds is Charlotte Plains. You may be familiar with Charlotte Plains already as it features on this year’s outback QLD tourist magazine with the below iconic image.

Charlotte Plains is a family owned and operated sheep station 45km East of Cunnamulla, they offer powered and unpowered sites or the option of the shearer’s quarters with 8 rooms available. One of Charlotte Plains notable facilities is the porcelain bath aka artesian baths, located on the property. You can sit and soak in the mineral enriched water spilling from the artesian bore. A truly iconic and unique experience to the Outback. You can find out more information on charlotte plains here.

Lastly, we would like to recommend a wonderful tool if you are camping your way around Outback QLD or camping anywhere across Australia. Some of the more rugged / less developed campgrounds on this list were found via the Wiki-Camps mobile app. This app provides you with exceptional information on thousands of camping spots across Australia, many of which are free to stay at. You can search via location and are able to download the maps to use offline which is perfect for when you are looking for campgrounds in the outback. The app is a once off payment of AUD$7.99 and may be a worthwhile investment if you are a regular camper looking for different campgrounds around Australia.

Written by Belinda Johnston
B Social

In Tribute Bub (Steven) Emery

A poem written in memory of Bub Emery!

A mailman has a thankless job,

No truer words were spoken yet

A million things to memorise

And God help if you forget.

Bub Emery

Bub (Steven) Emery on his mail truck in front of his house in Stockyard Street Cunnamulla

Along the corrugated roads

In summer heat or winter cold

Through mud, mirage, or bulldust deep,

You watch the endless miles unfold.


The man we knew who drove the mail

With many a high and heavy load,

Earned love, respect and gratitude,

Along the Moombidary Road.


So many extra favours done

Without a thought of recompense

“Of course it’s not a trouble mate

What! Me? take payment have some sense.”

“You want to pay me for the ride?

Now, look here, don’t let’s argue mate!

Enjoy your company.

Besides you opened every flaming gate!”


His cheerfulness and kindly deeds,

Are held within our memory

And sadly missed by all of us,

Is our good mate “Bub” Emery.

(These inadequate but sincere lines require no signature. They are meant to express the thoughts of many people who knew and respected the late Mr. Emery. and especially those people along his mail run, who have reason to be grateful for his kindness and cheery good – will.)

For other great stories on Cunnamulla History;

Albion’s Warrego Sawmill Cunnamulla

Cunnamulla Beer Brewer In History of Australian Beer

Thargomindah, Noccundra onto Cunnamulla by Joyce Margaret Cowie

Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride 2018

Cunnamulla Accommodation Live Australia’s Story with Tristan Evert

Top Cunnamulla Accommodation for Cunnamulla Fella Festival

American Twitchers do Cunnamulla in search of Raptors

Cunnamulla Road Trip Down Memory Lane With John Hill


Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride 2018

cooper creek to cunnamulla bike ride 2018

Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride 2018 Connecting 158 Years of History

On Thursday 9th August 1906 two young men named Liddle & Beckett arrived in Cunnamulla as part of their attempt to cycle round the world and all because they loved adventure. 24 year old Liddle was from the Orkney Islands Scotland and 19 year old Beckett from England.

They duo relied mostly on the generosity of people to feed and accommodate them as they travelled. It is no surprise they were met in Cunnamulla with open arms by Mr. E Tindsall of Tattersall’s Hotel who provided their board and lodging during their stay. From Cunnamulla they journeyed via Charleville Blackall, Barcauldine, Longreach, Hughenden, and Cooktown, and then proceeded down the coast to Sydney, where they took a boat for New Zealand, and subsequently Tasmania, then returning to Sydney, Melbourne, Ballarat, Adelaide, and Fremantle.

Saturday 21 April 2018 a group of about fifty cyclers set off for Cooper Creek, Noccundra to participate in the Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride 2018 which will take place 21 – 25 April 2018.

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Cunnamulla Accommodation Live Australia’s Story with Tristan Evert

Cunnamulla Accommodation Story G’day everyone, my name’s Tristan Evert and I’m the newest addition to the Out the Back Australia team which includes the heritage Club Boutique Hotel top quality Cunnamulla Accommodation. I am a qualified journalist after completing a degree in journalism at Griffith University on the sunny, Gold Coast.  I was born and raised on the Gold Coast, however have enjoyed numerous travels west to Queensland’s Outback, with family in both Cunnamulla and Winton.  This fun outback travel has inspired me to share the many unbelievable, authentic outback adventures I have had.

I am passionate about sport and travel and I will use my skill and love of writing to take you on a journey to Outback Queensland to live Australia’s Story by unearthing the history.  On the way I will share the secret locations, the best adventures and the biggest characters Outback Queensland and Cunnamulla has to offer starting with members of my own family.

Full of knowledge that births from a rich history in the far reaches of the Australian outback.

It is quite amazing when you discover that two locations in Queensland’s Outback that are close to the heart of my family being Winton and Cunnamulla have strong links going back to the late 1800’s and here is a little about this Australian Story.

My great great grandparents, Catherine O’Rioden and William Robert Clayton were both drovers that toured the rugged landscape of Australia with regular routes from Wellington in New South Wales to Boulia in Queensland. Originally from Ireland, Ms O’Rioden boarded a ship in sight of Australia out of desperation, however was shipwrecked in the red sea. She was rescued and given a job in the North Gregory Hotel Winton when she met another Irish lady named Norah Howard who was the owner of the Boulia Hotel.  Later Mrs Howard wrote to Catherine inviting her to move to Boulia and work for her at the Boulia Hotel.  Catherine quickly accepted and made the journey to Boulia and this is where she met William Robert Clayton and married.

The pair called Bourke, Hungerford, Thargomindah and Cunnamulla home as they travelled constantly around, running hotels and droving cattle for themselves and others. At one stage they were droving 500 head of cattle towards Bourke when they ran into the legendary Sir Sidney Kidman,’ who offered them a fortune for their cattle.  Over the years they had many encounters with Sir Sidney Kidman as they drove cattle for him and sold him a property they owned including Currawinya which is now a national park and great tourist attraction.  My great Grandmother often recalled conversations between her father and Sir Sidney with one being a tongue lashing to her father as her brother Bill was riding in a saddle with a broken tree.  When you hear stories of the legendary Sir Sidney Kidman you instantly get an image of a big strong man however Gran often recalled that Sir Sydney had a really squeaky voice and was small.

Born in Bourke, my great grandmother Margaret Clayton (nee Emery) grew up on the droving trails, sleeping under the stars every night, a real kid of the outback. There were not many if any luxuries and they made a new camp every night which was deemed upmarket if there was a kitchen made from Gidyea posts and old kerosene tins.  In school we were taught history that often included bushrangers however my great Grandmother Margaret and her mother actually lived much of Australia’s Story and would often reminisce about having tea with the Mrs Hall, the wife (or ex wife) of famous bushranger Ben Hall.

A regular route was from Bourke to Thargomindah via Hungerford and back in those days Hungerford the town located on the boarder gate between New South Wales and Queensland had two hotels.  Margaret was 15 and had just completed her schooling at the Catholic School in Bourke when her mother Catherine purchased the Commercial Hotel in Hungerford.  At the time it was busy with high numbers of drovers, shearers, bullockies, Cobb & Co Coaches and swagies making their way for work.  Today the hotel is long gone and only the Royal Mail Hotel stands in what has become an isolated and quiet place on the boarder gate.  This may well be where her granddaughter Peieta Mills drew her inspiration to re-open and renovate the historic Cunnamulla accommodation at Club Boutique Hotel that often hosted royalty.

At age 17 Margaret drew a Thargomindah property in a ballot and the family settled and worked it.  At the age of 26 Margaret Clayton married Steven Emery, from Thargomindah whom was known to everyone as Bub. The Emery family were know as mail contractors running mail trucks all around the district which was often referred to as ball bearing droving.  Together Gran & Grandad Bub had five children, Peg Campbell (nee Emery), Tom Emery, Elsie Burke (nee Emery), June Evert (nee Emery) who is my Grandmother and Chris Mills (nee Emery) who is Peieta’s mother.  In 1943 the family moved to Cunnamulla, where Bub began operating his own mail runs and developed a wool carting business. Margret became well known to all in Cunnamulla and was fondly called Gran by many. A true outback icon that spent her 96 years of life in the outback.

This diverse and extensive outback family history provides me with an extremely unique insight into outback culture, characters and life that I will enjoy sharing with my audience via my Tristan Evert Journalist articles. Full of amazing tales and adventurous stories, you will be left wanting more.

I come from a long line of country icons that have done some extraordinary things. I am an Evert and the Evert family were explorers, trail blazers and innovators with a passion for Australia, Outback Queensland and the Queensland town of Winton.   My great uncle Vince Evert was a visionary, originally the owner and picture show man, running one of the last open air theatres in Australia before furthering his enormous passion for open cut opal mining. He took the opal and travelled around the world, realising the enormous potential in over seas markets. He visited places like Japan and America showcasing opal and slowly creating the company now known as Evert Fine Jewellery. In the early days he would often bring people from all around the world to his fields and give them the outback Queensland experience, an early example of outback tours.

Vince, as well as his two brothers Neale and Peter are famous for promoting outback Queensland and they saw opal as an opportunity to bring people out. The trio journeyed all over the outback promoting tourism in their home town of Winton as the future that would keep the bush alive. No one believed Vince but he had tremendous vision and faith and because he was so highly regarded people followed his lead. Vince has since passed on but has a prestigious tourism award named after him, the Outback Tourism Queensland Association’s Vince Evert Award. Not only the Evert side of the family are prominent in outback Queensland, my other side of the family also hosts some quite spectacular outback figures and characters.

You can expect scandals, love, loss, war, peace, struggles, achievement, adventures, history characters and progress. Everything that makes the outback great, that unbreakable spirit, amazing country mateship and a never give up fight for survival.

Something that everyone should experience at least once in his or her lifetime. If you’re searching for an unbelievable, authentic outback adventure then come on this written journey with me until you are inspired to make your own booking into the Club Boutique Hotel the best Cunnamulla accommodation along the way. Meet the locals, experience nature and discover the wonderful secrets of Cunnamulla and Outback Queensland.

For other great stories on Cunnamulla History;

Albion’s Warrego Sawmill Cunnamulla

Cunnamulla Beer Brewer In History of Australian Beer

In Tribute Bub (Steven) Emery

Thargomindah, Noccundra onto Cunnamulla by Joyce Margaret Cowie

Cooper Creek to Cunnamulla Bike Ride 2018

Top Cunnamulla Accommodation for Cunnamulla Fella Festival

American Twitchers do Cunnamulla in search of Raptors

Cunnamulla Road Trip Down Memory Lane With John Hill