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South West Queensland - Channel Country

Queensland’s Southern Outback is a blaze of colour, wide open spaces, National Parks and the deep rivers of Mulga. The name 'Channel Country' comes from the intertwined rivulets throughout the region. There are endless bushwalking trails through the phenomenal landscapes, not to mention billabongs, lakes, rivers and a myriad of native bird life.

The South West is known for its unspoiled bushland but there are many other activities on offer so you can try your hand at opal mining, staying at a station, fishing, 4WDing and finish at all up with a natural mud bath and plunge into the hot artesian springs. For those unwilling to drive all the way out to the Channel Country Cunnamulla Airport sits in the east of the region at the intersection of the Mitchell and Balonne Highways.

Natural Attractions in Channel Country

Carnarvon National ParkThe Currawinya National Park wetlands are home to thousands of water birds and part time residence for just as many migratory shorebirds. The park has built the Bilby Fence; a predator proof fence made to protect the endangered native mammal – the greater bilby.

Go Four Wheel Driving through the park for some amazing wildlife watching and try to spot the 200 bird species, four large kangaroo species, bilbies and several other native Australian animals.

The rich colours of Diamantina National Park attract amateur photographers, as do the old station buildings, cemeteries and hotel ruins in the park, reminders of the historic pastoral use. It is named for the mighty Diamantina River which runs through the park and is one of Queensland’s longest rivers. The nearest townships are those of the Shire of Diamantina; Bedourie, Birdsville and Betoota (Australia’s smallest town).

Mt Moffatt, Carnarvon National Park, while remote, is the location of Queensland’s highest plateau. The top offers spectacular views as the ranges sweep down sandstone cliffs to open woodlands and sandy valleys below. Go bushwalking, camping, or 4WDing through the park to see scenic views, naturally formed sculptures, Aboriginal art, colourful native birds and feathertail gliders by night.

Welford National Park includes grass plains, woodlands, the Barcoo River, wind-blown sand dunes and fields of delicate wildflowers. Throughout the park there are remnants of the area’s Aboriginal heritage, with water wells, stone arrangements and paintings. Visitors can drive the self-guided scenic tracks, go fishing, camping and hiking through the park.

Things To See & Do

The Charleville Heritage Trail guides visitors through the history of the town, the beautiful heritage buildings and the pastoral landmarks. Charleville is the heart and largest town in Queensland’s Southern Outback and historical centre of the region.

The Great Artesian Spa in the town of Mitchell is on RACQ’s ‘150 must dos’ list for Queensland. A soak in the thermal, mineralised artesian waters is relaxing for the body and a unique outback experience. It comprises of two large pools of water from the Great Artesian Basin, one naturally heated to relax tired muscles, while the other is kept cool for those wanting a more refreshing experience.

Windorah desert

Quilpie Museum and Shire Gallery is a train shaped building celebrating the town’s position as the beginning and end of the railway line. The centre showcases everything the shire has to offer such as the rugged history of the early pioneers, opal displays and mining history, and art works by local artists.

Windorah is an historic town that offers truly outback views of the red sand landscapes, picturesque ruins and historic sites. A scenic nature drive from the town to Cooper’s Creek is popular for tourists and locals, giving the opportunity to appreciate the giant red sand hills just to the west of the town.

Landmarks

Birdsville HotelCameron Corner is a small town that sits on the intersecting borders of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. The Dingo Fence, built to keep predatory animals out of the fertile southeast of Australia, passes through the town. The Cameron Corner Store is said to be a Queensland business with a NSW postcode and a South Australian phone number.

Just outside of Thargomindah is the historic ‘Dig Tree’. When Burke and Wills were exploring Australia they left William Brahe here at the South Australian border to command Camp LXV. He buried supplies here and carved ‘Dig’ on the tree in 1861.

Birdsville Hotel is a remarkable building dating back to 1884. Still serving as the town pub, the hotel is a famous drinking hole for Channel Country.