Explore the desert oasis that is Bedourie, perched on a sand dune and surrounded by Eyre Creek. Stay a few days, have a yarn with the locals and take advantage of the town’s excellent facilities.
On arrival into Bedourie, call into the Bedourie Visitor Information Centre to peruse their brochures, souvenirs, photo gallery and history. Grab a town map and watch a video about the Diamantina Shire on the big screen.
Other services at the Bedourie Visitor Information Centre include:
- Bedourie Aquatic Centre and Hot Artesian Spa entry – Collect a key ($50.00 fully refundable deposit).
- Bedourie Golf Course –Pick up a golf course map, score card and golf clubs for a nominal fee.
- Bedourie Tennis Courts – Hire some racquets and balls or bring your own.
- Bedourie’s Heritage Walking Trail – Pick up a map.
- Scenic Adventure Loop Drive – Pick up a map.
- Across from the Bedourie Visitor Information Centre is ANZAC Park which offers some wonderful play equipment for children, BMX tracks, picnic areas and BBQ facilities.
DAY 1: Desert recreation – walk….. swim…….. golf
Follow the Heritage Walk:
Rise early to catch the magnificent desert sunrise, don your walking shoes and strap on your water bottle to follow the 2.6km heritage walk around town. Stroll past the Bedourie School, opened in 1967. Prior to this, school lessons were held in the Shire Hall!
You’ll pass the Bedourie Clinic, which is supported by fortnightly Flying Doctor visits and a range of visiting specialists throughout the year. Explore the historic Bedourie Cemetery and learn the stories of early residents.
Stand on the southern levee and capture the spirit of the old Bedourie Cricket ground, where the last game was played in 1989. Continue walking along the levee to the historic Mud Hut, take in its restored rammed earth and timber structure and discover its past lives as a Cobb and Co rest stop and private residence.
Take a swim in the Artesian Spa:
After your morning walk, you’ll appreciate a therapeutic soak in the mineralised waters of the hot Artesian Spa at the Aquatic Centre. The water temperature sits at around 35-40 degrees C and comes from the town’s original bore head drilled in 1905. Cool off in the 25m swimming pool and feel revived!
Time to have a Lunch break:
A great option for lunch is the air conditioned Simpson Desert Oasis Roadhouse, where you can also stock up on supplies at the same time.
Hit a round of desert golf:
Indulge in a challenging game of nine-hole desert golf at the local golf course. There are plenty of sand traps and permanent water hazards to keep things interesting. Keen birdwatchers might also find the stunning birdlife a distraction!
View the Dust Storm Sculpture:
Bedourie, meaning “dust storm” in the local Indigenous language, is appropriately home to the Dust Storm Sculpture, which represents the Spinifex in a dust storm. Take the time to view it in the afternoon as the sunlight sparkles through it and provides some great photo opportunities.
Did you know?
In the 1800’s, Bedourie was a major watering and rest stop for drovers moving cattle from the Northern Territory and northwest Queensland to the customs collection point in Birdsville, 200 km south. Enjoy a pub counter meal with the locals: Satisfy your well-deserved hunger with some really good tucker at the historic Bedourie Hotel, still in its original condition since it began trading in 1886. Take a walk back in time and visit the Bedourie Hotel even if just for a coldie
DAY 2: Law of the land – policing…..power……a coldie
Serve up an Ace:
Enjoy a leisurely half-day today starting with an energising morning hit of tennis at the Bedourie Tennis Courts.
Visit the old Bedourie Police Hut:
For an insight into early policing, head to the historic Bedourie Police Hut, which was built around 1890–1910, originally believed to have been a Native Police Trackers hut. Learn about the hut’s move to a Ethabuka Station in 1966 only to be returned to Bedourie in 2008 to preserve its history.
Discover Bedourie’s power story:
If you look over towards the sheds behind the Mud Hut, you’ll see the location of Bedourie’s first electricity producing generator, which was established in 1936. Next, take a short walk down the main street (Herbert Street) and keep a look out for the old telegraph pole. Beside it you will see an interesting sign detailing the history of when electricity was first turned on in Bedourie.
Have a ‘coldie’ with the locals:
Return to the historic Bedourie Hotel (formerly known as the Royal Hotel) for a well-deserved ‘coldie’, tea or coffee and lunch. The building has changed little in appearance since it opened in 1886, except for the replacement of the thatched roof with corrugated iron. Once the central business in Bedourie, the hotel has ownership links to Sir Sidney Kidman. Check out the dining room, which still carries reminders of yesteryear - an authentic outback pub experience.
DAY 3: Nature’s calling – scenic drive….. birdwatching……wildlife spotting
Follow the Scenic Adventure Loop Drive:
Fill the car up with petrol, stock up on plenty of water and a picnic lunch before setting off on this Scenic Adventure Loop Drive.
Cool off in Cookawinchika Creek:
Cookawinchika Creek can be a refreshing stop, but also be sure to grab your binoculars after the rain when Cookawinchika Creek becomes home to an abundance of birdlife. Perhaps you could make a game out of the name - getting the kids to try and pronounce this name is an event in itself!
Take a dip in Kings Creek Crossing:
Be sure to stop at this popular waterhole on Kings Creek, originally named after King, the sole survivor of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition. Notice the natural stone causeway, which was an excellent crossing point in the old days and therefore a favourite overnight stop for Afghan cameleers travelling the track between Birdsville and Bedourie. You may see a grave covered with rocks nearby; an Afghan tragically died there and was buried facing Mecca.
Realise the importance of No 3 Bore:
Look out for the No.3 Bore, which was significant in the 1890’s when all cattle were moved “on the hoof” and water was the drover’s main concern. Learn how this bore provided vital, permanent supply. See the steam engine, part of the drilling rig, which was transported in parts by bullock wagon and left on-site because of the huge cost of removal.
View Lake Machattie:
Take an interesting detour off the main road and over many sand dunes. Although Lake Machattie is located on private property and can’t be accessed, take in the views of the Lake, which is home to the largest Pelican breeding area in Australia.
See the birdlife at Cuttaburra Crossing:
Get up close to amazing birdlife at Cuttaburra Crossing. This permanent waterhole and renowned wetland on the Eyre Creek, between Lake Koolivoo and Lake Machattie is well worth a visit.
Stop at the memorial to Will Hutchison:
Visit Will Hutchison’s memorial to learn about the man who was recognised as the founder of Coober Pedy after discovering the first opal in Stuarts Range Opal Field in South Australia at the age of 15. Learn about Will’s interesting short life and mysterious drowning death at the tender age of 21.
Pass by Glengyle Station / Eyre Creek:
Drive past the private property of Glengyle Station, bought by Sir Sidney Kidman, “The Cattle King”, in 1903. It was a huge property of approximately 10,000 sq km, and just one of similar properties purchased by him that same year! Several graves found on the west side of the road date back to the early days when raging floods drowned several stockmen trying to cross Eyre Creek.
Cross the Toko (Floodplain) Channel:
Approximately 42 km from Bedourie, you’ll pass Toko Channel. These floodplain channels that cross the road and are renowned kangaroo feeding areas. Perhaps you will see some kangaroos too! At Take the Bedourie turn-off (22km from Bedourie) and travel the last section of your scenic drive back to town.