Birdsville is a remote town in outback Queensland, right on the edge of the Simpson Desert. It has a population of around 300, but a steady stream of visitors heading outback or returning from the desert. The Birdsville track occupies a place in Australian folklore, but with a few sensible precautions this is an outback town accessible to all.
Being an outback town also means that there are extremes of temperature. Expect hot summers with average maximums at nearly 40°C, and some days of extreme heat. Winter is more mild, with warm days and cold nights. Rain is uncommon, but heavy rains can isolate the town for days, and can occur at any time of year - but most likely in summer. April to October are the best months to visit.
Get in edit
By plane edit
Birdsville has its own 1 airport. , and aviation related tourism is significant for the town. The airport is buzzing with general aviation flights for the Birdsville races. The airport terminal itself is right across the road from the pub, and (if you are so inclined) you can be seated at the bar with your first cold one within 5 minutes of stepping off the plane.
- Rex flies to Brisbane via a meandering route through the Queensland outback. (Windorah/Quilpie/Charleville/Brisbane, Bedourie/Boulia/Mount Isa)
By car edit
A two-wheel drive vehicle is usually okay along the Birdsville track. Check local road conditions, and the predicted weather. The roads can close to all or just 2 wheel drive vehicles. Any road trip to Birdsville requires preparation. A careful eye on the weather and road conditions and a few survival rations on board. It will take you longer to drive from Brisbane than it would if you were to drive to Melbourne or Cairns.
Get around edit
Shuttle buses run to the races and to the music festival when they are on. The town itself is very small you wouldn't need a car to get between the Caravan Park, the pub and the billabong. You'll need a car (or a plane) to continue your trip.
- Birdsville Wirrarri Information Centre, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. 2 Nov-31 Mar M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM; 1 Apr-1 Nov Daily 8:30AM-5:30PM. The centre offers visitors Wi-Fi, maps, souvenirs, library facilities, road conditions and weather reports throughout the Diamantina Shire and adjoining areas.
- Blue Poles Gallery, ☏ , email@example.com.
- 1 Munga-Thirri National Park (Simpson Desert National Park). Queensland's largest national park that contains largely untouched sand dunes where you could 4WD across. They're 200 kilometers long, and range between 10 and 35 m in height, having formed about 30,000 years ago. Due to the heat, it's closed during summer (Dec 1 to Mar 15), so plan carefully if you're visiting this remote park.
1 Birdsville Races. Held each year in September in Birdsville, this is so much more than just a race day. Easily the biggest thing to happen in Birdsville. Funds are raised in aid of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. During the races the population is swelled to around 7,000 people for the two-day event.
Big Red Bash music festival. A music festival in the desert. A short distance from Birdsville itself, most people spend the duration of the festival camping on site in the desert
- Birdsville Bakery, ☏ . The bakery includes a café themed on old world Australiana offering coffee, cakes, fresh pies and sausage rolls. The homemade pie range includes Curry Camel, Kangaroo and Claret, Chunky beef and Mince pies.
- 1 Birdsville Hotel, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Delicious counter meals can be ordered in the historic ‘Green Lizard Bar' at the Birdsville Hotel. Lunch is served daily 12:00-14:00 and evening meals 18:00-20:30.
There is a cafe at the caravan park.
There is a single hotel, serving both canned and bottled beer.
- Birdsville Caravan Park, ☏ , fax: , email@example.com. The Birdsville Caravan Park has 9 fully serviced units with fridges and TV's plus 3 deluxe fully self contained cabins.
There is also accommodation at the pub.
During race week, and for the music festival you will be expected to camp, unless you get in early.
Telstra and Optus both provide services in town. However, during race week, the network can be at capacity.