Welcome to Windorah
With its closest major neighbors over 300km away, Windorah is a somewhat isolated little town, but holds its own and packs in quite a lot to see and do, especially for avid campers and RV’ers. It has its own unique character and outback Queensland style, with historical old buildings full of rustic charm, picturesque ruins and stunning red sand hills.
Red Sandhills act as a backdrop to Windorah
Windorah is situated on Cooper’s Creek in the heart of the Channel Country 35km below the junction of Barcoo and Thomson Rivers and this is the only place it the Australia where two rivers form to make a creek. The surrounding countryside is mainly flat flood plains with stunning red sandhills to the west and the channel Country to the South. The channel country can stretch to around 100km span of water in flood time causing natural irrigation of the best natural beef fattening country in Australia.
Stop off on the way to Bridsville
It is on the way to Birdsville and a definite place to stop over at for at least a few days. July is the coolest month, but depending on when you go, there is always something to see or explore, or you can just sit at the iconic Cooper’s Creek and spend the day doing nothing.
While the town itself is only small and survives primarily from the pastoral industry, its 86 locals are welcoming and look forward to hosting travellers. The town has everything you need including an iconic pub, well stocked general store, post office and service station. You can get all your supplies in town, including bait to try your hand at fishing in Coopers Creek which is ideal for camping, fishing and birdwatching.
Community Centre & Service Centre
“Windorah” is the Aboriginal word meaning Big Fish. The town started when the Whitman brothers were caught in an 1870’s flood on a stony point, and after selling their goods decided it would be a good place for a store. It wasn’t until 1880 that Windorah was gazetted as a township and the name changed from Stony Point to Windorah.
One of the first hotels, The Western Star was built in 1878. The building burnt down in 1957 and a temporary structure built. The temporary structure is still used as the bar today.
Western Star Hotel
The Windorah Outback Shop building was built in the late 1880’s by Whitman Brothers, and the shop house is still the original building. It is the first steel frame building in the area and was shipped direct from England.
Windorah Outback Shop
Windorah holds its own when it comes to outback events with two major annual events ;
Bronco Branding & Gymkhana
Held in July each year, it hosts events for both horses and bikes, with live entertainment, and Bronco Branding, which showcases the unique method of branding stock in the bush. There is also a Stockman’s Challenge, Rodeo and Team Penning. It runs over the weekend, and there are camping options on site as well as the usual campsite options in town. (See below)
Bronco Branding @ the Gymkhana
Windorah International Yabby Races
This event is held in August each year when Windora comes alive with Yabbies. They have a dedicated Yabby racing track and the races are held on the Wednesday night before the Birdsville Races. There are four major events The Barcoo Bolt, The Thompson Trot, The Kyabra Kanter & The Cooper Cup. It is great community event with the Yabbies auctioned off and proceeds going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
And they’re off and Racing!!!
Things to do and see
Red Sandhills – Watch the sunset from the crest of a magnificent red sand dune while sipping a glass of your favourite wine, then take in the panorama of the starlit sky.
12km Nature Drive – Wind through a diverse range of landscapes between Windorah and Cooper’s Creek, with 45 plants identified and signposted along the way.
The J.C. Ruins – Imagine what life was like in the township of Canterbury while you explore the ruins of the J.C. Hotel and cemetery, 80km west of Windorah.
Solar Farm – On the edge of town five mirrored dishes 13.7m across provide daytime electricity to the town, a first for Queensland.
History and Information Walk – follow the booklet and map obtained at the Information Centre on a walk around town, learning about the town’s history and points of interest.
Whitula Gate Museum – Wander through the restored 1900’s slab hut which was built by the Rabbit Board as a boundary hut on Whitula Creek, west of town.
Information Centre – Drop in for a Driver Reviver cuppa, browse the literature and displays, pick up all the brochures and maps you’ll need for your travels. Keep in touch while you’re away with free internet and wi-fi services.
Where to stay
For campers and RV’ers there are a variety of locations to stay at including
Windorah Caravan Park – A central gathering point and popular location for the travelling community.
Western Star Hotel – Allows camping on the lawn area behind the pub, with a gold coin donation appreciated for the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Cooper’s Creek – Camp under majestic river red gums lining the waterhole, throw a line in and sit back and enjoy the peaceful sounds of the bush, or a yarn around the campfire.