If you’ve never read the great Australian poetry classic, A Bush Christening, there has never been a better time than when you’re travelling through the region that inspired Andrew Barton Paterson to pen his irreverently funny verse. The Outer Barcoo is still a place where the churches are few and the population is sparse, and the land is as diverse and ancient as time.
Towns of the Outer Barcoo are Isisford, Emmet and Yaraka. Isisford is the largest town of the Outer Barcoo and is situated about halfway between Ilfracombe on the main highway and Yaraka via the tiny settlement of Emmet, once a village settled around a railway siding and now with a population of just two. Stop and look through the historical display at its railway station.
Isisford was settled in the mid-1800s and its architecture reflects the lifestyle of its beginnings. The town has an 18-hole golf course, pool, tennis court, bowling green, park with playground and fascinating little museums to discover - the old bakery, Café Arcadia and Whitman’s Memorial Museum.
Visit the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre, which features a world-class fossil exhibit, local arts and crafts, all sorts of relics and a theatrette which features a film on the Isisford area since settlement. Meet the Isisfordia duncani and have a snack at the café while you’re there!
The town also has a post office, police station, two hotels, fuel outlet, primary health centre, QGAP office, ambulance, primary school, library and internet facilities. Camping is available at the Barcoo Weir and Oma Waterhole (nominal fee per night). Powered sites are available at the hotel. A popular annual event is the Isisford Fishing Competition, which is held the last weekend of July. But you can go fishing any time in search of the popular yellowbelly (golden perch). Attractions in the region include Major Mitchell historical sites like Yuranigh Pond, about 6km from town. Mitchell camped here and the waterhole was named after his Aboriginal friend.
Longreach Visitor Information Centre
Phone (within Australia) 07 4658 4150