The mighty Warrego River clearly was inspirational in the naming of the town of Cunnamulla. The town bears an Aboriginal name meaning ‘long stretch of water’, so it’s not surprising that there is an oasis-like atmosphere among the lovely streetscapes.
With a diverse assortment of native flora and fauna both within the town and surrounding region, Cunnamulla is a rewarding destination for nature enthusiasts. The Cunnamulla Bushlands, located on the eastern entrance to the town, showcases some of the area’s superb eco-systems as you take a leisurely stroll along the 1.6km trail. It’s a golden opportunity to see flora indicative of the region’s different eco-systems all in the one place. For those with a greater appetite for birdwatching, Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary is only a hop, skip and a jump from town, playing host to over 200 species of birds.
Collect a town map and bird list from the Cunnamulla Fella Centre, which is the town’s visitor information centre. Before departing to explore, make sure you spend the time going through the Artesian Time Tunnel at the centre. Artesian water is the lifeblood of outback towns and its importance is demonstrated in the time tunnel experience as well as a 30-minute theatre presentation.
With all the points of interest marked on the town map provided by the visitor information centre, you’re ready to venture further afield. You may decide to take a relaxing drive to Allan Tannock Weir to see the abundant array of wildlife and birdlife and take part in water activities ranging from going on a Warrego boat cruise to kayaking along the river.
You can be active or take it pretty easy. Go for bush walks, try your skill at sandboarding, do a town and industry tour, relax over a fishing line, have your photo taken with the magnificent Cunnamulla Fella statue, journey back in time along Cunnamulla’s heritage trail … and definitely take some time out for yourself to enjoy a good coffee or a bite to eat at one of the town’s cafés, restaurants or pubs.
Cunnamulla is at the crossroads of the Matilda Highway and the Adventure Way. It is also part of the Natural Sciences Loop, as is the nearby opal town of Yowah. There is always something to do in Yowah and the locals are only too happy to show you around and make you feel welcome. Drive to the bluff to take in the 180-degree views and enjoy the scenic sunsets, relax in the open air artesian spa and then meet with a local at the fireside dinner or book an opal mining tour and fossick for the unique Yowah nut opal. Call in to the local art galleries and opal shops that line the streets. You’ll find it’s a fascinating little town!
Eulo, dubbed ‘the Montville of the outback’, is a small community with a large pride which is evident when you visit. Local produce and products abound. Visit the Eulo Artesian Mud Baths, discover the Paroo Patch lines of products, browse through the Eulo Telegraph House Gallery, and have a drink at the Eulo Queen Hotel where you can hear stories of the infamous Eulo Queen.
The new Eulo General Store stocks something for every traveller including local honey and fuel is available in Eulo. While in the store ask Emily and Rodney about the great megafauna finds in the area. You are unable to go to the sites but you can see the evidence at the store. Drive the Billabong and Granite Nature Drives or just enjoy tranquillity that comes with throwing a line into the Paroo River and enjoying a spot of quiet fishing.
Unique to the area are the Artesian Mud Springs, located 13km west of Eulo on the Adventure Way. These magnificent formations are the natural discharge from the Great Artesian Basin and act as release valves to the water pressure.
Drive 100km north of Cunnamulla and visit the laidback township of Wyandra. This small town evolved as a railway settlement halfway between Cunnamulla and Charleville. Follow the heritage trail and become enthralled with the historical architecture buildings that remain from the boom period. Visit the Powerhouse Museum which displays many facets of Wyandra’s rich history. Play a game of volleyball or go for a swim at what the locals call ‘the beach’ before heading to the Gladstone for a cold beer and then onto the Post Office Café to enjoy a burger or watch a movie in the unique outdoor cinema.
Get a feel for life in the outback and immerse yourself in the history and natural beauty during a visit to one of the region’s farmstays. Birdwatching enthusiasts will be in awe of the number of bird species to be found at Bowra Station, 16km northwest of Cunnamulla. Bowra is owned by the Wildlife Conservancy and offers camping, powered sites and accommodation.
Only 16km south of Eulo, situated along the Paroo River, Wandilla invites guests to bush camp any time of the year and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle. Make yourself useful and offer a helping hand to get the everyday working experience that the red mulga country offers or ask for a map and discover for yourself what the property has to offer. Currawinya National Park is only a short drive away and is well worth a day trip. Wandilla is also host to the annual Music in the Mulga Country Music Festival which is a five-day event held over the Mothers Day weekend. Bring your camping chair and enjoy this great outback event.
Cunnamulla Fella Centre
Phone (within Australia) 07 4655 8470