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Windorah is one of three small towns located in the Barcoo Shire in central west Queensland. It is stated that the town is named after the local Aboriginal word for “Big Fish” although according to an account of the Durack settlers, the name means high, stony place.
Situated on Cooper’s Creek in the heart of the Channel Country 35km below the junction of Barcoo and Thomson Rivers – this is the only place where two rivers form to make a creek. It is one of only two inland flowing systems, with Cooper’s Creek flowing into Lake Eyre.
Windorah is on the edge of Red Sandhill Country 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.
Local Government Information
Located in Far West Queensland, in the heart of the Channel Country, Barcoo region is one of the more remote shires with an area of 61,974 square kilometres in far Western Queensland, incorporating the townships of Jundah, Stonehenge and Windorah. The Barcoo Shire lays claim to the most exceptionally unique place in Australia and the world. It is the only place where two prominent and significate inland rivers, the Thomson and Barcoo meet to form a creek the Cooper Creek. Rich in history, the Barcoo Shire has an outback experience to offer everyone. Along with unique rustic landscapes, distinctive flora and fauna, spectacular wildlife, freshwater fishing, golf, bird watching and stunning sunsets. The Barcoo is also home to Magee’s Shanty, birth place of the famous Bush Christening renowned by Banjo Paterson. The welcoming three outback towns of Windorah, Jundah and Stonehenge can all be easily accessed via sealed roads and are located within a leisurely drive to the major towns of Longreach or Quilpie. Barcoo Shire is the gateway to Birdsville, Bedourie, Innaminka, Quilpie or Longreach and Winton to the north.
Windorah is 136 metres above sea level. Located just 35 kilometres downstream from where the Thomson and Barcoo Rivers join to form the multi-channelled Cooper Creek, Windorah is known as “The Heart of the Channel Country” and offers a welcome and interesting stop for travellers to western Queensland.
With a small population of about 80 people (and has remained around the same for 125 years), Windorah’s main industries are sheep and cattle grazing, with a growing tourism industry offering stunning vistas, picturesque ruins and historical sites.
The weather could be called hot and dry, with July, traditionally the coldest month, with the lowest recorded temperature of -1.8 to the extreme temperatures in excess of 40 degrees celsius. The highest temperature recorded was 47.1 in 1990.
Main water supply to the town is from Cooper’s Creek, which is treated for household use and left untreated and sent through a different pipe line to the household for garden and outside usage. The country around Windorah is mainly flat flood plains and red soil. Common trees being Mulga, Eucalypts, Gidgee, Lignum and Coolibah.
Major industries have been beef cattle and wool, with oil, gas and tourism becoming increasingly important to the area.
|ATTRACTIONS||Whitula Gate Museum. Red sandhills. Cooper’s Creek. Nature Drive, History and Information Walk, Walking Together Park. International Yabby Races, Bronco Branding, Horse and Motorbike Gymkhana, Stockman’s Challenge, Rodeo and Campdraft.|
|ACCOMMODATION||Accommodation in Windorah consists of:
|RESTAURANTS||Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available seven days a week at the Western Star Hotel, for in house guests and visitors. Meals provided consist of both sit down and takeaway. Also located at the Western Star is a coffee shop with all types of coffees, teas and hot chocolate, and a range of sweet treats to accompany your cuppa.
Cooper Cabins have a restaurant which is open from 5pm daily. The restaurant serves quality meals from the board menu. The kitchen also supplies continental breakfast for guests to take back to their cabins.
A wide variety of take-away meals are available from the Windorah Service Station. Cold drinks, milk shakes and confectionary are also stocked, as well a grocery lines to keep the pantry stocked. Opening hours are 6am to 6pm with meals and burgers etc available all day.
The Outback shop provides a good range of grocery items including bread, milk, cold drinks, toiletries, and all essentials. Take-away meals are available during the day from 8.30am to 4pm (in season).
Free tea and coffee, along with a biscuit is available for visitors to the Windorah Visitor Information Centre. Your cuppa can be enjoyed walking around the museum, sitting on the verandah enjoying the garden or reading a book in the Information Centre.
Catering for large numbers of guests can be provided by the Windorah Service Station, the Western Star Hotel, or community groups such as the Windorah State School Parents and Citizens Association, Cooper Arts and Crafts Association, the Windorah Development Board, or the Windorah Rodeo Club.
|HERITAGE||“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. This pise building burnt down in 1957 and a temporary structure built. The temporary structure is still used as the bar today. The Outback shop building was built in the late 1880’s by Whitman Brothers, and the shop house is still the original pise building. The shop building was the first steel frame building in the area and was shipped direct from England. The Slab Hut in the museum was the last of it’s kind in the area built in 1906 by the Rabbit Board as a boundary riders hut. It now stands proudly amongst the gardens, allowing it’s visitor an insight into the lives of settlers and the indigenous people of the area over the years.