Birdsville Hotel, Queensland
Whether you parked your car out front or your plane on the airstrip opposite, once you enter the Birdsville Hotel, you’ll find yourself in a place like no other - a place where you can immerse yourself in the ambience and stories told by characters as colourful as a painted desert landscape.
Ever since William Blair first built the Birdsville Hotel in 1884, it's weathered sandstone walls have been a welcome refuge to travellers from across the globe. A destination in its own right, the pub has endured floods, fires and even cyclones to stand as a symbol of the spirit and character of the outback.
It’s the heart of the town and the main focus in Birdsville at any time of the year but even more so during the running of the famous annual Birdsville Races and the Big Red Bash. It’s a true icon of the Outback, offering traditional hearty pub fare, cool drinks, excellent accommodation and an unbeatable atmosphere.
The History of Birdsville
The Birdsville Hotel is steeped in history and has played a fascinating, yet important, part in the exploration and settlement of Australia’s desert country.
Situated in Queensland's beautiful channel country on the eastern fringe of the Simpson Desert, the Birdsville area's traditional custodians are the Wangkangurru-Yarluyandi people. European visitors to the area can be traced back to 1844 when Charles Sturt led expeditions to the area, and Burke and Wills set up 'Camp 76' in the region on their return from their disastrous transcontinental trek in 1860.
The town and surrounding area boast many attractions from historical and important landmarks. The surrounding region includes desert wonders such as the extremely rare Waddi tree and sand dunes as high as 30 metres. There are also significant annual events including the Birdsville Races where the town swells from around 110 to more than 7,000.
The current custodians of the Birdsville Hotel are Talia and Courtney Ellis, who both have a long and extensive experience in remote hospitality; Talia as a respected bush pilot and chief pilot, and Courtney as the founder and former co-owner of award-winning tour operator, Outback Spirit. The pair have loved Birdsville for many years and are thrilled to uphold the pub’s legacy as a quintessential Aussie destination.
The couple travel between their property in New South Wales and Birdsville, where they also own Birdsville Aviation and the famous Birdsville Bakery.
Must Try Experiences
- Have a beer in the bar at Australia’s most iconic Outback pub
- Experience the atmosphere during the Birdsville Races or Big Red Bash
- Book a scenic flight with Birdsville Aviation
- Sunset drinks on Big Red, the iconic sand dune overlooking the Simpson Desert
- Grab a bite to eat from the famous Birdsville Bakery
- Go for a paddle on the Birdsville Billabong
Getting to Birdsville
Once Australia's most hazardous stock route, the Birdsville Track is still an unsealed road but maintained so that you can travel in either a 4WD or SUV with a caravan or camper trailer. The road conditions can vary and you may find yourself travelling over a diverse range of surfaces from sand dunes to gibber pains. Watch out for ponded water after heavy rains.
Points of interest include Lake Harry ruins, Clayton Bore campsite, Cooper Creek, Old Mulka ruins, Mungerannie Hotel, and Mirra Mitta Bore.
For the more adventurous, take the Birdsville 'Inside Track' for some spectacular desert scenery. This 146kms diversion just past the Clifton Hills turn-off makes the journey to Birdsville 35kms shorter overall and takes you past Goyders Lagoon. However, the road is often unpredictable and stone guards on your trailer and rear window are recommended if you’re towing.
Seriously, the best OUTBACK accommodation! We had an unexpected extended stay! Our two nights turned in to five and we could not have been happier! The hotel rooms are very comfortable, clean and cosy! The evening meals were comfort food perfect for the cold nights and the lunch time bar menu delicious! It would be totally remiss of me not to do a very big Aussie shout to the staff! The manager, the wait staff, the chefs, the room service ladies!! NOTHING was too much trouble!!! Friendly, caring and a whole lot of fun!!