Australia’s furthest town from the sea, some 1040km west of Brisbane, is home to many underground treasures, including Australia’s rarest and largest dinosaurs.

Story By John Dunn

There’s a bold blue sign out in the Channel Country, deep in south-west Queensland, which says “Welcome To Eromanga, Furthest Town From The Sea”. Although the claim has been disputed, no other town has officially challenged the tag, and the good folk, all 42 of them, of this tiny outpost bask in whatever glory there might be attached to such a title.

Some time ago Brisbane’s Courier-Mail took a look at the boast and was unimpressed, maintaining it “didn’t hold water”. They cited the Queensland Department of Mapping and Survey, saying that it wasn’t the furthest from any coast in Queensland, let alone Australia. That arm of government doesn’t exist any more but Geoscience Australia has since confirmed Eromanga’s claim, declaring that it is indeed the furthest gazetted town from the sea in Australia, even though it’s not the furthest point from the Australian coastline. That point is 250 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs, and the closest settlement to it is Papunya, an Aboriginal community.
A handful of houses and one pub – the Royal Hotel – comprise Eromanga, which comes from an Aboriginal word that roughly means “windy plain”. This country may not, on the surface, give the impression of affluence – although given good conditions sheep stations can do well – but there are substantial riches beneath.  

This Story is from Issue #96

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sep 2014