Cunnamulla and surrounding towns have banded together to lure visitors to western Queensland to experience some little-known natural attractions.
Story By Graham Simmons
The sign at the town entrance tells it all: “Welcome to Cunnamulla, settled in the Dreamtime.” Australian towns don’t get much older than that and nor do they get much more welcoming and community-spirited.
Cunnamulla, a heritage town in western Queensland, about 11 hours by road west of Brisbane, is a strongly cohesive community. “If anyone is down and out, they’re not down and out for very long,” says long-time resident Frank Osborne.
This spirit flows over into Cunnamulla’s plans for putting the region firmly on the tourist map. Thus, it was with a great deal of fanfare that the 100-page Cunnamulla, Eulo, Yowah & Wyandra Information Guide was launched last year.
Visitor drawcards abound in Cunnamulla. For starters, it’s astonishing to find Murray cod in the town’s Warrego River. In good years, the fish swim all the way up to the Warrego from the junction of the Murray and Darling rivers – a distance of nearly 1000 kilometres. In May 2007, in the thick of drought, a 14-kilogram Murray cod was caught in the Warrego, and with recent rains the fish are more than ever on the bite. Eel-tailed catfish, golden perch (yellow belly) and silver perch are some of the other species to be found.
The best times of day to take in the Warrego are by kayak at dawn and on a river cruise in the evening when you can appreciate the astonishing variety of birdlife, which sometimes swarms in such numbers as to almost block out the sun. More than a quarter of all Australian bird species – including pelicans, storks, galahs, corellas and rainbow bee-eaters – are found on the Warrego’s banks.
This story excerpt is from Issue #59
Outback Magazine: June/July 2008