About 200km north of Birdsville is a little oasis in the desert, with the friendliest people and a plethora of pleasant surprises.
The word Bedourie means dust storm, but we think it’s anything but. It’s a clean little town that used to be a rest stop for drovers during the 1880s. Here are all the reasons why you should stop and spend the night.
Bedourie is Awesome
The first thing we did is stop at the roadhouse for information. Not only was the lady behind the counter super helpful, but she had some homemade caramel cheesecake tarts for sale. We bought a slice and found that it was delicious.
We passed the Desert Sands sculpture on the way to the Information Centre. The lady behind the counter was so friendly, we think she talked us into staying the night because everything she told us was too good to be true.
While at the Information Centre, we learnt that Bedourie is the home of the Bedourie Camp Oven – hence the name. The Bedourie Camp Oven was developed in the 1920s for drovers and cameleers. Cast iron cookers were too heavy and cracked while the Bedourie ovens were light and durable. The Bedourie Camp Oven is recognised by the government as uniquely Australian and is considered to be a significant piece of equipment used by the pioneers of the Queensland outback.
Camping is Cheap
The campground is right in between the Artesian Spa & Aquatic Centre and the Bedourie Hotel, so all your conveniences are within walking distance. It was a measly $7 per person per night for an unpowered site, and this included free use of the washing machine and Hills Hoist, free use of the electric BBQs with a built-in sink for washing up.
The Artesian Spa & Aquatic Centre
By far the best attraction in Bedourie, the Bedourie Aquatic Centre was opened in 2000 and features a 25m swimming pool and a hot artesian spa that sits at around 35-40°C. The water used by the aquatic centre comes from the town’s original bore head, which was drilled in 1905.
The Aquatic Centre is open daily from 6am to 8pm during the summer months and 7am – 7pm during the cooler months, and is accessible by paying a $50 refundable deposit for the key at the Information Centre. This key gives you unlimited access, until you reluctantly need to give it back before you move on.
Across the road from the campground is Bedourie’s historic pub. It used to be called the Royal Hotel and was originally established in 1886. It has been operating ever since and the building’s appearance hasn’t changed much over the years.
While we were there, we had a chat with one of the locals before knocking out some trivia from the paper. The jukebox is stuffed with all the country music you could want, and they also do evening meals from 6.00pm till 8.00pm.