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Birdsville on the edge of the desert

Birdsville is a small remote township on the northern side of the Queensland and South Australian border.   

It sits on the eastern edge of the Simpson Desert and the local countryside is extremely arid.

The township grew out of a small store set up to provision the local cattle pastoralists and pretty much continues to exist with that exact same purpose today. 

Birdsville Hotel
Stuart Edwards, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Birdsville Banner

 Diamantina River

As with many Australian towns, Birdsville began as a provisioning store at a crossing on the Diamantina River in the 1870s and had the name originally of Diamantina Crossing.

The Diamantina is one of the main rivers of Central Queensland and rises in the Sword Range, south-east of Mount Isa and travels some  900 kilometers before becoming the Warburton River and eventually reaching Lake Eyre in South Australia.

Birdsville DSC03000 SA (38297658682)

Birdsville sits on eastern edge of the gibber plains and red sands of the Simpson Desert.

Birdsville Racetrack - panoramio (7)
Lobster1, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The township has its own racing club and holds a well attended annual meeting. 

Birdsville DSC02988 SA (38274169246)

The township relies on water from the river and an artesian bore system

Birdsville Track sign 0789
Summerdrought, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Birdsville Track

The township sits on the northern end of the famous Birdsville Track. The track is some 517 kilometers in length and runs between Birdsville and the South Australian township of Marree.

Along the way the track passes through the Strzelecki Desert, Sturt Stony Desert and Tirari Desert.

The track was established in the 1860s as a stock route to the railhead at Marree.

Birdsville Street - panoramio
Lobster1, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Birdsville Overhead
Stuart Edwards, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons