When people think of Outback Queensland, they often think of the red earth that Australia is so famous for, the warm weather, wide open plains and sky full of stars.
What they don’t often think of is the cool, clear waterholes that are scattered throughout the region, just waiting for you to dive in, cruise on or wet a line in!
Here are just some of the main waterholes where you can stop and cool off during your visit.
Warrego River, Cunnamulla
Part of the Darling catchment in the Murray-Darling basin, the Warrego, meaning ‘River of Sand’, is a great spot to stop for a swim or fish. There are a number of permitted camping spots along the river as well as the caravan park. Take a stroll around the river and watch the sunset from the viewing deck.
Known as the Longreach Waterhole, this section of the Thomson River is a great place to cool off after seeing all the sites of the town. Part of the Lake Eyre Basin, the town of Longreach is named after the long reach of the waterhole! There are a number of boat cruises that operate on the river where you can sit back, relax and take in the scenery and the Apex Park camp ground is located on its banks – a great place to set up camp for a few nights. Fish for some Yellowbelly, Bream, Catfish and Barcoo Grunter or enjoy a swim in one of Outback Queensland’s largest waterholes.
Combo Waterhole, Kynuna
Every Aussie knows this waterhole, even if they don’t realize it! It is said to be the billabong that the ‘jolly swagman’ in Banjo Patterson’s Waltzing Matilda jumped into, and where his ghost may still be heard! There is a self-guided walking track around the waterhole where visitors can discover the story of Waltzing Matilda. You will see some amazing bird species at Combo and make sure you have a rest and enjoy a picnic under the shade of a Coolibah tree after your swim.
The Birdsville Billabong is a beautiful place to view the Outback sunset and is located on the edge of the town. Enjoy walking, kayaking, swimming or fishing from the newly-erected pontoon, only a short walk from the caravan park. Enjoy the birdlife and try your luck at catching some yabbies.
Duwadarri Waterhole, Lawn Hill National Park
There are steps and ladders at various spots along the Duwadarri Waterhole where you can have a refreshing swim. The highlight is swimming under the Indarri Falls! Bring your canoe or hire one on site. Watch out for one of the 140 bird species in the area. Fishing is not permitted.
Lake Moondarra, Mt Isa
Renowned for its Barra fishing, Lake Moondarra is an artificial lake on the Leichardt River, 16km from Mount Isa. There are plenty of picnic areas to enjoy, pontoons, boat ramps and a ski jump. You are bound to see some amazing birdlife and as well as the Barra, you can fish for Sooty Grunter, Saratoga, Alligator Gar, Fork-tailed Catfish, Jew, Archerfish, Spangled Perch and Sleepy Cod.
Lake Freddy Tritton, Richmond
Lake Freddy Tritton boasts sandy beaches, shaded playground facilities, a water park, paved walking track, BBQ facilities and clean amenities. It is the perfect spot to take a dip, ski, canoe or have a fish. The lake is stocked with over 18 species of fish including red claw yabbies and barramundi.