Jundah
Collage of Jundah.

Jundah has around 100 residents, lies on the dusty red plains of central west Queensland and is miles from anywhere. Getting to Jundah involves a deliberate intent to go out of your way, to leave the beaten track and the regular highway routes, to arrive in a town that consists of a handful of houses, a pub, a store, a school and the Shire Council offices. Yes, this tiny town is the largest settlement in the Barcoo shire and is the administrative district for the area.

So why come to Jundah at all you may ask. Well if you arrive in October you will find the street signs greet you in German and the townsfolk wearing an odd arrangement of European attire. Jundah is home of the 'Outback Oktoberfest' complete with authentic German beer wenches, imported German ale, traditional dancing accompanied by piano accordion and a heap of fun and good humour.

The event coincides with the annual race day, which is usually the highlight of the year for any small outback town, and although the inaugural Outback Oktoberfest was only held in 2010, the prediction is that this event is going to become one of those classic bush celebrations that draws thousands of people to nowhere in particular.

If you're not arriving in time for Outback Oktoberfest then other attractions include Welford National Park, 124,000 hectares of archetypical bushland, mulga, grasslands, waterholes and sandy creek beds typical of the channel country. The area has remnants of early aboriginal habitation with water well sites and cultural rock emplacements being found throughout the park.

The Barcoo Historical Museum was opened in 1989 and acts as a window on the pioneering history of Jundah with collections of medical instruments, furniture and relics.

If you're out here longing for the coast and some water activities then canoeing and fishing in the Thompson river is a favourite local pastime. Catfish, yellow belly and yabbies are all caught in the river system.

The story of Jundah's beginnings are not much different than any outback Queensland town that developed around the sheep and wool industry. The first mail coach arrived in Jundah in 1877 and six years later the township was officially gazetted with a post office and police station arriving not longer after. In 1898 there was a rush for land around Jundah as the government released 20,000 acre divisions for pastoral settlement. It was probably this mass migration of settlers to Jundah that resulted in the first opal being discovered in 1900.


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