Getting to Birdsville by Road
Making the drive to Birdsville by road will etch a lifetime of memories, no matter which route you choose.
Roads Reports & Travel Information
South Australian Outback Roads (SA Government)
Queensland Road Condition Report (Live map via the Queensland Government)
Birdsville and Strzelecki Tracks Road Report (SA Government)
Birdsville Track Trek Report (ExplorOz Website)
Strezlecki Track Trek Report (ExplorOz Website)
Diamantina Development Road Updates (ExplorOz Website)
Arrabury Road and Cordillo Downs Road Forum Updates (ExplorOz Website)
Crossing the Simpson Desert
Once Australia’s most hazardous stock route, the Birdsville Track is still an unsealed road but maintained so that you can travel in either a 4WD or SUV with a caravan or camper trailer. The road conditions can vary and you may find yourself travelling over a diverse range of surfaces from sand dunes to gibber pains. Watch out for ponded water after heavy rains.
Points of interest include Lake Harry ruins, Clayton Bore campsite, Cooper Creek, Old Mulka ruins, Mungerannie Hotel, and Mirra Mitta Bore.
For the more adventurous, take the Birdsville ‘Inside Track’ for some spectacular desert scenery. This 146kms diversion just past the Clifton Hills turn-off makes the journey to Birdsville 35kms shorter overall and takes you past Goyders Lagoon. However, the road is often unpredictable and stone guards on your trailer and rear window are recommended if you’re towing.
After venturing up the Strzelecki Track to Innamincka, the Cordillo Downs Road provides another route into Birdsville. The road through a seemingly endless gibber plain is unsealed and recommended for 4WD vehicles only as road conditions vary dramatically depending on the weather and traffic.
The Cordillo Downs Road links with the Birdsville Development Road from Windorah. Surprisingly, this rugged country is home to some Australia’s richest cattle country.
Points of interest include Dripie Creek, Cordillo Downs Historic Woolshed, and Caldelga Ruins.
Running through the heart of Queensland’s channel country, sections of the Birdsville Developmental Road are both sealed and unsealed but regularly maintained. During peak season (especially around the Birdsville Races), road conditions can deteriorate quite quickly when the rains come. Watch out for gibber stones between Betoota and the Cordillo Downs Road turn off.
Points of interest include Deon’s Lookout, Betoota ghost town, and Dreamtime Serpent Sculpture.
Also known as the Bilby Way, the Eyre Developmental Road has patches of bitumen, but is mainly stretches of dirt road. The damaged road surface is open to 4WD high clearance vehicles only with sections of the road as long as 5kms under water near Cuttaburra Crossing.
Just out of Birdsville, keep a look out for a rare stand of Waddi Trees which occur in only a few places in the world. You can only see and hear the eerie noise of the wind howling through these ancient Waddi trees in south western Queensland and around Alice Springs.
Points of interest include Waddi Trees, Carcoory Homestead ruins, Eyre Creek, Cuttaburra Crossing, and Bullagurdie Creek.