Boulia is a small town in Queensland located 300 km south of Mount Isa. It is also a perfect stop on the way to Mount Isa or when coming back from Darwin.
Considering its small population of 440, it offers a few attractions that you don’t find anywhere else in Australia. The most famous ones are Boulia annual camel races and Min Min lights, but that’s not everything. Read on and find out.
#1 Min Min Lights Sightings
Min Min Lights are mysterious and controversial light phenomena that cannot be really explained scientifically.
There are occasional sightings that are described as a blue, yellow or white ball of light appearing on the horizon. Moreover, it is believed that Min Min lights can follow travellers or even cars to keep pace with them. The light can approach an individual, disappear suddenly, and reappear later at a different spot.
Aboriginal people believe that Min Min lights are the spirit of ancestors, but scientists think it is caused by natural gases or collision of the hot and cold air. Read more from Queensland Historical Society of Queensland.
Min Min Encounter Show
The best way to make your own opinion is to visit the Min Min Encounter audio-visual exhibition, which was created to explain the mysterious lights. In the 45 minutes show, you learn more about the Australian outback and meet some past Boulia characters who witnessed Min Min lights.
Min Min Encounter show starts outside of the building (ask for details in the reception)
#2 Boulia Camel Races
Imagine this small town swell 10 times in population. This is what happens every year on the third week of July when Boulia Camel Races start.
This unique, outback event starts on Friday evening with live entertainment till late.
On Saturday, the real fun begins when the racecourse is roaring with the noise of the racing camels. There is also live dancing and spectacular fireworks at the end.
Sunday is the final event when jockeys and camels fight for the prestigious Boulia Camel Cup.
#3 Boulia Rodeo Campdraft
Boulia Rodeo is held every Easter weekend. As every rodeo varies with different types of competitions, in Boulia you can see gymkhana, barrel racing, steer and bull rides and campdrafting.
On Saturday night, there is a catered kitchen and live music till late.
If you are passing Boulia in Easter time, have a night or two to enjoy this unique outback event.
#4 Marine Reptile Fossil Display
Boulia, at some stage in history, was part of the inland Eromanga Sea. These days, we can admire the partial skeletons of Ichthyosaurs or Plesiosaurs that have been found in this area.
Maybe the exhibition is not huge as in Kronosaur Korner but these fossils help us understand the life of these marine dinosaurs. It is located in the Stonehouse.
If you want to see a much bigger collection of marine fossils visit the Kronosaur Korner in Richmond that has the largest margin fossil collection in Queensland.
#5 Stonehouse – Boulia Herritage Centre
This small heritage complex located at Pituri Street takes visitors on a journey in time.
As we mentioned before, first, you learn about marine prehistoric creatures of the deep by looking at the fossil display in a separate airconditioned room. After that, you move on to a Boulia’s First People – Pitta Pitta. Finally, you visit the Stonehouse Cottage which is a small building where you can see what conditions people lived in 130 years ago.
Inside you have a chance to read real stories about Boulia people and see the old artefacts of that area.
Boulia – Our experience
We stopped in Boulia on our way to Darwin. The day before we stayed in Diamantina National Park, and Boulia was on our way. We actually missed Boulia when we were doing our trip Around Australia.
We knew that Boulia is a very unique town where we can learn more about the mysterious Min Min Lights. Are they real? We are still unsure, but who knows. We did not spot them, but there are people who did.
What we did not know before coming here, was that there is also a marine dinosaur fossils display in the Stonehouse. Well, you learn best by travelling!
Have you been to Boulia? Or, maybe you spotted Min Min Lights. We would love to hear from you. Please drop a comment below.
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4WD Equipment Checklist
Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)
UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency
Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road
High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks
Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking
Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places