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Home > Queensland > Pubs | Lookouts | Escape the City | Animals and Wildlife | Adventure
by Janice Heath (subscribe)
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Published January 2nd 2021
Would you like emus with that?
Approximately three hours south of Longreach, the small town of Yaraka could possibly be described as being in the middle of nowhere. However, it's quite a spectacular and fascinating piece of nowhere - the town and surrounding areas being blessed with the most amazing scenery, abundant wildlife and a colourful history.

One of the views from Mount Slocombe

In town, there's a pub, a general store, a community park, toilets and showers, tennis courts, a swimming pool and the old railway station which is now a small free museum.

Pool with a view

The swimming pool has spectacular mountain views and would likely be considered quite warm by anyone who comes from South of the Queensland border.

Carol and Kevin, two local emus, have recently become famous worldwide after being banned from the pub. They stalk confidently around the town engaging with visitors and making off with anything portable that might prove to be tasty.

At the pub, you can get a drink, a meal and a good chat with whoever is about. That might be the friendly locals and also travellers staying either at the pub or the campsite just down the road. Sunset tours to nearby Mount Slocombe lookout offer some truly beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

If you love wildlife, then you'll be blown away by how much of it you can see just from driving on the roads. Flocks of emus, mobs of kangaroos, echidnas, goannas, brolgas, eagles and multiple varieties of smaller birds are abundant not to mention cows, sheep, goats and pigs. It's advisable to drive carefully, not only so you don't miss the photo opportunities but also because the wildlife, regard the road as part of their backyard and are pretty well guaranteed to run in front of you. Alternatively, they'll zigzag crazily back and forth and then run in front of you.

Roadblocks of the bovine kind

For a further taste of nature, there are two national parks near Yaraka - Welford National Park and Idalia National Park.

Sunsets can be spectacular

The history of the town features sheep stations, interrupted grand plans for railway lines and opal, gold and gas mining. The ruins of the Cobb & Co pub and the lonely grave of gold miner Richard Magoffin are out of town and worth a visit.

Between Jundah and Yaraka is the historic site of McGee's Shanty featured in Banjo Paterson's poem "A Bush Christening". "On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost" is an apt description of the area's remoteness.

The road goes ever on

Yaraka is quite a drive from major towns so staying overnight is a good option. Humans are the rarities out here (town population @12, Longreach area population @3,500 over 40,638 square kilometres).

Note that supplies, particularly of fuel are not always as available as you might be used to and there's a long way between towns. Wet weather can mean some road closures. The Royal Flying Doctor Service has some good tips for when you're heading for the outback.

A handy list of distances from major towns to Yaraka

Visit Yaraka to get a taste of a beautiful part of Queensland. This place is truly on the back roads. Peace. Stillness. Pristine air. Wild landscapes, sometimes desolate but always enchanting. The sky show features superb sunrises and sunsets and blazing carpets of stars at night. Wildlife galore. A friendly pub.

I think you'll be surprised.

A bit of shade is always welcome
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Why? Spectacular scenery and wildlife, friendly people
When: Winter is the best time
Phone: (07) 46 575 526
Where: Yaraka, Queensland
Your Comment
Lovely descriptive article Janice. It proves that there is always a lot to see in the middle of nowhere.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|1435) 21 days ago
Absolutely loved our trip to Yaraka to celebrate Jo's big O Birthday.Great hosts at the pub.A must visit for anyone who wants a taste of outback Queensland.😍
by derri (score: 0|4) 18 days ago
Lovely summary of Yaraka Janice. A real gem of the REAL outback...
by kevin (score: 1|63) 18 days ago
Thanks Janice. A great read. The video clip on the emus is priceless.
by Myrtle Pasquali (score: 2|104) 15 days ago
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