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Boulia (/ˈbʊliə/) is a remote outback town and locality in the Shire of Boulia in Central West Queensland, Australia.[2][3]

Boulia
Queensland
Boulia-outback-queensland-australia.jpg
Entry into Boulia
Boulia is located in Queensland
Boulia
Boulia
Coordinates22°54′40.7″S 139°54′37.6″E / 22.911306°S 139.910444°E / -22.911306; 139.910444Coordinates: 22°54′40.7″S 139°54′37.6″E / 22.911306°S 139.910444°E / -22.911306; 139.910444
Population301 (2016 census)[1]
Established1879
Postcode(s)4829
Elevation161.8 m (531 ft)
Location
LGA(s)Boulia
State electorate(s)Gregory
Federal Division(s)Kennedy
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
31.7 °C
89 °F
16.6 °C
62 °F
264.3 mm
10.4 in
Localities around Boulia:
Wills Wills Wills
Wills Boulia Wills
Wills Wills Wills

Contents

GeographyEdit

Boulia is located approximately 296 kilometres (184 mi) by road south of Mount Isa and is on the Outback Way billed as Australia's Longest Shortcut, a 2800 kilometre gravel and bitumen road which runs between Laverton in Western Australia and Winton, Queensland. Boulia lies on the Burke River, which was named after the explorer Robert O'Hara Burke who passed through the area with the Burke and Wills expedition in 1860. Boulia is the administrative centre of the Boulia Shire, population approximately 600, which covers an area of 61,176 square kilometres (23,620 sq mi).

Although it is contrary to the principles of defining a locality in Queensland,[4] Boulia is an "island" entirely surrounded by the locality of Wills.[5]

Extensive grazing of beef cattle is the predominant industry. Boulia is at the heart of the Channel Country of western Queensland where, during rain events, channels running between the rivers and creeks of the region fill with water and spread that water over expansive areas. When it does rain heavily, the Mitchell grass plains respond magnificently and result in the Channel country around Boulia, being among the finest beef producing country in Australia.[6][7]

The area is best known for sightings of the Min Min lights,[8] mysterious shimmering lights that appear at night. The lights are said to be caused by atmospheric refraction that occurs when cold air is trapped below warmer air,[9] a phenomenon known as Fata Morgana.

HistoryEdit

The township was gazetted in 1879. Boulia Post Office opened on 1 July 1879.[10]

At the 2011 census, Boulia had a population of 230,[11] up from 205 in 2006.[12]

ClimateEdit

The climate is very hot and dry, with on average over 200 days per year over 30 °C (86 °F). Although even in June and July the average maximum is a very warm 24 °C (75 °F), frosts are not unknown in the morning during these months. Annual rainfall is extraordinarily erratic: it has been as low as 24 millimetres (0.9 in) in 1905 and 51 millimetres (2 in) in 1963. However, when the monsoon is strong rainfall can be heavy: in January 1974 Boulia received 465 millimetres (18.3 in) of rain and in March 1950 346 millimetres (14 in). Maximum annual rainfall totals are 799 millimetres (31.5 in) in 1950 and 774 millimetres (30.5 in) in 1974, but the median annual rainfall is only 216 millimetres (9 in).[13]

Climate data for Boulia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 47.6
(117.7)
48.3
(118.9)
46.7
(116.1)
41.1
(106.0)
38.6
(101.5)
35.0
(95.0)
34.1
(93.4)
37.9
(100.2)
41.7
(107.1)
43.9
(111.0)
46.7
(116.1)
47.8
(118.0)
48.3
(118.9)
Average high °C (°F) 38.5
(101.3)
37.4
(99.3)
35.4
(95.7)
31.5
(88.7)
26.7
(80.1)
23.3
(73.9)
22.9
(73.2)
25.8
(78.4)
30.2
(86.4)
34.3
(93.7)
36.9
(98.4)
38.6
(101.5)
31.8
(89.2)
Average low °C (°F) 24.6
(76.3)
24.0
(75.2)
21.8
(71.2)
17.1
(62.8)
12.5
(54.5)
8.9
(48.0)
7.7
(45.9)
9.5
(49.1)
13.6
(56.5)
17.9
(64.2)
21.3
(70.3)
23.5
(74.3)
16.9
(62.4)
Record low °C (°F) 11.1
(52.0)
10.6
(51.1)
10.2
(50.4)
1.7
(35.1)
0.0
(32.0)
−0.8
(30.6)
−1.1
(30.0)
−1.4
(29.5)
1.7
(35.1)
5.6
(42.1)
8.9
(48.0)
10.0
(50.0)
−1.4
(29.5)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 47.8
(1.88)
50.3
(1.98)
36.5
(1.44)
13.7
(0.54)
12.9
(0.51)
10.2
(0.40)
9.9
(0.39)
6.2
(0.24)
7.4
(0.29)
14.6
(0.57)
21.4
(0.84)
31.3
(1.23)
262.2
(10.31)
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.7 4.4 3.2 1.6 1.7 1.6 1.3 1.1 1.6 2.5 2.9 3.3 29.9
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[14]

EventsEdit

The town hosts the Boulia Desert Sands Camel Races, one of the more important events on the Australian camel racing circuit. Each year at Easter, the Boulia Racecourse reserve plays host to a rodeo, campdrafting, and horse racing event which is a social highlight for the district. During August drag races are held at the Boulia Airport which attracts an enthusiastic crowd.

FacilitiesEdit

 
Min Min Encounter, 2016

Boulia has a range of public facilities open to the community. These include a public library, public hall, sports complex, racecourse, the Min Min encounter tourist centre, museum, visitor information centre, and camel races. The Boulia Shire Council operates a public library at 18 Burke Street.[15]

An 18-hole golf course with sand greens is located on the Boulia Winton Road. Greens fees are not charged for the use of this course and a clubhouse with bar facilities is available.[16]

Boulia has Australia's first three-dimensional zebra crossing which is based on an optical illusion. It is to improve road safety and also to be a tourist attraction. It was introduced in 2018 after Boulia Shire Council mayor Rick Britton saw similar crossings in Iceland, Malaysia, India, New Zealand and the United States on social media.[17]

The Boulia branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association has its rooms at 61 Moonah Street.[18]

MarsEdit

 
Boulia Post Office, ~1948

The name Boulia is used as a name for a crater on the planet Mars, specifically commemorating the town.[19]

Heritage listingsEdit

Boulia has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Boulia (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 23 January 2018.  
  2. ^ "Boulia (town) (entry 3993)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Boulia (locality) - 12 September 2015 (entry 42339)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government.
  4. ^ "How places are named | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government". www.qld.gov.au. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  6. ^ "A Review of the Structure and Dynamics of the Australian Beef Cattle Industry" (PDF). www.agriculture.gov.au. June 2006. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  7. ^ "The Channel Country Grasslands". OBE Organic. 2014. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  8. ^ Tim the Yowie Man (2001). "Spook of the Min Min Light". The adventures of Tim the Yowie Man cryptonaturalist. Sydney, Australia: Random House Australia. p. 256. ISBN 174051078X.
  9. ^ "Science logic spoils outback mystery". Canberra, Australia: The Canberra Times. 22 April 2003.
  10. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  11. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Boulia (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 May 2013.  
  12. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Boulia (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  13. ^ Bureau of Meteorology
  14. ^ "Climate statistics for Boulia". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Directory of Public Libraries". Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Boulia". Centre for the Government of Queensland. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  17. ^ Bhole, Aneeta (29 May 2018). "Outback town takes a 3D approach to slowing motorists at pedestrian crossings". ABC News. Archived from the original on 29 May 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Branch locations". Queensland Country Women's Association. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature". Astrogeology Research Program, NASA. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Boulia Stone House (entry 600039)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.

External linksEdit