Muttaburra derives its name from the local aboriginal tribe of ‘Mootaburra’, meaning “the meeting of the waters”, and is situated near the junction of the Thomson and Landsborough Rivers and Cornish Creek where you can birdwatch, explore the natural environment and find many camping and fishing spots along the system. The town dates back to 1861 and was developed as a convenient camping spot for the teamsters and travellers as they journeyed westward from the township of Bowen on the coast.
Muttaburra is the closest town to the geographical Centre of Queensland and is home to the Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni, the first most complete dinosaur discovered in 1963. The fossils were found by a local grazier Doug Langdon while out mustering, and these are now housed in the Queensland Museum. The replica can be found in the Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre which is nearing completion and is situated in Bruford Street Muttaburra. The Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni wasn’t named until 1981 as the bones were in such tough marine sediment it took nearly twenty years of mechanical and chemical preparation the extract the fossilized bones.
Points of interest –
- Our greatest asset is the river system that meanders from the north into Lake Eyre. Explore the channels, cast a line and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounds. There are many popular camping spots along the river where numerous visitors call home for many months of the year and fish for the popular yellow belly.
- Dr Arratta Memorial Hospital Museum – displaying medical history from the turn of the century. This museum was formed in the old hospital after its closure and was named after Dr Joseph Arratta who served as a doctor here from the age of 25 years until he retired in 1960. It has a wonderful display of early medical instruments, equipment and bedding and is a great dedication to a doctor and his staff who did so much for our community.
- Cassimatis Store & Cottage – both these buildings showcase the contribution of the Cassimatis family, one of the many Greek families who first settled in the community. This store is a reflection of the family who owned the store and what they sold in it – anything from groceries to motor oils and liquor…even trading as a bank! It’s a tribute to their way of life as a family in their cottage in the early 1900’s. The Cassimatis family moved from Greece in 1913 and ran the store until it closed in 1978.
- Union Hole and camp – this was a base camp for up to 400 shearers when the Shearer’s Strike was on in Barcaldine in 1891. There are still small signs of the camp ovens that were used there. The actual camp was 900m from the waterhole and they had to cart their water back from the hole to the camp.
- Old Cemetery and New Cemetery, both steeped with history and dating back to 1878, now sporting some new chairs where you can sit, relax and reflect.
- Explore the public art trail – a series of winning and donated collections depicting our history and showcasing our natural environment.
- Fossick for agates – spend some time searching for agates in the surrounds of the town…we have an abundance of them…you just have to have an eye for finding them!
- Geocaches will delight in visiting our small community with many to see and find. They will follow a trail throughout our neighbouring communities searching for caches and enjoying many adventures. Beware, it can be addictive!!
- Annual events are an experience to enjoy, like the Landsborough Flock Ewe Show (Sheep Show) held the first Saturday in June, and the races held in August.
Our little town has a population of around 90 people with many more living on surrounding properties. We have a hotel, which is the social hub of the community and is a family pub. There is a grocery/convenience store that also sells fuel, a Post Office with a Visitor Information Centre that has an extended range of gifts, fishing supplies and souvenirs, and there is a well presented school which offers Kindy to Year 6. We have a local policeman and a Primary Health Centre with a doctor visiting from Barcaldine once a week. RFDS is just a phone call away in an emergency. Our community is part of the Barcaldine Regional Council and we have an office in town as well as a community library with access to internet and free WiFi. The council currently employs seven staff in town that manage and maintain our infrastructure – the Memorial Hall, Aquatic Centre and Spa, parkland areas, airport, camping facilities and monitoring of our new artesian bore which is our town water supply.
Muttaburra is surrounded by properties which now run predominantly cattle. Sheep and wool were a large part of the district at one time with our shearing industry one of our greatest employment providers, but due to the demise of the wool industry and sale of parcels of land to our northern cattle breeders the majority of land is now grazed by cattle.
People of the community and district are positive, strong, community orientated and show much pride in their existing historical and natural assets. Once you have been to visit you will see how wonderful it is to live in the centre of our great state of Queensland where sunrises and sunsets are amazing and we have the lifestyle to match.
We hope you enjoy your visit!