Boulia, Queensland

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Boulia
Queensland
Boulia-outback-queensland-australia.jpg
Entry into Boulia
Boulia is located in Queensland
Boulia
Boulia
Coordinates22°54′35″S 139°54′24″E / 22.9097°S 139.9066°E / -22.9097; 139.9066Coordinates: 22°54′35″S 139°54′24″E / 22.9097°S 139.9066°E / -22.9097; 139.9066
Population301 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density1.941/km2 (5.026/sq mi)
Established1879
Postcode(s)4829
Elevation161.8 m (531 ft)
Area155.1 km2 (59.9 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
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

Boulia (/ˈbʊliə/) is a outback town and locality in the Shire of Boulia, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, Boulia had a population of 301 people.[1]

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).

The area is best known for sightings of the Min Min lights,[4] 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,[5] a phenomenon known as Fata Morgana.

Geography[edit]

Boulia is in the Central West Queensland and is located approximately 296 kilometres (184 mi) by road south of Mount Isa. Boulia is at the crossroads of a number of outback routes, including the Boulia Mount Isa Road (which goes north-west towards Mount Isa), the Selwyn Road (which goes north-east to Selwyn), the Winton Road, which goes east toward Winton), and the Boulia Bedourie Road (which goes south-west to Bedourie).[6] The Donohue Highway coming from the Northern Territory joins the Boulia Mount Isa Road just outside of Boulia,[6] which together with the Winton Road forms part of the Outback Way billed as "Australia's Longest Shortcut", a 2,800 kilometres (1,700 mi) gravel-and-bitumen road which runs between Laverton in Western Australia and Winton in Queensland.[7]

Boulia is in the Channel Country. All watercourses in this area are part of the Lake Eyre drainage basin,[6] and most will dry up before their water reaches Lake Eyre.[8] Boulia lies on the Burke River,[6] which was named after the explorer Robert O'Hara Burke who passed through the area with the Burke and Wills expedition in 1860. The river flows from the north-east to the south-east through the locality[9]

Although it is contrary to the locality boundary principles of the Queensland Government,[10] the locality of Boulia is an "island" entirely surrounded by the locality of Wills.[6]

Extensive grazing of beef cattle on native vegetation is the predominant industry.[6] 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.[11][12]

The town has a grid layout with 6 roads running east-west and 5 running north-south. Herbert Street is the main street where most of the civic and commercial premises are located.[6]

History[edit]

Boulia Post Office, circa 1948

The town was named by surveyor Frederick Arthur Hartnell in 1882 and was derived from the name of the waterhole near the township called "bool-yo" in the Pitta Pitta language.[2]

The township was gazetted in 1879. Boulia Post Office opened on 1 July 1879.[13]

Boulia Provisional School opened on 7 October 1889. It became Boulia State School on 1 January 1909.[14]

At the 2011 census, Boulia had a population of 230,[15] up from 205 in 2006.[16]

Climate[edit]

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).[17]

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[18]

Events[edit]

The town hosts the Boulia Desert Sands Camel Races, the longest camel race (running a 1500m cup final) on the Australian camel racing circuit.[19]

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.

Facilities[edit]

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.[20]

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.[21]

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.[22]

The Boulia branch of the Queensland Country Women's Association has its rooms at 61 Moonah Street.[23]

Education[edit]

Boulia State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at Templeton Street (22°54′30″S 139°54′39″E / 22.9084°S 139.9109°E / -22.9084; 139.9109 (Boulia State School)).[24][25] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 27 students with 4 teachers and 4 non-teaching staff (3 full-time equivalent).[26]

There are no secondary schools in Boulia.[6] The nearest secondary schools are in Mount Isa and Winton, but these are too distant for a daily commute. The Spinifex State College in Mount Isa[6] offers boarding facilities.[27] Other boarding schools or distance education would be options for secondary schooling.

Mars[edit]

The name Boulia is used as a name for a crater on the planet Mars, specifically commemorating the town.[28]

Heritage listings[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Boulia (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ a b "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. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Science logic spoils outback mystery". Canberra, Australia: The Canberra Times. 22 April 2003.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Australia's Longest Shortcut". The Outback Way. Archived from the original on 15 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  8. ^ FitzSimons, Trish (2010). "Channel Country". Queensland Historical Atlas. University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 15 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Burke River - watercourse in the Boulia Shire (entry 5353)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  10. ^ "How places are named: Defining boundaries and extent: Locality boundaries". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 14 August 2019. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "The Channel Country Grasslands". OBE Organic. 2014. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  13. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  14. ^ Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  15. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Boulia (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 May 2013. Edit this at Wikidata
  16. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Boulia (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
  17. ^ Bureau of Meteorology
  18. ^ "Climate statistics for Boulia". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Boulia Camel Races 19 - 21 July 2019". Archived from the original on 15 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  20. ^ "Directory of Public Libraries". Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Boulia". Centre for the Government of Queensland. Archived from the original on 5 March 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Branch locations". Queensland Country Women's Association. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  24. ^ "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  25. ^ "Boulia State School". Archived from the original on 18 February 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  26. ^ "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  27. ^ "Residential Campus" (PDF). Spinifex State College. 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 August 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  28. ^ "Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature". Astrogeology Research Program, NASA. Archived from the original on 7 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Boulia Stone House (entry 600039)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 7 July 2013.

External links[edit]