Cunnamulla - Gateway to the Paroo Shire

Cunnamulla - Gateway to the Paroo Shire
The town of Cunnamulla, the largest of the four towns in the Paroo Shire, is situated on the banks of the Warrego River - at the crossroads of the Matilda Highway (north south) and the Adventure Way (east west).
It is located within Kunja country, the traditional owner group of this part of the Paroo Shire.

The Matilda Highway travels through Cunnamulla and connects the Kidman Way from Bourke in New South Wales to the Gulf country in far north Queensland. The Adventure Way west, connects with Corner Country locations, including Cameron's Corner and Innaminka in South Australia.

Major roads in the Paroo Shire are bitument sealed or well constructed roads. All major attractions of the Shire are accessible by conventional vehicle during dry weather. Travel by car is possible as long as you drive according to the conditions of the road and current weather conditions.

Cunnamulla's population is 1600, comprising both indigenous and non-indigenous residents. Prior to European settlement, a number of traditional Aboriginal tribes lived and travelled within the area of land (47,647 square kilometres) now known as the Paroo Shire.

Many of the town's residents are descendants of those traditional owner groups and are working to preserve the history and culture of their people. Aboriginal art and artifacts are on display and for sale at various locations within the town.

European settlement began soon after exploration in 1858.

Settlement began because of the three river crossings. The first building in Cunnamulla was a shanty pub and the photographs and memorabilia in the Bicentennial Museum capture the development of the character of the town.

Following a visit by explorer William Landsborough in 1862, development of the town began in earnest.

The rich plains and river flats were ideal for sheep and cattle grazing and these primary industries played a key role in the growth of the town.

Today, with the availability of irrigated water from the Alan Tannock Weir, Cunnamulla has two fruit growing farms established on the western side of the Warrego River, specialising in table grapes for the Australian market.

Cunnamulla became more accessible to settlers and traders when Cobb & Co. commenced a coach service into the district in 1867.

Public education came to Cunnamulla in 1877 and two years later the Paroo Divisional Board was formed being the commencement of local government for the area.

The Warrego River occasionally poses a threat to the town, especially when large and prolonged rainfall occurs in the catchment. To protect the town from flooding, a levee bank has been built which surrounds the town and has twice saved it from serious destruction, in 1990 and again in 1997.

Apart from the natural attractions of native flora and fauna found in the Cunnamulla district, the town has a number of historical sites of interest, listed on the Heritage Trail including the well-known Robber's Tree.

Cunnamulla hosts a number of major events throughout the year including Race Meetings, Agricultural Show, Annual Cunnamulla Fella Festival and Bullride in November, Yowah Opal Festival in July; sporting events including Polocrosse, Motor Bike Gymkhanas, Gun Club, Rugby League, tennis, swimming, triathlon; and cultural events including art and craft exhibitions, writing, bush poetry, dance and music celebrations.
Information Paroo Shire Council Cunnamulla Visitor Information Centre