Gateway to the Paroo Shire

The town of Cunnamulla, which the largest of the four towns in the Paroo Shire, is situated on the banks of the Warrego River and is the southern starting point on the Matilda Highway, a highway that travels through Outback Queensland and connects New South Wales to the Gulf country in far north Queensland.

It is also at the intersection of the main east-west highway from Brisbane to Innamincka.

The town currently has a population of about 1500 and is an integrated community of indigenous and non-indigenous people.

Prior to European settlement, a number of traditional Aboriginal groups 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 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.

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.

Information Paroo Shire Council Cunnamulla Visitor Information Centre