A large group of ‘invading’ emus has become the surprise attraction drawing grey nomads into Quilpie in Queensland’s Channel Country.
After years of drought in the area, up to 25 of the giant birds have come into town in search of water … and they are causing quite a stir.
“They are a lovely peaceful bird and a little bit silly, but it is so nice to see them just wandering around,” said Janelle Cassol, Quilpie Shire Council’s Tourism Development Officer. “Because we’re on bore water and regularly use sprinklers, you sometimes see them having a little dance under the water.”
The emus wandered into town in one big group several months ago, but have now separated into smaller groups of 3 -6. They are expected to remain until the next decent rain.
“In the past we have had goannas wandering through town in severe drought times,” said Ms Cassol. “But I’ve been here for 16 years and this is the first time I’ve seen emus.”
Ms Cassol says the town’s new feathered friends have become a real talking point with many visitors.
“We love having the grey nomads in town and this is our main visitors so we have many tourism sites aimed at them,” she said. “We do roughly 12,000 tourists per year and they are most certain welcome as they bring much needed economy to town during these tough times.”
As well as the Channel Country Tourist Park which offers the use of its artesian spas to guests, grey nomads also have the option of bush camping at nearby Lake Houdraman, and there is a free camp down by the Bulloo River for fully self-contained travellers, as well.