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Back Roads: Boulia, Western Queensland (S8EP4 ABC TV Mon 24 Jan 2022)



Heather Ewart finds there are many surprises in the tiny town of Boulia on the edge of the Simpson Desert about 1700 km from Brisbane.

As you drive into the Western Queensland town of Boulia a sign greets you “Welcome to Boulia Shire. Land of the Min Min Light.” But locals warn, don’t go searching for the Min Min Light, let it find you.

Stories of mysterious lights appearing in the night skies are part of the folklore out here, from the Dreamtime to modern day travellers.

Heather Ewart finds there are many other surprises in this tiny town on the edge of the Simpson Desert about 1700 km from Brisbane.

Explorers Burke and Wills might have camped on the town’s river in 1861 on their ill-fated expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria, but Boulia is now luring a new generation of adventurers; medical, health and nursing students. Medical students from around Australia are welcomed with open arms by the population of less than 500 people. Hundreds of students have worked out of the Boulia Medical Centre over the years, inspiring a future generation of health professionals to work in regional Australia.

If the students time their placements at the medical centre right, they will be in town for the biggest annual event, the Boulia Camel Cup, known to locals as the ‘Melbourne Cup of Camel Racing’.

It was an extra special event in 2021, after the Cup in 2020 had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

Production credit: Executive Producer and Story Producer: Brigid Donovan.

Airdate: Monday 24 January 2022 at 8.00pm on ABC TV.

Season 8 Episode 4