Outback Towns

Betoota

Betoota is a small "Ghost Town" in the Diamantina Shire 165 kms East of Birdsville

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About Betoota

Betoota is a small town (now abandoned) in the Diamantina Shire 165 kms East of Birdsville and 220 kms west of Windorah in Western Queensland.

The town came into existence in 1885 when the Queensland Government decided to set up a customs post to collect tolls on cattle being moved down the stock routes to the southern markets. The town site was surveyed in 1887 and slowly grew to three hotels, a police station, courthouse, store, post office and the site of a Cobb & Co. changing station. It housed workers that were building the Rabbit Proof Fence in 1895, but customs collections ceased in 1901 with Federation and the town steadily declined.  

The last hotel closed in 1997 and the last resident died in 2004. Current services are limited to an impressive racetrack, a cricket field and a dry weather airstrip. No services are available. The Betoota Hotel now stands as sole testimony to a once – thriving outback town.

The ghost town comes alive on the last weekend in August each year as the Betoota Race Club hosts The Betoota Races (first event on the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival calendar) and the hordes of travellers heading to the famous Birdsville Races on the following weekend.