Perched on the edge of Australia’s Simpson Desert, the historic Birdsville Hotel acts as a gateway to the arid region and a bastion of traditional Aussie culture.
Built in 1884, the low-lying, one-story structure has stood the test of time in defiance of the harsh desert heat and nearly unlivable climates. Offering 27 rooms and dining facilities, the establishment is somewhat legendary in Australia as a symbol of the rugged outback spirit, having survived floods and dust storms that decimated much of the surrounding town. While the hotel itself has housed many a desert traveller, the three sprawling pub areas contained on the site are the beating heart of the place, full of boastful locals, worn adventurers, and jolly tourists in equal measure.
The town of Birdsville is home to a population of under 300 people, but once a year they host the Birdsville Horse Races, when thousands of attendees arrive by all manner of conveyance and give the town and its single, indomitable hotel a much-needed income boost. Despite its isolation, the Birdsville Hotel is relatively easy to reach and is a must see for any Australian expedition.