The Cooper Creek rises west of the Dividing Range between Charters Towers and Longreach in Queensland journeying more than 1,300 kms to Lake Eyre in South Australia’s north. It is one of the largest unregulated river catchments in the world, and some of the most beautiful camping can be found along the banks of Cooper in Innamincka.
Within a stone’s throw of the pub, the Innamincka Town Common offer plenty of places along the banks to set up camp in either a tent or van. Further afield, but still within 10kms of the pub, you’ll need a permit to camp in Policeman’s Waterhole, Ski Beach, King’s Marker and Minkie Waterhole. You can bring a boat but motors must not exceed 10hp. Dogs are allow but must be kept on leads. Check with the local ranger if unsure about permits and passes.
Cooper Creek is a Haven for Birdlife and Animals
Pelicans can often be seen gliding inches above a mirror surfaced Creek with an occasional ripple from inquisitive and hungry fish stealing insects from under the surface.
Local corellas and cockatoos will make sure your day starts early, while predators like the grey falcon sit high in the branches of the Coolabah and Northern River Red Gum trees waiting for an unsuspecting meal. Keep an eye out for dingoes, red kangaroos, turtles, water rats and smaller marsupials like the rare Dusky and Fawn Hopping Mice. There are snakes in the area, including the deadly Inland Taipan, but these are rarely seen during the cooler months.
Even though you’re roughing it on the banks of the Cooper, don’t forget the pub offers great meals and it’s a beautifully cool spot to have a few cold drinks on a hot Innamincka day. Fuel is available at the trading post which can also provide basic food and essentials. If you’ve been camping rough, a gold coin will get you a welcome shower at the toilet block opposite the trading post and pub.