About Cunnamulla


Cunnamulla is part of the Paroo Shire and is located on the Warrego River in far west Queensland. The Paroo Shire also includes the townships of Eulo, Wyandra and Yowah.

The word ‘Cunnamulla’ means ‘long stretch of water’ or ‘big waterhole’ in the language of the Kunja [Koun-yah] people. Historical research indicates that the Kunja people originally occupied this region prior to first contact with Europeans.  


There are 5 traditional language groups in Cunnamulla:

  • Kooma [Coo-ma] (Nebine River)
  • Kunja [Kun-ya]
  • Kullilli [Cul-lil-lee] (Barcoo River South)
  • Budjiti [Budge-it-ee] (Mid Warrego River)
  • Mardigan (Barcoo River North).

Most of the established families in Cunnamulla have a possible connection with 2 or 3 other clan and/or language groups, but strongly identify with the prominent language groups listed above.

Aboriginal Queenslanders will often refer to themselves as ‘Murri’. However, Aboriginal people of south-west Queensland prefer the term ‘Murdi’. The everyday language spoken by Murdis in this region is therefore the Murdi language. Murdi language is a combination of many Aboriginal words and derivatives of the English language. It was used by Aboriginal employees to communicate with colonial pastoralists working in the cattle industry in the region. 

The Murdi language does not have official spelling and there are no recognised interpreters available to translate for this language. As such, assistance may be required for complainants, witnesses, victims and offenders who come before the courts. 

History of Cunnamulla

Cunnamulla facts and figures

For 2011 and 2016 census information on education, employment, income, housing figures and more for Paroo Shire, build a statistical profile on Know Your Community.

Native title information

Search for native title information on the National Native Title Tribunal website.

Visiting Cunnamulla

Getting to Cunnamulla

Cunnamulla is situated at the intersection of the Mitchell and Balonne Highways, approximately 10 hours drive west of Brisbane. There are regular flights and bus services from Brisbane to Cunnamulla. Flights take approximately 3 hours, with a stopover in Toowoomba and St George.  

Seasonal considerations

While there are no specific seasonal considerations for this area, heavy rain during the summer can impact on local road conditions. Find out about current road conditions.

Alcohol restrictions

There are no alcohol restrictions in Cunnamulla. 

Local government

Search the local government directory for information about the Paroo Shire Council. 

Who to contact if you have questions about your visit

Sorry business

The death of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person impacts on the whole community. However, the experience of Sorry Business can vary within each community. Commonly, the name of the deceased is not used for some time or the deceased person is called by another name. In some communities, photographs or stories of the deceased are not to be used without the express permission of relevant family members.

During periods of Sorry Business many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services in Cunnamulla may close down as a sign of respect for the person who has passed and to allow the community to mourn together. However, essential services such as policing, justice, child safety, health and education continue. 

Community justice group

The role of the Community Justice Group (CJG) is to ensure that clients of the service are given appropriate cultural support for court matters. The CJG also provides cultural reports to the courts at sentencing and bail applications, assistance to the courts in managing community-based offences, and networking to implement crime prevention initiatives.

Members of the CJG work closely with a number of justice agencies including the Queensland Magistrates Court, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland Police Service, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. The CJG works to support the community’s understanding of and access to the justice system by working in conjunction with Shire Council by-laws and victim support agencies.

Key ways the CJG is able to assist the community and the courts include:

  • participation in community consultations relevant to the CJG’s role within the criminal justice sector
  • preparation and presentation of written and oral sentencing submissions to the court
  • defendant support and referral (including court support)
  • victim support and referral (including court support)
  • support for debtors wishing to access the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry.

For more information about your local Community Justice Group:

Community services

Use the Queensland Government's one place service directory to find up-to-date contact information for local support services including:

  • legal advice and support services
  • youth justice and support groups
  • domestic and family violence support
  • drug and alcohol services
  • mens' and women's groups
  • accident, emergency and medical services

More information