Betoota is a small town in Diamantina Shire, far south west Queensland, Australia which has a seasonal population; the last permanent resident, died in 2004. Betoota is situated on a gibber plain, 170 kilometres east of Birdsville and 227 kilometres west of Windorah.
The Betoota Hotel was built in the late 1880’s and is now the last remaining building in town. Operating until 1997 when it’s owner Sigmund Remienko retired at 82yrs of age, originally from Poland Sigmund worked as a grader driver until he bought the Betoota Hotel in 1957. Owning the hotel for 47 years, Simon was Betoota’s sole resident until ill health forced him to move.
Except for surrounding cattle stations, Betoota stands alone on a vast gibber plain. The town is located 170 kilometres east of Birdsville and 227 kilometres west of Windorah. Betoota started as a Cobb and Co changing station and border town with its main income being derived from tolls and taxes. This source of revenue dried up on the establishment of the Federation.
Twice a year this ghost town comes alive with activity as locals and visitors alike arrive by plane, coach and motor vehicle to enjoy local events. On the first weekend after Easter it’s a fun-packed weekend at the Gymkhana. On the third Saturday in September horse racing at the Betoota Track is the go. This is where you’ll meet ‘down to earth’ Australians with a wry sense of humour.