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Entry into Boulia
|Elevation||161.8 m (531 ft)|
|State electorate(s)||Mount Isa|
Boulia // is a town in Central West Queensland, Australia. It is located approximately 296 kilometres (184 mi) by road south of Mount Isa, and lies on the Burke River, which was named after the explorer Robert O'Hara Burke who passed through the area with the Burke and Wills expedition in 1860. The township was gazetted in 1879. Boulia is the administrative centre of the Boulia Shire, population approximately 600, which covers an area of 61,176 square kilometres (23,620 sq mi). At the 2011 census, Boulia had a population of 230, up from 205 in 2006.
The climate is very hot and dry, with on average over 200 days per year over 30 °C (86 °F). Although even in June and July the average maximum is a very warm 24 °C (75 °F), frosts are not unknown in the morning during these months. Annual rainfall is extraordinarily erratic: it has been as low as 24 millimetres (0.9 in) in 1905 and 51 millimetres (2 in) in 1963. However, when the monsoon is strong rainfall can be heavy: in January 1974 Boulia received 465 millimetres (18.3 in) of rain and in March 1950 346 millimetres (14 in). Maximum annual rainfall totals are 799 millimetres (31.5 in) in 1950 and 774 millimetres (30.5 in) in 1974, but the median annual rainfall is only 216 millimetres (9 in).
The area is best known for sightings of the Min Min lights, mysterious shimmering lights that appear at night. The lights are said to be caused by atmospheric refraction that occurs when cold air is trapped below warmer air, a phenomenon known as Fata Morgana.
Boulia has a range of public facilities open to the community. These include a public library, public hall, sports complex, racecourse, the Min Min encounter tourist centre, museum, visitor information centre and camel races.
Boulia has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Boulia (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Boulia (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 11 April 2011.
- Bureau of Meteorology
- Tim the Yowie Man (2001). "Spook of the Min Min Light". The adventures of Tim the Yowie Man cryptonaturalist. Sydney, Australia: Random House Australia. p. 256. ISBN 174051078X.
- "Science logic spoils outback mystery". Canberra, Australia: The Canberra Times. 22 April 2003.
- "Boulia". Centre for the Government of Queensland. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- Categories for Naming Features on Planets and Satellites, Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, Astrogeology Research Program, NASA
- "Boulia Stone House (entry 14814)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 2013-07-07.
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