Channel Country is teeming with colour, with wet summer forecast to come

The sprawling waterways of Queensland’s Channel Country are a tapestry of colourful, vibrant wildflowers.

Rain events from earlier in the year have sent down floodwaters that have awakened dormant seeds and blanketed the region in a kaleidoscope of flora.

Hews of purple, green and yellow appear like a tapestry across the land of the Channel Country.
Floods have brought the Channel Country to life, splashing colour as far as the eye can see.(Supplied: Lisa Alexander Photography)

Diamantina Shire Council Mayor Robert Dare said the wildflowers were a unique sight for locals and tourists alike.

“They come out to see them, it’s massive,” Cr Dare said. 

“You’ve got your flowers in your garden in little patches, but out here they go for kilometres wide and long in all sorts of colour.”

Channels that look like veins stretch to the horizon in the outback.
Lisa Alexander flew in a helicopter and used a drone to capture the images.(Supplied: Lisa Alexander Photography)

Just a stone’s throw from Windorah, hues of pink, green, blue and purple reach to the horizon, something that Barcoo Shire Council Mayor Sally O’Neil said the Channel Country was famous for.

“In the state it is now, it’s magnificent, and that’s what attracts people,” Cr O’Neil said. 

“I’ve actually just come back from Birdsville and it’s amazing right the way through.”

An aerial shot of a small town surrounded by green, yellow, and orange channels.
Lisa Alexander says she barely had to leave Windorah to capture the Channel Country’s beauty.(Supplied: Lisa Alexander Photography)

Beauty of the Channel Country

Outback photographer Lisa Alexander is no stranger to capturing the spirit of western Queensland through her camera lens.

But a recent trip to the Channel Country rates as one of her favourite moments.

A map of Queensland showing the location of a remote town.

Inspired by photos taken by a friend, the Blackall local figured it would be worth spending a weekend to see the colours for herself.

“I’m only about 315 kilometres from Windorah, so I just ducked down there and thought I’d check it out and I was absolutely blown away,” she said.

“I went down there with no expectations; I never expected to see, or to capture, what I did capture.”

A blonde woman smiles for the camera, inside a shearing shed.
Lisa Alexander has taken thousands of pictures but knew her Channel Country shots were special.(Supplied: Lisa Alexander Photography)

It’s a sight that left Ms Alexander lost for words.

“The Channel Country is absolutely incredible.

“The wildflowers are in abundance at the moment, so there’s yellow and white everywhere.

“Honestly, I don’t even have the words to describe it.”

Channelling a wet summer

With much of the floodwaters on their way out of the Channel Country and into Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre in northern South Australia, the window for seeing the region in full bloom is closing.

But the spectacle may not be gone for long, as the Bureau of Meteorology has declared a La Niña alert, signalling the potential for a wet summer is just around the corner.

The sun sets on the horizon, revealing channels twisting like veins covering the landscape.
Sunrise and sunset are Lisa Alexander’s favourite times to photograph the Channel Country.(Supplied: Lisa Alexander Photography)

Cr Dare said he was optimistic that good rain was on the way.

“I’d rather be betting on the Birdsville races next week than the weatherman, but saying that, it’s positive at least and they haven’t been too far wrong lately.”

And it’s good news for avid outback photographers like Ms Alexander, who is ready to duck down the road once more to do it all again.

“I would love to, I’ve just got to find some time,” she said.

“It’s something that I really want to share with the rest of the country, because the outback is amazing and everyone should come visit it.

“It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Patterns of green and yellow stretch to the horizon, as the Channel Country comes to life.
Dormant seeds spring to life after rain this year caused the channels to flood.(Supplied: Lisa Alexander Photography)

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