Aussie Outback Dunnies

Let’s be honest, when setting off to travel Australia, despite our primary desire to see the country, the most sought after sign you have your eyes peeled for when on the road is…

Toilet symbols are pictographs

The sign for the nearest convenience

Whether out on the open road, pulling into town, or about to do a National Park hike – the first thing we want to see and visit, wherever we are, is the local convenience!

Fellow ozzie aficionado and on-line friend Marion Halliday – more commonly know as Red Nomad Oz –  has been travelling Australia for years and along the way has not, it appears, just been spying Journey Jottings Journal Maps (which you can see in her guest posts here: My Journey Jottings Aussie Odyssey and also here: Joining the Dots with Journey Jottings) but she’s been taking in some of the stunning views at our public Aussie loos as well!

Her ever popular series of blog posts: Scenic Public Toilets has now brilliantly been turned into a book!

Red Nomad Oz book cover of Australian Public Toilets

In this cute little book (17cm/6.7 inches square) Red Nomad Oz illustrates over 60 of the best!

My personal favourites?

Kata Tjuta Aussie Outback Dunny

View from the public toilets at Kata Tjuta

Where Marion’s quest began!

If you’ve been to Kata Tjuta you almost certainly will have used this loo before setting out on the 7.4km (4.5miles) Valley of the Winds Walk

When Marion stepped out, that fateful day, and saw this view she asked herself: Could this be Australia’s most scenic loo?

Devils Marbles Aussie Outback Dunny

She hadn’t gone far up the road (well 900km/560 miles to be exact) when she was confronted by another contender at the Devils Marbles.

Devils Marbles Public Toilets

In amongst the wonderful outback landscape were these eco-composting long drops, nestled below what looks like teetering rocky marbles.

Out In the Middle of Nowhere Dunny

Australia toilet out in the middle of nowhere

If you find yourself “1,300 kilometres from Brisbane, 1,400 kilometres from Adelaide, 1,700 kilometres from Sydney” and you get the call of nature?

Fear not – There’s a dunny at hand between Birdsville, Bedourie and Betoota (On the junction of the Birdsville and Diamantina Developmental Roads if you weren’t sure exactly where that was!)

Gunnedah – the Lyrical Loo

But for incongruity one can’t drive past the aussie outback dunnies in Gunnedah because as Red says:

Gunnedah’s offering can hold its head high in the public toilet pantheon, because it offers a complete poetry-themed amenities experience!”

Gunnedah Lyrical Loos


The toilet block is found at the end of Poets Drive that celebrates the work of 16 Australian writers –

Inside, there are a variety of poet’s names painted on each door to lure you into the cubicle of your choice –

Once there, sitting comfortably you can then ponder their work in greater depth as their works are etched on the back of the door for you to read at your leisure…

And if that wasn’t enough –

There’s “piped Aussie poetry recitations delivered direct to your stall” 😉

Point Quobba – True Blue Aussie Loo with a View

This is my absolute favourite – a true blue long drop thunderbox, if ever I saw one 🙂 It even opens up to views of the ocean.

Point Quobba classic Australian Toilet

So, if you can’t hang on any longer – here’s the link to get your copy of Aussie Loos With Views – for the traveller who thought they had everything!

All photos in this post are copyright Marion Halliday


Have you come across a public loo with a view?
Or a contender for the Poet’s Pee-stop at Gunnedah?

Do share your finds in the comments below!


And if you don’t want to miss my next blog update, simply enter your email below and I’ll give you a cooeee when it’s published 😉


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46 thoughts on “Aussie Outback Dunnies

  1. Australia is a country I definitely want to see more of especially after reading this post. I have only been to Melbourne for a week, but I see there are so many beautiful places in this country. I love the photo of the Devil’s Marbles. I am always looking for a loo wherever I am so this post is definitely helpful!

    • While the majority of the population lives on the coastal fringes of Oz – The true blue heart of the country is in the interior –
      Definitely worth a re-visit Michelle 🙂

    • When you get into the bush the landscape and calls to nature merge 😉
      The door-less outhouse in the Colorado Rockies sounds sublime… being able to see the view at the same time!!

  2. “Dunnies” is a new word for me and I’ve been to Australia 3 times! Hands down the most picturesque toilet I’ve ever had the privilege to use was on the Milford Track in New Zealand, at the top of the MacKinnon Pass in the south island’s Fiordland National Park. They had even cut a window in the outhouse door so the user could gaze out at the glacial valley below. (Since you use CommentLuv, I hope you won’t mind if I include a link to that particular post which has a photo taken from that drop toilet.)
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted..Montecristo (and His People) Visit Brigantine and PhiladelphiaMy Profile

    • Thrilled that you have shared your post – What a walk!
      The Milford Sound Walk in NZ is one I’ve always fancied doing and those views are sooooo luring 🙂

      You’ve got me looking up the word dunny now –
      According to Wikipedia the word ‘dunny’ was: “First used in print in 1952, the word is believed to be derived from the much older ‘dunnakin’ (also spelled ‘dunnigin’ and ‘dunegan’) meaning privy.”
      So there you go! 🙂

  3. LOL that’s very cool – we drove many thousands of outback miles and to be honest I was impressed just how often there was not just a loo – but one that wasn’t too bad to use!

    • I agree – its amazing how even in a National Park, miles off the beaten track there’ll even be loo paper!!
      Although I still can’t get out of the UK habit to have my own stash in my pocket LOL

    • Do not fear Betsy – The name is on the outside of the door… the actual poem is on the back of the door so you can take as long as you like 🙂

    • My small selection above doesn’t really do justice to the variety of images in the book (I’m an arid landscape lover!)
      There are many more including waterfalls and mountain tops!

  4. A fun post! Those views remind me of many of the toilets in the highlands of Honduras which were scenic but extremely rustic. There was one I remember that was not much more than a shack perched on stilts over a lake. You could see fish through the floorboards below. “Aussie Loos with a View” sounds like a must-read for a traveller of my age

    • It’s a fun book for sure –
      As you say, combining scenic with rustic is a winning combination 🙂
      You made me giggle at the thought of observing fish through the floorboards!

  5. This was so much fun to read, which is an odd statement given the topic of conversation! I like the word, “dunnie” so much better than the boring American version, “outhouse” and the outhouse never -ever – never has a view of the ocean, that’s for certain!

    • I loved Red’s description of the Point Quobba loo with a view:
      “Looking through the open door to killer king waves, treacherous tides and surging sea swells along the rugged cliffs north of Carnarvon – with blowholes, migrating whales and some of the wildest coastal scenery in Australia”

  6. I agree with Michele. As we become older, the importance of finding a loo becomes much more important, and often urgent! It’s quite comical as to some of the offerings we might encounter. I’d rather those, than the atrocious ones I’ve seen abroad! Hats off to the Red Nomad for her book. Ingenious!

    • Red Nomad also has a wry turn of phrase, so the anecdotes that accompany the photos are highly amusing to read as well!
      She’s certainly found some beauties on her travels – I was going to say she’s now working on #2 but… you get my drift 😉

  7. One of my traveling rules is always make use of a toilet when you come across one. You may not find one later when you’re desperate. Love this unique loos. Especially the one with poetry piped in.

  8. I LOVE a good loo with a view! I’ll need a copy of this book when I visit Australia. I know I’ve come across some loos with views on my own travels around the globe, but can’t think of them right now. I think I’ll start documenting them in the future. 🙂

  9. Like Donna’s comment always use a loo when you find one. We had a “brownie” at my husbands cottage in Northern Ontario and the view was a great one. This was a fun read, Red Nomad OZ brought back a lot of memories for me!

    • I have to say Suzanne had me looking up the term on Wikipedia!
      The word ‘dunny’ was: “First used in print in 1952, the word is believed to be derived from the much older ‘dunnakin’ (also spelled ‘dunnigin’ and ‘dunegan’) meaning privy.”
      I think that was worth repeating! 🙂

  10. This book is a must read and even better when you have time to contemplate life relaxing on a loo. I’ve seen some very elaborate facilities and found it a hoot to tell everyone to go see it even if nature isn’t pushing you. Now that my hubby and I have over 50+ married years under our belt, we always visit the little room(s) even if we don’t have to – just to be in sync.

    • You’re right – Its the perfect little book for the little room!
      And I love that arrangement, of both going to the loo at the same time – no matter what – so as to remain in sync 😉

    • Sharing a few of Red’s photos really is only half of the story, because as you say her writing style is so uniquely humorous –
      Her book of “Australia’s loo-littered landscape” is a treasure 🙂

  11. Finally the loo, toilet, bathroom, outhouse, WC, potty. . .is getting the recognition it deserves. No matter where we travel this little space is one of the most important memories from each trip. I love this book! Great post.

  12. Hahah! Love the sense of humour among other things Aussie. Yep I remember the Devil’s Marbles one, and there was another one in some rainforest (can’t remember the name, went as a kid) which had a looooong climb, and then you know what had a loooong drop to the forest floor! Thanks for sharing!

    • I love the fact you remember one way out in the dry outback and one in a verdant green rainforest!
      The diversity is remarkable both in landscape and the variety of places you can relieve yourself down under 😉

  13. Thanx again, Linda for posting about my book – and so glad so many of you enjoyed the post AND took time to comment! I’ve only just scratched the surface (Hang on, there’s an idea for book 2??) of the awesome Aussie loos I’ve found on my travels! So look out for number … I mean BOOK Two!
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted..Basalt, Birds and Balls Pyramid!My Profile

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