Farmers surfing paddocks after downpours

Drought ravaged farmers have celebrated rainfall but more below-average rain is forecast.
Drought ravaged farmers have celebrated rainfall but more below-average rain is forecast.

Farmers are dancing in the rain and surfing puddles in their paddocks after downpours in parts of drought-hit Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Cattle grazier Dan Landers had a light bulb moment after heavy downpours in Glen Innes on the Northern Tablelands on Thursday.

"I knew they had a wakeboard in the shed," he said.

"We got that out, we tied some bailing twine together that we'd been using to feed the cattle with, and put it to good use," he said.

He tied the homemade rope to a buggy being driven by mates Jai Campbell and Ben Schiffmann, beers in hand, clung on and surfed a four-foot deep puddle in what was a bone-dry paddock just hours earlier.

"It was really fun, bit different to your usual surfing, good to get out in it though," Mr Landers said.

"I was a bit worried about sticks and rocks, it was muddy, there was sticks flowing down the stream from the neighbour's place, cow poo."

The rain that came was the most they'd had since taking over the property last year.

Since then they've been forced to de-stock and send some of their cattle elsewhere to feed.

Further north, in Queensland, significant rain has fallen in southern and central parts of the state in the last 24 hours, with some areas also hit by strong winds and flash flooding.

Dozens of videos of children dancing in the rain, kids playing in the mud and water washing over country popped up online overnight.

Falls of 178mm were recorded near Mount Barney in the Scenic Rim, while near Chinchilla in the Western Downs, 150mm landed in the gauge, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

Further north, residents near Emerald, in the Central Highlands, were lashed by thunderstorms that brought falls up to 107mm.

While the rains brought joy they haven't come close to breaking the drought.

"While this was a large amount of rainfall for some specific locations, unfortunately this wasn't the widespread rainfall we really need," forecaster Rosa Hoff said

Only 12mm fell on drought-ravaged Stanthorpe in the Southern Downs, where drinking water is now being trucked in for residents, she said.

"In order to relieve the (drought) conditions we've been seeing, what we really need is rain for a prolonged period where we see widespread (rain) totals," Ms Hoff said.

But that's unlikely to happen, with the bureau predicting below-average and unreliable rainfall for many areas of the state.

"It would be great if we had some better news about some higher rainfall totals, unfortunately, it's panning out in accordance with our climate drivers," Ms Hoff said.

Mark Collins, drought working group chair at agricultural lobby AgForce, has called for more state government support for farmers.

"They are just spinning their wheels in the bulldust," he said in a statement.

Mr Collins wants the Queensland government to waive land rent and vehicle registration costs, and provide rate relief, criticising Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for a lack of consultation with farmers.

Australian Associated Press