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Queensland Edition 5

Western Travel Guide • Western Downs • Maranoa • Murweh • Paroo• • Quilpie • Bulloo • Balonne • • and surrounding towns •

Take a trip through outback Queensland


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Contents

WHAT’S INSIDE OAKEY...........................................................5 CECIL PLAINS ...............................................6 JONDARYAN..................................................7 DALBY ..................................................8 – 13 BELL...........................................................14 BUNYA MOUNTAINS ....................................15 JANDOWAE ................................................16 MACALISTER / WARRA................................ 17 JIMBOUR ....................................................18 BRIGALOW .................................................19 KOGAN....................................................... 20 CHINCHILLA ....................................... 21 - 25 TARA...........................................................26 MEANDARRA ............................................. 27 GLENMORGAN/MOONIE/THE GUMS….....….28 MILES.....................................................29-30 CONDAMINE................................................31

WANDOAN..................................................32 TAROOM.....................................................33 DRILLHAM/DULACCA ..................................34 YULEBA ………………………...………..35 JACKSON/MUCKADILLA/ AMBY ...................36 WALLUMBILLA ............................................37 ROMA..................................................38 - 43 INJUNE .......................................................44 SURAT ........................................................45 MITCHELL ..................................................46 ST GEORGE........................................... 47-48 NINDIGULLY ................................................49 THALLON....................................................50 DIRRANBANDI / BOLLON..............................51 CUNNAMULLA ............................................ 52 EULO .........................................................53 WYANDRA / YOWAH...............................55 -56

THARGOMINDA......................................57-59 NOCCUNDRA...............................................60 COOPER CREEK ..........................................61 CAMERON CORNER.....................................62 KILCOWERA ................................................63 HUNGERFORD .............................................64 QUILPIE................................................. 65-68 EROMANGA ................................................69 TOOMPINE .................................................70 ADAVALE.....................................................71 MURWEH ....................................................72 CHARLEVILLE ..................................... 73 - 76 COOLADDI / AUGATHELLA............................77 AUGATHELLA ..............................................78 MORVEN / MUNGALLALA.............................79 BACK COVER ............................................. 80

Fly in to experience true outback magic… plan a stay at • Spot the Wildlife • History Tours • Bird Watching • Yabby Catching • Painting & Photography • Soaking in the Hot Artesian Water • Woolshed & Shearing • Authentic Station Life

outback magic

s n i a l P e t t o l r a Ch

Cunnamulla

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Camping | Caravans | Shearer’s Quarters | Groups | 07 4655 4923 or 0429 835 228 | www.charlotteplains.com.au www.suratbasin.com.au/westerntravelguide2020

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Contents

OUTBACK: Head out west! The road from Charleville to Cunnamulla, sealed and scenic.

CREATIVE: Haylee Thomas, Jeff Brown ADVERTISING: Rachel Doyle 07 4672 5501 Rachel.doyle@dalbyherald.com.au EDITORIAL: Carmen Miller, Western Downs Regional Council, Paroo Shire Council, Maranoa Regional Council, Murweh Shire Council, Bulloo Shire Council, Quilpie Shire Council, Balonne Shire Council SURAT BASIN GENERAL MANAGER: Erika Brayshaw (07) 4672 9921 Erika.brayshaw@chinchillanews.com.au ENQUIRIES: P (07) 4672 9900 F 3220 6442 E: advertise@chinchillanews.com.au A: 12 Mayne Street Chinchilla Qld 4413

PUBLISHER INDEMNITY The Western Travel Guide, is published by Newscorp in Chinchilla. Those who make advertising placement and/or supply copy material or editorial submissions to the Western Travel Guide, undertake to ensure that all such material does not infringe any copyright, trademark, defamation, libel, slander or title, breach or confidence, does not contain anything obscene or indecent, or does not infringe the trade practices act or other laws, regulations or statutes.

PHOTO: SUSAN FELIX

COVER Front cover Western Travel Guide was created by Haylee Thomas with image provided by Tourism and Events Queensland with T&GWSBT. Images within the Western Travel Guide were obtained from Tourism and Events Queensland. They were also supplied by Western Downs Regional Council, Paroo Shire Council, Maranoa Regional Council, Murweh Shire Council, Bulloo Shire Council, Quilpie Shire Council, Balonne Shire Council, Kate McCormack, Zoe Bell and Susan Felix.

Further to the above mentioned these persons agree to indemnify the publishers and/or its agents against any investigation claims or judgements.

WHITE LOTUS HAIR AND BEAUTY

19 Bell St Chinchilla QLD 4413

(07) 4669 1450 PAGE 4

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RELAX. PAMPER. REFRESH!


Oakey

Visit quaint Oakey Half an hour drive west of the Garden City, Toowoomba, you will reach Oakey, a key stop on the way to western Queensland. Oakey was named after the oaks lining the nearby creek. There are a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafĂŠs. Community facilities include a library, cultural centre, Council service centre, RSL and a range of health care services. Oakey is a vibrant town which prides itself on being friendly and welcoming. The town recently celebrated 150 years and has very rich traditions. It is home to the famous thoroughbred racehorse Bernborough, one of five inaugural inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. You can visit the majestic life-sized bronze sculpture outside the Council Service Centre.

Gary Deakin. Oakey Historical Museum open day. Saturday, 9th Jun, 2018.

The Australian Army Flying Museum displays all aircraft flown by the Australian Army since World War II, including the latest high-tech military helicopters. The museum is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am-3pm. The Oakey Historical Museum is located on the corner of Ramsey and Bridge Sts, and open Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9am - 1pm. The museum has historic farm equipment outside and an extensive collection of local memorabilia. For more information phone 0429 177 852. The Australian Army Flying Museum displays all aircraft flown by the Australian Army since World War II. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Allan Boardman from the Toowoomba and District Old Machinery Society with his 1932 B-Model Ford. Oakey Historical Museum open day. Saturday, 9th Jun, 2018.

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Cecil Plains

Enjoy the country charm of Cecil Plains Crops are abundant in the Cecil Plains region. Image courtesy Tourism and Events Queensland.

Located an hour west of Toowoomba and halfan-hour south of Dalby, the fertile black soil around Cecil Plains is ideal for cotton production and the town is now the home of one of the largest cotton gins in the southern hemisphere.

THE OLD STATION CEMETERY THE town’s most fascinating historic artefact is the Old Station Cemetery which is located at the corner of Cheetham St and the Dalby Cecil Plains Rd.

the town and both were rejected by teetotallers. The handsome pub in the main street started life in 1932 as a boarding house and it wasn’t until 1938 (the third attempt) it managed to obtain its licence – not surprisingly it was named “Victory”.

Cecil Plains Homestead was the focal point of life on Cecil Plains Station which was claimed in 1841 by Henry Stuart Russell, the first European in the area. The property was named in honour of his mother, Cecil Charlotte Pemberton.

It is a small collection of graves (some nothing more than slabs of timber) but it has been well preserved and pieces of timber have been erected around an iron-bark tree which give details of the lives of the people buried in the small cemetery.

HENRY STUART RUSSELL PARK HOME to the Cecil Plains Library and a War Memorial monument, an outdoor gym was installed on site through a partnership between Council and Cecil Plains Lions Club. The park also includes a basketball half-court, garden beds, skate facilities, a covered playground, and picnic facilities with a barbecue.

In 1848 he employed James Taylor as head stockman, who became a partner in 1856 and sole proprietor of Cecil Plains in 1859. Taylor made Cecil Plains a fattening and disposal centre for western sheep, and by 1880 the station comprised 147,000 acres. Taylor was a central figure in the growth of Toowoomba and a parliamentarian.

HISTORIC VICTORY HOTEL THERE were two attempts to establish a pub in

The town of Cecil Plains was proclaimed in 1924. Cotton growing expanded postwar in the Central Downs, and the population climbed to nearly 600 by the mid-1950s. While the town experienced a population decline leading to the end of the twentieth century before picking up again. CECIL PLAINS HOMESTEAD THE original homestead was built on Cecil Plains Station in 1841. The homestead was originally a single slab cottage built by Henry and his brother Sydenham. James Taylor bought the property in 1859.

Stunning sun sets in Cecil Plains. Image Courtesy Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Jondaryan

Be wowed by The Woolshed JONDARYAN is a small town with a tonne of history and is visited by thousands namely due to its popular historic village – The Woolshed.

the national maritime strike.The western railway was extended from Toowoomba to Dalby in 1867.

Jondaryan is about 40km from both Toowoomba and Dalby on the Warrego Highway and got its name from the Jondaryan pastoral station (1842). Derived from an Aboriginal expression thought to describe something a long way off; possibly a view from the Bunya mountains of a tree line or topographical feature on the black soil plains.

A primary school was opened in 1872. Jondaryan grew as the main town in the district, remaining so until overtaken by Oakey which benefited by being a railway junction with branch lines to Cooyar and Cecil Plains. Jondaryan has a hotel, a school, a public hall and a post office.

The Jondaryan pastoral station grew to be a colonial colossus, comprising 62,750 ha in the 1870s, Queensland’s largest freehold station. In 1889 it was the cause of the ‘Jondaryan affair’, when unionists won the right to have union-only shearers, but which in turn galvanised employer interests to unite and crush trade-unionism in

Cyle Tishler and Lucy Grace Jennings celebrate a heritage Easter at Jondaryan Woolshed.

of Jondaryan Station at the time. It is said to be one of the earliest churches in Queensland. It was built from hand sawn and dressed ironbark slabs and is said to be the oldest timber church in the Diocese of Brisbane.

THE WOOLSHED IN THE early 1970s local townspeople began the restoration of the historic woolshed. Several decades of dedicated volunteers have created a rural museum with several restored buildings brought in from elsewhere. The Woolshed is Queensland’s oldest operating woolshed. You can take a self-guided tour on the Woolshed Heritage Walk to learn about the history of Jondaryan Station and its role in the development of pastoralism on the Darling Downs.

Enjoying a ride at Jondaryan Woolshed’s Easter celebrations are (from left) Charlie, Alyssa and Brent Sjerp.

JONDARYAN WOOLSHED EVENTS:

Stroll back in time through a fascinating complex of historic buildings, machinery and collections. Enjoy a delicious meal at the Woolshed Café Restaurant open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Monthly: Sunday FUNday Classic Country Music Night Movie Night

The Jondaryan Woolshed is located at 264 Jondaryan-Evanslea Road and open 8.30am 4.30pm. Phone (07) 4692 2229 or visit www. jondaryanwoolshed.com.au.

Easter Heritage Festival: April 10-13

ST ANNE’S CHURCH ON THE Jondaryan-Evanslea Road heading towards the Woolshed is the small timber St Anne’s Church which was built in 1859 and designed by James Charles White, the manager

Wedding Expos: March 22 August 23

Twilight Market: June 27 Christmas in July: July, 25 Spring Heritage Festival: September 25-28

ON THE ROAD… STOP OFF AT COBB & CO ROADHOUSE. We will make you feel right at home.

Delicious Roadhouse Meals Try one of our gourmet pizzas, delicious home-made pies, curries & hamburgers Pre-order will be ready when you rock in the door…

BREAKFAST… LUNCH… DINNER

Local Information for Travellers Hours 04:30am - 22:00pm

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Cobb N Co Roadhouse, 16 Duke Street 4403 Jondaryan, Queensland Ph: (07) 4692 2143

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• Great Coffee • Hot Showers & Clean Amenities • Need Ice & Gas we can help.

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Dalby

Dalby has it all DALBY is a beautiful town located 80km west of Toowoomba and is full of fun and excitement. Founded as Myall Creek Station in 1841, it was renamed for Dalby, on the Isle of Man, in the British Isles. Built on the black soil plains of the northern Darling Downs, Dalby became a town in 1854 and has since become the regional hub of the Western Downs and a hive of rural enterprise. Dalby is a great place to base yourself before exploring the Bunya Mountains National Park and historic Jimbour House, a short drive to the northeast of town. To the southwest of Dalby is the Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, a popular spot for camping, bushwalking and birdwatching. Major local industries include cotton, wheat, sorghum, sunflowers and intensive livestock production. Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to dining options with highquality pubs, cafĂŠs and eateries featuring its famous country hospitality. Stop into Dalby Country Antiques while visiting Dalby to pick up a unique piece of history. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Dalby has also become synonymous with unique and exciting festivals and events throughout the year which draw visitors from all around Australia. DALBY VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE The Dalby Visitor Information Centre is your one-stop shop for travel information, maps, brochures, itineraries and local advice. The Centre sells cold drinks and souvenirs and provides free Wi-Fi internet access. Staffed by skilled and knowledgeable locals, the Centre can provide advice on things to see and do, the best attractions to explore and local happenings. Discuss your travel plans with their friendly staff and enjoy a stroll in the park, before continuing on with your journey. Located in the picturesque Thomas Jack Park on the corner of Drayton and Condamine Streets in Dalby, the surrounding parkland offers off-street parking, toilets, picnic tables and barbecue facilities. Phone (07) 4679 4461

To the southwest of Dalby is the Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, a popular spot for camping, bushwalking and birdwatching. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Festivals in Western Downs 29 APR - 3 MAY 2020 Big Skies Festival, Jimbour House

14- 15 JUL 2020 Dalby Delicious & DeLIGHTful, Dalby

12- 14 JUN 2020 Jandowae TimberTown Festival, Jandowae

10- 13 SEPT 2020 Back to the Bush Festival, Miles

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18- 21 FEB 2021 Chinchilla Melon Festival, Chinchilla JUL 2021 Opera at Jimbour, Jimbour House 30 JUL- 1 AUG 2021 Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races, Tara www.suratbasin.com.au/westerntravelguide2020


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Dalby

Stunning scenery at the Myall Creek in Dalby. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

WHERE TO STAY IN DALBY All your accommodation needs when visiting for fun or on business

IF YOU want to stay longer in Dalby, there are plenty of accommodation options. From motels, hotels or camping, Dalby has it all. Here are some options for your holiday stay.

Located right across the road from beautiful Thomas Jack Park and only two-minutes walk to Dalby’s central shopping district. (07) 4662 5722, 27 Drayton St, Dalby

THE GALLERY MOTOR INN THE Gallery Motor Inn provides fully furnished, squeaky clean, affordable accommodation ranging from one bedroom to as many as you need. (07) 4662 2300, 128 Drayton St, Dalby

DALBY FAIRWAY MOTOR INN THIS Motor Inn is a stylish 4 star motel offering stylish accommodation beside the Myall Creek parklands. (07) 4662 2255, 34 Myall St, Dalby

DALBY TOURIST PARK DALBY Tourist Park offers quality one and two bedroom ensuite cabins as well as powered and unpowered camping spots. (07) 4662 4793, 32 Myall St, Dalby DALBY HOMESTEAD MOTEL WHETHER you are stopping in Dalby overnight on business, or longer to visit the area’s many attractions, the Dalby Homestead Motel is the perfect place to stay.

KOBBERS MOTOR INN FOR quality Dalby Motel accommodation Kobbers Motor Inn offers 22 motel rooms with air-conditioned comfort in modern spacious clean rooms, combined with warm hospitality country courtesy. Situated km from the Dalby CBD and close to all facilities. (07) 4669 7488, 37a Nicholson St, Dalby.

Enjoy a drink at the bar at Kobbers Motor Inn. Image contributed

Dalby Fairway Motor Inn. Image contributed

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Dalby

EVENTS DELIGHT IN DALBY 2020 is set to be a huge year in Dalby. Get your diaries ready to plan some great weekends away. BIG SKIES FESTIVAL DALBY will be full of activity during Big Skies Festival 2020. The six-day festival held across the Western Downs will begin with the 107th annual Dalby Picnic Races on Saturday, April 25. Held at Bunya Park Racecourse, the Dalby Picnic Races is one of regional Queensland’s most popular racing events. Expect all the fun and frivolity of country racing at its best where high fashion and high stakes combine at one of the region’s signature calendar events.

DELICIOUS AND DELIGHTFUL FESTIVAL THE festival will be held on Saturday, August 15 in 2020 and is a fantastic blend of cultures,

Dalby Delicious and Delightful street parade. Image contributed Western Downs Regional Council

Big Skies Festival will bring new and exciting Australian acts to Jimbour House on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2020. Image contributed Western Downs Regional Council.

food and fun and is Dalby’s signature festival. It embraces Art Exhibition throughout August with the main festival day being the third Saturday in August. It features a wide range of multicultural food and entertainment with a spectacular lantern parade and fireworks display along the banks of the beautiful Myall Creek that runs through the centre of Dalby. The lantern parade concludes in Anderson Park where the party continues with live entertainment into the night. Embracing and celebrating Dalby’s diverse community, it attracts locals and visitors alike. There’s fun for everyone, from children and families to young adults and the elderly. The festival offers a varied range of activities including a Colour Run, Volleyball, Competitions,

Children’s area, a Multicultural Fashion Parade and an Australian citizenship ceremony. There’s food to taste, performers to watch and games to play. In short, a fun festival to be enjoyed by all! It is a popular event with the locals as well as those who travel from out of town to enjoy the live entertainment and food on offer. DALBY SHOW – 150 YEARS STRONG THIS huge annual event will be held again on April 17 and 18 in 2020 and will be celebrating 150 years. Dalby Show Society’s First Annual Show was held in 1870, since then it has became one of the states most prominent agricultural shows in Queensland.

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Bringing close to 8,000 punters to the region every year, the Picnic Races are one of Queensland’s largest and most exciting country races. Have an authentic rural experience during Big Skies Festival 2020 in Dalby by taking a tour of the Dalby Saleyards or enjoy country hospitality with the ultimate paddock to plate experience at the Long Lunch.

37 Winton Street West, Dalby 1800 773 263 www.suratbasin.com.au/westerntravelguide2020

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Dalby

FIND YOUR NEXT MEAL DALBY is a great place to find a meal, enjoy of their restaurant extension are complete, a cold drink or even a cuppa on your journey. or sit outside and watch football on the big We have picked some of the top places to screen. try to give you a hand. URBAN PADDOCK SET in historic Quambi House, Urban Paddock is a family-friendly café offering contemporary dining in a relaxed atmosphere.

Stop in at Quambi House, Urban Paddock Dalby for award winning meals and delicious home made coffee and cakes. Images contributed.

CRITERION HOTEL AT THE Cri, the hotel prides itself on having great customer service and a place where you can enjoy a relaxed meal in the bistro or a cold drink in the beer garden or on the back deck.

DALBY LEAGUES CLUB THE club prides itself on creating an enjoyable family friendly dining experience. Come into the club and check out our exquisite new menu, designed specially by our highly renowned chefs.

3 best picnic spots in Western Downs

THE RUSSELL TAVERN BISTRO OPEN for both lunch and dinner, it offers a range of dining options from light snacks to foods that will fill the hungriest of bellies like the Mega Mixed Grill. • •

KOBBERS RESTAURANT OPEN to guests for dinner and breakfast from Monday to Saturday. The menu is a la carte and offers a variety of dishes including great local steaks and meats, seasonal specials, light meals, entrees and desserts. O’SHEAS WINDSOR HOTEL O’SHEAS Windsor prides itself on country hospitality and great meals. Renovations

Bunya Mountains Outlook Historic Jimbour House gardens Thomas Jack park, Dalby

Urb an QUAMBI HOUSE 138 Cunningham Street, Dalby 07 4662 2628

OPEN FOR BREAKFAST & LUNCH

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Trading hours – Closed Monday, 7am - 5pm Tues – Thurs, 7am – 9pm Fri 7am – 2pm Sat/Sun

urbanpaddockcafe

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Paddock


Dalby

TOP PLACES TO VISIT IN DASHING DALBY

THERE are plenty of things to see and do when visiting Dalby. Keep busy by checking out these great ideas.

MYALL 107 MYALL 107 is the place to be if you enjoy the arts. The two-storey art gallery is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the Western Downs art scene. The gallery holds regular exhibitions often showing local artists. Do you want to relax for the afternoon by watching a good movie? The Western Downs Cinema also located at Myall 107 has screenings from Wednesday to Sunday. The upgraded cinema provides a comfortable experience inside while offering the best snacks to enjoy the movie. AQUATIC CENTRE THE Dalby Aquatic Centre is open all year for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing swim. The outdoor pool is the perfect place to cool off when it’s hot, while the indoor heated pool is a great place to be during the colder months. PIONEER PARK WITH lots of history, Pioneer Park Museum is a popular attraction for visitors to Dalby. Located on Black St, south of the Warrego Highway,

Pioneer Park Museum showcases the evolution of engines and machinery from the 1800s to now. Experience the local history and culture of the district on display at Pioneer Park Museum, with the largest collection of working early model trucks, tractors and agricultural equipment. PARK THOSE wanting open spaces can enjoy Thomas Jack Park, located in the centre of town. Pull into the picturesque spot and have lunch under the many shaded areas. Thomas Jack Park is the perfect place to stop for a wander through the beautifully landscaped gardens, relax by the lily pond and listen to the tranquil sounds of the waterfall. Thomas Jack Park is also where you will find the Visitor Information Centre where volunteers are happy to help you.

DALBY HERITAGE TRAIL FOLLOW the Dalby Heritage Trail and visit some of Dalby’s stunning historical buildings, homes and churches. Places include St Joseph’s Catholic Church, St John’s Anglican Church, Country Club Hotel, Old Police Station, Old Town Council Chambers, CBC Bank Building, Commercial Hotel, Marble Street Art Centre,

Cactoblastis Cairn, Anzac Park War Memorial and the Dalby CBD. SALE YARDS THERE’S probably no place better for local flavour than the vibrant atmosphere of Dalby Regional Sale Yards each Wednesday. It’s among the largest one-day cattle sales centres in Queensland with the action getting underway at 7.30am. LAKE BROADWATER LAKE Broadwater Conservation Park protects the only natural lake on the Darling Downs and the surrounding cypress and brigalow trees. You can go swimming, boating and water skiing or picnic under river red gums, or relax and enjoy the wildlife and wildflowers.

Aboriginal artefacts on display at the Pioneer Park Museum Dalby. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

20 GAMING MACHINES 77 Drayton Street - 07 4662 3303 -

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Bell

Bell

Picturesque Location Perfect Spot to take a break and enjoy a True Blue Country experience. Picturesque, quiet countryside, nestled snugly against the panorama of the Bunya Mountains, Bell is only two and a half hours from Brisbane and three hours from NSW border on the Bunya Highway (49) a vital road link between Melbourne and Cairns. Whether looking for an overnight stay or day tripping – there is no shortage of things to do when you choose beautiful Bell, a Darling Downs Tidy Towns winner, as your destination. If history is your interest, you’ll find Bell, established in 1906, is a town very proud of its heritage. Whilst visiting, take note of the rare sand stone street drains hand pitched during the great depression, original sand stone buildings, Bell Heritage Railway parkland, railway station and train shed, Arthur Pope’s historic motor and machinery collection and the Bell Memorial Park – a monument to WW1 and WW2 soldiers and other local heroes. A railway terminus town, Bell was named after Sir Joshua Peter Bell of Jimbour Station. The Bell district was originally part of the vast pastoral holding of Jimbour Station that extended from the top of the Bunya Mountains to the Condamine River, headwaters of the massive Murray Darling River system. This friendly town offers a range of services and amenities, all conveniently located, with

The Stunning Bell landscape. Image contributed.

the necessities to make your visit enjoyable and hassle free. BELL BUNYA COMMUNITY CENTRE The newly established Bell Bunya Community Centre is a multipurpose facility providing many community services such as health, tourism, culture and social services. Drop in to this popular social hub to have a chat, bring family and friends, enjoy a barista made coffee and bake of the day, browse the Centre Gift Shop, seek visitor information and relax in air conditioned comfort. Our volunteers also enjoy catering for your special group parties and functions. Our expansive workshop space and Function room is available for hire. Do you like to read or research? The Western Downs Bell Library branch is centrally located here and provides self-service issues, free wifi and public access computers. Regular projects and activities of this vibrant Centre also include:Bell Bird Watching Group, Bell Art Group painting days, “Social Saturday” mornings, Computer Classes for seniors and the Memories of Yesteryear project aiming to capture local heritage and history.

Bluebelles Art Gallery, located in the Centre, is a spacious, modern and aesthetically pleasing gallery with state-of-the-art hanging and lighting systems. Themed displays of original art works by members of the Bell Art Group are changed regularly to keep the presentations fresh and inviting. Some other features of Bell include:- Bell Catholic Church Murals and Biblical Gardens, Ensor Park picnic area with free electric BBQs, public toilets, skate bowl and children’s playground, Bell Tourist Park (accommodation), Bellview Hotel, Pips ‘n’ Cherries cafe, Bell Store & PO, Rusty’s Spice Shop, Gordons Meats and Bell Veterinary Services. Events: Bell Racecourse, Recreation & Showgrounds Reserve home of the iconic Bell Races, annual agricultural show, rodeo and campdraft and a well-manicured 9 hole Golf Course. The Bell Memorial Public Hall (established in 1917) is the notable venue for the renowned Bell Art Exhibition, popular Bell Theatre Restaurant productions, Australia Day celebrations, and many other community events.

d Come an roses! smell the MONDAY - FRIDAY - 9AM - 3PM SATURDAY - 9AM - 12NOON SUNDAY - CLOSED Centre Coffee Shop, light meals, Group bookings for Functions Bell Visitor & Tourist Information, Book Nook, Homemade Crafts. Bluebelles Art Gallery, Art Studio Workshop & Art Tutorials Bell Library, Health Care rooms, Disabled access toilets Memorial Rose & Community Vegetable Gardens & Large Car Park.

Ph 07 4663 1087 or 07 4663 1193 E: bellbunyacommunitycentre@gmail.com www.bellcommunitycentre.com.au Find us on Facebook PO BOX 76, 71 Maxwell Street, Bell Q 4408

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• • • • •


Bunya Mountains

A trip to the Bunya Mountains is pure magic The forest canopy of the Bunya Mountains are a sight to be seen. Image contributed.

The air is crisp and bracing during winter at Bunya. Mornings are brisk, days are sunny and the vibe is always one of pure relaxation. It’s always cold so bring your warm clothes – you may even be lucky enough to see snow! Then as summer begins it’s a time of new growth so the walks are glorious with the pinks, pale greens and various other hues emanating from the tree tops down to the rainforest floor. February sees the Bunya nuts begin to fall with native birds and animals scurrying about enjoying the feast. The Bunya walking tracks offer crystal clear mountain streams, soaring pines, rainforest, creeks, waterfalls and rolling hills of white beauty if there’s been a heavy frost. Break up your exercise with a visit to Poppies coffee shop for hot chocolate, coffee, or a Bunya Mountains treat such as scones with jam and cream or carrot and nut cake. With an altitude of 1100 meters above sea level, you will enjoy rarefied air and an unparalleled seat at the nightly star show. Recline under a vast myriad of twinkling lights, seemingly just out of reach against the inky black of the universe. The Milky Way and Southern Cross are easy to

see and it’s quite breathtaking, especially for children who have seldom been out of the city. The flora and fauna at Bunya are mesmerising (even if you’re not an amateur botanist) and the monthly market and diverse activities make every visit unique. The sunsets and sunrises alone are worth the trip, especially when viewed from Fisher’s Lookout. Any time of the year you can enjoy a relaxing ride on a Clydesdale horse-drawn cart, engage in bird watching, or wander through the market held on the last Sunday of each month. There are 100 Bunya Mountains holiday homes all situated adjacent to the National Park with options to suit couples and families and even larger chalets suitable for groups up to 100. Your chalet can be nestled amongst the rainforest or perched on a striking escarpment overlooking Darling Downs or South Burnett.

Take a walk along the many walking tracks in the Bunya Mountains. Image contributed.

Book your Bunya Mountains holiday by visiting bunyamountains.com.au where you can explore all of the accommodation options, or simply phone the Accommodation Centre on 4668 3126 and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable team members.

Inside of the luxury houses available for rent at the Bunya Mountains. Image Contributed.

Enjoy a coffee break or lunch at one of the coffee shops / cafes in the Bunya Mountains. Image contributed

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Stunning views across the Bunya Mountains. Image contributed

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FESTIVAL DRAWS IN HUGE NUMBERS Plenty of hidden treasures

The picturesque treelined streets of Jandowae. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

JANDOWAE is one of the Western Downs’ hidden treasures. It is home of the Timbertown festival, but also so much more. The town is 45 km north-west of Dalby and it sits within the Indigenous country of Barunggam. Jandowae was the principal town of the former Wambo Shire.

Jandowae

The Jandowae Dam is a tranquil spot for visitors who want to fish, go out on the boat or just relax in a peaceful environment. The region comes to life at the beginning of the year with two popular events. The annual country race meet is held at the Jandowae Racecourse in February, and patrons can expect plenty of entertainment and a memorable day out. In March, the annual Jandowae Show displays the very best of the region; stalls, displays and a rodeo are just some of the reasons people travel for the event. THE TIMBERTOWN FESTIVAL THE biennial Jandowae Timbertown Festival draws thousands and is the town’s biggest attraction. The event will next be held in June 2020 with wood chop events, live music, market stalls and the Outback Sausage King Competition. If you are not around for Timbertown, Jandowae still offers plenty for its guests.

ATHLONE COTTAGE ORIGINALLY built around 1890, this slab hut cottage was relocated to the current site in 2001 and lovingly restored by volunteers. Now a pleasant stopping place, the Athlone Cottage precinct preserves Jandowae’s heritage and reflects the rural life of yesteryear. Location: Corner of High and Dalby Sts, Jandowae DINGO SCULPTURE THE renowned sculpture marks the startof the 5,400km Dingo Barrier Fence – the longest fence in the world. The Dingo Barrier Fence protects 26.5 million hectares of sheep and cattle grazing country in South East Queensland from the menace of dingoes and wild dogs and is patrolled weekly by maintenance teams. Location: Corner of George and High Sts, Jandowae

Information centre Jandowae Community and Cultural Centre A great spot to plan your Jandowae adventure. WiFi is available to guests who can also enjoy the Jandowae Library as they discover what else they can explore in the region. Cnr George and High Sts Phone (07) 4679 4480

OLD RAILWAY STATION THE original Jandowae railway station, relocated to Lions Park and now used by local community groups.

Timber carving at the Jandowae Timbertown Festival. Image contributed.

The Dingo Barrier Fence – the longest fence in the world. Image contributed

The town’s name reputedly derives from a Barunggam word meaning ‘waterhole’. It is believed a man named John Dowaie established a rest area for travellers called John Dowaie Camp. This possibly explains the spelling, Jondowaie, used by early settlers.

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When the railway reached the town in 1914 the current spelling was adopted to avoid confusion with Jondaryan.

Chainsaw racing, grand parade, market stalls, live entertainment, glamping and more. Celebrate our outback culture. Visit jandowaetimbertown.org.au

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Macalister/Warra

A picturesque pit-stop The iconic Warra Pub. Image contributed by Western Downs Regional Council and Alex Coppo.

IF you are looking for a place for a quick stop then the towns of Macalister and Warra are perfect locations. Both towns are located in the farming district of the Western Downs on the Warrego Highway. Macalister is a traditional farming area just 30 minutes north west of Dalby. The town was named after Arthur Macalister, Premier of Queensland from 1866 to 1867. Within the locality to the southeast of town is an area known as Apunyal - from an Indigenous word meaning large plain.

structure is a fine example of early Queenslander architecture.

birds located here. Camping is welcome at the Warra Weir.

Within walking distance of the park on the banks of the Condamine River, is the 1844 camp site of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt whose first expedition took him to Darwin.

Warra comes alive in July when the race club hosts the annual Warra Races which attracts a large crowd every year.

Anglers may be rewarded with a catch of Yellowbelly or Murray Cod from the banks of the Condamine River and birdwatchers will be excited to witness the many species of grass

Warra is a small rural crossing town, less than 40 minutes west of Dalby. The town was named after the nearby Warra Warra 'pastoral run', a large area of land on which sheep and cattle were depastured without the need for much fencing. Be sure to make a stop at Warra Country Cafe for your coffee fix, and some of the best burgers in the west. The historical Warra Hotel, established in 1906, is worth a visit to enjoy a look around and perhaps a cold beverage. The grand rambling The Redeemer Lutheran Church Macalister. Image Contributed.

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Jimbour

GET READY FOR TWO HUGE MUSIC EVENTS TAKE A TOUR: Heritage-listed homestead Jimbour House is an absolutely stunning place to visit. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Heritage-listed homestead Jimbour House comes alive in 2020

This is a rare opportunity to see inside one of Queensland’s finest regional homes

FEW buildings are more majestic in regional Australia than Jimbour House. The beautiful sandstone mansion proudly sits on Jimbour Station and hosts some of the Western Downs’ most popular events. Big Skies festival will be held in the amphitheatre of Jimbour House. It is a must-see festival of concerts held from 29th of April to the 3rd of May 2020. The event has Aussie music legends Kasey Chambers, Daryl Braithwaite, Choirboys, Killing Heidi, Dragon and the Radiators. Jimbour House will be open to the public for tours during Big Skies Festival 2020. This is a rare opportunity to see inside one of Queensland’s finest regional homes.

Big Skies festival will be held in the amphitheatre of Jimbour House. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Jimbour Station will have plenty of campers during the festival, as visitors gather for the campfire dinner and breakfasts. In July, Jimbour House becomes the backdrop to outdoor opera. The Queensland Music Festival will visit the region in July to put on a memorable show. Market stalls flood Jimbour Station as thousands decked with armchairs set up in the amphitheatre to enjoy an afternoon performance. PAGE 18

Fireworks spectacular at the Big Skies Festival. Image by Western Downs Regional Council

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Brigalow

TOP PLACE TO UNWIND

Children enjoying the sack races at the Brigalow Bush Carnival. Image by Gerkies Storm Chasers.

THE small settlement of Brigalow lies 20km east of Chinchilla on the Warrego Highway. A sentry of grain silos signals the town, which was named for the brigalow tree that grows in the area’s fertile black soil. While in Brigalow, stop into the local businesses which have great eateries and retail shops. Tuck into an all-day breakfast or famous Brigalow Burger from the Brigalow General Store. In summer, buy just-picked fresh melons and pumpkins at the roadside farm gate.

Wander the peaceful Brigalow Lutheran Cemetery, where many of pioneering German ancestors lie. Don’t miss the Boonarga Cactoblastis Memorial Hall (located halfway between Chinchilla and Brigalow), the only hall in the southern hemisphere honouring an insect. QCWA Park in the heart of town is a great place to unwind. There is plenty of space to enjoy a picnic, as well as a large area for kids to enjoy.

BRIGALOW BUSH CARNIVAL The annual Brigalow Bush Carnival is the most popular event for locals and visitors. Held annually in September, the charity event has been running since 1960 and offers the perfect family outing and holds popular events including sack races, bike riding and a rodeo. Preparations are beginning for the 60th event in 2020.

Tuck into an all-day breakfast or famous Brigalow Burger from the Brigalow General Store

The Brigalow Bush Carnival is back and bigger than ever before in 2020. Greg Olm and Greg Dalgleish at the Brigalow Recreation grounds. Image by Kate McCormack.

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Kogan

Soak up the history Bodo Muche’s life-size bronze Bush Friendship sculpture featuring Hugh Sawrey playing cards with his best mate, former Kogan publican Nelson “Darkie” Dwyer. Image contributed

KOGAN is a town for those who enjoy history, art, and the outdoors. Located about 30 minutes west of Dalby, the name Kogan derives from an early pastoral run called Kogan Creek. The name likely came from Kogai, the name of one of the Aboriginal tribes from the district. It was a changing station on the Dalby-Roma coach route prior to the construction of the Western railway line.

HUGH SAWREY The Hugh Sawrey walkway celebrates the memory of the one-time Kogan resident and famous bush artist with a metal sculpture by local artist Dion Cross.

COUNTRY DRIVE The Tara-Kogan Road is a scenic drive which passes historic places like Honey Road. You’ll also find the Native Bird Aviary near the Hard Country Native Nursery.

You’ll also find artist Bodo Muche’s life-size bronze Bush Friendship sculpture featuring Sawrey playing cards with his best mate, former Kogan publican Nelson “Darkie” Dwyer.

With a colourful history as a former droving centre, Kogan is now dominated by the Kogan Creek Power Station, a 750 megawatt coal-fired power station. Kogan's Progress Park is a tribute to the region’s past featuring the Hugh Sawrey Remembrance Walkway, a popular trek. The Kogan Community Centre at Progress Park offers visitors an activity space, kitchen and amenities for those wishing to take a break. Standing proud opposite the park, Kogan Hotel offers the perfect spot for a cold drink after exploring the region.

A stunning sunset across Kogan. Image contributed

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Chinchilla

So much on offer in melon capital

Visitors and locals alike enjoying the Chinchilla Melon Festival. Next Festival will be held February 2021. Image contributed by Western Downs Regional Council

CHINCHILLA has become a popular destination for travellers in regional Queensland. Named from the Aboriginal word jinchilla, meaning a termite resistant Cypress Pine, Chinchilla is a peaceful and pretty town. The town is famous for its melons and is a renowned spot for fossicking, fishing, bushwalking and camping. The colourful little town of Chinchilla is an easy drive just 81km west of Dalby along the Warrego

Highway. Producing 25 per cent of Australia’s watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons Chinchilla is the undisputed melon capital! Nothing captures the strong community spirit of this town better than the biennial Chinchilla Melon Festival. Visitors to the town are treated to a beautiful treelined main street just off the highway. Fossickers from around the world come to Chinchilla in search of much sought after “Chinchilla Red” petrified wood. Visitors can pick up an official

Queensland Mines and Energy Fossicking licence from the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre. While you are at the information centre, be sure to ask about the seven tourist drives of the district. They’ll take you down hidden sidetracks and byways where you can experience an amazing array of wildlife and flora, local history and significant landmarks.

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Chinchilla

Plan your stay for the perfect getaway

WHEN you visit Chinchilla there is much to see and do, so we have helped you get started. These are some of the top sights that simply must be on any visitor’s list. THE BIG MELON One of Australia's brightest and sweetest tourist attractions, The Big Melon, proudly stands in the heart of Chinchilla. The nine-metre long structure provides the perfect photo opportunity for visitors. Taking pride of place next to the town’s information centre, the impressively

coloured structure has created quite a buzz as the Chinchilla Melon Festival gets ready to celebrate its 25th year. CHINCHILLA BOTANIC PARKLAND The Parkland is the perfect spot for a leisurely walk, picnic with friends or spending quality time with family. Those looking for fun and excitement in the Parkland can find it at the Watermelon Water Play Area Queensland’s only water park away from the coast.

A state-of-the-art water treatment and irrigation system has been implemented to make the Watermelon Water Play Area water-efficient and the surrounding gardens team with native flora making the parkland a beautiful and enjoyable destination. The Indigenous Cultural Area and the Prehistoric Dig Site within the Megafauna Discovery Space celebrates the culture and history of Chinchilla. CONTINUE TO PAGE 23

The stunning Chinchilla Weir at sunset. Image contributed.

Celebrate the unique identity of Chinchilla There’s plenty on offer at the Chinchilla Botanic Parkland: Learn about the area’s railway heritage, search for the prehistoric ‘mega marsupial’ the Diprotodon, or expand your knowledge on indigenous culture through scarred trees and yarning circles. Looking to burn off some energy? Break a sweat on the parkour and rock climbing courses before cooling off in the water play area.

 1300 COUNCIL (1300 268 624)  www.wdrc.qld.gov.au  info@wdrc.qld.gov.au  Canaga St, Chinchilla 4413

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Chinchilla

Enjoy a leisurely walk or picnic with family and friends at the Chinchilla Botanical Parkland. Image contributed.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22 ART GALLERY IF you want to be inspired by art look no further than the Lapunyah Art Gallery. The volunteerrun gallery is situated in the Chinchilla Cultural Centre on Heeney St. With monthly exhibitions and workshops there is always something to do and see at the gallery. CULTURAL CENTRE THE Chinchilla Cultural Centre also houses one of the Western Downs' two movie cinemas if you're interested in kicking back and enjoying one of the latest films.

5 best things for families

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Hike in the Bunya Mountains & feed the birds, spot the Wallabies. Fossicking in Chinchilla. Chinchilla Botanic Parklands water play area. Miles Historical Village Museum. Our Festivals.

Condamine River too - pick up a map and some local tips at the Visitor Information Centre. INFORMATION CENTRE THE Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre is the place to go to plan your perfect trip in Chinchilla. Located at 133 Chinchilla St, the knowledgeable and friendly staff will be able to help you make the most of your time in the melon capital. Cold drinks and souvenirs are sold at the centre which also has free Wi-Fi. This centre is renowned for the local produce and artesian goods sold. Be sure to check out the beautiful wood craft, pottery and jewellery as part of this display.

CHINCHILLA HISTORICAL MUSEUM WELL worth a visit is the Chinchilla Historical Museum. Its collection features many important transport pieces including a steam driven sawmill and the first-ever ticket issued by Qantas for the first flight from Longreach to Cloncurry. There’s also an excellent display of petrified wood and a prickly pear exhibit celebrating the incredible tale of the South American Cactoblastis Moth, the saviour of national farmland. CHINCHILLA WEIR CHINCHILLA Weir is popular for fishing and water sports. Good fishing can be had on the

The Iconic Giant Watermelon in Chinchilla. Image contributed by Western Downs Regional Council.

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Chinchilla

Chinchilla’s must-attend events CCCI ONE LONG TABLE HOSTED by the Chinchilla Community Commerce and Industry Inc. (CCCI), the Chinchilla One Long Table Multicultural Food Festival treats festival goers to a celebration of culture with live entertainment and international cuisines including German, French, Thai, Russian and more. Experience this exciting and vibrant event in October 2020. CHINCHILLA CAMPDRAFT THE equestrian highlight of the year is the Grandfather Clock Campdraft, a traditional three-day event held in October.

World famous Melon Skiing at the Chinchilla Melon Festival. Image contributed Western Downs Regional Council.

Over four days of drafting, spectators will witness some of the best horse and rider combinations in Australia compete. Following presentations, competitors and spectators celebrate at the competitor dinner with live entertainment.

MELON FESTIVAL CIRCLE February 18-21 2021 in your calendar and prepare your squad for some pip-spitting fun; the Chinchilla Melon Festival countdown has begun. The biennial Chinchilla Melon Festival attracts visitors from across Australia to revel in melon themed events as well as a rodeo, Twenty20 cricket match featuring Queensland greats, a trivia night and plenty of activities for kids. The picturesque tree lined streets of Chinchilla. Image by Queensland Tourism and Events

Don’t miss out on the melon events which will be held on Saturday, February 18 including chariot races, melon eating competitions and melon skiing. For more information visit www.melonfest.com.au.

Children enjoying the water park at the Chinchilla Botanic Parklands. Image by Kate McCormack.

Come and see the experts!

OTHER EVENTS OTHER local events include Chinchilla Races in March, the Annual Show in May and the Christmas Races in December.

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Chinchilla

Tastes of Chinchilla Spectacular spring in Chinchilla. Image by Susan Felix.

From hearty pub meals to authentic Chinese, Thai and Indian options, hungry travellers passing through Chinchilla will want for nothing. When it comes to a good coffee and bite to eat, you cannot go wrong with the Down Town Cafe at 25 Bell Street which offers all day breakfast and lunch options focussing on fresh and healthy food with exceptional customer service. Visitors will also find a delicious menu at both the Coffee Club and Amelia’s Place cafes. Another option for a quick bite to eat and coffee is Chinchilla’s McDonald’s which is open 24 hours making it a great option for anyone passing through or looking for a bite late at night. For those with a sweet tooth, Panache at Home at 3/37 Warrego Highway is an absolute must. Home-made treats are a speciality however, coffee and full cafe menu is also on offer in the quaint local establishment.

When considering country towns, one thing is always guaranteed and that is a hearty, satisfying feed at the local RSL. Chinchilla’s RSL offers just that at 61 Heeney Street with a bistro serving lunches and dinner. If it is a pizza or burger you are chasing, Sharpy’s takeaway located on the Warrego Highway is a family run business offering a unique dining experience with home style meals, wood fired pizza's and burgers with a twist. For travellers looking to tuck into some Asian fare, Cheong Kong Chinese will not leave you disappointed. 23 Chinchilla Street is where you will find this much-loved restaurant, serving up a taste of China in the Cantonese, family-style Restaurant. While all of these places are sure have whet your appetite, they are simply just a snapshot of what this town has to offer. HOTELS The Commercial Hotel and Club Hotel Chinchilla offer great pub meals daily and are sure to have satisfied even the hungriest of travellers.

CHINCHILLA TAXI SERVICE Operating 24 Hrs/Day, 7 Days/Wk (Bookings Essential 12am-4am) Locally Owned and Operated Wheelchair Accessible Maxi Taxis and Sedan available Accepting all Major Credit and EFTPOS Cards Servicing Chinchilla and Surrounding Districts For 20 Years

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RESTAURANTS & TAKEAWAY Palms Restaurant and Bar, Masala Hut, Thai Delicious and Chinchilla Bowls Club are other restaurants and eateries worth a visit in the town, with Dorney’s Cake Shop and Fuzzy’s Bakery rounding out an impressive list of food options in Chinchilla. With such a wide variety on offer, it isn’t hard to see why Chinchilla is a much-loved stopover destination for hungry travellers passing through.

Cabins at the Chinchilla Tourist Park. Image contributed.

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CHINCHILLA may proudly hold the title as the Watermelon capital of Australia, but the town’s impressive culinary offerings are also worthy of writing home about.

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Tara

Camel races a much-loved event

Tara’s biggest event is the Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races. The biennial event is on again between 30 July and 1 August 2021. Image contributed.

WANT a real rural experience? Make sure you head out to Tara! The town is situated southwest of Dalby and evokes a rural lifestyle with wheat, beef, and wool farms surrounding the shire.

yabby races where vying punters participate in an auction before each race competing for ownership of a racing yabby.

Tara’s biggest event is the Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races. The biennial event is on again between 30 July and 1 August 2021.

Away from the track there is plenty of entertainment for visitors to enjoy including market and food stalls, roaming entertainment, live music and dance routines from a variety of cultures which creates a lively and fun atmosphere. Camping is also available.

Thousands flock trackside to cheer the camels down the home-straight and bookmakers are available to add a little more excitement to the races. After each race, attention turns to

Enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds at the Tara Lagoon located on the outskirts of the town, a popular destination for campers as well as walkers and cyclists. The Tara and District

Historical Museum boasts the towns old school building, wooden rail wagons, a 1929 fire engine, shearing memorabilia, and more.

Action at the Tara Camel Races. Image by Zoe Bell

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Meadarra

A slice of important history in Meandarra

3 Military tours in the Western Downs Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum Miles Historical Village Museum ANZAC Park, Miles

Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum. Image contributed

THE Anzac Spirit is on display in the Western Downs town of Meandarra, where the Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum commemorates the sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand soldiers in the armed services. The museum houses many artefacts from numerous battles in which servicemen and women from the Meandarra region fought and served. From heartfelt letters and cards, to old uniforms, there is a wide range of artefacts on display. No two trips to the museum will be the same with a new exhibition unveiled every Anzac Day. When in town, don’t forget to drop in at the Meandarra Library on Sara St, which offers plenty of workshops and activities throughout the year including ever-popular arts and crafts sessions.

One of the best camping spots in our region - Brigalow Creek Meandarra. Image contributed

Visitors who want to get to know the local story should consider a stop at The Royal Hotel, Meandarra to say G'Day and have a chat with the locals. For the camping fans, one of the best camping spots in our region - Brigalow Creek - never disappoints.

Meandarra Anzac Memorial Museum is a special place to pay your respects to our soldiers. From heartfelt letters and cards, to old uniforms, there is a wide range of artefacts on display Community engagement is strong in Meandarra with the Meandarra State School Crazy Colour in March each year. Image Brooke Duncan.

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Glenmorgan/Moonie/The Gums

The true rural spirit THE small town of Glenmorgan was the winner of the 2008 Queensland Bush Spirit Award. The history of the region’s formative years can be found at the Glenmorgan Railway Station. The old railway station was integral to the early history of the region and is now affectionately named End of the Line. A small park and display make it one of Glenmorgan’s tourist spots. Glenmorgan’s Myall Park Botanic Gardens showcase a beautiful display of some of Australia’s gorgeous plants. 'Twitchers' must witness the amazing array of native birds and gardens which are dedicated to the study of Australian Flora and Fauna biodiversity. The gardens are listed on both the National Heritage and Queensland Heritage registers. The ‘Robyn Gordon’ Grevillea was one of the three hybrid grevilleas created in the Myall Park Botanic Gardens by David and Dorothy Gordon. It is now a best seller in the Australian nursery industry and is the floral emblem of the Western Downs. There are a variety of walking trails throughout the gardens which are perfect for visitors of any age so be sure to include them on your bucket list. MOONIE THE small town of Moonie has a vibrant community with plenty to offer. The heart of the community is at the Rural Transaction Centre (RTC). Here travellers can find the Visitor Information Centre to learn everything they need to know about the region. Discover locally made products including jams and relishes, souvenirs, clothes, kitchenware and jewellery. THE GUMS THE Gums Nature Reserve is as beautiful as it is tranquil and the small community just west of Tara is the perfect stop for those wanting a break after a long drive. Watching the native birds fly overhead while enjoying one of the many local picnic spots in town makes The Gums a popular destination. The local reserve offers camping and parking for caravans and The Gums Store on the intersection of the Leichhardt Highway and Surat Development Rd sells the essentials including food, toiletries and fuel. Amenities are also located at the store.

A true Classic. A 1930’s Ford classic on display in Glenmorgan. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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The history of the region’s formative years can be found at the Glenmorgan Railway Station. The old railway station was integral to the early history of the region and is now affectionately named End of the Line. Image Tourism and Events Queensland

The stunning gardens and landscapes of Glenmorgan at sunset. Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Miles

Miles Historical Village. Image contributed by Alex Coppo and Western Downs Regional Council

GO BACK TO THE BUSH Head to the past at the Miles Historical Village Museum THE Back to the Bush Festival is a popular event that is held biennially across the Miles district, with the next festival to be held in September 2020. The finest aspects of living in the country are on display during the event. From dances to lantern walks and dinner under the stars, there is something for the whole family at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival. Just a short drive west from Chinchilla, the Miles Historical Village Museum takes visitors back in time to the early 1900s. The Museum is located at 141 Murilla St recreates the pioneering rural Queensland village, giving people a taste of the early days of Miles. Step back in time through the streets of yesteryear with our unique museum set amongst a streetscape of over 30 structures. Containing original and recreated buildings filled with authentic memorabilia, you will gain an insight into what early life in the west was like as you take a leisurely stroll through the village street. In addition, our world class lapidary collection, a large shell display and extensive War Museum ensures our past is well preserved for future generations. Souvenir kiosk. Free parking. Pet friendly. Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 8.30 am - 4.30 pm Closed Christmas Day Last admission to Museum - 3.30 pm Admission fees apply

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Stroll through the historical buildings, many of which have significance to the early days of the region. Learn more about the history of Miles and other places to see at the Visitor Information Centre, located at the Miles Historical Village Museum. Miles has a strong arts culture and the John Mullins Memorial Art Gallery at Dogwood Crossing is at its core. Exhibitions at Dogwood Crossing showcase the wealth of local talent the region has to offer. The Council run facility hosts large exhibitions all year. One of Dogwood Crossing’s most popular exhibitions in 2018 was Homecoming. The exhibition highlighted the stories of Australian families affected by war.

The Miles Historical Village will be alive with activity during the Back to the Bush festival. Image contributed

There is something for the whole family at the Miles Back to the Bush Festival

Miles Historical Village Museum

mhv.org.au | 07 4627 1492 141 Murilla Street, Miles QLD 4415

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Miles

Miles has a strong arts culture and the John Mullins Memorial Art Gallery at Dogwood Crossing is at its core. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Miles food scene impresses FROM down-to-earth locals to the communityspirited nature of the region, there is just so much to love about Miles. Located on the crossroads of Warrego and Leichhardt Highway, Miles is the place to base yourself whilst exploring the region.

The Miles Windsor Hotel boasts an extremely impressive and extensive menu, featuring seafood, grill options, salads, stir-fry and pizzas. Rich in history and local charm, the hotel offers unbeatable value and provide outstanding service for every visitor. Miles Windsor Hotel is located at 39 Murilla Street.

Miles boasts an impressive food scene, offering everything from the best burgers through to the finest locally sourced beef.

Miles is home to other popular dining destinations such as Hotel Australia, The Queensland Hotel, Creek Cafe and Mace’s Hot Bread.

5 Quirky spots in the Western Downs Bell Biblical Gardens, Bell Dingo Barrier Fence, Jandowae Selfie at Big Melon, Chinchilla Bush Friendship sculptures, Kogan Pink Pub, Dulacca Monty's Garage, Glenmorgan

5 BEST CAMPING AND FISHING SPOTS IN THE WESTERN DOWNS Brigalow Creek, Meandarra Tara Lagoon, Tara Lake Broadwater Conservation Park, Dalby Gil Weir, Miles Condamine River, Condamine

David McDonald and Howard Hawke boiling their billies at the Miles Historical Village as part of the Back to the Bush Festival. Image contributed.

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Condamine

3 best off-road & off-grid destinations in the Western Downs • • •

Archer's crossing South, Chinchilla Caliguel Lagoon, Condamine Yamsion Hall, Yamsion

The town Condamine is situated on the banks of the Condamine River. Image contributed.

CONDAMINE DELIVERS SITUATED on the banks of the Condamine River is the town which shares its name and offers residents and visitors plentiful scenery and small-town charm. The town is located south of Miles and is known as the heart of cattle country. Condamine is also famous for the invention of the Condamine or Bullfrog Bell which is hung from the necks of working bullocks to ensure stockmen could locate their roaming cattle from long distances.

Learn more of this history when you stop to read the inscription on the side of the large replica bell in Bell Park. The town of Condamine is rugby mad with no less than three teams. You can catch a weekend match in footy season or plan your visit in time for the Condamine Rodeo and Campdraft in October.

The area has picnic facilities and amenities so visitors can enjoy lunch and dinner at the beautiful spot.

If you are after a meal, check out the Condamine Bell Hotel. It has great food and cold beer and is located next to Bullocky’s Rest Motel.

If you are after a meal, check out the Condamine Bell Hotel. Image contributed.

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Caliguel Lagoon is about 7km south of the town and is popular with both locals and tourists. The lagoon offers beautiful views and is a great location for water-skiing, boating, swimming, fishing and bird watching.

Condamine is famous for the invention of the Condamine or Bullfrog Bell. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Wandoan

Where culture, history and nature combine RICH with history and natural beauty, Wandoan is a great spot to visit all year round. The Wandoan Cultural Centre is the community hub of the region which houses the art gallery and Wandoan Library. The Leichhardt Gallery is a popular spot for locals and a great place to visit featuring artistic masterpieces from around the region. The Visitor Information Centre is easily accessible just off the Leichhardt Highway and is staffed by a dedicated team who are there to help visitors

The Wandoan Show and Howl @ The Moon Festival, 3 and 4 April 2020 bring the community together for an AG-Venture (including four legged friends).

make the most of their time in Wandoan. The centre also boasts an impressive selection of local goods and produce. The Waterloo Plains Environmental Park is the place to be if you want a moment of peace and relaxation. The 11-hectare wetlands are teaming with birdlife and is a popular spot for visitors to park their RVs and caravans.

Wandoan will be full of activity at the end of March when the Wandoan Race Club hosts its annual race meet. The 2020 Wandoan Races will be held on Saturday, 21 March and will feature terrific entertainment both on and off the track.

3 birdspotting locations in Western Downs

The Juandah Historical Site is the original settlement area of the region and a popular tourist spot. Volunteers manage the facility which displays the early history of the district.

Myall Park Botanic Gardens, Glenmorgan Waterloo Plains, Wandoan Bunya Mountains

Stunning sunset outback images are abundant in Wandoan. Image contributed.

Gemma Creighton competing at the 2019 Wandoan Show. Image by Kate McCormack.

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Taroom

Epitomising a quaint country town Taroom is located on the banks of the stunning Dawson River. Image contributed.

TAROOM is a rural town on the Dawson River and is located 130km north of Miles. Ludwig Leichhardt travelled through the Taroom district in 1844, leaving a carved message on a Coolibah tree still standing in the main street. His favourable report drew William Turner who was licensed in 1845 to hold the Taroom pastoral run. The name was derived from an Aboriginal word describing the native lime, Eremocitrus glauca, a thorny tree with orange blossom odour and small fruits that can be used for jam or drinks. Originally the settlement that grew up along the Dawson River was known as Bonners Knob but in 1856, when a post office was built, the official name became Taroom.

The tell-tale sign that you’ve arrived in Taroom is the Steel Wings windmill at the northern entry to town. Manufactured around the turn of the 20th Century, the windmill is a rare commodity, being only one of two known windmills of its type still in working order. The landmark says a lot about the town. Taroom is steeped in early European history and built on primary industries – first sheep, now cattle and grain. LUDWIG LEICHHARDT MEMORIAL THE memorial is a large sandstone slab with three bronze plaques - one of which provides a succinct account of Leichhardt’s life and his disappearance in 1848. It is located in the Ludwig Leichhardt Park in Yaldwyn Street east of the Leichhardt tree and down the hill from the Visitor Information Centre.

Taroom Giftshop

THE LEICHHARDT TREE THE Leichhardt tree is very clearly marked in the main street. It is no longer possible to see the distinctive LL 44 which Leichhardt carved on the tree in 1844. CHAIN LAGOONS North of Taroom the Leichhardt Highway crosses Palm Tree Creek. This was once the site of a Native Police barracks. Consequently it is sometimes known as Police Lagoons. The lagoons are worth visiting as they have stands of the rare Livistona cycad palms. ISLA GORGE NATIONAL PARK LOCATED 55km north of Taroom on the Leichhardt Highway, the Isla Gorge National Park is a spectacular landscape of sandstone cliffs and gorges.

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Drillham/Dulacca

Towns brimming with character

DRILLHAM

ABOUT 20km east of Miles you will find the town of Drillham. Established in 1878 to service the railway, Drillham was home to a camp for workers building the bridge over nearby Drillham Creek. The town and the creek were originally known as ‘Delirium’ due to the typhoid fever that struck the camp. With the town's weir providing water for steam locomotives, the once thriving metropolis is a peaceful rural town conveniently located on the Warrego Highway between Miles and Dulacca. Grain crops, livestock farms, and a strong visible history of railway activity give the community of Drillham its rural character.

Mixed species cover crop at Devon Court in Drillham. Image Cassandra Glover

DULACCA DULACCA is another quaint rural town on the Warrego Highway, just 40km west of Miles. First came the railway - in 1879, and then came the town, although it was originally spelt ‘Doolackah’ as derived from an Aboriginal name meaning ‘emu tracks’. An interesting point to note about Dulacca is that it was the site of the first efforts to eradicate the invasive prickly pear cactus. The fight to eradicate the prickly pear was spurred on by the Government’s reward of 40,000 hectares of land to whoever could restore their land to its original state.

Dr Jean White and staff at the prickly pear research station in Dulacca, 1913. Image Contributed

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injections and sprays to kill the Dulacca prickly pear and she also established that the wild cochineal insect effectively stopped the spread of Opuntia monacantha, which was another vegetation pest spreading in North Queensland. It is estimated that the menacing plant covered more than 50 million acres of Queensland at its peak. The town is punctuated by the striking Dulacca Hotel (the Pink Pub) which dates back to 1908. A brief history of the town is displayed at Lions Park, and Dulacca locals are always up for a yarn about the 1870s and the history of the town.

In 1912 Dr Jean White was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Queensland Prickly Pear Boards research station in Dulacca, to initiate work towards its eradication. In her findings, Dr White introduced arsenic Drillham and Dulacca are both situated on the Warrego Highway heading west from Miles towards Roma. Image Contributed

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Yuleba

Yuleba and the Cobb & Co Way Located to the south east of Yuleba, Judd’s Lagoon is a fantastic area for a picnic or to camp for the night. Image contributed

Experience the history of an Australian icon the Cobb & Co Coach Service, with a journey following the route taken by the last Cobb & Co coach service in Australia. This 76 kilometre journey has interpretive signs along the way which provide a fascinating insight into the historic sites that still remain today and the lifestyle of early settlers to the area. Visitors will also see the Native Wells, which were once used by local Aboriginal people as a source of fresh water and The Maryanne is a rock fossicker’s delight! Those visiting and passing through Yuleba will be welcomed by this sign. Image by Nadia Davies.

Once you arrive in Yuleba a stroll down the main street will quickly reveal the abundance of town pride that exists in this little village. Stop in at the local store to stock up on your supplies, or have a yarn about what local events might be happening, or head on over to the friendly hotel for a cold drink and a meal. Located to the south east of Yuleba, Judd’s Lagoon is a fantastic area for a picnic or to camp for the night. Enjoy a packed lunch or snack on the banks of the lagoon while you enjoy the stunning display of native flora and fauna found in abundance.

The Iconic Yuleba Water Tower. Image by Nadia Davies

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The Native Wells, which were once used by local Aboriginal people. Image contributed

During the summer, visitors are welcome to swim in the lagoon and can also take in the colour of the waterlilies in bloom from December to May. PAGE 35


Jackson/Muckadilla/Amby

Muckadilla

Located just 42 kilometers west of Roma, Muckadilla is a small community, with a big heart. The Whistle Stop houses local memorabilia, including a tribute to Australia’s shortest serving Prime Minister and local lad, Frank Forde. While there, visitors can also enjoy the peaceful surrounds of the Native Bush Gardens, the Major Mitchell monument and Leichhardt monument, both paying tribute to the explorers that passed through the region from 1846. Spectacular sunsets on the outback roads of Western Queensland. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Amby Amby is a quaint country town, located just 22 kilometers west of Muckadilla. Be sure to call in to meet the locals and experience the eclectic array of attractions, which include the Scar Trees which are remnants of our Aboriginal heritage. The Amby Scar Trees provide an insight into the lifestyle of our traditional ancestors. The War Memorial and Arch Way is located at the Booringa Shire Hall, and pays homage to local servicemen and women who have served our nation during time of war. While there, be sure to take a close look at the Arch Way – a wonderful tribute to the strong community spirit found in abundance, here. There is also the No Horse Golf Course and the Amby International Airport which can be accessed with a local tour guide, which can be arranged for larger tour groups by contacting The Big Rig and Visitor Information Centre.

Jackson

‘SPRINGHILL’ COUNTRY CRAFT RETREAT, AMBY If you are creatively minded, or just enjoy meeting people who are talented and passionate about their craft, then you will love the ‘Springhill’ Country Craft Retreat. With a fully equipped magnificent Patch Work shop, large designated sewing area and a wet and dry area, this is a great place for guests to get away and focus on their latest creative project. The cottage can sleep up to twelve guests and has a fully equipped kitchen for use.

Jackson has a small public library that services the community and the Old Jackson Playshed provides details into the history of the township. Call into one of the Visitor Information Centres and pick up a Maranoa Drive Trails Map for details on the Jackson-Noonga Country Insights Drive. This drive will provide you with first hand insight into life in our rural communities and life on the land.

Spring Hill is a working sheep and cattle property, the owners also welcome day trips, with delicious country style catering available. While there, guests are likely to see an abundance of native fauna, including the resident Echidna and Wallaby!

The Welcome to Jackson sign, showing tribute to the Pioneers from the region. Image Nadia Davies.

Springhill Country Craft Retreat Patchwork and craft shop in a quiet country bed & breakfast setting Why not have a weekend getaway with us to celebrate your special occasion to relax, unwind and enjoy your favourite craft with friends or consider the scenic venue for a family gathering surrounded by mature bottle trees and serene farm setting.

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Wallumbilla

Wallumbilla and Calico Cottage Heritage Complex Operated by volunteers, Wallumbila’s Calico Cottage was established many decades ago when (during a period of drought) a group of farmer’s wives agreed that they needed to make an income from the property. Together, they commenced selling home baked goods and crafts from a cottage located on the highway in the town. Today, many of the original volunteers still greet visitors and ‘put the kettle on’ as they peruse the local crafts available for sale. Devonshire Tea and a variety of country-style, baked treats can be purchased to take home. While at the Cottage, visitors can also visit the Wallumbilla Heritage Complex, providing a wonderful insight into the social history of Wallumbilla. The Railway Station is also worth a visit, housing some great memorabilia from the rail crash that took place at that site in 1956. Wallumbilla has a rich history of Agricultural production, well worth exploring, and has a delightful town square and lovely shady playground for the children. The Wallumbilla Showground also offers free caravan sites.

Wallumbilla Heritage Complex provides the perfect opportunity to learn about the area’s heritage The Grain Silos in Wallumbilla are an impressive site. Image Nadia Davies

The iconic Wallumbilla Campdraft is held annually during April. Image contributed

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Roma

Roma Revealed The biggest and best Outback Queensland adventures start in Roma and the surrounding region including Mitchell, Injune, Surat, Wallumbilla and Yuleba. You can hike through the spectacular Carnarvon Ranges, camp at the secluded and beautiful Lake Nuga Nuga, fish on the banks of an inland river or discover authentic and genuine Australian history. You can soak in the ancient waters of the Mitchell Artesian Spas or be in town for one of our big events. Roma is located just half-a-days drive (476kms), or one hours flight, west of Brisbane. You can join an authentic tour of the biggest cattle saleyards in Australia, wrap your arms around Queensland’s biggest bottle tree and learn about the discovery of oil and gas in Australia at The Big Rig. Throughout the region there is truly spectacular ancient landscapes and unique flora and fauna.There are eight established tourist drives, perfect for the 4WD enthusiast looking to get off the beaten track, plus fully guided eco tours available. Carnarvon Gorge National Park offers towering white cliffs, huge rock overhangs adorned with ochre stencils and engravings from an ancient and ongoing culture and an array of well-established walking trails.

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visiting the largest livestock selling complex in Australia – the Roma Saleyards. Image contributed.

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Roma

So much to see in Roma Roma is the largest town in the Maranoa Region and offers an array of city-like conveniences with friendly country hospitality. There is an abundance of cafes ideally located throughout town and dining options include fine dining restaurants, niche cafes, contemporary pubs that offer pub grub and alfresco dining, plus all your traditional take-away options. As you are in the heart of beef country be sure to try a mouth-watering grass fed steak while you are in town. Be sure to leave some room in your suitcase because the recently landscaped down-town Roma offers the perfect place to stroll and browse the beautiful local specialist shops, including the abundant craft supplies store and local Roma on Bungil Art Gallery. The Big Rig Parklands, including duck pond and miniature train, and the Adungadoo Pathway offer the perfect retreat from the outback heat. Located on the edge of the Bungil Creek, it CONTINUE TO PAGE 41

The Big Rig in Roma is home to the Tourist Information Centre and Beck’s Chopping Board Café. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Roma

provides children lots of room to burn off excess energy, look for local wildlife and create lasting memories.

and usually attract 1000-1500 cattle as these are fattened and ready to be sold for meat.

The Big Rig is open 7 days and tells of all the twists and drama of when oil and gas first flowed in our nation, the story of our oil and gas pioneers comes alive through exhibits, machinery displays, audio-visual features and our local “Roma Rigger” guides.

Local retired farmers and graziers give their time as volunteers to show visitors through the complex. Roma Saleyards Tours are available on sale days only - Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. A canteen is available onsite and is open on sale days.

St Paul’s Anglican Church houses an inspiring display of over fifty stunning led light and stained glass windows, dating from as far back as 1876. During peak season tours operate every Tuesday and Thursday and are led by volunteers. Tours are free but all donations are welcome, with all proceeds going toward the maintenance of the stunning window display.

Join The Big Rig Night Show Sunset Experience and ignite your interest in sabotage, drama and intrigue through the eyes of a “Roma Rigger” guide, with a glass of Outback port and an original sound and light show. Hoof it over to the Roma Saleyards for their free behind-the-scenes tour held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all things beef. The Centre has just had a major upgrade, including a new interactive Interpretative Centre, which is open each weekday.

Roma Saleyards Tours are available on sale days only - Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. A canteen is available onsite and is open on sale days. Image by Jorja McDonnell.

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The enormity of the Saleyards really needs to be seen to be believed. Store sales are held every Tuesday and usually attract around 7000 head of cattle. Prime Sales are held every Thursday

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Roma

Get the local knowledge At the Roma Visitor Information Centre, located at The Big Rig, you can chat to a local about all the finer details that only a local will know, like the best place to go fishing, local short cuts or roads to avoid, what local events are happening on the weekend or the best place for a cold beer and some live entertainment. The Visitor Information Centre also has a range of local merchandise, free Wi-Fi and is open 7 days, except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. There are many great attractions for visitors to see in Roma. Available by foot or a short drive from all Hotels, Motels and Caravan Parks, some additional attractions that visitors may wish to explore are: • The 3D Heritage Mural, located in the Roma Cultural Centre. • Being rounder than you are tall is a perfectly healthy claim if you are a bottle tree. Wander along the Adungadoo Pathway and check out Roma’s largest bottle tree boasting an incredible 9.51m girth. • The Avenue of Heroes is a heritage listed avenue of Bottle Trees, each paying tribute to a local soldier who lost his life in the First World War. At the base of each tree is a plaque including the name of the local service man. • The Lenroy Slab Hut was built in 1893, this well constructed and preserved slab hut was built by hand from locally sourced timber. Now located at The Big Rig Parklands (having been CONTINUE TO PAGE 43

Sunsets in the Maranoa Region are a spectacular event. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Roma

Horse Racing drives thousands of tourists to the region each year including the XXXX Easter Races in April and the largest race meet of the year, Royal on 99 Roma Cup held in November. Image contributed.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 42 transported from a property northwest of Roma), the hut was originally home to a family of up to eleven! • The Roma Express is one of the last miniature railways in Queensland, visitors are able to ride a miniature train that travels a picturesque 1.4

kilometre circuit. Volunteers operate the train during the months of March - November • The Adungadoo Pathway provides the perfect place for a beautiful afternoon or early morning walk, visitors will love this 1.7 kilometre pathway. Following the peaceful waters of the Bungil Creek, this walk also includes interpretive

information panels, rest shelters and a striking ‘meeting place’. • Roma’s Historic Walk takes in a series of historic and interesting landmarks, with plaques installed along the way, detailing their contribution to Roma’s colourful history.

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Injune

Injune wows with fascinating history Located 90 kilometers north of Roma, Injune is a quiet country town, with a fascinating history. There are six accommodation houses available within walking distance to all services, as well as a Caravan Park, located on the banks of the Injune Creek. Visitors are sure to love the warm welcome and country hospitality of the Injune Visitor Information Centre. The team of lovely volunteers will provide a wonderful insight into the history and lifestyle of Injune, before pointing out each of the ‘must see’ attractions in town. While there, be sure to pick up a local souvenir or piece of local craft work from the gift shop. Injune has a range of great little attractions located within close proximity of accommodation. Henricks Park is a fabulous way to gain an insight into the community pride found in abundance in Injune. This site was donated by the Henricks family and was developed to ‘tell the story of Injune’. The Injune Lagoon Walk provides the ideal location for a relaxing afternoon walk through a tranquil bush setting. The walkway is located 380 metres from the town centre at the eastern end of Second Avenue. The bird life and friendly marsupials are in abundance early and late in the day. Enjoy an easy walk throughout the town of Injune to see the Characters of Injune statues. Selected

by the local community, these characters are recognised for their significant contribution to the town and are a great insight into the lifestyle of rural Queensland. The Old Injune Coal Mine, Old Injune Cemetery and Historical Steam Train Precinct enable you to take a walk back in time and all provide insight into the historic fabric of this fabulous little town. CARNARVON GORGE NATIONAL PARK Whilst you are in Injune, take the time to plan your trip to Carnarvon Gorge National Park. Whether you visit the Carnarvon Gorge or Mt Moffatt section, the National Park offers towering white cliffs, huge rock overhangs adorned with ochre stencils and engravings from an ancient and ongoing culture and an array of well established walking trails. Wallaroo Outback Retreat is a 72,000 acre cattle property, located just 65kms north of Injune, and offers brand new glamping accommodation. The accommodation is best suited to groups of 16 people who can self-cater. The eight tents are beautiful, elegant, comfortable and feature beautiful white linen and posturepedic beds. You can wake up amongst towering eucalypts and listen to the early mornings calls of the bush. Roma based, Boobok Ecotours offer the most amazing guided tours of the Carnarvon Ranges and can collect you from Roma or Injune, or anywhere along the way. Experience parts of Outback Queensland few have ever explored

Carnarvon Gorge National Park. Image contributed

in the company of Boobook’s guides who are recognised local ecological experts. In small groups, with exclusive access to large privately owned Queensland landscapes, they will help you to connect with Australia’s real outdoors and discover many of nature’s secrets few ever have the opportunity to see. Once at Carnarvon Gorge there are various accommodation options, plus helicopter rides and guided tours available, so be sure to call at the Injune Visitor Information Centre for all the tips from the locals about how to have the very best time in this ancient and beautiful part of our country.

What a great way to distract from the regions’ drought! In place of all the stressful farm duties during drought, one hundred and twenty women took time out to expose their artistic side at the Injune Creative Odyssey. This event was part of a series of 21 creative workshops and was sponsored by a small community grant through the Maranoa Regional Council and funded equally by the local gas producer Senex. The workshops cover a variety of arts, from painting and paper craft, basket weaving and barbed wire art. Escaping the drought – Creative sides come out as women ditch farm life for craft workshops. Image by Katrina Ayers

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Surat

Cobb & Co Changing Station Museum, a must see when visiting Surat. Image Contributed

Uncover surprising Surat Surat is located 79 kilometers to the south of Roma, and is a stunning country town located on the banks of the beautiful Balonne River. There are two Motels, a Caravan Park and an extremely popular free camping area located in town, as well as a Café, General Store, Post Office, Newsagency, Pharmacy and Supermarket to service visitor’s needs. COBB & CO CHANGING STATION MUSEUM, SURAT The Cobb & Co Changing Station Museum is open from 9:30AM – 5:00PM Monday – Friday and from 10:00AM-4:00PM on weekends and Public Holidays. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

Visitors are welcomed into the community of Surat at the Cobb & Co Changing Station Museum. The original site of the Cobb & Co Store and drop off point for coach passengers and goods, the Changing Station now houses a museum of regularly changing displays, providing a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of yesteryear. While there, visitors will see the 14 seat replica Cobb & Co Coach, a 25,000 litre fresh water aquarium and a wonderful display of local artworks at the Surat on Balonne Gallery. SURAT RIVERSIDE PARKLANDS AND SURAT RIVERWALK The Surat Riverwalk follows the Balonne River for approximately 2 kilometers. The features

of this walk include leisure equipment, a drink fountain, excellent footbridges and a spectacular viewing platform overlooking the river. Along the way, visitors will enjoy a wonderful insight into the lifestyle and history of this beautiful country town.

Finish off your drive with a celebratory bevvo along the banks of the Balonne River at Fisherman’s Park Campground in Surat. Known for its top-notch camping and fishing, try your hand at pulling in a mighty Murray Cod while you’re there – after all, casting a line at dusk is what all picturesque fishing dreams are made of. The bonus is, it’s not just a great campsite itself, but it’s just a short stroll down the riverside and through the picturesque Lions Park to Surat’s main street shopping and the famous Cobb and Co Changing Station.

Camping at the Fisherman’s Park on the Balonne River Surat. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Mitchell

Mighty Mitchell Reflections on Maranoa River. Image Tourism and Events Queensland

Located on the banks of the Maranoa River, Mitchell is the perfect location to relax, unwind and experience the region’s fascinating pioneering history. A variety of services are available in town, including cafés, a bakery, supermarket, pharmacy and hardware store. Mitchell is best known for its stunning artesian baths, located at the entrance to town. With both warm and cool water pools, visitors love to relax and rejuvenate in the ancient mineralised water from the Great Artesian Basin. A café, visitor information centre and gymnasium are also available onsite, making this a perfect welcome into the beautiful town of Mitchell. Mitchell has a wonderful history and community spirit, in addition to the Mitchell Artesian Spa the following are must see attractions whilst you are in the area. The Maranoa Riverwalk is a wonderful 4.2km walk, which enables visitors to take in the names of local men and women who served their district and country during war, watch for local bird and wildlife and enjoy the tranquility of the Maranoa River. During your time in Mitchell, you must explore the fascinating history of the Kenniff Brothers. For an interesting insight into the history of Australia’s last bushrangers, the Courthouse (where the brothers stood trial) is a great place to start. Whilst exploring the fascinating history of the Kenniff Brothers, be sure to visit the Arrest Creek monuments, where the brothers were captured in 1902 just 7 kilometres south of Mitchell. The Dulbydilla Windmill is a much photographed outback icon, it was commissioned by the Stock Routes and Rural Lands Protection Board in 1955. The windmill was originally installed at the Dulbydilla Stock Watering facility west of PAGE 46

Mungallala, and the windmill was relocated to its present site (adjacent to the Kenniff Courthouse) in 1994. Booringa Heritage Museum provides you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local history of the area and gain a valuable insight into life on the land. Local creative talent is alive in Mitchell and the Mitchell on Maranoa Gallery is sure to astound visitors with the variety of stunning artworks on display. The schedule of local, state and nationally renowned artists rival this gallery’s city counterparts. Relive the magic and romance of an old picture theatre at the Maranoa Theatre Display and go behind the scenes with a visit to the original projection room, it is located within the library complex. INLAND FISHING Both the Mitchell Memorial Park and Neil Turner Weir provide ideal locations for a picnic lunch. Mitchell, like Surat, provides ideal inland fishing opportunities. The clean river systems and local waterholes provide the ideal spot for keen anglers to try their luck at recreational freshwater fishing. Cast your line in for a yellowbelly, silver perch, cod and dew fish, European carp and spangled perch (bobbies). Mitchell has a range of accommodation options available, from the ever popular Major Mitchell Caravan Park (cabins and a family cottage are also available), a variety of country hotels, to beautifully presented Motels and Restaurants. ‘Bonus Downs’ offers guests a unqiue farmstay experience, where they will be introduced to the history of the beautiful homestead and working cattle station. Accommodation is available in the ‘Jackaroo's quarters’, with 12 beds available. Alternatively, guests may wish to experience a true outback experience, camped under the

stars or in the shearing shed. Powered sites are also available and the area is serviced by a clean amenities area. For more information, please see www.bonusdownsfarmstay.com.au MITCHELL - FORESTVALE ROAD From Mitchell why not have a real outback adventure and get off the main highway, you will experience the unique changing landscapes of our region on the popular Mitchell – Forestvale Road, that connects Mitchell with the Mt Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park, and Injune. It is sealed the whole way from Mitchell to Injune (approximately 80 kilometers is unsealed into Mt Moffatt). From Mitchell, travel 16.7 kilometers along the Mitchell - Forestvale Road, where visitors will see the Wild Dog Fence (commonly known as the Dingo barrier fence) to the left. The Wild Dog Fence spans approximately 2500 kilometers across Queensland and is dedicated to the protection of the sheep industry. Continue for 17 kilometers, where you will see the turn off to Major Mitchell’s campsite. This is where Major Mitchell set up camp on his fourth expedition through the region. Mitchell left his crew with Sir Edmund Kennedy in charge. Today, a scarred tree still marks the presence of Kennedy some 170 years ago. A further 33.6 kilometers along the Mitchell - Forestvale Road, to the left you will see the Flying Fox once used to carry supplies across the river during time of flood. From the Womblebank turnoff, you will cross the Great Dividing Range, water to the west runs in to the Murray Darling Basin, while water running to the east runs into the Fitzroy catchment. 8 kilometers from Injune, you will pass the Wild Dog Fence on both sides of the road.

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St George

Fishing on the Balonne River St George. Image Tourism and Events Queensland

Stunning St George From the moment you arrive to the time you leave, St George relaxes the senses in all the right ways. Perched on the banks of the mighty Balonne River, it is the perfect base from which to explore the Balonne Shire. Car weary legs will appreciate the two-kilometre stretch of shady riverbank walkway flanking the town. A star feature, the riverbank walkway begins below the Jack Taylor Weir. There you’ll find a commemorative stone to mark Sir Major Thomas Mitchell’s crossing of the Balonne River on St George’s Day back in 1846. Also located at this spot is an impressive Murray Cod fish sculpture made from horseshoes and workshop tools showcasing our title as the Inland Fishing Capital of Queensland.

Jack Taylor Weir across the Balonne River at George. Image contributed

To really take in the Balonne River’s magnitude of water, pack a few drinks and nibbles and jump on board a Sandytown River Cruise. As you idle down the middle of the river, sit back and enjoy the view and abundant bird life including pelicans, cockatoos and eagles. Book a leisurely afternoon cruise, fishing tour or full moon evening cruise. If you enjoy your fishing, The Balonne Shire has a reputation for being the best Inland

Fishing Capital in Queensland. Settle in at the riverbank for a quiet afternoon in search of the great Murray Cod and Yellowbelly. For the wine lover, Riversands Wines satisfies your thirst for a good drop. Enjoy an afternoon in their shady country gardens with a free, personalised wine tasting at the cellar door followed by scones and home-made jam or a cheese platter and a glass of wine. CONTINUE TO PAGE 48

KAMAROOKA TOURIST PARK E FRE W ifi

• Air-conditioned Modern & Rustic Log Cabins • Grassed Shady Sites • Large Clean Modern Amenities • Camp Kitchen and FREE BBQ P: (07) 4625 3120 A: 56 Victoria Street, St George 4487

• Closed to Shops and town Facilities • Drive through Powered Sites • Balonne Ice Works on site • Pet Friendly

Clean • Quiet •Friendly

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W: kamarookatouristpark.com.au E: info@kamarookatouristpark.com.au

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St George Travellers’ must not leave St George without seeing the Unique Egg. This is an absolute must-see display of well over 150 stunning, illuminated emu eggs. Local character and artisan Steve Margaritus or ‘Stavros’ as many know him has hand carved an amazing variety of patterns and scenes on each egg and illuminated them. This is the world’s only display of handcarved, illuminated emu eggs, which have been gifted as far as the White House. A visit to the new Mani Tribes Gallery showcases the talent of local Indigenous artists, and will leave you feeling inspired by the local history and talent on display. Daily personalised ‘Journey’ Tours through the gallery are highly recommended. Be sure to dip your toes in the warm western waters at the new St George Baths (Balonne Artesian Thermal Pool) located at the St George Swimming pool. It’s the perfect way to relax after a day exploring the region.

Blueberry picking in the St George region. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Enjoy a glass of wine and cheese platter while visiting the Balonne Region. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 47 Fill in the morning or afternoon by experiencing the St George Cotton-Self Drive Trail. Pack your thermos and smoko as you head off and get to know more about the local cotton industry. If you prefer a guided tour, don’t miss out on experiencing the Cotton Farm and Winery Tour held very Thursday from May to September. Enjoy the on-board commentary provided by a local cotton farmer as they showcase their fully operational cotton farm and learn how cotton is grown, irrigated and harvested. Once finished you will head onto Riversands Wines for a vineyard tour before being treated to a personalised wine tasting and a delicious lunch in the relaxed country garden. St George is built on the banks of the Balonne River. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

The Local you can trust We offer • Log book services and repairs on all vehicles • Road worthy certificates • Service & repairs to air conditioners • Wheel alignments

• Competitive Rates • Courtesy cars available • Experienced workmanship • Quality provided • Local family business

Nicholas and Rochelle Ferguson Office 4625 5654 • Mob 0438 190 330 138 Arthur Street, St George 7127814aa PAGE 48

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Nindigully

The Nindigully Pub, challenge yourself to a hearty 5kg burger! Image Contributed

Epitomising country hospitality Located just 45km south-east of St George, ‘The Gully’ as it’s locally known, is made up of several houses and a pub on a riverbank. But what a pub, what a view and what characters you’ll find. Perched on the banks of the Moonie River, having been established in 1864, the rustic Nindigully Pub is the longest continually licenced pub in Queensland. The iconic Australian movie ‘Paperback Hero’ was filmed here and the café’s boomerangs

Nindigully Pig Races. Image Contributed

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remain perched in place. Pack your appetite as the challenge of the ‘road train’ awaits you – a whopper 5kg burger, big enough to feed you and 10 of your closest mates. Park the van for a few days alongside the treelined Moonie River at the Nindigully Tourist and Visitor Area located just below the Nindigully Pub. Fill your day by taking a stroll along the Gully Walk – a purpose built historical river walkway, perch up on the tables and chairs with book, or

head up to the Nindigully Pub for happy hour. Toilets and showers are available here for those looking for some comforts. The infamous annual Pig Races, held in November each year, draws an excitable crowd from all over Queensland. The day also provides entertainment, with live music, raffles and fireworks. So, if you are planning a trip out west to Nindigully, be sure to time it in with this must see event.

Stroll the smooth pathway of Gully Walk. Image Contributed

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Take a break in tranquil Thallon Signalling your approach into Thallon, the giant GrainCorp silos act as landmarks for the town. Now featuring the spectacular “Watering Hole” mural painted in 2017 by Artists Drapl and The Zookeeper. Thallon’s town park is a perfect place to stop and break the drive with shady trees and facilities including a playground, picnic tables, free barbeque and toilets. The park features a granite ‘Anzac Digger’ war memorial statue built by the Thallon Progress Association to commemorate the Centenary of Gallipoli and a giant Northern Hairy Nose Wombat named William.

Thallon Thallon’s Francis Hotel is a must visit with the ever changing “Local Images” Photographic Exhibition, Silos and Wombat merchandise and fascinating videos on the Northern Hairy Wombat and Silos. For those looking for somewhere to stay, Thallon offers relaxed free camping at the Recreational Grounds, which includes toilets and showers. Budget airconditioned accommodation is available at the Hotel.

Magic Mungindi Have you ever wanted to go to Cameron Corner to see surveyor JB Cameron’s famous surveyor peg but haven’t quite made it? Then you need not go any further as Mungindi will fulfil this wish, and remarkably you can place your hands on the very peg that JB Cameron erected with his own hands over a century ago. It gets better; the One Ton Post is the original survey peg whereas Cameron Corner has sadly had to replace theirs with a cement marker.

One Ton Post at Mungindi. Image contributed

In the thick of the bush just outside of Mungindi, the One Ton Post stands out as a remarkable physical monument erected by surveyor JB Cameron to mark the arduous three-year task of surveying the straight section of the Queensland/ New South Wales border, from Cameron Corner to the Barwon River. Once you’ve gone and placed your hands on the One Ton Post, head towards Mungindi and pull in for a cuppa at the Barwon River Parkland where one foot can step you over the border into New South Wales. The shady trees offer an ideal place to picnic, fish and rest before continuing on your journey.

The Iconic Silos in Thallon. Image contributed.

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Dirranbandi/Bollon

Take in the Dirranbandi sights South west of St George, Dirranbandi is a small country town that comes alive through the cotton harvest months. If you have heard of the famous Cubbie Station, then you will be interested to know that the largest irrigated cotton farm in the southern hemisphere is only a stones’ throw away from this small town. As you drive into Dirranbandi, you’ll drive by the town’s levee bank which is famous for having saved the town from flooding on more than one occasion. Dirranbandi is at the end of the South West rail line and was the destination of the very last mail train to operate in Australia.

HISTORY AND HERITAGE CENTREPIECE OF TOWN The soil gets redder as you approach this great little western town and sitting on the banks of the peaceful Wallam Creek is the tranquil town of Bollon. At the caravan and camping area there are plenty of shady spaces to park the van for a few days on the edge of the picturesque creek and an easy 1.2km stroll along the creek-side walkway provides access to the little town’s main street. Along the walkway you can appreciate Aboriginal dreamtime artwork and exert some energy on

On a visit to Railway Park, you’ll find the old waiting room, the original parcels office and the 1913 Station Master’s residence, which is now the Rural Transaction Centre. Here you have the opportunity to talk to a local and find out some further history on the town. While meandering through the park you will discover a stone cotton bale in memory of the late Des Stevenson, the pioneer of the cotton industry in Dirranbandi and the famed The peaceful Wallam Creek in Bollon. Image contributed. Cubbie Station. the exercise equipment that flanks the walkway. A neighbouring bronze statue in the centre So that you won’t have to ‘rough it’, you’ll have of town celebrates the remarkable story of the comfort of free showers and toilets as well. Aboriginal man Tom Dancey – the 1910 winner of Australia’s most famous foot race the Stawell If you do one thing in town, make it to the Bollon Gift. On the opposite side of the street – adjacent Heritage Centre. Nestled in the heart of the main to the homeware and gift shop – enjoy the street, it’s easy to spend the afternoon retracing colourful mosaic walkway that shows an artistic Bollon’s history. Nearby at the Walter Austin take of the town’s history. If you’re looking for Memorial Park lies the Bollon Returned Service a quiet spot to picnic, throw in a line or stretch Memorial Wall. your legs, then head to the Jack Dwyer Memorial Park on the edge of town.

This monument features Flight Lieutenant George John (aka Jock) Steele who served in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II and was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) medal. Bollon is well known for its numerous shearing teams and as a tribute to this, Deb’s Café, in the main street isn’t just a country café offering a hearty bite to eat and groceries; it also has an historical display which shows this little town’s proud association with shearing and the sheep industry. THROW A LINE IN AND STRETCH YOUR LEGS IN HEBEL In the little town of Hebel it feels like time has stood still, leaving behind tales of the Ned Kelly gang, Cobb & Co and dance halls. Hebel’s interesting history has been narrated through the public art piece, the Hebel Historical Circle. Out of the red earth, tall timber posts hover over illustrated signs; each telling their own story of Hebel’s history. Complete with play equipment, there is something to keep everyone occupied. Hebel Hotel is a gem of a country pub. Colourful artwork by Lightening Ridge’s famous artist, John Murray adorns the front of the pub with the interior decked out in recycled furniture made from reclaimed bush finds. It’s the kind of quirky place you’ll want to linger to get to know the locals over a cold beer. Back in the 1890’s,The Hebel General Store was once a dancehall but today offers a restaurant as well as store supplies. Spend the afternoon fishing or setting the yabby pots in the Bokhara River, just a stone’s throw from the main street.

Inspect the Virtual War Memorial while visiting Dirranbandi. Image Tourism and Nestled in the heart of the main street in Ballon is the Ballon Heritage Centre. Events Australia. Image Tourism and Events Australia.

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Cunnamulla

Experience the draw of Cunnamulla DISCOVER vibrant red sand hills and brilliant blue skies. Stay on a working property and boil the billy under starry night skies. Imagine adventure-filled days and must-see outback landscapes, Paroo Shire is a photographer’s dream destination. Reclaim what’s real when you visit our beautiful region. Escape the run-of-the-mill tourist haunts and enjoy a genuine connection to local people and culture. Meet working graziers and learn about life on the land. Join locals as they enjoy their favourite river activities. Immerse yourself in heritage stories and heroic tales. Slow down. Unplug. Embrace the country lifestyle and live like a local. CUNNAMULLA VISIT Cunnamulla where the handshake’s stronger and the smile lasts longer. Immerse yourself in a true outback experience. Discover meaningful connections with people and places. THE REAL DEAL If experiencing the real deal is your thing, then Cunnamulla has the goods. Passionate local tour operators, local station stays and genuine outback experiences are sure to tick the box. Fully immerse yourself in typical outback station life with a choice of working properties to visit Get a taste of the outback life. See sheep shearing (in season) or cattle mustering, go on a water run or help with some of the daily station tasks. Visitors to Charlotte Plains sheep and cattle station are treated to a welcome soak in their 1890s station bore. Its inviting mineral-laden water comes straight from the Great Artesian Basin. The township of Cunnamulla was created by Cobb & Co. on the third of September 1879, when the first coach drove through from Bourke.

Cunnamulla locals are sharing folk, so don’t be shy when asking for the best spot to throw in a line. Hire a kayak and discover the secrets of this natural wonderland. Keep an eye out for the cheeky Cooper Creek turtle as you paddle the tranquil waters. Keen ‘twitchers’ will love discovering the region’s native birds in their natural environment too. Cunnamulla has some of the best natural sandhills in Australia. Just seeing them is an eye-catching feast. Picture vibrant red sandhills contrasting with brilliant blue skies. It’s photo heaven! If ‘sight-doing’ is more your thing, then get ready to burn a few calories with some sandboarding. Climb up to the top of the sandhill then feel the rush as you carve up the sand on the way down. WATER TOWER ART A trip to Cunnamulla is certainly not complete without taking in the stunning world-standard artwork which adorns the Cunnamulla water tower. Completed by artist Guido van Helton with the help and input of the local youth, the Cunnamulla water tower art is truly a sight to behold and one which visitors and tourists must see firsthand to wholeheartedly appreciate. CUNNAMULLA CUISINE If it is a good-quality coffee and bite to eat you are chasing, Cunnamulla has you covered. Located on Jane Street, Gidgee Bean Cafe in Cunnamulla is a modern oasis providing customers with a slice of metropolitan fare in the country. Another perfect spot to pull in for a coffee and a wholesome, homemade selection of food is the

Cunnamulla Coffee Shop located on Stockyard Street. Cunnamulla Coffee Shop is home to the famous camel burger. Other places perfect to stop off in town include the Warrego Hotel Motel, Billabong Hotel Motel Bistro and the Club Boutique Hotel Cunnamulla Restaurant. For food on the go, the Cunnamulla Bakery does not disappoint. CUNNAMULLA FELLA FESTIVAL STARTS the last Friday in August where cowboys, bull riders, shearers and stockmen will descend on the famous town of Cunnamulla in country Queensland for a uniquely outback event – the Cunnamulla Fella Festival. The Cunnamulla Fella is an iconic bush figure who was immortalised in a song by Stan Coster, sung by Slim Dusty and there is a statue located in Centenary Park.

TOP THINGS TO DO • Relax around a traditional Gidgee coal campfire • Savour a camp oven themed dinner and billy tea • Experience life on the land with a real station stay • Kayak the tranquil waters of the Warrego River • Spot the Cooper Creek turtle and native birdlife • Sand-board down stunning natural sandhills • Stake out the perfect fishing hole • Journey back 100 million years in the Artesian Time Tunnel • Enjoy sunset drinks from the River Walk • Follow the looped walking track to the Bushlands • Uncover town stories on the Cunnamulla Heritage Trail

Today it is the only surviving south-west town along the original route. This says a lot about the people of Cunnamulla. Tough, resilient, creative….down to earth folk who love their country. While wool growing and beef production are still the main industries, the new kids on the block are organic wheat, organic beef and lamb production. NATURE’S BOUNTY The mighty Warrego River is on the edge of town. Kayaking, fishing, swimming...it’s the perfect place for a bush picnic. PAGE 52

Stop in for a meal at the Club Boutique Hotel Cunnamulla while visiting the region. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Eulo

Montville of the Outback VISIT the ‘kingdom’ of the infamous Eulo Queen and you’ll discover a very enterprising community. Dubbed the ‘Montville of the Outback’, Eulo is home to local producers, opal art and mud baths. Pick up a handcrafted whip, belt or handbag. FIT FOR A QUEEN Imagine a lovely green oasis, set amongst the mulga. This is Eulo. It’s little more than a one-pub, one-general store town and yet it has a distinct charm. Spend time exploring this delightful haven perched on the banks of the Paroo River...you’ll be glad you did. Back in the 1880s when opal mining was at its peak, Eulo was a bustling township with three hotels. For a while it was home to one of the legends of the opal era, ‘The Eulo Queen’. Today the town centrepiece is the Eulo Queen Hotel, named after the thrice-married pub owner, storekeeper and opal trader, Isabel Gray. According to folklore, she was attempting to

eject an unruly drinker, and roared: “I’m the Eulo Queen – now get out!”

TOP THINGS TO DO IN EULO • • •

Visit the Eulo Queen Hotel and sample their signature dish, the Eulo Queen Special Sausages. While there, you should take a moment to read some of the local versions of the Eulo Queen story posted on the walls. FOR THE GOURMETS Each winter, beekeepers travel to Eulo so their bees can feed on the Yapunyah tree, a Warrego variety of Eucalyptus found in the region. The outback honey they produce is often described as you would a fine wine... dark amber, tasting of caramel and spicy butterscotch with a hint of pepper. It’s no surprise that this gourmet honey has taken out blue ribbons at The Royal Easter Show in Sydney. You can purchase a selection of natural honey skin products from the Eulo Queen Arts and Opal Centre. Treat yourself to a gourmet mud bath. At the Artesian Mud Baths, you can soak in antique

IT’S UN-AUSTRALIAN TO DRIVE PAST AN OUTBACK PUB STOP IN AND STAY FOR A WHILE

• • • • • • •

Indulge with an artesian mud bath Find out why Eulo needed an air raid shelter See opals and art at the Telegraph House Gallery Pick up some handcrafted leather goods Celebrate Music In The Mulga Country Music Festival Discover the natural Artesian Mud Springs See the World Champion Lizard Racetrack Ask a local about the megafauna discoveries Camp beside a secluded billabong along the Paroo River Grab a coffee at the Eulo General Store

baths, in a beautiful bush setting, under the stars. Bathe in milky grey artesian mud drawn fresh from ancient springs. Warmed by braziers on cold winter nights, you’ll be served wine and nibbles in these ultimate artesian mud baths. This ancient mud is estimated to be 20,000 years old, rich in Silica, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Iron and Zinc.

EN HOTEL

EULO QUE

- Cabins and Single Rooms - Powered and none powered sites - New amenities - Children under 14 camping is free

FAMILY FRIENDLY CAMPI

NG

eensland

u Real Outback Q

GREAT MEALS

LEO STREET - ADVENTURE WAY HWY EULO, QLD PH: 07 4655 4867 7121456aa

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Australia Day Celebrations 26 January Welcome to Cunnamulla 14 February Golf Opening Day 7 – 8 March Noorama Picnic Races 4 April Eulo Gymkhana and Enduro 10 – 12 April Anzac Day Services 25 April Cunnamulla Diggers Anzac Day Races 25 April Wyandra Horse & Bike Gymkhana 2 May Music in the Mulga 14 – 17 May Cunnamulla Show 23 May

Events 2020 Men’s Sand Green Championships Golf 5 – 7 June QLD Day Featuring Brisbane Comedy Festival on Tour 6 June Eulo Polocrosse 6-7 June Paroo in Pink 12 June Cunnamulla Polocrosse 13 – 14 June Cunnamulla Ladies Pink Day Races 13 June Barbara & Barry: It takes Two Cabaret Performance 11 July Yowah Opal Festival 18 – 19 July Open Day Tournament Golf 2 August

Cunnamulla Diggers Festival Races 15 August Cunnamulla Fella Festival 28 – 30 August R U OK? Day 10 September Cunnamulla Diggers Cunnamulla Cup Races 10 October The Best of Bandstand Performance 6 November Remembrance Day 11 November New Years Eve Celebrations 31 December

For more information visit www.paroo.qld.gov.au/events

(07) 4655 8400

council@paroo.qld.gov.au

Cunnamulla & District Diggers Race Club Cunnamulla Race Course, Mitchell Hwy Tim Higgins - 0409 738 616

Cunnamulla Motorbike Club Riding for all ages Jason Palmer - 0427 554 871 or Ronie Simpson - 0447 804 086

Cunnamulla Youth Club Operated by CACH, after-school and evening activities Maryanne Johnstone - 07 4655 8800

Cunnamulla Bowls Club For competitive and social players of all ages 40 John St, Cunnamulla Maurice Higgins - 07 4655 1599

Cunnamulla Multipurpose Courts Available for tennis, netball and other sports Alice St, Cunnamulla Geoff Rynne - 0408 802 276

Outback Physical Bodyworx Exercise Sessions: Mon & Wed 4pm - 5pm, Cost $5pp Tue & Thu 6pm - 7pm, Cost $2pp Stockyard St, Cunnamulla Samantha Jones - 0417 072 206

Cunnamulla Golf Club 18 hole, sand green course par 70 - total 5,245m Humeburn Rd, Cunnamulla. John Woodcroft - 0427 204 490

Cunnamulla Polocrosse Club Share your passion John Girdler - 0427 411 726 or Patricia Jordan - 0427 551 452

Paroo Pony Club Share your love of horses Liz Land - 0428 551 587 Pistol Club Safe and responsible gun ownership Herb Martin - 07 4655 2662

Cunnamulla Show Society Show is held annually in May at the Cunnamulla Showgrounds on Emma St, Cunnamulla Amy Palmer - 0438 730 180

Cunnamulla Junior Rugby League Get active… John Mills - 0439 027 970

Cunnamulla Swimming Club Tina Jackson (Secretary) 0407 662 560

Noorama Picnic Race Club Annual race meeting held in April Noorama Racecourse, Jobs Gate Rd, Noorama. Jim McKenzie - 07 4655 4911 or Andrea McKenzie noorc.secretary@gmail.com

Cunnamulla Senior Rugby League Rams …stay active Facebook.com/cullyrams Ethan Capewell - 0484 243 075

Cunnamulla Swimming Pool Triathlon club meets every Sunday morning – John St, Cunnamulla Elizabeth Benson (Coordinator) 07 4655 0502 or 0484 781 186

Noorama Sport and Recreation Centre Club Noorama Racecourse, Jobs Gate Rd, Noorama Donal Sullivan - 07 4655 4045

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Cunnamulla Gun Club Safe and responsible gun ownership Mitchell Hwy, Cunnamulla Phil Nass - 0497 221 053

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Wyandra/Yowah

Stunning scenery awaits in Wyandra and Yowah

PERFECTLY located halfway between Cunnamulla and Charleville, Wyandra is a mustsee town. If you have an interest in architecture, there’s some great old buildings to discover. It may be small, but as the locals will attest, it’s a great little town to explore.

BRING YOUR TOGS Well you’re a long way from the ocean, but who says you can’t find a beach? Wyandra is about 100km north of Cunnamulla and boasts its very own beach. Popular with locals and visitors alike, ‘The Beach’ on the Warrego River was so named given its appealing sandy enclave. In days gone by, the whole community would gather there to celebrate Christmas Day with picnics, swimming and playing in the sand. ON THE LINE Like so many outback towns, Wyandra came into being as a railway settlement. Built along the Western Railway Line, the town was a major water stop for the steam engines heading through to Charleville. WALK THE TOWN Your camera is a must as you stroll the Heritage

Trail. You’ll see some interesting examples of outback architecture with some great old buildings from the boom period. The original powerhouse was designed as a one man 24hour operation with the superintendent living next door. It’s now a museum on the trail and is definitely worth a look. Finish your walk with a cool drink at the Gladstone Hotel and a burger at the Post Office Café. Don’t miss the chance to watch a movie, under the stars, at the outdoor cinema.

DISCOVER KENNEDY’S CAMP In November 1847, Edmund B. Kennedy partially mapped the Warrego River from its head waters to a point about 30 miles south of Cunnamulla. Kennedy camped here on 12 November 1847 – the camp site has since been used by many drovers moving stock along the stock route. WATER WORTH BOTTLING Treat yourself to the natural health benefits of locally produced Alkaline Artesian Mineral Water. Life Energy Water is sourced and bottled in Wyandra. Even non-water drinkers will love the CONTINUE TO PAGE 56

Zara Agar walking cows and calves on “Talpa”, Wyandra. Image contributed

28-30 AUGUST 2020

PBR BULL RIDE RODEO / MUSIC / FOOD & MUCH MORE

Enjoy a jam-packed line up of country music, rodeo, barrel racing, bushmen contest, shearing, wood chopping, dog trial demonstrations, market stalls, fireworks and outback hospitality. Cowboys, bull riders, shearers and stockmen will converge on our famous town making this event a great couple of days out for the whole family. Tickets available online, at the gate or from the Cunnamulla Fella Visitor Information Centre.

cunnamullafellafestival.com.au

Cunnamulla, Eulo, Yowah & Wyandra

For your FREE travel pack stop by the Cunnamulla Fella Centre cunnamullafellafestival/ Jane Street, Cunnamulla | Call 07 4655 8470 |

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Take the time to live like a local and immerse yourself in outback adventure, history and nature. Visit the Artesian Time Tunnel to be transported back in time 100 million years. Stop in at the Cunnamulla Fella Centre art gallery and museum. Explore natural and cultural heritage trails or try your luck at the Yowah opal fields and maybe even find your fortune.

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Wyandra/Yowah

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 55 soft and sweet taste of this natural drop. ‘100% Australian from a Deep & Pure Ancient Source’. POWER UP The Powerhouse and two national engines were moved here from Cunnamulla in 1955. Prior to that time there was no electricity supply. The Powerhouse was designed as a one-man 24hour operation with the superintendent living next door. YOWAH Meet the community where the opal is king and most of the residents are small-scale miners. Discover the story of Australia’s national gem, the opal. Fossick for opals and join a whole host of local activities while you are in town. THAT’S NOT A ROCK Discover the story of Australia’s national gem in Yowah.

become a popular activity for visitors to the area, so make sure you add your own before you leave. THE LOCAL TOUCH Back in town you may fancy a round of golf? The local course offers an open-air clubhouse, sandy greens and fairways. Wind down with a luxurious soak in ancient artesian waters then meet the locals at the community fireside barbeque. If you are in town on a Sunday, then be sure to head to the Sunday Tailgaters Stall which starts around noon. Expect to be awed by the range of opals and locally produced craft on sale. SPA ANYONE? Round off your day with a relaxing soak in a hot Artesian Bore Bath at the ‘Artesian Waters Caravan Park.’ Or, if you like a few more bubbles, then head to the Yowah Artesian Spa. There are two pools, the first warmer than the second. What’s not to love about a good bath at the end

of the day? Invigorate your body and soul in these naturally heated mineral waters listening to the sounds of the Outback. DUCKS AND DINNER Be sure to include the Thursday night Dinner and Duck Race in your itinerary. It’s held during tourist season at the Artesian Waters Caravan Park. You’ll enjoy a 3-course dinner and the chance to bet on the unique bore drain duck race. This event raises money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. YOWAH OPAL FESTIVAL This annual event is held on the third weekend in July. Over two days you can get your fill on all things opals, gemstones and crafts. There’s some great live music and entertainment as well as events to make the two days as fun-filled and memorable as possible.

Spend a few days exploring this ‘living gallery’ with its distinctive opal galleries dotted around the town. The main attraction for this area is the unique Yowah Nut. You guessed it, the opal is formed naturally like a nut and many visitors would disregard them as simply a rock. Experienced opal miners will often crack open thousands of nuts to find gem colour. These regularly sell for thousands of dollars. While in Yowah, you can try your hand at fossicking in an area adjacent to town. ART AT SUNSET For a spectacular sunset, you simply must visit ‘The Bluff.’ The 150-metre rise is only a few kilometres from town and offers 180 degree views of the surrounding country. If you can draw your eyes away from the view you’ll notice piles of stones everywhere. This ‘stone art’ has The picturesque landscapes around Yowah. Image Tourism and Events Queensland

Yowah

The Little town that could. And did. The General store has recently been added with groceries, fresh meat, fruit and vegetables being delivered each week. A rural transaction centre was built with a café, laundromat, library, internet café and tourist information. New artesian swimming pools were installed 4 years ago and the airfield upgraded where RFDS conduct training nights for their pilots. There are up to 20 opal outlets spread throughout the town and an opal market is held every Sunday from April to October. Fossicking sites are located in the town for tourists to search for speck or noodle fragments of opal or ironstone matrix. If you are lucky while fossicking many of the Opal shops will cut and polish your findings for you. The Royal Flying Doctor Service is the main talk of the town with the doctors visiting one day a week. Fundraising for the RFDS and looking after their staff is a priority of all residents especially as they are getting older. A dinner held at the caravan park each Thursday night has a duck race along the bore drain. Over the last four years this has raised over $20,000, which has gone into projects to improve the facilities in Yowah for the RFDS.

Artesian Waters Caravan Park - Yowah

Powered and Unpowered sites, Motel, General Store, Fuel 1 Blue Bonnet Blvd, Yowah • Contact: 4665 4953

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There are up to 20 opal outlets spread throughout the town and an opal market is held every Sunday from April to October


Bulloo Shire/Thargomindah

You are more than welcome to visit…

The Beautiful Bulloo Shire Discover, explore and experience our shire. What you find will amaze you. Discover what nature provides along with the unique history of the area. Explore our backyard so that you can truly experience its beauty, its charm and in particular, real outback events. Three holiday experiences rolled into one!

YOU need to escape to the Bulloo Region, aptly named after the Bulloo River, a unique closed river system which is fed via rain catchment areas and is a perfect spot for fishing, famous for it being carp free. For all the nature lovers, we boast ‘fire in the sky’ sunsets, red desert landscapes as far as the eye can see, trees which are as tough as the land and rivers that run like the blood through our veins providing our region with life, hope, happiness and relief from the scorching heat during the summer months.

Thargomindah

It is home to about 200 people and provides essential services to the properties and towns of the Bulloo Shire, the third largest shire in Queensland which encompasses 73,808 square kilometres of desert land. The people of this town are dismissive of the challenges of living in such an isolated community and in fact have prospered because of this. Resourcefulness and

ingenuity along with a ‘moving forward’ attitude is the trademark of this vital little hub. You can visit its historical hydro power plant. In 1898, this dusty little outback town made history by being the first place in Australia and the third in the world after London and Paris to produce hydroelectricity for electric street lighting. We were the first to use artesian water CONTINUE TO PAGE 59

The Wilson and Paroo river systems, along with Cooper Creek are also delightful places to camp, fish and simply chill out and are easily accessed from the shire’s vital hub, the town of Thargomindah.

Take a visit to the Thargomindah pressurised hot springs while visiting the region. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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The Bulloo

Shire

The sun sets over the red plains, softening the harsh landscape with its crimson and magenta hues. Gum trees bask in the dusk, their trunks brilliant white. A barking owl calls out across the Bulloo River. Thargomindah, Hungerford, Noccundra, Cameron Corner, the Burke and Wills Dig Tree, Kilcowera Homestay Cattle Station, Currawinya and Bindegolly National Parks in south-west Queensland, leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Small communities with vast distances between them that are strongly connected via heart and soul, you will be immersed in the outback and all its history. Adversity, weather conditions and isolation has built the character of the outback, strength of spirit and an ‘everyone gets on with it’ attitude. Formerly sheep country, our mainstays are now tourism and cattle. Tourists travel The Adventure Way on good roads that retrace the once rutted tracks of Cobb & Co. Our visitors enjoy discovering birds that are unique to this area, fishing the carp-free Bulloo River, walking trails, the landscape and joining in with the locals on all the little things that we do out here for fun. Come and mix with our friendly locals and join us for a drink at our outback pubs and experience genuine country hospitality. Reference: Excerpts from RM Williams OUTBACK Magazine Author Kerryn Suttor Visitor Information Centre

Ph: 07 4621 8095

Email: tourism@bulloo.qld.gov.au www.explorebulloo.com.au

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Thargomindah CONTINUED FROM PAGE 57 for a reticulated water system and the first to have overhead power lines. Our historic Old Hospital stands as another tribute to the resourcefulness, tenacity and endurance of Thargomindah’s pioneers. Built from locally made mud bricks, funded by donations and fund-raising efforts, it is another testament to the determination of the people who have dared to call the outback home. Spend a few days in this town and you will firstly experience a slowing down of life, a reconnection with your travel partner, space to think and plan, time to read, inspiration to create, write, photograph or paint. You will be wrapped up with genuine friendliness and hospitality and you get to enjoy some of the luxuries from home like real coffee from Coffee on Dowling, restaurant meals at the Oasis Motel, pizzas and camp oven roasts at the Bulloo River Hotel and outdoor movie nights at the Explorers Caravan Park. You also get to join in on all the little things that help make our life fun out here and you

The Pressurised hot springs from the Great Artesian Basin are a must to see while in the region. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

have access to all the necessary services that will keep you safely on the road, like 24 hour fuel, electrical and mechanical repairs, caravan repairs, air-conditioning and refrigeration repairs, gas repairs, welding repairs.

We actually have some of the best tradies out here who will bend over backwards to assist you in any way. So while you are touring this great land of ours, come and live with us for a while. Make Thargomindah your home away from home! You are most welcome.

Our experienced staff have an abundance of knowledge on camping, walking tracks, fishing, accommodation, upcoming events or any other general information you may need. Come in and browse, enjoy the air conditioned lounge area. Give us a call, check out our website, facebook page or come in and see us.

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Come out and stay, play, explore and experience life in the real Outback!

Thargomindah Visitor Information Centre 37 Dowling Street, Thargomindah

Phone: 07 4621 8095 *www.explorebulloo.com.au* * tourism@bulloo.qld.gov.au * https://www.facebook.com/explorebulloo/ www.suratbasin.com.au/westerntravelguide2020

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Noccundra

The Pressurised hot springs from the Great Artesian Basin are a must to see while in the region. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Noccundra Welcome to what remains of the historic township of Noccundra, located in far SouthWest Queensland, 140km south-west of Thargomindah, 240km north of Cameron Corner and 271km east of Innamincka.

but the partial wall is all that remains of the multiroomed stone building with an iron lean-to. At one point this building housed the pub and the hotel building was used for accommodation and meals.

It’s fitting that the town started with, and will end with, the Heritage-listed hotel. The hotel was built in 1882 with sandstone mined at Mt Poole, near Milparinka New South Wales and brought to Noccundra by camel train.

Set between the store remains and the hotel is a memorial plaque to the ill-fated Andrew Hume Expedition, which passed the Noccundra Waterhole late 1874. More information is available at the hotel.

The hotel is situated safely above the known maximum flood height of the Wilson River and was originally built to cater for cattlemen droving stock along the Wilson. It is now a regular stop for locals, tourists and truck drivers.

Here at Noccundra you can give yourself the night off from cooking (because you’re on holiday) and enjoy some of the best pub food in the outback or order a gourmet picnic hamper to take with you on your next adventure.

To the west of the Hotel are the remnants of the Noccundra General Store C1890-1970s. No one is sure what fate befell this sandstone building,

Noccundra Waterhole and the Wilson River The Noccundra Waterhole is part of the Wilson River, which starts near Eromanga and will meet

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Cooper Creek when both it and the Wilson River are in flood. Other than that, in true channel country style, the Wilson spreads out, into channels and just…stops. The Noccundra Waterhole has been a permanent source of water for the township and Nockatunga Station with no record of it ever drying up. Nondrought years see an abundance of wildlife, particularly birds who populate the waterhole. The river itself boasts a population of Yellow Belly, Cat Fish and Silver Perch along with Blue Claw Yabbies and a large population of turtles. Catch limits and other fisheries conditions apply. The Wilson River is a stand-alone CARP FREE river system. Recently the Grey Grass Wren was sighted again at the Noccundra Waterhole. Other bird life you might spot are Pelicans, Brolgas, Egrets, Heron and the Painted Honeyeater.

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Cooper Creek

Burke and Wills Dig Tree Discover the journey of Burke and Wills and experience one of Australia’s biggest ill-fated exploratory expeditions of all time by visiting Australia’s national icon, the Dig Tree. Arguably one of the most famous trees in Australian history still standing, it is an enduring reminder of our pioneering spirit and the extreme harsh conditions of the outback. If trees could talk, you would be mesmerised and mortified at the hardships, the miscommunication and the circumstances which led to the death of both Burke and Wills. To truly feel and experience the story, it should only be read on site at the interpretative signage display, with the tree in the background, bent over on the banks of the Cooper Creek, heavy from the burden it carries. To this day there is still mystery surrounding the story and this legendary tree as new revelations come to light. The subject of multiple investigations, research and controversy, its significance, its story and the management of this tree is now in the safe hands of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland.

One of the most famous trees in Australia – the Burke and Wills Dig Tree. Image contributed.

Camp right on Cooper Creek on Nappa Merrie Station and please don’t forget to pay your $10 vehicle entry fee which goes to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland for the preservation of the tree.

Pelicans have found their homes within the Cooper Creek area. Image contributed.

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If trees could talk, the Burke and Wills Dig Tree resides on the banks of Cooper Creek. Image contributed.

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Cameron Corner

Cameron Corner

The Cameron Corner store located in the most south-western corner of Queensland. Image contributed.

Need milk? Why not drive to the Cameron Corner Store located in the most south-western corner of Queensland? Once you are there, you get to stand, sit, lay, sing, dance or play golf in three states - Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales all at once. The original wooden boundary post was surveyed back in 1880 by John Cameron, the NSW Lands Department Surveyor and has been replaced with a commemorative post which marks all three states.

The Border Post – showcasing South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland borders. Image contributed

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Who would have thought to build a store in the middle of nowhere to service travellers coming from the north, south, east and west through the famous Wild Dog Barrier Fence to enter into Queensland, New South Wales or South Australia? The late Sandy Nall of course, a weary Australian soldier and ex-Vietnam vet. As he camped out on the sand dune near the post for a few weeks, counting cars as they passed, he decided that he could start a business there, and he did. Each year thousands of people pass through Cameron Corner.

It is everyone’s favourite place to stop on their way to anywhere and everywhere. Its iconic location is a must-go-to for all of our Outback travellers. This popular and central meeting place is where you get to meet new friends or catch up with past travellers for a drink and a yarn. Here you will receive good old-fashioned hospitality, a cold drink, a hearty meal, a good laugh and a fix up for anything that is broken.

Stunning image of one of the local residences from the region. Image by Faith Williams.

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Kilcowera

Kilcowera

Greg and Toni Sherwin are the owners of Kilcowera Station which is a large organically run cattle property. They fully understand the pull of the outback that people from all walks of life experience and have opened their arms to welcome people onto their property. These dedicated and passionate graziers use an intelligent, insightful and ecofriendly approach to land management and believe that maintaining the health of the soils, the native vegetation and the native domestic wildlife is vital for our country if we are to have a sustainable industry both on a personal and national level. It seems everything they do is well above ordinary and they work tirelessly on both the land and in their Station Stay business to be recognised as one of the leaders in both industries. Kilcowera Station is a member of the awardwinning Outback Beds network and has also received the Tourism Queensland Judges Commendation in 2010 and 2011 for Hosted Accommodation in the outback. The property is also well known as a bird-watchers’ paradise with over 180 species found on the property. Many of the Outbacks’ other iconic animals are also easily seen wherever you look, including red kangaroos and eastern greys, emus, lizards and echidnas. The vegetation and land is equally diverse to include mulga rangelands and ephemeral wetlands. Yabbying, canoeing and swimming in the lagoon, dams or waterholes is a popular activity in the right season or watch some seasonal station activities during your stay. Visiting an Outback cattle station wouldn’t be complete unless you do a tour or two of the property.

Yabbying, canoeing and swimming in the lagoon, dams or waterholes is a popular activity in the right season. Image contributed.

Sit back and relax while Greg or Toni takes you on a guided tour or set off yourself on a self-drive exploration of Kilcowera. They are located near the village of Hungerford, Currawinya National Park and Thargomindah and offer accommodation in their modern and comfortable Shearer’s Quarters or stay in your own van, with the use of the showers, toilets, laundry, fireplaces, barbecues and basic camp kitchen. Or if you prefer head a little further away and bush camp at Cardenyabba Lagoon at a series of private and secluded campsites along the waterfront. To truly experience the real Outback and all of its hard core, untouched beauty which has survived and emerged in amongst the hardship and drought, then a visit to Kilcowera is an absolute bucket list ‘must do’.

A bird-watchers paradise – Kilcowera has over 180 species found on the property. Image contributed.

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Hungerford

Just a short drive from Hungerford is Currawinya National park, one of Australia’s most important inland waterbird habitats.. Image contributed.

Hungerford There’s something significant about walking or driving through the Wild Dog Barrier Fence that separates Queensland and New South Wales in the little township of Hungerford. Originally a rabbit-proof fence, built in the 1880s and according to Henry Lawson was a ‘standing joke with Australian rabbits’. After all, there were and are ‘rabbits on both sides of it’. In the 1940s, the various fences were made higher to exclude dingoes and became the longest fence in the world, stretching over 8500km, with the length today being about 5600km. This small town, population of approximately 20, has a huge heart and pride with a work ethic to match.

The history and the purpose of this town are not taken lightly by the people of Hungerford with the commemoration of historical events and the celebration of everything that signifies the outback, all organised and held annually by just a handful of people. CURRAWINYA AND BINDEGOLLY NATIONAL PARKS JUST a short drive from Hungerford is Currawinya National Park which consists of red sandplains and mulga scrubs beside long, dusty roads which give little hint to the lakes, rivers and wetlands that make Currawinya one of Australia’s most important inland waterbird habitats. Events like the Hungerford bi-annual Field Day, Hungerford Horse and Motorbike Gymkhana and Remembrance Day are events that hold meaning and provide fun and entertainment for the whole family. The Royal Mail Hotel constructed in 1873 of corrugated iron was transported over 200kms from New South Wales on bush tracks and was originally a Cobb & Co Staging Post where teams of horses were swapped and tired horses stabled, rested and fed. The hotel plays an important role in the social and emotional wellbeing of the people living out here and has an atmosphere of friendly ‘back to basics’, ‘she’ll be right’ country hospitality, which makes you feel comfortable and at home. And although a cold beer and great food are the mainstays of most pubs, appreciation for these simple pleasures is amplified when you are in the real Outback. The Royal Mail Hotel in Hungerford is another iconic pub not to be missed during your Outback journey.

The odd looking “Lavatree” can be found right in Hungerford. Image contributed.

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Quilpie

All you need to know Quilpie is in Channel Country on the banks of the Bulloo River. Image contributed.

THE friendly local staff at the Quilpie Visitor Information Centre, Museum & Gallery are here to make sure you make the most out of your time in the Shire. When you arrive in the Shire be sure to make it your first stop. The Centre is located on Brolga St and is stocked with maps and brochures for the local area and surrounding regions. Knowledgeable staff can help with any enquiries and even let you in on the little-known local secrets and history of the area. While you are here, step out the back through our courtyard and wander through our Quilpie Shire Museum and Art Gallery. The museum proudly displays the history and stories of the early pioneers. Opal mining; cattle barons and their role in developing the Outback; native flora and fauna; and hardships faced by early settlers are just a few of the interesting topics covered in the museum. The Art Gallery displays six exhibitions a year featuring accomplished artists from far and wide as well as local works. Check out the exhibition calendar and plan your trip to coincide with an opening! Next door to our Centre, you will also find the Quilpie Shire Military History Museum & Quilpie Shire Rail Museum. Relax in comfort and catch up with family and friends by accessing our free WIFI. If you are planning a trip to a National Park in Queensland, the centre is a booking agent and can help you with this process. If you are looking for more information on the Quilpie Shire and help planning your visit, please contact the staff and we can send you an information pack. www.suratbasin.com.au/westerntravelguide2020

Welcome to Quilpe, a 210km drive from Charleville. Image contributed.

GETTING HERE DRIVE TO QUILPIE SHIRE Quilpie is a 210km drive from Charleville along the Diamantina Development Rd. This is a sealed road. Travelling North to Quilpie from Cunnamulla is a 294km drive on a sealed road, through Eulo and Toompine. From Thargomindah to Quilpie is 187km. This road has 35km of unsealed road closer to Thargomindah. Heading West to Quilpie from Windorah is a 246km drive on a sealed road. FLY TO QUILPIE Rex Airlines (Brisbane - Charleville - Quilpie) Qantas Link (Brisbane - Charleville or to Longreach) Hire car facilities in Charleville and Longreach. Train to Quilpie Queensland Rail Westlander Service - Brisbane to Quilpie (Bus link from Charleville to Quilpie) Bus to Quilpie Bus Queensland - Brisbane to Charleville (hire

car facilities in Charleville). Making Quilpie your base and travelling to the smaller towns within the Shire is easy! Toompine is 74km South on a sealed road, Eromanga is 108km West on a sealed road, Adavale is 96km North, this road has approximately 30km of unsealed road and Cheepie is 74km East on a sealed road. FUEL Quilpie fuel options: Lowes Petroleum (manned 8.30am – 5pm weekdays, 24hr card machine after hours), Puma Energy - (24hr card machine only), The Old Empire CafÊ. Eromanga Fuel Options iOR Petroleum Refinery - (24hr card machine only). There is no fuel available in Toompine or Adavale. PAGE 65


Quilpie Shire - a stunning Outback region in South West Queensland that is steeped with a rich pioneering and prehistoric history. Incorporating the towns of Cheepie, Adavale, Toompine, Eromanga and Quilpie, there is sure to be something to entertain. Quilpie Shire is also host to unique and exciting events with two new events featuring in 2020;

- The Quilpie Cup featuring the opening round for Queensland Racing ‘Battle of the Bush’ , Saturday 2nd May 2020 - Outback Queensland Golf Masters round in Quilpie on 4th & 5th July 2020

Dinosaurs at the Eromanga Natural History Museum - Opal - Art - Exhibitions - Events National Parks - Outback Pubs - Museums - River walks or simply watch the sunset at Baldy Top, your Outback Adventure starts here!

ANNUAL EVENTS April - Adavale Rodeo, Gymkhana & Campdraft April - Toompine Easter Gunshoot May - Quilpie Cup June - Quilpie Polocrosse Carnival July - Bash Break on Brolga July - Outback Golf Masters July - Nockatunga/Toompine Polocrosse Carnival August - Quilpie Golf Open September - Kangaranga-Do September - Quilpie Show & Rodeo September - Pride of the West Races September - Quilpie Gykmhana and Enduro October - Quilpie Bowls Carnival

Find us on Quilpie Visitor Information Centre, 51 Brolga Street, Quilpie QLD 4480 (07) 4656 0540 tourism@quilpie.qld.gov.au www.visitquilpieshire.com

facebook.com/visitquilpieshire instagram.com/visitquilpieshire #visitquilpieshire

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Quilpie

Top things to do and see in Quilpie BALDY TOP LOOKOUT Travel just under 8kms from Quilpie on the Toompine Rd and with only 2km of unsealed road you will come across Baldy Top Lookout, a magnificent boulder formation. Formed naturally over millions of years it is the perfect place to capture unfiltered beauty of the Quilpie Shire. A ten minute scramble to the summit at Sunset (or Sunrise if you are an early bird) will reward you with the most stunning 360 degree views, perhaps even that perfect Instagram image! ST FINBARR’S OPAL ALTAR The OPAL ALTAR at St Finbarr’s Church is one of Quilpie’s most iconic attractions and the church itself rests on the foundations of an intriguing history. In 1976, the Priest at the time, Father John Ryan, decided to compliment the opal mining industry of the area by commissioning local miner, Des Burton to install a border of opal around the carving of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

Baldy Top Lookout is just 8kms from Quilpie on the Toompine Road. A spectacular sight. Image contributed.

the bush. The Bulloo River is an ideal place to cast a fishing line and catch a Yellowbelly (Golden Perch) or throw in a yabby pot and snare some delicious Yabbies (fresh water Crayfish). THE LAKE LAKE Houdraman, or as its now known, ‘The Lake’ is a natural lake situated on the flood plains of the Bulloo River and is home to a vast array of wildlife making it an ideal location to birdwatch while sitting under one of the many shady river red gums which line the bank. The Lake is privately owned, however the owners are welcoming of visitors to the Western side of the lake for use and camping for a small fee (take

the first left after main bridge). The eastern side of the lake a little further east of Quilpie (keep an eye out for the orange caravan, about 6km from town) has been set up with lake side camping, powered sites and unique accommodation options. QUILPIE SHIRE RAIL MUSEUM Quilpie was born out of the western rail line being constructed between Charleville and Quilpie. Prior to the railway arriving in town in April 1917, Quilpie was no more than just a few humpies. The best place to learn more about this influence and rail in Quilpie is a visit to the QUILPIE SHIRE RAIL MUSEUM, located next door to the Visitor Information Centre. CONTINUE TO PAGE 68

Instead, Des offered the Priest ‘a bit on the wall’. This turned out to be almost an entire wall, which is now installed on St Finbarr’s altar, lectern and baptismal font. Bill Durack who was part of a Toowoomba Architectural firm who designed Quilpie’s St Finbarr’s Church and his sister Mary Durack, author of Kings in Grass Castles, donated the beautiful coloured glass windows in the western side of the church, in memory of their famous ancestors. The Church is open daily so head on in and see this beautiful display of Quilpie’s Opal in all its glory. BULLOO RIVER WALK A STROLL along the Bulloo River Walk is a tranquil way to appreciate the native flora and fauna of the Bulloo River Catchment. Signs informing you about the plant species are located along the walk or simply relax under a shady tree and birdwatch whilst enjoying the natural sounds of www.suratbasin.com.au/westerntravelguide2020

Make sure you stop in at the Visitor Information Centre in Quilpie for hints and tips of where to go and what to explore in the region. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Quilpie

You will find a pharmacy, hair studio, newsagency, bank, and overnight accommodation in downtown Quilpie. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 67 The building is the old ‘Cheepie’ Railway Station (located 70km east of Quilpie) and relocated to its current site as a 2017 Quilpie centenary project. It now sits beautifully restored in Queensland Rail Heritage colours and houses some wonderful stories of Rail and its connection to Quilpie. The rail line was originally supposed to extend further west due to wartime sacrifices, the extension never eventuated, leaving Quilpie the official “End of the Line”. You can learn more about this and visit the literal ‘End of the Line’ (or start, depending how you look at it) located just opposite the Quilpie Bowls Club. MILITARY HISTORY MUSEUM LOCATED next door to the Visitor Information Centre is the Quilpie Shire Military History Museum. This display features photographs, memorabilia and literature depicting Quilpie’s Military story and connections. The museum includes stories of local veterans including the seven bushies and the celebration of mateship, comradery and survival all tracts still held highly to this day in Quilpie Shire.

happened the map provided only indicated the railway line to Charleville not to Quilpie. Locals as you can imagine were incredibly excited, and you can learn more about this amazing achievement and local connection at the Quilpie Airport. The Airport was also the location of the original wool scour. Originally built and operated by Mark Hulse and Percy Thompson, the Wool Scour facility provided work for their shearers in the off-season. It also greatly increased the business’ profits due to the difference in prices of scoured and greasy wool. The Airport mini museum is open daily and is free of charge. POWERHOUSE MUSEUM QUILPIE was the first town to have a powerhouse as a result of a government scheme to provide electricity to small towns in rural and outback Queensland. Quilpie Powerhouse was commissioned in March 1952, it operated until 1988 when the properties were connected to the coastal grid. The Powerhouse Museum still houses one of the original diesel engines and is open daily and is free of charge.

QUILPIE PARKS Quilpie Shire is a great place to spot for a break when travelling. Let the kids run and burn of some of that energy and capture some fresh air! Bi-centennial Park is located at the western end of Brolga St. It offers the visitor undercover playground, outdoor gym, skate park, tennis and basketball courts. Toilets and showers are also available. Coin operated barbecues and covered picnic tables are also available. What to stop in the centre of Quilpie, Bob Young Memorial Park is the location for you. Located at the eastern end of Brolga Street near café’s and shops it has a painted mural commemorating the military campaigns and active service by Australians. BBQ’s and shaded picnic tables are also available. In the centre of Quilpie, next to the Visitor Information Centre, you will find Mural Park. A great space to stop and enjoy a picnic morning tea or lunch while enjoying the mural depicting Quilpie’s history or a visit to the museums.

It will be an inspiring visit to learn more about our local military story and the continued commemoration’s held to recognise the services of our military. This includes ANZAC day commemorations including a moving twilight service each ANZAC eve. AIRPORT MINI MUSEUM WHEN aviatrix Amy Johnson flew from England to Australia in 1930 in an attempt to break the first world record of 16 days set by Bert Hinkler, she accidentally landed in Quilpie. She was supposed to land in Charleville, but as it Be sure to explore some of the many dining options while in Quilpie. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Eromanga

A prehistoric experience EROMANGA is famous on several counts, firstly for being the furthest town from the sea in Australia and secondly for the significant palaeontological discoveries of Australia’s largest dinosaurs on a property near Eromanga. “Cooper’, (as that 2007 bone discovery is now know) is a 30 metre long by 6.5metre tall titanosaur and can be found along with many other amazing individuals at the Eromanga Natural History Museum. Located just 3km from Eromanga and open seven days between April to October, why not visit and experience an Australian Dinosaurs Giants Tour. On your way to the Museum a must stop is ‘knot-a’saurus’ statue. A family of ‘twisted sauropods’ that were commissions for the 2014 Brisbane G20 summit and donated to the Outback Gondwana Foundation who operate the Museum. The Eromanga region also has the claim to fame of being the largest oil producing area in

mainland Australia, producing approximately 1.5million barrels of oil per year. An oil refinery was established in the town in 1985 and is still in action today. The Old Royal Hotel, built in 1885, is one of the original buildings and was once a Cobb & Co Staging Post. Make your way there every Saturday for the local community barbecue, with all proceeds going to charity or local groups. Take a walk around the town’s historical walk and enjoy the informational signs depicting the history of the buildings that once stood. Discover more about the area at the Eromanga Living

History Centre incorporating an object Theatre and enjoy a picnic in Opalopolis Park, located next to the Centre. The park features an opal inlaid memorial as a tribute to opal miners past and present. The park also provides shaded seating, BBQ’s and kids playground. Located 108kms West of Quilpie on sealed roads is a great option for a day trip or as you continue your journey west or north. GETTING TO EROMANGA From Quilpie head West 108kms on the fully sealed road.

The old Royal Hotel, built in 1885, is one of the original buildings and was once a Cobb & Co Staging Post. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Home to Australia’s largest dinosaur

‘COOPER’ Eromanga Dinosaurs Queensland Australia

FOR BOOKINGS & EXPERIENCES: Phone (07) 4656 3084 Email info@enhm.com.au

www.enhm.com.au

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1 Dinosaur Drive, Eromanga Queensland 4480, Australia

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Toompine

The South Western Hotel, locally known as the Toompine Hotel is all that remains of this once bustling town, which came about due to the discovery of opal nearby in the 1860s. Image contributed

The pub with no town THE sign at this old Cobb & Co staging post says it all: Toompine – the pub with no town. Toompine is situated along the “Dowling Track”, named after legendary explorer and pastoralist Vincent Dowling. The South Western Hotel, locally known as the Toompine Hotel is all that remains of this once bustling town, which came about due to the discovery of opal nearby in the 1860s. This iconic outback pub is over 120 years old and is a great place to have a beer or two and a yarn with the locals.

Toompine is a great base from where you can fossick at Duck Creek & Sheep Station Creek Opal fossicking areas. You will require a Queensland Fossicking Licence to fossick at these two locations. Toompine is located 75kms South of Quilpie on sealed roads. Please note there is no fuel in Toompine. GETTING TO TOOMPINE Toompine is 74km South on a sealed road.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO FOSSICKING: • • •

This trail has approx. 115km of unsealed roads to get to Duck Creek or Sheep Station Creek fossicking sites. No mobile reception at fossicking areas. A fossicking permit is required for Duck Creek & Sheep Station Creek.

Book into the Toompine Terraces for a night or two or free camp around the pub grounds. Great meals are available from the pub day and night. Ask at the pub for directions to the best fishing spots and to the local cemetery just a kilometre down the road and find out why it is called a ‘cemetery’. You can even have a round of golf on the sand golf course. Toompine is also home to two major annual sporting events. The Toompine and District Gun Shoot is held every Easter and is a great weekend. Later in the year, in July, is the Toompine Polocrosse, it is held over two days as part of the South West region circuit and features a high level of competition. Come in and enjoy a drink Inside the 120 year old Toompine pub. Image contributed.

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Adavale

To Hell Hole and back! Hell Hole Gorge National Park is scenically attractive and provides opportunities for campaign and related activities such as 4WDing, hiking, bird watching, swimming and photography. Image contributed.

LOCATED 96km north of Quilpie, Adavale was once a thriving town and business centre dating from 1880. Changing the planned railway from Adavale to what is now Quilpie was the beginning of the end for this pioneering town’s prosperity. While you are in town explore more of the town’s history by taking a stroll along the historical walk. It will help visualise what this once bustling town looked like. Wander through the Shire Hall Grounds that are filled with history of Adavale’s Police force or visit the Police Hut Museum. While you are here, walk along the veranda of the Hall and enjoy the incredible historical photos from Adavale’s past. The Adavale Hall grounds also have a coin operated barbecue, picnic table and chairs, toilets and showers and offer free camping for visitor’s convenience. Adavale is home to great fishing spots, birdwatching and is also the gateway to the stunning Hell Hole Gorge National Park, Mariala National Park and Idalia National Park. While in Adavale a stop at the pub for a cold beverage and a yarn about the region is a must. Or, why not book a high tea at the Elegant Emu! – Yes, you read that right a high tea in Queensland’s outback.

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The drive from Quilpie to Adavale is one of the most scenic in the Shire with is remarkable outback scenery. It is recommended before you head to Adavale or Hell Hole Gorge National Park, to check road conditions with the Quilpie Visitor Information Centre. HELL HOLE GORGE THE deeply incised Powell Creek with steep, dissected escarpments and vertical cliffs up to 45m high, drains through the centre of the area along with the smaller Spencers and Gorge Creek.

While in Adavale a stop at the pub for a cold beverage and a yarn about the region is a must. Hell Hole Gorge National Park is scenically attractive and provides opportunities for camping and related activities such as 4WDing, hiking, bird watching, swimming and photography.

plants or glimpses of the diverse animal life. There are no formal walking tracks. Access roads within the park follow old seismic lines and boundary fences. Powell Creek crossing to camp ground area is guided by indicators fixed to rock surfaces, following these markers will guide you safely across. Hell Hole Gorge National Park is about 80km northwest of Adavale along the Milo-Gooyea Rd. These roads travel through privately operated cattle stations; access and roadside camping off or along these main roads is prohibited. GETTING TO ADAVALE From Quilpie there are two roads to Adavale. RED ROAD: About 103km from Quilpie to Adavale. This road has partially sealed sections, there is approximately 30kms of unsealed roads. To access this road head east from Quilpie along the Charleville Rd for 13km then turn left onto the Red Road. BLACK ROAD: About 96km to Adavale. This road is unsealed. To access this road head along the Charleville Rd for about 2km then turn left onto the Black Rd. It can become impassable in wet weather.

The rugged gullies associated with Powell Creek invite exploratory walks looking for unusual

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Murweh

The striking landscape of the Murweh. Image by Dakota Castles

When it comes to a small region offering plenty in the way of first-class events and attractions, you would struggle to find better than that which is on offer in the Murweh Shire. This year promises an array of spectacular events sure to delight anyone who is passing through. Below we have given you just a taste of what is on offer in this beautiful part of Queensland in 2020. Notable events on the calendar for the Murweh Region include The Augathella Diggers Rodeo on March 11 and the Augathella Easter Races on April 13th. May the 4th Be With You at the Cosmos Centre is a mustsee event for any astronomy or Star Wars enthusiasts.

Murweh

The Charleville Halfway There Street Shindig party in June is a much-loved event which, as the name suggests, welcomes a street party with food stalls, live music and foot-tapping entertainment. The arts are set to come alive in the Murweh Region in August thanks to the Charleville

will be repeated two days later in Roma with a different menu and entertainment. The next stop is Charleville where the evening will be supported by the original 300 guests and 100 local residents, this time with a twist. September’s blockbuster calendar continues with the Charleville Bilby Street Parade, the Billy Cart Derby, Charleville Bilby Festival Fur Ball and the Morven Races, just to name a few. October and November signal the time to whip out the frocks and fascinators thanks to the Charleville Cup Festival commencing in late October and the Charleville Cup Races on November 3rd.

Finally, see out the year that was 2020 in style at Encapsulating all there is to love the New Years’ Diggers about the Charleville Cosmos Augathella Rodeo or by Centre and Observatory, May Welcoming Dawn: Be sure to catch the beauty of a sunrise in the delightful Murweh region. Image witnessing the stunning the 4th Be With You offers contributed New Years’ Eve Fireworks the perfect excuse to load up display in Charleville. the car and the kids and head out west for a Performing Arts Festival and the fun will continue weekend the whole family can enjoy. well into September with the Beach to Reach And while this is one jam-packed event list, it 2020 – Dinner under the Stars. only scratches the surface of all that is on offer The Charleville and District Show, Charleville in the Murweh Region for 2020. Show Races, Charleville Show Rodeo and the Commencing in Rainbow Beach, a convoy of Morven Winter Ball all take place in May, offering Caravans, Campers or Motel Road trippers For the full list of events and to whet your travel tourists the opportunity to kick their heels up for will be treated to a unique dining evening with appetite, turn to page 75. a sure-fire good time. Matt Sinclair in the Beach to Reach event. This PAGE 72

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Events 2020

Australia Day Celebrations January 26th Adrian Vowles Cup February 28th & 29th Charleville Races March 14th Re-enactment of the Smith Bros Flight - 100 years March 14th Welcome to Charleville Party March 21st Charleville Triathlon March 22nd Veteran One & Two Cylinders Cars and Motorbikes April 1st - 7th 30 Year Commemoration of Charleville 1990 Floods event April 19th - 25th Smith Family Cod Classic (including the Steve Fox Memorial) Charleville Fishing Competition April 9th - 12th Augathella Diggers Easter Rodeo April 11th Augathella Easter Races April 13th

MONTHLY EVENTS 1st Saturday of each month Markets at Historic House Museum Last Sunday of each month Charleville CBD Local Markets

May the 4th be with you at the Cosmos Centre May 4th Outback Seniors Games May May Day Bowls Carnival May Weathering Well with Jenny Woodward May 13th Charleville & District Agricultural Show May 15th-16th Charleville Show Rodeo May 15th Charleville Show Races May 16th Morven Winter Ball May 30th Junior Fishing Competition June 14th Charleville Half Way There Shindig Street Party June 26th Outback Golf Masters - Charleville Golf Club/ Cosmos Centre June 27th & 28th

Visitor Information Centre Charleville Railway Station Charleville Qld 4470 P 07 4654 3057 E tourism@murweh.qld.gov.au www.experiencecharleville.com.au

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Dog Trail Short Course & Quick Shears July 11th Charleville Races July Anniversary of the Man on the Moon @ Cosmos Centre July Charleville Races August Camp Oven Classic August 15th Charleville Performing Arts Festival August Beach to Reach 2020 - Dinner under the Stars September 9th Charleville Bilby Festival, Street Parade September 11th Billy Cart Derby September 12th Charleville Bilby Festival Fur Ball September 12th Charleville National Bilby Day September 13th Morven Races September 12th Carp Busters Fishing Comp September 18th - 20th Charleville Auxiliary & Ambulance Gymkhana September 19th - 20th Charleville Races September 26th QRRRWN Conference October 15th - 17th Charleville Races October 24th Charleville Cup Festival October 31st - Nov 3rd Charleville Cup Races November 3rd New Year’s Diggers Augathella Rodeo December 31st Charleville New Years Eve Fireworks December 31st

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Charleville

Where else would you rather be?

The historical Charleville Town Hall building in Charleville. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

IMMORTILISED in Slim Dusty’s song by the same name, Charleville is the largest town in Queensland’s south west and is a hub for visitors and pastoralists alike.

HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM VISIT Historic House Museum and displays of a by-gone era. Learn all about the Cobb & Co Coaches and the impact they had in the town.

In the heart of ‘mulga country’, Charleville and surrounding pastoral properties are rich in history, flora and fauna. Charleville is on the Warrego River, at the junction of the Mitchell and Warrego Highways.

BILBY EXPERIENCE THE Charleville Bilby Experience offers unique opportunities to learn about these fascinating marsupials. Meet endangered bilbies and to see them in their impressive redeveloped nocturnal exhibit.

The region was explored by Edmund Kennedy in 1847 and by William Landsborough in 1862, the latter’s report which motivated early pastoral occupation. An Irishman, Tully likely named the new town after the town of Charleville, north of Cork, Ireland. TIMBER WALK DO YOU love nature? Charleville hosts its own Outback Native Timber Walk which showcases all the local native trees around a pond where birds love to convene. Graham Andrews Parklands also holds the famous Vortex Rainmaking Guns. Was Clement Wragge just crazy or was it Charleville’s fault that the experiment never worked.

COSMOS OBSERVATORY CENTRE CHARLEVILLE’S Cosmos Centre and Observatory is dedicated to ensuring visitors enjoy the wonder of the outback night sky. The guides at the Cosmos Centre share their knowledge and you will observe binary stars, star clusters, planets and the Moon. TOP SECRET WWII TOUR FOLLOW a guide to find out what the Top Secret WWII Tour is all about. See what remains on site and discover why the USAAF were here, all 3500 of them.

Bakery & Cafe

BAKERY &

Be sure to check out the Cosmos Observatory Centre while in Charleville. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

Meet endangered bilbies at the Charleville Bilby Experience. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

with freSHLy ground coffee beans, pastries and CAFEaward winning pies.

with FRESHLY ground coffee beans, pasteries and award winning pies.

84 Alfred Street, Charleville QLD 4470 Phone: (07) 4654 3991 PAGE 74

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84 Alfred Street, Charleville Qld 4470 • PHONE : 07 - 4654 3991


Charleville

PLAN YOUR TRIP WITH THE MURWEH A- Z ITINERARY H. HISTORIC HOUSE Visit George at Historic House and see the amazing items of our past and George is more than happy to share his extensive history knowledge. I. INTRODUCTION TO THE NIGHT SKY Remember to book & learn about navigating the night sky at the Cosmos Centre.

J. JOIN Join a camp oven dinner at one of our great caravan parks; maybe you’ll hear a yarn or two. These hosts are great, you’ll love it. K. KENNIFF TREE Made famous by the Kenniff brothers, bushrangers that called Augathella home.

The Charleville airport has regular flights to and from Brisbane and is 4kms from the town centre on Qantas Drive. Image contributed.

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A. ART Visit the amazing Mulga Lands Gallery – a purpose-built art gallery space as part of Charleville’s 150 year celebration. B. BILBY Always a favourite, visit the Bilby Centre and get up close and personal with this rare species. C. CORONES HOTEL Tour through Historic Hotel Corones and hear all Harrys’ stories followed by afternoon tea. D. DRIVE Purchase a CD from the Visitor Information Centre and do your own self-guided town tour. E. EXPLORE Book yourself on the ‘Check out Charleville’ town tour of Charleville and hear the stories of our fires and floods. F. FISH Love to wet a line, call into see Judey at the Fishing shop and she’ll love to draw you a mud map of her ‘secret’ fishing spots. G. GRAHAM ANDREWS PARKLANDS Wander through Graham Andrews Parklands, cook yourself a barbie or let the kids spread their wings on the play equipment.

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Charleville

MURWEH A- Z ITINERARY L. LEARN ‘Astronomy by Day’ is an interactive area where you’ll also see the Cosmos Shuttle, learn about meteorites and watch movies about all things Cosmos, it’s absolutely incredible. M. MORVEN HISTORICAL MUSEUM This is a must and make sure you visit the Hut made out of old kerosene tins and the miniature building display. N. NATURAL SCIENCES LOOP This loop is incredible; it covers the four shires of Queensland’s Southern Outback including Murweh, Quilpie, Bulloo and Paroo. Each shire offering their own ‘Natural Sciences’. O. OBSERVATORY Observe the outback night sky that will amaze you, in our observatory with 4 large Meade telescopes. The night’s sky up close is very impressive. P. PLANETARIUM Opening 2020 – stay tuned for further news. Q. QANTAS Did you know that on the second of November 1922, the first official Qantas flight departed from Charleville? There is so much aviation history in our region and coming soon will be an aviation and history display. R. RFDS Charleville is home to one of eight Royal Flying Doctor Bases. The Visitor Centre is open daily for you to discover their story. S. SUN VIEWING Book a Sun Viewing Session at the Cosmos Centre and see for yourself the brightest star in the Solar System. T. THURLBY STATION TOUR Live and learn about cattle and sheep stations of the outback. This tour will guide you around their property and explain the ways of life and how it all works.

U. UNCOVER THE SECRET The Top Secret WWII Tour is a must. Ranked in the top three things to do in Charleville on Trip Advisor, make a point of booking this and discovering what the secret was and what 3500 USAAF personnel were doing here for four years? V. VORTEX GUNS What was Clement Wragge trying to prove, find out in Charleville? W. WARREGO RIVER WALK Take a walk along the Warrego River at sunset. X. X MARKS THE SPOT Dot dash dot dash dot dot dot all the way to the Charleville Visitor Information Centre and book yourself an itinerary today. For further information download the Charleville app and plan your own itinerary.

Y. YARN Have a yarn with local pilot Pete of Outback Air Tours and do a scenic flight of the area or fly out to Birdsville if you wish. View the amazing Channel Country from a different perspective. Maybe you’ll see the Automated Weather Balloon release while you are up there. Z. A – Z 10-1 Outback education from A – Z. Visit the School of Distance Education and see how their classrooms operate and listen to the story of ‘School of the Air’ and how it all came about. For more details ring the friendly staff at the Charleville Visitor Information Centre on 07 4654 3057.

Murweh Shire Council Mayor Ms Annie Liston outside the Council chambers in Charleville. Image contributed

• Open 7 Days for Lunch and Dinner • Gaming • Keno • TAB • Bar • Bottleshop and Takeway • Large Fully Air-Conditioned

Charleville RSL Charleville RSL 37-39 Watson Street | Ph: 4654 1449 www.charlevillersl.com.au | Members and Bona Fide Guest PAGE 76

Charleville

RSL

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• Modern Facility


Cooladdi/Augathella

Cooladdi Wows Visitors COOLADDI may be one of Queensland’s smallest towns, but it still has a lot to offer. It was originally named “Yarronvale”, and was changed to its present name in 1913, Cooladdi, being Aboriginal for “Black Duck”. Cooladdi’s history dates back to a time long before rail transportation was introduced, and it went on to be a major centre until the rail moved on in 1914. In its heyday, Cooladdi had around 270 residents, and boasted a school, butcher shop, post office, store and a police station. Quilberry Creek is the perfect spot to for great outback camping, do some fishing, go swimming or yabbying. Call into the Foxtrap for directions. Cooladdi Foxtrap gets its name from past owner Mr Bob Fox. Bob loved a yarn – legend has it that you would call in for a drink and leave two days later! – hence the name “Cooladdi Foxtrap”. Although Bob is no longer there the locals today are just as friendly and love a yarn. On the way to the Opal fields, Cooladdi is an ideal spot to stop and recharge your batteries. Get all the local visitor information, stock up on cool drinks or grab something to eat in the licensed restaurant. The Foxtrap also has accommodation, fuel and acts as the local Post Office. Cooladdi’s history dates back to a time long before rail transportation was introduced, and it went on to be a major centre until the rail moved on in 1914. Image contributed

Town bustling with character

AUGATHELLA with its fascinating history of bushrangers, bullockies and bullock teams, has some memorable outback experiences. Don’t just drive through – stop and enjoy Augathella’s colourful history, characters and humour.

The Augathella district was taken up for pastoral runs in the 1860s, with Burenda Station being the most well-known. Tracks from Charleville and Tambo to the Burenda station joined at a camping spot at the Warrego River which was surveyed in 1880 as a township named Ellangowan. The change of name to Augathella, which is thought to have been derived from the Aboriginal word ‘thella’, referring to a water hole, occurred in 1883, when the town was surveyed. Within a year the railway line at Charleville was connected to Augathella. Experience Augathella “Meat Ant Country” and the rich historical culture the town provides. Take a stroll through Meat Ant Park located right next door to the town library. Some history on the notorious bushranger brothers Patrick and James Kenniff can be found at the Kenniff tree. The brothers were a part of one of Queensland’s largest manhunts lasting over thirteen years. View all the amazing murals along the main street, created by locals to showcase their love of the region. From the great sheep stations to the 1950’s movie “Smiley”. To showcase their creativity, various wrought iron sculptures are displayed around the town. www.suratbasin.com.au/westerntravelguide2020

Patrial aerial view of Augathella showcasing the Ellangowan Hotel. Image contributed.

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Augathella

So much on the Augathella agenda

Starting another day planting, “Brumich” Augathella QLD. Image by Rachael Lyons.

DIGGERS EASTER RODEO & RACES Experience a great outback Easter weekend of Rodeo and Horse Racing. The Augathella Diggers Rodeo and Race Meeting, should be on your list of things to enjoy. AUGATHELLA MEAT ANT PARK Augathella’s local football team, known as the Mighty Augathella Meat Ants were fearless in their attack, this earned the town the nickname, ‘Meat Ant Country’.

tree the notorious Kenniff Brothers would tether their horses when planning a quick getaway.

These iconic birds of Australia nest and bring up their young on the Warrego River.

WROUGHT IRON SCULPTURES Humorous locally made sculptures that feature the Meat Ant Football Team, a famous racehorse and the biggest sunrise…Dancing Brolga’s.

For information about the sculptures collect the Heritage Trail from the Library or the Post Office.

Features of the park include: Landscaped gardens, picnic table, story boards of Augathella History, adventure playground and let’s not forget the gigantic sculpture, over a million times the size of an actual ant. BOADICEA GALLERY & CINEMA Experience the rich history of Augathella and the surrounding area through a photographic exhibition featuring over 150 heritage photos as well as art exhibitions. Catch a screening of the 1956 Australian film ‘Smiley’ based on the local identity ‘Didy Creevey’. A 20 minute documentary featuring the characters, history and lots of classic outback humour. AUGATHELLA SELF GUIDED HERITAGE TRAIL It’s not until you take the time to walk Augathella’s self-guided heritage trail that you discover the rich and diverse history of the town, it’s Bushrangers, bullockies and the huge sheep stations that all played a part in Augathella’s development. KENNIFF BUSHRANGERS TREE Many towns lay claim to a bushranger or two. Augathella is no exception as it was here at this Check out the action at the Augathella Campdraft held each year in September. Image contributed.

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Morven/Mungallala

Magnificent Morven MORVEN is located on the Warrego Highway, 91km east of Charleville. In 1859 a small area was taken from the property Victoria Downs and set aside for public use and designated on maps and documents as ‘Victoria Downs Reserve’. It was on the mail route from Brisbane to Charleville. Later it became informally known as Sadlier’s Waterhole after Captain TJ Sadlier and his wife camped at the property. In 1876, a post office was opened and called Morven. When officially surveyed in 1880, it was officially given the name Morven. Stay in town and experience the wonder of the handcrafted miniature building display that took more than 15 years to complete and is displayed at the Morven Museum.

Enjoy the serenity of the picturesque red river gums along the banks of Sadliers Waterhole. Image contributed.

Step back in time and see the Kerosene hut from the 1930s great depression and other displays of a bygone era. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the selfguided heritage trail taking you to places such as the Rabbit Board Gate used for rabbit proofing in 1886, Branding Board with cattle brand marks of local station owners, some in business for more than 100 years. Visit the home of the Ooline trees and their black orchids located within the Tregole National Park only 10km south of Morven.

Then take a break at Sadliers Waterhole where you can enjoy the serenity of the picturesque red river gums lined along the waterhole which once was a stopover for Cobb & Co Coaches and bullock teams. If the conditions are right and you love to 4×4. Check out the Stock Route Trail that leads you to the iconic Clara Creek Ruins. The area was once thriving and the hotel was a busy watering hole, Cobb & Co changing station and important meeting and recreational destination.

Mungallala Located 45 kilometers west of Mitchell, Mungallala is the western most community of the Maranoa and is a quintessential outback town, with a big heart. Be sure to stop in for a cool drink at the Mungallala Club Hotel and Caravan Park. The Ooline Forest is a popular attraction, it is a prehistoric forest that is a remnant of the Gondwana era and is also a great place for a picnic. The Mungallala Man provides a popular photo opportunity, he is located at the Shire Hall on Redford Road. The rest area at Mungallala was originally the site of a Cobb & Co Changing Station and it is a fantastic location for a campfire barbeque located on the banks of the Mungallala Creek. The Cobb & Co rest area along the banks of Mungallala Creek. Image Tourism and Events Queensland.

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Queensland Travel Guide  

Queensland Travel Guide - Western Downs, Maranoa, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Bulloo, Balonne and surrounding towns.

Queensland Travel Guide  

Queensland Travel Guide - Western Downs, Maranoa, Murweh, Paroo, Quilpie, Bulloo, Balonne and surrounding towns.