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St George & Surrounds Travellers' Guide

Experience the Balonne Shire | St George | Dirranbandi | Hebel Bollon | Nindigully | Thallon | Mungindi

www.balonne.qld.gov.au


For those of you that have access to a smart phone or device with a QR reader, scan this code or alternatively type www.beautifulbalonne.com.au/visit-here into your internet browser to view a short promotional video on visiting the Beautiful Balonne Shire.

MITCHELL

ROMA MILES

CHINCHILLA

DALBY

SURAT

Moonie

BOLLON

Boolba

ST GEORGE

CUNNAMULLA

Nindigully Dirranbandi

Walgett

St StGeorge George&&Surrounds SurroundsTravellers’ Travellers’Guide Guide

INGLEWOOD

WARWICK

GOONDIWINDI

Thallon

Mungindi Lightning Ridge

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Weengallon

TEXAS

Hebel

BOURKE

BRISBANE

TOOWOOMBA

MOREE

STANTHORPE


Contents

Guide to Symbols Accredited Visitor Information Centre

Getting Here.................................................... 05

Bollon....................................................................24

Experience the Balonne Shire................................................06

Nindigully...........................................................26

St George............................................................10

Mungindi........................................................... 30

Auto gas

Dirranbandi....................................................... 16

Self-Drive Trails.............................................32

Barbeque – Fuel

Hebel.....................................................................22

Local Directory..............................................35

Camping

Thallon.................................................................28

Accommodation ATM

Car hire Caravan park Church Coach: Queensland Bus Drinking water Dumping facilities for motorhomes EFTPOS Facilities for disabled Fishing Fuel Library Meals Medical facilities Open fireplace Optus 3G Pharmacy Phone

Welcome to St George and Surrounds What does relaxing and holidays mean to you? Does it mean winding down in our wide open spaces, exploring the vast outback or getting to know a local? Whatever your style, there’s a spot just right for you. It’s home to an oasis in the bush with long summers, stunning landscapes, white cotton fields, preserved history and the majestic Balonne River. Stepping onto the red soil you will immediately feel the unique mix of local and rural influence wherever you go

Picnic tables Post Office Police Rural Transaction Centre

within the Balonne Shire. Throughout our shire, you can walk amongst the very trees Sir Major Thomas Mitchell explored and catch a glimpse of droving cattle like the days of old. The Balonne Shire showcases the best the west has to offer; the vastness allows you to roam free and visit townships rich in history. The beautiful Balonne Shire is home to the towns of St George, Dirranbandi, Hebel, Bollon, Nindigully, Thallon, and Mungindi (Qld).

Self-guided tours Showers Skytrans Small food store Suitable for caravans Supermarket Toilets Tourist information 3G 4WD access

FREE MAP

No open fires

Turn to the centre pages (18–19) for your FREE pull out map of St George and Surrounds

Walking trails Car Camping Canoeing

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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Sandytown River Cruise, St George

Riversands Wines, St George

St George & Surrounds Bucket List Don’t leave town without: Witnessing hand carved illuminated emu eggs at the Unique Egg, St George Tackling a road train burger at the Nindigully Pub Enjoying a sunset Sandytown River Cruise along the Balonne River, St George Standing in front of JB Cameron’s 1881 original QLD/NSW border surveyors peg, the One Ton Post in Mungindi Sampling some of Barb’s delectable homemade scones at the Hebel General Store Meeting a local cotton farmer on the Cotton Farm & Winery Tour, St George Spotting an emu wandering down Bollon’s main street Enjoying a cheese platter over a free wine tasting at Riversands Wines, St George Viewing colourful artwork by John Murray adorning the front of the Hebel Hotel Catching a Murray Cod at the Jack Dwyer Park in Dirranbandi Getting your photo taken in front of the Thallon grain silos Enjoying a game of pool over dinner at the Two Mile Hotel in Mungindi Learning more about the local cotton industry on St George’s cotton self-drive trail

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

Unique Egg, St George Road Train Burger, Nindigully Pub


Rex Airlines

Getting Here The Balonne Shire is located west of the Great Dividing Range and east of the outback. From here, it won’t take you long to get to the bigger centre of Toowoomba, or to the outback. This nook of Queensland offers the perfect combination of small town culture with excellent facilities for visitors – whether you’re staying overnight or for a few weeks.

Air

Rex Airlines (Regional Express) provides a twice weekly air service, which will get you to St George from Brisbane, Toowoomba, Cunnamulla and Thargomindah. For bookings and/ or more information call 13 17 13 or visit www.rex.com.au. Alternatively a two hour drive north to Roma, there are several daily Qantas flights into Brisbane and car hire facilities on offer.

Car Hire

Car hire is available from the Caltex Service Station in St George, which is an agent for Hertz. For car hire bookings and/or more information call 07 4625 5322 .

Bus

The Balonne Shire is also serviced by regular Bus Queensland services to and from Toowoomba, Goondiwindi, Lightning Ridge and Cunnamulla, with connecting services to and from

Brisbane. For bookings and/or more information call 1300 287 537 or visit www.busqld.com.au

Road

The shire hub, St George, straddles the intersections of five highways including the Moonie, Carnarvon, Castlereagh, Barwon and Balonne Highways, which provide perfect road access. In addition to this, the Balonne Shire is also located on the Adventure Way and Great Inland Way highway tourist routes. For up to date road conditions, contact the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre on 07 4620 8877 or visit the Queensland Government Traffic and Travel Information website www.131940.qld.gov.au or call 13 19 40.

Mobile Phone Coverage

St George has mobile phone coverage from Telstra and Optus networks. In the surrounding towns in the Shire, the Telstra Next G network is the only network available within a small radius of the town.

Bus Queensland

Travel Tip:

When planning your visit to the beautiful Balonne Shire remember to book your accommodation in advance as the Balonne Shire has high occupancy rates.

Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre

Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre 114 The Terrace, St George 07 4620 8877 vic@balonne.qld.gov.au www.balonne.qld.gov.au

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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Experience the Balonne Shire

Campdrafters overlooking the action in the camp

Did you know? The name Balonne is believed to be of Aboriginal (Mandandanji) origin meaning ‘water or running stream’ and ‘pelican’.

Camping Across the Shire there’s a balance between free camping for the selfsufficient traveller and relaxing caravan parks for those looking for some creature comforts. There are four designated free camping areas in the Balonne Shire. If travellers choose to free camp in other areas of the Balonne Shire they may do so at their own risk.

Designated free camping areas: Bollon If you are looking for a quiet, outback and comfortable free camping spot with amenities, then Bollon’s Wallam Creek will

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

tick all the boxes. To find out more, refer to the Bollon section of this brochure.

Nindigully Tourist & Visitor Area Just 45km south east of St George, “The Gully” as it’s locally known, has a picturesque camping area perched between the Moonie River and the famous Nindigully Pub. Here you’ll have access to toilets, showers, the Nindigully Pub, tables and chairs, and the river walkway. To find out more, refer to the Nindigully section of this brochure.

Thallon Recreational Grounds Next to the giant grain silos, there is a quiet free camping area located at the Thallon Recreational Grounds which includes toilets and showers. For those who are accustomed to greater comforts, there is power available by contacting Thallon’s Town Officer on 0427 259 095 .

Warroo Bridge For the fully self-contained traveller, then Warroo Bridge is the ideal location for you. Only 50km north of St George on the way to Surat, you will see the ‘Waganui/ Warroo Bridge’ sign. Travel a further 9km

west along the dirt road until you reach Warroo Bridge where you’ll uncover the perfect spot to set up camp, and relax with a spot of fishing. Please note there are no amenities available.

National Parks There are many things to do and see in the two national parks located within the beautiful Balonne Shire. You can set up your own bush camp, go for bushwalks and experience nature, do a spot of bird watching, and immerse yourself in the abundance of flora and fauna. To make the most of your national park experience, ensure you plan ahead and are well prepared with adequate equipment and supplies. To book an e-permit to camp in both of our national parks, you can either book online via www.qld.gov.au/camping or phone 13 74 68 (13 QGOV). Stay up to date with detailed national parks information; visit Queensland National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks.


Thrushton National Park For the serious bush campers and 4WD enthusiasts, this is nature at its best. There are no facilities, so prepare to be totally self-sufficient and well-equipped. Thrushton National Park is approximately 40km north east of Bollon and accessible via dirt roads (dry weather only). On arrival to the 4WD camping area, you will discover the ruins of the Thrushton homestead and woolshed which serve as a reminder of the area’s previous life as a sheep property. The homestead was originally part of Dunkeld Inn, near Thallon and was relocated via 40 horse drawn carts in 1921. There is a diverse range of plants and animals that thrive within Thrushton and over 100 species of birds have been recorded in the area. During spring, the wildflowers bloom and they become a special feature of this park. If you are a keen bush walker and like to use your compass, you will enjoy navigating yourself around the park as there are no designated walking tracks. To get to Thrushton National Park from St George, drive 51km west along the Balonne Highway towards Bollon. When you reach the Boolba tennis courts, take the next right and follow the road for 36.3km (which eventually becomes Cypress Tank Road) until you reach the Rutherglen Road turnoff. Follow Rutherglen Road for 14.5km until you reach the eastern corner of the park. For those travelling from Bollon, drive 14km

east along the Balonne Highway towards St George, turn left at the Mourilyan Road and travel 17km north to reach the southern boundary of the park. If you open any gates on your travels then please remember to close them.

Culgoa Floodplain National Park Culgoa Floodplain National Park is another great side trip for campers and birdwatchers. The park is remote, so prepare to be totally self-sufficient and well equipped. Culgoa Floodplain National Park is approximately 50km south west of Hebel and accessible via dirt roads (dry weather only) and a 4WD vehicle is recommended.

On arrival to Culgoa Floodplain National Park, check into the Ranger’s office to pick up a detailed map of access tracks and camping areas. Bush camping is permitted at the Byra Lagoon and Redbank Hut bush camping areas. This park is a birdwatcher’s haven with more than 150 bird species recorded. Pack your camera to capture the abundance of wildlife and nature that call this national park home. To get there from Hebel, travel south west towards Goodooga along the dirt road. After 45km, turn right into Brenda Road and take the left fork after the cattle grid. Follow the ‘Byra 7km’ sign until you reach the eastern boundary of the park.

St George Riverfront Tourist Park, St George

Free camping area, Bollon

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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Fishing at St George Riverfront Tourist Park, St George

Fishing If you’re looking to catch your own dinner while you’re on the road, then the Balonne Shire’s rivers will no doubt prove to be the perfect catch. The eight rivers and waterways which traverse the Balonne Shire are renowned for Yellowbelly and Murray Cod. If you’ve turned up to the inland fishing capital of Queensland without the right equipment to get a line in the water then the following businesses in St George can help you out: The 5 Star Handimarket, JCM’s Auto & Fuel and BP Service Station all sell bait Mitre 10, Golders, JCM’s Auto & Fuel and Balonne Sports Store-Unique Egg all stock fishing line and tackle

Locals enjoying the beautiful Balonne

To help you get a head start, check out the list below for suggested spots to drop in a line: Warroo Bridge, St George (59km north) Beardmore Dam, St George Balonne River, St George Buckinbah Weir, St George Jack Dwyer Park, Dirranbandi Balonne Minor Bridge, Dirranbandi Bokhara River, Hebel Wallam Creek, Bollon Moonie River, Nindigully ‘Barney’s Beach’, Thallon Barwon River, Mungindi You’ll have plenty of freedom while in pursuit of ‘the catch of the day’ as you don’t require a fishing licence here.

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

Seasonal grape picking

Seasonal onion picking


Agriculture Were you aware that the Balonne Shire has a diverse range of agricultural industries? Irrigated crops including cotton, grapes, onions and other opportunistic horticulture crops are made possible by the several major waterways which traverse it. The Shire’s rural landscapes also support dry land cropping, beef, sheep and wool production. Many tourists often enquire about the fluffy white cotton they see scattered alongside the roads throughout the Balonne Shire. Cotton is the Shire’s predominant industry, with Dirranbandi home to the largest irrigated cotton farm in the southern hemisphere, Cubbie Station. Cotton seeds are planted in October (spring) and the plants grow into green, bushy shrubs approximately one metre in height. Cotton requires irrigation (watering) every 2-3 weeks depending on the climate and rainfall. During March/ April the cotton is picked using large mechanical harvesters which are then compacted into cotton modules and sent off to the cotton gin for processing. If you would like to learn about the local cotton industry, turn to page 32 for the Cotton Self-Drive Trail . The Balonne Shire, and in particular the Thallon area is regarded as some of Queensland’s best wheat growing country. Between September and November the grain depots are a bustling place with the harvest of the winter grain crops. A testament to this, the Thallon Graincorp depot recorded the second

Local bird watchers

highest volume of grain in Queensland during the 2012-13 harvest. Grain from the Balonne Shire is transported via road or rail to the Port of Brisbane where it is exported overseas. The sheep and wool industry was historically the predominant industry in the Balonne Shire prior to cotton. The country surrounding Bollon and between the Moonie, Balonne and Narran Rivers was regarded as some of the best sheep country within Queensland. The Heritage Centre and Deb’s Café in Bollon provide shearing displays which are testament to this. Have you ever eaten those lovely juicy grapes around Christmas time and wondered where they came from? They are more than likely from St George. Horticulture is another important part of the Balonne Shire’s agriculture industry and includes crops such as table grapes, onions, sweet onions and garlic. If you would like to sample some local produce, head down to Riversands Wines who produce both table and wine grapes, which are fermented for their local wines, ports, liqueurs, grape jams and grape chutneys. There is plenty of seasonal work available during the summer harvest periods and other periods throughout the year. For those seeking employment opportunities call Best Employment in St George on 07 4625 1462 or search for work online via www.gumtree.com.au or www.jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail

Bird Watching If bird watching is one of your loves then the Balonne Shire will provide you with plenty of bird watching opportunities. Some of the best spots to observe the birds are along the seven rivers which traverse the shire, and at Beardmore Dam, Buckinbah Weir, Nindigully, Bollon and the untouched and secluded Thrushton and Culgoa National Parks. Via appointment, Sandytown River Cruises offers bird watching tours on the Balonne River at St George. If you would like to make a booking call Brett from Sandytown River Cruises on 0400 219 379. From the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre, you can also pick up a list of birds which frequent the area.

Kangaroos lazing at Riversands Wines, St George

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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St George Events Easter in the Vines St George Show Yellowbelly Country Music Festival St George Picnic Races St George Campdraft St George Polocrosse St George Family Fishing Competition

Points of Interest Cotton Self-Drive Trail Cotton Farm & Winery Tour St George Riverbank Walkway Jack Taylor Weir and Andrew Nixon Bridge Unique Egg Riversands Wines Sandytown River Cruises St George Heritage Centre St George Pilots Memorial 1917 T-Model Ford Baker’s Truck Drive Beardmore Dam St George Heritage Trail Cacti Garden Miniature Car Collection

Riverbank walkway

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide


Travel Tip: Make the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre your first stop when looking for local tourist information and accommodation. Situated overlooking the Balonne River (114 St George’s Terrace), parking is accessible at the rear with caravan parking in Roe Street. The town bore water supply is available to fill up the caravan for the next leg of your journey. The centre is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm during weekends and public holidays.

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 beautiful Balonne Shire. Car weary legs will appreciate the twokilometre 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. Further along the riverbank walkway, a marker showcases the flood heights of the swollen Balonne River from years gone by. A fighter pilot war memorial pays tribute to two brave men hailing from St George. One of these men, Squadron Leader John Jackson bravely served in World War II in some of its most dangerous battles and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) medal for his work in the Middle East after destroying seven aircraft. Less than six months later, Jackson led his squadron of Kittyhawks in the Battle of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea which prevented the Japanese advancement into the country. In recognition of his efforts, Jacksons International Airport at Port Moresby is named in his honour. The other serviceman, Warrant Officer Leonard

Waters, was the first Aboriginal fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force. The legacy of these two locals will forever be remembered on the sandstone monument overlooking the Balonne River. 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 views and abundant birdlife including pelicans, cockatoos and eagles. Try a leisurely afternoon cruise, fishing tour or a full moon evening cruise. To make a booking call Brett on 0400 219 379. Fill in the morning or afternoon by experiencing the St George Cotton SelfDrive Trail. Pack your thermos and smoko as you head off and get to know more about the local cotton industry. Turn to page 32 to embark on the Cotton Self-Drive Trail. Don’t miss out on experiencing the Cotton Farm & Winery Tour held every 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 with

entertainment in their relaxed country garden. To make things easy for you, your bus driver will collect you from the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre or your accommodation provider in town and drop you back. To make a booking contact the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre on 07 4620 8877. In an unassuming small low set brick building in the main street of town, you will find the humble emu egg carved into a stunning, illuminated piece of art at the Unique Egg. Local character and artisan Steve Margaritus – or ‘Stavros’ as we 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 hand carved, illuminated emu eggs, which have been gifted as far as the White House! Offering à la carte dining, buzzing cafés, pub grub and take away, you will find what your taste buds desire in St George. For the wine lover, Riversands Wines satisfies your thirst for a good drop. While away the afternoon in their shady country garden 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. If you love hot chips, then make your way to St George’s 5 Star Handimarket. You will be hard pressed to find better hot chips across Australia.

Major Mitchell Monument

History The township of St George was as far back as the 1800’s. The recent named by explorer Sir Major Thomas flood events from 2010 to 2012 were Mitchell who crossed the Balonne extraordinary when the Balonne River River on Saint George’s Day, 23rd breached its banks four times in less April 1846. than three years. On 7th February Visit adventureoutback.com.au or call 1800 247 966 The Jack Taylor Weir-Andrew Nixon 2012, the Balonne River peaked at a Bridge was constructed from 1948massive 13.95m which was recorded 52 and Beardmore Dam followed as the highest flood the town has ever twenty years later from 1968-72. seen. The entire town was evacuated for a week, and it was considered the St George has experienced countless major floods over the years, dating largest town evacuation at the time.

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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Take a trip to the outskirts of town to rest at the Beardmore Dam recreation area where you’ll have the chance to spot a mob of kangaroos lazing around. Upstream from the Beardmore Dam is the point where the Maranoa and Balonne Rivers meet forming the northern catchment of the Murray Darling Basin. Find out more on the importance of Beardmore Dam through the Cotton SelfDrive Trail on page 32. Step back in time on board a classic 1917 T-Model Ford Bakery truck. For only $5, Trent from the St George Bakery will take you on a guided tour around town. Trent is available until lunch time, and all funds raised go towards the invaluable Royal Flying Doctor Service. Take a step back in time as early as the 1800s by discovering the St George Heritage Trail. Pick up a brochure from the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre and follow the 45 minute drive trail to explore important historical sites, colourful stories, and buildings that have shaped the town’s history. The keenest of history buffs and those wanting to retrace their family history will want to call into the St George Heritage Centre and browse their collection of

caravan parks; fully self-contained cabins; immaculate motels; peaceful and quiet bed and breakfast; or a basic unpowered camping spot. You are guaranteed to find accommodation to suit you and your budget.

If you still have time to spare in St George, then give Roy and Jan Aldridge a call on 07 4625 4190 to arrange a viewing of their impressive cacti garden, for just a gold coin donation, with the proceeds going towards the Hear and Say Centre. Car enthusiasts will appreciate Doug and Kerry King’s miniature car collection specialising in diecast cars. Call 07 4625 3636 to arrange a viewing of the remarkable collection for a gold coin donation, the funds raised going towards Care Flight.

When spring approaches, the wildflowers begin to bloom across beautiful Balonne. Take the time to stop and enjoy their beauty. Elizabeth Behrend from Andarr on the Terrace Bed & Breakfast in St George offers 4WD wildflower tours upon request from August to October each year. If you would like to request more information contact Elizabeth on 0427 254 230.

When the day’s exploring is done, rest and unwind by checking out one of the following accommodation options: relaxing

STGEORGEQLD.COM VISITING BALONNE?

Go to our website www.stgeorgeqld.com to discover our local tourist and holiday destinations and fun happenings in the Balonne area. Check out our online calendar to make sure you miss none of our exciting events each month.

www.stgeorgeqld.com

KAMAROOKA TOURIST PARK

ST GEORGE RIVERFRONT TOURIST PARK

“In the centre of town” – your hosts are Glenda & Neil Waters

St George Qld – 35 acres – Formerly Kapunda Fishing Park

Large modern amenities block Clean, quiet and friendly Air-conditioned and ensuite cabins Drive through and grassed sites Camp on grass Camp kitchen

Free gas barbecue LPG and Iceworks on site 2 blocks to shops and facilities Pets under control welcomed Campfire in winter

P: 07 4625 3120 F: 07 4625 5266 E: info@kamarookatouristpark.com.au

(Between Ambulance Station & Balonne Motel) 56 Victoria Street, St George QLD 4487

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artefacts, historical information, blacksmith, printing press, old gaol and courthouse. Please contact the friendly staff at the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre for their opening hours as the Heritage Centre is manned by volunteers.

St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

Absolute riverfront camping sites Natural bush setting Riverfront powered sites Bait & fishing accessories Boat access

P: 07 4625 5546 M: 0408 183 134 E: kapundafishingpark@hotmail.com W: www.stgeorgeqld.com

Native fauna & flora Pets allowed Individual fireplaces Clean amenities & drinking water

9km north of St George on the Surat Road


PELICAN REST TOURIST PARK Top tourist park

Camp kitchen and BBQs

Free Wi-Fi

Modern amenities

Quiet and spacious atmosphere

Self contained ensuite cabins

23m long drive-through grass sites

P: 07 4625 3398 F: 07 4625 1033 E: info@pelicanrest.com.au W: www.pelicanrest.com.au

12022 Carnarvon Highway, St George QLD 4487

ST GEORGE NEWSAGENCY

St George Newsagency is your trusted local stationery, news and general goods supplier. Daily Papers/ Magazines Office Supplies and Furniture Drinks and Confectionery Photocopying, Laminating, Binding Gold Lotto/Instant Scratchits Greeting Cards/Wrap Dry Cleaning ANZ Local Link Stationery Books Phone Cards Western Union Agent Trading Hours: Monday to Friday 7am – 6pm; Saturday 7am – 1pm; Sunday 7am – Noon; Public Holidays 7am – 10am.

P: 07 4625 3197 F: 07 4625 3997 E: stgeonews@bigpond.com 11 Henry Street, St George QLD 4487

BLENHEIM BACKPACKERS • A1 Backpackers • Budget accommodation in St George • TV • Fridge in every room; some with ensuites; single to 4 berth rooms • Commercial cooking facilities • Free Wi-Fi • Quiet surroundings, 1.5km from CBD • Free courtesy pick up and drop off

P: 07 4625 1538 M: 0447 812 200 E: blenheimbackpackers@bigpond.com 145 Commissioner Point Road, St George QLD 4487

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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ANDARR BED & BREAKFAST AND CATERING At Andarr we offer quiet first class accommodation to both overnight and short/long stays. We provide evening meals on request, and cater to small parties in house or larger functions at outside venues.

P: 0427 254 230 E: ebehrend@bigpond.net.au

184 The Terrace, St George QLD 4487

Local cotton

J.C.M’S AUTO & FUEL

JACARANDA COUNTRY MOTEL

Drive-way service, owner operated, helpful friendly staff Unleaded, Premium & Diesel Fishing Gear – rods, reels, hooks etc. Auto Electrician Bait — Castrol Oils prawns and frozen yabbies Electrical Parts — Handy Mart Narva, RedArc, GME, Hella, Cold drinks, confectionery goodies Supercharge batteries – all shapes Ice and sizes, trailer connections etc. Don’t miss us, call in and see us.

Your Hosts: Joe and Marlies P: 07 4625 3606 / 07 4625 3616

Across the road from Town Clock, Cnr Grey & Victoria Streets, St George QLD 4487

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

18 Non Smoking Rooms Disabled Unit Free Wi-Fi Foxtel Guest Laundry RC Aircon Undercover Parking all units Off Street Parking

Microwave available Saltwater Pool Gazebo Barbecue area A la carte room service Monday – Thursday Cooked/Continental Breakfast available daily

P: 07 4625 1011 Reservations Only: 1800 332 585 E: info@jacarandacountrymotel.com.au W: www.jacarandacountrymotel.com.au 78–80 Grey Street, St George QLD 4487


THE HAIR & BEAUTY HUTT

MARANOA MECHANICAL Repco Authorised Service Centre and RACQ Approved Repairer

A new hair salon on Victoria Street at St George. Offering the finest in hair care and stockist of NAK Luxury Hair Colour and styling products.

Servicing all makes and models Ironman 4X4 distributor Excellent customer service, quality workmanship and value for money

P: 07 4625 3663 E: admin@maranoamechanical.com.au W: www.maranoamechanical.com.au 12 Beardmore Place, St George QLD 4487

Automotive Repairer

P: 07 4625 4778 E: thehair.beautyhutt@bigpond.com 201 Victoria Street, St George QLD 4487

J’s BEAUTY SALON

MERINO MOTOR INN 27 ground floor units All non-smoking rooms Family rooms available Reverse cycle air conditioning Merino a la carte licensed restaurant & bar Saltwater pool Outdoor area & BBQ Guests’ laundry Free Wi-Fi Foxtel Some undercover parking plus off street parking for buses & trucks

P: 07 4625 3333 F: 07 4625 3574 E: bookings@merinomotorinn.com.au W: www.merinomotorinn.com.au 78 Victoria Street, St George QLD 4487

J’s Beauty Salon next to The Hair & Beauty Hutt, 201 Victoria Street St George, has many of your pampering treatments to offer including facials, manicures, pedicures, tinting, waxing, eyelash extensions, spray tans and massage. Please contact Jacinta on 0467 633 603 to make an appointment.

P: 0467 633 603 E: cina31@live.com.au

201 Victoria Street, St George QLD 4487

ST GEORGE CARAVAN PARK

RIVERSANDS VINEYARDS Free wine tasting Unique gifts Garden café Easter in the Vines annually

Ensuite cabins Grass drive thru sites Grass tent/camp sites Powered & unpowered sites Gas barbeques Clean amenities Laundry facilities Clean, quiet & friendly Pets under control welcomed

Open 7 days. Monday–Saturday 8.30am–5pm; Sunday 9am–4pm. (February weekdays only).

P: 07 4625 3643 E: sales@riversandswines.com W: www.riversandswines.com www.facebook.com/riversandswines.com or review us on TripAdvisor

Whytes Road, St George QLD 4487

Your hosts Ann & Ivan Bradley welcome you

P: 07 4625 5778 Situated 100m from the Balonne River 221 Victoria Street, St George QLD 4487

NICK’S FIX IT

ST GEORGE RSL

AUTOMOTIVE AND MECHANICAL REPAIRS

Open Monday to Sunday 10am– midnight (closing times may vary) Lunch & dinner 7 days Bottleshop Beer garden 23 pokies Keno Bingo Raffles Pool table Children’s games room Conference, function & meeting rooms Ladies’ & men’s showers Large carpark

P: 07 4625 1224 F: 07 4625 1228 E: stgeorgersl@bigpond.com

Cnr Grey & Alfred Streets, St George (PO Box 444 St George QLD 4487)

Experienced and quality workmanship provided All services and repairs Local family business Courtesy vehicles available Friendly, helpful staff

P: 07 4625 5654

138 Arthur Street, St George QLD 4487

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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Dirranbandi Events Dirranbandi Fishing Competition Dirranbandi Campdraft and Show Dirranbandi Polocrosse Dirranbandi Carp Busters

Points of Interest Cubbie Station Railway Park Rural Transaction Centre Des Stevenson Memorial Tom Dancey Memorial Mosaic Walkway Jack Dwyer Memorial Park

Railway Park

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide


St George

o Mitchell

M I TC H E L

AY

To Roma / Surat

HI

GH

W

Lake Kajarabie

GE

CARN ARV

ON

ST L– D GE R

MOONI

Y

To Dalby / Moonie CA

ST GEORGE

RN A RV

ON

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Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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Accredited Visitor Information Centre

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Fuel Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

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South westNoondoo of St George, Dirranbandi is a small country town that comes44 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 cotton farm in the southern hemisphere is only a stone’s throw away from this small town. You can take in the magnitude of Cubbie Station by experiencing a 4WD guided tour of the farm held three days per week. To make a booking contact the Dirranbandi Caravan Park on 07 4625 8707.

Dirranbandi marks the end of the South andDwas the destination U E E West N Srail L line A N of the very last mail train to operate in Australia. On a visit to Railway Park , S O U T H E S room, the you’ll find W theA oldLwaiting original parcels office and the 1913 Station

Master’s residence, which is now the Rural Transaction Centre . Here you will have the opportunity to talk to a local and find out some further history on the town. While 30through the park you will meandering uncover a stone cotton bale in memory of the late Des Stevenson, the pioneer of the cotton industry in Dirranbandi and the famed Cubbie Station. A neighbouring THALLON bronze statue in the centre of town celebrates the remarkable story of Aboriginal man Tom Dancey – the 1910 winner of Australia’s most famous foot race the Stawell Gift. On the opposite side of the street – adjacent to the 43 homeware and gift shops – enjoy the colourful mosaic walkway that shows an artistic take of the town’s history. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to picnic, throw in a line, or stretch your legs, then head to the Jack Dwyer Memorial Park on the edge of town.

MUNGINDI

If you’re planning to stay the night then DirranbandiTohas you covered with a Moree caravan park, two motels and a hotel.

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Tom Dancey statue

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History On the 4th August 1885 the town site was proclaimed and named Dirranbandi after an Aboriginal word meaning ‘frogs croaking in a swamp at night’. In May 1913 the South West railway line was officially opened in Dirranbandi and serviced the 413km mail run from Warwick for 80 years. During the January and February 2011 flood, Dirranbandi was surrounded by flood waters but safely protected by the town’s levee banks and isolated for over six weeks. Supplies had to be airlifted into town on a regular basis.

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

21


Hebel Events Hebel Seafood Night

Points of Interest Hebel General Store Hebel Hotel Hebel Historical Circle Culgoa Floodplain National Park Bokhara River

Hebel Historical Circle

Hebel Hotel

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide


Hebel streetscene

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 Lightning 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. Cabin accommodation is available here too. Hebel General Store and Caravan Park has kept much of its original 1890s dancehall character and offers amazing home cooked cakes, desserts and meals. By night it’s a restaurant under the stars complete with

History

Hebel General Store

white tablecloths and flowers on the tables. Pull in for the night and stay at one of the affordable caravan sites or cabins. Spend the afternoon fishing or setting the yabby pots in the Bokhara River, just a stone’s throw from the main street. Use Hebel as your base for visiting the untouched Culgoa Floodplain National Park , a good side trip for campers and birdwatchers. This is nature at its best, so be prepared to be totally self-sufficient. For more information on the national parks please turn to page 6.

at

The town was first known as Kelly’s Point. Dan Kelly and Steve Hart, members of the infamous Ned Kelly gang, are said to have lived here in secret. The town’s name was changed to Hebel in the 1880s, although its origins remain a mystery. Some suggest the town was named after a German settler, Weiner Von Hebel. Others suggest it comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘hot place’. The Hebel Hotel opened in 1894 as a Cobb & Co changing station and was originally called the Commercial Hotel.

the

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Collarenebri — home of the famous Murray Cod

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Artesian bore baths

HEBEL HISTORIC GENERAL STORE

‘Stanley’

sculpture on the Castlereagh Highway

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sunsets, clear night skies and iconic Australian wildlife in plain sight

EST 1897 – originally the dance hall A touch of class in the outback Open 6.30am daily Caravan Park – powered & unpowered sites; motel units; Jazz cottage accommodation Licensed Restaurant – all home cooking

P: 07 4625 0920 E: hebelstore4486@bigpond.com 31 William Street, Hebel QLD 4486

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

23


Bollon Events Bollon Regatta Bollon Sports Shears Bollon B&S

Points of Interest Free Camping Aboriginal Dreamtime Artwork along the Walkway Bollon Heritage Centre Walter Austin Memorial Park featuring the Bollon Returned Servicemen Memorial Wall Bollon Post Office Deb’s Café Bollon Hotel Thrushton National Park

Free camping area

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide


Bollon walkway

Emu wandering the streets in Bollon

town’s rural history and Aboriginal culture. Be sure to check out the mementos of visiting politicians displayed on the walls.

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 free 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 the exercise equipment that flanks the walkway. So that you won’t have to ‘rough it’, you’ll have the comfort of free showers and toilets as well. Have your camera ready as Bollon is famous for emus strolling the streets. If you do one thing in town, make it the Bollon Heritage Centre . Nestled in the heart of the main street, it’s easy to spend the afternoon retracing Bollon’s history. Even the keenest history buff will be pleasantly surprised by the range of artefacts and stories that narrate the

Nearby at the Walter Austin Memorial Park lies the Bollon Returned Servicemen Memorial Wall . 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 long association with the profession, with many of the town’s male population working in the industry. 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 a historical display which shows this little town’s proud association with shearing and the sheep industry. The friendly staff at Bollon Post Office can assist you with any tourist information queries you have and help you find a memento that best reflects your time in Bollon. The Bollon Hotel also offers accommodation and meals for the hungry traveller. For the serious campers and 4WD enthusiasts, Thrushton National Park is 40km north east of Bollon via dirt roads. For more information on the national parks please turn to page 6.

Deb’s Café

Bollon Heritage Centre

History Bollon was officially recognised as a town in 1879. It is believed the town’s name originated from the indigenous word “Bolion”, meaning stone tomahawk or axe and was later adapted to the word Bollon. The major flooding experienced in Bollon during 2010 saw the majority of the town inundated with flood waters, apart from the pub, which remained the driest point in the main street. Photo: XXXXXXXX

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

25


Nindigully Events Nindigully Campdraft Nindigully Pub Pig Races

Points of Interest Nindigully Pub Nindigully Tourist and Visitor Area

Road signs at Nindigully turnoff

26

St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide


Happy hour at the Nindigully Pub

Just 45km south east of St George, “The Gully” as it’s locally known, is pretty much four 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 licensed pub in Queensland. Have you seen the film ‘Paperback Hero’? It was filmed here and the café’s boomerangs remain perched in place. You’ll have no trouble unwinding on the verandah of the pub as it hums with the chatter of travellers and locals alike,

Exterior of the Nindigully Pub

enjoying happy hour and live acoustic music. Savour the company in the beer garden with a cold beer pulled from the keg. Pack your appetite as the challenge of the ‘road train’ awaits – a whopper 5kg burger, big enough to feed you and 10 of your closest mates. Park the van for a few days alongside the tree-lined Moonie River at the Nindigully Tourist and Visitor Area (free camping) located just below the Nindigully Pub. Fill your day by taking a stroll along The Gully Walk – a purpose built historical river walkway, perching up on the tables and chairs with a book, or heading up to the Nindigully Pub for happy hour. Toilets and showers are available here for those of you who are looking for some comforts.

History

In its heyday Nindigully’s main street and adjoining streets were full. There was a hall, a school, accommodation house, post office, telephone exchange, mechanics, a fine vegetable garden on the banks of the Moonie River, a store and the pub which served as a Cobb & Co changeover station. The pub has had many names over its 150+ year history. The first and current name was Nindigully Hotel, but it has also been known as The Grand Hotel, Travellers Rest Hotel, Sportsmans Arms Hotel and Sternes Hotel.

NINDIGULLY PUB The NINDIGULLY PUB (est. 1864) is a rambling historical pub nestled beside the Moonie River, 44km from St George. Accommodation and meals are available at the Hotel Visitors are welcome to camp along the banks of the Moonie River (camping is free) We are the home of Australia’s biggest burgers... from 5 to 25 kilos ....

‘Gully Walk’ at the Nindigully Tourist and Visitor Area

P: 07 4625 9637 W: www.nindigully.com www.facebook.com/NindigullyPubOfficial

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

27


Thallon Events Thallon Carp Busters

Points of Interest Thallon Recreational Grounds Thallon Town Park ‘Barney’s Beach’ Francis Hotel Grain Silos

Thallon’s landmark giant grain silos

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide


Further south from Nindigully, head onto the township of Thallon where you will find the relaxed free camping area located at the Thallon Recreational Grounds, which includes toilets and showers. For those looking for some comforts, there is power available by contacting Thallon’s Town Officer on 0427 259 095 . For those wanting to stretch their legs or wet a line for Yellowbelly and Murray Cod, take a stroll past the grain silos down to ‘Barney’s Beach’ perched on the banks of the Moonie River. Signalling your approach into Thallon, the giant grain silos act as landmarks for the town. Thallon is surrounded by prime grain growing country and draws grain in from Weengallon, Nindigully, Mungindi, Dirranbandi and Thallon. In the 2012-2013 harvest, Thallon recorded the second largest grain intake in Queensland, behind that of Goondiwindi. Wheat, chickpeas and oats are just some of the crops grown in the Thallon area which are transported by truck or train into the Port of Brisbane for export. 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 electric BBQ and toilets. The park also features a granite ‘Anzac Digger’ war memorial statue built by the Thallon Progress Association to commemorate the Centenary of Gallipoli.

Thallon’s Francis Hotel is not a pub to pass! Named after Harold Francis, one of the early licensees, the hotel stands metres off the busy highway waiting to satisfy your appetite for food and local history. Serving homemade delights and barista made espresso coffee, let your taste buds dance amongst the artefacts and photos of the pub. At the tourist information stand, you can stock up on information to keep you travelling, or if you arrive later in the day then Francis Hotel offers accommodation and delicious pub meals. If you’ve forgotten some groceries or you need to post a postcard from Thallon, Francis Hotel has you covered there too through their convenience store and Australia Post facilities.

Thallon sheep and grain depot

History Thallon was gazetted in 1911 and the town was named after the Commissioner for Railways – Mr JF Thallon who developed most of Queensland’s rail system when the railway line was extended west from Talwood to Thallon. Thallon’s first permanent grain storage facility was built in 1969. In 1977 two giant concrete silos were constructed followed by another two silos in 1982.

Thallon War Memorial

Francis Hotel

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

29


Mungindi’s hot artesian pool

Mungindi Events Mungindi Show Mungindi Picnic Races

Points of Interest One Ton Post Mungindi hot artesian pool Two Mile Hotel Barwon River Parkland Mungindi Rural Transaction Centre Jolly Swagman Hotel Mungindi Caravan Park

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide


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. 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 end of the arduous three year task of surveying the straight section of the Queensland/ New South Wales border, from Cameron Corner to the Barwon River. Following the completion of the survey from Barringun to Cameron Corner, JB Cameron then set out to survey the 199.5 miles east from Barrigun to the Barwon River. The One Ton Post was placed on the west bank of the Barwon River near Mungindi to mark the end of the survey of the 29th parallel (degree of latitude) in October 1881. Mungindi’s uniqueness continues as a town which straddles the Barwon River, with either side of the river marking the border between Queensland and New South Wales. Not only does Mungindi have two police stations on either side of the border, but this quirky town runs on two time zones in the warmer months due to eastern daylight saving time! Once you’ve gone and placed your hands on the One Ton Post, head towards Mungindi and pull in for a cuppa at the

One Ton Post

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.

Looking to soak those weary bones? Then Mungindi’s hot artesian pool will be a great spot for you to rest up, relax and rejuvenate for the afternoon in the mineral rich water. The opening hours vary between the summer and winter months. For more information call the Mungindi Rural Transaction Centre on 02 6753 2389. On the northern outskirts of Mungindi sits the iconic sandstone Two Mile Hotel . Pull over for a counter meal and play a game of pool in true pub style while listening to tunes from the jukebox. While you’re having your beer, check out the lacquered mahogany bar with charred shrapnel embedded in it; they’re the only remnants of the fire that destroyed the original hotel back in 2010. The pub was originally established in 1908. The ‘2 Mile’ as it’s locally known, offers a handful of motel rooms and backpacker accommodation.

As you cross over the New South Wales border into town, make sure you stop at the Mungindi Rural Transaction Centre to find out further visitor information on the Moree Plains Shire before continuing on your journey. While you’re in the main street take a browse through the country homewares and clothing shops and grab a bargain. The Jolly Swagman Hotel Motel offers meals and accommodation or you might like to pull your van into the shady Mungindi Caravan Park .

History The name Mungindi comes from the language of the Kamilaroi Aboriginal people and holds the meaning ‘Water hole in the River’. Although a hotel, store, post office and bank were built in Mungindi, some dating as far back as 1863, the town wasn’t officially declared until 1888.

TWO MILE HOTEL THE BEST PUB AROUND Monday–Saturday 10am till late; Sunday 11am till late PUB GRUB menu with local meat and vegetables On the highway – 2 miles north of town

Two Mile Hotel

P: 02 6753 2051 E: admin@tmhmungindi.com.au W: www.twomilehotel.com 355 Carnarvon Highway, Mungindi QLD 2406

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

31


Self-Drive Trails

Cotton Self-Drive Trail and St George Heritage Trail. Tourist drive to Beardmore Dam

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Jack Taylor Weir-Andrew Nixon Bridge

ST GEORGE Vanderfield

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St George Airport

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Highway

Tourist drive to 3 4 5

Cotton Self-Drive Trail Distance: 94km Time: 1.5 – 2 hours

This 94km cotton self-drive trail commences at the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre. From here, drive 1.3km along St George’s Terrace towards our first stop – the Jack Taylor Weir-Andrew Nixon Bridge. There is ample parking at Cavanough Park which provides the perfect opportunity to capture a photo of this iconic bridge. Before you return to your vehicle, you will find a commemorative stone to mark Sir Major Thomas Mitchell’s crossing of the Balonne River on St George’s Day in 1846.

2. Beardmore Dam (Lake Kajarabie)

Many tourists often enquire about the fluffy white cotton they see scattered alongside the roads throughout the Balonne Shire and are keen to learn more about it. Today’s cotton self-drive trail will take you on a journey illustrating the history and development of St George’s irrigation and cotton industry with interpretive signage at each location. Were you aware that cotton is a natural fibre grown on a plant related to the hibiscus? The seeds are planted in October (spring) and cotton plants grow into green, bushy shrubs approximately one metre in height. Cotton requires irrigation (watering) every 2-3 weeks depending on the climate and rainfall. The plant briefly grows cream then pink coloured flowers that once pollinated drop off and are replaced with ‘fruit’, better known as cotton bolls. Inside each cotton boll is the fluffy white lint that we’re all familiar with, as well as numerous fuzzy cotton seeds. Irrigation is vital for the production of cotton, grapes and other opportunistic small crops. The St George Irrigation Scheme was approved in 1953 for the purpose of irrigation and town water supply. The St George irrigation area consists of a channel system relaying water to a large farming area 8km south east of St George. The vast 213km open earth channel system supplies water from Beardmore Dam located north of St George, via Thuraggi watercourse and the SunWater pump station facility in Hutt Street. The water from the Thuraggi watercourse travels through Moolabah Weir and then Buckinbah Weir before being released into the irrigation farming area through manually operated gravity flow control structures. The Balonne River forms part of the Murray Darling Basin system and is a continuation from the Condamine and Maranoa river systems. The river flows from St George in a south west direction towards Dirranbandi and breaks into two rivers – Culgoa and Balonne Minor River. The Balonne Minor River then separates into the Ballandool, Bokhara and Narran Rivers.

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

EJ Beardmore Dam lookout

Our next stop is Beardmore Dam which is located 22km north of St George. Start this part of the trail by driving back along St George’s Terrace, where you will notice a large pump station on the corner of Hutt Street. The SunWater pump station on the corner provides water to the St George irrigation channels at a maximum rate of 110 mega litres per day and was constructed the same time as the Jack Taylor Weir. As you continue driving along the river, you can appreciate the magnitude of the beautiful Balonne River. Across from the


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Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre lies a marker that showcases the flood heights of the swollen Balonne River from years gone by. The river is very popular for fishing, boating and other water sports. When you reach the end of St George’s Terrace, follow the bend in the road and then turn left onto Victoria Street which becomes the Carnarvon Highway. From here, travel 12.8km, until you reach Thungaby Road where you will turn left. As you travel north along the Carnarvon Highway, you will be driving parallel to the beautiful Balonne River towards Surat. Once you’ve turned onto Thungaby Road, follow the bitumen road for a further 8km out to Beardmore Dam. There is a designated parking area at the visitor’s lookout where you can make your way up the small steps to the EJ Beardmore Memorial to take a closer look at the impressive dam structure.

3. St George Irrigation Area

Siphons used for irrigation

Once you have finished exploring Beardmore Dam, we will now head out to the St George irrigation area. Drive back along the bitumen road and turn right

onto Carnarvon Highway, back towards St George and from here travel 6.7km until you see the Salmon Road sign. Turn left here, and follow the road to the end where it meets the Carnarvon Highway again. Turn left at the T- junction, and only 3km down the road you will begin approaching the St George irrigation area and cotton farms. You will approach a turnoff on your left to Buckinbah Weir, which is also known as Buckinbah Road.

4. Buckinbah Weir

reduction in water allocation for agricultural purposes to ensure the environmental sustainability of the extensive river systems across the Murray Darling Basin. The MDBP will be rolled out over seven years with an aim to achieve a balance between environmental, economic and social considerations. The extent of the economic and social impact of the MDBP on the communities within the Balonne Shire is not yet fully known although it is acknowledged that there will be some degree of impact. The cotton farms are irrigated using siphons that flood the paddock and gravity feed down each row. Any excess water from the farm is recycled and pumped back into water storage facilities, to ensure that not a single drop of water is wasted.

Buckinbah Weir

Our next stop is Buckinbah Weir. To get there, turn left onto Buckinbah Road and follow the bitumen road straight ahead for 10.8km until you come across a water reserve. Along the way you will notice several water storage dams on your right hand side which farmers utilise to capture rainfall and hold their water allocation delivered via the St George Irrigation Scheme. The St George irrigation area is part of the Murray Darling Basin and is therefore part of the broader Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP). The MDBP provides a coordinated approach to water use across QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC and SA, and means a

Once you have finished looking around, travel back along Buckinbah Road for 4.6km until you reach Bundoran Road. Turn left onto Bundoran Road, where you will be able to get a good view of the cotton farms and paddocks. After travelling 4.8km along Bundoran Road, you will approach a cotton farm on your left hand side called ‘Willandra’. Farmer Glenn Rogan with Australian Cotton Dri Glo towels

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

33


Farmer Glenn Rogan grows premium long staple cotton on this farm which is used to produce the premium Australian Cotton Dri Glo towels which are Australian grown, owned and made. In addition to this farm, the Rogan family have two adjoining farms ‘Benelong’ and ‘Harlequin’ and in total the property area reaches up to 2,760 hectares. The lush towels feature farmer Glenn on each and every tag, and are available for purchase from the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre. During March/April the cotton is picked using large mechanical harvesters which are then compacted into cotton modules. There are two types of cotton modules that are produced: Rectangle cotton modules – Cotton harvesters pick the cotton which is then transported to the module builder machine via a boll buggy. The module builder compresses the cotton into large rectangular cotton modules which are then covered with a large tarp. The average rectangular cotton module weighs approximately 8.6 tonnes. Round cotton modules – In 2010 there was a new cotton harvester introduced in which the cotton harvester picks the cotton and rolls it up at the rear of the machine and encases it in yellow plastic. The cotton harvester is considered modern technology as it was developed to reduce the cost of labour and machinery by eliminating the boll buggy and module building process. The average round cotton module weighs approximately 2.5 tonnes. From here, the cotton modules are loaded onto trucks and sent off to the cotton gin where they await processing.

5. St George Cotton Gin

As you continue driving along Bundoran Road you are now heading towards the cotton gin. After 4km you will approach an intersection with a sign indicating Ian Paul Road. Turn right, and continue along Bundoran Road until you approach the St George Cotton Gin on your right. Prior to reaching the Carnarvon Highway intersection, there is an area to pull over on the left. Although the St George Cotton Gin is unable to offer tours, Queensland Cotton often supports numerous community events and projects. If you would like to find out further information on the cotton market, check out the Queensland Cotton website www.qcotton.com.au .

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St George & Surrounds Travellers’ Guide

We hope you have enjoyed the cotton self-drive trail. Our friendly staff and volunteers at the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre will be happy to answer any other questions that you might have, and offer a full range of cotton souvenirs for you to browse including postcards, hat badges, stickers, magnets, cotton soaps, body lotions, Dri Glo cotton towels, John Deere and Case merchandise and more.

Rectangular cotton modules

Turn right onto Carnarvon Highway and travel back towards St George, and along the way you’ll see more cotton farms and irrigation channels traversing the highway. After 17km, you will approach the St George airport on your left and John Deere is opposite on your right. If you would like to park your vehicle, turn left into the airport at Cliff Parsons Drive. From here it’s only a short stroll across the road to catch a glimpse of the machinery

St George Heritage Trail Take a step back in time as early as the 1800s by discovering the St George Heritage Trail. Pick yourself up a brochure from the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre and follow the 45 minute drive trail to explore important historical sites, colourful stories, and buildings that have shaped the town’s history. For copies of the self-drive trail download the brochure online at www.balonne.qld.gov.au or alternatively visit the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre in St George.

used on the farms including cotton pickers, tractors, harvesters, spray rigs and more. You may be interested to know that a cotton picker costs approximately $750,000 and is purchased in US dollars. Vanderfield was originally established in Toowoomba in 1963, and expanded their business to St George in 1982. In addition to John Deere, there is a Case dealership in town located at the St George Machinery Centre at 179 Victoria Street.

Heritage Centre, St George

Round cotton modules


Local Directory Accommodation

Meals

Bollon

Bollon

Bollon Hotel

07 4625 6188

Dirranbandi

Bollon Hotel

07 4625 6188

Deb’s Café

07 4625 6118

Dirranbandi Caravan Park

07 4625 8707

Dirranbandi

Dirranbandi Hotel Motel

07 4625 8299

Dirranbandi Hotel Motel

07 4625 8299

Dirranbandi Motor Inn

07 4620 7000

Dirranbandi Motor Inn

07 4620 7000

Dirran Pub

07 4625 8322

Hebel

Dirran Pub

07 4625 8322

Tucka Shack

07 4620 7476

Hebel Hotel

07 4625 0923

Hebel

Hebel General Store & Caravan Park

07 4625 0920

Hebel General Store & Caravan Park

Thallon

Francis Hotel

07 4625 9188

Mungindi

Two Mile Hotel

02 6753 2051

Jolly Swagman Hotel Motel

02 6753 2022

Mungindi RSL

02 6753 2100

Two Mile Hotel

02 6753 2051

Jolly Swagman Hotel Motel

02 6753 2022

Nindigully

Mungindi Caravan Park

0428 565 128

Nindigully Pub www.nindigully.com

Nindigully

Nindigully Pub www.nindigully.com

07 4625 0920

Mungindi

07 4625 9637

07 4625 9637

Thallon

Francis Hotel

07 4625 9188

St George

St George

Andarr on the Terrace Bed & Breakfast

0427 254 230

5 Star Handimarket

07 4625 3031

Australian Hotel Motel

07 4625 5000

Andarr on the Terrace (appointments only)

07 4625 3071

07 4625 5155

Asian Pearl Chinese Restaurant

07 4625 3668

Blenheim Backpackers

07 4625 1538

Australian Hotel Motel

07 4625 5000

Cobb & Co Hotel

07 4625 5655

BP St George

Balonne River Motor Inn

Jacaranda Country Motel www.jacarandacountrymotel.com.au

07 4625 1011

07 4625 3411

Boomerang Café

07 4625 3996

Cobb & Co Hotel

07 4625 5655

Delicate

07 4625 5666

Food Basket

0459 793 852

Kamarooka Tourist Park

07 4625 3120

St George Riverfront Tourist Park

07 4625 5546

Merino Motor Inn www.merinomotorinn.com.au

07 4625 3333

07 4625 3333

Pelican Rest Tourist Park www.pelicanrest.com.au

Merino Restaurant www.merinomotorinn.com.au

07 4625 3398

Mummzy’s Café

07 4625 3125

Riverland Motor Inn www.riverlandmotorinn.com.au

07 4625 1229

Rivers Restaurant www.riverlandmotorinn.com.au

07 4625 1229

Riverside Retreat

0407 673 674

07 4625 3643

St George Caravan Park

07 4625 5778

Riversands Wines Café www.riversandswines.com

St George Hotel Motel

07 4625 4444

Stevie-Jeans

07 4625 3223

St George Bakery

07 4625 3777

St George Hotel Motel

07 4625 4444

St George RSL

07 4625 1224

Important Contacts Emergency – Police, Fire, Ambulance SES (State Emergency Services) Road Conditions – Traffic Travel & Information www.131940.qld.gov.au RACQ Roadside Assistance

000 13 25 00 131940 13 19 05

Dirranbandi Hospital

07 4625 8222

Mungindi Hospital

02 6705 6100

St George Hospital

07 4620 2222

Balonne Shire Council www.balonne.qld.gov.au

07 4620 8888

Visitor Information Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre www.balonne.qld.gov.au

07 4620 8877

stgeorgeqld.com www.stgeorgeqld.com

0428 259 299

Visit www.balonne.qld.gov.au or call 07 4620 8877

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Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre 114 The Terrace, St George 07 4620 8877 vic@balonne.qld.gov.au

www.balonne.qld.gov.au

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St George & Surrounds Travellers' Guide  

St George & Surrounds Travellers' Guide