Eulo Town Book

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LEGEND EMERGENCY SERVICES Police

VISITOR AMENITIES Public Toilets Catholic Church

Refuse Tip

Mobile Home Waste Dump Point

FREE Camping Area

Potable Water

1 Old Post Office / Eulo Queen

Opal Centre 2 Old Catholic Church 3 Former St Francis

Anglican Church

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Eulo Heritage Trail

SES Shed

PLACES OF INTEREST

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4 Air Raid Shelter

7 Lizard Lounge / Police Cells

5 Eulo Store /

8 Diprotodon

Postal Agent 6 Eulo Queen Hotel /

Caravan Park

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Paroo Patch

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Welcome to Eulo The ‘Heart of the Mulgalands’, the ‘Montville of the Outback’ – just a couple of the descriptions of Eulo, a small community on the banks of the Paroo River.

Folks here are proud of their small town and this is evident when you visit. Famous not only for the infamous ‘Eulo Queen’ and the hotel named after her, but also for the abundant local produce, products, opal and craft which can all be purchased in the town with the old fashioned ‘we care’ attitude. You won’t be short of something to do – have a wander through the Old Post Office (now the Eulo Queen Opal Centre) to look at the wide selection of opals and artwork there. Then cross the street to find yourself a whip, belt or handbag from Tom and Helen’s ‘Paroo Patch’. Follow the heritage trail around Eulo, read history boards and find out why there is an old air raid shelter in the town. You might like to just relax, fish and birdwatch on the Paroo River or take advantage of the Billabong

and Granite Nature Drives. Drive 7 km west of Eulo and explore the Artesian Mud Springs. This phenomenon is a natural release valve for the Great Artesian Basin. When your stay in Eulo has ended, why not head to the Alroy Camping Grounds on the banks of Yowah Creek for a true, outback camping experience or perhaps camping or a ‘station stay’ at Wandilla Station, 18 km south of Eulo, may be what you yearn to do. Planning a trip to Eulo in May? Then be sure to attend the ever-popular ‘Music In the Mulga’ country music festival at Wandilla – not just four days of music and fun, but everything the Eulo district has to offer.

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Step back in time: The original Eulo Store which burnt down in July 2011.

Heritage Eulo owes its existence to the fact it was situated near a good waterhole on the Paroo River and was on the direct route of travel to the West.

WHERE DID THE NAME ‘EULO’ COME FROM? The stories vary. One theory is that it was named after a woman from a European country – her name was pronounced ‘Eulo’ although the spelling was different. Another theory is that the name has Aboriginal connotations, along with the towns of Eucla and Eudlo. The definition of the word differs however. Some theories say it means a dry place/creek/river. An opposing theory claims it means wet springs. The township was originally built closer to the river but when floods almost wiped out the entire town, it was moved to higher ground where it now stands.

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‘Eulo is situated on the east bank of the Paroo River and was originally a portion of the Tilbooroo Run. It contains the necessary elements of all new bush townships including hotel, store, saddler, butcher, smithy, and – to finish up – we have a “Heathen Chinese” gardener.’ ---------------‘QUEENSLANDER’ NEWSPAPER JUNE 6, 1881


The Eulo Queen Isabel, a legend, shrouded in mystery and conjecture. The only remaining hotel in Eulo is named for her. She is believed to have been born on Mauritius, Isle of France, about 1850. An extremely cultured woman, who spoke French and German fluently, she was also very shrewd when it came to business dealings. She married three times and is believed to have had a daughter who died at a young age. After the death of her first husband, Mr. Macintosh, she married Richard Robinson and established herself as a prominent resident of Eulo at the turn of the century. Mrs. Robinson, simply known locally as Maggie, was a colourful character, with a taste for good jewellery (including Yowah opals) and an authoritative presence, from which she earned her nickname. She acquired the Royal Mail Hotel in 1889 and the

Portrait of the Eulo Queen by artist Hugh Sawrey (1923 – 1999).

Empire Hotel by 1900, together with a butcher’s shop and a store. She lost her licences because of shady dealings and flouting the Liquor Act, but simply put up employees as dummy licensees and continued trading. In 1912 she bought the Metropolitan Hotel. The Great War heralded the collapse of her empire with continued run-ins with the law and her two remaining hostels burning down. She also lost her third and most beloved husband, Herbert Gray, when he was killed in action. She left Eulo in 1922, after attempting suicide, an alcoholic with a broken spirit. Isabel Richardson/ Macintosh/Robinson/Gray died in 1929 in a mental home in Toowoomba aged 79.

Isabel Gray (1850 – 1929), hotelier and storekeeper, daughter of James Richardson and Priscilla Wright. P.S. live like a local

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Bullock Teams John Terrence Geppert was the last bullock driver to operate out of Eulo. He sold his bullock team of 22 in 1948. In 1936 they were paid a shilling a ton per mile to carry bales of wool from properties to the railway in Cunnamulla.

Eulo Sports Grounds A lease was given to the trustees of the Eulo Combined Churches Sports Committee in 1973. The first sports day was conducted at the new grounds in 1977. This lease has since been handed over to the Eulo Polocrosse Club. A plaque was erected near the horse yards built by Mick Schute. The annual sports day was held in September to raise funds for the Eulo Churches. This event has given way to the annual Motorbike Gymkhana and Enduro which is held over the Easter long weekend. The grounds are also used by the Eulo Polocrosse Club for their annual carnival in July. Clubs travel from Cunnamulla, Thargomindah, Bollon, Charleville, Quilpie, Augathella, Isisford and some places in New South Wales for serious competition during the day and equally serious partying at night.

Eulo Hall The hall was built on land donated to the town by local Grazier, P.R. Beresford. The hall was the venue for the first Opal Festival Ball, held in 1968. The hall is used by art and craft groups, for meetings and Flying Doctor Clinics.

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Air-raid Shelter

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Tiny Eulo was chosen as a site for a safety shelter during the second World War. There were two reasons for the decision. Eulo was in the direct flight path from Darwin to Melbourne and was also a communication link used to wire information between the major centres. Made of heavy-gauge corrugated steel curved over a trench, this ‘Anderson Air-raid Shelter’ was built by Hilty Newsham as a government project.

These days, the shelter is a bit rusty and doesn’t sport the sandbags and grass that once hid it from aerial view. When first built, it could hold about 50 people standing up. The shelter is situated at the side of the Eulo Stores. From the front it is only visible as a half-moon shape that could be mistaken for a dog kennel.

Eulo Flood Truck

The Eulo Flood Truck is located on the northern side of the Eulo General Store and is an old Dodge that was donated by local grazier Tim Ecroyd of Besm. The Bulloo Shire Council carried out the modifications so that it is ‘floodworthy’ and gave it to the community of Eulo to ferry passengers, groceries, mail, beer and people across the flooded Paroo.

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Eulo Race Track The Eulo Race Track was first built in the 1930s. The final race meeting of the Paroo Race Club was held on the 12th October 1957, followed by a ball at the hall. A day at the races: Three local lasses from Eulo in the early 1950s at the Eulo Picnic Races.

A couple studying the form guide at the Eulo Races Circa 1920. Photo courtesy of Lyn Barnes

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Ready, set, go: The barrier is lifted and the lizards are off.

Eulo lizard races Started in 1968, the World Lizard Racing Championships are held in conjunction with the Cunnamulla & Eulo Opal Festival. Each year, on or about the last week in August, people come from all over Australia and overseas to witness these races. Prior to the races, suitable lizards were auctioned – the record being $1065 paid out by a syndicate in 1983. The World Record for the race is 2.5 seconds, set by ‘Herbie’, a Cunnamulla shingleback, in 1972.

eulo lizard lounge

After the day of races all lizards are returned to the exact site from which they were found. At the side of the race track there is also the famous Destructo Monument which commemorates the death of the famous cockroach, Destructo, who was accidentally trodden on after challenging, and beating, the champion lizard.

7 The Eulo Lizard Lounge is a picnic area on the eastern entrance to Eulo. It is designed to represent the frilled neck lizard. Eulo was home of the Cunnamulla & Eulo Lizard Races for 35 years and the lizard had been adopted as the symbol of Eulo. The lounge is made from curved galvanised iron walls representing the lizard’s body and scales with canvas sails overhead, representing the open frill on the neck of the lizard. P.S. live like a local

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Eulo police cells

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Police documents record the first Police Officer stationed at Eulo in 1876 as Constable Thomas Pettit. No records could be found of a station building however, and it is possible rented premises were used. Documentation dated 12th January 1883, from the Under Secretary Edward Deighton, requested tenders for the construction of a police station in the town with a preliminary tender deposit of £15 required, in either bank notes or a bank draft. The completion of new quarters at Eulo was reported by electric telegraph dated 29th November 1883. A request accompanied it for an additional amount of £150 to erect kitchens and purchase furniture, and this response followed, ‘Police can put up kitchens themselves and old furniture must do.’

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‘A Police Station has lately been formed at Eulo on the Paroo River, fifty miles west of Cunnamulla. I think the residents may be congratulated that it is placed under the charge of Constable Pettit, who recently distinguished himself by the capture of a wouldbe bushranger on the road between Charleville and Roma. I hear on all hands that police protections was much wanted at Eulo and district and that it was granted, not so much on account of the depredations officially known, as for those which have gone unpunished, owing to the extreme inconvenience and great expense prosecutions at such a great distance from the police and higher courts.’

---------------‘QUEENSLANDER’ NEWSPAPER JANUARY 24, 1880


Paroo Patch & Paroo Leather EULO

Handcrafted leather, woolpack & fabric goods & supplies. Tom & Helen P. 07 4655 4849

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Church of St. Joseph

churches of eulo CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS 3 Excerpts from the records and archives centre of The Anglican Church of Australia – Diocese of Brisbane. DECEMBER 1956 At Eulo, the building of a new church has commenced at about £1100 is in hand to cover the quoted cost of £1580. Money has been lent by various interested people of Eulo to cover the remainder. On Sunday 15th September 1957, the Archbishop will dedicate the new church of St. Francis of Assisi, Eulo. The occasion will be the culmination of months of hard work and planning. Previously there has been no Anglican Church at Eulo. The building is expected to be free of debt at the time of its dedication.

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MAY 1958 At Eulo, the people are gradually adding to the interior appearance and furnishings of the church. MAY 1964 Eulo are £400 in credit and were able to give £100 to the Cunnamulla Building Fund and to provide a carpet for the church. A Sunday school operates at this centre. CHURCH OF ST. JOSEPH 2 Today, all church services in the Eulo Community are held in St. Josephs Church. This church was blessed and opened on 22nd November 1964, replacing an older building that is now privately owned.


Eulo Post Office: Work commenced on the Post and Telegraph Office in Eulo in 1881 and was completed in 1882. The exterior has had few alterations since then.

Eulo post office

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The Post Office was opened on the 6th September 1872. Beginning in 1870, a fortnightly mail run was established from Cunnamulla to Thargomindah, passing through Eulo. In 1871, it became a weekly service. By 1884, the mail service was running twice weekly. In 1878, fortnightly mail services operated between Eulo and Beechal by horse and a weekly service between Eulo and Hungerford.

A manual telephone exchange was opened at the post office in April 1921. In 1969 the total number of subscribers had risen to 29. The Eulo Post Office closed in 1982 due to the introduction of automatic telephones. The Eulo Store became a Post Office Agency.

Telegraph extensions were built from Cunnamulla to Eulo, the work completed by 29th April 1881. The four and a half miles of line took just over four months to complete. Of the 2503 telegraph messages handled in 1883, only 83 were official, proof that even back then, the locals loved a good gossip.

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Eulo State Emergency Service The Eulo branch of the State Emergency Service was formed in the late 1970s. A committed band of local community members are trained to undertake search and rescue operations, fight bushfires and assist during times of floods and disasters in the Eulo district.

Eulo Airstrip The airstrip was laid in 1957. It is one of the few strips within walking distance of the town and is used frequently by graziers, visitors and the Flying Doctor. In 2017, an exclusion fence was constructed around the airstrip perimeter to ensure the safety of planes from wandering animals. Located on the eastern side of the shelter is a dump point for travellers and caravanners to drop their effluent.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service The RFDS first commenced serving the village of Eulo in 1980. It operates out of Charleville on a regular fortnightly run, when a Clinic is held at the Eulo Hall. The Flying Doctor is also available to the area in the case of emergencies. The local community holds regular fundraisers to assist with this invaluable service.

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The original Eulo Provisional School in 1888.

Eulo state school A Provisional School was opened in Eulo in 1888. In 1909 it became a State School. Attendance for the first year was 28 pupils. It rose to 59 in 1913, then varied from anywhere between 22 and 46. It is difficult to find a reason for these changes. In 1993 enrolments hit an all-time low, with only four students attending. The Department of Education threatened closure of the school unless numbers could be increased considerably – and those numbers maintained. The Eulo Community rallied and a Student Hostel was built beside the school with accommodation provided for 20 students and a House Mother. This provided an opportunity for children from properties in the district to attend the local school. Although this facility is currently closed, it is hoped it will reopen in the near future.

Eulo Student Hostel P.S. live like a local

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Eulo queen opal centre The Eulo Queen Opal Centre displays Opal from Koroit, Yowah and Blackgate Opal Fields. Owner Garry Berghofer can show you rough opal, cut opal and unique jewellery priced to suit all budgets. Visitors wanting to find their own gems are encouraged to fossick through the many containers of opal located at the side of the gallery. Contact Garry Berghofer Phone (07) 4655 0054

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Eulo Store

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Eulo Store is your one stop shop for fuel, fruit and vegetables, cold goods, general groceries, take-aways, coffee, souvenirs and more. Check out the display of Megafauna fossils featuring the infant jaw of a Diprotodon. Staff can also provide information on road conditions and must see destinations in the area. Open 7 days | Mon to Fri 8am – 6pm Sat & Sun 8am – 4pm Phone (07) 4655 4900

Paroo Patch and Paroo Leather Eulo is home to clever creatives Tom and Helen of Paroo Patch. The pair sell hand-made fashion and fine, authentic leather goods. Their product range includes ladies shirts and polo tops, leather shoulder bags, kids polo tops, knife pouches, leather belts, saddle bags, stock whips,

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key pouches, ladies woolpack bags, halters and bridles, patchwork supplies, cushions and more. Tom & Helen 28 Leo Street, Eulo Phone (07) 4655 4849

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Eulo queen hotel

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The Eulo Queen Hotel and Caravan Park lies on the tourist trail in the hub of the Paroo Shire. The main route to all western Queensland tourist attractions runs past the front door. It is here that you are invited to enjoy true country style hospitality in relaxing and picturesque surrounds. Use the Eulo Queen Hotel as your base while you explore the surrounding areas. YOU WILL FIND: • Cold beer • Hearty country meals & snacks

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• A large friendly air-conditioned bar & dining room • Air-conditioned ensuite cabins & rooms available • Modern amenities block • Huge two acre caravan park with well kept lawn & shady trees Phone (07) 4655 4867


Wandilla Homestay, Caravan park and Camping Grounds David and Carmel Meurant welcome visitors to Wandilla Station, a sheep and cattle property only 18 km south of Eulo, situated on the Paroo River. It’s a great spot to come and relax and be part of the life on a working station in the heart of the red mulga. Wandilla Station is perfect for bush camping and you will find toilets, showers, water, camp kitchen, unpowered sites, laundry, campfires and BBQs all on site. Contact Carmel and David Phone (07) 4655 4065 Email dcmeurant@bigpond.com

• RED SOIL MULGA COUNTRY •

STATION Wandilla’s Music in the Mulga ‘Music In The Mulga’ is one of the best country music festivals. The festival is held on a working sheep and cattle property 18 km south of Eulo in South West Queensland. This unique four day festival full of great country and country rock music has the atmosphere of a large family gathering and in true outback style, everyone is made to feel welcome. The main rule to the festival is to simply have fun. The outback gathering is an opportunity to meet up with friends, old and new, have a chat, a drink and enjoy yourself and the whole experience.

the field and much more. Don’t miss out on these great few days. Contact Carmel and David Phone (07) 4655 4065 dcmeurant@bigpond.com

There are walk up concerts to share your talents, evening concerts and a main Saturday concert. They also hold a charity auction, yabby races, fashions on P.S. live like a local

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paroo river The Paroo River was discovered by the explorer, Dowling, in 1864 while surveying from New South Wales.

Building of the bridge was begun in 1927 and completed in 1928 under the supervision of Hornibrook. The Weir beside the bridge was constructed privately in 1987 for irrigation and recreational purposes, to be enjoyed by both locals and visitors to the area. The flood truck, used to ferry passengers and food supplies across the swollen Paroo River in rare times of rain, was a generous private donation after prolonged, severe flooding in 1990. It began operations in the Summer of 1992–93. The new flood truck was first used in 2017.

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Eulo Mud Springs These are unique to the area and are the blow holes of the Artesian Basin. In days gone by, loud bangs were heard as the springs blew out. These days they tend to ooze mud which is quite cold and smooth. The mud springs are located 7 km west of Eulo on the Adventure Way. Approach with caution!

Nature Drives GRANITES NATURE DRIVE Take a drive to what the locals call ‘the Granites’. Drive through town heading west and watch for the sign. Follow the road and you’ll come to an outcrop of granite boulders. Years ago, gold was panned in this area. From the granites, look for information on the old race course and the old sports ground. BILLABONG NATURE DRIVE About 2 km long, this drive will lead to a billabong. It is described as a branch of a river forming a backwater made by water flowing from the main stream during a flood or by the river changing its course. This billabong is home to numerous water birds and small birds too. Trees, indigenous to this area, have identifying name plaques and can be found along this drive.

The Diprotodon

8 Diprotodons are giant wombat-like marsupials that lived in Australia between 1.6 million and 45,000 years ago and may have been a migratory species, as an analysis of a fossil tooth suggests.

Diprotodon, meaning ‘two forward teeth’, is the largest known marsupial to have ever lived, along with many other members of a group of species collectively known as the ‘Australian megafauna’.

Diprotodon species fossils have been found in sites across mainland Australia, including complete skulls and skeletons, as well as hair and foot impressions. Bones have been discovered in the Eulo area. Check out the display at the Eulo Store.

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alroy station camping grounds Alroy Station is a working sheep and cattle property in Outback Queensland. The camping grounds are on the banks of Yowah Creek and owners, Mac and Mary Haig, offer a real outback camping experience. 60 km past Eulo as you’re heading to Quilpie, turn off the Adventure Highway and find the haven of the outback! It’s the perfect spot for wildlife and birdwatching, bush walks, yabbying and fishing. Alroy boasts spectacular night skies, stargazing, peace and quiet, plenty of photography opportunities and wide open spaces! The bush camping area has open fireplaces, with wood supplied. Camp oven dinner packages available to order. Water taps, kitchen area, a couple of septic toilets and showers available. Or enjoy a soak in an Artesian spa. Waste removal and clean amenities are on site. ATTRACTIONS • Large non-powered camp sites • Clean amenities with disabled access • Waste removal • Peace and quiet • Spectacular night sky 22

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Wildlife & birdwatching Open camp fire with wood supplied Camp oven dinners Bush walks Pet friendly

Contact Mac and Mary Phone 0427 992 889


Flora and Fauna of the Area FLORA The Yapunyah tree (Eucalyptus ochrophloia) is a native to South West Queensland and grows to a height of 20 metres. The tree has weeping branches with a reddish trunk and the honey produced by this tree has a unique flavour. Another good yielding honey tree is the Bimble Box (Eucalyptus populnea) which has glossy green, broad leaves. Other eucalypt trees are the Coolibah (Eucalyptus coolabah), River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Blood Wood (Eucalyptus terminalis).

FAUNA The kangaroo, emu and a large variety of lizards are native to the area. There is also a huge variety of birds including Burkes Parrot and Halls Babbler. Enthusiasts travel from all over Australia to view these birds. Due to dams and watering areas built by graziers, the kangaroo population flourishes in the area. They become a nuisance by invading paddocks and damaging fences. They are also dangerous for travellers as they feed alongside the road and move unpredictably when startled by vehicles.

The Acacia cambagei (the gidyea or gidgee) occurs naturally and is a good timber tree. Acacia aneura (mulga) grows abundantly in this area and is an excellent source of fodder in dry seasons. A flock of galahs drink at a stock trough.

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T: 07 4655 8470 WWW.CUNNAMULLATOURISM.COM.AU