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Railway Park Dirranbandi

Dirranbandi, Balonne Area

Free Entry 

Dirranbandi marks the end of the South West rail line and was the destination of the very last mail train to operate in Australia. 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 will have the opportunity to talk to a local and find out some further history on the town. While meandering through the park you will 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 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.

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  • BBQ Facilities
Railway Street
Dirranbandi, Balonne Area
Queensland
Australia

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Hebel Historical Circle

Hebel, Balonne Area
Free Entry
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 ten illustrated signs; each telling their own story of Hebel's history. Complete with play equipment, there is something to keep everyone occupied.

Dirranbandi

Dirranbandi, Balonne Area
Dirranbandi is located in the Balonne Shire and is a one and a half hour drive from the nearest major town of St George. The district around the town of Dirranbandi has been described as some of the finest wool growing country in Australia. As you enter the town, you'll pass by a levee bank which is famous for having saved the town from flooding on more than one occasion. Be sure pull in and stretch your legs along the walkway at picturesque Jack Dwyer Memorial Park upon the riverbank. On a visit to Railway Park, you'll find the 1913 Station Master's residence, which is now home to the Rural Transaction Centre, the old waiting room and parcels office, and the statue of Aboriginal Stockman and boundary rider, Tom Dancey, who won Australia's most famous footrace, the Stawell Gift in 1910. In 1885, the town site was surveyed and named Dirranbandi which means 'swamp abounding in frogs and waterfowl' or 'frogs around the waterhole.' Dirranbandi is the gateway to the Culgoa Flood Plains National Park. The park is situated on the Queensland/New South Wales border and is ideal for birdwatching. Visitors wanting to camp at the National Park should contact the Ranger in Charge or talk to the Balonne Shire Information Centre in St George. At the centre of a cotton-growing area, Dirranbandi's population almost doubles at harvest time when backpackers flock into town to pick the crop. Dirranbandi is also home to 'Cubbie Station'' which is believed to be the largest privately owned cotton property in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hebel

Hebel, Balonne Area
In the little town of Hebel it feel like time has stood still, leaving behind tales of the Ned Kelly gang, Cobb & Co and dance halls. Be sure to stretch your legs whilst walking around the Hebel Historical Circle, a public art piece which illustrates the stories in Hebel's history. Hebel Hotel is a gem of a country pub. Colourful artwork by 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. Built as a dance hall in 1897, Hebel General Store retains its original dance floor but now offers amazing home cooked cakes, desserts and meals. By night it's a restaurant under the stars complete with white tablecloths and flowers on the tables. Spend the afternoon fishing or setting the yabby pots in the Bokhara River, just a stone's throw from the main street. You can bush camp at the river or for a bit more comfort there are caravan and camping sites as well as air-conditioned accommodation on offer in town.

Nindigully

Nindigully, Goondiwindi Area
Situated on the banks of the Moonie River, just 45 kilometres south-east of St George is "The Gully" as it is locally known. Nindigully is home to pretty much four house and a pub, But what a pub, what a view and what characters you'll find! Nindigully Pub, established in 1864, vies for the position of Queensland oldest continually licensed pub in Queensland. It's like something out of an outback movie, it fact, the film, 'Paperback Hero', was filmed here and the cafe's boomerangs remain perched in place. Once named Australia's 'Best Country Pub', You will have no trouble unwinding on the verandah of the pub as it hums with the chatter of travellers and locals alike, enjoying happy hour and live acoustic music. Pack your appetite as the challenge of the 'Road Train' awaits - a whopper burger, big enough to feed you and 100 of your closest mates! There are plenty of spots to immerse yourself in bushland. Set up your caravan or tent along the scenic tree-lined riverbank or book into one of the pub's rustic rooms.

Wallam Creek, Bollon

Bollon, Balonne Area
Free Entry
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 creak, and an easy 1.2 kilometre 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.

Nindigully Tourist and Visitor Area

Nindigully, Goondiwindi Area
Free Entry
Pack 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 creature comforts.

St George Riverbank Walkway

St George, Balonne Area
Free Entry
Car weary legs will appreciate the two-kilometre stretch of shady riverbank walkway flanking St George. A star feature, the riverbank walkway begins below the Jack Taylor Weir. There you'll find a commemorative stone to mark Major Thomas Mitchell's crossing of the Balonne River on St George's Day back in 1846. Further along the river walk, a marker showcases the flood heights of the swollen Balonne River from years gone by.

St George

St George, Balonne Area
Perched on the banks of the mighty Balonne River and towered by beautiful river gums, St George is an oasis in the bush. Life here is easy with the river the source of rest and play for the friendly locals who welcome visitors to share their town. Get your bearings with a walk along the two kilometre stretch of shady riverbank walkway flanking the town. Below the Jack Taylor Weir is where explorer Major Thomas Mitchell crossed the Balonne River back in 1846 and gave St George its name. Keen anglers won't be disappointed. The Balonne Shire has a reputation for the best inland fishing in Queensland, with no fewer than seven river systems traversing it. Settle in at the riverbank for a quiet afternoon in search of the great Murray cod and yellowbelly. There are also plenty of quiet spots to picnic and throw in a line like Beardmore Dam and Jack Taylor Weir. There is no shortage of fishing events to keep the family entertained; Thallon Carp Busting Competition in March, Dirranbandi Family Fishing Competition over Easter, Dirranbandi Carp Buster in October and the annual St George Family Fishing Competition in September. You'll have a whole new appreciation for the humble egg once you've visited The Unique Egg in St George. You'll see the work of local character and artisan Steve Margaritis - 'Stevie the Greek' to his friends - and his talented daughter Panorea - who have created the world's only display of carved, illuminated emu eggs. Down tree-lined streets you'll find great coffee, gourmet delis, award-winning restaurants and quality pub grub. And don't miss a visit to the most westerly winery in Queensland - Riversands. While away the afternoon with a free, personalised wine tasting at the cellar door followed by scones and homemade jam or a cheese platter and a glass of wine in their shady country garden. Check out the wine labels which feature country characters and legendary locals.

Bollon

Bollon, Balonne Area
Bollon township sits on the banks of peaceful Wallam Creek. The free caravan and camping area complete with showers and toilets is the perfect spot to rest up for a few days. Take a stroll into Bollon along the new 1.2 kilometre creek-side walkway. Keep an eye out for koalas, echidnas and emus. Kangaroos laze in the backyard of the Post Office and sheep graze the paddocks adjoining the main street. If you do one thing in town make it the Nullawokka Aboriginal Tour run by Bill, which includes bush tucker morning tea like you'll experience nowhere else - wattle seed scones, lemon myrtle cakes and kangaroo pizza. Bill is a descendant of the Kooma People and everyone raves about the tour! Spend the afternoon retracing Bollon's rural history at the Heritage Centre or browse around the historical display at Deb's Cafe. For serious campers and four-wheel drive enthusiasts, Thrushton National Park is 60 kilometres north of Bollon via a dirt road.

Thallon

Thallon, Balonne Area
Thallon has long been known as a place of rest and was once a stop for Cobb & Co coaches on the Mungindi to St George route. The first mention of the Thallon district was made by Sir Thomas Mitchell in his diary when he was held up by flood waters on sand ridge on the Moonie River in 1846. At this site, a bloodwood tree where Mitchell carved his initial still stands today. This large wheat grain growing area features six large capacity concrete silos of which tours can be arranged. The agricultural infrastructure also includes the railway station, which dispatches grain, wool and freight to the surrounding towns. The railway station is open for visitors on Monday and Thursday. Two interesting murals painted by local artists exist at the Thallon School. Bring your tent and do some bush camping at Barneys Beach on the Moonie River. The areas' river banks offer good fishing in unspoilt settings. Another place of historical significance is Bullamon Homestead. It was built in the 1860's and still retains its original shingle roof, slab and log walls and remains of a Chinese garden. It was part of a huge station that at its peak covered over 3,102,023 acres. The word Bullamon is an aboriginal word meaning 'largest waterhole'. 'Bullamon' was an early Cobb and Co. change over station and appears in Steele Rudd's story 'The Memoirs of Corporate Kelly'. In 1911, the St George Progress Association asked the Minister for Lands to resume 'Bullamon' for closer settlement and 780 acres were gazetted as a town reserve. Development continued, stores opened and a hotel was built to cater for employees of the railway line which had arrived from Talwood. The town was named after the then Commissioner for Railways Mr J. F. Thallon.
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