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Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe, named after a small town in Devonshire England, originated in 1891 as a transport nucleus for Wellshot Station, the largest sheep station in the world at the time (in terms of stock numbers). The town had three hotels - each with its own dance hall, a soft drink maker, a coach builder, two general stores, a billiard saloon, a dressmaker, three commission agents, a couple of butchers, a baker and a saddler. Today there are just 350 people living in a region which covers 6,500 square kilometres.

Another record to be claimed by the region is the moving of the largest mob of sheep as a single flock. In 1886 a mob of 43,000 sheep were moved through the area by a droving team of 27 horsemen. That doesn't include the cooks, blacksmiths and hands which would have been needed to accompany the drovers!

Transport was once the lifeblood of the area. Long before the railway reached as far as Ilfracombe, wagons drawn by up to 30 horses took three months to carry the wool to the nearest port, Rockhampton, 650 kilometres away.

Driving into Ilfracombe, you can’t miss ‘the Great Machinery Mile’, an amazing line-up of historic machinery stretching for more than 1km along the highway. The display is a graphic timeline of mechanisation in the west and for those mechanically minded, it’s even more fun to look at some of the changes that have been made to agricultural machinery over the years.

The trail of machines leads you to the Folk Museum, a replica of an early station residence and chock-a-block with memorabilia. Also situated within the museum complex is Oakhampton Cottage which has its own historical significance and offers tangible glimpses into early outback households and Romani Hall, a memorial to the young men of the region who answered the call to arms. The memorial is dedicated to the Australian Light Horse and houses thought-provoking memorabilia and information on the Light Horsemen and their battles.

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25 Landsborough Highway
Ilfracombe, Longreach Area
Queensland
Australia

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Bees on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Keswick Island is home to thriving hives of purebred Caucasian bees. Unlike bees on the Australian mainland, these bees are free of many other diseases and are sometimes used as breeding stock for the mainland colonies.

Art Gallery, The

Injune, Maranoa Area
Free Entry
Be ready to be awed by what awaits you on this walk in Carnarvon Gorge National Park, as The Art Gallery contains some of the finest Aboriginal rock art in Australia. Just 5.6 kilometres from the trailhead, at the junction of Kamoloo Creek, a signposted access track leaves the main walking trail upstream of crossing number 10, providing a gentle climb to the escarpment base where the site is located.

Minerva Hills National Park

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
A relatively small National Park near Springsure in Central Queensland, Minerva Hills is dominated by Mount Boorambool, rising 600 metres above sea level, and the larger cliff fringed Mount Zamia (560 metres), which offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Birdwatching on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Keswick Island is a bird watcher's paradise. The island is home to many different bird species, with sightings of at least 33 different birds documented to date - an impressive variety for an island of Keswick's size.

Wallabies on the Beach at Cape Hillsborough

Cape Hillsborough, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Cape Hillsborough National Park, approximately 45 minutes north of Mackay, is where you'll find rainforest meets the shoreline, volcanic headlands, eucalypt forests home to koalas and kookaburras and prehistoric rock formations.

Virgin Rock

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Virgin Rock, which is situated four kilometres from Springsure is on the eastern side of Mount Zamia and has a naturally formed likeness to the Virgin Mary and Child. The spectacular cliffs are floodlit at night and can be viewed from the Lions Park.

Spyglass Peak

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Spring-fed Nogoa River and Louisa Creek wind through a picturesque broad valley beneath craggy sandstone outcrops in the Salvator Rosa section of Carnarvon National Park. At the western edge of Central Queensland'

Whale Watching on Keswick Island

Keswick Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Humpback Whales can be frequently seen around Keswick Island during their annual migration through the Whitsundays between the months of July to September. Seeing the whales frolicking nearby, or guiding a newborn calf through the protected waters of Egremont Passage, is a truly magical experience.

Iningai Nature Reserve

Longreach, Longreach Area
Free Entry
Iningai Nature Reserve is named after the Inangai, the traditional owners who lived along the Thomson River prior to European settlement. It is currently a reserve and the town common. You'll find bushwalking tracks leading from just south of town where car parking is available.

Dugong Sanctuary - Clairview

Clairview, Isaac Area
Free Entry
In 1997, the Great Barrier Reef Ministerial Council established Clairview (a small beach town approximately 1.5 hours south of Mackay) as a dugong sanctuary. Often dugongs can be spotted when they surface to breathe from the shore, or in the water, when in a kayak, boat or other recreational vessel - so keep an eye out for these majestic creatures!
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