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St George

From the moment you arrive to the time you leave, St George relaxes the senses in all the right ways. Perched on the banks of the mighty Balonne River, it is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Balonne Shire. A star feature, the two kilometre stretch of shady riverbank walkway which begins below the Jack Taylor Weir and travels alongside the township where you'll find picnic and barbecue facilities, a flood height marker, exercise equipment and information signs on fish and birds unique to this area.

In an unassuming small brick building in the main street, you'll find humble emu eggs carved into stunning, illuminated pieces of art at The Unique Egg. Local character and artisan Steve Margaritus or 'Stavros' has hand-carved an amazing variety of scenes on each egg and illuminated them. For the wine lover Riversands Wines satisfies your thirst for a good drop. With a free, personalised wine tasting at the cellar door you're sure to find a new favourite. Not only do they offer superb wine but why not relax and enjoy their shady country gardens and outdoor café offering scones and homemade jam or a cheese platter and a glass of wine.

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 pelican's cockatoo's and eagles.

Fill in the morning or afternoon by experiencing the St George Cotton Self-Drive Trail. Pack your thermos and smoko as you head off and get to know more about the local cotton industry. The St George Heritage Centre also offers plenty of historical information and artefacts, blacksmith, printing press, old gaol and courthouse. Take a step back in time as early as the 1800s by discovering the 45 minute drive route known as the St George Heritage Trail. Pick up a brochure from the Visitor Information Centre to explore important historical sites, colourful stories and buildings that have shaped the town's history.

St George, 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.

Nindigully

Nindigully, Goondiwindi Area
Just 45 kilometres south east of St George, Nindigully or "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, 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 burger' awaits - a whopper five kilogram 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. .

Mungallala

Mungallala, Maranoa Area
Mungallala, said to mean 'food and water' is the site of a cypress sawmill, located about half way between Mitchell and Morven where the Warrego Highway crosses the Mungallala Creek. Mungallala originated as a railway town and is a wonderful place to stop for lunch and experience the workings of an outback town. One of the interesting natural features of the area is a stand of Ooline trees. On the road between Mitchell and Mungallala, the Warrego Highway crosses hills which are wooded by a specimen of a rare tree commonly known as Ooline (Cadelia Pentastylis). It is said to be a remnant of rainforests of a previous age. For the self-sufficient traveller there is a rest area provided on the western side of town. This is the approximate site where the Cobb and Co. coach horses were changed on the journey to and from Charleville before the coming of the railway in 1885.

Amby

Amby, Maranoa Area
Amby, originally called Amby Creek, became a township in 1883 and forms part of the eastern boundary of the Outback region. It can best be described as where the grain and the grazing belts meet. The Old Stage Changeover Shanty - known to the locals as Netting Hole - dates back to 1875 and is located on the northern side of town, along the Warrego Highway near Amby Downs waterhole. Amby Quarry, located on the western side of town, is a lava flow of pure basalt ten metres deep, five kilometres wide and sixty-four kilometres long. It is quarried for construction of roads, bridges and dams. Fossils can be found occasionally in the lava. Renowned for its country hospitality, stop and meet the locals and take up the challenge of the 'no horse' golf course.

Mitchell

Mitchell, Maranoa Area
Soaking in the soothing mineral springs at Mitchell is just one of the surprises that awaits you in this quaint town on the edge of the outback. Just 87 kilometres west of Roma via the Warrego Highway, Mitchell sits peacefully on the banks of the Maranoa River. It lies in the westerly-most reaches of Southern Queensland Country and services the adjoining communities of Amby, Muckadilla and Mungallala. Many a sun-scorched traveller has found bliss floating in the thermal mineralised waters of the Great Artesian Spa. It's relaxing for the body and therapeutic for the soul, and a precious natural resource that the locals proudly share. Located in Mitchell's aquatic centre, the Spa offers two large pools, one warm and one cool, of natural artesian water. It has been designed for easy access, with a hydro chair for those with restricted mobility. You can explore magnificent sandstone formations, and pristine native ecosystems and take in magnificent panoramic vistas at numerous sites throughout the area. Accessing the Mt Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park is easy from Mitchell. Nature lovers will be impressed with the abundance of wildlife including over 250 bird species living in and visiting the area. Mitchell's active community is keen to preserve the treasures and lessons from the past and have created a range of heritage and cultural displays covering its local indigenous cultural heritage, early explorers and pioneers, bushranging past and social history. Make your first stop the Heritage Museum - packed full of local history, historical items and photographs. Don't miss Major Mitchell's Campsite - established in 1846 on his fourth expedition to map an overland route from Sydney to Darwin. For a taste of the town's chequered past take in the history at Kenniff Court House - the original courthouse where local bushrangers, the Kenniff Brothers, were committed to stand trial in 1902. And well worth a visit is working property and fully restored homestead Bonus Downs, built in 1911 by Australian pastoral legend, Sir Samuel McCaughey.

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.

Dirranbandi

Dirranbandi, Balonne Area
Dirranbandi is a small country town that comes alive through the cotton harvest months. Home to the famed Cubbie Station, the largest irrigated cotton farm in the southern hemisphere; it is only a stone's throw away from this small town. As you drive into Dirranbandi, you'll pass by the town's levee bank which is famous for having saved the town from flooding on more than one occasion. Sit and have a cuppa amongst the shade of Railway Park which 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 railway waiting room, the original parcels office and the 1913 Station Master's residence, which is now the Rural Transaction Centre. While meandering the park you'll 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. On the opposite side of the street - adjacent to the 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.

Hebel

Hebel, Balonne Area
In the little town of Hebel it feels like time has stood still, leaving behind tales of the Ned Kelly gang, Cobb and 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. Use Hebel as your base for visiting the untouched Culgoa Flood plain National Park, a good side trip for campers and birdwatchers. This is nature at its best, so be prepared to be totally self-sufficient. The Hebel General Store and Caravan Park has kept much of its original 1890's dance hall character and offers amazing home cooked cakes, desserts and meals. The Hebel Hotel is a gem of a country pub. It's a quirky place with the interior decked out in recycled furniture made from reclaimed bush finds. It's the kind of place you'll want to stay to get to know the locals over a cold beer. Cabin accommodation is available here too. Spend the afternoon fishing or setting the yabby pots in the Bokhara River, just a stone's throw from the main street.
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