Thank you for joining me on my Queensland Outback Adventure!
We thought we’d play tourist in our backyard and visit all the places in our own state that we said we’d get to ‘one day’ and since overseas travel is so far off for most of us, I thought you might like to go on a virtual holiday with my husband and me.
Here’s our itinerary:
Saturday, April 24 – Home to Chinchilla Motor Inn Sunday, April 25 – Chinchilla to Augathella Palms Monday, April 26 – Augathella to Longreach (Jumbuck Motel) Tuesday, April 27 – Longreach Wednesday, April 28 – Longreach to Winton (Matilda Motel) Thursday, April 29 – Winton to Blackall (Coolibah Motel) Friday, April 30 – Blackall to Mitchell (Major Mitchell Caravan Park and Cabins) Saturday, May 1 – Mitchell to Toowoomba (Platinum International) Sunday, May 2 – Toowoomba to Home
Something to remember that our journey takes place all within Queensland.
How big is Queensland?
Area Queensland = 714,959 square miles (1,851,736 square km)
Which makes it bigger than Alaska by 50,000 square miles.
Queensland is larger in area than Texas, California, Montana and New Mexico combined but it only has a population of 5.1 million (which is about the same as South Carolina)
Queensland is the second largest state by area (behind WA) and third largest state by population (behind NSW and Victoria).
Gold Coast to Chinchilla
We set off before 10am and did the familiar drive from the Gold Coast to Toowoomba – about 1.5 hours drive out of the city and along the Warrego Highway.
Once we got there, we didn’t have much of a plan for lunch. We stumbled across the Royal Hotel.
It wasn’t much to look like on the outside, but boy were we pleasantly surprised. We arrived ahead of the lunchtime rush. The Royal appears to be popular with families for lunch and no surprise. The bistro was fresh and modern. And the food was lovely. Duncan had roast of the day (pork), I had the salt and pepper calamari.
We’re pretty determined to avoid fast food along the way and when to comes to the country and the outback, the one place you can be pretty sure of good food is the local hotel, or pub. It’s not just a bar, it’s often a bistro and in some places it also offers overnight accommodation too. Depending on how far you are from a major own, many outback pubs have room for you to park up your campervan or caravan and rest up overnight.
Then it was the 2 hour drive to Chinchilla through the western downs passing cotton and wheat fields. Towering silos over expansive fields, road trains and milelong trains. The roads were great.
20km outside of Chinchilla we stopped for an ice cream in a little village called Brigalow.
We arrived in Chinchilla just after 3pm and stayed in a self contained cabin at the Chinchilla Motor Inn. It’s lovely, quiet and clean. We were greeted by Seth and were offered a complimentary drink. After hot day we opted for a cold bottle of Great Northern Brewery beer.
Here is something you may not know about Chinchilla… there are no little furry chinchillas here. Apparently the town got its name from a local Aboriginal word tintinchilla which means cypress tree. But the first ‘tin’ was dropped and the ‘t’ became a ‘ch’ and the rest is history.
Chinchilla is a farming area and is billed as the melon capital of Australia. It used to have a large melon festival but its been cancelled until further notice. Whether this has to do with COVID or an extended drought, it is difficult to say.
We arrived on Saturday afternoon, so everything was shut, but we were directed to a lovely pub for dinner.
We were too early for dinner so we ordered a couple of coffees. There was no charge, another delightful surprise. After an hour or so relaxing back in our cabin, we went back to The Club Hotel.
Again, such a lovely atmosphere. The staff were very friendly and oh my the food! We both had beef and beer pie served with mash potato, mushy peas, onion rings and gravy. Outstanding! Although, I couldn’t finish it. After dinner, we sat on the pub verandah awhile and enjoyed the crisp, cool evening air.
Tomorrow is Anzac day. Unfortunately, well have to miss the service because we have an even longer drive ahead of us tomorrow.
From Chinchilla we head west past Roma, past Miles to an even smaller town of Augathella.
UPDATE: my goodness it got cold overnight. Hubby ended up sleeping with a beanie on his head. It is also noisy in the country and these cabins, pretty much like luxury caravans, are not that well insulated. We went to bed relatively early and while in a light doze we heard traffic (mainly road freight) from the highway, the blare of the horn as the freight trains (at least three) made their way through. Now we’re not close to the highway or trainlines which are a km away, but it does go to prove that this is a working town, not merely a tourist town.
Breakfast! When we checked in we bought a breakfast pack – bread for toasting, yogurt granola, a muffin, orange juice, muesli bar and an apple. It was more than enough to start our day, so we took the juice packs, apples and muesli bar for a snack later in the morning and enjoyed with cereal and yoghurt with a hot cup of tea.
LEAVE ME A COMMENT BELOW TO GO INTO THE DRAW FOR THIS OUTBACK PRIZE PACK
Queensland boulder opal pendants
Coloured sands from the Winton ‘Jump Up’ Mesas
A canvas tote from Tambo teddies
An Australian Country soap
Winner will be announced in June’s Love’s Great Adventure magazine.