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
DAY 2 Chinchilla to Augathella
My what a long drive! We hit the road about 9.30am and arrived at 4.30pm. Our first stop was Miles. We couldn’t resist stopping to look at the gorgeous pub architecture. Three pubs, three different styles with 300 metres of one another. When we arrived, the main street was being closed off for the Anzac march to the memorial.
All throughout today, towns and villages turned out to honour those who served.
I couldn’t resist poining out the 2010 National Sausage King winner in the town of Miles
A beautiful native tree, a bottle brush with tiny baby pink flowers
Faded signs, old country buildings – quintessentially Australian country architecture.
Classic 1930s art deco pub at the Hotel Australia
The Wall of Remembrance in the central community park in Miles. You see that they’re setting up for the Anzac Day service.
Our midday destination was the big country town of Roma. It seems like people stayed on after the Anzac service. A large bakery cafe called BakeaRoma ( geddit, Roma …) was open, along with a very posh, modern pub called 99 On Royal and, opposite the bakery, the Queens Arms.
Roma has some lovely old main street buildings including the 1918 School.of Arts Hotel which is now a series of shops and offices. Also lovely is the local Anglican church, a mashup of Norman and gothic architecture.
The Queens Arms Hotel, an art nouveau style building with bar and bistro on the ground floor and hotel rooms on the balcony level – a style familiar to every Australian who has been out of the city.
Right next door to the pub is an old department store. Sadly, it not longer seems to be in operation
Again an art nouveau building but this one has the unusual additional feature of a widow’s walk. It is no longer a pub and is now professional offices on the ground floor.
A beautiful Anglican church in the heart of Roma
This is a bottle tree, so named for its wide base which tapers towards the crown. This tree is also used in the logo of the local district, Maranoa.
The old Roma primary school, built in the late 1920s in the Spanish Mission style popular in Queensland at the time, is now state government regional offices.
We’re down to half a tank of fuel but decided to fill up and was pleasantly surprised at the price, at $1.28 a litre, it is comparable to home. I was expecting fuel to be dearer.
Back on the road at 1.30pm is the long stretch and we’re officially in the Queensland outback. Farming lands give way to cattle country and miles and miles of it. After about 90 minutes on the road we stop at a little postage stamp of a village to check out a long abandoned service station. These pumps last recorded fuel at 74c a litre which means they haven’t seen service since the early 1990s.
Still heading west, we drove past Mitchell. We’ll be returning there to try out the artesian spa waters.
At Morven, we turned north 100km or so nearer to Augathella. We came up behind a road train, a 55 metre long prime mover and three trailers. He’d slowed for cattle. Hundreds of them from calves through full grown steers, being driven by a single stockman (cowboy) on horseback.
To break the monotony of this last stretch roads signs encouraged you to stay alert on the roads by playing trivia. They even gave you a starter question – what is the mascot of the Augathella Rugby league team?
I’ll share the answer with you tomorrow.
Our accommodation tonight is in a little cabin behind the Augathella pub, the only business in town aside from the butcher across the road. It’s smaller than Chinchillas stop, but still nice.
Tonight it will be dinner in the pub. You can have anything you like as long as it is pizza, a choice of four different types. We chose supreme. It was a bit of a wait but oh boy…. The best pizza in ages! Fresh and lots and lots of toppings.
The pub is small seating only a dozen but the takeaway does brisk trade.
Augathella’s claim to fame is a little boy called Smiley, written by a local teacher’s son.. his tales were made into a series of films featuring Chips Rafferty.
Smiley, a film based on a book written by a local author was turned into a major Australian film in the 1950s.
The plot of Smiley, described as Astralia’s Tom Sawyer, was his various schemes to earn 4-pounds to buy his own bicycle.
Since the pub doesn’t open until 10am tomorrow. This lovely pizza will be our breakfast tomorrow morning ahead of a long (4.5hr with no stops) drive from here to Longreach.
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.