Queensland’s outback easily covers over half the state and for that reason, it is broken up into regions. Each region is diverse and truly unique. Queenslands southern outback region is a great starting point for exploring all of the Queensland outback.
No trip to Queenslands southern outback would be complete without a stop over at Nindigully Pub. This was our second visit here and we loved it just as much as we did the first time. Nindigully Pub is the oldest, continuously licenced pub in Queensland. It has a great atmosphere, with lots of memorabilia on the walls to look at. We enjoyed chatting with other travellers around the fire before heading in for dinner, which we thoroughly enjoyed
Nindigully is located on the banks of the Moonie River and has a huge free camp area as well. It is always very popular so arriving early is always a good idea. Plus that will give you more time to enjoy a beer or two at the pub!
Just a short 33 kilometre drive from Nindigully you will come to the tiny village of Thallon. Here you will find another incredible set of painted silos. In fact, you can camp almost right in front of them. The McGeever Recreational Grounds offer free camping or for $5.00 you can hook up to power and water.
The silos are absolutely stunning and recognise the local Indigenous community, as well as local agricultural pursuits and the beautiful pale-faced rosellas that are found in the area. They were painted by Brisbane artists, Drapel and The Zookeeper.
Thallon is a great little village. Here you will find another beaut country pub – the Francis Hotel – which also doubles as the general store and post office. Make sure you check out the little park across the road as well. It’s a good spot to stretch your legs, especially if you are travelling with kids. They will love the giant Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat sculpture, which also doubles as a rock climbing wall.
Dirranbandi is another one of those small outback towns that you might not think of stopping in. Our main reason for visiting was the opportunity to do a tour of Cubbie Station. Cubbie Station is Australia’s largest, irrigated cotton farm. This tour not only gives you an excellent overview of the enormous size of Cubbie, but also gives you a better understanding of how water is managed on a property of this size. Tours are run by Nikki and Scott from Dirranbandi Caravan Park and cost $50.00 per person, which includes morning tea.
Dirranbandi Caravan Park is a great spot to stay. A small, tidy park the highlight was ‘Happy Hour’ in the camp kitchen, with a roaring open fire going. Plus, owners Nikki and Scott generously provide some yummy food each night. We had baked potatoes with assorted fillings one night and very tasty homemade pizza the next night.
When visiting Dirranbandi make sure you enjoy a stroll along the Balonne Minor River which was a really pretty spot. In the centre of town there is a lovely park and the old railway precinct where you will find some information on the history of Dirranbandi. The Linen Cupboard is a lovely shop to browse through and stocks an excellent range of clothing and giftware.
If you are looking for somewhere to grab morning tea or lunch make sure you head into the Dirranbandi Bakery. Owned and run by Russian immigrant Nathalia, this Dirranbandi icon has something for everyone. The pies were awesome as was the caramel tart!
St George is the largest of the towns in this area and has everything you could need including two supermarkets and a couple of pubs. It is an ideal spot to base yourself and explore the surrounding area.
St George is located on the banks of the Balonne River. Beautiful parkland runs right along the river, complete with walking track and picnic areas. Crossing the river on the edge of town is the Jack Taylor Weir/Andrew Nixon Bridge which was constructed in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. Here you will also find a sculpture of a Murray Cod made out of scrap metal.
We also enjoyed a drive out to Beardmore Dam, which is a nice area for a walk or a picnic.
We stayed a night at the River Gum Tourist Park which is just 100 metres from the river. Most sites were nice and level with some green grass. Amenities were adequate and there is a brand new camp kitchen in the park as well.
We loved the tiny village of Bollon. Bollon is located on the banks of Wallam Creek and it’s here that you will find an awesome free camp. It was the perfect spot to stop and rest for awhile. There is lots of room for everyone and although it was busy, we didn’t feel crowded in. There are also clean showers and toilets nearby if you need them.
A walking track leads up to the small main street where you will find Deb’s Cafe. This popular spot also houses an historical display of shearing and the sheep industry. Make sure you drop into the Bollon Hotel for a cold beer and a chat with the locals. A visit to the Bollon Heritage Centre will have you learning about the history of the area.
We had an awesome time exploring Queenslands southern outback region. It’s a fantastic area with so much to see and do.