Our trip began in Charleville, about 683km west of Brisbane and on the banks of the Warrego River. In 1886, the legendary Cobb and Co. established a coach-building business in the town… but when the railway arrived about two years later, the trains were stiff competition. You can visit the Charleville Historic House Museum and step back in time.
While in Charleville, take the time to visit the Cosmos Centre and enjoy the wonders of the night sky. The centre is also fun and educational to visit in the daytime.
Most of the towns we visited on this trip are on crossroads — so no matter which direction you are travelling, you will come across one of these towns.
Our next stop was Cunnamulla — about 206km from Charleville. It was still pretty dry out there; always look out for roos and other native animals that may be feeding on the side of highways, especially at dawn and dusk. Did you know there are approximately 950 roos per person in Cunnamulla? It even holds the title of ‘Outback Queensland’s largest roo population’!
The crossroads of Cunnamulla are the Mitchell Highway north to south, while the Balonne Highway enters from the east. They intersect right in town. Also in town is the Cunnamulla Fella — the stockman squat. When the pubs would overflow, the young fellas would sit or squat around the town. The Cunnamulla Fella was a poem penned by Stan Coster and was sung by Australian icon Slim Dusty. Every year there is a festival for the Cunnamulla Fella in town.
The Cunnamulla Tourist Park is a great place to rest up and a perfect base for exploring. There are always sundowner drinks, of course. If you are feeling adventurous, just behind the park is a sand dune — yes, a sand dune! — and you can surf down the sandy slope. The park is very welcoming and you can find air-con cabins, spacious sites and a place to relax.
Next stop was St. George, just over three hours’ drive from Cunnamulla. We like to show you unique places to visit on these trips and one such fascinating (and very Aussie) spot is The Unique Egg. For over 60 years, Stavros has been handcrafting emu eggs in a variety of designs, and now his daughter has taken up the craft. The eggs are best displayed when the lights are off… stunning… and you can have a tour of the museum out the back.
If you are looking for an oasis in St. George, we have the perfect place for you… and this place has a full heart. The Pelican Rest Tourist Park has so much heart it is the winner of the 2019 Good Corporate Citizen Award. Every Thursday, Rotary cook up a mean sausage sizzle; and for a gold coin donation, you can sit back and enjoy the entertainment and dinner.
Next stop: Goondiwindi. It’s 2 hours away and is the closest town on the Queensland border. Whether you are coming north or south, you will have a direct route to the town. At the Victoria Hotel they have a tour with a difference: the Beer and Bullshit Tour. Local, Gordon, has many tales to tell. You can book your tour at Goondiwindi Freedom Lifestyle Park, a park with plenty of room and a lake where you can enjoy your sundowners.
Last, but not least, is Stanthorpe… and it sure is open for business, with everyone waiting for you to come and visit. We stayed at the Country Style Caravan Park. The river is at the end of the park and after a bit of rain, it’s sure to be flowing again. The hosts are charming and welcoming.
You know what the Granite Belt is famous for… WINE!
We were fortunate to catch up with Angelo, the man who started the wine industry in the Granite Belt region. He runs tours of the winery and, of course, there is a cellar door for tasting. The restaurant has the most divine food made with local produce.
Speaking of local produce, do yourself a favour and have breakfast at the JamWorks. They, too, have a tasting tray of their fabulous jams, relishes and paste, which are incorporated into the menu. Simply put — the food is good.
Now we don’t want to scare you, but Christmas is just around the corner. The Granite Belt Christmas Farm is a delight! From beautiful, unique decorations and Belgian chocolates to their famous hot chocolate, you can also pick and cut your own Christmas tree.
Ready to pack your bags, but don’t have a caravan? We can fix that! Let’s Go Brisbane Caravan and Outdoor Sale is on at the Brisbane Showgrounds October 31 – November 3, 2019. You can see over 600 RV products and find information about parks & holiday destinations. It’s the perfect time to buy for Christmas and the Summer Holidays!
Want to know more about the caravan parks we stayed at? Head to the Caravanning Queensland website for more details!
Stopping in at St. George? Try one of Queensland’s biggest burgers there!