Seven unique outback towns in the St George region

st george region

In the seven unique towns of the St George region, there’s always something new to discover.

Friendly faces and wide open spaces await in Bollon, Dirranbandi, Nindigully, Hebel, Mungindi, St George and Thallon. Breathe in that fresh country air and get ready to explore. 

 

Bollon Cultural Walk. Image: Image: St George Region / Balonne Shire Council.

 

Bollon

Sitting on the banks of the tranquil Wallam Creek is the small town of Bollon. Make sure to have your camera ready to capture some of Bollon’s most famous residents – emus are often spotted strolling the streets. 

Check out the Bollon Heritage Centre with a range of fascinating historical artefacts from the town’s rural history, while the Nullawokka First Nations Gallery in the old post office is another must-see. You can take a tour with a local Kooma guide on a two-hour Bollon Cultural Walk to learn about bush medicine, scar trees and taste gourmet bush tucker. 

Serious campers and 4WD enthusiasts can check out Thrushton National Park, approximately 40 kilometres northeast of Bollon and accessible via dirt roads in dry weather. Be well-prepared, as there are no facilities out here; just nature at its finest. 

 

Outback sunset at Dirranbandi. Image: St George Region / Balonne Shire Council.

 

Dirranbandi

Southwest of St George, Dirranbandi is a small country town that comes to life through the cotton harvest months. The famous Cubbie Station, the largest irrigated cotton farm in the southern hemisphere, is only a stone’s throw away from this small town. Take in its magnitude on a four wheel drive guided tour of the farm. 

On a visit to Railway Park, you’ll find the old waiting room, the original parcels office, and the 1913 Station Master’s residence, which is now the Rural Transaction Centre and provides visitor information. A 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.

Stop for a cold one at the popular Dirran Pub, or say hi to Natalia as you grab a tasty treat from the Dirran Bakery, including homemade pies, vanilla slice, as well as sweet Russian delights. 

 

Nindigully Pub. Image: St George Region / Balonne Shire Council.

 

Nindigully

“The Gully” as it’s locally known is pretty much four houses and a pub on a riverbank. But what a pub! Established in 1864 and perched on the banks of the Moonie River, the rustic Nindigully Pub is the longest continually licensed pub in Queensland (and the 1999 film ‘Paperbark Hero’ was filmed here). 

The Gully Walk – a purpose-built historical river walkway – offers visitors the perfect opportunity to enjoy a self-paced walk through Nindigully’s riverside bushland. The 500m cement path meanders between stately gums on the banks of the Moonie River. Keen anglers will also find it the perfect place to drop a line. 

Park the van or pitch a tent 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. Toilets and showers are available here.

 

The quirky Hebel Hotel. Image: St George Region / Balonne Shire Council.

 

Hebel

One of the treasures of this historic town is the Hebel Hotel. The pub’s facade is adorned with vibrant artwork by John Murray, while inside, the furniture is a quirky blend of recycled items from the bush. Stop in for a cold one and a chat with friendly locals. 

The Hebel General Store and Caravan Park has maintained its 1890s dancehall character and offers amazing home-cooked delights, like cakes, desserts and meals for hungry travellers.

Hebel is a great base for exploring the Culgoa Floodplain National Park, 50 kilometres south-west of the town, and a birdwatcher’s paradise.

 

Mungindi straddles the border between NSW and Qld. Image: St George Region / Balonne Shire Council.

 

Mungindi

Mungindi is a unique town that straddles the Barwon River, with either side marking the border between Queensland and New South Wales.

The 2.5km Mungindi Sculpture Trail is an open-air art gallery installation that uniquely crosses the Queensland/New South Wales border in two spots. Starting at Barwon River Park, it features ten rustic sculptures by award-winning local artist Tony ‘Nicko’ McMillan.

Looking to soak those weary bones? Then Mungindi’s hot artesian pool will be a great spot for you to rest up, relax and rejuvenate for the afternoon in the mineral-rich water. 

You can also visit the One Ton Post: the original survey peg erected by JB Cameron in 1881 (who lent his name to Cameron Corner, the boundary where three states meet). 

 

The Balonne River. Image: St George Region / Balonne Shire Council.

 

St George

Perched on the banks of the mighty Balonne River, St George is the perfect base from which to explore the beautiful Balonne Shire. St George has tree lined streets where you’ll find great coffee, gourmet delis and quality pub food. And don’t miss a visit to the most westerly winery in Queensland while you’re here – Riversands Wines, where you can while away the afternoon with a free personalised wine tasting at the cellar door followed by scones and homemade jam or a cheese platter and a glass of wine in their country garden.

On the St George Heritage Tour, you can discover the legends of the town, including a visit to the Anchorage Homestead, and hear about the history of one of the oldest homes in the Shire. 

From May to September, you can experience a cotton farm tour with a local cotton farmer and learn how cotton is grown, irrigated and harvested.

If you want to get out on the Balonne River, pack a few drinks and nibbles and jump on board a Sandytown River Cruise. Try a leisurely afternoon cruise, fishing tour or a full moon evening cruise. Meanwhile, Beardmore Dam or Jack Taylor Weir are great spots to picnic and throw in a line.

 

William the Wombat. Image: St George Region / Balonne Shire Council.

 

Thallon

Thallon was established in 1911. Driving along the Carnarvon Highway you’ll spot the vibrant Thallon GrainCorp Silo from miles away. The Watering Hole Mural covers four, 30-metre-high silos featuring icons of the district including the Moonie River, a beautiful sunset, a scarred tree recognising Thallon’s Indigenous community, pale-faced rosellas and a mob of sheep which celebrates the area’s agriculture.

Don’t miss stopping by Thallon’s beautiful town park, for a selfie with “William the Wombat”, a giant sculpture (two metres high and 3.5 metres long) of a critically endangered Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat. Thallon has a special connection to the northern hairy-nosed wombat with some of the earliest specimens found in the area.

Enjoyed reading about the St George region? For more to explore in Outback Queensland, check out the history and heritage of Thargomindah.

 

Travel to St George

Rex flies to St George on the Western 1 line. Book your flights here.

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