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Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs

Free Things to do in Toowoomba

There are so many things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs we discovered lots which we found really interesting and very worthwhile visiting.

Toowoomba is the Garden City of Queensland so beautiful gardens are definitely on the list and they are free for visitors and locals to wander through and admire the flowers, trees, water features and other features of the different parks and gardens.

Another fascinating thing about Toowoomba is that it is rich in history. There are so many amazing old buildings.

You can do self-guided walking tours where many notable landmarks are highlighted. Some of the buildings in Toowoomba date back to the 1860s and one in particular has a quirky significance.

Toowoomba and the Darling Downs is full of interesting things to do.

Queens Park Toowoomba - one of 10 Free Things to do in Tooowoomba

Here is our list of Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs

  1. Carnival of Flowers
  2. Japanese Gardens
  3. Laurel Bank Park Gardens
  4. Qld State Rose Gardens
  5. Russell Street Historical Walk
  6. Toowoomba Street Art
  7. Oldest Men’s Public Urinal in Queensland
  8. Cobb & Co Museum
  9. Toowoomba Farmers Markets
  10. Picnic Point
  11. Table Top Mountain
  12. Spring Bluff Railway Station
  13. Chocolate Cottage, Highfields
  14. Highfields Pioneer Village
  15. Cooks Soft Drinks, Pittsworth
  16. Kaimkillenbun, Queensland’s Longest Named Town
  17. Dingo Barrier Fence, Jimbour

Things to do in Toowoomba, the City of Gardens

Discover the beauty of Queens Park during Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

The most well known park in the City of Gardens is Queens Park.

The optimum time to visit Queens Park is in Spring during the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, the longest running floral event of its kind in Australia. The fabulous floral festival has flourished into an annual iconic event since it first began in 1949.

The Botanical Gardens in Queens Park is spectacular all year round but especially comes alive in Spring.

Even in Autumn at the time of our most recent visit there are still a number of flower beds bringing vibrant colour to the gardens.

Spread over 26.3 hectares, the heritage listed Queens Park is a fabulous parkland with plenty of walking paths and wide open space and playgrounds for children to play.

Queens Park Toowoomba
Japanese Garden - One of the free things to do in Toowoomba

Stroll around the Japanese Garden

The beautiful gardens in Toowoomba definitely feature highly in our list of things to do in Toowoomba.

The Japanese Garden is just one of the popular gardens to visit when exploring the City of Gardens.

Nestled in suburbia at Darling Heights on the northern side of the University of Southern Queensland grounds is the Japanese Garden.

The gardens are jointly owned by the University and Toowoomba Regional Council.

There are 3 hectares of gardens with bright orange bridges, a waterfall and a lake filled with turtles, ducks and birds.

The Japanese Garden is open between 7am and 6pm daily and entry is free!

Japanese Garden

Explore Laurel Bank Park Gardens

As Toowoomba is so well known as the Garden City of Queensland, be sure to make your way around the beautiful gardens of Laurel Bank Park.

We discovered the beautiful flower beds, colourful mini windmills, topiary sculptured animals, an awesome Thomas the Tank sculptured hedge, a water feature and a scented garden with perfumed plants and herbs.

After it was suggested by The Downs Association for the Blind, the Scented Gardens were developed in 1980. We saw a small bus load of visually impaired people visiting the gardens while we were there.

Laurel Bank Park Gardens are well worth a visit and they are one of the great free things to do in Toowoomba.

Laurel Bank Park Toowoomba

View the video below to see some of the things we discover in and around Toowoomba:

Qld State Rose Garden

Admire the Beautiful Roses in the Qld State Rose Garden

Queensland’s State Rose Garden in Newtown Park in Toowoomba boast over 2,000 roses. These fabulous flowers tantalise your sense of smell with their perfume and are absolutely beautiful to the eye.

Besides the numerous garden beds filled with a great variety of roses showcased in all different colours, the special feature is the Heritage Roses in Australia Collections.

One hundred and eighty roses, of species introduced before 1900, were planted in the Heritage Rose Garden. They provide a spectacular display especially in Spring.

This sensational Qld State Rose Garden was established in 1999. The roses are usually in bloom for everyone to enjoy nine months of the year.

Qld State Rose Garden Toowoomba

Things to Do in Toowoomba City Centre

Walk back in time on the Russell Street Historical Walk

Combine one of the free things to do in Toowoomba with its rich history by doing the self-guided Russell Street Historical Walk.

It takes you past some historical old buildings of Toowoomba. The tour starts with the magnificent old Heritage Listed Toowoomba Railway Station that was built in 1873.

A significant feature of this historic station is the refreshment rooms, memorial honour board, rest room/retiring room/powder room plus the inclusion of two air-raid shelters.

Toowoomba Railway Station
Toowoomba Street Art

Venture down Laneways and find Toowoomba’s Street Art

Another of the free things to do in Toowoomba CBD is to venture down the laneways in the city centre and you will come across some amazing Street Art.

There are loads and loads of street art murals and you could literally spend hours wandering down the laneways and exploring the streets of Toowoomba in search of these incredible pieces of art.

The best part in searching for the street art is that it’s just one of the things to do in Toowoomba for free and it is also great exercise!

Toowoomba Street Art

Check out the Oldest Men’s Public Urinal in Queensland

One of the quirkiest things that Toowoomba is known for is it has the Oldest known existing Public Urinal in Queensland!

Now that’s one quirky claim to fame!

Originally built in 1919, this famous roofless Men’s Toilet amazingly survived the disastrous floods in 2011.

Due to roadworks this iconic toilet building was pulled down in 2013. They then rebuilt it brick by brick in exactly the same location.

Qld oldest Mens Toilet Toowoomba

Things to do in and around Toowoomba

Cobb & Co Museum

Cobb & Co Museum is one of the most popular attractions in Toowoomba and certainly is not to be missed.

We wandered through the Ancient Rome Exhibit which was currently showing, browsed through the workshop areas and the National Carriage Collection prior to the start of our tour.

Museum Tours run daily at 10.30am and 2.30pm.

We were extremely fortunate to have a one on one experience with our tour guide as we were the only two on the 2.30pm tour. Learning the history and just some of the stories was fascinating.

  • The Cobb & Co Mail and Passenger Service used 9,000 horses to travel 30,000kms across the 39-40 different routes per week.
  • They would change horses every 1.5hrs which ensured the speed of service

Cobb & Co Museum is open from 9.30am – 4pm daily.

Cobb & Co Toowoomba

Stock up at the Toowoomba Farmers Markets

Every Saturday morning, you can stock up on your fresh fruit and vegies at the Toowoomba Farmers Markets.

The markets are held under the Windmills at the Cobb & Co Museum each Saturday from 7am to 12pm.

This is a great opportunity to buy direct from the farmers including seasonal fruit and vegetables, meat, hand-made bread, pasta, jam, honey and eggs just to name a few.

There’s also a range of local artisan stalls selling hand made soaps, jewellery, leather work and much more.

Take in the magnificent views from Picnic Point

For breathtaking views, a visit to Picnic Point is a must. Picnic Point is the highest point in Toowoomba with an elevation of 2,300 feet. 

It’s the perfect spot for a picnic and to take in the magnificent views from this fabulous vantage point.

Picnic Point offers direct views across to Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley plus you look down on the roadway that weaves up the steep range to Toowoomba.

More extensive views of the Table Top Mountain and the Lockyer Valley can be enjoyed from the lookout on the Tobruk Memorial Drive.

The Picnic Point Parklands and Lookout has long been very popular for locals and visitors. The first portion of the parklands was set aside back in 1886.

A mushroom shaped water tower constructed in 1963 is also a distinct feature alongside the Picnic Point Cafe and Restaurant.

The now Heritage listed Picnic Point and adjacent Parkland is definitely high on the list of the top things to do in Toowoomba.

Picnic Point is one of the Free Things to do in Toowoomba

Hike Table Top Mountain

If you are fit and energenic, take a hike up to the summit of the Table Top Mountain.

Table Top Mountain in Rangeville on the outskirts of Toowoomba is the distinct flat top mountain that you can clearly see from Picnic Point.

Quite a number of years ago, Kev and a couple of mates hiked Table Top Mountain which stands at 597 metres. The 2km hike is Grade 5 classification. For most people the walking time is approx 2hrs 20 minutes.

Sections of the walk are quite steep and there are also sections which entail climbing over medium sized rocks.

As you near the summit, it is mostly large loose gravel and exposed rocks. The circuit at the summit offers exceptional views from all around the mountain top.

Table Top Mountain Toowoomba

5 Essentials – Outside RV Accessories

  1. To plug your RV with standard 15amp in to standard residential 10amp power source you will need a converter. We love our waterproof Ampfibian and after over 4 years it’s still perfect.
  2. Most people carry a Generator for back up power. 4wd Supacentre has a good low cost and popular generator while the Yamaha 2000w is a robust yet quiet excellent performer.
  3. A 20m 15amp Power Lead will ensure you reach your power source in Caravan Parks and Campgrounds.
  4. You will want a good blue Drinking Water Hose. Your typical green garden hose is not suitable for drinking from.
  5. A 4 way tap handle will help you find water whenever you need it
Spring Bluff Railway Station

Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs Region

See the historic and spectacular Spring Bluff Railway Station

Just a 20 minute drive out of Toowoomba is one of the prettiest old Railway Stations around Australia – The Spring Bluff Railway Station.

Another that is equally as impressive is the Kuranda Railway Station just out of Cairns in Far North Queensland.

We leisurely strolled around the Spring Bluff Railway Station checking out the beautiful gardens and the preserved old railway station.

Spring Bluff is on the main railway line between Ipswich and Toowoomba and they regularly run a steam train into Toowoomba during the Carnival of Flowers.

The Cafe on the hill at the old Spring Bluff Railway Station is open throughout the Carnival of Flowers.

In the grounds of the old Spring Bluff Railway Station, there is a picnic area and playground. Plus, there is a gazebo that is often used for Weddings.

There is also a grand old tree to the right of the station. This enormous London Plan Tree is the last of the 5 planted in 1870.

Spring Bluff Railway Station is a must see. Take care if you are heading there from the New England Highway like we did.

It has a very steep 21 degrees decent.

We highly recommend not taking this route if you are travelling with a caravan or in a motorhome. Fortunately we were in our 4WD and not our motorhome!

Spring Bluff Railway Station

Chocolate Cottage Highfields

If you love chocolate, you will love the beautiful hand made Chocolate Cottage at Highfields which is just 15 minutes from the heart of Toowoomba.

When you step inside the Chocolate Cottage you are actually stepping inside the beautifully restored 1877 original Highfields School House. It was transformed into the Chocolate Cottage in April 1997.

This delightful chocolate store is open from 8am – 4pm each day except Tuesdays.

We made it just in time before closing to enjoy a Hazelnut Cream, Lime Cream, Passionfruit Cream, Orange Cream and a Musk Cream, all super yummmm!

Chocolate Cottage

Sit outside and savour the deliciousness of your choice of choccies. The ambience is awesome and the views from Highfields are stunning.

Also located in The Village Green are a number of other quaint specialty shops encircling the grassy outdoor sitting area.

These cottage style stores offer a range of fashion, footwear, antiques, art, homewares, jewellery and more.

Chocolate Cottage HIghfields

Highfields Pioneer Village

The Highfields Pioneer Village is a celebration of Australian history and a heritage attraction in Highfields just north of Toowoomba.

The village features a Fire Brigade Museum, Ambulance Museum, Queensland Energy Museum, Miniature Steam Train, Model T Bus and other authentic buildings.

Highfields Pioneer Village is also now home to The Big Cow. It was mooved from its original location on the Sunshine Coast and officially became part of the pioneer village on 20 September 2020.

Opening hours are 10am to 4pm daily.

Quench your thirst at Cooks Soft Drinks

Only 40kms from Toowoomba is the town of Pittsworth where you can find Cooks Soft Drinks where they make soft drinks the old fashioned!

We popped in for a visit and were fortunate to be able to have a chat with the owner Brendan who was very busy at the time supplying the Pittsworth Show with Cooks Soft Drinks.

Brendan bought the Cooks Soft Drinks business 6 years ago from a couple who were retiring all while he was still working for Ergon. Brendan now operates the factory most of the time on his own.

All of the soft drinks are made the old fashioned way, bottled and packed into cartons on site before being distributed throughout the Darling Downs and Brisbane Valley region.

They also have a retail shop at the front of the factory where like us you can buy hot or cold soft drinks. We purchased a large bottle of Double Sars, Creaming Soda, Portobello and Ginger Beer.

We asked Brendan what the most popular flavour was and it just happens to be our favourite as well – Double Sars!

Take a drive to the Longest Named Town in Queensland

Have you ticked the Longest Single Named Town in Queensland off the list of things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs region?

We can now say we have visited Kaimkillenbun which is commonly known as ‘The Bun’. You can certainly understand why they shortened it to The Bun, can’t you!

Not only is Kaimkillenbun famous for being the longest single named town in Queensland, there are also a number of other interesting facts about this small town which is just an hour and ten minutes drive from Toowoomba.

  1. It was the setting for the television mini-series starring Nicole Kidman called ‘Chase in the Night’
  2. Inside the Bun Pub is a framed Linen Cupboard Door which has the (now faded) signatures of 18 World War I Diggers along with photos of the soldiers
  3. The very small town with the longest name was where Adele’s Grandfather and his family nearly moved to in the 1940’s. How different could life have been if they moved to the Bun instead of Brisbane!
  4. Consisting of just 7 streets long and 7 streets wide, the locals work hard to keep the tiny town of Kaimillenbun tidy and it has often been a finalist in the Tidy Towns

The Bun Pub is well worth a visit and has a lot of quirky features including a vintage car perched up on a stand behind the pub, a vintage ute permanently parked on the front corner of the pub that looks like a Jack Daniels Commercial plus a truck head that is bursting out of the front wall of the pub!

Head out and see the Start of the Dingo Barrier Fence in Jimbour

The Dingo Barrier Fence starts in Jimbour on the Darling Downs near Dalby and finishes in Fowlers Bay, South Australia.

The fence stretches 5614 kms through 3 states – Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

Construction began in 1880, was completed in 1885 and is one of the longest man made structures in the world.

Originally it was built as a rabbit proof fence to stop the plague of rabbits spreading across the state borders.

By 1914, after it was proven to unsuccessful as a rabbit proof fence, it was converted into a dog fence to keep out dingoes and wild dogs.

For more on exploring historic Toowoomba click on the video below:

Toowoomba Lamington History

Five Fun Facts about Toowoomba

  1. Toowoomba proudly held the Guiness World Record for just over 9 years for the Largest Lamington.

    The giant lammie weighed 2.361kg. Made by Quality Desserts and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce on 11 June 2011 at the Newtown Rugby Club.

    However New Zealand Charity ‘Cook’s Night Off’ has since broken Toowoomba’s record on 22 July 2020. Their record breaking 2.770kg lamington was the equivalent to 50,000 individual lamingtons.
  2. Australia’s First Appendectomy performed on a patient in Toowoomba on 11 March 1893. The Appendectomy procedure performed on Emma Webb in her own home on the kitchen table.
  3. Toowoomba’s Quirkest Fun Fact is they have the Oldest known Public Urinal still existing in Queensland. The iconic roofless public men’s toilet built in 1919. Amazingly it survived the floods in 2011.

    In 2013, the toilet was pulled down. It was later re-built brick by brick in exactly the same location. The unique Men’s Toilet building on Russell Street is where the heritage listed building stands today.
  4. Toowoomba can lay claim to Queensland’s First Brewery built in 1867. Originally named the Downs Brewery, it then became known as Perkins Brewery and ultimately became part of Castlemaine Perkins.

    Within 2 years it was one of the largest breweries in the Southern Hemisphere.
  5. Alderman Nellie Elizabeth Robinson was voted as Mayor of Toowoomba in 1967 making her the First Lady Mayor in Queensland.
Picnic Point Cafe

Places to Eat in Toowoomba

Picnic Point Cafe

Combine breathtaking views with scrumptous food while dining for Breakfast or Lunch at the Picnic Point Cafe. With the Cafe sitting approx 700 metres above sea level it provides the perfect location to eat out in Toowoomba.

Enjoy a cup of coffee, glass of wine, a fabulous meal or even just an ice-cream while taking advantage of the panoramic views at the same time.

The Cafe is currently open from 8.30am – 5pm Mondays to Fridays and 8am – 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Address: 164 Tourist Road, Toowoomba

George Banks Rooftop Bar & Bistro

George Banks Rooftop Bar

Another fabulous eating place in Toowoomba with a view is the George Banks Rooftop Bar and Bistro.

Located right in the heart of Toowoomba CBD, it sits atop one of Toowoomba’s treasured old Bank buildings.

George Banks is open for lunch each day from 12pm except Mondays and Tuesdays. They are also open from 5.30pm – 9pm for dinner or a cocktail on Wednesdays and Thursdays and some Friday nights.

Choose from a range of starters, share platters, pizzas, burgers, a lunch time steak and other mains or the popular Chef’s Signature Wings. There is a kids menu available as well as desserts.

Address: 206 Margaret Street, Toowoomba

Gelatissimo Cafe Toowoomba

Gelatissimo Cafe

Everyone loves ice cream, don’t they?

We can never go past an ice cream shop so it was always going to be inevitable that we call into Gelatissimo Cafe.

We had definitely earned an ice cream after our Sunday stroll through the city of Toowoomba checking out the architecture of the historic old buildings and finding lots of street art tucked away in the laneways and on the sides of buildings.

That’s our excuse and we are sticking to it lol 🙂

Address:  446 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba

Gelatissimo Toowoomba

GPO Bar & Cafe

The Old Post Office in Toowoomba has transformed into the GPO Bar & Cafe.

Open Mondays to Saturdays from 6.30am – 4pm and close at 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday hours are 7am – 2pm.

The GPO Bar & Cafe, known for their excellent service and great food. They offer a great range of Asian and Australian cuisine. 

It’s also a quiet relaxing place with great atmosphere to catch up with family or friends for coffee and cake.

Address: 140 Margaret Street, Toowoomba

GPO Bar & Cafe Toowoomba

Check out these other interesting blogs:

Pin – Things to Do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs

Other great places to stay in the region:

Toowoomba Showgrounds
Stunning sunsets while we stayed at the Toowoomba Showgrounds

Have you visited Toowoomba? Do you know of any other Things to do in Toowoomba and Darling Downs to add to our list?

Safe travels   

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

Mataranka, What to do and where to stay

Mataranka Feaature

Mataranka is a small town in Northern Territory and the Capital of the Never Never, just 431 kms south-east of Darwin.

Coming from the south on your road trip, you’ve probably just enjoyed a fantastic Barra Burger and a beer at Daly Waters Pub less than 2 hours drive away.

The Stuart Highway has now brought you here to Mataranka and if you’ve seen the photos from other travellers you’ll know why this is a must stop destination.

This is a great place to pull up stumps for a few nights after some long days driving and just relax and enjoy the Australian outback.

Mataranka Capital of the Never Never

About Mataranka

Mataranka to Darwin is still a 4 and a half hour drive away yet, with many great sight still to see along the way.

Katherine is just up the road and only 115 kms, just over an hour’s drive between the two towns.

The population of Mataranka is approximately 350 people but thousands of tourists arrive in town during the winter dry season.

The region has a strong Indigenous history and you can witness Aboriginal Art at the Stockyard Gallery’s exhibit and visit the Never Never Museum to learn more about their local stories.

Mataranka

Mataranka Weather

The weather in Mataranka is consistently warm during the day and the best months to visit are April to September during the dry season.

Our first stay was in July and our other two stays have both been in the month of May.

Apart from the winter months, the average temperatures for the most part of the year range between 19.7°C to 37.9°C with the hottest month on average being October.

July is the coldest month with an average maximum of 30.5°C and the minimum temperature down around 13.6°C.

The area is generally very dry in the winter months but during the wet season roads may be cut off for long periods.

Bitter Springs is one of the main attractions in Mataranka
Spectacular Bitter Springs

Things to do in Mataranka

Bitter Springs

One of the most popular attractions in Mataranka is Bitter Springs.

An amazing 30.5 million litres of water rises from underground and it is heaps of fun to float down with the gentle flow of water.

You will find the water temperature sits at around 34°C all year round but the springs are generally closed from November to May due to flooding in the wet season.

This amazing crystal clear naturally fed spring is lined with paperbarks and cabbage palms.

There is now a paved pathway from the car park to this ever popular swimming hole.

The entry and exit points from the springs is via a small set of stairs with a handrail.

Bitter Springs is located in the Elsey National Park and is just 2 kms from the township of Mataranka.

Simply turn off the Stuart Highway into Martin Road.

Just 500 metres past Bitter Springs Cabins and Camping you will arrive at the Bitter Springs car park.

Kev enjoying Bitter Springs

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Mataranka Thermal Pools

Mataranka Thermal Pools

The Mataranka Thermal Pools are just one of the two natural thermal pools in the Elsey National Park.

These paperbark, palm fringed Mataranka Hot Springs offer a safe place for swimming in crystal clear waters that are consistently warm all year round.

Easily accessible from within the Mataranka Homestead and just a short walk from the car park.

Anyone can visit the Hot Springs by walking through the Mataranka Homestead, easy free parking is available at the front.

Mataranka Giant Termite Mound

Giant Termite Mound

Right in the heart of Mataranka is a giant termite mound. It is the world’s largest man-made termite mound.

There are over 2000 species of termites and nearly 90 can be found within the Northern Territory.

Termite mounds are a very common sight in The Top End as their homes dominate the landscape.

Barra Feeding at the Territory Manor Mataranka
Our son Matt feeding the barramundi at the Territory Manor

Territory Manor Barramundi Feeding

Territory Manor is a local Motel and Caravan Park which is both family and pet friendly.

You can stop and stay or drop in for lunch any day.

Twice a day, the Territory Manor feed the Barramundi in the dam beside their licensed restaurant.

If you want to brave it, you can even take part in the barra feeding. The Barra have a very explosive action when being fed which is amazing to witness close up.

Admission to the barra feeding at the Territory Manor is free but a gold coin donation is appreciated.

Meeting Nathan Whippy Griggs

Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

A visit to Mataranka is not complete without catching Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

Nathan is an extremely talented whip cracker and holds five Guiness World records.

One of his World records being for the most times a whip can be cracked in a minute.

Unbelievably Nathan can crack a whip 697 times in just one minute.

Nathan has been cracking whips since he 14 and performs regularly in Mataranka from May to August and in other towns around the country throughout other months of the year.

Admission is free to the Mataranka Homestead to see Nathan perform live and he simply relies on people making a donation or purchasing a whip and other merchandise after the show.

Mataranka Falls

The hike to the Mataranka Falls is an 8 km return walk from 12 Mile Yards.

The track is well marked with blue arrows and is mostly flat with a hard surface but some patches are sandy.

There are some scenic view points as it follows the Roper River along the way to the falls.

If you are expecting a high plunging waterfall you will be disappointed.

The Mataranka Falls consist of small cascade of less than a metre in height.

Note there is definitely no swimming at Mataranka Falls or in the river as salt water crocs inhabit these waters.

Read more about Darwin & the Top End: Things to do in Darwin, NT

5 Essentials – Ryobi Tools for Traveling

  1. A chainsaw certainly is an essential tool while traveling especially when camping and 4WDing. Perfect for cutting up wood for the campfire and ideal for clearing tracks of fallen branches when 4WDing. I really like the Ryobi Chainsaw and will be looking to buy one very soon to match all of my other Ryobi tools.
  2. The Ryobi Cordless Hand Vacuum has been super handy for the motorhome while traveling and now it is also great to use in our 4WD.
  3. Even prior to traveling, I have always used a Ryobi Cordless Drill. They are an essential tool for use at home and while on the road.
  4. We have had heaps of use from our Ryobi 18v Area Light. It’s great for fishing, camping and outdoor entertaining and even when we want to save power at night while free camping. Just charge it up the next day when you have solar.
  5. There are so many uses for our Ryobi Blower while traveling. Blowing the leaves off the top of the slideout before bringing it in, accelerating the campfire, clearing away any dirt, grass or sand from around your campsite.
Our preferred place to stay in Mataranka - Little Roper Stockcamp

Mataranka Accommodation

Mataranka caters for all travellers with a wide variety of accommodation to choose from.

There’s bush camping, motel rooms, cabins as well as powered and unpowered caravan park sites.

Between the Homestead, Caravan Parks and Motels the area has you covered for whatever accommodation you require during your stay.

Little Roper Stockcamp

Enjoy an incredible and unique outback experience at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Every morning at 8am except Sundays, owner Des boils the billy and cooks up little johnny cakes.

It is great gathering around with fellow travellers for a chat over a free cup of tea while enjoying a couple of johnny cakes for just $2 each.

After morning smoko, stick around as at 9am Des brings out the resident snakes and lizards for kids big and small to get up close and personal with.

Campfire Cooking Little Roper Stockcamp

The Communal Fire is lit every afternoon at 5pm and offers another great gathering point at the Little Roper Stockcamp.

Cook dinner over the fire in your camp oven or you are welcome to use one of the camp ovens provided.

There are rustic showers and toilets, washing machines and water but it is bore water.

A number of friendly farm animals on-site are also a great way to keep the kids entertained.

Contact Details for the Little Roper Stockcamp:

Phone: 0427 880 819
Address: 547 Homestead Road Mataranka NT
Website:

Read everything to know here: Little Roper Stockcamp

Des cooking up johnny cakes at Little Roper Stockcamp

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Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping in Mataranka

Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Located just 3kms from the Mataranka township the Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping is also just a short walk to the magnificent Bitter Springs.

Right on the banks of the Little Roper River, it not only provides an informal camping area in a relaxed natural bush setting, it is also an awesome spot to go barra fishing.

The spacious Campground has powered sites with bore water on tap where you can choose your own site and you can stay unhitched if you wish.

Pet Friendly Bitter Springs Camping

Facilities include toilets, showers, a camp kitchen and laundry.

An on-site kiosk stocks bread, milk and ice and be sure to try their frozen fresh locally grown mango!

Unpowered sites are available alongside the bank of the river.

Campfires are allowed in the unpowered campground but not in the main powered camping area.

Pets are welcome and we were able to stay with our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS.

Generators are not permitted.

Contact Details for Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping:

Phone:  08 8975 4838
Address:  255 Martin Road, Bitter Springs, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website: 

Read more: Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Bitter Springs Caravan Park - our first stay in Mataranka
Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

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Mataranka Homestead at night

Mataranka Homestead

The Mataranka Homestead is home to the We of the Never Never Homestead and the Mataranka Thermal Pools.

A large camping area is available with both powered and unpowered sites as well as cabins and motel style accommodation.

Facilities at the Mataranka Homestead include a pool, bar and restaurant plus a store which stocks bread, milk, souvenirs and basic clothing and fishing supplies.

There are three amenities blocks and two laundries throughout the grounds.

Nathan Whippy Griggs regularly performs at the Mataranka Homestead
Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs

Pets are permitted but restricted to Campground One only due to the fact that the homestead is located in National Park.

Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times in the campground. Pets are not permitted in the Elsey National Park.

There are no on-line bookings available, it is simply a first in best dressed basis or you can call them on (08) 8975 4544.

Be sure to witness Nathan ‘Whippy’ Griggs in action at the Mataranka Homestead.

He performs every night except Monday nights from May through to August.

Contact Details for the Mataranka Homestead:

Phone: 08 8975 4544
Address: 642 Homestead Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Mataranka Homestead

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Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park - one of the places to stay in Mataranka

Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park

Just 500 metres from the heart of Mataranka township is the Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park.

Powered Sites, Family Rooms and Double Share Motel Rooms are the accommodation options on offer.

Facilities include a swimming pool, spa, a huge camp kitchen, barbecue and laundry.

Territory Manor Buggy from We of the Never Never movie

There is also an outdoor undercover licensed restaurant which is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

The old buggy from the ‘We of the Never Never’ movie features in the restaurant as a buffet bench.

One of the other features of the Territory Manor is the Barra Feeding and the camping area is pet friendly.

Contact Details for Territory Manor Motel & Caravan Park:

Phone: 08 8975 4516 or 08 8975 4612
Address: 51 Martin Road, Mataranka, Northern Territory
Website:

Territory Manor Barra Feeding Mataranka

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Elsey National Park on the outskirts of Mataranka

Jalmurark Campground

Located in the Elsey National Park, the Jalmurark Campground offers a large camping area with unpowered sites providing 2WD access for caravans, motorhomes and tent camping.

Facilities at the Jalmurark Camping Ground include toilets, showers and barbecues.

There are no bins so you need to take your rubbish with you.

The use of generators not permitted. Pets not allowed in the National Park.

Fires allowed in the designated fire pits only. Collection of firewood from the sides of the main roads is permissable.

You must be at least 50 metres away from the water when washing with soaps or detergents.

Bookings are to be made prior to your arrival. Book on-line through the Northern Territory Parks Booking System.

Contact Details for the Jalmurark Campground:

Phone: 08 8975 4560
Address: John Hauser Drive, Elsey, Northern Territory
Website:

United Mataranka

Mataranka Fuel Stations

There are actually 3 fuel stations in the small town of Mataranka.

Ampol Fuel is at the Mataranka Store & Service Station plus there’s the Mataranka United Service Station and the BP Mataranka Roadhouse.

All three are located within metres of each other in the main street of Mataranka.

On the three occasions that we have visited Mataranka over the last few years we have found diesel prices at the United and BP are slightly cheaper than at the Ampol.

There is however a 5c Fuel Discount Offer for Mataranka Central when you stay at the Mataranka Homestead.

We always use Petrol Spy app to find the cheapest fuel prices for any location throughout Australia.

Read more:  How to Save Money on Fuel

Mataranka Main Street

Take your time and experience everything to see and do in Mataranka.

It is a genuinely interesting and fascinating Australian outback town with many features and intriguing things to experience.

Other places to stay in the region:

Pin – Mataranka

Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka
Pin - Mataranka

Have you visited or spent some time exploring Mataranka?

Tell us about your experience in Mataranka.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

The Story of John, The Highway Man

John the Highway Man Feature Image

At just 23 years of age, John The Highway Man as he is now known, took leave from his bank job of 5 years and went for a walk.

His intention was to go for 3 months, just to wander and feel free.

John never went back.

He was missing for 25 years.

This is the story of John The Highway Man

John the Highway Man walking down the highway in NSW

While travelling Australia and traversing the long highways all around our vast country you really do see and meet some amazing, interesting and quirky people.

Way out in the middle of absolutely nowhere you see people riding bicycles, unicycles, postie bikes, riding tractors, in cars so old they out date some of us and making their way from A to B by extraordinary means.

But this is a story of a man who has chosen a completely different mode of transport, his legs.

He’s been using them to walk the country’s roads now for over 40 years.

It really is a fascinating story of a man who found peace and solitude walking the highways of Australia.

In his words ” I’m just a wanderer”

We met John in NSW and chatted and this is his story.

Who is John the Highway Man?

His real name is Grant John Cadoret.

As Adele and I approached the town of Forbes in regional NSW in our Winnebago Esperance Motorhome we both noticed a fellow on the side of the highway walking north.

We were around 30 kms south from the town when Adele recognised him and said, “that’s John the Highway Man”.

I looked in my mirrors and checked the side of the highway and made sure it was safe for us to pull over.

Fortunately we had no vehicles behind us and space off the side of the road.

So we stopped and had a chat.

John the Highway Man

About John

John grew up in the Victorian country town of Minyip, just over 300 kms north west of Melbourne.

It was 1977 and at the young age of 23, John decided to take some leave from his good banking job, just to go for a walk.

It was only meant to be for a short time, certainly not for the decades how it has ended up.

Out here as he trod the earth, looked out over farmland, and searching within himself, he found solitude and peace as time went by.

3 months turned into 3 years, then 5, then 10 and before he knew it, he’d been gone a long, long time.

John said to me as we chatted, “when I first started out no-one would give me a ride when I wanted one. Now everyone offers me a ride but I prefer to walk”

Communication in the 1970, 80’s and even early 90’s of dial up was nothing like it is today.

There were no mobile phones, no internet, no Facebook, no Social Media at all.

The way we communicated was very different and much slower.

We did have pay phones and postcards though so his family struggled over the many years not hearing from him and believed he must have died.

John understood he’d been gone a long time and the longer he left it the harder it became to reach out and contact his loved ones.

Ultimately, he chose to let sleeping dogs lay.

His parents, he thought, would likely be dead by now so he continued on his marathon walk along the Australian Highways.

Where did he get money from?

He didn’t have any money, he didn’t need any.

At no time has John stopped to work along the way nor has he received any benefits or Government money.

Without property, without a vehicle and having no material needs he didn’t need money.

How did he survive?

John ate and drank what he would find on the roadsides of the highways.

He would come across food that had been thrown out car windows plus bottles and cans of drink tossed to the sides of the roads.

Along the way the kindness of other people would sometimes provide him food to eat.

Pools of water would otherwise be a source for somewhere to drink.

He became a modern day Swagman and learnt the survival tactics he needed.

Kev talking to John The Highway Man

During our chat I said to him, you should write a book. His response was “I prefer to read them”.

John stops at libraries and always has a book or two with him.

He does now have a small Kindle pad with him that he charges with a little solar panel you see on top of his backpack as he walks.

I found John to be very humble. He was happy to chat but I needed to lead the way with questions.

People stop and talk to him, some say they’d love to be doing it. John says, it’s always a fine day when they say it.

Finding John the Highway Man

Decades had gone by when a journalist heard about him having gone missing and decided to try to find him.

Amazingly, he did.

He stopped his car and chatted with him on the side of the road, talking about where he had been and listening to his stories.

The journalist went back and told his family, who had long decided he must have died, why else would he have never contacted them after so many years.

His sister broke down in tears and desperately wanted to see him.

John’s mother was at first unsure, not believing it was actually him.

In time her emotions went to anger, mad that he would still be alive and not contacted her.

Understandably there were a huge range of emotions for everyone involved.

The Journalist returned back to find John, once again travelling the Highways, looking for that needle in the haystack of the contented Swagman on his unique journey.

Eventually he found him once again, this time providing John his sisters phone number and told him his family wanted him to contact them.

Grant John Cadoret

Reuniting with his Family

It took a little time, some months, before John made the call.

His sister Michelle, a school teacher, was interrupted during class. There’s a phone call they told her, you need to take it.

It was John!!

The family reunited and now John returns regularly to visit. 

He discovered that his mother and father had split up over time and his father now lives in Queensland.

Where can you see John?

He doesn’t walk as far any more.

When I asked him if he was heading up to Queensland he said no. “Everything up there wants to kill you” he told me.

Ohhh, you mean snakes, spiders and dingoes I asked.

No he said, “Ants”.

“Any time I sit down they swarm all over me up there.”

He said he doesn’t go past Warwick now.

John told me he walked to Western Australia once in his earlier years but he doesn’t go back now.

Mostly you find him along the Highways of NSW and Victoria or maybe just a little over the border into Queensland.

In his early days, John says the police would pull him up for hitchhiking but now they all know him.

“They would ask me for ID, the problem is I’ve never had a credit card or any form of identification”, John said.

I asked John where he was aiming to get to today.

“I don’t know” he said. “I’ll just keep going until I’ve had enough and then I’ll stop”.

We asked him does he have an idea of where he wants to get to each day, “No” he said.

He has no plan each day, he just meanders along at his own pace in his own space.

Although introverted and quiet, John is friendly and kind also.

Pulled over when we spotted John The Highway Man
We pulled over when we spotted John the Highway Man

John the Highway Man on Social Media

John himself is not on Social Media, he has no idea what it is, just that it’s a thing and how people now know about him.

Today there are several Facebook pages dedicated to the adventures of John the Highway Man.

People watch out for him and post online where is he and how he is doing. 

They share their stories of him and what was said when they met.

One page is called The Highway Man: A: Grant Johns journey. The original page.

Another is The Highway Man, Grant Johns Helping Hands.

Please keep in mind John’s safety when sharing information on social media.

Don’t make him a target for thieves or leave him in a vulnerable position to anyone who may take advantage of his lifestyle.

What to do if you see John

Ensure before you apply the brakes on your vehicle that there is no-one close behind you and where you pull over you do it safely, for the sake of you, your family, John and other travellers.

Find somewhere that’s safe to stop to talk and it won’t hinder or be a distraction to others.

John is actually usually quite social, he likes to chat and is often happy talking for as long as you want to.

Remember, he chose this life and has been doing it a long time.

It’s his life and he’s happy so don’t talk with him as if he’s poor or suffering. He is doing exactly what he has chosen to do.

He doesn’t accept lifts so if you offer he’s very unlikely to do so.

John can only carry so much gear so while he appreciates gifts, he may not always be able to take it with him.

He likes coke and people bring him food and water, batteries and new boots or clothing.

I’ve learnt since we met that he likes a Rum too. Wish I knew that at the time and I’d have poured one for us both.

Apic with John The Highway Man

This is an incredible story of a true Aussie character.

A guy who chose to be different. In fact, he has said he knew he was different and just wasn’t fitting in.

Society can be a real challenge for some of us and John found his own space and his own place.

Hopefully we will get to meet him again.

Pin – John the Highway Man

Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man
Pin - John the Highway Man

Have you ever spotted John the Highway Man walking down the highway and stopped to have a chat?

Tell us if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting John.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung s21 Ultra Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this is an insane camera within a phone. The S21 Ultra comes with up to 100 times zoom and high quality camera. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at for travelling.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

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Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Things to do in Ilfracombe Qld

Things to do in Ilfracombe Feature

For a small outback Queensland town, there are quite a number of fun, interesting things to do in Ilfracombe.

Named after the small Devonshire town in England, Ilfracombe was founded in 1891 and was once the transport hub for the Wellshot Station, the largest sheep station in Australia.

Back in the early days, Ilfracombe had three hotels each with accommodation and their own dance hall. 

It also had two general stores, a couple of butchers, a baker, a saddler, dressmaker as well as a billiard saloon, a coach builder and a soft drink maker.

Now, the once thriving population has dwindled to between 200 and 300.

Ilfracombe has some great things to do

Located between Barcaldine and Longreach, Ilfracombe is known as the Hub of the West as their welcome sign suggests!

It’s just a 20 minute drive or just 27.2 kms from Ilfracombe to Longreach.

By road it is 80.9 kms from Barcaldine to Ilfracombe and around 52 minutes to drive between these two towns.

Naturally it is hard to compete with major attractions of Longreach but Ilfracombe provides a great outback atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle.

A quiet little town where you can enjoy peace and tranquility and a great base from which you can explore the entire region.

The main street of Ilfracombe

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Machinery Mile in the main street of Ilfracombe

Top Things to do in Ilfracombe

Here are 8 great things to do in Ilfracombe most of which are located right in the heart of town:

1. Take a walk down Machinery Mile

An easy way to get some exercise in Ilfracombe is to take a walk down Machinery Mile and back and you will clock up over 3 kms.

You will be amazed at some of the old machinery that makes up Machinery Mile, most of which has been collected from within a 100 metre radius to Ilfracombe.

This incredible timeline of tractors, dozers, trucks, carts, tanks and much more stretches out for a mile of the main street in Ilfracombe.

A couple of them are very rare and are one or two of the their kind left in the world.

Machinery Mile is free of charge however donations are gratefully accepted via the donation box to help maintain the machinery.

Wellshot Hotel -one of the top 8 things to do in Ilfracombe

2. Drop into the Wellshot Hotel

Be sure to drop into the Wellshot Hotel for a drink or two and sit your bum down on their quirky bar stools.

You simply can’t miss having a photo on these iconic stools at this iconic pub!

Stay for lunch or dinner and take the time to learn about the history of the hats, enjoy the rustic charm and quirky features that this outback pub has to offer.

Try your luck and see if you can successfully pin a $5 note to the roof of the bar.

Read more: Wellshot Hotel

Ilfracombe Artesian Pools
Ilfracombe Artesian Spa

3. Bathe in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool

Take a therapeutic dip in the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Swimming Pool.

Feel the benefits of the warm therapeutic mineral waters. It is great to soak your weary muscles when you stop after a long day driving.

The waters of the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa are from the Great Artesian Basin which is one of the world’s largest artesian groundwater basins.

The Great Artesian Basin underlies one-fifth of Australia and extends beneath regions of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory.

It stretches from the Great Dividing Range all of the way to the Lake Eyre depression.

Standard Daily Opening Hours for the Ilfracombe Artesian Spa and Pool are 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Display depicting the General Store in the early days

4. Visit Langenbaker House

The Langenbaker House is one of the first houses in Ilfracombe.

Since the 1890’s it belonged to Harry & Mary-Anne Langenbaker and remained in their family for just over 100 years.

It was acquired by the Ilfracombe Shire Council in 1991 after the last Langenbaker family member passed away.

This humble home has been preserved and is open to the public for guided tours.

It stands as a memorial to the Australia Outback Town’s people illustrating their way of life.

Inside the house it still largely resembles what it was like while the Langenbakers were raising their 11 children.

One of their sons became blind in an accident in 1921 therefore the furniture was left in exactly the same place so he could find his way around.

Ilfracombe Post Office

5. Pop into the Ilfracombe Post Office

The beautiful old tongue and groove building is home to not only Australia Post but also the Ilfracombe Library, a Gift Shop and a Second Hand Clothing store.

In 2010, the Ilfracombe Post Office celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the first motor mail delivery in the Commonwealth of Australia which went from Ilfracombe to Isisford.

6. Look through the Wellshot Centre

Learn about the early beginnings of the Wellshot Station.

The Wellshot Centre is an interesting place to visit as it outlines the history of the one of Australia’s greatest sheep stations.

The Wellshot Centre is also the Ilfracombe Visitor Information Centre.

Wellshot Station holds the world record for shearing the largest number of sheep off the same property in one season back in 1892.

Another record in the shire was the record for moving 43,000 sheep, the largest mob of sheep as a single flock in 1886.

7. Check out the Romani Hall Memorial – Gun Museum

The Romani Hall Memorial contains glass cabinets full of machine guns and weapons.

There are bombs, pistols, rifles, grenades and lots more.

All of the items in the museum relate to the war with the museum dedicated to Australia’s Light Horsemen.

It is a tribute to the young men in the Ilfracombe district who enlisted in the armed forces.

8. The Twelve Mile

Just 20 kms out from Ilfracombe towards Isisford is The Twelve Mile.

To find The Twelve Mile, go past Stockyard Creek and it will be on your left. 

Then turn at the Twelve Mile sign before driving another 100 metres to behind the dam.

Before heading out, pick up a map from the Wellshot Information Centre.

The self-guided map will assist you to explore this incredible formation.

Tree of Knowledge
Tree of Knowledge illuminated at night

Great Things to do in the Ilfracombe nearby region

There are more great things to do in the Infracombe surrounding region in towns like Barcaldine, Patrick, Aramac and Longreach.

Be sure to check out these other great attractions while you are close by.

Barcaldine

Tree of Knowledge

Barcaldine is just under 81kms from Ilfracombe and is most famous for the Tree of Knowledge.

The ghost gum is located in front of the Barcaldine Railway Station and it was under this tree that the 1891 Shearer’s Strike workers met.

The Tree of Knowledge was the site of the reading of the manifesto in 1892 leading to the formation of the Labour Party in Queensland.

Sadly this very notable tree which had been added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992 was poisoned in 2006.

Visit the Tree of Knowledge especially at night to see it beautifully illuminated with evolving coloured lights.

Barcaldine Great Shearers Strike

Great Shearers Strike

A tremendous and temultuous event in Queensland’s history was the Great Shearers Strike back in 1891.

At the time, Australia was going into its worst ever depression and unemployment was rife.

The price of wool had fallen and shearing was one of the most demanding but lowest paid jobs.

1,000 shearers put down their shears and marched through the streets of Barcaldine until their demands were met.

The demands were for the continuation of existing rates of pay; protection of worker’s rights and privileges; just and equitable agreements and the exclusion of low-cost Chinese labour.

The strike marked as the beginning of the working man’s voice lasted 4 months and 13 strike leaders were arrested and actually sentenced to 3 years hard labour.

Lara Wetlands
Lara Wetlands

Patrick

Lara Wetlands

When visiting nearby Barcaldine, be sure to head out to Lara Wetlands and camp up beside the lake for a few days.

It is a birdlover’s and photographer’s paradise.

Soak up the warmth in the natural hot spring pool, cook up a feast on a campfire, witness sensational sunsets and sunrises, paddle the lake in one of the complimentary kayaks.

Another option is you can use some old fashioned pedal power to explore the lake perimetre on the complimentary bicycles.

Read more about: Lara Wetlands

Aramac Sculpture Trail
One of over 40 unique sculptures dotted around the Aramac Lake Dunn Sculputre Trail

Aramac

The Aramac Sculpture Trail

Aramac is around 45 minutes from Barcaldine and is the where you can start the Aramac/Lake Dunn Sculpure Trail.

Miluynda Rogers, a local sculptor has created over 40 sculptures.

This unique art installation has Miluynda’s creations dotted around a 200km loop circuit.

It is one of the biggest permanent outdoor sculpture exhibiitons in the world and took us the best part of 6.5 hrs to complete the entire triangular circuit between Aramac, Lake Dunn and Jericho.

Longreach Sign

Longreach

Just 27.2kms and a 20 minute drive from Ilfracombe is Longreach.

Just add the things to do in Ilfracombe and Longreach and you can easily spend quite a few days in this awesome Queensland outback region.

Two of Adele’s 5 favourite tours in all of Oz are tours from Longreach.

Read more about: Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame

Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame

One of the most popular attractions and things to do in Longreach is the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.

Following a $15m makeover, the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is even bigger and better since our visit in first visit in 2017.

You can choose to do the Stockman’s Experience Tour which includes the Live Show, Entry to the Museum and Galleries plus the new Cinematic Experience or you can just opt for the Museum & Gallery Entry only.

Definitely include this iconic attraction to your list of things to do in Ilfracombe and nearby region.

Qantas Founders Museum

Qantas Founders Museum

We enjoyed three of the Qantas Founders Museum tours and experiences when first visiting Longreach in 2017.

Firstly we wandered through the main exhibition hall of the amazing Qantas Founders Museum as well as the Heritage Listed Qantas Hangar.

Our second experience was going behind the scenes of the Boeing 707 and 747 as part of the 1.5 hr Airpark tour.

Since we visited they have constructed a roof  over the iconic aircraft to protect them from the harsh outback sun.

Last but not least and the true highlight of the Qantas Founders Museum was the 747 Wing Walk, a once in a lifetime experience.

Since our first visit in 2017 they have added the Luminescent Longreach – Light and Sound Show which would be great to do as well.

Outback Pioneers

Longreach

Outback Pioneers

The Kinnon Family are true outback pioneers.

They have really reinvented tourism in Longreach and they have a number of awesome tours and experiences.

Take an exhilarating Cobb & Co Stagecoach ride.

It is Australia’s only stagecoach gallop!

This amazing 4 hr tour includes riding the restored Cobb & Co Stagecoach through the main street of Longreach, galloping along a stretch of the original Longreach – Windorah mail run.

Also included is a traditional Aussie Morning Tea, a classic Australian movie in the retro cinema with canvas seats and the Harry Redford Old Time Tent Show – a tribute to the old time travelling shows.

Check out our: Top 10 Things to do in Longreach

Places to Stay in Ilfracombe

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

You can’t miss the Ilfracombe Caravan Park, just look for the red truck perched up on top of the entry way to this outback van park.

Accommodation options on offer include 55 Caravan Sites all with Power & Water and a range of fully self-contained cabins.

The cabins include Deluxe Queen Ensuite Cabins, a Family Cabin, a Pet Friendly Cabin and Queen Ensuite Villas.

Wellshot Hotel

Wellshot Hotel Campground

Located behind the Wellshot Hotel is the Wellshot Hotel Campground.

This is a paid campground where you can pull up stumps in your Caravan or Motorhome after a long drive or following a big afternoon session at the Wellshot Hotel lol.

Camping facilities at the Wellshot Hotel Campground include toilets, showers, drinking water, bins, laundry facilities and hook up to power.

It is accessible to caravans, motorhomes, camper trailers, campervans and tent camping.

Pets are permitted.

Other great places to stay in the region:

Where to Eat and Drink in Ilfracombe

Wellshot Hotel

We had it on good authority that the Wellshot Hotel has awesome Steak Sandwiches.

Naturally, we had to stop into the Wellshot Hotel and experience one of the Steak Sangers for ourselves and we weren’t disappointed.

The Wellshot Hotel offers a wide range of meal options for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner including delicious home made pies.

Choose to dine inside in the Dining Room, outside in the Beer Garden or be like us and eat your lunch up at the bar!

The Coffee Hatch

At the front of the Wellshot Hotel is The Coffee Hatch.

Not only does the Wellshot Hotel have the coldest beer in the west, it also serves up the best coffee.

Choose from the usual coffees, Cappucino, Hot Chocolate, Chai Latte, Espresso or a good old Flat White.

You can also enjoy a refreshingly cold Iced Chocolate on a hot summer’s morning. Grab a delicious piece of cake or crossiant to go with your drink.

Open Monday to Saturday 6am – 12 noon and Sundays from 8am – 12 noon.

Ilfracombe Caravan Park

During tourist season, the Ilfracombe Caravan Park offer a set menu for a delicious hearty meal when staying at the park.

Choose from 5 different reasonably priced meals and there’s one dessert.

Spoil yourself with a home cooked meal simply by booking and paying at Reception before 3pm on the day and be seated at a table in the ‘Shed’ for your dinner.

Kath's Kountry Kitchen

Pin – Things to do in Ilfracombe

Have you ticked off any of these things to do in Ilfracombe Qld?

Tell us about your most memorable experience of Ilfracombe.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – http://ebay.us/9vMXEH – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps.

Samsung s21 Phonehttps://ebay.us/QAdwva – this looks an insane camera within a phone. We have friends and our son who own one and it seems quite extraordinary with their camera quality. If you’re after a new phone this is what I’d be looking at.

Canon 800dhttps://ebay.us/Q0UV1z – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Nikon Coolpix p1000https://ebay.to/37cORUV – We have the Nikon P900 and this is the new model. The zoom lens is unbelievable and so awesome when travelling and you want to capture photos from a distance.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.us/br9MeO – This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttp://ebay.us/zWvfuI  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 9 Hero Black – https://ebay.us/6CQOVC  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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