St George

A centre on the flatlands beyond the Great Dividing Range servicing an agricultural region that produces sheep, wheat, cotton and to a lesser degree, fruits, vegetables and beef.

Location: 550 km from Brisbane via Goondiwindi or 509 km via Dalby; 201 m above sea-level.

St George was the home of Warrant Officer Leonard Victor Waters, the only known Aboriginal fighter pilot to serve in World War II.

Places of interest: Alton National Park; townships of Nindigully and Weengallon; Jack Taylor Weir; Beardmore Dam (21 km north); vineyard; Rosehill Aviaries Wildlife Park.

Heritage features: The St George Heritage Centre; post office (1872); the town's first school house (1873); Catholic Church (1874); Anglican Church (1889); the original town bore (1904); Begonia Homestead (73 km north); Aboriginal Rock Wells (37 km east); Weengallon Aboriginal Rock wells (66 km south-east); Nindigully Hotel (46 km south, a former Cobb & Co staging post that has featured in commercials and in the movie, Paperback Hero).

Moonie Highway Rock Wells

37 km along the Moonie Highway (the road to Dalby), is an Aboriginal rock well that was pounded out by hand thousands of years ago. The reservoirs were designed to store up precious water and were usually covered by a stone or branches to prevent evaporation and fouling by animals. Some had artificial channels which conveyed the water to the mouth of the hole.

Weengallon Aboriginal Rock Wells

Located beside the Barwon Highway between Goondiwindi and St George (Cnr Barwon Hwy and Daymar-Rockwell Rd). The Weengallon Rock Wells traditionally form part of a trail of Aboriginal rock wells extending to northern Queensland. Known in the local Aboriginal language as ‘Ngaru-gi Gali’ (to drink), there are six wells at the Weengallon site, some of which are up to three metres deep. Road signs identifying the rock wells as a significant cultural area have also been erected, giving visitors some insight to the history and spiritual significance of the site. They were a very important water source for Aboriginal people in the journey from across Queensland that many tribes used to make every three years to attend trading and ceremonial activities at Boobera Lagoon, near Goondiwindi.

Below: Nindigully Hotel

Nindigully

46 km south of St George, with its sawn timber walls, is the delightful old Nindigully Hotel which was once used as a staging post for Cobb & Co when they ran extensive services through central and western Queensland. It was built in 1864 and parts of the original building still remain. The hotel - thought to hold one of the longest continual licences in Queensland - has featured in commercials and in the movie Paperback Hero. The original 1885 bridge still stands.


View Larger Map


The Unique Egg

A genuinely impressive and interesting collection of hand-carved emu eggs, illuminated from within, is situated within the Balonne Sports Store, at 108 Victoria St. Created by Steve Margaritis over a period of more than 40 years, they have been displayed at World Expos but are on permanent display in the store, which is open 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9.00 a.m. to midday on Saturdays. Ph: (07) 4265 3490.

Fishing

The rivers and creeks in the area are said to be good for boating and fishing, with yellowbelly and Murray cod to be had. Jack Taylor Weir, at St George, has parks, toilets and a boat ramp. Fishing is prohibited 100 metres upsteam and 115 metres downstream and no camping is permitted. Chartered fishing tours and river cruises are available from Kapunda Fishing Park at Nixon's Rocks. Beardmore Dam is another fine fishing spot, as is Warroo Bridge (60 km from St George). Fishing can also be enjoyed on the Moonie River adjacent Nindigully and around the Balonne Minor Bridge, 3 km west of Dirranbandi on the Bollon-Dirranbandi Road.

In September each year, St George runs a family fishing competition with prizes up to $5000 in value. The prizes are awarded to catches that are closest to the secret weights determined by draw. Dirranbandi also hosts a family fishing competition at Easter. Anglers should note that the legal limit for Murray cod is 60-110 cm with a bag limit of two and, for golden perch, the legal length is 30 cm with a bag limit of 10.

Brief history

White settlement around the locality began with an influx of pastoralists after Mitchell's glowing reports of the region. The town was established in 1862 to service the stations in the area. Though a bore was sunk in 1904, full scale irrigation was not developed until the Beardmore Dam was constructed in 1957. This, along with the introduction of pesticides and construction of the Jack Taylor Irrigation Weir the 1970s, led to the district becoming one of Australia's major cotton producing areas.

Origin of name: at this spot on St George's Day - 23rd April 1846 - explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell crossed the Balonne River on his journey through the region.

Design by W3Layouts | Content © 2013 Phoenix Group Co. | Sales: phone 1300 753 517, email: sales@pleasureholidays.com.au