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
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.
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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.
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
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
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.