Better in Blackall Festival

Combining the best that Blackall has to offer, the outback explodes into a five-day festival packed with local grazing plates, sunset wine tastings, street parties, art and cultural displays, billycart races, BBQ cook-offs, live music and a swag load of familiar faces.

Life is #betterinblackall.

Leaving Jackson – Johnny Cash and June Carter Show

Leaving Jackson Show in Blackall

Come along and enjoy the Johnny Cash and June Carter tribute show on Saturday August 29th.

Celebrating Seniors Week 2020.

Limited tickets available.

$5 per ticket

Available from the Blackall Neighbourhood Centre, 07 4657 4440.

Doors open at 6.00 pm, show commences at 7.00 pm.

Queensland Outback Masters – Blackall

Postponed until 2021

For the ultimate golfing experience for 2020, the Outback Queensland Masters, locally coined, the “OQM” is back with a life changing opportunity for amateur golfers with a one million dollar hole in one up for grabs.

Amateur golfers and travellers are being encouraged to adventure west of the Great Divide in Queensland through the townships from Biloela and the sandstone wonders through to the channel country of Charleville, Quilpie and onto Blackall, Hughenden and the heart of the outback, Longreach, for the 2020 million dollar hole in one!


Would you like a coffee with your order?

The Lodge on Hawthorn Blackall

There is more than just coffee available in two of Blackall’s best coffee shops.

On the main street, The Drawing Board offers a blend of coffee and fashion. A collective boutique for a busy Australian women looking for fun, practical, quality fashion and accessories.

Offering a mean coffee and a range of muffins and biscuits, this unique shop allows customers to relax, catch up with friends, grab the perfect gift and keep up with the latest fashions.

Customers at The Drawing Board tell it like it is………

“This quaint little country cafe was the perfect place to stop for a coffee and bite to eat on our way through Blackall. Best boutique in the central west. Coffee is amazing, with fashion and gifts also.

What else could a girl ask for!”

The Drawing Board Coffee Shop Blackall

Just up Hawthorn St, past Blackall’s Cultural Centre is The Lodge on Hawthorn. Originally the town’s Masonic Temple, this magnificent heritage listed building is now a coffee shop, restaurant and antique and art shop.

Offering a seasonal menu accompanied by a wide variety of exquisite fine teas and delicious Queensland roasted coffee. Enjoy with a slice of their famous flourless chocolate cake or tasty steak sandwich made with local beef on a toasted turkish.

The Lodge boasts a unique collection of antiques and art for sale that is not likely to be found anywhere else in Regional Queensland. Many hand crafted local and regional products are available, a truly eclectic mix of unique, original antiquities and giftware.

Why not stay another day and enjoy a little bit of fine dining in the Outback?

On the weekends, The Lodge is the place for a gourmet experience in Blackall.  Boasting an exciting evening menu that includes  Atlantic Salmon with hollandaise or local Barcoo Butchery Rib Fillet with cafe de Paris sauce. BYO dining-in is available on Saturday and Sunday nights, or during the week for a booking of 10 or more.

And what do Lodge customers reckon?

“Most inviting coffee shop in Eastern Australia. Just love it here! Second visit.”

There is most definitely more than just coffee on offer!  Pop in and see, it will be worth the experience.  

Lodge on Hawthorn


Blackall-Tambo- an Epic Drive

Drive to Tambo and Blackall

Heading west from Rocky?

Start your epic drive into the Blackall-Tambo region in Springsure. Travel the unsealed Tambo-Springsure Rd and cross the Great Dividing Range. Perfect for the 4WD enthusiast or the adventurous caravanner prepared to travel at a very leisurely pace.

Take a side trip into Salvator Rosa National Park and enjoy the clear, crystal waters from the Mitchell Springs which flow into the Nogoa River. This wild and rugged area has it own natural, raw beauty, vast cliff lines and deep gorges  open up to vistas of some of the richest grazing lands in Queensland.

A drive must have a destination, and Tambo is the spot to stop. Spend a day or two discovering the oldest town in the west. Soak up the history and the heritage, get back to nature along the banks of the mighty Barcoo, discover art work created by talented locals at the Grassland Art Gallery and meet some famous teddy bears at Tambo Teddies. Feeling energetic? There are plenty of self-guided walks and a range of outdoor exercise equipment is located at the Tambo Dam.

Coolibah Walk Tambo

Pull up a stump and set up camp for the night at Stubby Bend. Spend a while enjoying an ale or two with your fellow campers, but make sure you head into town before 5 pm to pick a winner in Ben’s Chicken Races at the Royal Carrangarra Hotel.

Continuing your epic drive, why not have a rest day halfway between Blackall and Tambo along the Matilda Way. Cross the Barcoo River at the Karlgoonah Bridge about 55 kms from Tambo. Located on the river bank, surrounded by towering gum trees is a free camp and picnic spot. Great spot to spend a day relaxing, reading and resting.

Drive on to Blackall and call into the Visitor Information Centre to discover all there is to see and do in town. Pop into Ram Park and join Stewie, a former stockman for a tour and demonstration of bush craft and stockman’s skills. Continue uncovering the past with a trip out to the Historic Blackall Woolscour, the only fully intact stem-powered wool washing plant left in Australia.

Blackall Woolscour Blackall

A dip in Blackall’s hot artesian spa at the end of the day will allow you to rest, relax and revive after your drive.  Time your trip to be in town on a Thursday so you can spend your morning at the Blackall Saleyards. Get a bird’s eye view of an action pack cattle sale from the purpose built viewing deck nestled among the shady fig trees.

Continue the history lessons with visits to the Black Stump, Jack Howe Gallery, the Bushman’s Gallery and a stroll along Shamrock St. Known as the arts capital of the central west, Blackall’s outdoor art gallery is well worth a drive around.

Drive Blackall-Tambo

Come for a drive, take an epic road trip and discover all there is on offer in the Blackall-Tambo region.


Travelling with the Family?

Wild and Woolly Tambo Family

Heading out west with the family? Younger travelers are well catered for in both Blackall and Tambo.

In the centre of Tambo, EE Parr Park is the perfect place to burn off some energy after being cooped up in the car. An enclosed playground with climbing frames, swings and see-saws caters for the littlies, while a basket ball court and skate park will keep the teenagers amused.

If you’re hitting town around lunchtime, pull up at the Tambo Dam Park. There’s plenty of space to run around and you can have your very own sausage sizzle on the free BBQs. In summertime when the dam is full, it’s a great place for the family to have swim and enjoy water activities if you bring a canoe or a tinny along with you. Between September and April, you can cool off in the Tambo pool, entry is FREE and the pool is open daily from 3.30 pm.

Up the road in Blackall the pool is open all year round. Perfect for families,  the beach edge is just perfect for toddlers to paddle in the water. There is plenty of space for the older kids too. If a swim is not in the plan, Banks Park, along the main drag, has swings, slides and jungle gyms. Another great lunch stop, there’s plenty of shade and free BBQs.

Blackall swimming pool

Ram Park is a must visit for families, providing the kids with a glimpse of what life was like in days gone by. There are certainly no iPads or computers in the old Yalleroi Schoolhouse!

Make sure you pack the kids scooters or skate boards, Blackall has a large undercover skate bowl in the park beside the old town hall in Short St, pretty much centre of town.

While in the region,  capture the memories, take a few family snaps at the Roly Poly, Wild’n’Woolly, the People’s Sign and the only Teddy Bear Crossing sign in Australia.

Tambo Teddies Crossing Sign

Don’t forget to share your insta moments with our hastags #betterinblackall and #totallytambo.


Stay another Day in Blackall-Tambo

Blackall Main Street

The roads are open within Queensland and you’re invited to come and visit us in the Blackall-Tambo region. So pack up your caravan, tent or book a motel room and come and join us! There’s no rush out here so why not Stay another Day?

While you’re here the top must dos include:

  1. Getting back to nature – camp in one of our free river camps. Stubby Bend in Tambo or the Barcoo River Camp in Blackall.

Stubby Bend Tambo

2. Take a day trip out to a National Park. Park your van up in Tambo and head out the Wilderness Way and pop into Salvatore Rosa National Park.   Out from Blackall you can head out to Idalia National Park  and go bush walking, bird watching or take a scenic drive. You might want to pack your tent for an overnight-er.

Tambo's Wilderness Way

3.  Rest, revive and relax at Blackall’s Aquatic Centre. The new 20-seat Spa is a popular spot for a soak in the soothing mineral waters. You won’t want to leave!

Spa at Blackall Aquatic Centre

4. Art is for everyone! Cruise around and enjoy the Blackall Sculptural Trail and pop into the Grassland Art Gallery in Tambo. There are many artworks around town that aren’t listed – how many can you spot?

Blackall Sculptural Trail

5. Discover the weird, wonderful and quirky history of each town. Tambo  is the site of of the only Qantas crash site, a dubious claim to fame! While Blackall has a myriad of weird and wonderful stories to tell.  Did you know – the famous family of W G Perry started their circus from Northampton Downs in outback Queensland in 1885!

Qantas crash site in Tambo

6. Take your time! Wander up and down our attractive main streets, pop into our local cafes and coffee shops , and enjoy a chat with a friendly local. Nothing is too far away in our little towns, so why not Stay another Day and enjoy all we have to offer.

Here’s your invitation!


Did you know – Blackall?

Better in Blackall

Blackall is a place where the weird and wonderful can and does happen.

Did you know these nine weird and wonderful Blackall facts? Bet you didn’t!

  1. The Blackall region was discovered in 1846 by explorer Major Thomas Mitchell who named the river flowing through the area the ‘Victoria’. The river’s name was later changed to the ‘Barcoo’ which is believed to be an aboriginal name meaning ’ice on water’. It must have been a pretty cold winter when they came to the area!
  2. The building that became the Blackall Cinema in 1956 was first erected as an aircraft hangar in Townsville during World War II and was used by the US Air Force. After the war it was dismantled and re-erected at Peak Downs as a workshop, then relocated to Blackall by truck and rail. The Cinema housed rural Queensland’s first internet cafe in the late 1990s.
  3. Blackall’s first graveyard was located near the corner of Shamrock & Clematis St. Today they would nearly be in the centre of the town. The graves were relocated in 1844-1886 during street improvements.
  4. The family of W G Perry started their circus from Northampton Downs in outback Queensland in 1885, later assuming the promotional name of Eroni Brothers. Elephants even raced in the streets of Blackall in the 1960s.Elephant Races in Blackall
  5. Like most outback communities,  Blackall’s residents have always had a keen thirst.  In 1875 Blackall had a population of only 45, which apparently justified the establishment of two hotels – O’Malley’s & Desmond’s. Today the population of around 900 isn’t quite as thirsty, but we still manage to support the town’s two hotels, the Barcoo and the Union
  6. Jumping horses? no – goats in Blackall – in 1905 Roy Dunn set a world record for jumping 3’6” on his goat Nugget. An image of Roy and Nugget is proudly displayed on his head stone at the Blackall Cemetery. 

Goats at the Blackall Woolscour

You can meet a goat or two out at the Blackall Woolscour – we aren’t  100% sure they are Nugget’s descendants – but they could be!

  • The first ever car to roll into town was a Napier driven by the local medico, Dr Hewer way back in 1907.
  •  Barcaldine and the Tree of Knowledge are synonymous with the Labor Party, however, the first meeting that led to the first shearers’ union was actually held in Blackall in December 1886. This group later became the Australian Labor Party. Bill Kewley, a Blackall resident, was appointed as secretary of the Queensland Shearers Union in 1887.
  • Politician, Pauline Hanson  married Walter Zagorski in the Presbyterian Church in Blackall on January 2, 1971.  Bet you didn’t know that one!

Have you been to Blackall? What did you learn while you were there?

Destination Blackall

Blackall Main Street

Time for a road trip? Make Blackall your destination.

Home of the late, great shearing legend, Jackie Howe, Blackall is one of those places that you just can’t stay away from. With domestic travel on the agenda its time to make Blackall your destination.

Blackall has plenty of space for caravans and motorhomes with three venues to choose from.

If you’re looking for something on the cheaper end of the scale, for only eight dollars a night the Barcoo River Camp is the spot. On the southern side of town the naturally shady sites will will surely tickle your fancy.  Public showers and toilets are within walking distance and the centre of town is only a short stroll.

The Blackall Caravan Park provides guests with powered sites, a large equipped camp kitchen and free Wi-Fi.  You’re more than welcome to bring your furry family members along too!

If you’re looking for something a little smaller and quieter, the Barcoo Hotel Caravan Park is the spot. Offering twelve powered grassy sites, town water and a dump point. Conveniently located behind the Barcoo Hotel in the main street of Blackall.

While you’re in Blackall, why not check out some of our local eateries? Start your day with a nice hot coffee, breakfast or lunch from The Lodge on Hawthorn, The Drawing Board or Tina’s Coffee Shop. After your big day of exploration and discovery, why not end your day at one of the pubs for dinner and a few cold ales. Both the Barcoo Hotel and the Union Hotel both offer delicious, hearty country style meals.

While all this eating and relaxing might be right up your alley, make sure you stop into the Blackall Woolscour, to see history in motion. Check out the Blackall Saleyards on a Thursday and experience a real-life cattle sale. Check out the People’s Sign, the Black Stump, the Aquatic Centre, the cemetery and oh so many other wonderful attractions around our town and discover why it really is Better in Blackall.