Koala Rumba in Blackall

Koala Rumba childrens event

Multi-award winning children’s program, Blue Gum Farm TV presents “KoalaRumba”

Designed for children aged 6 months to 11 years, this is a fun and interactive show about life in the Australian bush.

Featuring beautiful songs, cute characters and all the fun of the farm, this is a show that children find irresistible! From tending the vegetable garden at the homestead to driving your tractor to plough a new paddock, this authentic bush story is a must-see for children everywhere.

Produced by 4th generation farmer Cilla Pershouse, the “KoalaRumba” show will have everyone singing and dancing along.

Theatre Workshops will also be offered to locals children (aged 5-16 years) as part of the tour. On completion of the workshops the participating children will be invited to join the cast on stage and be part of the show!

No experience is necessary so come along and join the fun!

 

Outback Comedy Gala

Outback Comedy Gala

The Outback Comedy Gala is heading into town once more for an evening of fresh-baked jokes from four of Australia’s funniest home-grown talents that will have you laughing off your seat and all over the floor.

What happens when four comedians walk into a bar?

We have no idea. Did something funny happen? Probably. The only way to know is to come along to [venue] for the Outback Comedy Gala.

Featuring some of Australia’s funniest home-grown, seasoned to perfection talent including Dave Williams, Craig Quatermaine, Christine Basil and Ting Lim, the Outback Comedy Gala is a one-stop show of side-splitting, funny-bone tickling laughs.

8 TOP SCHOOL HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES IN BLACKALL

If you’re travelling to Blackall these school holidays, ensure you tick off some of these great activities!

1] Camp along the banks of the mighty Barcoo and experience all that this rural town has to offer! Don’t have a tent? No worries, an afternoon picnic is just as good!

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2] Lead the kids to the towns skate park, situated at the grounds of the Memorial Hall! Designed with a small flat bank pyramid wall, its structure is a great circuit for all skateboarders and BMX bikes (We advise to wear a helmet!).

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3] A visit to Ram Park is a must, and offers displays from the town’s pioneering days. Did someone say free tour? Because former stockman Stewie, will not only offer a friendly smile, but a demonstration of bush craft and stockmanship skills! Meet Stewie’s mule and discover how these beasts of burden were used to power machinery and pumps to access water. These tours start at 10:30am, so plan your day to meet this great character (We promise you won’t be dissapointed!).

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4] Uncover more of Blackall’s unique heritage by heading to Blackall’s Visitor Information Centre and picking up a ‘Shamrock St Stroll’ booklet right next to Ram Park. Not to mention that this accredited visitor information centre offers a one stop shop for maps, brochures and family friendly drive itineraries from friendly knowledgeable locals!

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5] Wander along the main road, take a few short detours into the surrounding streets and you’ll find Blackall’s Banks’ Park! Here you can let the kids burn off some extra energy on the swings, slides and climbing equipment.

6] As the only steam driver scour still in operation in Australia, a trip to the historic Blackall Woolscour is a must! It’s Blackall’s history in action! Join a local guide to be taken back in time to experience the history of the wool industry and the vital role of woolscouring. The grounds are the perfect place for a family picnic, but just make sure you have plenty to share with the friendly natives (as they love to get up close and personal!).

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7] Indulge in a relaxing afternoon at the Blackall Aquatic Centre and Spa that offers therapeutic massage spas and a 50 metre pool! You can bet that it’s open all year, and is an ideal place for a family outing! Not to mention that the café has a wide range of refreshments and ice creams that will be the icing on top of a great day out.

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8] Wander up to one of the many local eateries for a hearty meal at places including the Acacia Motor Inn, Tina’s Cafe, Union Hotel or The Drawing Board. Rather spend an evening outdoors? No worries! Head to the river for an evening BBQ to enjoy a campfire and toasting of marshmallows!

We look forward to meeting you in Blackall! 

10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BLACKALL

Blackall | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

Nestled in the middle of the outback, there’s one town that’s known for its colour and culture.

You’ll find Blackall sitting smack bang in the middle of the Matilda Way, providing a stay-a-while spot on your roadtrip.

Stretch those legs and explore Blackall, starting off with this list of fun facts.

 

1. BLACKALL IS HOME TO RECORD BREAKING SHEARER JACKIE HOWE

Blackall | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

If you want to get to know one of the most famous locals in Blackall, just head to the Universal Garden Centre on Shamrock Street to say ‘g-day’ to Jackie Howe.

The local legend earned his own statue in 1892 after shearing a record breaking 321 sheep by hand in 7.5 hours.

 

2. EVERYTHING WEST OF BLACKALL IS BEYOND THE BLACK STUMP

If you’ve never heard the saying ‘beyond the black stump’, get yourself to Blackall and see it for yourself.

When pioneers were passing through the area, they declared that everything west of where they were (now the township of Blackall), was ‘beyond the black stump’.

You can check out the replica stump in town where an information board tells the tale.

 

3. BLACKALL IS HOME TO AUSTRALIA’S LAST STANDING STEAM-OPERATED WOOLSCOUR

Woolscour | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

Playing tribute to the town’s rich sheep shearing heritage, Blackall Woolscour is Australia’s last standing steam-operated woolscour, which operated from 1908 – 1978.

Daily guided tours run through the woolscour by volunteers, but it’s also known as a photographer’s paradise – popular with brides and grooms chasing rustic wedding photos.

 

4. BLACKALL IS KNOWN AS THE ART AND CULTURAL HUB OF CENTRAL OUTBACK QUEENSLAND

Ram Park | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

Get your creative juices flowing at Blackall, a town which wears its connection to the arts and culture of the outback on its sleeve.

In fact, you can follow the sculpture trail across the town, including the Big Ram.

If you’re visiting in spring, stop by the Blackall Heartland Festival for a celebration of country culture, with markets, exhibitions, poet’s breakfast and BBQ cook-off.

 

5. BLACKALL HAS AN IDYLLIC NATIONAL PARK IN ITS BACKYARD

Only 4.5 hours (113km) south-west of Blackall (sitting directly west of Tambo) is Idalia National Park.

Contrasting with the flat plains of Blackall, the camping and bushwalking area is filled with dense mulga woodland that make way for rocky escarpments where lookouts are perched.

 

6. YOU CAN REST, RELAX AND REVIVE IN THE MINERAL SPA WATER AT BLACKALL

Blackall Aquatic Centre | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

The tepid waters at the Blackall Aquatic Centre are just perfect for a dip during the cooler winter months, the watering hole is surrounded by grass areas and there’s even a hot massage spa to take the relaxation levels up a notch.

 

7. YOU CAN STOP FOR COFFEE AND A BITE OF HISTORY ALONG THE MATILDA WAY

Lodge on Hawthorne | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

#OutbackQueensland photo via The Lodge on Hawthorne – Blackall

If you like your coffee with a side of exploring, grab your morning beans at the Lodge on Hawthorn in Blackall.

The historic 110-year-old lodge has an antique shop, coffee shop, and lush gardens that welcome visitors to wander around the water features and flowers.

Formerly the Blackall Masonic Temple, you can discover the secrets of freemasonry and enjoy the historical tour along complete with scones and jam from 3pm to 4pm Tuesday to Friday, April-October.

 

8. BLACKALL IS ALSO HOME TO ANOTHER RECORD

Jackie Howe isn’t the only one to break a record in Blackall.

Local man by the name of Roy Dunn was chuffed about his livestock, especially one goat called Nugget.

Nugget broke the record for the highest jumping goat – leaping over a 3.5 foot hurtle.

 

9. THERE’S A WELL KNOWN BLACKALL YARN INVOLVING ELEPHANTS

Have a chat with the locals and you might just hear about the tale of a great elephant race in the 60’s.

The yarn follows the story where a circus came to Blackall and the locals decided to race the elephants down the main street of town.

Long-time residents even have pictures from the day – and say there was a bookie!

 

10. JOIN THE LOCALS AT THE SALEYARDS

If you’re in town on a Thursday, spend the morning at the Blackall Saleyards and have a bird’s eye view of a regional cattle sale in action from the viewing deck nestled amongst the magnificently shady fig trees.

 

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

 

Original Post sponsored by the Blackall Heartland Festival

Outback road trip: Winton-Longreach-Tambo-Blackall in 5 days

Original Post by JOHN WRIGHT on March 8, 2018

You might look at an Outback Queensland map and wonder where on earth to start, but there are parts you can travel and get virtually the whole box and dice in just a few days.

An ideal place to do this is in the central west, and Winton is the perfect place to start. In a short, 5 drive-day road trip from here, you can see some of the outback’s most famous icons, get onto a bit of gravel, stay in great pubs and meet bucket-loads of characters.

Up for the adventure? Here’s how to do it. This itinerary assumes you’re waking up on your first morning in Winton, ready for action.

DAY 1: WINTON TO LONGREACH (180KM)

Winton 4WD photo by @phlipvids

Photo by @phlipvids

Banjo Paterson wrote Waltzing Matilda, his famous ballad about a swagman camped by a billabong, when staying near Winton in 1895.

The song was first performed in Winton’s North Gregory Hotel – and you can just picture it as you sit barside for a bevvy – a must-do for any first-timer in Winton.

During your visit, discover the real story behind the song at the Qantilda Museum, shop for opals and visit the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. You’ll see the skeletons of three dinosaurs found in the area and watch paleontologists at work. You can even join in with a prep-a-dino package if you’re a mad-keen dinosaur fan. (For more dinosaur action, take a detour and tackle this trail.)

But it’s not just dinosaur bones and poetry here, either. Winton is known as the Hollywood of the Outback and it’s fast becoming the set of choice for up-and-coming filmmakers. Thanks to Winton’s Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, this reputation is being firmly cemented.

Even if you miss Vision Splendid, you can still catch a movie al-fresco at the Royal Open Air Theatre, which has been screening movies since 1918.

For convenience, check into the Boulder Opal Motor Inn. Its on-site restaurant gives you very little reason to leave – perfect after a big day exploring.

DAY 2: LONGREACH

Outback road trip: Longreach-Tambo-Blackall in 5 days | The Milky Way over The Stockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach

The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame is an absolute icon so don’t miss it. Opened by the Queen in April 1988, many see it as THE heritage attraction in the west.

Themed galleries tell you all you need to know about the explorers, pioneers, pastoralists, stockmen and Aborigines who built this country.

And if you call this wide brown land home, it’s where you’ll learn something about what it means to be Australian. Touring the hall should take you about three hours unless you’re a navel-gazer.

Too early for souvenirs? Don’t believe it. Tour operator Kinnon & Co.’s impressive Station Store and HQ in Eagle Street offers retail therapy in spades. If you can still afford lunch, try the RSL.

Outback road trip: Longreach-Tambo-Blackall in 5 days | Outback Stockman's Show

If the Outback Stockman’s Show (with dinner) is on – evening shows Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays – have a chat with grazier Daniel Webster at the gate to get a handle on real life in the bush.

Overnight at Albert Park Motor Inn. It’s well-kept and virtually next door to the Hall of Fame and the Qantas Founders’ Museum. Don’t be surprised to see emus and roos grazing on the lawns.

DAY 3: LONGREACH

Stay in Longreach and visit the Qantas Founders Museum, just before the town on the right. You won’t miss it… there’s a Qantas 747 parked there.

This is an award-winning attraction with an array of exhibits, artifacts and displays that tell the airline’s story. Interactive exhibits make it fun for kids, too.

If you’re into aircraft and technical stuff, you can get a guided tour of the 747 and an old Qantas 707 as part of the museum admission, but it will cost you more. The 747 wing walk involves an extra outlay.

Lunch and two or three hours at the museum will prepare you for a sunset cruise and dinner on the Thomson River. Take your pick:

  • Local tour operator Kinnon & Co. (aka Outback Pioneers) is into unashamed Australiana at its riverside bush camp, including lovely stew, damper, billy tea stirred, not swung, and without gum leaves (blame Workplace Health and Safety), bush poetry and more. Take an Esky for your alcohol needs.
  • Another operator, the long-established Outback Aussie Tours, also have a bush camp and offer a cruise, dinner and show, focused on a more sophisticated, table-service menu and live music. They’re licensed, too!

Whichever of these you choose, you’ll get to cruise the Thomson, which is quite something in the middle of the outback. Back to everyday reality, you must watch for roos on the way towards Ilfracombe. Believe it, they’re waiting for you.

DAY 4: LONGREACH TO BARCALDINE (107KM)

How not to make enemies in the west: Get the name right. It’s pronounced Bar-call-dun, with the accent on the ‘call’. Say it any other way and you’ll be called a yabby, or worse.

Barcaldine, or ‘Barky’ to use safer syllables, has beautiful artesian water, which explains why it’s so green. It also has the Australian Workers Heritage Centre, a museum which celebrates, well, working history, in an extensive, park-like complex of buildings housing numerous displays and exhibitions.

Outback road trip: Longreach-Tambo-Blackall in 5 days | Tree of Knowledge Memorial

Barcaldine’s ill-fated Tree of Knowledge was poisoned by unknown vandals in 2006, so its corpse was resurrected and set in an impressive memorial. It’s seen as the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party because the town was the hot spot of the 1891 Australian shearers’ strike. It’s worth seeing for the design of the memorial alone.

Barcaldine is also known for goats and goat races, and the bloke to talk to about them is Tom Lockie, of Artesian Country Tours. A passionate bushie who likes a yarn, he runs day trips and longer tours in the region.

Be prepared for a wonderful earful if you can catch him – he loves the region’s connection with infamous rustler Harry Redford and bushman Nat Buchanan.

Overnight Barcaldine; elsewhere if you got the name wrong. The Shakespeare Hotel on the main drag is comfortable, but there are a lot of accommodation options.

DAY 5: BARCALDINE TO BLACKALL TO TAMBO (209KM)

Outback road trip: Longreach-Tambo-Blackall in 5 days | Blackall Black Stump

Drive onto Blackall, a town steeped in shearing and wool industry history. Explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell passed through in 1846 and the town was formed in the 1860s.

It has an artesian spa and is where you’ll find the original Black Stump.

Stop at the Ram Park Visitor Information Centre and ask for Stu Benson, a genuine character who will take you back in time and beguile you with his stories. If he offers to drive you around town, don’t refuse.

Outback road trip: Longreach-Tambo-Blackall in 5 days | Blackall Woolscour

Try to get a couple of hours in at the Blackall Woolscour for a great heritage fix. Built in 1908, it’s Australia’s only remaining steam-driven wool washing plant, and its local historical association has done a great job in maintaining it. Look out for volunteer and Outback artist Bob ‘Willo’ Wilson, another lovely bush character.

Tambo, 100km down the road, was also founded on sheep and is said to be the oldest town (founded 1863) in western Queensland. It was first known as Carrangarra but was renamed Tambo in 1868.

Teddy bears are the go here for tourists. Souvenir-hunting tip for grandparents: young children love these stuffed bears. Three local women began making them in 1992 to help the town during drought and a crash in wool prices. The quality-made bears were an instant hit.

Twenty-four years and about 40,000 bears later, Tambo Teddies is still going, now run by three other local women.

Make sure you roll into town before 5pm on weekdays if you want to visit the teddy bear outlet. If you have time, ask about the heritage building trail and grab a coffee at Fanny Mae’s Café next door while you’re at it.

If you’re planning to stay in Tambo, the Royal Carrangarra Hotel is a traditional pub, which has a name for serving good meals. There are more accommodation options in Blackall, but if you’re heading back there, watch for roos, which are thick and suicidal from dusk. The Prince of Wales Hotel in Blackall is friendly and has a smart dining room.

HAVE YOU BEEN ON AN OUTBACK ROAD TRIP?