St George, situated on the mighty Balonne River, is a mere 500km due west of Brisbane. No, it’s not a bank, it is a real town.
The St George region has become a gateway to Queensland’s Outback and the perfect place to explore, unwind and get back to nature.
Major Thomas Mitchell was the first white man to report crossing the Balonne on 23 April 1846. He named the river after the Mandandanji word for water or running stream, balun or balonn or balonne.
Stunning St George’s top 5
This tiny town packs a punch with attractions. You may need to plan to stay a night longer?
1. Sip and Chat at Riversands Vineyard
Relax and sip a drop from Queensland’s most western vineyard, Riversands Winery. Owners David and Alison guarantee a ‘bush story in every glass’. Each bottle has a carefully crafted label featuring a local identity. No matter what time of the year, the Blacketts’ will have a tasting for all palates with their carefully crafted western wines and ports.
Summer wine visitors tip: On a hot, summer day the Sparkling Sisters bubbles for its rose petal aromas and strawberry and guava flavours is a must to have a sip while the rich Black Magic vintage port is always best served after dinner.
2. Drive the Cotton Trail
This leisurely 94km journey, on a fully sealed road, is particularly spectacular from April to May when the cotton comes into bloom. White soft and fuzzy flowers are your next Aussie grown t-shirt or other apparel.
Top tip: Purchase some cotton oil lotion and soap while picking up your map at the St George Visitor Information Centre.
3. The Balonne River
Meandering 479km, the Balonne River is a focal point for everyone that lives or visit St George. The Balonne forms part of the Murray-Darlin Basin system and there are numerous ways to explore this stunning river. Wander along the picturesque, paved walkway in town or paddle a canoe or kayak while watching the wildlife. Throw in a line and maybe catch a prized Murray Cod or Golden Perch (yellow belly) – both perfect for a pan-fried dinner.
4. Nindigully Pub – Queensland’s oldest pub
Take a leisurely 42km drive northeast of St George to this beautiful rambling old pub. Established in 1864, after operating as a shearer’s accommodation for Nindigully Station, it proudly boasts being the longest continuing licenced hotel in Queensland. From the late 1800s, the pub was a Cobb and Co coach change station – the hitching rails are still out front. It still stands in its original condition and position alongside the Moonie River – a great place to throw in a line from your camp free site.
Try the big ‘Road Train’ burgers, they say it feeds four, or join the locals at one of the events like the hilarious pig races held annually in November. If only the walls of this historic pub could talk, no doubt there would be a few tales.
Did you know? Paperback Hero, starring Australian actors Hugh Jackman and Claudia Karvan was filmed at the Nindigully pub.
The video below is credited to Silhouette Park Farm.
5. Thallon Grain Silos
A mere 33km from Nindigully are the pretty painted Thallon grain silos. In June 2017 Joel Fergie and Travis Vinson, aka The Zookeeper and Drapl began work on the fully functioning silos. The Thallon silos were the first of their kind in Queensland and are officially the 10th painted silos to be included in the Australian Silo Art Trail Collection. Titled ‘The Watering Hole’ the murals feature the district, the Moonie River, a gorgeous sunset and the regions agriculture along with recognising members of the indigenous community with a sacred scarred tree.
The giant mural covers four 30 metre high silos, took just over three weeks to complete and used approximately 500 litres of paint and 500 paint spray cans.
Travel to St George
Rex Airlines flies to St Geroge on their Western 1 from Brisbane to Toowoomba (Wellcamp) to St George to Cunnamulla to Thargomindah and return.
See the map below for details on how to travel to St George and book your flight here.