Visit Roma, a town with a diverse offering of things to do and see, and plenty of manmade and natural surprises in store.
Established in 1867, Roma is named after Lady Diamantina Bowen (Contessa Diamantina Georgina Roma) – wife of the first Governor of Queensland, George Bowen. It is a part of Maranoa Shire and is located about six hours drive from Brisbane and 350 kilometres north-west of Toowoomba. Prior to European settlement, the land was home to the Aboriginal peoples of the Mandandanji Nation.
Roma has a proud history of beef production going back well over 150 years and today, it is home to the southern hemisphere’s largest saleyards. A town rich in sheep and cattle grazing, visitors can experience the real outback while watching the Roma Saleyards in action from a unique viewing platform.
Cattle buyers and sellers come together from all over the country to see the animals go under the auctioneer’s hammer. Prices for prized bulls often go for more than a small car, with top sales in the realm of $19,000 and the average price just shy of $10,000.
In addition to the Tuesday morning weekly tour there is an interactive Interpretative Centre at the saleyards, which is open each day from 8am until 5pm.
Bottle trees and the Green Canyon
One of the more popular attractions in Roma is the War Memorial and heritage-listed Heroes Avenue. In a tradition that started in 1918, Queensland bottle trees have been planted along the sidewalk, each representing a local soldier who died in WWI. Beside each of the current 93 trees is a plaque in the ground that tells the fallen soldier’s story.
Outback Queensland might be the last place you’d expect to find Australia’s ‘Green Canyon’ (aka Carnarvon Gorge) but the Roma region is full of surprises.
At 30km in length and 60 metres deep, Carnarvon Gorge is characterised by towering white sandstone cliffs. It is home to over 2,000 examples of Aboriginal rock art, 173 species of birds, and its 2,000-year-old cycads attract upwards of 70,000 visitors every year.
The Big Rig
Roma was also the first place in Australia where natural gas was discovered. The Big Rig Oil and Gas Interpretative Centre and Night Show Sunset Experience is great for an interactive insight into the hardships and heroic stories of oil drilling and exploration. Now the experience comes to life even more vividly through the 40m high Big Rig Tower and Tree Walk.
The story of our oil and gas pioneers comes alive through immersive interpretive exhibits, machinery displays, audio-visual features and our local “Roma Rigger” guides. At the top of the Big Rig Tower, you’ll be rewarded with expansive views across Outback Queensland.
Rex launched services between Brisbane and Roma on January 1, 2022, operating 28 return flights weekly, and with fares starting at $159. Visit Roma on an easy one-hour flight.
For more to do in Outback Queensland near Roma, check out our articles on the Warrego River in Charleville and a true hidden gem Quilpie.