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TEAR OUT MAP #29

Posted On 03 May 2024
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This entry is part 9 of 30 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#29

DARLING DOWNS PART 2 QUILPIE TO TOOWOOMBA WORDS/PHOTOS COLIN WHELAN

Plenty of towns to be passed through in Part 2 of this month’s pullout map. Some are good and certainly worth a stop, and some not so good, worth zipping on by.

QUILPIE

Nice streetscape and although the old pubs have shut down they’ve been retained and maintained. Offshears Bakery is friendly and serves good tucker. Fuel (91 and 95) is at the eastern end of town and open 6am til 9pm but there’s a number on the wall if you are outside this and desperate.

COOLADDI

This is the home of the Cooladdi King. A ‘burger-slash-sanger’ that’s unlike anything that’s probably ever graced any plate you’ve had in front of you. And I use ‘graced’ advisedly!

Roxanne runs this joint and, well, it’s rough outback country life like it should be lived. Don’t go past, coz you won’t go hungry! If you plan to tackle two of the Kings, adjust your front forks and rear shock pre-load before you get back on the bike.

CHARLEVILLE

A major hub town with all facilities including three places which should be able to fix any problems with your machine. Probably the best is the Suzuki dealer, Tas Mini Mtrs at 104 Alfred St opposite the IGA and with the Corones Hotel currently closed, the best watering hole in town is the Cattle Camp just a bit further down Alfred.

AUGATHELLA

Full time BP fuel on the highway at the turnoff to the town and the Ellangowan Hotel is on Main St. It’s a great place to stay, you simply won’t find friendlier hosts or locals and if you have time get up to the library and chat with the staff there who seem to know everything about the town and its history.

MORVEN

A tiny town with a great feel. The BP is on the east edge but the north side of the hwy through town has a delightful park with historic items including a shed made from old kero tins. Stretch your legs.

MUNGALLALA

Don’t stop here unless you want to see how a town can slowly be killed.

There’s nothing here anymore other than the pub. But oh it’s sure a memorable pub! The night I stayed there I was served by an old fella who, despite his late model Jag in the garage, obviously couldn’t afford (or be bothered to wear) any shoes, who was so deaf that the TV (which he switched channels at will and with no regard for anyone else watching) was at numbingly high volume, and who told me that his wife didn’t feel like cooking so there’d be no meals tonight.

If you (legally) free camp in the Council reserve across the road you will be refused service. Extraordinary!

The only friendly face I found here belonged to a pool playing praying mantis!

MITCHELL

The highlight here for me is the artesian pool at the eastern end of town opposite the Caltex. Beautifully maintained and well run, if you don’t have a swim here on the way through you might as well be home playing video games. The Court House Hotel off the highway on Mary St has a sense of humour and is very welcoming.

MUCKADILLA

Just a pub here with a camping area attached where John the boss will let you throw your swag for ten bucks with use of showers and toilets. It’s up to you whether you enjoy the sunshine on the Seat of Knowledge or the Bench of Bullshit!

ROMA

Hub town with everything you’ll need.

The blokes at D&R’s Motorcycles on the highway west of the town really helped me out a few visits back and I can’t recommend them enough. The massive Roma Cattle Saleyards are on the highway east of town and sales are held Tuesdays and Thursdays. Really worth a visit if your ride coincides. This is not a great town for vegetarians.

SURAT

The old Cobb & Co station is superb, especially in the evening light. The Royal Hotel is characterless but has clean motel accommodation. The Caltex sells every grade of fuel and has the friendliest staff on the planet!

GLENMORGAN

Monty’s Garage at Glenmorgan is probably the main reason for taking the Surat option. It’s a unique outpost of nostalgia and all wonderfully maintained. Budget stopping here for at least an hour. Truly wonderful!

CONDAMINE

If you want an example of how this country’s history, culture and tradition can be ignored and erased, Condamine is a great place to stop. Don’t ask the backpackers serving in the pub anything about Condamine Bells or local history or the location of anything coz they don’t have a clue. Don’t ask the backpackers serving in the Servo where the next place selling premium is coz they don’t have a clue. The riverside park is a good place to stretch but keep your pennies for somewhere more deserving.

KOGAN

What a difference 70km can make! The pub, the locals, the host at the Kogan Pub can hardly come from the same planet as their Condamine neighbours. A great mural in the bar but if you’re in a hurry don’t ask a local about it, coz you’ll be wonderfully engaged for ages!

DALBY

Almost qualifi es as the Big Smoke. All services available but the pub rates are ‘mine’ infl ated so you probably don’t want to overnight here.

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