The Great Western Circuit explores the Southern Queensland country region including the Darling Downs before heading west into Southern Outback Queensland and the Channel Country.
Initially the Great Western Circuit between Warwick and Toowoomba follows the trail of the only 'snowball' recruitment march in Queensland. The march of the 'Dungarees', as they called themselves, began in Warwick in November 1915. Its purpose was to gather volunteers along the way in order to strengthen troop numbers and to foster patriotism within the Empire.... more
The 'Dungarees' passed the Boer War soldier memorial in Allora. It may have inspired the young men of the district to continue that tradition of war service. The following day, the unveiling of the first memorial to an individual soldier in the Nobby Cemetery was a sobering reminder of the perils of war.
The remainder of this War Memorials Journey travels west from Toowoomba via Goombungee, Cooyar, Dalby, Chinchilla, Roma and Mitchell to Charleville, south to Cunnamulla and then east again through St George, Nindigully, Goondiwindi, Stanthorpe and back to Warwick.... less
|Duration||6 Days||Itinerary Type||Land
|Distance||1767 Kilometres||Itinerary Route||One Way
|Mode of Travel||Car||Level of Difficulty||Unrated|
The Warwick Memorial Gates mark the start of the 'Dungarees' March on 16 November 1915.
The journey to Toowoomba passes by the historic Glengallan homestead and through grazing country to Allora's Boer War memorial. It was the first soldier statue in Queensland, unveiled in 1904. In 1905 Allora was the home of Helen Lyndon Goff (Pamela Travers) - author of Mary Poppins - ask a local for directions to her house!
Travelling north to Nobby, you will find the first Queensland monument dedicated to an individual soldier, unveiled by the 'Dungarees' on 18 November 1915. It memorialises local stockman 20-year-old Private Victor Denton, killed at Gallipoli in June.
To the north Greenmount has a soldier statue as does Westbrook, closer to Toowoomba.
Toowoomba is the gateway to the Darling Downs and is known as the garden city. It is Queensland's largest inland city. Visit the honour roll memorial at the railway station and enjoy refreshments in the restaurant.
The intersection of Ruthven and Margaret Streets, Toowoomba was the site of a rally during the 'Dungarees' march, before they departed for Brisbane. This intersection later became the site of the Toowoomba Mother's Memorial, relocated to East Creek Park in 1985.
Travel west from Toowoomba on the Dalby Road and turn right at Kingsthorpe to head to Goombungee where a soldier statue memorial is situated in the main street. Continue north through Haden until you reach the New England Highway and turn left towards Cooyar. Its soldier statue is located in Hack Meakins Park in McDougall Street. The Palms National Park is a short eight kilometre drive north-west of Cooyar.
Take the road south west of Cooyar towards Dalby, travelling along the black soil plains. Dalby, a town laid out in 1852 was once the centre for graziers. Today, the extraction of coal seam gas is a key industry, along with cotton. Dalby's War Memorial is unusual, in that the soldier is one of only two in bronze found in Queensland. It was cast in a foundry in London, and mounted on a locally-made sandstone plinth. The memorial gates mark the entrance to the park in which the soldier stands, and to the rear of the park is the Dalby Pool, the oldest known Olympic sized pool in Queensland, built 1936.
Stay overnight in Dalby. There is an option to visit Jimbour House and participate in the living history walk.
Travel west on the Warrego Highway to Warra and visit the impressive copper honour board outside the memorial hall on the highway, before travelling on to Chinchilla. The town's soldier statue is situated outside the RSL Hall in Heeney Street. The White Gums Gallery and the Chinchilla Cultural Centre are just up the road.
From Chinchilla, continue west to Miles. The Dogwood Crossing Cultural Centre and the Miles Historical Village are a must-see! A WWI memorial to an individual soldier, Wallace 'Laddie' Lawton, is situated within the historical village. He was only 18 when he joined up and contracted malaria in the Middle East, dying the year after he returned home.
Travel further west through the small towns of Dulacca, Jackson, Yuleba and Wallumbilla to Roma, where the new Cultural Centre houses Roma's honour board. Another memorial is located in the adjacent park in Bungil Street, flanked by Gallipoli Pines. A Heroes Avenue of 93 bottle trees from here to Wyndham Street is a living tribute to 93 fallen soldiers.
Be sure to visit Romavilla, the oldest winery in Queensland, a kilometre north of the Cultural Centre. Stay overnight in Roma at one of the excellent motels or tourist parks.
Continuing west from Roma, the road follows the 'Westlander' railway line to Charleville. Travel through the smaller settlements of Muckadilla, which has a WWII memorial on the roadside, and Amby, to Mitchell. Here you can relax in the mineral springs before visiting the Mitchell Memorial Park. The war memorial here commemorates the 51 locals who served in WWI. Drive 45 kilometres west to the former Cobb and Co station of Mungallala.
Another 45 kilometres west of Mungallala is Morven which has a sandstone war memorial in the main street commemorating both world wars.
Continue to travel west for 90 kilometres on the Warrego Highway to Charleville.
The Charleville War Memorial is located on Wills Street and lists 310 locals who signed up and the 40 who died in WWI. Visit the Historical House Museum in the beautiful 1888 National Bank building in Alfred Street. Further information on heritage sites in town is available at the Tourism Office.
Whilst spending a night or two in Charleville, consider taking the self-guided heritage tour, or visit the Cosmos Centre or the bilby breeding program before heading to Cunnamulla.
Travel south from Charleville on the Mitchell Highway to Wyandra. It has a soldier statue memorial on the corner of Mack and Warrego Streets. Enjoy some refreshments at the Gladstone Hotel and visit the museum in the old powerhouse and take a heritage tour of the town.
Another hour to the south is the town of Cunnamulla, where a particularly flamboyant fountain memorial is located at the five-ways in the town centre. This was collaboratively installed by the Paroo Shire Council and the Diggers Racing Club in time for the race meeting of 11 November 1926, before its formal unveiling on ANZAC Day 1927. The racing club continues to hold an annual ANZAC racing carnival.
Enjoy a ramble on one of the walking trails along the Warrego River. Linger overnight enjoying the outback hospitality at one of the local hotels, motels or the riverside tourist park, or choose to drive on to St George.
The Balonne Highway will take you on to St George. Stop at the small town of Balonne for a refreshment break and visit its war memorial in the main street. The heritage centre provides an insight into life dependent on artesian bores. Participate in the Nullawokka Aboriginal bush tucker tour.
The town of St George, located on the Balonne River is like an oasis, with cooling breezes from the river. Visit the numerous memorials in town including the Memorial Pavilion at the hospital which commemorates the war service of local service personnel from all conflicts. There is also a cenotaph on the riverbank on St George's Terrace.
Visit the tourism office and pick up a copy of the St George Heritage Trail. Perhaps try a spot of fishing in the river, visit the Riversands Winery or the Unique Egg Gallery in Victoria Street, where an amazing collection of carved emu eggs is displayed. Consider a round of golf before relaxing at one of the many hotels or motels for the night.
Take the Carnarvon Highway south east from St George past the cotton plantations, until you reach the intersection with the Barwon Highway. A short drive to the Nindigully Pub is a worthwhile detour. It claims to be the oldest licensed hotel in Queensland, holding a liquor license from 1864, when the pub evolved from shearer's quarters.
Follow the Barwon Highway to Goondiwindi, passing through Talwood and Toobeah.
Goondiwindi is a major regional business centre located on the McIntyre River at the junction of the Cunningham, Newell, Bruxner, Barwon and Leichhardt highways. The river marks the border with New South Wales and the old customs house is now occupied by the Goondiwindi Museum. The Goondiwindi War Memorial is located in Lehman Park.
From Goondiwindi, take the Cunningham Highway through former tobacco growing country between Yelarbon and Inglewood, where you will find scenes reminiscent of the south of France such as olive groves and lavender farms.
Turn right at the Inglewood Post Office to visit War Memorial Park before heading east around Coolmunda Dam and heading to Stanthorpe, Queensland's highest and coolest town at the heart of the Granite Belt.
The region has two national parks with numerous wineries and accommodation options.
The Stanthorpe War Memorial on a hill above Locke Street was designed to evoke the essence of Gallipoli. Further reminders of WWI may be found in the remnants of the post-war soldier settlements north of Stanthorpe, named after towns where soldiers fought in France and Belgium such as Poziers and Amiens, linked by Baupaume Road and skirting the Passchendaele forest.
Visitors may choose to detour via Amiens and Poziers Roads which adds around 35 minutes to the journey, but takes in more wineries and orchards.
Travelling towards Warwick beside the rail corridor, the old cold store buildings at the rail stations are reminders of the importance of the fruit industry to the region.
Travel down the range to Warwick and visit the railway station honour board. An interpretation sign discusses the attempts at gaining support for conscription by Prime Minister Billy Hughes in November 1917.
Two years previously, the station received a group of nine volunteers from Stanthorpe, participating in the 'Dungarees' recruitment march from Warwick to Brisbane.
Apart from the Memorial Gates in Palmerin Street where this journey commenced, there is a memorial in the Town Hall foyer dedicated to the footballers who served during WWI.
|Start from:||84 Fitzroy Street, Warwick QLD 4370, Australia|
|End at:||1 Railway Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 9 mins|
|Start from:||1 Railway Street, Toowoomba QLD 4350, Australia|
|End at:||59 Patrick Street, Dalby QLD 4405, Australia|
|Duration:||1 hour 4 mins|
|Start from:||59 Patrick Street, Dalby QLD 4405, Australia|
|End at:||49 Wyndham Street, Roma QLD 4455, Australia|
|Duration:||3 hours 3 mins|
|Start from:||49 Wyndham Street, Roma QLD 4455, Australia|
|End at:||44 Wills Street, Charleville QLD 4470, Australia|
|Duration:||3 hours 4 mins|
|Start from:||44 Wills Street, Charleville QLD 4470, Australia|
|End at:||23 John Street, Cunnamulla QLD 4490, Australia|
|Duration:||2 hours 13 mins|
|Start from:||23 John Street, Cunnamulla QLD 4490, Australia|
|End at:||44-58 Carnarvon Highway, St George QLD 4487, Australia|
|Duration:||3 hours 23 mins|
|Start from:||44-58 Carnarvon Highway, St George QLD 4487, Australia|
|End at:||137 High Street, Stanthorpe QLD 4380, Australia|
|Duration:||5 hours 23 mins|
|Start from:||137 High Street, Stanthorpe QLD 4380, Australia|
|End at:||LOT 12 Lyons Street, Warwick QLD 4370, Australia|