An oasis of birdlife, unique plant species and freshwater creeks, the Carnarvon Gorge is a sparkling gem amongst the dusty heart of Central Queensland. Climb over boulders, marvel at the colours of sandstone cliffs, walk through quiet eucalypt and cabbage palm forests.
There are several trails of various difficulties to help you explore this special place which is home to over 170 bird species.
Roma Farmers and Artisans Market
Each 3rd Saturday of the month is the Roma Farmers & Artisans Market at the Big Rig Parklands 8.00am and 12.30pm. On offer is locally grown produce, handmade products and much much more, so bring your own bags or basket and discover what the wonderful community of Roma has to offer.
Roma Turf Club
Experience the thrill of bush racing at one of outback Queensland’s best turf clubs. The Roma Turf Club boasts great horse racing, entertainment and a lively atmosphere with, several bush racing meets and three major race meets each year – the Roma Cup, Easter in the Country and the Rugby Race Day.
A memorial avenue of 138 bottle trees extend from the Railway Station (the traditional rallying point for Anzac Day marches) to the Cenotaph in Bungil Street. Each tree is dedicated to a local soldier who fell in World War 1. A plaque at the base of each tree bears the name and details of the soldier to whom that tree is dedicated.
Over a hundred years ago, on Roma’s Hospital Hill, a drilling crew was boring for water when, suddenly, the unexpected happened: ‘Strewth, it’s gas!’ exclaimed a surprised driller as gas, mud and water gushed out of the well. With this event, quite by accident, Australia’s oil and gas industry was born.
The Big Rig celebrates the unique history of Australia’s oil and gas industry, collecting together intriguing stories, photos, facts and objects, in a variety of fascinating multi-media exhibits. You can also experience this fascinating story of Roma’s oil and gas history, whilst relaxing under the outback skies at The Big Rig’s Night Show.
Australia’s Largest Cattle Selling Centre, Roma’s Cattle Sales, are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The excitement of the sales is appealing to an increasing number of visitors with raised walkways providing visitors with an excellent vantage point.
Three Dimensional Clay Mural
The 18 square metre Clay Mural has been brought to life and interpreted by means of an audio and moving light presentation, which interprets the 17 elements that make up the mural. The mural is located in the Cultural Centre. There are one hundred and seventy-five individual tiles that comprise the artwork
Situated on Queensland’s highest plateau, rugged ranges sweep down to sandstone cliffs, with open woodlands and sandy valleys below. Take a long, scenic four-wheel drive to the park’s features. Short walks to nature’s amazing sculptures at Lot’s Wife, Marlong Arch and The Chimneys; and to cultural heritage sites. View Aboriginal rock art from the boardwalks at The Tombs and Kookaburra Cave. Go birdwatching for honeyeaters, parrots and raptors by day, and spotlighting for feathertail gliders and sugar gliders at night.
Great Artesian Spa
The township of Mitchell have recognised the value of their own mineral water from the Great Artesian Basin and have created a unique experience – The Great Artesian Spa. One of the pools has naturally heated waters from the Great Artesian Basin which is maintained at a comfortable temperature designed to relax tired muscles, ease tension and revitalize both body and mind. The other pool is designed for those who prefer a cooler experience.
St Paul’s Anglican Church
St Paul’s Anglican Church has a series of colourful stained glass and lead light windows dating back to 1876. Guided tours operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am during the tourist season or by appointment.
Roma Court House
Still a working court house today, the Roma Court House opened in 1901. This heritage listed building replaced the original 1873 structure which was opened for the trial of the infamous cattle duffer, Harry Redford (alias Captain Starlights) who had stolen 1,000 cattle and driven them to South Australia.
With door-to-door pickup and return from Roma Inland Motor Inn, Boobook Ecotours’ Carnarvon Ranges discovery day trip is a must-do while in Roma. With exclusive access to a 72,000 acre working cattle station nestled among sandstone cliffs – some of the richest cattle farming country in Australia – the small-group tour is led by an experienced ecologist and includes breathtaking views, Aboriginal rock art, dinosaur plants and wildlife ranging from rock wallabies to the lesser-known leaf-tailed gecko.
Ace Drapers is an unofficial tourist attraction and worth a visit for anyone interested in sewing and craft. Located in McDowall St, Roma, it is a treasure trove with a wonderful selection of drapery, fabric and haberdashery – some of which you’d be hard-pressed to find in Brisbane or other cities.
Charleville Cosmos Centre
Charleville is almost a three-hour drive further west of Roma, but well worth a visit for the Cosmos Centre alone! Home to a rare Hydrogen Alpha Sun Telescope, this is the Gateway to the Galaxy providing an opportunity to discover the origins of Earth and take an astronomical journey far beyond our solar system.
Outback Queensland discovery road trip
As Roma truly is the Gateway to the Outback, it makes a fantastic first stop on a self-drive tour from Brisbane taking in Queensland’s South West and Central West regions. For an unforgettable Queensland Outback adventure, including spectacular ancient landscapes, incredible star gazing, the Qantas Founders Museum, the Stockmen’s Hall of Fame and the Dinosaur Capital of Australia, we highly recommend a road trip taking in Roma, Carnarvon Gorge, Charleville, Longreach, Winton and Emerald. If you’re wanting to extend the journey and take in the Far West to watch the sun dip from the first sand dune of the Simpson Desert, chance a sighting of the Min Min Light or have a punt on camel races, you may even want to add in stops at Birdsville and Boulia.