Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published May 12th 2021
Escape the city - History, races, fishing adventure in Warra
My main reason to visit Warra was for a personal one as my father had worked there at a sawmill before he was married and I wanted to see what the small town was like. I asked if anyone knew where the remnants of the sawmill could have been but was unable to locate any information that related to that building.
Welcome to Warra (Author's Photo)
Only thirty minutes from Dalby on the Warrego Highway, you will come across the quaint town of Warra. It is a pleasant drive as the highway is lined with paddocks of cotton and sorghum providing an ocean of crops on each side of the road.
Distinguished Warra Hotel (Author's Photo)
A gentleman by the name of Richard Best originally established the Warra Hotel in 1876, although a few decades later Theo and Eliza Burghardt extended it to a two-storey building of grandeur as it stands today. The hotel is an exceptionally well-maintained structure commonly known as a "Queenslander' and is located at the end of Robinson Street. It really is a most distinctive building; one that draws your attention as soon as you enter the town.
As you drive around Warra, there are quite a few historical sights and one can see that the residents are very proud of the heritage of this town.
Restored Railway Project, Richard Best Memorial Park (Author's Photo)
As you drive into the township from Dalby, Richard Best Memorial Park and Rest Area cannot be missed in the centre of the Warrego Highway passing through. The restored former Warra Railway Station has been relocated to the park along with the old Warra Jail, Homebush Windmill, heritage tractor and Haystack School.
Old Haystack School (Author's Photo)
If you are travelling with a caravan or motorhome, overnight stays of forty-eight hours or two days are available behind the park. A donation of $5.00 per night is appreciated and a box for this can be located on the wall outside the railway building. On the day of my visit, I could hear singing and music coming from the campers, which was a delight indeed.
Other historical sites in the town were -
Old Church Bell and Crosses (Author's Photo)
Bell Tower which stands on the site where St Francis Xavier Church once stood. The church was destroyed in a storm in 1980; however, the original bell and crosses were saved.
Warra Memorial Hall – Opened officially in 1956 as a tribute to the local men and women who served in the War for our country, a plaque outside lists the names of these people. On a community noticeboard, I read where the Warra Ball had been held on 7th May 2021 and was pleased to see the Hall was being utilised in the community for other events.
Memorial Hall, Warra (Author's Photo)
German explorer and naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt, who was famous for his trek of northern and central Australia, made a campsite along the Cooranga Creek in 1844. Today a memorial created by students is positioned at this site.
First Campsite on Cooranga Creek, Warra (Author's Photo)
If you are a keen fisherman, you may be rewarded at Warra Weir for a catch of Yellowbelly or Murray Cod.
Warra was also the site for the first Government-owned and operated coal mine in Queensland and if you venture out to the entry of the old mine, you will find a silhouette structure as a memory of that time.
This small town has so much history and so much to offer a traveller, and if you are passing in July, stop for the Warra Races, which are held on the first Saturday of that month.
Dear Susan, Thank you for your article on the history of Warra. My connection to Warra is through my Great Grandfather who came out from Ireland and got work on Warra Station in 1864 as a shepherd. His name was Malachy Dwyer. Do you know anything of Warrra Station or know of records of who owned it and who worked on it?
If you do please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your service to a local community,