I love writing, taking photos, travelling and enjoying life. I have a BA of Adult and Vocational Teaching and a Master of Arts (Writing). My business card says Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, and Bamboo Fan www.dihill.com.au
Published November 28th 2012
Go beyond the Great Dividing Range for a weekend of exploration in the Darling Downs. The small town of Miles is just 350 kilometres from Brisbane, and a pleasant drive up through Toowoomba and to the plains beyond. There are a number of towns to explore, including Dalby, Brigalow and Chinchilla on the way to Miles. At Dalby, there is an interesting Pioneer Museum just off the highway – worthy of a good few hours to explore.
The bustling town of Miles is on the Dogwood Creek, which was named by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1844, after the native tree Dogwood (Jacksonia Scopara) which grows in the area. The streets of Miles are very wide, as the town started out as a teamsters camp and the bullock wagons needed that space to turn around.
In the town itself is Dogwood Crossing @ Miles, an arts and cultural facility with library, art gallery, internet centre and much about the history of the area in film and displays.
The Information Centre is at the Historical Village, which is worth a day long visit (can be done in two or more days if you request a pass out ticket), and a great place to show children or grandchildren about living in Australia in the early history of the country. You can step back into history and wander in the 30 or so buildings, within the 'turn-of-the-century village, a hospital, café, bank, post office and butcher shop. There are a myriad of other displays and well worth a day or two to see it all.
Around the town are other historic places to see – including the original cemetery, with headstones of very young children which is an indication of how difficult life was in these vast outback area. Ask at the Information Centre for information on places to visit in the area.
There are many places to stay including motels and caravan parks, but the most fascinating of all would be Possum Park, which is a former RAAF munitions storage area used from 1942 to house bombs and other ammunition in the 20 underground bunkers on the property. Some have been converted to motel units, however there are train carriages and other accommodation including a caravan park on the property. There is also a lake, stocked with fish for those interested in 'wetting a line'.