Moonie Highway to Tara
The Sunset Way follows Surat Development Road, so travelling east to west you’ll begin your journey turning off the Moonie Highway (between Dalby and Moonie) and heading for the town of Tara.
In Tara a walk of the main street is first port of call, where the café offers coffee with a view to a wall of artist Barbara Geisel’s amazing sheep’s wool pictures.
Across the road, the town’s market square park is home to ‘Clarence’ the camel, joined by a few artfully sculpted emus. It’s a place to be reminded that this tiny town swells to host the famous Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races in August!
You must check out the bakery – it’s easy to spot, it’s the building with the old wool press on the roof and inside you’ll find more reminders of Tara’s proud fine wool connections in the shearing themed dining area.
Now timing is important, because Tara Lagoon is absolutely beautiful at sunset, stroll or cycle it’s riverside walkway, or drop in a line as the sun sets spectacularly across the lagoon. If you’re keen on freshwater fishing, the locals say this is a top spot and there’s budget priced camping too.
Tara to Meandarra
Travelling between Tara and Meandarra you’ll travel through the tiny community of The Gums. Passing through you’ll see their quaint historic church and also a small bush school by the roadside. The Gums Store is a petrol and dining stop, sitting right on the crossroads of the Leichhardt Way.
Hannaford, another tiny community, sits a few kilometres off the road between The Gums and Meandarra. It’s got the tiniest post office with a history display and it’s another lovely quiet spot to keep in mind for camping at the Hannaford Sports Club.
A short drive further and you’ll arrive in Meandarra, where a walk through the main street will have you familiar with the faces of the locals and small town living in no time. You’ll find the most prominent landmark along the main street is the Meandarra ANZAC Memorial Museum. Outside you’ll find the “Me and Darra” statue that tells the story of the town’s name origins.
A favourite travellers spot is Brigalow Creek, which runs the length of Meandarra, offering a walking track, picnic/barbecue spots and popular overnight camping with facilities, all just a walk to the pub.
Meandarra to Glenmorgan and Myall Park
The road from Meandarra to Glenmorgan follows the railway line, but it’s here in Glenmorgan the line comes to an end. Parliament approved the rail to continue through to Surat back in 1914, but the locals having given up waiting, now maintain the historic ‘End of the Line’ railway siding as a great picnic and overnight rest stop.
But the first thing you’ll see as you enter Glenmorgan is likely the most surprising, as Monty’s Vintage Garage greets visitors on entry, in really cool 1940s vintage style! Here John has been sharing his passion for vintage motor vehicle restorations and memorabilia for decades and continues to only ask a donation for your stop at what is definitely a must-experience attraction along the Sunset Way!
That’s far from the end of surprises in Glenmorgan – it’s internationally recognised for the collection of semi-arid Australian flora, on living display within the walking tracks of Myall Park Botanic Garden! Myall Park is north of Glenmorgan and welcomes visitors to explore its self-guided walks, floral art gallery and gift shop. You'll see the origins of the now world famous Robyn Gordon Grevillea and fall in love again with the beauty of Aussie flora.
Glenmorgan to Surat
With its picturesque wide streets, quaint stores and intriguing history from the times of Cobb & Co, Surat is a small town which with a small town lifestyle to fall in love with. Sitting on the banks of the Balonne river, you can take a riverside walk through the town. There is riverfront accommodation to enjoy, plus fishing and camping at the very popular Fisherman’s Campground.
The town’s history of Cobb & Co has left behind an original Changing Station, where the history of coach travel has been preserved in museum displays, including a full size replica coach. You can also find a large freshwater aquarium, where you’ll see the Murray Cod and other species that inhabit and are often caught in the Balonne River.
Lions Park is the ideal spot to discover the history of Surat’s development, with story boards placed throughout a really delightful garden walk that connects the main street with the Balonne riverside. Around the corner from the main street, the beautiful Shire Hall building is a top spot to capture a sunset view, behind the building’s timeless 1930s beauty.