farmer at sunset

Points of Interest from Brisbane to Darwin Part II

We previously explored some interesting towns and cities on the journey from Brisbane to Darwin, and in today’s blog post we’re going to check out some more.

Roma

Roma is a large town located around 470km west of Brisbane. It is the central hub of the Maranoa area, and is at the heart of a large farming community known for its wheat.

It was the first place in Australia where oil and gas was found. It is also the one time home of cattle rustler Henry Arthur “Harry” Readford (one of the inspirations for the fictional bushranger Captain Starlight). In 1870, he stole a herd of cattle from a remote cattle station and drove them to South Australia. At Artracoona Native Well, some 1287kms from Roma, he sold some of the stock in exchange for supplies.

The owners of the cattle found out about the missing stock and set out with trackers to find them – eventually coming upon some of the missing beasts at Artracoona. This was Readford’s undoing – but not entirely.

When he went to trial in Roma, the jury found him not guilty as they were so impressed by his feat. The law did eventually catch up with him when he continued to steal horses, and he was jailed for 18 months.

Roma was also a refuelling base for aircraft during WWII.

Mitchell

Another site of bushranger activity was Mitchell. There was a standoff between bushranger brothers Patrick and James Kenniff and police near Mitchell in 1902. They were captured at what is now known as Arrest Creek.

The Kenniff brothers were notorious cattle and horse rustlers, and Patrick was eventually hanged for murder.

The town is also home to the Maranoa Art Gallery and a heritage museum.

Stay tuned to the Braun Transport blog for more stories from the outback!