If you want to experience a genuine outback Queensland town, and what life is like out in the bush, a stopover at Morven is definitely worthwhile. It is located on the Warrego Highway 90km before you get to Charleville and worth adding to the itinerary if you are en route to other parts of outback Queensland including Longreach or Birdsville. It may be one of the smaller towns in the outback, but it is steeped in history and still helps to play its part in the livestock industry.
Caravans & RV’s are Welcome @ Morven
Although small in size, the town is full of 150 passionate locals. All are proud of their town and all that it has to offer. Including Kylee from Gidgee Bush Camp who helps to promote the local museum. Also just opened a small coffee shop, “Kill for a Cuppa” as part of her camping grounds. According to Kylee, since the pub burnt down two years ago, it appears to have had an effect on the number of tourists that have stopped over. Add to this the recent closing of the general store and the current drought that has well and truly taken hold in the area, the whole town is certainly feeling the effects and could do with some support.
Kill For A Cuppa @ Morven
Despite the closures, however, the town is still surviving with its Post Office which previously housed the Morven Telephone Exchange still in operation. The local newsagent also stocks groceries and there is a local mechanic on hand if you need anything checked on the car or motorhome on the way through. Your medical needs are also catered for with a 24 hour medical centre and nurse practitioner on hand. There is a small police station in town where, if you are a Queenslander you can still renew your licence or rego, and they are still trying to get the pub back up and running, so hopefully soon, you can get that nice cold ale on a hot day. Small industry has also started up in town with the town being home to Gidgee Smith Bags, where you can find a collection of unquie outback bags.
Gidgee Smith Bags on display
Originally, on the Cobb & Co Mail route from Brisbane to Charleville, Morven was a part of the Victoria Down property when in 1859 this small area was taken from the main property and set aside for public use as a reserve. Originally known as Vitoria Downs Reserve, it later become known as Sadleir’s Waterhole after Captain TJ Sadlier and his wife claimed the property. In 1876 the post office was established and the name changed to Morven in 1880
Local Artwork on Display
Things to See & Do
The town has many things to keep you occupied for at least a few days, you can check out the…..
Just north of Morven and only 2km out of town are the Red Sands consisting of bright vibrant desert sands. This area is great to explore and the kids can have fun rolling down the hills. It is also a great area full of 4WD tracks for enthusiasts.
Red Sands @ Morven
Morven Historical Museum
The local museum shows much of the local history of the area. It includes a small Hut made from old Kerosene tins. These huts were a popular form of housing, often for pensioners back in the 1930’s. They were used as the original kangaroo works in Morven. Also on display is the old Rabbit border gate which previously stood at the entrance to town. It was manually operated for many years in an effort to keep the town and district rabbit free.
The Kerosene Hut
Other items of interest at the museum include the miniature replicas of many of the town’s old buildings. Kylee’s uncle actually built the display over a 15 year period. It carefully depicts some of the original town buildings many of which have since been destroyed. The branding board shows the many cattle brands from around the region. There are also many local indigenous artifacts telling the original history of the locality.
See the Miniture Village @ The Morven Museum
Saddliers Waterhole & Hamburg Creek
Named after Captain T.J. Saddlier, Saddlier’s Waterhole is well worth a visit. The waterhole was once Morven’s water supply. Provided irrigation for a large number of Chinees market gardens that used to be in the area. It was also a popular stopover point for the Cobb & Co bullock teams that passed through the area. The Waterhole is now a popular oasis with large red river gums. An ideal place to spend a few hours.
The beautiful Saddliers Waterhole @ Hamburg Creek
The Old Railway Station
This beautiful old building has now been converted to house the local Library. They welcome you from Tuesday to Friday. You can still see remnants of some of the old railway machinery on display throughout town.
Reminders of yesteryear @ the Old Railway Station
Tregole National Park
Is a national park with a difference, especially being in a semi-arid environment. The park protects a small stand of Ooline Forest which dates back to the ice ages. Unfortunately due to clearing in other areas, the trees are now uncommon and vulnerable to extinction. There are plenty of walking tracks and birdlife in the National Park.
The Morven Races held on the 2nd week of September each year are a major drawcard to the area. The event attracts locals and visitors from all around the region. With a 6 race program and bookies on course, there are also plenty of other attractions on offer on race day.
Enjoy a day @ the races
Places To Stay
There are two camping options on offer for the weary traveller
Gidgee Bush Camp, a large working farm offering unpowered sites to all self-contained campers with lots of native wildlife, stud goats and sheep. A perk of having a morning meeting area filled with rustic memorabilia complete with a retro coffee trailer. It is available 9am to 12noon Monday to Friday.