St George in south-west Queensland is one of those places where travellers seem to stay overnight and then move on. And resident Caravan World contributors, Tony and Denyse Allsop stayed a week to have a good look at the place.
St George History
Explorer Major Thomas Mitchell named St George when he crossed the Balonne River on St George’s Day in 1846. The town is at the junction of the Balonne, Barwon, Carnarvon, Moonie and Castlereigh highways and the St George-Mitchell Road, so there is a lot of passing traffic.
Cotton is the major crop in the area, but horticulture is also important. Historically it has been a major sheep breeding and grazing area, with wheat also significant. Wine and table grapes grow well and you will still see sheep and cattle grazing. The Balonne River is the lifeblood of this town; the Jack Taylor Weir backs up water for 20km to the Beardmore Dam. Flood gates operate at both the dam and town weir.
The population of St George is about 2400 and is well catered for with two supermarkets, and accomdation such as, the Pelican Rest Tourist Park, a gem of a caravan park I found, that we used as our base.
Pelican Rest Tourist Park is a member of the Top Tourist Parks group and it is only a couple of minutes from town. The first thing that struck us was that it was a very tidy, landscaped park with large, level, drive-through, grassed sites with no troublesome overhanging gum trees. All the roads are sealed. The park has 45 powered sites and a camping area, as well as several different styles of cabins. It covers about six acres but the owners, Steve and Lorraine McNamara, have an extra 34 acres or so on which to expand.
Powered sites are drive-through. They have sullage, power and water close to the van – we were able to use our short leads and hoses. There is also a filtered rainwater tank. All sites are on lush grass, which is nicer than concrete slabs in the hot weather we had in early April. Native trees have been planted between sites, and these bring in many varieties of birds. The park is very open, with lots of well cared-for grass around sites.
Large rigs are catered for. In fact, the sign at the entrance says ‘No Rig Too Big’.
- Amenities block is very clean and modern, with mixer taps in the showers and at hand basins, and plenty of hot water in the showers.
- Disabled amenities and a dump point.
- Excellent laundry facilities, with plenty of washing machines and dryers
- A brand new camp kitchen; including gas stoves and barbecues, pizza oven and flat screen TV
- Free wi-fi (with easy access to 4G wireless broadband and TV channels).
- *A pool is planned, hopefully for later this year.
To our thinking, this park has exactly what most RVers require: friendly owners, clean and pleasant amenities, sealed roads and large sites that are easy to access.
St Geroge Fast facts
- St George is 509km south-west of Brisbane.
- Nindigully Pub
- Sandytown River Cruises
- Murals and walking tracks
Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre
- (07) 4620 8877, www.balonne.qld.gov.au
Sandytown River Cruises
- 0400 219 379, www.stgeorgerivercruises.com