Fame and Infamy – Augathella has it all!
A great introduction to the community is the 20 minute documentary Outback to Augathella. Viewings in the Moonlighter’s Theatre can be arranged any time Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 4.00pm for a small fee. While you’re in the Rural Transaction Centre, spend some time browsing the permanent photographic exhibition, with over a hundred historic photos of Augathella and Charleville.
Then head outside to enjoy the murals and wrought iron sculptures scattered around town. Created by the community and professional artists, these works of art are a unique way to share the story of Augathella.
The Meat Ant Park
You’ll soon realise that Augathella has an affinity for meat ants. The local football team was ferocious in attack, prepared to take on all comers and victorious for many years, earning them the nickname, ‘Mighty Meat Ants’. The name stuck and the Meat Ant Park is dedicated to the Augathella Football Team, complete with a magnificent meat ant sculpture by Queensland sculptor Amanda Fehrer. This quiet outback oasis is the perfect place to start following Augathella’s Heritage Trail. Maps are available from the Visitor Information Centre and Post Office Coffee and Gifts.
The only pub left in town is the historic Ellangowan Hotel, built in the mid 1800s and named after the second name for Augathella. The town was first known as Burenda, then Ellangowanand finally became Augathella in 1883 (so good, they named it three times!). The hotel offers 20 self-contained, air-conditioned cabins and villas as well as a two bedroom and a three bedroom house in the Augathella Palms Motel complex. You can enjoy Merlo coffee, sandwiches, cakes,
burgers, toasted sandwiches and an all day breakfast in Smiley’s cafe which is open seven days from 8.00am. If you need to eat on the run, take-away is also available. For a more substantial meal, the hotel dining room offers a full pub menu.
The Kenniff Tree
Brushes with fame, or perhaps infamy in this case, have been part of this town’s history. The Kenniff Tree is a reminder of a darker past. This magnificent old coolabah tree is where the infamous bushrangers, the Kenniff brothers tethered their horses during their frequent visits to Augathella. The Kenniffs were the last bushrangers to be hanged in Queensland. Augathella has some fascinating stories to tell … worth staying a while for.
Smiley lives on
Perhaps Augathella’s greatest claim to fame in recent times is as the home for a time of Moore (Neville) Raymond, author of the Smiley books and the young lad, Didy Creevy upon whom the Smiley character and stories are based. If they don’t recall the books, baby boomers are sure to remember with fondness, the movies, first screened in the mid 1950s. A mural in Main Street celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of the classic Australian movie, “Smiley”. Word has it that there’s a movement afoot to develop a “Smiley” interactive centre in town. But in the meantime, say hello to Smiley at the cafe in the Ellangowan Hotel.
Augathella Visitors Centre
Phone (within Australia) 07 4654 5007