Situated on the Warrego Highway, Morven is a great example of a little town that has more to it than meets the eye. With a population of just 250 people, Morven is home to a collection of miniature marvels, is close to a unique nature walk and offers some beautiful, peaceful picnic spots.
The town forms a point in a triangle linking it to Augathella and Charleville and is about an hour’s drive from each of these towns and from Mitchell. It also services a large rural area.
Morven was originally known as Saddlers Waterhole after an early settler in the district called Captain T. J. Sadleir, who camped with his wife at this waterhole on Hamburg Creek.
See the Rabbit Board Gate replica, a reminder of when the rabbit-proof fence was standing and you had to go through the gate on the Roma to Charleville road. The replica is situated near the railway crossing east of town.
Morven Historical Museum
The Morven Historical Museum is home to a smorgasbord of treasures. Among the memorabilia is a unique collection of miniature buildings created by local resident Bobby Johnson. Together, the replicas form a town including a sett lers homestead, bush tent camp and bough shed, cattle yards and stables, bush shanty and even a ‘depression’ hut replicating kerosene tins. While the miniatures are the star of the show, the museum complex has many other pieces of interest.
A real kerosene tin hut built in the 1930s is a reminder of how tough life was during the Great Depression, but also the ingenuity of those who lived through it. Other displays include Morven’s original soft drink bottling machine, railway lamps from steam engine days and even a Blitz army truck. The museum is open from 10.00am to midday Monday to Friday. Don’t miss the mural on the public toilet next door!
Tregole National Park – ooline country
The national park is located about 10km south of town on the sealed Morven-Bollon Road and is also a delightful place for a picnic. There are tables, gas barbecues and toilets, but most importantly there are native ooline trees. The origins of these trees date back 1.6 million years when this area of Australia was much wetter than it is today. Often called scrub myrtle, ooline trees are now vulnerable to extinction. These stately trees are even more magnificent when the black native orchids which inhabit them are in flower.
Morven is serviced by a school and commercial businesses including a newsagency, post office, gift and clothes shop, grocery store and information centre, roadhouse and a motel which has a gourmet goodies and gift shop as part of the complex. The main street park has picnic tables and a large fenced playground. The town has a pool, golf course, race club, fishing club, tennis facilities and a hospital serviced by nursing staff and visited once a week by a doctor – much more than you might expect in a small town!
For campers and caravaners, just outside of town you will find Gidgee’s Bush Camp. You will need to be self-contained as there are no amenities on site, at least not yet. The coffee shop, which is open 9.00-12.00 Monday to Friday, has tourist information as well as memorabilia from the old days of station life. You will also be able browse and purchase the renown Gidgee Smith Bags. From plier bags to saddle bags to carry-ons, Gidgee Smith Bags has a bag for everything and for all walks of life. If you are a ringer, a truck driver, or just after a bag for school, you will definitely find one to suit your needs. To stay at Gidgee’s Bush Camp where you can enjoy the peaceful surroundings, wildlife, and farm animals, bookings are strongly recommended to ensure you don’t miss out on a site.
For a good night’s rest in a clean, modern room, you can’t go past the Pick a Box
Motel. Each cabin has air-conditioning, as well as heating for the cooler months, and a kitchenette equipped with a full sized fridge and microwave. Free Wi-Fi is also available. Barbecue facilities are on site and Darryl offers a dinner pack, which includes either a steak or lamb chops. Breakfast is also part of the wonderful service that is offered at the Pick a Box, or if you are in a rush to get back on the road, then order some toast to go! Pick a Box is not only a pet friendly motel, but also caters to those travelling with horses. Three covered boxes with day yards, plus one day yard, are available, all with their own troughs. Hay is also available for purchase if needed.
Charleville Visitor Information Centre
Phone (within Australia) 07 4654 7771