10 things you didn’t know about Blackall

Blackall | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

Nestled in the middle of the outback, there’s one town that’s known for its colour and culture.

You’ll find Blackall sitting smack bang in the middle of the Matilda Way, providing a stay-a-while spot on your roadtrip.

Stretch those legs and explore Blackall, starting off with this list of fun facts.


1. Blackall is home to record breaking shearer Jack Howe

Blackall | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

If you want to get to know one of the most famous locals in Blackall, just head to the Universal Garden Centre on Shamrock Street to say ‘g-day’ to Jack Howe.

The local legend earned his own statue in 1892 after shearing a record breaking 321 sheep by hand in 7.5 hours.


2. Everything west of Blackall is beyond the black stump

If you’ve never heard the saying ‘beyond the black stump’, get yourself to Blackall and see it for yourself.

When pioneers were passing through the area, they declared that everything west of where they were (now the township of Blackall), was ‘beyond the black stump’.

You can check out the replica stump in town where an information board tells the tale.


3. Blackall is home to Australia’s last standing steam-operated woolscour

Blackall Woolscour | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

Playing tribute to the town’s rich sheep shearing heritage, Blackall Woolscour is Australia’s last standing steam-operated woolscour, which operated from 1908 – 1978.

Daily guided tours run through the woolscour by volunteers, but it’s also known as a photographer’s paradise – popular with brides and grooms chasing rustic wedding photos.


4. Blackall is known as the art and cultural hub of Central Outback Queensland

Ram Park | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

Get your creative juices flowing at Blackall, a town which wears its connection to the arts and culture of the outback on its sleeve.

In fact, you can follow the sculpture trail across the town, including the Big Ram.

If you’re visiting in spring, stop by the Blackall Heartland Festival for a celebration of country culture, with markets, exhibitions, poet’s breakfast and BBQ cook-off.


5. Blackall has an idyllic national park in its backyard

Only 4.5 hours (113km) south-west of Blackall (sitting directly west of Tambo) is Idalia National Park.

Contrasting with the flat plains of Blackall, the camping and bushwalking area is filled with dense mulga woodland that make way for rocky escarpments where lookouts are perched.


6. You can rest, relax and revive in the mineral spa water at Blackall

Blackall Aquatic Centre | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

The tepid waters at the Blackall Aquatic Centre are just perfect for a dip during the cooler winter months, the watering hole is surrounded by grass areas and there’s even a hot massage spa to take the relaxation levels up a notch.


7. You can stop for coffee and a bite of history along the Matilda Way

Lodge on Hawthorne | 10 things you didn't know about Blackall

#OutbackQueensland photo via The Lodge on Hawthorne – Blackall

If you like your coffee with a side of exploring, grab your morning beans at the Lodge on Hawthorn in Blackall.

The historic 110-year-old lodge has an antique shop, coffee shop, and lush gardens that welcome visitors to wander around the water features and flowers.

Formerly the Blackall Masonic Temple, you can discover the secrets of freemasonry and enjoy the historical tour along complete with scones and jam from 3pm to 4pm Tuesday to Friday, April-October.


8. Blackall is also home to another record

Jack Howe isn’t the only one to break a record in Blackall.

Local man by the name of Roy Dunn was chuffed about his livestock, especially one goat called Nugget.

Nugget broke the record for the highest jumping goat – leaping over a 3.5 foot hurtle.


9. There’s a well known Blackall yarn involving elephants

Have a chat with the locals and you might just hear about the tale of a great elephant race in the 60’s.

The yarn follows the story where a circus came to Blackall and the locals decided to race the elephants down the main street of town.

Long-time residents even have pictures from the day – and say there was a bookie!


10. Join the locals at the Saleyards

If you’re in town on a Thursday, spend the morning at the Blackall Saleyards and have a bird’s eye view of a regional cattle sale in action from the viewing deck nestled amongst the magnificently shady fig trees.


Have you been to Blackall? What did you learn while you were there?



Stephen (Charlie) Chapman

I have rouseabouted, shorn and pressed wool at the Blackall Wool Scours, and worked on the construction of the first build of the Cattle Sales Yards along with Keith (Stag) Peacock and Errol King.
Loved my childhood and early life in Blackall and still love revisiting.
In 1974 I returned with my wife and young son, Daniel. Our second son was born in the same hospital I was and we spent another enjoyable 8 years here before moving again.

John Cena

currently living in Blackall grown here all my life #great nearly 15 #growingup been a great place to live and hearing about the artesian water and how others smell it surprises me, I just was used to it due to me growing up in #betterinblackall love to hear these facts this new generation of citizens like myself really are intrigued to learn about the past, if u have an questions just reply even though this is #two years old, great article guys keep it up.

Peter Crack

A very generous and caring town. My father died there in 1957 at the age of 28, leaving a 26 year old widow with two children one, 3 and one a week short of her first birthday, a fund was set up to support us. We have never forgotten the kindness of Blackall.


Blackall is my earliest memories.
I get teary & want so much to take my family back and show them where I grew up

Dawid Falck

Loooove Blackall. Been there many times. Dinner at the pub is amazing. Peaceful town. Friendly people. There are twins you visit and then towns you pass through. Blackall is a destination. Fantastic town. Must see!!

Alan Stibbs

Blackall QATB was the first ambulance centre in Queensland to have two-way radio in 1949.

Jan Collins

The only thing I remember about Blackall was when I had a shower I came out smelling like rotten eggs.The water stunk something shocking.

Outback Queensland

Hi Jan,
That would be the smell of the rich Artesian water, which many of the Outback Queensland towns use.

Judy Pocock

One of the nicest towns we have visited in Queensland. Lovely friendly people and so much to see and do. The information bureau is filled with history and free to boot. Just loved it

Mandy Stewart

We stayed at the RV park near the information centre a few months ago. The chap who does the daily Blackall in the past talk next to the info centre is brilliant. Well worth it and I would listen to him again if we pass through Blackall again (I’m sure we will) Also loved the artesian pool and the cattle sales. Thank you Blackall for making us welcome.

Nancy Broomhall

Went to school in Blackall lots of fond memories my Mum was Polly Harlow hope to get out there next year

Alison Moidy

Loved working in Blackall in early 70s. Days off out at Thornleigh broke up life in town. Been a long time but must go back again soon.

Elaine Box

My friend and I housesat in Blackall for three months during 2018., and enjoyed every moment. The people were so friendly and we had a fun time. The pool was so enjoyable. Hope to be back there in 2019.

Karen Hewett

I think my dad rode one of the elephants in that story.

Lyn stratton

I come from blackall. It was a great town to grow up in, thriving and busy. I do not live there anymore but always remember those wonderful growing up years there. Yes, that is true about the elephant race in the 60s . My boss, solicitor for whom I worked, Maurice Isaac rode one of the elephants. It was a fun event and drew a huge crowd.


Hello. I grew up in blackall as a little girl and my mothers mothers was Mrs Sadie Grant. My mother was beryl…

I have only been back once 25 years ago… my grandmother had Colwells the shop in the Main Street.

If you’d like to contact me if u ever get to read this. 0422768235.

I remember the Isaacs from when I was little!!
Born 1961 in Blackall

Brenton and Bev Treasure

Yes we visited recently great R V camp by river , went out to Lorne Station foe 2 days loved catching up with Kerry,Martin and Nathan , lots to see get eagle art and lots street art , yes you have a great town

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