Ok folks, let’s start with a little game of trivia.
The Capital of Australia is Canberra, the capital of Queensland is Brisbane, but the Capital of Banana Shire?
You guessed it, Biloela.
The first thing you need to know about this small outback town is its misleading name. Although affectionately called “Bilo” (pronounced Billow) by the locals, the town’s name is correctly pronounced as “Bill – oh – wheelah.” Capisce?
More than a word rhyming with Tequila, it’s a town that sits just off the central Queensland coast 120km south west from Gladstone.
Intrigued? There’re more where that came from – and we’ve got you covered with these fun facts about Biloela.
Think of Biloela as a pentagon. The town sits in the middle and a different sandstone natural wonder can be found in five other directions.
Venture south and you’ll find Mt Scoria Conservation Park, where there’s no hiding its peak against the flat landscape. Known to the locals as Musical Rock, the large vertical shaped rocks at the top of the mountain make different sounds as you pound them.
South-west of Biloela sits Isla Gorge National Park, a rocky bliss 137km from town. But don’t be fooled by the sandstone premise, the jagged cliffs and gorges are covered in coloured foliage all year round, providing breath-taking views from any vantage point.
Head east and you’ll come across Kroombit Tops National Park, the ultimate off-road adventure. Only suitable to seasoned off-road drivers, the tracks take you through bushland, creeks, and rainforest, to the heights of the national park.
Play I Spy in Lake Murphy Conservation Park, where wildlife run amok in this patch of paradise. Spend the night at the peaceful campsites and watch the sunset over the lake. Even, when the lake is empty, this is the perfect tent pitching place. When full, spot water-birds flocking to the cool banks of the lake or see koalas rustle in the trees and wallabies rest in the shade.
Set west on an adventure to Expedition National Park and find its three distinct sections; Robinson Gorge, Lonesome, and Beilba. Sharing its western border with Carnarvon Gorge, this national park is filled with sandstone structures.
Biloela is lucky to have two vastly different cultures embedded in its history. The town exhibits a close connection to its indigenous heritage through the Spirit of the Land Mural which sits on State Farm Road.
Dedicated to the combined history of Indigenous and white settlers and their own relationships with the land, the 100m mural painted on the town’s water reservoirs is a must see when visiting town.
Continue your history lesson and stop by the Queensland Heritage Park. Take a stroll around the displays that demonstrate the major industries that have shaped the region as well as the photograph collections showcasing the town’s social and cultural history.
Don’t miss Greycliffe Homestead, located on the main street, is the closest reminder the region has to home life on a pastoral station in the 1870’s. Owned by William and Sophia Nott, the couple raised their seven children on the station, passing it on down through the generations for 100 years. The homestead is open by appointment only.
For an outback town with a population of 6,000 people, the accommodation offering in Biloela seems extraordinarily large, as if to cater for the event every person had friends and rellies arriving all in one weekend.
From motor inns, motels and hotels, to camping and caravan parks, you won’t be short of choices in the accommodation stakes.
We like Discovery Parks, located on the southern entrance into town via Burnett Highway.
With camping and caravan sites as well as cabins and standard motel rooms, the park is pet-friendly and comes equipped with an onsite restaurant, BBQ, laundry, and swimming pool – packing serious home-away-from-home feels.
Considering g’days and smiles are handed out like confetti in Biloela, it’s no surprise this little town has an events calendar bursting at the seams.
It’s not just a calendar of major events – events like the Biloela Shoppingworld indoor markets, Biloela Community Arts House quarterly markets and biannual Bowls Club markets, draw a serious crowd too. If you miss out on the markets, be sure to stop in at Little Market Co in the Kariboe Street shopping precinct, which stocks handmade clothes, beauty products and other arts and crafts pieces from local artisan microbusinesses.
All things farming and fishing are celebrated at the Callide Valley Agricultural show and the Callide Family Fishing Classic.
For the automobile admirers, head to the Biloela Auto Festival, the Rotary Car, Ute and Bike Show, and the Old Wheels in Motion Rally.
If you love all things artsy, the Brigalow Art Festival held at the Regional Art Gallery is an opportunity for budding artists to showcase their work.
If you think of an outback town with one corner store and a bakery as its culinary limits, you’ll be pleasantly mistaken with a trip to Biloela.
Visit the Dragon Garden Chinese Restaurant for dine in, smorgasboard or takeaway or get a taste of Thailand at Thai Noi Restaurant.
Treat yourself to classic outback hospitality at the recently renovated Biloela Hotel, The Commercial Hotel’s Top Pub, Hotel Settler’s Bistro, or the Grevillea Steakhouse.