I’d never heard of Wowan until my husband told me we were pulling up stumps here for the night. ‘Blink and you miss it’ Wowan has a pub, a couple of shops and a sprinkling of houses.
On arrival, we parked ourselves up at the bar of the Commercial Hotel, threw back a couple of rums and had a lengthy conversation with the young Irish lad working behind the bar. He’s been in Wowan a couple of months, biding his time to get another year on his visa, marvelling at the stark contrast between Wowan and Dublin.
We set up camp at the back of the hotel under a shady tree. The owner gave us free rein to use the hotel’s facilities, telling us ‘Pay what you think is fair.’ When we slipped her $20, she said, ‘That’s more than enough.’ We enjoyed a substantial pub grub meal that went down a treat. Meat and five veg comes up trumps every time.
On our way to Wowan, we stopped in at Theodore, the town built on water. The town in 1923 was promised a dam across the Dawson River, lots of farms, a steady stream of people popping into Theodore for business and pleasure – but it never came to fruition. The Visitors Centre manned by welcoming and helpful staff is a traveller’s godsend.
Theodore is cattle, grain, cotton and mining country. Anglo American and Mitsui actively mine coking coal here and in nearby Moura.
Moura is a long established coal mining town and the day before we arrived, the much anticipated Three Chain Rd officially opened, connecting the Leichhardt and Dawson Highways. A fabulous viewing platform with views over the Moura mine is part of the new construction.
Memorial Drive is nearby and it tells the awful story of 36 miners who lost their lives in 1975, 1986 and 1994.
The country is dry but big rains are predicted for December and January. We’ll see.
Camping in Wowan can also be found at the Showgrounds. The town’s Caravan Park is closed due to Covid.
Next stop: Emerald