Australia: Monto QLD

Who knew that Monto with a population of 1100 and 300 kms south west of Yeppoon would be such an agreeable place to spend a few days. Certainly not us when we were determining how to avoid the school holiday crowds flocking to the coast. Heading inland seemed the obvious solution, so we arrived in Monto, a town I dub the quiet achiever.

While the town is very much a cattle and grain centre, it caters well to travellers who simply want to kick back and enjoy some old fashioned country hospitality. For us, it started with a warm welcome at the caravan park and extended to the chatty publican and staff at the Albert Hotel, to the baristas at the cafes, to the friendly volunteers at the History Museum, to the effervescent hairdresser, to the easy going butcher and finally, to the locals who never passed without asking ‘How’re you doing?’ Monto sure did make an impression on us, so if you’re passing through this way, I’d urge you to stay a couple of days.

Albert Hotel
View of the main street
Art deco style Shire Council
The Rex Theatre built in 1939 and closed for the last 15 years, is being brought back to life thanks to the efforts of locals. Will be fantastic when it’s finished. Will boast a theatre/art gallery/cinema/museum. Google pic
Monto born and bred Kenny Russell found fame as a world class jockey.  His life was tragically cut short in 1993 after he fell during a race at Rosehill.

Art murals are putting Monto on the tourist trail. The feature photo of silos is ‘Three Moons’ which depict Monto’s history of gold mining, mustering and dreamtime.

This mural was completed last week and honours Ethel Buckby, publican of the New Royal Hotel which was destroyed by fire in 1999.
‘Fun and Freedom’ shows local children enjoying water from the leaking tower
My favorite

Put the very interesting Monto Museum on your list of things to do. Passionate volunteers have worked overtime to give visitors a glimpse into the town and region’s past. Outside the Museum is a replica of ‘Beautiful Betsy’, a WWII bomber which crashed in 1945 and discovered in 1994. The real BB lies a short 4 wheel drive trip away in the Kroombit Tops National Park. Find more info here http://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/news/sad-ending-to-wartime-mystery/2573556/

Honouring locals at the Museum

A short 9 kms drive from Monto is the colourful Mulgildie Hotel. It was closed when we visited and is up for sale.

Mulgildie Hotel

Cania Gorge is also a short drive from Monto. The gorge has 2 caravan parks and if you’re serious about hiking, it makes sense to stay here. We did a short hike to overhanging rock. There are much longer hikes.

Rain has not fallen for a long while, so the area is extremely dry.

Scenery shot at Cania Gorge
Overhanging rock
Settling in at Monto Caravan Park

Next stop: Kingaroy wineries

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