Aramac Tours and Attractions
Lake Dunn, more commonly known as “The Lake” is a freshwater lake 68kms north east of Aramac. Named after James Dunn, head stockman at Mt Cornish Station, it was discovered when he tracked a mob of cattle to the lake. Lake Dunn’s Aboriginal name is Pajingo bola, meaning “Big Fella Waterhole” and is a birdwatchers paradise, home to over 80 different species of birds and also an excellent fishing spot for Golden Perch (Yellowbelly) and Black Bream.
Lake Dunn is perfect for swimming, water-skiing, windsurfing and sailing and is an ideal camping and picnic spot. Other facilities include waterfront holiday huts, tennis courts, an airstrip, camping ground with power, toilets and showers.
Follow the signs to “The Lake” not Lake Dunn as this is also the name of a nearby property.
Lake Galilee is a salt water lake, situated 93kms north east of Aramac and is approximately 40kms long. It is a wildlife sanctuary where birds nest on the islands and it is possible to walk over to these islands but the lake can dry up quickly and visitors should check in Aramac before planning a visit. There are no camping facilities at Lake Galilee.
Gray Rock is situated on a spur of the Great Dividing Range approximately 35km east of Aramac and was a logical choice for the establishment of a hotel, better known as Wayside Pub where the Cobb and Co coaches would call in for the night en-route from Clermont to Aramac before the railway line was completed to Barcaldine in 1886. The hotel closed in 1885 and little remains of it today.
Horsetailers’ Gorge 2 kms south of Gray Rock was used by drovers to camp at night. The Horsetailers used to drive their horses up into the gorge so they would not stray.
The Horsetailers job was to look after the horses and put them into the best patch of feed. Next morning they would make sure they got into camp soon after daylight and have the horses saddled up ready for the day.
Aramac Memorial Park was opened in 1949 and bears the names of the men and women who enlisted in the Second World War (1939-1945) engraved on the entrance gates. Also located within the park is a 25 metre swimming pool which was opened in 1952 together with an amenities block. The Bowling Green and tennis courts are located adjacent to the swimming pool, and the new Harry Redford Community Centre complements this facility.
The Aramac Tramway Museum in Boundary St displays the rail motor dubbed “Aunt Emma” and the history of the Aramac to Barcaldine tramway that ran between 1913 and 1975 as an all-weather link with the main central western railway. For 62 years the tramway had been the lifeline of Aramac and Muttaburra and a vital link to the rest of the State, particularly in time of extreme wet seasons when black soil roads were inaccessible. With the completion of an all-weather road from Aramac to Barcaldine in 1975, the removal of State Government subsidy funds together with the high cost of maintenance, wages and the gradual decline of goods and livestock for transport, the tramway ceased operations on 31 December, 1975.
Captain Starlight and The White Bull
Harry Redford (also known as Captain Starlight) became part of outback folklore when in 1870, in the company of two others; he set out from Bowen Downs (located in the former Aramac Shire) with
1,000 head of stolen cattle. The cattle were overlanded through largely unexplored country, travelling along the Barcoo River and Cooper Creek, and the Strzelecki Track into South Australia. The mob included a white bull which he sold at Hill Hill Station in South Australia, so that he could purchase supplies from the station store. The bull was later shipped back to Queensland as evidence against Redford at his trial. Not long after his return east, Redford faced charges of stealing, the trial being held in Roma, Queensland. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty, ending one of the most daring escapades in recorded history.