Day 78 Friday Aug 22nd2014 Charleville to Roma
It is a warm clear and vibrant morning. We’re on the Warrego Highway and heading east to Roma. The mulga slowly turns to sturdy gum trees and our convoy of two becomes six vans. Who said the southerners have all gone home? We rumble along singing “In Charleville” with Slim Dusty on the CD player.
We’re talking about how we’re becoming overwhelmed by all of the experiences that we’ve had on this trip and as we pull up at the Augathella Road junction we see a kangaroo just standing there watching the traffic. We round the next bend into Morven and there is a large crowd of people sitting in the sun having morning tea. They all wave vigorously and as we pull over a pocket rocket in yellow called Dulcie runs up to us. It’s the town’s “Longest Morning Tea” for cancer. We hoe into real brewed tea and home baked goodies and even buy some biscuits to take away. They’re a great bunch of people. As we pull away from the kerb Dulcie is still running back and forth waving down caravans. You wouldn’t want to call old Dulcie a geriatric!
Scrub land turns to farming land and GREEN crops. There are wildflowers beside the road. It is an oasis. Roma is big and busy and a shock to the senses, it is the largest town we’ve seen for a long time and the commercial centre for a very large region. It even has a Woolworths (the first since Cloncurry) we go quite silly. The mining of oil and gas is the dominant industry also stockfeed crops and being a Friday afternoon the town is awash with grubby fluoro work wear and mining company utes.
Roma is home to the bottle tree. Not to be confused with Boab trees, bottle trees have solid bulbous bottle shaped trunks. Branches sprout from the top with a mass of dark green leaves. They can live for 200 years so trees that were documented by Major Sir Thomas Mitchell during his expedition in 1846 are probably still alive and thriving today. Three streets of Roma have been planted with bottle trees as an Avenue of Honour to the towns World War One fallen.
We check into the just adequate caravan park and are unlucky enough to get the sites closest to the busy highway.
Towing Kms: 266Kms
2021 Note: There’s nothing better than tea from an old country hall teapot.
On a later trip we discovered the Roma (Clay Target) Gun Club to be an excellent place to camp, not far from town, good amenities and quiet.