walks of ROMA Who is Active Roma? Australian Sports Commission and QLD Department of Sport & Recreation. Our aim is to inspire a healthy, active Roma community through supporting residents to Who is make healthy lifestyle choices Active Roma? including physical activity and nutrition. Active Roma is a joint partnership between Roma Regional Council In accordance with our vision, and Queensland Health. We it is hoped that Roma residents also have representatives from will have an improved state of Concept behind the Walks of Roma: Most of us see walking simply as a Governments at all levels are means to an end, a way of getting increasingly recognising the from A-B. What most people don’t importance of walking for the realise is that walking is also one of nation’s health, and health the most effective forms of all round professionals now recommend that exercises there is. It’s also suitable everyone aim to do 30 minutes of and safe for pretty much anybody moderate exercise (such as walking) – regardless of age, fitness level or at least five times a week. ability. Getting involved in regular walking can dramatically improve We have compiled four walks within your health and make you feel less Roma into one easy brochure for stressed. your information. The walks are physical, mental, spiritual, social, Did you environmental and economic wellbeing through increased know that ? opportunities for active and healthy walking can... living. If you have any ideas on how we Halve your risk of a can work collaboratively with the stroke or heart attack? community to improve the wellbeing of all residents through the concept Burn the same kilojoules of active and healthy living, please as jogging? feel free to contact us. Improve your blood pressure? Lower your cholesterol? Improve your confidence? Help you feel less stressed? Help you lose weight? interesting, enjoyable and you’ll be doing your heart and health a favour Reduce the risk of some at the same time! We encourage cancers? everyone to get out, get active and enjoy the Walks of Roma. Help prevent diabetes? Roma Historic Walk W ander back through time along Roma’s Historical Walk to the beginnings of this important Plaques are located across the street from the site to provide a perspective of the sites’ geographical and Western Downs town in the 1860s. historical context. Roma’s landmarks chronicle the economic and social development of Colourful Beginnings the district and its reaction to major Originally home to the Mandandanji events like cattle duffing and the Aboriginal people and visited twice arrival of rail in the 19th century, the by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, Roma growth of agriculture and commerce was settled after Sir Thomas Mitchell and the town’s contributions to two reported glowingly on the country world wars. See where Roma locals in 1846. Looking down from nearby gathered to shop, conduct business, Mount Abundance, Mitchell wrote, worship and catch up on the news of “I … beheld the finest country I had the day for almost 150 years. ever seen in a primeval state – a champaign region, spotted with Allow an hour or two for your walk if wood, stretching as far as human time is short, consider covering sites vision or even the telescope would 1-19 on one walk, and sites 20-25 on reach.” Allan McPherson established another. This brochure provides a Mount Abundance Station the map and an overview of the walk, and following year. plaques at each landmark provide more information about the site’s The Queensland Government contribution to Roma’s exciting and established Roma as an administrative diverse history. centre for the growing district in 1862. The town took its name from the were driven to South Australia, a feat wife of Queensland’s first Governor, immortalised in the novel Robbery the Countess Diamantina Roma, and Under Arms. was the first gazetted settlement Roma grew quickly, especially following Queensland’s separation after the arrival of rail in 1880, and from New South Wales in 1859. became a bustling centre for trade Steeped in colourful history since its and commerce. The community inception, Roma gave Queensland its contributed magnificently to the 20th first wine in 1863 and, in 1900, the town century’s wars and the district’s World was the site of Australia’s first natural War I fallen are commemorated in gas strike which sparked a short-lived Roma’s Heroes’ Avenue of bottle trees, oil‘boom’during the Depression years. an evergreen memorial in a town that Notorious bushranger Harry Redford values its past. (the legendary Captain Starlight) The landmarks along this walk was cleared of cattle rustling in his represent the ups and downs of life in controversial trial in Roma in 1873, and around Roma over two centuries. having stolen 1,000 cattle, which Discover their stories. Historical Landmarks 13 Capitol Theatre Established in 1928, the Capitol Theatre hosted Movie Balls and visits by famous performers before it was destroyed by fire in 1. Uniting Church 1989. Until this church was built in 1896, church-goers worshipped at 14 Commonwealth Hotel the Congregational Church which was built in 1872 and survives The current building opened in 1927 and replaced the original today as the Christian Out reach Centre (3). Queensland Hotel or Diggers’ Arms built in 1881. 2. St Pauls Anglican Church 15 Town Hall Built in 1913, this beautiful church features magnificent stained (former Municipal Buildings) – The Roma Town Council originally glass windows, some of which were shipped from England in owned the buildings presently extending along the north side of the 1870s. McDowall Street, between Arthur Street and the present Post 3. Christian Outreach Centre Office. Originally the Congregational Church and built in 1872, this is 16 Roma Post Office possibly Roma’s oldest surviving public building. The district’s first post office was at Mount Abundance Station. 4. Commonwealth Bank The present site housed a permanent Telegraph Office in 1866 This site has been occupied by various businesses over the years. and a timber Post Office was erected in 1874. The current 1987 building replaced a classic art deco structure 17 The Grand Hotel built in the 1930s. Roma’s oldest surviving hotel was built in 1904 and extended in 5. Royal Hotel 1908 to cater for the town’s growth. The Royal Mail, as it was originally known, was a stop for Cobb 18 State School and Co’s mail coaches. The present building dates from 1920. Roma’s first state school was built in 1870. The present structure 6. Bottle Tree was built in 1938. This magnificent tree, almost 7m in circumference, is the 19 ANZ Bank oldest surviving specimen for which photographic evidence of The original 1913 structure from this site can now be seen on the transplantation is available. German Square historic site (25). 7 Western Star 20 National Bank Established in 1875, few regional newspapers can boast the Established in 1874 as the Queensland National Bank, this Roma Western Star’s continuous service to a community. landmark has had a chequered history including destruction by 8 School of Arts fire in 1912 and four relocations. The glassed turret of this classic early 20th century building was 21 Club Hotel used as a lookout for enemy aircraft during World War II. The first hotel built on this site was built in 1885 and was 9 Hunters Store and the popularly referred to as the Dew-Drop-Inn. Queen’s Arms Hotel 22 White Bull Tavern These historic buildings have fronted McDowell Street since 1916 This tavern is named after the famous ‘white bull’ that featured and today trade as Ace Drapers and Irish McGann’s. in Harry Redford’s 1873 cattle stealing trial in Roma, on which 10 Ladbrook’s Butchery Thomas Alexander Browne (Rolfe Bolderewood) based his Originally built in 1919 as one of only six purpose-designed famous novel, Robbery Under Arms. State butcher shops, this store has supplied meat to Roma 23. Roma Railway Complex almost continuously since then. The arrival of the railway in 1880 prompted an influx of residents 11 James Saunders Chemist and a flush of new businesses. James Saunders established his chemist and dentist business 24 Maranoa Broadcasting on this site in 1871. Today, it is Australia’s longest surviving Radio 4ZR had humble beginnings in a small building housing continuous pharmacy site. both the transmitter and studio on Hospital Hill in 1937. 12 Westpac Bank (Bank of 25 German Square New South Wales) So named because of the nationality of many early settlers, Because the original 1906 building on the South West corner of this was the original site of Roma’s settlement. A flood, rare for McDowall and Charles Streets, was constructed around a concrete the Western Downs, prompted the relocation of Roma’s central vault, it could not be relocated and had to be demolished. business district to its present site. Roma Historic Walk QUINTIN GEORGE Cultural 7 Centre HAWTHORNE 6 Cenotaph 8 5 1 MCDOWALL 10 9 4 3 BUNGIL BOWEN ARTHUR 11 15 2 St. Paul’s 12 14 13 16 17 18 WYNDHAM 19 20 CHARLES 23 22 21 Railway Station 24 GREGORY 25 EDWARDES STATION BIG Bottle Tree Adungadoo Pathway If you’re in the mood for getting fit run or ride amongst some of our or just want to enjoy the outdoors, natural environment. take some time to step it out along A beautiful feature along Adungadoo Adungadoo Walkway. is the ancient river gums. Add to this Adungadoo is a new two kilometre the native bird life, flora and shady recreational walkway along a naturally lagoons and you have a recipe for sensitive area located on the banks of beauty and tranquillity. the Bungil Creek. This area is locally called ‘The Long Drain’. Visitors are already discovering Starting at either the Big Rig or Apex Adungadoo and comments such as Park on the corner of Quintin and “equal to the best I’ve seen anywhere Lovell Street, you can enjoy a walk, in Australia” have been expressed. Adungadoo Pathway QUINTIN ST HAWTH ORNE S T BOWE McDO N ST ARTHU WALL R ST ARTHU R ST ST BUNG WYNDH AM ST IL ST CHARL ES ST GREGO RY ST BOWE McDO GEORG NS LOVEL EDWAR WALL T DES ST E ST LS ST T LEWIS ST LEWIS ST MAJOR ST MAJOR ST TIFFIN ST TIFFIN ST “equal to the best I’ve seen anywhere in Australia” Hospital Hill Walk The success on Hospital Hill brought A series of clearly recognisable about formation of several oil concrete markers and street-corner exploration companies which signs directs the visitor to the various operated about the district, mainly locations associated with the search north of the town. for and discovery of natural gas and oil in Roma, during the period 1900 The oil and the‘wet’gas ceased flowing to 1930. This easy, information work from Hospital Hill wells by 1931 and supports Roma’s claim that Hospital no commercial oil flows resulted Hill is the cradle of Australia’s oil and from the intense drilling activities gas industry. elsewhere in the immediate Roma district. However the presence of gas The Hospital Hill Walk commences was established and when drilling was at the Roma Town Council’s water recommended in the early 50s based supply depot in Whip Street. A on more refined geophysical surveys conspicuous shelter with information it became evident that natural gas panels, standing adjacent to a pair rather than actual oil was the district’s of miniature drilling rigs, marks the valuable resource. In 1969 a natural entry point to the facility. From the gas pipeline opened from Wallumbilla shelter the visitor walks “over to to Brisbane, and that facility presently the left” to the base of the obvious continues to supply Brisbane, with a concrete water tower, to the site QGI, branch line running to Gladstone. the Government’s first attempt to locate artesian water on the Hill. This self-guided walking tour of Hospital Hill leads easily from one Because that well produced an significant location to another. inadequate supply of artesian Hospital Hill Walk BOWEN ST Water Tower Local Store QG1 Pinaroo Retirement Village DOWNS ST Gasometer ROC1 QG2 Separator Base Asorption Plant ROC3 ROC2 BEITZ ST QG3 QG4 SES Dean O’Day Oval McGrath Park Depot FOOT ST HOLLAND ST JACKSON ST COTTELL ST DOWN ST WHIP ST ROC LUFF ST Water Bore Railway Dam SOUTH ST Lander 4 water a second well called QG2 was tank, suspended over the well and drilled nearby. During work on this lowered from steel cables. well in 1900, natural gas was struck Following on from the State which was Australia’s first significant Government’s removal of restrictions indication that oil might be found. on private enterprise drilling for oil In 1906, the gas from QG2 was in the immediate Roma district, the reticulated to Roma for their town Roma Oil Corporation drilled three lighting. This venture failed after two weeks when the gas supply cut out. wells on Hospital Hill. Very significant flows of oil and gas were located, and In 1908, during drilling of QG3, gas the company erected an absorption was encountered and was set alight by the wood burning steam boiler plant on the Hospital Hill which of the rig. This blaze was eventually manufactured petrol from oil and extinguished with an ingenious iron also condensate was produced. While drilling for water on this location, a sudden rush of gas caught the workers by surprise. This plaque commemorates this event of October 16th, 1900, when petroleum gas was encountered at 122 metres. This was the first significant indication of an oil resource in Australia. “Strewth - it’s gas!!” This discovery sparked intense quote from an unidentified exploration for mineral oil in roughneck, the district, validating Roma’s 16-10-1900 claim to being the cradle of Australia’s oil and gas industry. Roma Bush Gardens During the last couple of decades, and planting thousands of trees. with the establishment of the Roma Weed removal has also been a major Bush Gardens Association, and task and workers at the site have involvement of Green Corps, changes eradicated African boxthorn and aimed at transforming this 14ha of water hyacinth. land and water into a bush garden of regional significance have really The future holds more promise, with started to take shape. plans for an amphitheatre arboretum, The site has been developed and further planting of vegetation to showcase the 15 vegetation communities, understorey plant communities representative of the species and species that have been Roma area. This has involved bringing traditionally valued by Aboriginal in tonnes of dirt, specific to each area, people for food, medicine and tools. 1. Riparian now endangered. Like all Acacia species, brigalow converts River red gum communities (Eucalyptus atmospheric nitrogen into a form used by plants. Brigalow camaldulensis) occur throughout the provides good shade and belah in an excellent windbreak. Maranoa along the banks of major Remnants are a valuable habitat for many endangered reptiles watercourses. Red gum forests are capable in the region. of recycling nutrients as a means of coping with nutrient 3 Cypress pine poor soils and drought. The gums are important in the diet of Cypress pine (Callitris glaucophylla) occurs hundreds of native animals and provide hollows for nesting, throughout the region, on sandy, loamy breeding and protection for native birds, mammals and arboreal or stony soils. It forms pure stands, or is reptiles. Riparian environments also provide habitat for water associated with carbeen, poplar box, iron rats, turtles and freshwater fish and are the life-blood of semi- wood, ironbarks, and smooth-barked apple. It is habitat for arid landscapes. the rare golden-tailed gecko, and its seeds are eaten by Major- 2 Brigalow/Belah Mitchell cockatoos. Cypress forestry is a major local industry. The Brigalow (Acacia harpophylia) and belah timber is highly resistant to termite attack. communities had a wide distribution to the 4 Poplar Box Woodland northwest, north and east of Roma. Clearing Poplar box (Eucalyptus populnea) is a for cropping and pasture improvement has dominant tree found within the Maranoa. significantly reduced the area of these communities – all are It is a major hollow-forming eucalypt in southern inland 8 Mulgaland Queensland providing habitat for many arboreal mammals, Mulga trees (Acacia aneura) grow in many bats and birds. Box woodlands are an important habitat for parts of inland Australia. In favourable koalas in the west. Aboriginal people make didgeridoos from the conditions plants will grow one metre every hollowed out branches and trunks of poplar box trees. 10 years until they reach 10 metres tall. 5 Grassy Downs with Myall Removing mulga for fodder during drought decreases nitrogen Grassy open downs occupy a significant levels in the soil, depriving other valuable desert plants of food. area in the region. The main grasses are There is a symbiotic relationship between acacias (such as blue grass, Mitchell grass and Flinders brigalow and mulga) and a nitrogen binding bacteria. Mulga grass. These grasses are important to native was an important source of food for Aboriginal people. Seeds mammals and birds, and provide valuable grazing for livestock. were separated from the pod by rubbing, threshing, parching Trees on the downs are fairly sparse or occur in small clumps. and winnowing then moistened with water and ground to an Myall (Acacia pendula) is a dominant species that occurs in heavy edible paste. black clay soils in association with boonaree and whitewood. 9 Bendee Open Forest Myall’s silver-grey weeping foliage is distinctive. Bendee Open Forest (Acacia catenulata) 6 Downs softwood grows in red loamy soils in eroded tertiary Downs softwood occurs on the crests landforms and weathered sandstone of the undulating Mitchell grass downs outcrops. It is found in the 150-700mm country to the west of Roma. It is a scrubby annual rainfall belt in isolated pockets from south of Charters open woodland community with unique Towers to the western Darling Downs and the Grey Range west biodiversity because most of the trees are neither eucalypts of Thargomindah. The ground flora in bendee country is usually nor acacias. Species include boonaree, beefwood, whitewood, sparse - mainly wire grasses (Aristida spp.) of little grazing desert lime, emu apple, sandalwood and supplejack. value. 7 Coolibah 10 Belah Coolibah (Eucalyptus Coolabah) trees are Belah (Casuarina cristata) is a deep-rooted, well adapted to coping with floods and fire. salt tolerant tree. It grows around the Special structures within the coolibahs allow Marano in very heavy soils that are highly the plant to breathe even after weeks of the valued for pastoral production. Belah trunk and the roots being underwater. Underground lignotubers communities have been cleared extensively for agricultural and epicormic buds protected by the bark enables these trees developments in the region. Efforts by Queensland Government to reshoot after fire. The historical and social importance of and community groups to protect the remaining stands of coolibahs in Australia is illustrated in Banjo Patterson’s classic belah forest have given this ecosystem a helping hand. Land poem ‘Waltzing Matilda’ which mentions a swagman who owners are encouraged to protect remnants of this endangered camped under one of these shade trees near Winton. The timber ecosystem so that it is conserved for all to enjoy and utilise in of coolibah is hard, durable and termite resistant and is useful the future. for construction. Roma Bush Gardens ER ST T DUKE S SOUTT R ST MAYNE ST SPENCE 3 Proposed 4 Ampitheatre T WHIP S MAYNE ST 2 5 1 Intermittent Railway Dam Ring Dam Wetland 6 7 Access Point Walkway 8 Track Proposed walkway 9 Proposed boardwalk 10 0 25 50 100 Metres Contact Details: www.activeroma.com Sport & Recreation Officer Roma Regional Council PO Box 116 Roma QLD 4455 Phone: 07 4622 1266 Program Coordinator Healthy Lifestyles Queensland Health Primary Health Care Unit PO Box 1030 Roma QLD 4455 Phone: 07 4624 2927 This brochure is proudly funded by the Queensland Department of Local Government, Planning, Sport & Recreation through the Community Partnerships grant.
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