Balonne River at St George – OR, M, W, F, D, ND. Camping is below the weir at St George, just over the Bridge. Access can be a little rough in places. Several areas to camp near the river or further up. Short pleasant walk into town. Drinking water to fill up water tanks is available at the information centre; you just have to see them inside for a handle for the tap. There is also a dump point into town ask at the info centre. We found St George to be a friendly town. Rating – 4.
Usually when we stay at Swinging Bridge it’s a one night stop and a quick early get away in the morning. This time it was nice to have a leisurely breakfast, let the canvas dry, go for a walk all before packing up. We had morning tea under the shade of the trees enjoying the tranquil setting before heading off.
We stopped at Moonie for lunch near the info and craft centre with the local post office next door. This is across the road from a big servo/ local hotel with descent fuel prices. There is heaps of parking for large rigs and trucks. In 1961 Moonie was the site of Australia’s first commercial oil field and still operates. It is also the home to monthly yabbie races.
The road to St George is very bumpy. Last time we were in St George we were passing through and it was a few months after the 2012 floods. The temporary levy bank was still in town. The area had 3 floods in a row 2010, 2011 and 2012 all record breaking with 2012 being the worst. It would have been a difficult and terrifyingly time for the locals and for people’s houses that were flooded.
We have stopped for a few nights below the weir on the Balonne River at St George. Not a bad spot, river is muddy and is a little stagnant but still has plenty of bird life. We found it very peaceful and stayed here 3 nights.
It is opposite houses though and the track is a little rough to get in but it is on the flood plain of the river. Sandy is spots, rocky in others and rutted in other parts where people have driven in the wet. In Wiki Camps it has some very mixed reviews.
Some of the trees had some interesting roots, some of which were very high and Chris was able to stand under them.
Jess loved the water but not so good for people swimming, very brown and every arvo a slim drifted in only to clear the next day.
There are 3 caravan parks within the St George Town area and one a little further out. From what we could see they all seem to have plenty of people staying. The town is busy with travellers coming and going. We spent the cost of several nights accommodation on various businesses around town. So by providing a camping area for free the town certainly didn’t miss out.
We found the town to be very friendly and well maintained. Riverside parkland has a great walkway that runs along the river to at least the town area. Plenty of tables and chairs, benches, bins, water taps and shade with some play equipment for the kids. Drinking water to fill up water tanks is available at the information centre; you just have to see them inside for a handle for the tap. They have completed stage 1 of a permanent solution to flood proof the town.
We had a fire several nights and had fun taking pictures at night of one of the trees near our campsite, experimenting lighting the tree up with torch light, then later when the moon came up and lit the area. First pic was lit by torch light, second was by moon light it just about turned day into night.