I have been offered the job as Cook at Richmond Roadhouse…a drive of 831 kms from Emerald where I am now located…
It is another outback town but one with fossils and a lake right opposite the roadhouse…….I am not sure I want to drive so far away…but the town sounds interesting.
I phoned the Caravan Park and that was $25 a night for a powered site or a small room….and she sounded very friendly and helpful…
Richmond nestles on the banks of the Flinders River, almost exactly halfway between Mount Isa and Townsville. This area was originally opened to white settlement by the explorer William Landsborough in 1862 while out searching for BURKE AND WILLS. When gold was discovered in the area, the town experienced a brief bout of gold fever and became an important point for the Cobb & Co coaches that moved miners around the area. That was, up until 1904, when the railway reached the town, making Richmond the terminus and railhead for the Gulf country.
Although a small town of barely 800 people, Richmond functions as a service centre to the surrounding pastoral community. The town was awarded the Tidiest Queensland Town in 2001 and considering the harsh conditions of the Northern Outback, the locals have every right to be proud of Richmond’ outstanding gardens, lined streets and parks of bougainvilleas, native trees and shrubs.
In 1989, the skeleton of a 100 million year old Pliosaur was discovered near the town, and Richmond regained its place on the map. This was the second major discovery of an important fossil in the area, after the discovery of the Kronosaurus Queenslandicus (yes, we know… it sounds like a made up name… but it’s true!) in 1929. Over recent years, paleontologists have unearthed many more prehistoric marine and vertebrate fossils in the area around Richmond. Displays of these discoveries can be visited in Richmond’s Marine Fossils Museum, the award-winning Kronosaurus Korner.
Richmond Racecourse is a popular venue in the district, holding six race meetings each year. The biennial Fossil Festival features the World Moonrock Throwing Competition. It is held in even-numbered years.
For history buffs, Richmond has a number of historic sites that are open to visitors. The old Strand Theatre, the Roman Catholic Church, the Mud Hut Hotel, the town’s Pioneer Cemetery or the Pioneer Heritage Walk are all of interest. Also the Cobb & Co Coach, superbly preserved, is a must. But if you want to appreciate the atmosphere of the old days, visit the old ruins of a Cobb $ Co coach station, 40 kilometres north of Richmond, on the Croydon Road.
If you’re in for something different, then you must see the Lions Park monument made of different shaped limestone rocks that have been positioned one on top of each other. The rocks are a local phenomenon known as ‘moon rocks’, very heavy rocks that can weigth a few tonnes each, and often have fossillised remains of shells and fish inside. Opened in 1976 to celebrate the sealing on the Flinders Highway, the monument resembles the sort of plasticine model made by a pre-school kid. Also in Lions Park there is an old ‘flood boat’, used to shift provisions across the river when it was flooded.
Richmond is really in the middle of nowhere it has a population of 800 a couple of pubs, a shop, a library and a swimming pool. We wanted to stay at a Motel right opposite Richmond Motors but that was full so we were advised to walk a kilometer or so down the road to the ‘The Midway Roadhouse’ which ended up being our home for a week. It was clean and tidy and by the time we woke up in the morning everyone at the motel knew our plight.
………. We entertained ourselves by playing cards, swimming for three hours a day and drinking!. Judy who ran the motel was a lovely woman and really reached out to us. We had dinner with her and some of her friends the one night along with beers and wine and chatted for most of the night. One of her friends was a road train driver called ‘Diesel’ who has to be the most aussie’ guy I have ever met. Singlet, Rugby shorts and cat boots and the worst language I have honestly every heard! He was a right character and had some fantastic stories most of them full of funny endings or a fight.