Things to See and Do
Our Heritage Our History
Along the High Street are a number of informative plaques recording the history of buildings and providing interesting insights into the nature of the town. For example: the sign for 44-46 High Street records that “44 The Rex Theatre built by J Reeves and operated by various proprietors. In the late 50s Australia’s first colour film ‘Jedda’ had a first Queensland screening at Texas, producers Charles and Elsa Chauvel attended. Later became a TAB and a fruit shop.”
Spirit of Texas Sculpture
Located in the main street opposite the Texas Memorial Hall, the Spirit of Texas is a public art sculpture which was commissioned in response to the devastating floods of 2011. The design was influenced by the abundance of water birds that appeared following the floods and it is also an echo of the image of a phoenix – a symbol of the Texas community’s ability to overcome adversity.
Texas Heritage Centre and Tobacco Museum
Located at 40 Flemming Street, the Texas Heritage Centre and Tobacco Museum is housed in the old Police Barracks which was built in 1890 after the floods. It is open on Saturdays from 9.30 am – 1.30 pm and by appointment. Tel: (07) 4653 1392. The area surrounding the main museum includes a shop from Smithfield, a mini Shearing Shed, Harness Shed, Blacksmith’s Shop, Post Office Store, Farm Shed, and a special Tobacco Museum. There is also the old Gaol (with special steel reinforcement between the timbers to ensure that even the most committed inmate could not escape) and stocks and some interesting old farming equipment. By the 1860s Chinese were growing tobacco in the area and one of the pamphlets at the Museum recalls: “The Chinese tobacco grower’s farm usually consisted of five acres on which he would put down three wells which were fifteen feet deep … The growers were terrific workers. They carried 2 six gallon watering cans full of water on a pole across their shoulders. They walked between the rows and sprinkled the plants on each side simultaneously as they walked, or rather jogged, between the rows.”
Texas Cultural Centre and Regional Art Gallery
Texas is located on the Dumaresq River which is prone to flooding. In fact the town has been decimated a number of times and has been forced to move. In 1890 the newly opened Police Barracks ended up stuck between two trees as a result of the floods. The Cultural Centre has an interesting exhibition of photos of the 2011 floods.
Texas Rabbit Works
Located in Mingoola Road, and opened in 2017, the “Historical Rabbit Processing Works” was built in 1928 to take advantage of the rabbit plague which was decimated the area. The Goondiwindi Regional Council website explains: “The business ceased operation in 1992 but during the period between 1930 and 1960 this was a thriving industry when rabbits were in plague proportions throughout the district. Employing 33 people and processing 6,000 rabbits a day the rabbit works was a major business in the district. Like many communities in the southern parts of Australia, the Texas community survived the great depression by trapping and selling rabbits for export to America and England.” It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10.00 am – 2.00 pm and Saturday 9.00 am – 3.00 pm. Tel: 0448 762 016 or check Rabbit Works Brochure
Other Attractions in the Area
Located only five minutes drive to the east of the town on the Stanthorpe-Texas Road, the Beacon Lookout offers impressive, panoramic views over the Dumaresq River valley.
Located 49 km south-east of Texas, Glenlyon Dam, and its Tourist Park, are known for the camping, fishing, sailboarding and canoeing. It is widely acclaimed as an outstanding fishing destination.
Sundown National Park
Located only 11 km further on from Glenlyon Dam, or 52 km east of Texas, is Sundown National Park, 16,000 hectares of ‘primitive’ countryside which is administered by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service. It is known as an excellent destination for bushwalking and birdwatching. The Queensland Department of Environment and Science website (https://findapark.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/sundown) describes the park in glowing terms: “With its dramatic landscape of sheer-sided gorges, tree-lined ridges and peaks rising over 1000m above the Severn River, discover for yourself the park’s wild isolation. Camp on a river flat and throw in a line to see if you can catch a yellow-belly or eel-tailed catfish. Wander to Permanent Waterhole for a refreshing dip, or climb the Western circuit and gaze out across the horizon. Witness rust-red granite cliffs at Red Rock Gorge lookout track, with peregrine falcons flying overhead. Walk among box, ironbark and cypress trees in beautiful eucalypt woodland, and picturesque river red gums and river oaks growing along the water. Challenge yourself with a half-day adventure, following the creek from Burrows Waterhole to Rats Castle or into Ooline Creek. Keep watch for brush-tailed rock-wallabies hiding among rocks near Nundubbermere Falls. Investigate centuries-old pastoral relics and abandoned mines where tin, copper and arsenic were unearthed from the 1870s.” There are five walks listed by Parks and Forests (see https://findapark.npsr.qld.gov.au/parks/sundown/journeys):
Burrows Waterhole to Rats Castle Track
A 6 km return (3 hour round trip) walk beside the Severn River, through stands of ironbark and white cypress pine which starts at Burrows Waterhole Camping Area and ends with panoramic views at Rats Castle. It is possible to swim and fish in the river.
Ooline Creek Track
A 4 km return (3-4 hour) walk along Ooline Creek and Gorge where figs, pittosporums and ooline, a medium to large tree with bright green leaves and rough, tile-patterned bark, all grow.
Permanent Waterhole Track
A 2 km return walk (1 hour) to the Permanent Waterhole on Ooline Creek. It is possible to swim in the waterhole where small fish, crayfish and platypus live.
Red Rock Gorge Lookout Track
A 550 m return walk which starts at the Red Rock Camping Area and reaches the Gorge lookout which offers panoramic views of the gorge’s granite, and lichen encrusted, cliffs. The Parks website notes: “Delight in glimpses of peregrine falcons and other birds of prey soaring along the cliffs of the gorge. Listen out for the refreshing sound of water tumbling over Red Rock falls, and in winter, the fluid calls of lyrebirds sheltering in the dry rainforest far below. Enjoy the picturesque show of granite-belt wildflowers during spring, including the distinctive blooms of the sago flower.”
A 4.5 km circuit starting at the Broadwater Camping Area which is particularly notable for the birdlife including spiny-cheeked, yellow-faced and fuscous honeyeaters, golden whistlers, turquoise parrots and diamond firetails.