The small Queensland town of Injune has much more to offer than its proximity to Carnarvon gorge.
Story By Kerry Wehlburg
To many tourists travelling northwards to Queensland’s sandstone belt, the town of Injune is the last fuel stop on their way to the popular Carnarvon Gorge. But to the locals and a proportion of the 19,000 visitors who stop at the information centre annually, Injune has much to reveal beneath its sleepy exterior.
The small country town is strategically situated for visitors to the gorge and the Mount Moffatt section of Carnarvon National Park, Lonesome and Beilba national parks and the famous dingo barrier fence that passes nearby. However, what the Injune community prides itself on is its local characters. Tourism officer Debbie Duff encourages travellers to stroll around town and pop into Mt Hutton Retirement Village for a chat.
“We had one tourist who visited Mt Hutton every day for a week to play cards and hoy with the residents,” Debbie says. “Lots of visitors love getting to know the locals.” With this in mind, the community hosts Injune In June every year, where locals join visitors in the caravan park for a camp-oven dinner, a bit of a yarn and music, singing and poetry under the night sky, which, in this area of wide open spaces, is a true spectacle. A meal at the bowls club, a drink at the local pub or a visit to the post office with its friendly proprietor provide opportunities for locals and tourists to get together.
Even the ‘last servo before Carnarvon’ has a history intertwined with local characters and sandstone, as it was owned for many years by the controversial rock-art expert, Grahame Walsh, whose intimate knowledge of Carnarvon Aboriginal art led him to honorary degrees and notoriety studying the rock paintings of the Kimberley.
The tapestry of local history includes that of Queensland’s last bushrangers, the Kenniff brothers, who roamed the area at the beginning of last century. Their father died in the arms of local grazier Bill Jackson. Bill’s son, Tamworth Golden Guitar winner Wave Jackson, has called the area home all his life – local characters, local history and the local rodeo inhabit many of his ballads. Campdrafting, horseracing and rodeo are part of Injune’s social calendar. In 2003, Injune Rodeo gained an extra shine with the attendance of Prince Harry, who was jackerooing in the area at the time.
This story excerpt is from Issue #58
Outback Magazine: April/May 2008