The Small Town with a Big Heart!!

MIGHTY MOURA, THE HEART OF DAWSON COUNTRY

Summer has definitely come early this year. And this is the time when the swimming spots never looked so good. I was on my little mission of searching for somewhere to cool down. Thankfully, just out of a little town called Moura, I found my haven from out of the heat.

Down by the riverside on the banks of the mighty Dawson.

Down on the Mighty Dawson

Refreshing currents in the Mighty Dawson

Here you’ll find a sweet little rest area, set up many moons ago by the Apex club and the good people of Moura. A simple donation is all that they ask to help maintain the upkeep on this gem of a campsite. I was told that during the winter months this place can reach capacity with well over a few hundred people staying on the grounds. I guess right about now it was getting just too hot for most of them to bother!

Camp River Rats

Camp River Rats

Of the 15-20 vans, RV’s and caravans that were my fellow neighbours it became the daily ritual among us all of heading down to the water to cool ourselves down. Wading out from the shore the water becomes considerably fresher, a welcome relief on days when it’s 30+c before 9am.

IMG_6692There’s treasures in the water too. Fresh river mussels, good to eat and great for a bit of bait. It was more the fun of collecting them that kept us all amused for hours. Diving down into the shallows or trying to hoist them up in your toes. A great way to pass the time while relaxing in the river.

 

Good for the locals,

Great for me!!

One thing I loved most about this special spot was that it wasn’t just the travellers who were there but also many a local would come down each day for a swim, a drink in the cool breeze, a bit of fishing out on the boats or some crazy fun around on their jet ski’s.

Relic of the days underground

Relic of the days underground

This was when I got to meet some of them and to hear the stories about their sweet little town. For Moura is a town of Coal and Cattle. You can’t miss the open cut mine sites with their monster trucks hauling the goods out of the ground and off to be processed. Three major disasters around the region saw the end to the underground mining here. But with coal seams in abundance it’s all above ground now that they gather this natural resource.

As for the cattle, they’ve been here for a good while too, as the name of the shire will show. You see, the BANANA shire wasn’t named after its ability to grow the yellow fruit, but after one Drover’s head bullock. A BIG, YELLOW bull named “Banana”. There’s pride in the cattle here. It’s bred into the kids too from the time they manage to put their first pair of boots on.

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One decent local I had the pleasure to meet, by the name of Leigh, was kind enough to take me out in his little dinghy down towards the weir for a bit of fishing on the river. With the mussels for bait my first catch was a Turtle. A Turtle of all things!! No time for photos as I wanted the sweet little creature put safely back into the water.

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We cruised along the river watching the local fauna do its thing. Water dragons hunting, kangaroos coming down for a drink, the bird’s drying their wings out or flying high in the sky making the most of the thermals.

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Leigh even took me on a tour the outskirts of Moura the next day. Out to the mines to see the mammoth draglines in operation, recounting the crazy stories of working on these machines that are easily as big as a 6 story building.

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Cruising down the back roads we found emu’s and bullock’s, heard of camels on another road, passed the cattle roaming freely. It was great to get out with a local for a guided tour of the area. On my own I would have easily been lost and I would have missed out on the opportunity to learn more of this lovely part of Australia.

Lest we Forget the Blessed RSL!!!

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All aboard the Party Bus!!

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The Gents working the kitchen

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Beautiful Mural done by a local Art Teacher for the RSL..

I was recommended to try the RSL on a Thursday night. Cheap food and drinks in a great little atmosphere. I headed into town in the courtesy bus provided by the RSL with a few of my fellow campers that had decided to get out of the park for the night. It was lovely to see this quant weatherboard fill up with the local families and groups out for a cheap social night and a bit of a catch up. All enjoying the good vibe that collectively we had brought to this humble place of gathering.

Out with a few of my fellow River Rat Campers..

Out with a few of my fellow River Rat Campers..

My last night in Moura was Halloween and what better way to spend it then with the locals. Hanging out with Leigh and his super hospitable family, out the front of the neighbour’s house, having a few quiet drinks while ensuring the hordes of children that came were well fed with candy to see them through the night. All dressed up to enjoy a night of frolicking in the streets under their disguises. Princesses, pirates, zombies and the rest.

 

Moura was just what I needed. A welcome break from the heat in its cool river waters. A lovely opportunity to bond with a community that when you gave them the chance will happily open their arms and doors to a curious little traveller. And to see another shining example of a little town off the beaten track, keeping strong and growing further with its big heart pumping through the veins of the country.

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About the chameleon traveller

Since 1999 I've been travelling between Australia, Europe and South East Asia!!! and Still going Strong.. After 15 years of travels there's a backpack full of photos and a van load packed with stories that need to be shared. Not to mention the future adventures that are always just around the corner!!! Come Join Me!!
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10 Responses to The Small Town with a Big Heart!!

  1. leanne webb says:

    youre not telling me anything i dont already know..i choose to live here..love this little town..even wrote a poam about it ..it on my fb page. and as you found out ,its a very social town..we dont need to have all that big city stuff to have a good time..so iam glad you enjoyed your stay with us..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Leanne, you may know all about this great town, but it was a pleasure to share the joy of such a wonderful place to the masses that don’t get the chance to discover sweet places like this.. I’ll keep spreading the good word of Moura and look forward to the day when I get back to enjoy it even further..
      Cheers, TCT

      Like

  2. Marie Cherry says:

    Hi, thanks for the write up on Moura. I have lived here for forty years now through good times & bad. When I came here, I felt like I had come ‘home’ and nothing has changed. So many people knock small towns and the people who live in them so it was great to read your positive account of Moura. A nice change and thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Marie, I felt like I was home after just one week. It was an absolute joy to have met such wonderful people and I’ve made some great friends that I look forward to catching up with again over the years. I’m glad you liked my post and keep loving sweet Moura for me..
      Thanks, TCT

      Like

  3. Kylie says:

    You nailed the town and it’s people on the head! Grew up in that town and although I moved away after finishing school, I still call Moura home. Many fond memories of the Dawson River, swimming, skiing and jumping of the bridge as a kid! Cheers for a great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kylie, Moura was a truly a haven for me. The river, the people, the land itself were all such a blissful relief after a trying week. It was my pleasure to write this post and I honestly hope you make it back someday to relive all those fond memories from when you grew up. Cheers, TCT

      Like

  4. Pat says:

    Beautiful story, such a lovely little town, we lived there for 40 years and raised our family, only good memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ausbettsee47 says:

    Beautiful story and its all true….it is a lovely place to live and is a very proud little town…

    Like

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