Are you searching for a fresh air country getaway and the chance to stretch your legs and enjoy a little magic? If so, we’ve found your next holiday spot, in the quaint town of Monto in Queensland’s North Burnett.
Nestled south of the iconic sandstone cliffs and gorges of the Cania Gorge National Park, Monto is the country town that is perched on the banks of the Three Moon Creek and Burnett River. This water brings life, leisure and legend to Monto’s farmers, locals and visitors.
Recently, it feels as though a spell of life and colour has been cast over Monto. As many small country towns lay quietly, Monto has had a dramatic colour transformation that has resulted in a vibrant public art trail, courtesy of celebrated street artists Travis Vinson (@DRAPL) and Joel Fergie (@The Zookeeper) waving their (paint) wands.
In the main street, the shops bustle with local wares and produce. The fresh bakery goods and ground coffee wafting from the shops are as inviting as the kind people you meet. There are three larger than life murals painted on shop buildings, including a quirky cow trying to lick passers-by, a local family and cheeky kookaburra leaning against a timber rail enjoying a spectacular Monto sunset, and friendly local Cheryl with her prize winning knitted handiwork.
Monto Murals in the CBD
A drive to the water tower puts a smile on your face. The scene depicted is of fun and freedom. Playing with water that is “bursting” out of the tower, are three local children that have been transformed into huge laughing figures.
Remember, you are in the bush, so keep your eyes open for cows! There are 8 community painted cows taking pride of place around the streets of Monto. See if you can ‘muster’ (find) them all.
Three Moon Creek has imaginative legends that surround the name of the creek. One is about the Chinese people who arrived in Australia’s gold rush era and saw the moon reflected in the creek and gold planning dish. Another surrounds a cattleman who saw much the same things, and the other is wrapped in Indigenous tradition. It is those legends that have been painted on the enormous grain silo ‘canvases’.
For those that follow the silo art trail, this newest installation is now the most northern stop on the map. Impressive from every angle, the uniquely Monto artwork pays homage to the community’s past, present and future. There is exquisite details on such a big display. See if you can spot the emu in the Milky Way paying tribute to the Dreamtime, the gold panning from Monto’s mining heritage and the stockman and horse mustering.
Monto Magic Tourism Action Group have put together a handy map to help you explore all the items along the Art Trail and ‘tick’ them off your list. Download the Map here: Monto Art Trail Brochure – Monto Magic Tourism Action Group
STAY AND PLAY
For a long weekend, school holiday or grey nomad get away, there is plenty of accommodation options ranging from the RV Stop, Caravan Parks, Cabins or Motels in Monto or nearby Mulgildie and Cania Gorge.
Be sure to get a taste of Monto at one of the cafes, bakeries, butchers or pubs! Their country hospitality and local produce on offer leaves a great taste in your mouth. You can also get fresh thai food in Mulgildie.
CANIA GORGE NATIONAL PARK
A trip to Monto isn’t complete without adventuring into the Cania Gorge National Park. Between the 8 different walking trails, there is a track to suit every adventurer.
Cania Gorge National Park
Indigenous people have lived in Cania Gorge for at least 19,000 years. The art at Cania Gorge is freehand painting, very different to other styles recorded to the west and south. ‘Big Foot Walk’ features an Indigenous artwork of a large four-toed foot painted on the white sandstone.
Dripping Rock and the Overhang are iconic trails at Cania, where over centuries, weathering of the sandstone has moulded the rock and it takes on striking yellow and red features. The different trails have their own character and reveal different aspects of the sandstone cliffs, gorgeous views, shady pools and the ever changing eucalypt woodland and dry rainforest. For more information on the walks and park see: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/cania-gorge/things-to-do.
A myriad of wildlife call Cania Gorge home. The best time to see the ‘residents’ is early morning or late afternoon. Keep your eyes and ears open for the sounds of the bush – listen for water slowly eroding sandstone, choruses of frogs near the creeks, rustling in the forest floor of birds, reptiles or marsupials, or the echoing calls of birds above. If you stay at one of the caravan parks at Cania Gorge be sure to take part in the daily bird feeding to get up close with the King Parrots, Kookaburras, Cockatoos and Galahs!
Bird feeding at the Big4 Cania Gorge Holiday Park
A journey to Monto will leave you relaxed and refreshed (maybe with some sore legs if you take on all the Cania Gorge trails!). Monto’s diverse country side, ancient cultures, history, vibrant paintings, country hospitality and community spirit is something special and draws you into the community. It’s this feeling that draws generations of families back to Monto again and again. You’ll have to visit to experience and appreciate Monto’s magic.
For visitor information contact the Tourism team at North Burnett Regional Council on 1300 696 272 or email email@example.com
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