Roma is the thriving primary service centre for Queensland’s South West Outback. it possesses a diverse economy, excellent infrastructure and a relaxed Outback lifestyle that is the envy of many major regional centres.
The outback of Queensland
Roma is renowned for its friendly down to earth country hospitality and ‘fun times’ social calendar. Famous for hosting one of the Maranoa’s ‘not to be missed’ annual events, Easter in the Country, Roma is also making it into many social calendars for its country race meetings and other community events such as the Food and Fire Festival. Visitors are welcome to join in the fun and festivities of the many family friendly events which are held throughout the year.
Roma also offers a range of first class meeting and conference facilities, venues and accompanying guest activities and tour programs.
Originally home to the Mandandanji Aboriginal people and visited twice by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, Roma was settled after Sir Thomas Mitchell reported glowingly on the country in 1846. Looking down from nearby Mount Abundance, Mitchell wrote, “I … beheld the finest country I had ever seen in a primeval state – a champaign (meaning ‘undulating country’ in archaic French dialect) region, spotted with wood, stretching as far as human vision or even the telescope would reach.”
Allan McPherson established Mount Abundance Station the following year. The historic Mount Abundance Homestead is one of Roma’s gracious old homes. Visitors are welcome, by appointment, to meander around this fascinating property and enjoy smoko on the wide veranda or under the century-old bottle trees.
An artist’s depiction of the exploration and development of Roma and district, has been captured in an impressive 18 square metre clay Bicentennial Mural. The mural is housed in the Cultural Centre and is brought to life with an audio and light presentation.
The Roma on Bungil Gallery is housed in the Roma Arts Centre which is also home to The Walk of Art and a range of artist studios and workspaces. This contemporary gallery boasts an impressive exhibition program and visitors are welcome to view the works of art and meet our very talented local artists.
The heritage-listed Hero’s avenue features more than 100 bottle trees. Each tree is dedicated to a local soldier who lost their life in World War I. Wander back in time along Roma’s Historical Walk to the beginnings of this important Western Downs town in the 1860s taking in significant landmarks and learning of Roma’s colourful history.
Visitors are also welcome to view the intricate beauty of the stained glass and leadlight windows of St Paul’s Anglican Church dating back to 1875. Tours operate Tuesday and Thursday (April – October), or by appointment.
The Queensland Government established Roma as an administrative centre for the growing district in 1862. The town took its name from the wife of Queensland’s first Governor, the Countess Diamantina Roma, and was the first gazetted settlement following Queensland’s separation from New South Wales in 1859.
Roma has preserved many of its impressive public buildings including the Roma Court House, opened in 1901. The original Court House opened in 1873, for the trial of the notorious bushranger Harry Redford (the legendary Captain Starlight) who had stolen 1,000 cattle and driven them to South Australia. This amazing feat was later immortalized in the novel Robbery Under Arms. Visitors can learn more about the exploits of the infamous Harry Redford, through an entertaining theatrical presentation, ‘The Ghost of Harry Redford’ whilst enjoying an authentic camp oven dinner at Maloney’s Inn.