We were surprised but delighted to learn about Texas, a tiny Australian town that shares more than just a name with its namesake.
Welcome to Texas, Queensland (Australia)
Adding the kangaroo-inspired Roo camping hammock to our marketplace last week got us thinking about Australia, and more specifically, the relationship between Australia and Texas.
Some quick research revealed remarkable similarities between these proud countries (see what we did there). Consider:
- Historically, Texas and Australia experienced the thrust of their initial European settlement at the same time, right around the 1820‘s.
- Culturally, both are known for their friendly people, cowboys and stockmen, frontier toughness, accented English, and wild, wide open spaces.
- Texas has a population of roughly 26 million; Australia, 23 million. Citizens of both places are mostly concentrated in 5 major cities, which themselves have nearly identical populations.
- Geographically, Texas and Australia both are largely covered by plains and desert. The highest point in Texas is around 2,900 meters; in Australia, 2,300 meters.
- Economically, both find support through their natural resources: oil and gas in Texas, and minerals in Australia. Both economies are also heavily dependent on agriculture, dating back to their earliest colonial years and continuing to this day.
- Interestingly, Texas struggles from a feral hog invasion, introduced by colonial Spaniards; Australia struggles from a feral camel invasion, introduced by colonial Brits.
But our research also revealed to us the existence of a special little place in the Australian state of Queensland: a town called Texas.
Located a mile or so north of the border with New South Wales, Texas dates back to around 1840, just several years after Texas gained independence from Mexico.
Its founders were the McDougall Brothers, a couple of gold-prospecting pioneers who returned from a mining expedition to discover their property had been occupied by another pioneering fellow. For some time thereafter, the brothers fought to re-establish their right to the property. In honor of their (ultimately victorious) struggle, they named the area “Texas” after another territorial dispute they’d heard about 9,000 miles away.
We were fortunate enough to connect with the friendly people at Texas QLD Inc., a small organization in Texas dedicated to promoting tourism and general education about Texas and its surrounding area. They’ve shared with us these photos of Texas, Queensland, which are courtesy of the area's local newspaper, the MacIntyre Gazette. If you’re at all familiar with Texas, USA, you’ll likely agree they could easily be mistaken for ones taken three hours outside of Austin, rather than three hours outside of Brisbane.
Texas is a popular destination for campers, RV's, and motorcycle riders, in particular. It's located centrally to what's called the "Rural Gateway," an alternate thoroughfare from Queensland to New South Wales; the scenic route, if you will. In 2013, Texas was named the first Certified Motorcycle Friendly town in all of Australia. It's also a popular area among fisherman: the nearby Dumaresq River provides multiple serene spots for casting and camping.
Like its American counterpart, Texas offers scenic views of ranch land and cattle, and charming old out buildings.
In town, visitors find an art gallery, several museums, and the Stockman Hotel, which entices its guests with the charming invocation: "Fancy a gamble? Try your luck on our pokies, have a flutter on the Keno, or back a winner at the TAB!" We don't know what these activities are, but somehow they sound like perfectly Texas things to do.
If you're a Texan who's ever visited Texas, or in the alternative, if you're a Texan who's ever visited Texas (see what we did there?), we'd love for you to share your comments below. And to our friends at Texas QLD and The MacIntyre Gazette, we hope to meet you in person someday. And thank you kindly for the photos!
I have several friends from Australia through online connectivity. One of these is Sara Shelford. A beautiful, loving and caring soul. She spent several weeks at Karachi during December ,2016. She was lady of manners. Highly engaged lady of great stature.
Aug 20, 2019
As a kid my parents used to take me to the picture’s in Texas, (movies) in the mid fifties, we lived just on the border about 40klm away. Saturday night was the big night, even the occasional flood would not stop us going to Texas for our favorite night of the week. The photo for those that know, of two old isolated tobacco barns, very nostalgic, my parents grew tobacco, who were German immigrants, along with other nationalities, I live in Indonesia , however on my return trips to Australia, love hiring a car and visiting the border towns.
Jul 15, 2018
Was looking at a map of Australia while following a posted video on another site. Just wondering where my Aussie friend was wandering in his video. SURPRISE! I see a town called Texas! Had to have a look. If I am ever fortunate enough to visit Australia, Texas will be a definite “go to” place. Visiting the U.S. Texas this fall in our RV with our Kelpie! love you guys “down under.” I visit a couple of Kelpie and Koolie lovers chat groups in Australia and have been fortunate to see some of your country in their pictures and videos. You have a beautiful country and you folks are awesome! Cheers from Buffalo, New York!
Feb 20, 2018
I’d love to visit there some time. I’m from the Houston area, though I have a lot of friends in Australia through an online community. I’d love to visit Australia some time, and Texas would be a definite photo-op for me. I’ve met a lot of Aussies in real life as well, and I’ve never met an Aussie that I didn’t like. Super nice people!
Sep 12, 2017
Ray Carter, Jr. :
Howdy fellow Texans.
I stayed in your wonderful town in June of 1992, at Royal Hotel. I visited a farm outside of town, where a lady rescued kangaroo.
Could you tell me who owned and opetated the Royal Hotel in June of 1992 and the lady who rescued the kangaroo? I have pictures that I would like to identify. Your help would be appreciated.
I write true Texas history stories for the Bandera Courier in Bandera, Texas, USA.
I had a wonderful holiday in Texas and was treated with the kindest respect.
Apr 08, 2017
My mom was born & raised in Texas, QLD. I was just there visiting family. I lived in Houston for 7 years. :))
Jan 31, 2017
Pokies are poker machines (slot machines), keno is a gambling game where you choose numbers that may win you some money but usually won’t, and the TAB is a government-controlled gambling shop that lets you bet mainly on horse and greyhound races.
Feb 04, 2016
I hope to visit the great town of Texas, all the way from my hometown of irving Texas
Oct 22, 2015
Texas Independence Day is coming up March 2. Happy Holidays to our friends in Queensland. :)
Feb 22, 2015
You should check out the Texas website at www.texas.org.au and their country music site at countrymusicroundup.texas.org.au
Aug 28, 2014
Leave a comment