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Duaringa, Queensland

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Duaringa is located 107 kilometres west of Rockhampton along the Capricorn Highway. It is a tiny settlement of less than 500 people which came into existence as a base camp for railway workers. Duaringa is one of the oldest townships in the region, with buildings dating back to the 1860s. An example of this rich history can still be seen at the local hotel, where a portion has been preserved to show how the pioneers lived. The Duaringa Tourist Information Centre is artistic inside and out. From the highway, you can see the huge mural local artists created on its feature wall. On the inside, the Centre has local arts and crafts for sale and plenty of information to offer on the history and attractions of the town. Mackenzie Park, on the eastern side of town, is home to a unique species of tree. The Duaringa stringy bark, known to the Aborigines as ‘budgeroo’, grows up to ten metres tall and has bushy foliage with small white flowers that bloom in spring. These trees were of great cultural significance to the early Aborigines who used its bark to make rope, baskets and building materials. Visit the park during the day to enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of the budgeroo and hear the splash of the waterfall in the lagoon. At night see the waterfall lit up to create colourful reflections on the sand and the lagoon. Mackenzie Park has camping areas with electric barbecues and free hot showers. Next to Mackenzie Park is a historic cemetery with many graves and headstones dating back to the 1800s. Anglers can try their luck in the Mackenzie River 20 kilometres to the north, or in the Dawson River 9 kilometres to the south-east.

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