The Unique World-Class Attractions of St. George, Queensland
When we got to St. George, I was not a happy bunny. We’d been driving for six hours, and in that time the temperature had gone from shorts-and-shirt weather to pants-and-jumper weather, plus it was pouring.
Then I saw a sign for ‘The Unique Egg: A Unique World Class Attraction’ and my mood started to lift. I’m a sucker for unique world-class attractions—maybe there was more to St. George than I’d thought.
Stavros Margaritis picked up a broken bottle and carved his first emu egg in Jan 1954, shortly after emigrating to Australia from Greece. In a moment of inspiration he decided to put a light behind it, and the carved illuminated emu egg was born. He’s been carving emu eggs for over 60 years, though his illustrious career also includes stints as a boxer and kangaroo hunter.
It costs five dollars to cross from his shopfront to the room of illuminated emu eggs, and let me assure you, it is money well spent. I did not regret my decision.
I recommend flicking the lights off for the full effect.
We ended up staying in St. George for three days. It had taken us five weeks to go from Brisbane to Cairns, but we covered the same distance in reverse in just over a week.
We’d earned a drink.
Back in June 2016 when this trip kicked off, a friend told us to stop into the Nindigully pub if we were in the area. As it happened, the pub was only half an hour outside of St. George. The trip took a little longer because we were stuck behind a slow-moving tractor, but we still managed to beat the weekday afternoon rush.
For a small fee you can camp on the land behind the pub, though with the recent rains the ground was muddy and unappealing. Apparently it can get wild there on a Saturday night, so a quiet beer on a Tuesday afternoon was more my speed. We spent an hour nursing a schooner each and playing fetch with an enthusiastic Australian Shepherd, then headed back to St George.
For those who prefer a more highbrow drinking experience, the town also has a winery. In fact, Riversands is Queensland’s most western winery, and it’s younger than I am—grapes were first planted there in 1986.
The vineyard’s tagline is ‘A bush story in every glass’ because each label tells the story of a local community legend or environmental feature. The owner was extremely friendly and interesting to talk to so I wasn’t really keeping track of my bush stories, though we did walk away with three bottles.
St. George was our last stop in Queensland, and I left in a considerably more positive mood than when I arrived, thanks to the largely under-reported benefits that come from three days of rest, wine, and emu eggs.