Pentland in north-west Queensland is one of those small Outback towns that far too many grey nomads rush through as the travel along the Flinders Highway between Charters Towers and Hugh­enden.

Those that do stop and perhaps spend a night or two at the local caravan park are richly rewarded with a unique insight into country life, and a friendly welcome by some of the 250 or so locals.

While it may be short on big ticket tourist attractions, the town certainly isn’t short on points of interest. The Pentland Caravan Park has basic amenities, a small camp kitchen, a swimming pool, several cabins and numerous drive-through sites, some of which are well shaded.

As well as the van park, the town also boasts a post office/general store, hotel/motel, a service station, and a police station. The Pentland Hotel Motel is a great spot to grab a bite to eat and perhaps have a yarn with the locals, most of whom are only too happy to give visitors a rundown on the area. The pub also offers free caravan parking.

The Pentland Arts and Craft Gallery is also well worth a visit. All items are produced locally and support the local community, and some also support the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The Pentland Pioneer Park is a top spot for a picnic, and a drive out to the scenic local dam is an opportunity to perhaps see some of the local wildlife and birdlife. Another interesting – and unusual – place to drive out to visit is the abandoned Cape River Meat­works, which was built during the Second World War.

Around 30 kilometres west of Pentland is the Burra Range Lookout, which offers great views and a chance to check out the names carved into the exposed granite formation.

A little further along the Flin­ders Highway is the entrance to the 112,000-hectare White Mountain National Park. Features include spectacular white sandstone bluffs and gorges, and gorgeous wild­flower displays if you are in the right season.

Also of interest are the huge conglomerate outcrops, some of which are more than two metres high. These are unique sedimentary rocks formed when rocks and pebbles be­come cemented together in a mixture of finer sand or silt.

There are eight campsites at the park’s Canns Camp. The road into the campsite is best suited to 4WDs, and the creek crossing to the campsite is best suited to off road camper trailers or small off- road caravans. The track is closed during the wet season. Camp­ing at the campsite, which has a toilet but no water, requires an e-permit.

Pentland really comes into its own in May when it holds its annual campdraft, and in November when the Annual Picnic Races are run … but any time is a good time to visit this authentic slice of the ‘real’ Australia.


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