Ilfracombe
Collage of Ilfracombe.

Sitting nearly smack bang in the centre of Queensland is the tiny town of Ilfracombe. The hub of Ilfracombe is 'The Wellshot Hotel', a classic outback pub. The Wellshot is typical bush architecture - a high pitched corrugated roof, footpath-wide verandahs and weatherboard exterior, all painted in federation colours. It's over a hundred years old and the interior is just as reflective of the environment as the exterior.

North of the Landsborough Highway (which serves as the main street) is a one kilometre collection of mechanised and beast driven machinery. It's a chronological archive of wool wagons, tractors, implements, earthworks gear, sulkies, carts and agricultural bric-a-brac. The 'Mechanical Mile' leads to the Folk Museum, yet more evidence that Ilfracombe is deeply proud of it's past and intent on maintaining it's treasures.

Oakhampton Cottage provides another glimpse into the grazing pioneers from Ilfracombe as does Lagenbaker House, an old teamsters cottage.

The post office is over 100 years old and doubles as the library.

The Jackson Brothers collected anything that moved and most things that didn't and their twin collections comprise over 30,000 bits and pieces including weapons and military memorabilia.

Named for Ilfracombe in Devonshire, England this Ilfracombe was established as a supply depot for nearby Wellshot Station which had at on time, more sheep on it than other property in the world. The shire also claims the record for moving the largest mob of sheep - in 1886 twenty seven drovers moved 43,000 sheep through the district.

The Ilfracombe of the 1890's boasted three hotels and a billiards saloon. A coach maker and saddler took care of the era's transportation requirements while general stores, butchers, a baker and a soft drink factory saw to the more mundane needs of the wool town.

This is a town that has preserved it's heritage with aplomb and although the town of Longreach is only 27km west, claiming to be the 'Capital of the Outback', tiny Ilfracombe has accomplished the same feat with real authenticity.


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