Maranoa Area of Southern Queensland
The Maranoa is the area of southern Queensland which is also sometimes known as the Western Downs region. It is the eastern part of a bigger, mostly parched south west region of Queensland, Australia. Located to the east is the Darling Downs agricultural region, and to the west lies the dry Channel Country.
The traditional agriculture for the Maranoa area is sheep and cattle grazing, both of which suit the rangeland landscape and sub-tropical climate the region enjoys. Maranoa’s two main catchments are the Balonne and Maranoa Rivers, and the Warrego, Carnavon and Balonne highways are the major road routes through the vicinity.
The Arrival of Europeans in Maranoa
Before European settlers arrived, the region was occupied by the Mandandanji and Gunggari Aborigines. Archaeological excavations in the Mount Moffatt area have helped to deduce that these Aborigines inhabited the area for a little over 19 000 before Europeans arrived, with descendants of these original inhabitants still living in and visiting the area to this day.
The Roma or Maranoa Cup
The town of Roma is situated in South West Queensland’s Maranoa district, at the junction of the Warrego and Carnavon highways. Roma lies 470 kilometres west of Queensland’s capital city Brisbane, but this town serves as a capital in its own right as well.
Roma plays host to Australia’s largest cattle sales, with these meets being held each Tuesday and Thursday at the town’s sale yards. The cattle sales welcome tourists, both domestic and international, and allow them to join in what is seen as one of the last true outback experiences available for modern man. The auctioneer’s call, the hammer’s fall, the big hats and big personalities combined with the sounds and smells these auctions deliver will allow travellers to taste the age-old outback experience.
The Roma Cup, also known as the Maranoa Cup, is another event this town is famous for, as it stands as the biggest, most glamourous horse race meeting in all of western Queensland.
The Maranoa Cup attracts around 10 000 bettors from all around the state, with luxurious accommodation available at the Maranoa Cup site, Swag Central, or in motels around the Maranoa area. The Maranoa Cup is a weekend long celebration of horse races, and depicts some of the finest equestrian action available anywhere in Australia.
The Maranoa Cup starts off at around 11am on the Saturday, with racing, socialising and high-fashion a matter of course. Live music will make for the after-party entertainment after the races have finished, sending punters off into an early morning Sunday breakfast at one of the fine establishments in the district.
The Cup event occurs annually, taking place every November, and there are various tailored packages available for punters and their families. There are numerous facilities available including cash bar services, BBQ amenities, a safe and secure car park, courtesy transfers to and from the Maranoa Cup, entertainment courtesy of live music and public telephones. Disabled punters are catered for in full as well.