Yaraka has a fascinating history that covers the early settlers, the railway, the balloting of settlement blocks and the wool industry. (This region typified the old expression that ‘Australia grew on the sheep’s back’). But those days are gone and many changes to property ownership have changed the dynamics of this region and together with the latest severe droughts, this entire region has been under a huge degree of stress and pressure. However hope is always to be found and we know that we are another day closer to the rains arriving!
Yaraka also has a unique history with Queensland Rail and is famous amongst rail enthusiasts as being ‘Yaraka – The End of the line’. There are a number of stories as to why the line abruptly ended at Yaraka but the one we prefer as we find it amusing , is that there was a visionary plan to link Sydney to Darwin by rail via Windorah, 172 kilometres west of Yaraka. The Queensland Government with a rush of blood and a ‘can do’ attitude, commenced the building of this rail link out from Rockhampton through the emerging townships to Blackall and then onto Yaraka. Unfortunately the NSW Government and NT Government for a number of reasons decided in their wisdom not to proceed and hence Yaraka became ‘The End of the Line’. Its probably not the true story but it does have a ring to it that reminds one of the ‘Yes Prime Minister’ comedy series.
The old railway station is going to be turned into a museum in the near future. At the moment we are in the process of collecting archives, tools, rail equipment and bric-a-brac offering a fascinating insight into this period of Yaraka’s history.
The Yaraka area was once part of the giant Milo sheep station located on the southern side of the Yang Yang Ranges. Yaraka was one of their huge paddocks where vast numbers of Merino sheep grazed and produced much sought after low micron wool. The state Government split up the Milo leases thus allowing the only settlers to become ‘Kings and Queens’ of their own properties. The Yaraka district still produces fine micron wool but unfortunately the increasing wild dog problem with their natural killing instinct have devasted sheep grazing to the point where many graziers have had to abandon their sheep and switch to cattle.
Our favoured method on recalling this history is to sit down when you have the opportunity to ask questions. This can be done over a cuppa or a cold drink.
However if you have some specific questions you can email us (refer to contact page) and we will strive to help you.