Allora, Qld, and Mary Poppins

I’ve been on a short road trip. Put your seatbelt on and remember, no smoking or eating in the car unless its chocolate – and be prepared to share.

The Blue Cow Hotel

Allora is a country town on the Darling Downs in South East Queensland, approximately 2.5 hours drive from Brisbane, and located between Toowoomba and Warwick. * It has a wide main street with a pub on each corner making it reminiscent of so many farming communities across Australia, a Cafe that is the busiest spot in town at lunchtime, two hairdressing salons, and a Little Community Library ( that I was just itching to tidy).

Being so flat makes it ideal to walk around Allora to inhale its history. Settled in 1840 there are many examples of fine colonial architecture highlighted by the plaques attached to 30 odd buildings of interest.

In good seasons summer in Allora becomes a mass of yellow and is well regarded for its crops of beautiful sunflowers. Unusual for a community of just on 1,000 there are two museums : the historical and a regional sports museum. ( Local sports stars include Laura Geitz – netball, Matthew Denny – discus, Greg Holmes – rugby union, and Wayne Bennett – league.)

Perhaps the best known resident of Allora was Helen Lyndon Goff who later changed her name to Pamela Lyndon Travers, the author of Mary Poppins

Although born in Maryborough, Qld, which I’ve discussed in a previous post, the Goffs moved to Allora when Helen was 8 years old. The bank building in which they lived, and where her father died two years later, is available for tours.

  There is a nod to the author in the P L Travers Park in the main street.

Well worth a visit.

*One of the measures of a town has always been the number of pubs it supports though Covid has had a huge impact in this area.