Get Ready to Say ‘I’ll Be Your Mate’

 An exciting new tourism campaign called ‘Welcome Mate’ celebrates the recent rain which has the rivers running and spirits on the rise in the beautiful Balonne Shire in south west Queensland.

Mayor Richard Marsh said all roads are open once again after the recent flood which delivered hope after so many tough drought years and returned the river town region back to its picture-perfect best.

“It’s been a shocking summer across Australia, so we want to share our good fortune by launching ‘Welcome Mate’ to invite everyone on a road trip adventure to a different world where life is as fast or as slow as you make it.”

The first 500 travellers to visit the St George Visitor Information Centre and say ‘I’ll be your Mate’ will be given special Welcome Mate Packs.  The packs include a $20 Buy Balonne Gift Card, exclusive discount vouchers, local merchandise and regional information.


‘Welcome Mate’ also includes a new Grey Nomad Visitor Services Ambassador Program which will embed visitors into the community for up to two months.

“This volunteer program connects visitors directly into the community so they can live like a local, meet new people, make a difference and most importantly have fun,” Cr Marsh said.


Ambassadors will receive free camping in return for working some volunteer shifts at the Visitor Information Centre and helping with major events at the St George Showgrounds. Volunteering opportunities will also be available working on community projects throughout the Shire.


Major events for 2020 include Easter in the Vines, Yellowbelly Country Music Festival, and Thallon’s long table dinner Grazing at The Watering Hole in front of the iconic painted silos.

Five hundred kilometres west of Brisbane, the region’s seven river towns of St George, Dirranbandi, Bollon, Hebel, Thallon, Nindigully and Mungindi are all throwing out the welcome mat.  “If you want the holiday of a lifetime come here where strangers are only ‘mates’ we haven’t met yet.”

Cr Marsh said part of the ‘Welcome Mate’ campaign is still under construction with residents coming together to create something quite special.  “It features a beer-loving horse, a jillaroo on a Harley and a two-meter-tall Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat.  All I can say is watch this space.”

To plan your stay, contact the Balonne Shire Visitor Information Centre on (07) 4620 8877 or visit