WITH A name like Jericho, it’s not surprising that this little Australian town is filled with residents who know the Biblical story of the Battle of Jericho.
In fact, they know it so well that they clubbed together more than a decade ago to create a structure that tells the story of how Joshua won the Battle of Jericho. The affinity of the little town with its namesake doesn’t stop there. Queensland’s little Jericho is built on the Jordon River, south of Lake Galilee!
Go to Railway Park to visit the town’s commemoration site, Crystal Trumpeters (pictured above), which explains how the Israelites came to the ‘other’ Jericho and marched around the walls of the city, blowing their trumpets to make the city walls tumble down.
The latter-day Jericho’s history dates back to 1885 and owes its beginnings to the railway. Pine Hill was the original settlement but there was little water there, so the township split and some people went to Jericho and others went to Alpha. Jericho grew close to Jordon Creek, which was named after a pioneer of the day, Harry Jordon.
The railway has since closed and the old railway station has a new lease of life as an information centre.
Jericho is situated midway between Emerald and Longreach on the Capricorn Highway. It is also easily accessible from Blackall. There are facilities including a Rural Transaction Centre within the shire chambers, a Medicare facility and a local medical centre within the Spiritus Bush Nursing building. A nursing sister works there and a doctor makes weekly visits from Alpha.
In Darwin Street, visit the tourist information centre, which has a complete clay village replicating Jericho’s businesses and houses.
If you’re caravanning, Jericho is the perfect place to stay a few days. The caravan park at the showgrounds offers warm showers and clean amenities, and there is no limit on the number of nights you can stay.
For another camping option, you can get a free unpowered site at the rear of the Jordan Valley Hotel. But if camping isn’t your style, book into the hotel’s motel accommodation. The pub serves lunch and dinner seven days (takeaways also available).
The Jordan Valley Hotel also has basic supplies like bread, butter, milk and some grocery items. It has ATM and EFTPOS facilities and offers free cups of tea and coffee. Publican Mick Blair says that even though the hotel isn’t an official Driver Reviver site, he believes in the principle and encourages people to come in for a cuppa. He said the hotel was also pet friendly.
“I like puppies and have one that’s spoilt rotten. So if people are travelling with their pets, they can still stay here,” he said.
Wander over to the showground to see the murals that have been painted on the buildings.
While you’re in town, also see the town’s drive-in. It’s the smallest drive-in in the Southern Hemisphere, as it holds just 36 cars! The drive-in still operates once a month.
And if you’re in town on the second Saturday of the month, browse around the markets. Go down to Redbank and do a bit of fishing or have a barbecue. Camping is also allowed, and there are toilets at the reserve.