Brisbane Ladies - Tracing the old stock route from Brisbane to Nanango
Photographed by various contributors

In 1972 Anne Infante, and friends undertook a research trip to trace the old stock route mentioned in the song known alternatively as ‘Brisbane Ladies’ (also known as ‘Augathella Station’).

This led to a friendship between the then owners of ‘Taromeo’ station and the folkies. Many a weekend was spent camping and singing, swimming, stumbling about in the dark (Dale Riddle still has the scars) and mushroom picking. (Taromeo had an abundance of a particular type of mushroom, which grew out of the droppings of the bovine inhabitants)

The following pages are a few scenes from these carefree days…



Farewell and adieu to you Brisbane Ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you girls of Toowong
For we’ve sold all our cattle and cannot now linger
But trust we shall see you once more before long

We’ll rant and we’ll roar like true Queensland drovers
We’ll rant as we’ll roar as onwards we push
Until we return to the Old Cattle Station
For it’s flamin’ dry going through the old Queensland bush.

The first camp we make is called the ‘Good Luck ’
Caboolture and Kilcoy then Collinton’s Hut
We'll pull up at the Stone House, Bob Williamson’s paddock
And soon the next morning we cross the Blackbutt.

On, on past Taromeo and Yarraman Creek boys,
It’s there we will make a fine camp for the day
Where the water and grass are both plenty and sweet boys
The life of a drover is merry and Gay.

The camp is all snug and supper is over
We lounge round the fire enjoying a smoke
while yarning of home or the live of a drover
Till all join in chorus to 'Grandfather's Clock'.

Next right through Nanango the jolly old township
'Good Day to you lads' with a hearty shake hands
'Come this is my shout well here's to your next trip
And we hope you will step in tonight to our dance.'

Oh the girls look so pretty the sight is entrancing
Bewitching and graceful they join in the fun
Of waltz, polka, first set and all other dancing
To the old concertina of Jack Smith the Don

Tho' far I have travelled through Russia and Finland
Have met the fair damsels of Poland and Spain
More lovely and fair are the darlings of Queensland
You may search the wide world for their equals in vain.

Now drink to our lasses in right hearty fasion
Come sing the loud chorus sing farewell to all
And when return from the old cattle station
We'll always be pleased to give you a call.


The verses of the version of the song above are from the original song 'The Drover' written in the 1890s by Saul Mendelsohn, who is buried in Toowong Cemetery in Brisbane.  The version which mentions 'Augathella Station' and Toomancie (or Toomancy) was recorded and made popular by A L (Bert) Lloyd and he freely admitted to changing the words to make his version more colourful.

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