HISTORY: The original timber bridge at Comet was built in 1878.
HISTORY: The original timber bridge at Comet was built in 1878. Contributed

Comet: town of tales and CH walking trails

ALONG the Capricorn Highway between Blackwater and Emerald is one of the earliest townships in the region.

Comet is located at the junction of the Nogoa, Mackenzie and Comet Rivers.

Originally called Cometville, the town takes its name from the river, named by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt during his first expedition through Central Queensland after observing Comet Wilmot in the western sky in December 1844.

After his journeys, he was hailed as 'Prince of Explorers' and his party as national heroes.

Unfortunately, he did not enjoy the accolades for long.

In April 1848 a party of seven including himself travelling through the Darling Downs disappeared and no evidence showing conclusively what happened to it has ever been found.

What can be found at Comet though is a Coolabah tree trunk that Ludwig marked with 'DIG L' and a downward arrow during his second exploration of the region in 1847.

'DIG' indicated to those who followed that he had buried a powder canister under the tree containing letters and journals.

There are many other discoveries to be made in Comet as the local community has spent the last few years developing a fantastic self-guided walk known as Comet Tales and Walking Trails.

This varied walk brings the locals stories to life with a variety of story boards, videos, images and stories, through your smart phone.

If you are really keen, while you explore Comet's history you can also search for hidden treasure.

For more details on this aspect of the trail log onto www.geocaching.com

The trails start from the old station at Whistle Stop Park and are great fun for young and old which you can combine with walking, riding a bike or taking the car if you want to drive to the Comet Weir.

The historic Comet cemetery is a fascinating snapshot of the hardships of pioneer life, and an interesting place to contemplate what may have caused the deaths of 73 people between 1877 and 1879.

For those keen on fishing drop a line into the Comet River under the railway bridge, at the Comet Weir or in the Mackenzie River at Riley's Crossing.

Probably the best part of a visit is to relax on the veranda at Comet River Hotel and watch the world go by.

It's what a pub used to be like, where the banter flows as easily as the beer.

Be sure to phone ahead if you are looking for a meal.

To make the most of your day out in Comet, visit your local Visitor Information Centre for more details of this fascinating historic Central Highlands town.