Australia’s tiniest town which has a motel, train station and four-star restaurant… but only FOUR residents
Welcome to the smallest town in Australia complete with its own motel, train station, general store, four-star restaurant, pub and just four residents. The Queensland town of Cooladdi is located 560 miles west of Brisbane and a 90-minute drive from the nearest other settlement Charleville. But living happily in isolation is Laurel Seymour Smith, 64, her daughter Roxanne and son-in-law Gavin Muller and their daughter Christie.
In its heyday when it was a major rail centre Cooladdi boasted a school, butcher shop, post office, store and police station accommodating 270 residents. The tightknit family of four live and work in the remote outpost operating the town’s only business – a quirky watering hole that resembles more a truck stop, a post office, the pub, a self-rated four-star restaurant, a motel and petrol station all rolled into one.
Laurel and her late partner Errol bought the place in 2007 – something she maintains was the best decision they ever made. The 64-year-old said: ‘I was a miner driving trucks for years -this came up and we said we’re looking for a complete lifestyle change. And before we knew it I was the postmaster, the publican, the cleaner, the cook and the happiest I’ve ever been, who wouldn’t be, this is flamin’ God’s country. The postal run is the highlight for me – delivering good old-fashioned letters and parcels to families who live so remotely. I just love it. I stop in for a morning cuppa and scone and good old chin wag and then it’s back on the road, they’re like our extended family. This place means everything to me, and really how many 19-year-old kids want to live so remotely and yet my granddaughter Christie, she loves the place and so do her friends when they ‘drop in’.’
The family business – known as the Fox Trap – was handed over to Gavin, 47, and 43-year-old Roxanne. Gavin himself also used to work in the mines. He said: ‘We’d come up to Cooladdi for holidays and when the chance came to move permanently I jumped at it – took some convincing the missus, Roxanne, but she came round eventually. Now I can’t get her out of the bloody place, not even to go out for tea (dinner) in Charleville.’
With a tennis court that has seen better days, a few cows, ten dogs, a couple of friendly cats and an ever growing chicken population, the Fox Trap does look a bit tired. Roxanne said the train station platform had become something of a tourist attraction in the town which sees temperatures reach 48C. She said: ‘We call it the stop where you’ll wait a bloody long time for the train to come.’ And when it comes to the food on offer at the restaurant, Roxanne, the resident cook, believes their road kill menu is ‘to die for’. ‘