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“Big Rig - worth breaking your trip to visit” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Big Rig

The Big Rig
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Roma
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: THE NIGHT SHOW An educational and entertaining way to spend the best part of 35 minutes, during which you will get to understand the events of the first 60 years or so of the 20th Century, which justify Roma's claim to being the Cradle of Australia's Oil and Gas Industry. The visitor is accommodated on open-air bench seating, plus some chairs, and is presented with an open-air set, depicting a rather basic tent camp typical of oil drilling during the 1920's. The set comprises of three tents, two small drilling rigs and the type of "junk" normally seen around a rig of that era. A large projection screen is raised behind the set, and one of the tents serves as a second screen. Commentary is heard throughout the Show, backed up by images on the two screens. Unexpected lighting effects occur during the Show, in appropriate passages of the commentary. Visitors are encouraged to take photographs if they desire. All in all, the viewer departs with a fair understanding of oil drilling activities in the Roma area, particularly during the Oil Boom Era of the late 1920's. Returning patrons will realize that the Night Show was THE OIL PATCH Oil Patch is an outside display of oil and gas exploration and product equipment, explained by suitable signs and audio panels. these facilities allow the Oil patch to be a self-guided experience. The old patch is well landscaped with vegetation suited to Roma's rather dry climate. It has proved to be an oasis to many birds, having come in from the bush during recent extended drought. A theatre with the Oil Patch shows a video about how the old and gas has recently changed Roma. Also explains the extraction of natural gas and coal seem gas. The visitor will probably need over an hour to meander through the oil patch. if you need to come back into the cafe for a break before completing the circuit, please do so. The big features of the oil patch are the 1929 vintage steam powered Emsco drilling rig and a somewhat more modern early 1950's diesel powered National T32 rig. The T32 was very well known locally, and served to train a generation of roughnecks. The Emsco was brought to Roma by the Roma Oil Company, drilled four holes, and was abandoned on its last site in 1941. While, for safety reasons, climbing on the exhibits is generally not permitted, steps and safety rails have been built onto the floor of the Emsco rig to allow the visitor to appreciate the sixe of the equipment. By viewing the Oil patch, the visitor leaves with a reasonable understanding of the history and technology in use during the 20th Century, as regards oil search in the Roma District.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking, Food available for purchase
Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Big Rig - worth breaking your trip to visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

I wanted to look at the Big Rig for a project that I was working on, and I took the family to it, on a trip north. It was surprising, in terms of the quality of the material on display and the way that it was displayed - there was something for all of the family to enjoy. Laid out in a neat circuit, the Big Rig intertwines a story about the development of the gas and oil industry in Roma (some really interesting local history); as well as sharing real knowledge about oil and gas - how it exists, how its extracted and what its used for. There is a really good video room that also shares a bit of a story about what life is like living in one of Santos camps.
There is plenty of opportunity for interaction for adults and kids; and afterwards, the cafe has the best caramel tarts in the world!

Visited December 2012
Thank Megan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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100 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
184 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“If oil is not your thing, this is not for you”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2012

There are not a lot of attractions in Roma, so this is probably the most well known (though possibly the oldest bottle tree in town may be the number one attraction). It provides an activity to fill time and some may find it interesting and educational. I didn't think it was particularly special, but it was adequate.

Visited July 2011
Thank TrekBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane Australia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Very interesting and informative”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2012

Roma, is a jewel in the cattle and cotton growing mid-western Queensland outback, about 500Km's west of Brisbane and the East coast, a lovely large town, and the hub of a vast region.
The "Big Rig" is an tourist information centre and small Musium offering insight into the vast mining of Natural Gas and Coal which appears to be in abundance for many years to come in the area. Thousands of mining workers now live and work all around the region, the information Big Rig present, is basically how the resorses developed, where they are, and how it is farmed, I found this very interesting and well worth the visit, the Saturday morning weekend markets nearby, with a real country feel, of homemade jams, vegies, homewares, art, and talented home made wares, good old country hospitality, and lively characters, a real must see. See the Slab Hut of a family of yesteryear.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank AussieGreg4000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hervey Bay, Australia
Level Contributor
138 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Great attraction for a small rural town.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2012

This attraction is in two parts. The static exhibit takes you through the history of gas and oil in this area since the beginning of time, effectively!. It was probably state of the art when it was first done, but is a bit tired now. However, the kids rushed about and looked at the gear and happily filled in an hour. There are a couple of movies to watch too ( near the way out) but we only fund them by accident. Worth it for a break in airconditioned comfort!
The second part ( and the better of the two) was the outdoor night show. It's just 30 min or so in the evening and takes you through the story again in a multimedia format, complete with gas flares.... It was really good and even our youngest at 7y, enjoyed it.
At $A36 for both parts for a family of 5, we thought it was good value. There is also a good gift shop and info centre.
Roma is not a tourist town as such but this is a good effort. On the same site is a playground, toilets, small gauge railway and duck pond so great stopping off place for families.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank ENZEDFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Interesting, but not really for young people”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2011

A great tourist information ventre, with more maps than you can poke a stick at. The tourist center / gifts area is probably more positioned toward the millions of Grey Nomads who go through town, but it is interesting none the less. The night show at the Big Rig though is pretty interesting and well worth a look.

Visited July 2011
4 Thank Mark_and_Bron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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