Welcome to the Miles Soundtrail. Population 1700, give or take a few, Miles is a small town on the banks of the Dogwood Creek on the western railway line. Midway between Brisbane and Charleville, this town has seen a lot of traffic pass: from the Barungum who walked east to the Bunya festival, to Ludwig Leichhardt in the 1840s, to the mining trucks, farmers and feedlotters of today. Woven together through professional sound design and capturing some unique moments from the town’s die-hard locals, this Soundtrail is an intimate portrait of this town and what it means to belong. Making this even more remarkable is the story of Merlene Coates Freeman.  Having survived a drowning incident on the Dogwood Creek that took the life of her mother and three other, Merlene was raised by her German born, grand aunt Lily.

Join us today on a journey around the town that takes one hour and thirty minutes, and hear what makes this town tick, what happened on the Dogwood Creek that day, and why Merlene Coates Freeman carries with her today a debt of gratitude to the people and the town. 

The Miles Soundtrail takes a loop around Chinaman's lagoon and finishes back on the highway. It is best done out of the midday sun. Let’s go. 

Have you done this Soundtrail? We'd love your feedback.
Feedback Form

Credits and Contributors

Production by Hamish Sewell

Narration by Brendan O'Shea

Voices heard: Merlene Coates-Freeman, Jan Mullins, Steven and Daphne Moore, Joyce and Doris Davidson, Lee Gundry, Dave Hinds, Robyn Derksen, Rod Fensham, Claire Hoffmann and Ted Gibbons

Photos provided by Hamish Sewell, Merlene Coates Freeman and the Miles Historical Village Museum

Special thanks to the Miles Historic Village and Greg Hallam from the Queensland Rail archives


Kerr,J, Triumph of the Narrow Gauge, 1990

Hallam, G, The Western Mail, 2016

Thomas, Darragh, Roderick and Fensham, eds, Leichhardt. Ludwig. Leichhardt Diaries, Early travels in Australia during 1842-1844. 2013