We left Warwick this morning after a quick drive around the town to see some of its heritage buildings and a stop at the supermarket.
Just as we left the town, the road passed over the Condomine River. This river is part of the Murray-Darling Basin and drains the northern portion of the Darling Downs, an area of sub-coastal southern Queensland. The river rises on Mount Superbus, South East Queensland’s highest peak, on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range and then flows north west across the Darling Downs, then west to the Darling River.
I was intersted to see this river as I remember the Folk Song ‘On the Banks of the Condamine’. Its first verse goes like this:
O hark the dogs are barking, love
I can no longer stay;
The men are all gone mustering,
And it is nearly day.
And I must be off by morning light
Before the sun does shine,
To meet the Roma shearers on
The banks of the Condamine.
As we drove on, we came across the tiny settlemt of Ma Ma Creek. It’s an isiolated community with just a few houses and a primary school. What is amazing abuut this settlement is that it has a 5G phione connection which is more than I can get at home in metropolitan Melbourne. This photo shows the entire Main Street.
In the little town of Gatton, there is an unusual statue of a weeping mother at the war memorial in the public park. It’s unusual in the way that it recalls the role of women in the time of war. Thi mother’s chin rests on her right hand and she holds a scroll which bears the inscription “Their names liveth for ever more.”
The war memorial bears the names of the 68 local men who fell in the First World War. The names of those who fell in later conflicts are also recorded – 23 in the Second World War and 2 in Vietnam.It seems to me that it quite unusual that 2 of the 503 Australians who died in Vietnam came from such a small community as this. It seems very unproportional!
There is a replica of the Long Tan Cross and a plaque at the memorial with an inscription “In honour of those who served and those who died in Vietnam” I always look at little town memorials but with a somewhat impersonal perspective. For some reason this morning it hit me that when a plaque says “Honouring those who served in Vietnam”, that actually means me!
Further along, on the Locker Plateau, we found farms that were growing a diverse range of crops from lucerne, onions, potatoes, lettuce and other vegetable crops. Farmers were busy baling hay and picking lettuces.
I understand that animal rights activists don’t like these large round bales of hay. Apparently, they don’t give cattle a square meal!
As we left the Lockyer region we found a delightful place for a morning cuppa and next to the picnic spot was a charming ‘Queenslander ‘ all on its own. This style of Queensland house is based around a wide verander to provide shade and and elevated floors that help keep a cool airflow under the building.
We passed through more undulating grazing country until we reached Noosa around mid afternoon.
We arrived there around the time that schools were dismissing pupils for the day and there was traffic everywhere with mothers picking up their children. It’s a long time since I have been here and the area just seemed to be full of traffic and lots of roundabouts. We found Hastings Street which was once a quite beachfront street only to find it as busy as anything with people and cars. We will do some more local exploring tomorrow if we can brave the traffic.
We finally found the RACV Resort where we are staying and found that we have been upgraded to a three room apartment. We don’t quitre know what to do with all the space other than to rotate bedrooms every night. After being away for a week already, we certainly appreciated the washing machine.