Thursday, 14 April 2016

Showcasing our beautiful rural lifestyle: Living in the Oakey district of Southern Queensland, Australia

Beautiful Southern Queensland

I thought it was about time that I highlighted the beautiful part of Australia where I live! I hope with this post I can show off to my overseas and Australian friends the incredible beauty of an Australian farm and the local area surrounding it.

It has been a privilege to travel overseas in the last few years, but coming home is also a realisation that no matter where I travel, there are equally beautiful spots to explore in my home country.


The old windmill on our farm.
Late afternoon on my farm.


Australia is made up of states and territories and to travel throughout there are sometimes vast distances to cover. But in my area in southern Queensland, there are many highlights both nearby and within a 2 to 3 hour drive to explore.

Places like Brisbane, our beautiful sunny capital city on the Brisbane River, the Gold Coast and North Coast beaches and the Australia Zoo are within an easy morning drive on scenic country roads.

Tropical poinciana trees line the streets of Brisbane city.



Looking across to Brisbane city centre from the Art Gallery and Museum, Library area.


Contrast of historically old and new in the centre of  Brisbane, the capital city.


 
Sunshine Coast beaches
Toowoomba Region

My district is the Toowoomba Region and Oakey district. Toowoomba is a big bustling city with a country vibe! It has newly built shopping centres, plenty of cafes and coffee shops to welcome you, antique shops and a heritage railway station equal to any. It is most  famous for its beautiful gardens, its tree lined streets and welcoming parks.

It is a beautifully cool weather escape for tourists seeking relief from the hotter coastal and outback areas of Australia. The highlight of the year is the Australian award winning event, the Carnival of Flowers, which occurs in September when thousands of tourists flock to the city!


Beautiful Carnival of Flowers gardens on display.


Toowoomba also has some hidden treasures - firstly, the immensely popular Cobb and Co Museum. This attracts tourists from all over the world to experience a quality museum that displays carriage building including live wheelwright demonstrations, and is the largest collection of coaches and carriages in Australia.

 Another unique destination is the Royal Bull's Head Inn, run now by the National Trust. It is an original shingle roofed, timber slab construction coaching inn of the 1800's. The Inn had an added extension for the owner, William Horton, an ex convict, who used this as his private residence. This building is still standing and has been restored downstairs to its former glory with private rooms and dining areas. It has an upstairs reached by a narrow staircase, a truly amazing place to visit! This coaching inn was visited by all the important people of the colony and even royalty! A band of volunteers maintain it and open it to the public on Open Days once a month.


Royal Bull's Head Inn, an original coaching inn from the early settlement days at Drayton, Toowoomba.

Oakey

My nearest township is Oakey- a country town with a lot to offer visitors! It hosts a lot of regional functions and supports a well established community with good country hospitality, shopping, beautiful parks and picnic areas and a caravan park. You often see tourists at the local Bernborough statue which depicts a famous racehorse from this area.

The Anzac Memorial in Oakey.
There is a large Cultural Centre and library with tourist information in the centre of town. The town is also the site of a large Australian Army Aviation Base which includes a helicopter training facility and just beyond that there is a well established Army Aviation Museum which I can highly recommend.

Each year, there is an open day with highlights: this year, there was a Fly-In that included the mighty impressive wartime WW2 Catalina, the Black Betty! But, you will enjoy a visit there any time, as there is a wealth of aviation history on view.



One of many displays on view at Oakey Museum.

Close by, the Jondaryan Woolshed hosts an annual 3-Day festival in August to showcase its heritage attractions which include vintage farming equipment, blacksmithing demonstration, sheep shearing  and country crafts such as whip making and spinning to name a few. It has the best Australian dampers made in a camp oven on offer too!

Shearing the sheep demonstration.


The entrance to the Woolshed complex is via the old Bank of New South wales, moved here from downtown Oakey.


Entrance to the original shearing shed on Jondaryan Station.

Bunya Mountains

A bit further away are the Bunya Mountains, a subtropical rainforest where the indigenous population used to gather for a meeting of all the Aboriginal clans of Southern Queensland once a year. The Bunya nut is used in all sorts of delicious recipes at the restaurant there and you can enjoy long or short walks through the beautiful forest areas.

Beautiful Bunya Mountain walking track

In winter, visitors can enjoy the cooler climate which is offset by log fires within the beautiful chalet style accommodation that are available for hire all year round!



Would you to like to come and visit my home area? You will be made very welcome if you do with true blue Aussie hospitality!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for showing me around your backyard Sue. I loved every little bit of it. I haven't been to Oakey, only Toowoomba many years ago. I must put this area on my must see list. Afterall, I am still a country girl at heart since I lived on a dairy farm in Victoria when I was a little girl!

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    1. That's wonderful Kathy, so pleased you enjoyed the short tour! I'm glad it brought back memories of a country upbringing and hope you can come to visit very soon!

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