Monday, 10 October 2016

I found 'SPRING'!

4 October

This Saturday sees my husband and I flying to Spain for a Mediterranean cruise, hiking in the Las Alpujarra Mountains near Granada and visits to Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Seville. I was determined however, to get one more camping trip in before our departure. My destination was Murphy's Creek, a bush setting camping ground, highly recommended to me several years ago.

When we arrived last Monday at midday, there were still a couple of stragglers packing up after their long weekend visit for the Queen's birthday. We were informed that over 300 people had booked in. Such a joy to discover we were to be the only occupants for our 3 day visit!

We found Murphy's Creek quite dry, as they have had poor rainfall all year. Stark contrast to 10th January, 2011, when torrential rain in a very short time span, after weeks of rain, saw a wall of water roar down the creek wrecking havoc on property and lives. Standing on it's upper bank, it was impossible to comprehend its volume and ferocity.

We were thankful that the predicted rain was only drizzle, as we set up camp. There was time for a stroll along the creek bed and a glass of wine on the bank, before we had to retreat to the van to listen to the sound of the heavy raindrops on its rooftop.

The following morning it was quite chilly, but the sun was shining brightly. The camp owners suggested that a visit to Spring Bluff Railway Station would be well worth our while. Since we were headed in that direction to find a hiking trail from Picnic Point in Toowoomba, it seemed like a good idea.

It was more than a good idea. It was a sensational one as I found 'SPRING', as it is rarely seen in Queensland. Not only was there masses of colour, but the temperature 'felt' like spring.

We had listened to coal trains regularly passing the camp ground, from early morning, but alas not one passed through while we were visiting the station. It was a trip down memory lane though, when I spotted the signal levers.

The view across the valley.

A photographic record of the 2011 flood devastation here.

There were several open areas with BBQ's and picnic tables. On an upper level was an open sided dance hall. We just couldn't help ourselves but do the Pride of Erin. My maiden name was one of hundreds etched on the rafters.

It was just a short drive to the top of the range to Toowoomba, the Garden City of Australia, which hosted their 67th year of the Carnival of flowers, from the 16 to 25 of September. A hike was planned, but after the sensational beauty of Spring Bluff Station our interest waned. We set off to find more colour.
I have enjoyed Toowoomba at this time of year previously, but had forgotten just how amazing the gardens can be.

Picnic Point, Laurel Bank Park and Queens park did not disappoint.

Picnic Point

Laurel Bank Park

Queen's Park

We reluctantly returned to camp and were delighted to discover it was  bird feeding time. Can you spot the 3 different varieties of lorikeets? The red and green is a king parrot.

Our late afternoon stroll to the creek rewarded us with magnificent reflections.

As the evening drew in the temperature dropped, so a fire was begging to be lit. It has been many years since I've had the bliss of a campfire, so it was enjoyed to the max, except someone forgot the marshmallows!

It was a little difficult to squeeze this adventure in before the big OS trip, but I am sooooo glad I made the effort. Nature is truely spectacular in so many ways and I plan to enjoy it through many more trips away in the van.

Re the station:- it was decommissioned in 1995, but it has been Heritage listed and a trust and both the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley Councils, see to it's upkeep. One gardner is employed full time.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Oh my gosh Helen, what a spectacular adventure you experienced. The flowers are amazing, what a spring you found. Thank you for taking me there with you, if only in my dreams, while we face another day of cold, snow and ice.

  2. Oh those flower gardens are gorgeous! It looks like you and your friends had a marvelous time. Have a great trip to Spain and I look forward to your photos and blog posts!

  3. I loved this train station--- I do have trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that it is SPRING! Even the switch levers are lovely in their colors. Well done. Oh.... RE: Mt. Adams picture. The Memory was last Sunday morning. The shot was 12 months ago, although Adams is not without snow these days, especially with the rain we've had down below. Have a wonderful trip, Helen.

  4. What a beautiful time away. Such wonderful photos that you have shared with us. Enjoy your time overseas. No doubt we will all look forward to reading and seeing your adventure.

  5. Wow! What a gorgeous place! It is so interesting to realize that you are entering spring while we are arriving at fall.

    Enjoy your time away! I'll look forward to going along on the journey as I read your upcoming blog posts.

  6. My goodness, all those beautiful flowers! You still find lots of flowers in Spain because we still have lots in France. I see you have tried out the new photo collage site. Looks good. I shall have to try. Have a lovely time in Spain. Friends who went to Barcelona in November still had great weather.

  7. Wow, I see where the post title came from now - what stunning colours especially under a glorious sunny blue sky. Camping with a camp fire is always a treat.
    Enjoy your trip to Europe and look forward to the posts when you get back

  8. Beautiful views, gorgeous flowers, spectacular parrots!
    Enjoy your time in Europe! ♥

  9. The trip you've got in store sounds absolutely fantastic and I'm looking forward to hearing from it but what a great idea it was to fit in this spring experience before leaving! The description and pictures of both the camping site (gorgeous creek setting) and the spring festival are wonderful (I wish your blog had existed when I was living down under, I would have managed to spend more holiday time in your area!)
    Wishing you a great trip!