Sunday, 30 July 2017

Day trip to Warwick, Queensland.

Saturday 30 July, 2017

Warwick [477m] is situated on the eastern fringe of the Darling Downs. It is just over a 2 hour, country drive from my home, passing through the small country towns of Beaudesert and Boonah, before joining Cunninghams Highway near Aratula. The highway is so named, as English explorer Alan Cunningham discovered the pass over the Great Dividing Range [787m], in July 1828.

For my overseas blog followers, the Great Dividing Range is Australia's equivalent of the American Rockies, stretching from Cape York in the north, to the Snowy Mountains in the south. It is however, just a tad lower! Its elevation does mean however, that the Darling Downs in this area, does get to experience seasonal changes,  European trees have autumn colours, frequent frosts , temperatures in the negative and very infrequently sleet and perhaps a dusting of snow.

On this winter's, blue sky morning as I drove off, mist was swirling across our golf ponds.

Once out of town, and driving along the Albert River valley, I drove in and out of foggy patches. We don't get a lot of fog, so I really had to make myself concentrate on the road, and not look for photo opportunities.

When I spotted a hot air balloon, I was relieved to see that I could safely pull over.

Further on, another opportunity presented itself.

The approach to Cunninghams Gap gives a clear view of the range stretching north / south as the road  heads west. Today it was particularly beautiful in the early morning light, but I just couldn't find anywhere to pull over. Once though the gap, the flat plains of the Downs stretch a far as the eye can see. From here to the centre of Australia and across to the Indian Ocean, there are very few peaks.

These photos were taken 20 mins out of Warwick, on my return journey, about 3pm. The top of the range can be seen in the distance.

My visit today was to experience the Warwick, 'Jumper and Jazz in July', Festival, now in its 14th year. I had only learnt of it last year, when a friend visited the event and shared photos.

Their story:- "The festival was initially created as a positive community response to a major CBD streetscaping project of Warwick by the local council.

It was created to:-
Create community ownership through a fun and entertaining way of using the new look streetscape,
Boost economy - grow tourism visitation and retail activity in a shoulder season by creating a bright and colourful atmosphere during a ‘dull’ time of year, and

Increase participation in the arts – to generate creativity, increase community participation in arts and share textile art with more people."

Total success in my opinion. The town was oozing with atmosphere. Jazz hummed on the street and the creativity of the 'jumpers' on well over a 100 trees lining the main street, was just amazing. My joy viewing it was increased with the excitement of young children commenting on the wonders before them.
I will only share a few here and make another post, when I have time to make some collages. So many pics taken.

This year's theme was 'Meander'.

Title :- Into the blue.....
           and out of the blue.....
                   a jumper,
                    the blues
                   & birdsong - created by Diggers Garden Group.

Winner - in excellence in knitting and / or crochet.

Title:- 'Just Jumpers' -  Inglewood, Aged Care Group

This sensational exhibit was outside the Art Gallery.

'Meandering the Condamine' -  Warwick's local river.

'Autumn Texture'

I have driven passed Warwick on many occasions, but it became obvious to me today, that time should have been taken to explore this wonderful country town, especially its many sandstone buildings, dating back to the mid to late 1800's.
I'll let you be the judge of that.

St Mary's Catholic Presbytery.

St Mary's Catholic Church.

St Mark's Anglican Church - 1868

St Mark's unusual Bell Tower.

Uniting Church.

I was amused by this magpie, that very casually hopped across the street and didn't use the crossing just a few metres away!

Thomas Joseph Byrnes - member for Warwick 1896 - 1898  [the first Queensland born Premier, gained, from his Warwick seat. He died only 5 months into his term from pneumonia and a heart related illness.] Good to see him wrapped up so well on this chilly morning.

Court House.

Post Office.

The very, grand Masonic Lodge. I wonder how many still attend.

Heritage listed Warwick Central State School, opened in 1875.

The very beautiful, Queensland style homes just begged to be photographed as well.

A magnificent magnolia.

The pubs / hotels, weren't too shabby either.

I was delighted that Warwick is so flat, otherwise I would have missed visiting the railway station. Engine 971 was about to depart on a 2 hour festival ride, to near by Hendon. Heading out of town, I saw her steam rising above the distant buildings. A detour was quickly made.

The journey began.

Across the road was this lovely old Butchery and nearby the cattle sale yards.

Just a brilliant day all round. Definitely coming back next year and hopefully I will stay the night, to enjoy more of the festivities.

I would love to read your comment.