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.


  1. It looks as though you had a great day Helen. I would have loved to see all of those beautiful knitted and crochet creations in person, so colourful!!
    Steam trains are great and you'll have to have a trip in a hot air balloon! I was surprised to see the countryside is so flat.
    Have a wonderful week ahead :)

    1. Australia is incredibly flat.
      One of my Australian blogging friends has just done a road trip through western NSW and Qld. Here's a link to her pics of the flat roads.

    2. Just checked it out. Thank you Helen. Have a lovely weekend :)
      PS pigeon background is a large old flowering cherry plum tree in the neighbours garden.

  2. A fun event for sure! I am fascinated by the architecture of Australia in general. Beautiful churches, but the other, simpler buildings are most interesting to me. Thanks for the great pictures.

  3. So colorful! I've never seen so many crocheted items! In the US we'd call that "yarn-bombing!" Glad you had a good trip.

    1. Just seen on the program - "Warwick's Yarnbombing and Jazz Festival"!
      Most of the 'bombing' was knitted.

  4. The festival looks like lots of fun! We went to Colorado a couple of weeks ago and just missed a music festival that was coming up the following weekend. But there was still plenty to see and do.

    1. I love Colorado. It's so annoying when you discover that!

  5. What wonderful scenery and such a great festival. I adore those knitted trees!

  6. Wonderful looking town and a great idea for a festival to ensure the town can continue to thrive, attract visitors and promote culture and arts. So many buildings that fit my minds-eye view of Australian architecture

  7. Thank you for taking me to Warwick! I've never been there. It's very attractive, isn't it? I love the photos of the hot air balloon in the mist. I'm surprised they went up. I don't think they would take the risk here. Those crocheted bus covers are amazing!

    1. Yes. Wide, tree lined streets, rose gardens, impressive stone buildings, latticed hotel verandahs etc, all gave a feeling of a much slower pace of life, compared to my coastal area.