Wednesday, 4 October 2017

A Weekend at The Big House.

Friday 29  September - Monday 2 October

In March of last year, Laurel and I and husbands, were returning from Fraser Island via a scenic  tourist route. We spotted signs for the Noosa Trail Network and noted it as a lovely area to hike in.  As the network is at least a 2 1/2 hour journey from where we live, the trails had stayed on the bucket list of must dos.

Towards the end of last year, I accidentally learnt of the existence of an annual 'Great Noosa Walk' of 3 days, covering approx 60 kms of these trails. I also learnt that numbers were limited, so I had organised possible accommodation and numbers, so that on the day the hike was opened to booking, we were one of the first to be accepted. Within 2 weeks all places were filled.

As the last weekend in September approached, [the weekend of the hike]  our excitement was mounting. Unfortunately the drought and fire conditions were also increasing and 2 weeks ago we received an e-mail to say that the organisers were desperately sorry, but given the dry conditions and forecast for high winds and temperatures for the weekend, plus advice from the fire department, they were cancelling the hike. We fully understood, but were terribly disappointed.

Our accommodation booking was seperate to the event and our money was non refundable and non transferable. Midday Friday saw us heading north very very slowly, in the long weekend traffic jam, for a girls weekend at The Big House, with or without hiking.

The Big House delivered!

The views were distant.

The vast open living space of The Big House, made the most of these views. Its furnishings allowed us to relax in total comfort.

LHS of the verandah - nibbles and wine on arrival.

Breakfast at the large wooden 8 chair dining table.

View in from the verandah.

A change of sides for Saturday afternoon's glass of wine.

Sunset colours soon after our arrival.

As predicted, Saturday's temperatures rapidly rose to 36 C. We were quite happy to spend the morning relaxing in the cool interior of The Big House.

Late morning, we took the 10 minute drive to the small rural town of Pomona. Here we found one of the trail markers for the Great Noosa Walk and pretended to be sad that we weren't hiking the trail in the excessive heat.

It was an interesting town with some lovely old buildings. Its old, relocated railway station was a cool haven of gardens and memorabilia.

In July each year, Pomona hosts the King of the Mountain race to the top and back of Mt Cooroora, 446m [back RHS]. 
The finish line!

Saturday was also the grand final of the Australian Rules Football Code [AFL] in Melbourne.  One of our group, Mary,  is an enthusiastic supporter of the game, so when we chanced on a TV screen in the local pub in Kin Kin, we just had to join with the locals in cheering on the teams.  
[Mary's team hadn't made it to the final.]

The weather forecast Saturday evening, announced an unexpected temperature drop to 26 C. Mary, Rachel and Lindsaye then became enthused to conquer Mt Cooroora before breakfast Sunday morning. A difficult, but rewarding ascent by them!

They then joined the rest of our group on a 14 km [return] hike of the trail near our accommodation.
So very brown, but its open vistas had us agreeing we want to return to this event next year.

The Big House [circled] with Mt Cooroora in the background.

Lovely rolling hills to the NW.

Distant views south to Mt Cooroy.

Distant Pacific Ocean and Lake Cootharaba.

Given the fire rating, we weren't keen to continue on through this bush. A short rest and snack ensued before retracing our steps.

Some highlights of the hike.

The delightful gardens of the property 'Our Lady's Hermitage'.

New borns in a farmyard that the trail passed through.

Several times a year the community of nearby Cooran, host an Acoustic Night. Its September date was made to coincide with the Great Noosa Walk, so we felt we should go along and show support. 

As we drove home a light rain fell on the windscreen. The following morning our view was of misty rain falling across the valley, with the forecast now suggesting heavy falls by the end of the day. The drizzle kept us company all the way back to Brisbane. 

By sunset I was being being thrilled by the constant drumming of heavy rain on our roof. Such a joyful sound after months of no rain. What made me even happier, was the fact that this unexpected event was widespread, with many of the drought areas of our state also receiving heavy falls. 

Our much anticipated weekend of hiking didn't eventuate, but the comfort of the Big House, the company of wonderful friends and the relief of seeing heavy rainfall, made it simply the best! 

[Follow up rain is definitely needed so I  hope tonight's forecast brings more smiles for those farmers who have been doing it so tough.]

I would love to read your comment.


  1. You and your friends made the best of it when your plans changed. The big house looks wonderful and how fun to have a girls weekend!

  2. Oh you rowdy cut-ups! One of the things that often makes some of the scenery seem so familiar is that the part of California where I was hatched and grew up was full of Eucalyptus trees. This was a fun post, and I'm glad you all appeared to have had a great time.

    1. I'm always surprised to see our 'gum trees' in different parts of the world, yet take for granted all the deciduous trees that have been imported here, since our early settlement.

  3. Oh how I know about things closed due to fire. Disappointing, but I love the look of the Big House.

  4. No better replacement for a disappointing turn of events than to spend time with the company of good friends. I like that big spacious house and that verandah. Great to see the area has had some rain now as well. Must be a relief for everyone

    1. Lots of fun and laughter, with room to do your own thing. Just amazing.

  5. Great photos. It does look very dry though. So sad your longer hike was cancelled but you all look as though you still had a brilliant time and there is always next year!
    Have a fantastic weekend Helen :)

    1. The rolling hills would normally be the green of English countryside.

  6. The accommodations look wonderful. However, you'd have to provide a hoist to get me out of the beanbag chairs, I think!

    The landscape did look very dry. Our drought monitor should have improved in the past week. We got an additional 1/2 inch of rain. It's too wet to plant wheat right now, but it's wonderful for the subsoil moisture. I told Randy that we can't complain about the rain, even if it is delaying a vital job!

    1. I'd save one of the big comfy ones for you, if you could make it!!!!
      So glad the rain has found its way to you as well.

  7. The house looks so comfy and the scenery is amazing!

    1. The house was perfect and yes there was beauty even in the brown conditions.

  8. A great getaway even if you couldn't do the hike you'd hoped to. I'm glad you got rain! I just loved the "sad" photo though I like all the smiling ones, too.

    1. Hello Barb. Thank you so much for stopping by, especially as it has made me realise I can again enjoy the seasons and beauty of Beckenbridge. Your autumn colours bring a huge smile to my face.