Monday, 31 August 2020

Together but Apart

My youngest son moved to Graz, Austria, in November last year to commense a new job. Opportunities to meet people were curtailed in March with the onset of Covid 19 restrictions. In May some shops opened, but outdoor activities came much later. He has been working from home, with just an hour zoom meeting each day, with 4 of his colleagues. It has been quite lonely for him, so he has revelled in the opportunity to hike in the Alps during the past two weeks of his granted holiday. We we were to visit him at the end of the month, so I have been green with eny, but thrilled for him.

It has been a coincidence that my photography has mirrored his, but in stark contrast.

He was up early on Friday 21st to watch the sunrise. At approx the same time I was spellbound by our sunset colours.

The day before he sent me photos of where he was hiking in the Alps. My hike with my friends on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail was just concluding.

Another day he mountained biked past fields of cattle. [note the background craggy peaks]

Goats were often on his trail. We had cyclists and views of kangaroos.

On Thursday my friends and I hiked the Somerset Trail at Mt Mee. At the midway point, there are lovely vistas to the ranges in the west. Matthew on the same day was hiking the craggy peaks seen in the background of the 'cows grazing pic', above.

On Saturday he got drenched and we had 2 mm of rain. Our end of winter temperature was 
13 C - 21 C.

I definitely live in the 'The wide brown land. The land of sweeping plains.' - Dorothea McKellars, My Country.

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Sunday, 23 August 2020

Outback Visit, Part Four - The Outback Art Trail

21 -29 July


Tiddalik the Frog, by the Macintyre River.

'Welcome to Warick Horse Statue'

 John Simpson, artist and passionate resident of Warick, created and fund raised for its installation at the enrance to Warick. He wanted tourists to stop and enjoy the town and not just drive straight through. Unveiled February this year, John sadly had passed away from cancer several months  earlier.

Leslie Dam, Warick

The boulder on the left had been in our eye-view during lunch. We were quite surprised then, to discover the sculptures of Patrick Leslie and his wife Kate on the opposite side, when we went to take a closer look at the dam. They were pioneers dating back to 1840, when they took up a large selction of land along the Condamine River and its tributaries. This was the  Shire Council's acknowledgement of their contribution to the early development of the Warick area.


Painted silos - "When the Rain Comes" - painted by the Brisbane based art collective, The Brightsiders.
24m high and just short of the length of a football field, 1000 litres of paint was used.


"The Tree of Knowledge" - until an 8 mile levee was constructed in 1958, this town suffered some devastating floods. When rain was reported up river, residents would gather under this tree to read the river height and get the update on the estimated heights and times the flood would arrive and peak.
Below - this mural depicts the meaning of Goondiwindi -  'the resting place of birds'. The Brolga is a symbol of ceremony [dance] and the Emu, a totem of the Bigambul people, a symbol of identity, place and connection.
Up until 1942 when the Hilton Weir was built, the river was mostly a series of waterholes and the favourite resting place for hundreds of birds.

The Murray Cod is one of 14 sspecies of native fish found in the Macintyre River, laying their eggs around fallen logs and snags.


A very neat and pretty town with its treelined streets and local creativity in a tiny park. Normally in August they are celebrating their Picnic Races.


In 1911, Thallon took its name from the Commissioner of Railways, Mr JF Thallon. The town is surrounded by prime grain growing country. The silo's mural showcases icons of the district of Moonie River and its amazing sunsets. Titled "The Watering Hole", it was developed by Artists Joel Fergie and Travis Vinson in consultation with the community. The scarred tree recognises Thallon's Indigenous Community.


'Welcome to Nindigully' and  creative works at the Nindigully Pub.

St George

Situated on the Balonne River, it is the service centre for the surrounding wheat, sheep, beef and cotton farmers. Its murals and art works reflecting this heritage.

Murray Cod      

Incredible flood heights of the Baloone River.
In Feb 2012, the river peaked at 13.95 metres. Close to 2000 people were evacuated to the Dalby Showgrounds, a 3 hour journey away.


Images from the town's lovely Railway Park. RHS - 'The Dirranbandi Dandy', made famous from Slim Dusty's song, Cunnamulla Fella.


A tiny town sitting on the banks of the extremely beautiful, river gum lined banks, of Wallam Creek. 


With its average high of 36C in summer, and winter bringing averages of 20C high and low of 7 C, I was quite amused by this shop mural.

Downtown Cunnamulla - Kangaroo sculptures and the Cunnamulla Fella in front of the Council Offices.

The Cunnamulla Fella - an iconic Australian Bush character. Double life size bronze, erected as a tribute to Stan Coster [writer]and Slim Dusty [singer] and the 'ringers' of the bush.

"Now I'm a scrubber, runner and a breaker too
I live on damper and wallaby stew
I've got a big cattle dog with a staghound cross
I never saw the scrubber we couldn't toss
'Cause I'm the Feller from Cunnamulla
Yes I'm the Cunnamulla Feller"  - verse 1.

The Cunnamulla and Charleville Water Towers were both painted by renowned artist Guido van Helten in April-May 2019. Separated by 200 km they are rivals in the game of Rugby League. The mural represents the significance of their meeting three times a year to try and best each other. 


In times past.



They love their 'cod' in the west.

Augathella - 'Meat Ant Town'

The mural on this water tower represents the town of Augathella, with its unique history of bullock teams and notorious bushrangers camped along the Warrego River. Painted by Blender Studios in February 2020 depicting a bullock team, boundary rider, windmill and old man emu.

'The Meat Ant', mascot of the town, chosen to attract tourists and to support the local footy team of the same name.

Murals at the local school.

Downtown - Augethella had its humble beginings as a campsite for bullock teams. This wonderful mural records that colourful history.


7 km south of Mitchell - Kenniff Statues. Police captured the bushranging Kenniff brothers here, 1985.
Top - Jimmy captured later.
Below - Patrick is captured on the ground by 2 police officers and an aboriginal tracker watches behind.


Supposedly the poorest town in Australia, according to the Taxation Office. The average salary is just a little over $3000. The population of 150 say they do not feel poor, and what they lack in money , they make up for in community spirit. 



Melon capital of Australia.


Another country town taking great pride in itself.

Jandowae Hotel Motel 
Their mural is very impressive and we believe only painted during Covid 19.  Sadly, I've not been able to find any information about it,  but there is a white poster painted near the men sawing the log which says " Coronaviras, Viras, midday Shutdown,  32 -3-20.

Electrical pole paintings

This 2 metre high Dingo, made of galvanised steel segments, was created by Scottish sculptor Andy Scott.
The Dingo Fence built, from nearby Jimbour  to Fowler's Bay in South Australia, [5300km] was constructed to stop dingoes and wild dogs attacking sheep and cattle.


The Railway Heritage Parkland, is built on the original railway terminus.


Nature's Beauty and Sculptures

Isla Gorge

It was a 2 hour detour in and out to visit Isla Gorge, but from the moment we turned off the bitumen to dirt road and the views began to open up, we knew it was worth it.

Coomba Falls, Maidenwell

These falls had been on my 'Must Visit List' for several years, but the distance to them prevented me from action. Just brilliant that we could visit them on our final day of travel. They were exceptionally beautiful, with a very deep swimming hole, surrounded by striking granite cliffs. The newly installed walkway down, was quite impressive, as were the stately Grass Trees as far as the eye could see.

Crows Nest National Park

An hour's drive further on took us to this national Park, yet another destination on my list. The park protects spectacular creek scenery, granite outcrops, and eucalyptus forest. 



Our afternoon here, at the end of our outback adventure, had us driving the final 150 km on a high. From go to whoa, this journey had us amazed, fascinated, absorbed and delighted. We can't wait to explore another area of our unique state.

I would love to read your comment.