Saturday, 30 January 2021

Girraween, Part Five - The Journey Home

 Tuesday 5 October

Our stay outside Girraween National Park had come to an end. The car was packed early, for our 10am  check out. We initially drove 10 mins south, to the Queensland  / New South Wales border at Wallangarra. 


Cheeky Jan, astride the border. 
Permissable here, but there was a border check point nearby which only allowed Queenslanders to return to our state, if they had the required documentation. NSW was deemed a Covid hotspot for several months. The stringent policing of the borders has certainly helped control the spread of this virulent virus.

Unfortunately, many of the residents living in Wallangarra live in QLD, which meant they were unable to frequent the town's only hotel.

Wallangarra Station was built in 1877, as the only connecting line for Brisbane to Sydney passengers.

 Because of our state system, NSW built their line with a 4 ft 8 1/2in gauge and Qld a 3 ft 6in gauge. Passengers had to alight here and change trains. In 1930, a coastal line was built with the 4 ft 8 1/2in gauge, the length of the route. By February 1972 the Wallangarra line was no longer viable and had to be closed.

The old line heading south from Wallangarra.

The station became Heritage Listed in March, 2003, with the local community refurbishing and preserving the station. Sitting at the cafe, on the lovely old platform, one is transported back to yesteryear. The Railway Museum situated in the Station Master's Office, houses many press cuttings, memorabilia and a simulator booth.


The Post Office and many of the homes in Wallangarra, also had that yesteryear look.

The temperature had risen to above 30C, so we were delighted to find this lovely oak tree to sit under, to partake of our late morning tea.

We took the scenic route home, through the black soil plains of the Darling Downs.

We visited the small town of Nobby, a historic town and home to Rudd's Pub, dedicated to the author Steele Rudd. Rudd grew up in the area and found his inspiration here for the stories in his book, On Our Selection. It is a collection of comic tales of life on the land in the late 1800's.

The pub has an extensive display of historic memorabilia and photographs of the area's pioneering past.

Steel Rudd and a print taken from his book.

We didn't have time to enjoy the old Aussie ambiance of the pub, but vowed we would return. 
This return visit was just this past week. Watch this space.

I would love to read your comment.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Girraween Part Four - A Visit to Balancing Heart Winery

Monday 4 October

Our farmhouse was perfectly situated for its close proximity to the walking trails, but on arrival, we discovered it was even closer to the Balancing Heart Vineyard. 

It wasn't particularly cool, but it was lovely to watch the flames dancing, as we tasted a variety of wines. 

We had arrived late [4pm] at the winery, but we were made very welcome. The ambiance was such that we didn't depart until 5.30pm. On our return to the farmhouse, we were greeted by a mob of wallabies grazing outside the back door. They kept us captivated until the light faded.


The joy of wallaby watching was followed by the joy of a candle lit meal on the verandah. The Balancing Heart Campfire Red, was a perfect accompaniment to the delicious fare provided by Marlene.

The following morning we were well and truely on the trail by 7am, to explore the Bald Creek Trail. A flat trail, but full of wow on this crisp, blue sky morning. The prolific wildflowers, sensational refections, a roo or two, glimpses of Pyramid and Castle Rock, a surprised slithery friend and a creek, which had eroded its course through vast, smooth granite, made this our final walk quite exceptional.

Pyramid Rock

The trail entering the creek bed of eroded granite.

This flowering native shrub immediately above me, [ photo above] was glorious against the intense blue sky.

A perfect reflection taken by Jocelyn.

Bald Rock Creek meets Ramsey Creek at The Junction - 1992


We are always on the alert for snakes. On our return leg, I must admit I wasn't as watchful, as the path was so open. I'm not sure if I actually stood on any part of this Red Belly Black Snake, but thankfully he took evasive action rather than attack. His fast, noisy slithering action on the granite, made me aware of his presence. We were able to stand well away from him and watch him repeatedly try to slither up the smooth slope, towards the cover of the bush.

Castle Rock using my 30x zoom.

A short trail, but spectacular in every way. Now sadly, it was time to return to the farmhouse and pack for our departure time of 10am. Girraween Part Five will share the highlights of our journey home.

I would love to read your comments.