Someone asked me the other day what was my dream destination.
Easy Peasy. I have a thing about our country towns.
They are full of character and history and each and every one has a story to tell.
I visited a few on a short road trip last weekend. What these small rural townships generally have in common is a memorial to those fallen during the Boer and both World Wars. You don’t see many of the more recent conflicts on these memorials and I assume that as the world changed so did these small communities, some virtually disappearing as industries changed and the population moved closer to the cities.
Maclagan was surveyed in 1889. Twenty years ago it had a population of nearly 400. Ten years ago it had less than 200. It is interesting to note that so many of the early families lost more than one son during the war/s.
Just up the road is Cooyar, bustling with a population of nearly 250. The heritage listed ANZAC memorial was really stunning, surrounded by gardens, and the Cooyar Hotel, opened in 1903 saw a steady trade from travellers.
The parklands opposite the pub were also interesting in that in the early days this marked the spot of the local Memorial Hall, or community meeting place, which was swept away by floodwaters and killing two locals.
Maidenwell is another little village popular as a stop before the beautiful Bunya Mountains. To be honest it was so unpleasantly hot I just quietly died under a shady tree with a refreshing bevy. But thats what makes a good Queensland pub……
Lastly, Crows Nest, a thriving metropolis of 2000 only 40 kms out of Toowoomba, Queensland’s largest inland city. I have shared my visit here previously after a decadent stay at Bunnyconnellan Guest House on a gorgeous olive grove.
I discovered somewhere new from this township’s past which I found fascinating: Bullocky’s Rest Park which was originally used as a camp for bullock teams hauling timber from Cooyar to Toowoomba due to the availability of a fresh water supply.
“A place to meet on the journey way
A place to rest at the close of day
Sharing a billy and a tale to tell
Midst the night time clanging of the ole bullock bell.”
I’ve visited an Art Gallery, an Antique Store and even bought raffle tickets to send kids from Boys Brigade to Canberra for a week.
Bali? No thanks.
*Apologies to John Denver