Wednesday 13th March 2019
After checking out of our motel, our first stop of the day was at the heritage-listed Toowoomba Railway Station.
Luckily we weren’t there to catch a train, as they only run twice a week. The Westlander, a seventeen-hour journey from Brisbane to Charleville (an outback Queensland town), calls at Toowoomba on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So either we’d ‘just missed one’, or were very early for the next one.
Nevertheless, there is much of interest in the architecture and history of these grand stations, and today, it was the old refreshment room that captured our attention. This sign best illustrates the running and atmosphere of this vital service in its heyday. Don’t you love that the wife was expected to cook for free? I bet her occupation was listed as “home duties“on the electoral roll.
As part of their busy duties, the glamorous refreshment room “girls” had to ensure patrons did not run off with the gorgeous crockery . . .
Our next port of call was to the Queensland State Rose Garden situated in Newton Park. You can read much more about it by following the link. Although March is the end of summer and the best time for roses had passed, it was still a lovely park to stroll around. I love the contrast with the palm trees 🙂 Bill’s choice of his Alaskan souvenir t-shirt on an extremely hot day was also an amusing contrast.
Leaving Toowoomba, we headed for Tenterfield about 200 klm or 120 miles south, and just across the border into New South Wales. The drive should have taken around 2.5 hours, but as usual, we stopped to sight-see along the way.
Outside the Queensland town of Warwick, we came across a sign to Glengallen Homestead. Once the epitome of what a prosperous pastoralist would have called his castle –
It had fallen into such disrepair, that a descendant despaired for it . . .
Until someone/s had the fortitude to restore it to glory, at least externally . . .
Internally, some areas have been completely restored and others left to show the extent of dereliction, or is still a work in progress. There are more photos and information in the above link, and here a just a few of my photos as examples . . .
When Australians say the countryside is dry, they mean dry, as illustrated by the two photos below. 13th March 2019 was about six months before the huge bushfires which broke out all down the eastern side of Australia, including Toowoomba. Warwick had already battled a big blaze the month before our visit. That close-up is meant to be grass. It crunched under our feet like frost on a January morning in a cold northern climate.
Our next intended stop was the gracious agricultural town of Warwick, but in the end, all we did was study the fine buildings as we cruised down the main street. That was because, while having a coffee break in the cafe at Glengallen Homestead, I’d picked up a brochure for what I thought was a police-dog training centre; and if we hurried up, we’d make their next public show – at 2pm.
Lawdogs Australia, in Stanthorpe, advertises itself as “A dog show with bite“. Not police dogs, the dogs they train are used in various security and sniffer dog roles, and are usually raised and trained from puppies. It was definitely one of those “kids, don’t try this at home,” kind of shows. About half a dozen dogs of various sizes and breeds showed off their unique skills or where they were up to in training.
“Visitors can get up close and personal while seated behind a safety fence and be captivated as they see the dogs barking on command, developing their bite skills, training for future arrest scenarios, controlling suspects, finding hidden scent and working around agility equipment.”
Conan did an abrupt about-turn when he detected the scent of drugs.
Being a sniffer dog, rather than a security one, Conan was quite approachable. Here, he weighs up the wisdom of shaking Bill’s hand.
As well as this show, we had the opportunity to see how their new venture was coming along – teaching dogs how to sniff out truffles. I believe a year down the track that has developed well. Then to round off our visit, we spent time in their gift shop, and came home with some interesting sauces and jams made with local produce – all since eaten up.
Much as I had looked forward to exploring Warwick, there was little appeal in back-tracking 50 klm (30 miles), so we pushed on to Tenterfield, made famous by the Peter Allen song, Tenterfield Saddler. His wife, Liza Minnelli also sang a version.
For now though, our variety-filled, and still too *** hot day ended with finding a motel, meal, and a good night’s sleep.