Saddleworth – Clare – Yacka – Gladstone – Laura – Murray Town – Melrose – Willmington – Quorn                                                                             

This morning I left Evelyn and Mostyn, my saviours – I’m very sad to say goodbye – amazing couple that they are.  I’ll miss Rupert as he’s stolen my heart too. I’m headed towards Quorn, through Clare and then to Yacka, through the Clare Valley vineyards, and the Clare Racecourse which looks in great condition.  The hall in Yacka is an unusual one and I wish I knew how old it is.  As I pass through Georgetown, I noticed the Pioneer Park with its old farming equipment so I stop to wonder how hard life was back then – no modern GPS tractors!! The rolling hills around here have sheep feeding on the grain stubble and they are in good condition. Some of the paddocks have already been burnt off in preparation for the next crop – just waiting for the rain to come.

After Georgetown is Gladstone (both familiar Queensland names!!) and I head to the Town Centre to find the Goal – if I’d stayed on the highway I’d have had better luck!!  I at least got to check out the streetscape which is very tidy and welcoming. Gladstone has Australia’s largest inland grain storage facility.  As it was founded in 1856 it has the usual gorgeous stone buildings and historic hotels.

The entrance sign and Information huts at Laura are quite a unique welcome – C J Dennis spent his boyhood here and the famous Golden North Ice cream factory is situated in the town.  Pity it’s Saturday and it’s closed. There is a copper sculpture in his honour in Laura as well. The welcome sign for Wirrabara is well done – a mosaic of sheep and trees, as the Wirrabara Forest is nearby and this is prime agricultural country. I made Murray Town in time for lunch at the Park. This town was originally part of Wirrabara Station owned by the Murray family and was surveyed as a town in 1885. The community hosts travellers in the reserve at a minimal cost.

I head to Melrose – the oldest town in the Flinders – established in 1853, to hike up to the monument on Mt Remarkable – via a swing bridge and a very steep hike up the hill. The monument is in memory of the fallen in the Great War and each of their stories is written on the plaque – a real tribute from their community. The view from the hill is spectacular – the town just below and the vast countryside beyond – magnificent!! There are a couple of quirky shop names in the town, and an old brewery. Willmington is on the way to Quorn so I tour around the town, found the toy factory, with a great collection of Landrovers and then head to Quorn through very different country now that I’ve crossed Goyder’s Line – red soil and sparse vegetation -and catch up with the family again. I take a quick detour to photograph the building with the names of the movies which have been made in Quorn area.  A BBQ at the park with friends and family tops off a pretty full day.

Paula, Evelyn and Mostyn

Paula, Evelyn and Mostyn

Rupert
Rupert

Yacka Country

Yacka Country

Yacka Hall

Yacka Hall

Georgetown Country

Georgetown Country

Georgetown Pioneer Park

Georgetown Pioneer Park

Gladstone Sign

Gladstone Sign

Gladstone Streetscape

Gladstone Streetscape

Gladstone Building

Gladstone Building

Laura Welcome

Laura Welcome

Laura Information Hut

Laura Information Hut

Wirrabara Sign

Wirrabara Sign

Murray Town Streeetscape

Murray Town Streeetscape

Murray Town Park

Murray Town Park

Melrose est 1853

Melrose est 1853

Mt Remarkable

Mt Remarkable

Melrose Sculpture

Melrose Sculpture

Livin' at Melrose

Livin’ at Melrose

Melrose Monument

Melrose Monument

Monument Memorials

Monument Memorials

Melrose Countryside

Melrose Countryside

Melrose Bike Shop

Melrose Bike Shop

Willochra Creek Swing Bridge

Willochra Creek Swing Bridge

Willmington Toy Factory

Willmington Toy Factory

Willmington to Quorn

Willmington to Quorn

Quorn Movies

Quorn Movies

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