Introducing Queensland and its Heritage Houses
Known as the second largest state of Australia, Queensland’s history dates way back in 50,000 BC when various groups of indigenous Austalians and Torres Strait Islanders migrated to the region from Torres Strait via boats and land bridges. They lived in cohabitation with each other and expanded into various groups until the year 1606 when Willem Janszoon, a dutch navigator, landed and explored the western shore of Weipa in Cape York. While Janszoon became the first ever European to step within Australian territory, it was Lieutenant James Cook who conquered and claimed the land under the colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Many years of domination and the desire for independence had passed; until finally on June 6, 1859, Queen Victoria signed the Letters Patent indicating the separation of Queensland to New South Wales. Brisbane, then, became the region’s capital; while George Bowen became the first ever governor. Queensland was also named after Queen Victoria.
Being a traveller, it is always a must to not only explore the sceneries and attractions of a country, but also take time to learn of its rich antiquity. Thus, before heading out to the beach let us visit a few of Queensland’s heritage houses. First is the single-floored brick house of Ormiston Estate. Located at the suburb of Ormiston in Redland City, the edifice was intially built in the year 1858 by order of Captain Louis Hope, then a member of the legislative council. Features of the house includes the main residential area, a slab kitchen, storeroom, wash and laundry house, wide garden grounds, and the monastery of St. Andrew’s Church. Second is the Mayes Cottage located at Kingston Town in Logan City. The nineteenth century edifice was built by John Mayes for his family in the year 1877. It was once affectionately called as the “Pleasant Place” complete with surrounding verandahs, four large bedrooms, a kitchen, and a milking shed. Last is the brick cottage of Gayndah Museum. Constructed in the year 1864 by Henry Fenwick, the museum holds exhibits showcasing the edifice’s history and former structural plan.
All these heritage houses are open for daily public viewing with guided tours in English language. However, please be reminded to always adhere to the management’s rules and regulations to avoid inconveniences.
A Hiker’s Day Out
Queensland is not only a coastal region filled with interminable beaches, but is also a hiker’s dream vacation because of its various mountain sceneries offering different nature and hiking experience. Among the most visited are the Cania Gorge National Park, Glass House Mountains National Park, and Springbrook National Park.
Located at the heart of the North Burnett region of Queensland, Cania Gorge National Park is a perfect destination for novice and first time hikers. Accessible from Brisbane via Cania Road, the vicinity offers a wide car park, fully-equiped toilets, gas-powered barbecues, as well as covered and open-air picnic tables.
The gorge’s 11.6 square mile area consists of various walking trails starting from the Three Moon Creek, a waterway adjacent to the picnic area, where visitors are allowed to go fishing, boating, and swimming in its prestine waters; the Fern Tree Pool, a waterhole connected to the creek; the former gold mining site of Shamrock; the caves of Dragon and Bloodwood; the observation decks of Giants Chair Lookout, Dripping Rock and The Overhang; as well as the seventy meters long sandstone cliffs with its aboriginal art carvings dating over 19,000 years ago. In between these attractions, visitors can also breathe in the diverse ecology of flora and fauna enclosing the park which includes over ninety species of birds living in dry rainforest, eucalypt woodland, brigalow forest, grassland, and cypress pine woodland.
Glass House Moutains National Park, on the other hand, is located on the plains of Sunshine Coast, northwest of Brisbane. The park consists of thirteen volcanic plug formations made out of hard alkali rhyolite. While the tallest peak is Mount Beerwah looming over 556 meters high, the most accessible among the hills is Mount Tibrogargan with a height of 364 meters above sea level.
Local legends believe that Tibrogargan is the father of all the hills of Glass House Mountains while Beerwah is his wife and Coonowrin is his son. Moreover, the name Glass House was coined by Lieutenant and Explorer James Cook on May 17, 1770. According to him, the series of hills reminded him of his country’s glass furnaces. Other notable hills in the vicinity includes Mount Beerburrum, Mount Coochin, Mount Tibberoowuccum, Round Mountain, and Mount Ngungun.
Last, but definitely not the least, Springbrook National Park is located within the Gold Coast hinterland. A part of an ancient volcano in the forest of Gondwana, Springbrook offers its visitors interminable recreational acitivities while spending a serene day with nature. The park has long been a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as an iconic landmark in Queensland.
Always offering the best vacation escapade, Springbrook’s activities ranges from swimming at Twin Falls and Warringa Falls; hiking on different walking trails, stargazing at the Springbrook Observatory, camping, and picture taking at various lookout points such as Wunburra Lookout and Purling Brook Falls Lookout.
Whether you like it rough or easy-going, Springbrook gives the best of both accomodations. Popular staycation includes the Echo Valley Farm Cottage ideal for families with its farmstead ambiance, and outdoor barbecue settings; the Springbrook Mountain Chalets perfect for couples and honeymooners with its timber designed interior, romantic wood fires, as well as spa and massage amenities; The Twin Falls Retreat offering luxury rooms with overlooking view of the Canyon Lookout and Rainbow Falls; and the National Park Camping Grounds providing eleven private and secluded tents with stargazing and bonfire decks.
Fill your tummy with delicious food and delicacies at The Fudge Shop serving Australia’s best homemade fudge and ice cream; Rosellas at Springbrook offering organic made coffees; the Dancing Waters Cafe with its bestseller, the Upside Down Cake; and the Springbrook Cafe known as the oldest cafe in the region and serving sumptuous Porterhouse Steak, Schnitzel, and Chips Sand Salad.
After visiting all of what Queensland can offer, it is now time to head to the beach and spend a day with the waves, the sand, and the sun. Thus said, Gold Coast is the top destination of all beachgoers and surfers around the globe.
Situated sixty-six kilometers south of Brisbane, Gold Coast is a coastal city considered as the second largest of its kind in Australia. It was established in the year 1823 by John Oxley who first landed at Mermaid Beach.
The metropolis’ most dominant feature is the Surfers Paradise, or simply Surfers. Stretching over 2.2 square miles along the coast, Surfers Paradise is open for all locals and tourists all year round. Attractions near the area includes the residential skyscraper of Q1; Adrelin Park, an amusement park; the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum; the shopping districts of Cavill Mall and Cavill Avenue, as well as the various bars and clubs offering nightlife experience. Moreover, an iconic feature of Surfers Paradise is its bikini-clad Meter Maids who, instead of issuing parking tickets to overstay motorists, pay their fees to parking meters before it expires.
Another attraction worth seeing whenever visiting Gold Coast is the Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park. Located at the Tallbudgera Estuary, the park offers activities such as swimming, boating, windsurfing, fishing, and water-skiing. The place also provide tourists with over thirty-seven fully-equipped luxury rooms with an overlooking view of the garden, the Tallebudgera Surf Beach, and the mountain ranges of Burleigh Heads National Park.
Taking Risks for the Adventure
A friend once told me “that a life without risks is hardly a life at all”. And I can truly say that I live for that phrase. I travel for the thrill and the adventure. I travel because it gives me the feeling that I live my life to fullest. And I want to pass on that phrase to you, my readers, hoping to encourage you to travel and experience what the world has to offer.