We have a small window of opportunity from 9am Wednesday until 3pm Thursday so we pack the car and hit the road. Our destination is the Bunya Mountains, about three hours drive from our house.
Our first stop is Kilcoy. We visit Kilcoy Quality Meats, which is an amazing butcher shop where steaks are cut fresh instead of precut and stored. The bacon is thick and water-free so it actually browns when we fry it for breakfast. And the sausages are made of meat not filler. We end up stopping in again on our way home to pick up a bit more meat. We eat a picnic lunch in Yowie Park. Ducks waddle around on the grass and swim on the pond. We have ham, salad and cheese in the esky so make sandwiches. In the words of a character from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, “food always tastes better in the outdoors”. There’s nothing quite like a picnic lunch. I rate it far higher than just about any other meal. Next door there’s a craft shop. Paul and I have developed a bit of a thing for craft shops with their quirky local works of art. This shop is quirky and cute. We buy a cute little yowie doll. A yowie is a mythical creature that lives in the Australian bush. The doll is cute and will make a nice addition to our collection of crafts.
We spend the night at Dandabah campground at the Bunya Mountains. We arrive after dark because of our hike on the western trails. Fortunately our tent is easy to pitch and it’s not long before we are eating our barbecue dinner while watching wallabies and other night marsupials doing their thing. In the morning I walk the eastern tracks before returning to camp for breakfast. We break camp thinking we have hours before we need to be home. This will change with a phone call in which Paul is called in for a 3pm start. But for now we are blissfully unaware so take our time.
We almost drive through Yarraman without a second thought. But a sign points to a museum. And we do love a country museum. “We’ll just stop in for 15 minutes”. Two hours later and we are finally getting back on the road having learned about the district’s history from a well versed guide. Our walk through the European history of Yarraman includes stories of the boys’ school intended to ensure young men would be educated, not just farm hands for their fathers. Nuns lived here too – first in a convent and later on retreats. Timber cutting was a catlyst for development and the now defunct railway line was a lifeline to the outside world. There’s even an old sewing machine that might have been the first portable electric sewing machine in Australia. There’s an old ambulance display, a range of buildings and, naturally, the military exhibit. I know it sounds terribly unpatriotic but I often find military displays distasteful because they appear to glorify war and call modern day men and women to arms at a time when the world needs peace. A war memorial should not show soldiers smiling. It should show the dead bodies of the innocent who are caught in the cross fire of those shooting the guns. That said, the flight uniform of the Roullettes aerobatics pilot is awesome.
The call to return home comes while we’re at the museum so we race off down the highway.