Posts Tagged With: Gayndah

The Retirees revisit Gayndah

We were here 12 months ago and promised June we would return for her 90th birthday. Gayndah is 360+ kilometres from Brisbane and some of the road is a bit hairy when a cattle truck passes or a caravan decides to meander along in front of you. Depending on your timetable its is at least 4 to 5 hours north west of Brisbane. We had a delightful if somewhat chilly evening with June, her family and friends and we will be back for the next milestone.

When you enter from the south you are greeted by Gay Dan and the Big Orange. Noted for its citrus, Gayndah has become home to Gay Dan and it is the only breakfast spot of a Sunday morning. Gayndah claims to be the first town in Queensland having been established in 1850. Exploration of the Gayndah area began in 1847  the first European settlers arrived in 1848, and the town was established in the following year. Gayndah may be the oldest officially Gazetted town in Queensland though, it should be noted that, a convict colony of 47 people existed on the Brisbane River, CBD site in 1825.

Being the oldest gazetted town in Queensland you can expect to find some history in town. The local museum established in W Young’s General Store which opened in 1849 is well stocked with memorabilia and spreads across the street. Located in a dead end street fronting the Burnett River you get a grand view of the river and the bridge crossing it plus the flood level measure (2013 the river flooded to 17 metres).

It is one of the tidiest towns we have visited.  The town hall has a retro look of the 40’s buildings quite a contrast to the traditional houses and hotels which abound in the town. Even the public toilet is modeled on the early timber style. A place of many firsts, Gayndah even claims Queensland’s first derby over 1 and 1/2 mile, hence the statue of the horse and jockey in the main thoroughfare.

We visited the Duke and Duchess (the name given to the peak behind Gayndah) to lookout upon the Burnett and its surrounds.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my footy club Easts Tigers had also journeyed to Gayndah for the weekend – well at least their In-Trust Super Cup Team to contest a round against Norths Devils at neighbouring Mundubbera. The town is located 405 kilometres (252 mi) north west of  Brisbane. Mundubbera is also built on the banks of the Burnett River and is the self-proclaimed “Citrus Capital of Queensland”, although this is disputed by the neighbouring (and rival) Gayndah. I am pleased to report that the Tigers had a win over the Devils. There were even some stars at the match – Darren Smith (former East’s centre,  Bulldogs and later Broncos player and State of Origin member and Australian International) as an assistant coach of the Tigers and Steve Menzies (former Manly Sea Eagles player) as an NRL ambassador. Interestingly both Smith and Menzies played in head gear. I captured a few shots of the match.

 

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The Retirees Home in Brisbane – North by North West to Gayndah

About 5 hrs north by north west of Brisbane is the rural town of Gayndah. Renowned for its citrus, Gayndah is on the Burnett River and the Burnett Highway passes through the town. Apart from the citrus, the land is used for cropping and grazing. The Gayndah Orange Festival is held every two years to celebrate the citrus industry.

Exploration of the Gayndah area began in 1847 by explorer Thomas Archer and Surveyor James Charles Burnett. The first European settlers arrived in 1848, and the town was established in the following year. A post office was established at Gayndah in 1850. This suggests that Gayndah may be the oldest officially Gazetted town in Queensland though, a convict colony of 47 people existed on the Brisbane River, CBD site in 1825.

We left Brisbane at 2.00pm for an overnight stay with David and Veronica at David’s family home. Arriving at 6.30pm we were made warmly welcome by June, David’s Mum who sat us down to savoury mince on toast. A few wines and a good chat then off to bed as we have an early start tomorrow.

Kerry had an early morning appointment, so David and Veronica gave me had the grand tour of the town. Starting with the Big Orange and “Gay Dan” the mascot of Gayndah, we then moved onto the Duchess. Duchess Mountain is immediately to the south-west of the town and at 190 metres (620 ft) provides excellent views over the town (100 metres (330 ft) above sea level).

We then visited David’s old primary school St Joseph’s, and the former St Joseph’s convent next door now the Arts and Cultural Centre.

Then we picked up Kerry and off to Mt Debatable, a tabletop hill on the south western side of the town. The views of the countryside were remarkable. Leaving the top of the hill we circumnavigated the town to enter Gayndah from the north and then cross the Burnett River on our way home.

This is only a small snap shot of Gayndah as we had to leave to return home promising to return again.

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