Sunday, 10 October 2021

Rail Trail Open

The latest must do "thing" in the Boyne Valley is to check out the Boyne Burnett Inland  Rail Trail.  The trail is open to cyclists, hikers, and trail horse rider from Nagoorin in the north,  to Kalpowar in the south.  

After a long wait, many meetings, endless negotiations and over a thousand hours of hard yakka, a local community group, BBIRT,  has opened the first stages of the trail that it is hoped will eventually run from Taragoola (near Gladstone) south through the Boyne Valley, up over the Dawes Range to Monto and on down to Gayndah in the North Burnett Region, Queensland , Australia. 

The original rail line was begun over a hundred years ago and required the construction of 6 tunnels and a huge retaining wall to traverse the Dawes Range.  Amazingly it was all done with pick, shovel, horses,  gelignite and hard yakka.  The trail is a fitting memorial to the hard work and tenacity of the men, and  their wives and children who traveled with them, who worked so hard to open up our "wide brown land".

The weather has not been kind to us.  Drought blankets the area but the trail travels through spectacular country which is at its best when the grass is green and the rivers and creeks full.  

This is a must do "thing" to add to your bucket list. Where can you experience 6 tunnels in such proximity to each other? 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Catching Up

Where have the months gone since my last update?  

The Country Music Campout in November certainly put our organisational skills to the test.  But it was a wonderful weekend - plenty of music, chatting and akubra hats.


On the other side of the coin, the record floods on Australia Day created havoc up and down the length of the Valley.  I played my part in the relief effort providing Phoenix with a centre from which to organise the cleanup and giving QRAA an office through which flood relief information could be disseminated to locals. 



I withstood the storms with little damage – lost the shade cover off the office and a few limbs from the trees in the garden.  So visitors have been able to continue to enjoy this Bush Getaway.

 It’s amazing how many different types of camping setups there are. Everyone should be able to find something that’s just right for them. 
I’m also intrigued by the many forms of transport I see arrive at the Centre.  These bikes were here as part of the 21st birthday celebrations of the Gladstone Ulysses Club.

Now it’s full speed ahead to have the new kitchen finished before the Ubobo Bush Festival in June.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Spring is Here

October!  Spring is here, the weather fantastic and the valley looking a picture. 
The beautiful Boyne River
 After a delicious morning tea with members, Gladstone Regional Council Mayor, Gail Sellers officiated. At the recent AGM which  saw little movement in the make-up of my management committee, just one small change, Kaye welcomed as vice-president.  Gail congratulated everyone on the continued growth of the centre and the ongoing additions to facilities. 
The Bus Driver's Room
The Bus Driver’s Room which is now lined and screened.  With linen supplied for its twin beds, it offers a comfortable private room for visitors.  Alston House has been screened catering for summertime guests with insects locked out and summer breezes welcomed in.  Plans for the new kitchen are before council awaiting building approval with a start expected very soon.

Locals meet with Councillor Graham McDonald
My management committee provided morning tea for the monthly CouncillorConnect visit.  On the last Thursday of each month locals place their issues and ideas before visiting councillors.  Last month councillor Graham McDonald was the messenger.   
Noel Caswell

Just as the meeting closed an unexpected visitor poked his head  into the door.  It was Noel (Lester) Caswell.  Lester was ten years old when he left Ubobo where his Mother had been station mistress.  During his visit he took his wife on a nostalgic tour of his old home which is now the Boyne Valley Historical Cottage and the railway station which became the Discovery Centre Office. He left promising to return in 2013 when a Back to Ubobo function is planned to open the time capsule buried 25 years ago.
Gladstone Country Music Group with the 38 trophies won in Rockhampton Country Music Festival
 Speaking of upcoming events, slot in time to attend the Country Campout – a country and western music weekend organised by the Gladstone Country Music Group here at the Discovery Centre from 30th November – 2nd December.  But be warned, book early.  Rooms are already starting to fill.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Well my secret is out!  Who heard me mentioned on Australia All Over this morning?

Geoff, a happy camper who's been doing some very welcome volunteer work around the camp site over the past few weeks, took time out to give Macca a call.   Macca compares a national program on ABC radio called Australia All Over.  Now he's spread the good news Australia wide  about  my little haven of peace and quiet in Ubobo. 

Geoff called from our phone box made famous by Macca when the locals took on Telstra and saved the  box from being closed...a victory for the little people that caught Macca's interest and became a song on one of his Australia All Over CDs.  Maybe you own one.  Do you?  Remember sweet Marguerite?  That is her little shop in the background.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

August Update

Hi again from the Discovery Centre, Ubobo .

What’s been happening, you ask?  Well August is here and the campers continue to arrive and enjoy what I have to offer despite the weather.

During a recent getting-to-know- you weekend, the Under 13 Central Queensland “Capras” representative football team endured 100mm of rain and still had a great time.  They made use of the Ubobo Memorial Hall for indoor activities and lots of fun and laughter erupted when the boys were allowed free play in the rain before their showers.  I’m sure they would have preferred to light the bonfire to provide the focus for night-time activities but I know they still had great fun Saturday night under the eating area roof in spite of the pouring rain.  

The Kingfisher CMCA Chapter had frosty mornings to challenge them during their stay.  Still they looked very comfortable relaxing on the deck, soaking up the sunshine, reading, sewing and chatting while enjoying the TV coverage of the Olympic Games.  I think the most strenuous thing they did during their stay was use my laundry facilities to wash the big items like sheets and towels!!! 

The management committee is excited by the announcement of two successful grant applications.  Thanks to the Queensland Gas Company they are now on the way to completing their building project.  They have been funded to build a commercial kitchen.  Watch this space for developments.

They have also just won a grant through the Regional Arts Development Fund to produce a booklet recording a brief history of Ubobo with an associated map to support self-guided walking tours of the township. ( The booklet is to be ready to launch at the opening of the Time Capsule in front of the Ubobo Memorial Hall in March 2013.)

I urge you to come and see for yourself why everyone is raving about me as a place to rest and recreate.  I look forward to your visit. 

For bookings and enquiries email:  

Phone: 07 49741385, 07 49741212 or 07 49741240

Monday, 30 April 2012

Farewell April

The last day of April!   Where has the year gone? 

The last of the Noosa Parks group waved goodbye Thursday morning and then it was full speed ahead to be ready for the next group of happy campers - the Gladstone Chapter of HOGS.  (You know, the people with a passion for Harley-Davidson motorcycles and with a mission “to ride and have fun”.)  They are return visitors.

Members began arriving Friday afternoon and just as they did last year, they bought the rain.  22mm fell overnight but it didn’t dampen their spirit or their determination to meet together and have a good time.  Saturday morning they voted at the local polling booth across the road before getting down to the serious business of the weekend – enjoying themselves.

Received this great email during the week from the Redland Bay 4WD club,

I am the Secretary of Redlands 4 Wheel Drive Club and I wish to thank everyone from the Boyne Valley Discovery Centre for being so hospitable over the Easter 2012 period when myself and members of our club camped at the discovery centre. 
There was plenty of room for everyone with a huge flat area including all the other campers there
and the amenities were first rate with lots of hot water at all times. We were able to use the centre as our base for drives within the valley and would not hesitate to recommend the area to anyone wishing to spend some time in the area. 
Cheers and well wishes from 
Wendy Allwood.
Sharon and Bob Ryan wrote:
“The whole area was clean and tidy and a pleasure to spend our Easter weekend exploring the Valley”

Margaret Clarke on behalf of Birds Queensland said,
“Everyone thought it was a great place to stay, with excellent facilities. I will certainly recommend it to other people…..”

Thanks to you all.  Your comments are most welcome and its really great to receive such positive feedback. 

Happy travelling to you all. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Discoverer Discovers Discovery Centre

Another group of visitors are returning home after enjoying my hospitality and what a great group of happy campers they were.   The early birds were up and away but those still around when the camera arrived were more than happy to pose for a farewell shot.

 The group was celebrating fifty years as a group and were on their 26th Extended Outing.  They came to the Boyne Valley with tour leader Brian who had lived in the valley as a boy and attended school at Littlemore West State School.   All they were able to see to mark the site of the school were the posts of the school swing and two trees that lined the footpath to the school. When the school had been closed Brian had to ride his push bike to Ubobo, a distance of almost six miles...  But I digress.

As the last tents came down and were packed away...

...  it was time to reflect on the highlights of the week. 

What was being discussed I wonder?  Was it the good birding sites that had been found or the plant samples gathered from Cluden Scrub and taken back to the herbarium for identification.  Maybe it was the bush walk along Norton Creek that created visions of the area during the 1890s when Norton was a thriving gold mine or the trips into the Kroombit Tops and Bulburin National Parks. They'd created their own stories to be recalled on future outings.  Perhaps they were still questioning how one person could be unlucky enough to get three flat tyres in one excursion?  Or was it just what lay ahead on the journey home?  It could have been their canoeing experience on Lake Awoonga.

Whatever... Noosa Parks Association has been added to my list of favoured travellers and I wish them all a safe journey onwards.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Focus on Noosa Parks Association

Hi everyone,
Monday began another busy week for me with the focus being on this week’s tenants – Noosa Parks Association. 

A new sign on the front of the Office Block, directed the new arrivals to the appropriate parking site.  Its little wandering beetle indicating the main purpose for my existences –to provide an accommodation centre that allows visitors to explore the cultural, environmental, historical and sporting heritage of the Boyne Valley.

 The Noosa group quickly settled in with some making use of my shade cover and power outlets

 While others found flat, shaded areas to park up their motor homes, vans and tents.

Older members of the group appreciated the ramp access to my accommodation centre.  Those longer away from home took the opportunity to catch up on the washing using my washing and drying facilities attached to the ablutions block.  I believe menus had been prepared before leaving Noosa so the cook was quickly into meal preparation while group members unpacked the food supplies and stacked them in the food van conveniently placed in the eating area.  In a very short time all were settled in and plans for the week were being outlined by Brian who’d been here since Wednesday checking out sites.

Now the group is out and about every day touring local National Parks and Kroombit Tops, bird watching on the upper reaches of Awoonga Dam, touring old gold mining sites of yesteryear and generally enjoying the peace and beauty of the valley. 

Nature has been most cooperative and turned on spectacular sunsets followed by glorious foggy sunrises and beautiful autumn days.  

Once again the cleanliness of the centre, the flat open spaces for camping and the friendly hospitality have drawn compliments.  Thanks Noosa Parks for choosing me as the place to stay while visiting Central Queensland.  I trust you continue to enjoy your time with us.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter 2012

Hi All,
 I am the Boyne Valley Community Discovery Centre - an accommodation and camping facility in Ubobo, Central Queensland. I like to journal my experiences and share them with anyone who cares to read this blog.

The last campers pull out drawing Easter 2012 to an end.  And what a weekend it was. 

Over 70 campers came to explore the Boyne Valley and experience its peace, beauty and spectacle.

Birdwatchers from Birds Queensland

Bushwalkers from Bundaberg

And the Redlands Bay 4WD club

During Happy Hour each afternoon I listened to tales of the day as groups gathered around their fires or in the eating area to exchange experiences and record sitings.  Kroombit Tops National Park and Bulburin State Forest were popular with all groups.  I believe the adventurous 4WDrivers reached the Beautiful Betsy on Kroombit Tops and found their way down the southern edge of the range to return down Cedarvale Road to Ubobo. Another day, after touring the Kalpowar Forest, they enjoyed a beer at Mungungo  followed by lunch in Monto.

Some birders fitted in visits to Tannum Sands, Gladstone Tondoon Botanic Gardens and the wetlands at the upper reaches of the Awoonga Dam.  Others simply enjoyed exploring the local area at a more leisurely pace.   

I overheard the bushwalkers say they’d had to turn into 4WDrivers because many of their favoured spots were still suffering  road damage caused by the huge rainsfalls received along the Many Peaks Range just a couple of weeks ago.  Still, they said it was not a bad thing...everything was so pretty.

And I came out of the weekend feeling pretty chuffed. I’ve obviously created a good impression because my management committee received so many compliments about my facilities.  If they follow the good advice given to them after their requests for feedback, I should soon be welcoming a stream of happy campers through my doors. 

Thank you to those who expressed a confidence in me and promised to spread the good word.

Now dear readers, come and enjoy the  experience for yourself.