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Bob''s trip to Queensland & New South Wales



I've travelled many thousands of miles (kilometres?) over several decades across the length and breadth of this vast land, but was pleasantly surprised to see what I discovered when I hit the country town of Emerald in central Queensland.

We'd hit the Capricorn Highway a few days earlier, heading west into the interior of Australia . . . . the Outback . . . for a short while.

The Capricorn Highway, as the name suggests, follows the tropic of Capricorn, give or take a few miles. It's a region of Queensland rich in coal and other minerals and the amount of mining activity took me by surprise as I'd see freight train after freight train trundling along Queensland Railway's line heading east to the port of Gladstone for shipment overseas to an energy hungry world that is snapping up anything that comes out of the ground in Australia . . . . . one reason why the Australian $ is soooo strong at the moment!

I expected Emerald to be a usual sleepy Queensland town, as I was used to whenever I travelled up into the tropics.

Instead it was a town struggling to keep up with the sheer demand imposed on it by the sudden boom in people shifting there, the number of houses going up and the limited shops and stores that you'd expect in a place so big.

I thought my home town of Mount Barker in South Australia was a fast growing town, but Emerald leaves it behind. Things are only looking up in Queensland. This State has always been a boom State, being the dynamo for many years fuelling the economy of the whole of Australia, but now sharing that place with Western Australia.

Queensland is a State that offers so much to prospective migrants wanting a new start in a new land.

It offers work.

It offers safety.

It offers a future . . .. for you and your children and your children's children.

You can grow old, sipping a cup of Rooibos tea on the stoep as you watch the sun setting in the west with your grand-children running around your feet, knowing that they have opportunity in Australia the same as any other Aussie.

. . . . . and for people like the "Bs" who have been driven out of their home by Mugabe, I can only see them as having reached the Promised Land.

Anyhow . . . I rave on.

Emerald, so named because of its green countryside, is about 16 000 population in size . . . or was when I drove off!

There is a part of town which is still colonial in its history, with the new sections springing up all around.

The Railway Station is a beautiful item dating back to 1900


It had the biggest Van Gogh painting in the world standing in the park


We caught up with Jill in Emerald and we chatted over an Iced Tea for over an hour. I wished we could have spent more time to yak as she's a really character to talk to and enjoys a good chinwag just like myself. I got some boerewors off Jill which we had in the bush a few days later. My sister-in-law & husband needed educating on good South African tucker . . . . . . "Good on ya, Jill!"


While Ginnie went off for a morning walk around the Botanical Gardens in Emerald, I thought I'd take a lazy Sunday morning drive around. I was astounded to see acres and acres of new housing going up. It must run into hundreds of new houses!


There were acres being set aside for the infrastructure ready to go in (roads, electricity, etc) before the buildings


There were brand new houses and not so brand new houses all over the place . . . . take your pick!



the demand for new shops, new schools, new hospitals, new, new new is phenonemal


Outside of town, 18kms, is Fairbairn Dam named after the Commonwealth Minister of Works responsible for building the dam in this part of Queesland back in 1967. It holds up to 3 times the water that is in Sydney Harbour, so you can boil the billy a few times for a cuppa without stressing out on running dry


folks from Emerald and surrounding district like to water ski, go fishing and generally herb around in their speed boats across the water. There were some pretty flash looking units being dropped into the drink pulled by brand new Toyota Land Cruisers, so someone up here must be making a bob or two!



Everything was clean and serviceable when it came to cooking our tucker that lunchtime on the barbie. Electricity was free for anyone to use. of course.


Before we left, Ginnie insisted I take a morning stroll thro the Botanical Gardens. It had delightful rain forest trees and shrubs, but also interesting items such as a maze made out of local bush, sculptures indicating Emerald's history, etc.


We took a minute or two off our walk to look at each sculpture. They depicted a particular decade of Australia's history since Federation when each of the six British colonies came together to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

The 1970s


If you guys want a new start from all the mindless violence, think seriously about Australia and Queensland especially which offers room for good migrants who can fit into the Australian way of life, and who are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and help build a new land for us all and our kids.

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You can grow old, sipping a cup of Rooibos tea on the stoep as you watch the sun setting in the west with your grand-children running around your feet, knowing that they have opportunity in Australia the same as any other Aussie

This is why i am here. :)

Thanks Bob for a great post. Cant wait for the next update. Enjoy !!!!!!!

Cheers vir eers

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Yip! We love Qld! We feel wanted and safe, and we know there is a future for our kids here.

Thanks Bob for giving everyone a glimpse of what real life should be like!

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Good on ya Bob!! Thank you for taking us on a virtual trip with you!!

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Hi Bob,

Thanks for that really interesting look at Emerald, the one photo you have of those new shops, that is Mayfair Ridge, the entrance to the housing estate I live in. It is a really nice area of Emerald to live. Nice and quiet on the outskirts of town. We have a rodeo this weekend in Emerald and it is the AG show,. but we will be in Rocky.

Glad you enjoyed Emerald so much. We are off to Rocky this weekend, for some shopping, there is a new South AFrican shop opened there and I am going to stock up on a few things we have really missed.

Looking forward to the next installment, I believe Longreach is an amazing place, looking forward to hearing what you thought of it.

bye for now Jill

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Sigh .... how long will we still have to wait .... ? :unsure:

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