Atop the crest of the Great Dividing Range, Crow's Nest Shire in the County of Cavendish boasts national parks, lakes, mountain vistas, walking tracks, waterfalls, wildlife and the charming town of Crow's Nest, forty minutes north of Toowoomba.
Crow's Nest Village Markets
The first Sunday of each month fills Centenary Park from 7am with market stalls and chatty locals. Opa's Kitchen, part of the large German community, sells chickens, Guinea Fowl and jams in original flavours. Stalls are all high quality, including shrubs, scarves, beanies, aprons, rag dolls, Bible Compass plaques, scrumptious cakes and fudge. Harrison Metal Art offer expertly crafted artwork. Children are catered to by way of a jumping castle and tummies are catered to by hamburgers, sausages and other hot tempters.
The Nest Café has an industrial shopfront with a 'forest meets art gallery' interior. All day breakfast offers a large selection with Eggs Bennie a favourite and the bacon and eggs on Turkish bread hits the spot. Service with country hospitality. The Community Arts & Crafts for supplies and local art, open seven days, 18 William St. Australian Sled Dog Supplies for sleds on wheels can provide gear for cairn cross, bikejor, scottjor, carts and sleds. Kay's Bushworks sells unique rustic furniture and novelty woodworks. Carol Walden Arts 'imagineers' artworks of equestrian fantasy. Crow's Nest locals are devoted to their town for its people, cost of living and proximity to Wellcamp Airport and Toowoomba.
Crow's Nest Regional Art Gallery
The August exhibition will fill your mind with watercolours by Bruce Griffiths, graphite by Tina Cherry and information on environmental issues. Get a little red dirt in your veins from the exhibition run by Vast Arts Inc: mixed media and photography by women artists who want you to get a feel for the lifestyle unique to far west Queensland. The art gallery is housed in the old Council building, est. 1940. Free admission Tue-Sat 10:30am-3:30pm; Sun from 11:30am.
German wagon of 1910, Carbethon Folk Museum & Village. Image by author.
A layout of historical buildings and equipment, the museum is a delightful sojourn into the past. Recorded 'historic' conversations provide an understanding of our ancestors' lifestyles, laced with good humour. The museum includes the Carbethon family home with domestic memorabilia, a military display and historic photos. The Slab Hut is a fun stop with a resting 'worker' from a bygone era telling of his various woes. A hive of native bees, the Ray White Shed, the Alan White House (1920's), School and Granny's Store are just some of the pre-loved places to examine. Open Thurs-Sun 10am-3pm at 46 Thallon St. Ph 07 4698 1776. Entry Adults $10, Pensioners $8, Students $5.
Ravensbourne National Park: the sound of whip birds is enough to clear your mind as you unwind along one of the walks like the 'Applegum Walk' through dense rainforest. It's a great getaway location and offers Rainforest Chalets among the treetops for a romantic weekend or family accommodation. From Toowoomba or Crow's Nest, turn off the New England Highway at Hampton and head east towards Esk for 17 km to the park turnoff. From Esk, follow the Esk-Hampton Rd to the park turnoff.
Gus Beutel Lookout: within Ravensbourne National Park a breathtaking view of the Lockyer Valley and scenic rim. It's one of those 'stop the car and listen to the quiet' moments.
Cressbrook Dam: camping west side of lake, boat ramps near main entry, beach volleyball, barbecue, picnics, boating, fishing, canoeing and playground. Get permission to light fires. Generators, pets and alcohol are not allowed and there's a fourteen day camping limit. BYO firewood. Turn off the New England Highway from Crows Nest. Take care driving at night as back roads are unlit and have poor signage. A permit is required for fishing. Water based activities times: 6am-8pm from Sept to April and 7am-6pm from May to August. Check that dam is open for use.
Lake Perseverance through the gums.
Lake Perseverance: Expansive blue waters surrounded by lofty gum trees, Perseverance Lake is a peaceful haven. In the early mornings the surrounding bush is alive with birds including King Parrots who are not as shy as their Toowoomba cousins. To book a group retreat, ph 07 4697 8900. BYO bedding. Free gas barbecues, sheds and gazebos. If you're keen to get onto the water, first join the Perseverance Aquatic Club for canoeing and water skiing. Fishing not permitted. Turn off the New England Highway at Hampton. Check Lake Perseverance and the Aquatic Centre are open.
Lake Cooby Dam: Fishing, boating, windsurfing, free barbecues and picnics. Turn left from Highfields. No alcohol, camping or pets. Picnic at the dam wall 7am-7:30pm.
Yarramalong Weir: Thirty kilometres east of Millmerran on Yarramalong Rd, along the Condamine River, self-contained campers, boating, fishing, swimming.
Pick up a trail and bird listing from the Toowoomba Regional Council. East of Crow's Nest, some of the birds you can spot are: peregrine falcons, striated thornbills, scarlet honeyeaters, ernes, pelicans, fairy wrens and flocks more.