Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published January 20th 2015
Your next family outing can be enjoyed here
When we are on the road and travelling from place to place, we all want to know where the best places are to pull up and stretch the legs, take out the flask or picnic hamper or take a quick toilet stop. Lord Alford Park on the southern end Bruce Highway at Gympie is just the place.
The lake was named after Frank "Tiny" Alford who lived opposite the duck ponds. Frank took an interest in the development of the park and mowed the area on the southern end of the lake. The development of the lake initially began by the Gympie & District Historical Society; however the cost became too great for the society and the Gympie Regional Council took over the responsibility for the development of the whole area except the area surrounding the museum building and the Lions Park.
At the entrance of the park is the "Goldminer's Momument", which commemorates the gold miners who saved Queensland. Gold was discovered in Gympie by James Nash in 1867 and at the time Queensland was in severe economic depression. The discovery of gold was deemed to have saved Queensland from bankruptcy.
On any given day that I call into Lake Alford Park for a stop, the park is full of families, children playing on the swings, couples having lunch or others walking a dog and I can certainly understand why. The park has a serene feeling as you walk around the pathways, with many park benches provided for you to take a moment to soak up the sun's energies before hopping back in the car for your onward trip. Fountains in the lake entice plenty of different bird life to the area and some of the birds are so accustomed to human company that they don't even move from under their shady bushes when you walk past.
The park has BBQs, picnic tables and chairs, an excellent children's playground, clean toilet facilities and plenty of parking in two locations. A sign located at the entrance of the children's playground gives every parent and child notification of the activities that can be performed on the playground equipment. The playground is fenced and seating is provided for those watching on. Manicured gardens encompass the fenced area and bins are positioned in the enclosure as well. Larger areas of swings are not enclosed; however are placed on sandy ground in case of falls.
If you are using the grounds for exercise as many were on the day I visited, signs showing the distance of the path ahead and how many steps you would be using by taking that route, were at the start of each path direction.
A walking bridge across the lake gives access to another area and if you are fortunate to be in Gympie on the first, third or fifth Sunday of each month you will be able to cross the bridge to The Gympie Museum Markets, which are packed with stall holders selling everything from bric-a-brac to fresh produce.
As part of planning for the future, Gympie Regional Council is proposing further developments to Lake Alford Park. These may include a fenced off lease dog area, outdoor fitness equipment, artificial wetlands, extension of footpaths, toddler bicycle area and planting of more trees, which will all be staged through their Capital Works programme.
Thanks Susan, we love our park at Lake Alford. However, the details of our region's tourism information centre is no longer correct. It is now Destination Gympie Region, phone 1800 444 222www.visitgympieregion.com.au.