Maybe this photo is all you need as an enticement to visit Wolston House but I am going to give you a few more as this is really a special property with so much to appeal to visitors, especially those who have an interest in the early days of settlement of Queensland.
The Living Room
This is Queensland's oldest residential farmhouse, dating back to 1852.
It is also the first National Trust property to be taken over by the Trust and made into the heritage property it is today, which we can all visit and enjoy.
Finally, but more importantly, this property which at some point in its history looked as if it was going to be demolished and destroyed, was saved by the concerted effort of some women in Queensland who were determined this was not going to happen. They achieved their goal and we owe them a lasting debt of gratitude.
The story of the property is the story of four families, who occupied it over the years, from Dr Stephen Simpson, who bought 640 acres there in 1850 - apparently for a pound an acre in those days - and turned it into a horse and cattle farm.
The property was then sold to the Goggs - a family of considerable wealth and ten children, so some expansion of the property was necessary and the farm flourished. It expanded to some 8000 acres, some of which was sold off after Mr Gogg's death.
A little tricycle
The Grindles followed with nine children and a reduced but successful dairy farm in operation from 1906 to 1956.
The Hurleys were the last family who lived there from 1956 to 1960 when the property went to the Department of Agriculture. Some parts of the buildings were destroyed and in fact, they had every intention of demolishing the homestead as well, had it not been for the concerted efforts of the Queensland Women's Historical Association as well as the Royal Historical Association of Queensland. In 1965, the house was transferred to the newly formed National Trust of Queensland and it became their very first heritage property.
Tours and tea are available on the property and you can book here. They offer a range of select teas and scones with cream or butter. They are served on the terrace with the Brisbane River in the distance.
The property is run by an efficient manager and her trusted group of volunteers, who give their time happily to show you around the many rooms of the house as well as the garden. There is a wealth of artefacts, stories and detail which comes out on the tour. The fig tree in the garden is probably about 150 years old. They can organise school tours or wedding or parties. It is best to check the days they operate and to contact the property to make any group bookings which they are happy to do.
While we were there, we were treated to the additional sight of these two who also share the property - what a treat that was. They were snoozing in one of the big trees in the garden.
Two tawny frogmouths
There is an interesting model of the house as it expanded and contracted over the years.They also stock some interesting souvenirs. The property, tucked at the back of Wacol with the Brisbane River in the distance is so revealing of what life was like for those families in the early days of settlement. Go along and enjoy this exceptional property.