Posted by: jeanannfrench | August 2, 2009

Sunday, August 2

Today was probably my most adventurous day.  I drove 100+ km to Toowoomba, which is to the west in the ‘range’.  It is know as the Garden City of Queensland, in fact the name of the club I’m speaking to is Garden City Zonta Club.  When I arrived in Toowoomba, I drove straight through to the west for another 30 minutes to the Jondaryan Woolshed which was established in 1859.  The Jondaryan Woolshed is a huge shearing shed built to shear the sheep belonging to what became the largest freehold pastoral empire in Queensland.  This is NOT one of the tours that Sparky would take.  I felt it was important because the history of AU is integral to sheep and their products.  Hey, I read The Thornbirds twice and saw the movie at least twice.

The most important thing was to have damper and billy tea.  Damper is a biscuit/bread made with self-rising flour and water only, but cooked over a camp fire, so it has a smokiness imparted for flavor.  Off course it is slathered with butter and “cocky’s joy”, a golden syrup that is made from sugar cane.  I liked the damper and “spotted dog”, which is more damper with fruits and nuts, but I didn’t care for the golden syrup.  Billy tea is pretty much tea, but since the water is heated over the fire coals it is supposed to have a special smokey flavor . . . well, at least I had it.

I knew I wanted to see a winery in the area, I just didn’t know it was going to be in the middle of NOWHERE!  I saw a sign for wineries to the right when I made a left for the woolshed.  The tour lady at Jondaryan recommended Rimfire, so off I went.  Little did I know it was 38 km the other way.  At least I enjoyed the drive through the country side, really, I did.  It is so amazing to be wondering around in this great country.  The land here reminds me of the Palouse for those of you in WA and for the TX folks think Hill Country and OK, well, you’d have to find some hills in the NE to relate to it.  I definitely saw cattle and some crops today. 

The wine was so – so, I bought a bottle of white for Kylene and a bottle of Country Rose for Mom because it is sweet enough for her to drink.



  1. Jean Ann is ALWAYS adventureous – even if she doesn’t sometimes know what direction she is going (lol). She loves to go, see and experience different things, different cultures, different countries. She IS right. I probably would NOT have wanted to go to a sheep farm, but IF we were together she would have drug me there for sure.


  2. The adventure would suit yours truly to a “T”. I grew up the daughter of a pioneering/curious mother who drove us through all the backroads, off the beaten tracks, and could drum up historical points of history like a keen detective. This was at times a bit more thrilling than I bargained for…going up mt. roads that barely would allow a second car to pass, no siderails, etc; and she’d be looking off into the distance marveling at the view… sister and I would frantically yell, “Mother! Keep your eyes on the road!”
    Anyway, I also read the Thornbirds a couple of times and saw the movie more than once, and can “visualize”.
    Glad you are making the most of your opportunities there, and especially that you are experiencing life outside of the usual tourist trap stuff.

  3. ” I just didn’t know it was going to be in the middle of NOWHERE! ”

    Ha! I thought everything was in the middle of nowhere in AU. Sometimes the backroads bring the greatest adventures. Happy to hear you enjoyed the weekend.

  4. The adventures sound great Im SOOO envious but anxious to be there in 25 days. you do a great job uploading photos, i still have to figure that out. So great that they are getting you so involved with parties and all, what are the students like?

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