Great article from Chris Whiting, the State Member for Bancroft. Chris has been a huge support over the years, helping us overcome various hurdles and assisting us in our projects. He has done so many great things for the community! Have a read of his latest journal:
“All over Queensland in this time of COVID-19, locals are travelling and holidaying locally. The slogan is ‘Queensland is Good To Go’, and Queenslanders are doing it by packing their caravans or cars and hitting the road, supporting our hard-hit local tourism industry.
COVID-19 has deeply affected our local and national economy, but the Palaszczuk Government is delivering the “Unite and Recover” plan to kick-start our economy and deliver more jobs. And supporting the tourism industry, with all the Queensland jobs and businesses that rely on easy-going, high-spending tourists, is a big focus of our plan.
So the Whiting family decided to do our bit for “Unite and Recover” by holidaying in south-east Queensland in 2020.
It wasn’t a hard decision, because it is something we do every year. Each Easter, we head off to Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) with as many aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents we can muster, and we spend a week or so on the beach, in the waves, or watching the ocean from a balcony.
Alas, like everyone else, our Easter plans were thrown out the window by COVID-19. Instead, we have spent a long weekend in a cosy cabin in the Bunya Mountains.
The Bunyas are one of those unique and special places where Queenslanders love to holiday, but don’t want too many people to discover. It is one of those little secrets shared between about 2.5 million Queenslanders who live within an easy drive of it.
And once you go there, you can see why it is so loved. It is Queensland’s second oldest National Park, perched on a small group of hills and mountains set apart from the Great Dividing Range. The Bunyas contain a wonderful rainforest ecosystem dominated by bunya pines, surely the most majestic of our Queensland tree species.
The First Nation tribes of Queensland loved it, too. It was a special place that attracted people from Central Queensland to northern New South Wales every couple of years for important feasts and festivals.
I talk to my 9-year-old son Guy about what the tribal gatherings may have looked like as we walk along the trails that meander through the park. He’s new to bush walking, but he seems to like the serenity and quiet under the tree canopy, and it is a rare chance to talk at length with his Dad.
Four-year-old Arabella is less keen on bush walking and insists on seeing everything perched on top of her Dad’s shoulders, but Arabella and her 7-year-old sister Rebecca are much happier hanging around with the red-necked wallabies that gathered in big numbers throughout the Bunya Mountains village.
From our window in our place at Rice’s Cabins, we watched the many species of birds such as King Parrots and Satin Bower Birds feast on the lilly-pilly berries. Fitting, really, as we sampled many rich meals that weekend, warmed by a rarely-experienced Queensland fireplace.
We felt a pang of sadness when we drove out of our little home for the weekend, but the kids all sang out that they wanted to come back. You will understand once you go and visit, too. Just don’t tell any southerners about it.”