When you travel beyond the Fraser Coast, you’ll discover a whole world of adventure. From the Great Barrier Reef to rainforests and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. Check out our website now to find more!

Travel back in time on a classic steam train

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? If so, and you’re in the Sunshine Coast or Gympie areas, then you’re in luck… well, almost.

Riding the iconic Spirit of the Mary Valley Steam Train is the closest I’ve come in recent years to experiencing an authentic railway journey in the Gold Rush era. It was the next best thing to actually being onsite in the 1800s.

And, I didn’t need a DeLorean time machine as seen in the 1985 American science fiction film Back to the Future to get there!

I travelled from Hervey Bay to the Gympie Historic Railway Station in my 10-year-old black Nissan X-Trail, picking up my daughter and three of her children along the way.

Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the Mary Valley Rattler runs between Gympie and Amamoor stations.

This vintage C17/967 locomotive and wooden carriages take passengers on a journey through picturesque rural landscapes and quaint country towns, providing a uniquely charming experience that is not to be missed.

So, jump on board with us and enjoy the ride!

Mary Valley Rattler - Gympie Station

Waiting to board the Mary Valley Rattler at the Gympie Historic Railway Station.

 

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A Brief History of the Mary Valley Rattler

The Mary River line, launched in 1881, was an important transport link in the region’s Gold Rush era for transporting materials and equipment in and exporting the gold out from the area.

As the golden era ended, local calls for the railway line to be expanded through the Mary Valley to cater to the fast-developing agriculture, dairy, and timber industries.

In 1915 the rail line was extended to Brooloo, which led to the establishment of small townships at Kandanga, Imbil, Amamoor, and Dagun.

The line operated for nearly 100 years before being closed in 2012 for safety reasons.

However, thanks to the Gympie Regional Council providing funds and a passionate group of volunteers putting in the hard yards, the Mary Valley Heritage Railway was restored as a major tourist attraction.

They were successful in getting the heritage-listed railway up and running again in 2018 and now tourists can enjoy all the Mary Valley Rattler offers while supporting a vital piece of Australian history.

Whether you’re a railway enthusiast or just looking for a unique way to see the stunning Mary Valley region, the Mary Valley Rattler is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

You’ll love the Rattler’s friendly, casual atmosphere

There’s no need to worry if you’ve never been on a heritage railway before—the friendly Mary Valley Rattler staff are more than happy to help you with anything you need.

When we arrived at Mary Valley Rattler’s historic railway station in Gympie, a friendly volunteer was there to greet us. She even offered to take our photos with our cameras in front of the entrance.

Inside, a welcoming attendant checked our bookings and gave us an overview of what was available at the station while we waited for our three-hour Classic Rattler Run to start.

The Rusty Rails Café had delicious food options for breakfast or lunch. We could also choose a Rattler Railway Company Coffee or other beverage.

The gift shop was stocked with railway souvenirs and the museum with memorabilia from bygone eras. There was even a porter in a period costume who was happy to be photographed.

As a not-for-profit organization, any Mary Valley Rattler purchases we made supported its ongoing restoration and preservation, so the future of this historic rail experience is ensured.

Mary Valley Rattler - Boarding

Boarding the Classic Rattler Run from Gympie to Amamoor and return.

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Visiting the bygone era of coal-fired locomotives

Once we were settled in our seats, we sat back as we waited for your journey through the scenic Sunshine Coast hinterland to begin.

Soon, the smell of burning coal filled the air, steam hissed and the engine tooted as the train pulled out of the station.

We were on board one of several vintage carriages filled with visitors from Mackay, Maryborough, Hervey Bay, Gold Coast, and New Zealand.

Pulling us was the C17/967 locomotive that was built in 1950 at Walkers Limited in Maryborough, Queensland.

Mary Valley Rattler - Google Maps

As Jeff, the volunteer carriage attendant, punched holes into our vintage-style train tickets, he fueled the kids’ anticipation by telling them about the Harry Potter-like tunnels they’d see on this trip through the Mary Valley.

Another volunteer asked around for any birthdays, anniversaries, or other celebratory milestones that anyone onboard was having on or near that day.

Our Mr 13, who was about to turn 14, ducked for cover, anticipating that everyone onboard singing Happy Birthday to him would be embarrassing!

However, a number of other passengers volunteered to tell of their special days.

Looking around the carriage interior, our trio – Mr 6, Miss 9, and Mr 13 nearly 14 – were fascinated with the polished brass railway luggage racks overhead, the leather 1950’s bench-style seats, and other historical fittings.

Mary Valley Ratter - Amamoor platoform.

Amamoor platform.

Through the open-air windows that had wooden shutters, which could be pulled down or up to open or shut, we watched the world go by.

As we crossed old wooden bridges and went through tunnels, pulled along by a full-scale, genuine steam locomotive we felt like we were travelling back in time.

The rolling hills blanketed with farmland and quaint townships offered us a visual escape from our fast-paced lives, adding to how brilliant this adventure felt.

For the next hour, the train rattled along, taking us on an enjoyable journey through the township of Dagun and on to Amamoor, a quaint little town filled with old-fashioned shops and market stalls.

There we watched as the rail staff turn the C17/967 locomotive around on a huge turntable before heading back to Gympie.

Mary Valley Rattler - Amamoor

Turning the Mary Valley Rattler at Amamoor.

Dagun, the next stop on the Rattler’s journey

The ‘All Aboard’ call came sooner than expected and we were soon back in our seats, anticipating our next stop at Dagun where the locals welcomed us with live music and market stalls, as well as delicious tastings of local wine and cheese.

There were also old-time games available to play, making this a perfect opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and/or family while exploring what makes these places special.

All too soon, again, we were back on the Rattler returning to Gympie.

As we rolled into Gympie, the town that is reputed to have saved Queensland, it was time for one of nature’s greatest shows: the annual display of jacaranda flowers.

We were treated to an amazing Spring show of purple blossoms. Miss 9 was especially pleased to see the display… every year in early October, in the lead-up to her birthday, jacaranda trees bloom just for her!

Mary Valley Rattler - Dagun

Market day at Dagun.

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You’re spoilt for choice of things to do on the Rattler

There’s no shortage of options from which to choose when it comes to a Mary Valley outing:

  • The Classic Rattler Run takes passengers on an exciting adventure on the C17 steam train from the Gympie Historic Station through the scenic Mary Valley and the small town of Dagun, before arriving at the Amamoor Heritage Station.
  • The All Stations Train allows passengers to explore more of the region, stopping at both the Heritage Dagun Station and the Amamoor Station.
  • The Rattler Tasting Train is a fun experience for the whole family. Hop on board the Heritage Railmotor RM76 – which traditionally ran the Brooloo line to Gympie providing a daily link to the town for shopping, transportation of goods, and children getting to school.
  • Ride with Driver Experience lets you ride as a guest in a cab with train drivers (18+ years old).

Choice of packages

  • The Mary Valley Rattler’s Ride and Dine package includes priority pre-boarding, assigned seating, morning tea onboard, lunch at the Rusty Rails Café, and a bottle of water.
  • The VIP Club Car package allows you to enjoy priority preboarding, cheese plate and beverage onboard the Club Car, access to the verandah for stunning photos, plus water and a souvenir cooler.
  • Pets are welcome aboard on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays (terms and conditions apply).
  • Get your day underway at sunrise with the Rattler’s drivers on a Light Up & Workshop Tour, which includes a hearty breakfast of your choice in Rusty Rails Café.

Education trips and special occasions

  • The Mary Valley Rattler offers an educational and fascinating journey back to a bygone era for students of all ages.
  • The Rusty Rails Café at the historic Gympie Station can cater to up to 120 people, with a menu that has been designed to be light and contemporary.
  • Special Occasions can be tailored aboard any of their fleets, with dedicated staff on hand to help plan the perfect event.
  • Ample parking is available for coaches, and they recommend pre-booking for groups of over 10 people.
  • The Rattler regularly hosts themed outings such as Halloween and the Agatha Christie-styled Murder on the Mary Valley Rattler. 

Visit the Rattler website for more information.

Experience the beauty of rural Queensland, Rattler style!

If you’re looking for a fun day out, with beautiful scenery and a friendly, casual atmosphere, the Mary Valley Rattler is definitely worth checking out.

It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the gorgeous Sunshine Coast hinterland—all while supporting a vital piece of Australian history.

We’re sure you’ll love the experience!

Mary Valley Rattler - Return Journey

Spectacular scenery on the return journey to the Gympie Historic Railway Station.

 

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If you go:

Gympie Historic Station

Tozer Street, Gympie, Queensland 4570, Australia

P: (07) 5482 2750

E: info@maryvalleyrattler.com.au

W: maryvalleyrattler.com.au

 

Mary Valley Rattler is open 7 days a week except for Christmas Day.
Please note its hours may vary on public holidays.

GET DIRECTIONS

VIEW MAP

With thanks to the Mary Valley Rattler for hosting us for this very special experience.

***

If you enjoyed this story, you might also enjoy Murder on a Runaway Train, a short, action-packed fiction story set on a steam train in the rugged wilderness of Tasmania’s West Coast.

 

 

Magnetic Island: The best wedding anniversary pressie ever!

By Brian Pickering and Kaye Browne

It’s funny how people perceive other people’s lives.  Take for example the reaction when we messaged a few friends and family we were about to take a short break.

The replies were swift… “What! You’re going on a ‘holiday’?… But we thought you WERE already on holiday… a permanent one!!!”… accompanied by classic exasperation emojis.  Very funny.

But despite being ‘on the road’ for the past three years in our 20ft New Age caravan, (and loving it!) sometimes you just need to take a break from the everyday routines we all endure whether travelling or in a house!  Plus our imminent wedding anniversary was all the excuse we needed to ‘Getaway’.

As it happens, we feel very much at home here in Hervey Bay just north of Maryborough in Queensland so much so we’ve stayed here – with occasional trips north to Bundaberg and south to the Gold Coast and Brisbane to visit friends for some house-sitting – for just on two years.

Time flies when you’re having fun and we love the vibe of the place and have made many new friends – in fact, we’ve met and socialised more in ‘The Bay’ than we ever did living in Sydney for two decades.

Like everyone else, our travel plans were impacted when COVID-19 hit – but luckily working online means we can do what we do anywhere there’s enough Internet coverage.  We now call ourselves ‘Slow-Mads’!

So why a road trip to Magnetic Island just off the coast from Townsville in far North Queensland?

Why not – especially as Brian’s parents used to holiday there when his father was stationed with the Navy during WWII in Townsville and the pair used to regularly have romantic weekends on ‘Maggie’ when he had days off.

It didn’t take long to decide it would be fun to visit the place they loved so much for our own wedding anniversary – especially as friends Col and Jenni regularly holiday there and raved about it.

Magnetic Island - palm trees

DESTINATION MAGGIE: Magnetic Island, North Queensland.

 

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Fly or drive? Fly or drive?

In round figures, the cost to fly from Hervey Bay to Townsville (via Brisbane four hours south of Hervey Bay) is around $1,200 per person!! We reasoned flying would mean lots of airline departure lounges, buses, and taxis, and miss the changing scenery below.

Sure you might arrive the same day but what’s the rush?

So we made the decision to drive. Ok, so it’s roughly a 12–14-hour road trip, but the stopover points we planned in advance made it all well worthwhile.

Trip planning

It goes without saying Australia is a BIG place!… So it’s important to plan ahead.

The mantra… ‘Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance’ comes from our previous work in mainstream media, but it also means it’s worth the effort to spend some time planning which hopefully relieves you of any headaches and worries during your trip, knowing everything has been ‘locked in’.

With so many people now ‘hitting the road’ post-COVID lockdowns, it’s important to make sure you book ahead for accommodation that suits you!… unless of course you have a small camper-trailer and are happy to ‘free-camp’ along the way.

Kaye wanted to see some of the less well-known beach-side towns en route so some of the names mentioned below possibly won’t be at all familiar.

Each location has a separate link to the accommodation plus a short update of where we stayed and what we thought of each place.

Important safety factor!

While two people can usually share the driving, it’s always a good idea not to do much more than three to four hours a day in total, and less is even safer.

This is due to the ‘fatigue’ factor and we actually saw the results of several ‘prangs’ and even a large truck and trailer which had, unfortunately, slid off the road even though the road was dry at the time.

Plus driving can get pretty boring cos only the passenger gets to see left and right while the driver has to focus on the road ahead!.. That’s why we made this trip of about 1,200 k/ms (14.5hrs driving) over a four-day period.

We’ll have more detailed updates on each location down the track! Meantime with our ferry booked to the island on a Saturday, we left Hervey Bay on the Tuesday prior.

Hitting the road

Tues – From Hervey Bay 2hrs 42mins (226kms) to…

1. Miriam Vale Hotel

9 Blomfield St, Miriam Vale QLD 4677
We did a podcast with pictures a while back when we stayed at this lovely old hotel with heaps of history.
Check out the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TXcwCPW5CU

Originally, we ‘free-camped’ in our caravan out the back as we still had our little dog Chica. This time we stayed in a lovely self-contained cabin. Mitch the owner has upgraded and expanded the hotel over the past two years, and the food, staff, and amenities are excellent and the town – although very small – has a lot of charm and history.

Magnetic Island - Hotel

Miriam Vale Hotel.

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Wed – From Miriam Vale 2hrs 32mins (213kms) to…

2. Yeppoon Beachhouse

58 Farnborough Rd Yeppoon QLD 4703
http://www.yeppoonbeachhouse.com.au/

This was a very pleasant surprise. We’ve never actually stayed in a backpackers hotel, our verdict? Excellent!

We could see the beach and hear the waves crashing overnight but best of all it was super clean, with the shared kitchens (one downstairs one upstairs) and facilities constantly monitored and cleaned by very friendly owners and staff who were amazingly helpful… Price for a single room with Queen size bed, etc (as opposed to a shared dormitory style) was very good too and while backpackers tend to be ‘party animals’ it was surprisingly quiet while we were there.

Yeppoon itself is another hidden jewel in our view.

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Thurs – From Yeppoon 3hrs 43mins (340kms) to…

3. Sarina Beach Motel & Restaurant

44 Owen Jenkins Dr, Sarina Beach QLD 4737
https://sarinabeachmotel.com.au/
Well, this is where we celebrated our Wedding Anniversary! – A LOVELY location right on the beach. Plus, they have an amazing restaurant – ‘The Palms’ – with excellent food, etc…

Sarina township itself is a bit ‘old/quaint’ about 10 minutes away from the beach where we stayed but friendly to tourists.

We liked Sarina Beach and its very comfortable bed #Unit 18 so much we re-booked for two nights on our way back south which is when we also managed to have a chat with the co-owner, Meaghan Thompson to find out what’s kept her, her husband and (now) five kids here for the past 14 years!

You can listen to the podcast or read a full transcript here: https://foodwinepetstravel.com/travel/169-podcast-the-serenity-of-sarina-beach-meaghan-thompson

Magnetic Island Road Trip - Hotel

Sarina Beach Motel.

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Fri – From Sarina 4hrs 10mins (354kms) to…

4. Alva Beach Tourist Park (Ayr)

20-36 Braby St, Alva QLD 4807
https://www.alvabeachtouristpark.com.au/

This was our longest drive, with both of us sharing every hour and a half, and while not our favourite stopover, we were very impressed with the owners/caretakers of this park who were VERY accommodating, allowing us to upgrade from what we had originally booked online (old tiny cabin room only)  to a really nice self-contained 2 bedroom ‘tiny-home’.

Best of all, they had been given boxes of fresh locally grown fruit and veg and generously invited us to help ourselves.  A wonderful surprise and we’re still talking about the yummy vegetarian meal which resulted.

Magnetic Island Road Trip - Alva Beach

Alva Beach at Ayr.

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Sat – From Alva/Ayr 1hr 19mins (103kms) to…

5. Ferry to Magnetic Island

An easy drive to Townsville where we eventually found the local Woolies and stocked up on some basic ‘goodies’ so we could avoid having to eat out for every meal every day. We’d been warned food and drinks are generally higher on the island because of transport costs – but we later discovered they’re not that bad.

There are several options to get to Maggie.  Passengers can get a speedy catamaran which gets you there in 20 minutes.   The car ferry takes about 40 minutes and although you can get out of your car and use the onboard café we chose to stay there, windows down enjoying the sea breeze!

Cost? – Well the advertised cost for a return trip WITH your own car is around $220.
However, booking through Defence Holidays NQ – http://www.defenceholidaysnq.com.au we were able to get a reasonable discount. They can also offer discounts on local accommodation bookings so worthwhile checking them out!

_______________________________________________________________

Sat – 1 pm ferry From Townsville to…

6. Island Leisure Resort

6 Kelly St Nelly Bay Magnetic Island
http://www.islandleisure.com.au/
Just 1.5Km from the ferry wharf, and 100 metres from the water in Nelly Bay the resort has beautiful high-ceilinged self-contained rooms.

There’s a large swimming pool, barbecue area plus a family room for kids with a pool table, books, videos, and more, and also a laundry with coin-operated machines.

Island Leisure Resort is a great place recommended to us by our friends Col and Jenni we mentioned earlier who’ve stayed there several times after visiting family in Townsville.

It’s a popular option because we wanted seven to 10 days but could only get four days

So, Defence Holidays came to the rescue and helped us organise another location – Details below!….

Magnetic Island Road Trip - Resort

Island Leisure Resort, Magnetic Island.

NEED ACCOMMODATION ON MAGNETIC ISLAND? VISIT BOOKING.COM

7. Canopy Chalet 4

42 Yates St Nelly Bay Magnetic Island – just around the corner from our stay above!
https://www.bestofmagnetic.com/magnetic-island-accommodation/canopy-chalet-4

This was another surprise – A very ‘eclectic’ design of about 12 cabins surrounding a large swimming pool but it was lovely, airy, and had everything you’d need for a great holiday and still within walking distance of the beach – well pretty much everywhere on the island is within walking distance!

A magnificent Magnetic Island Banyan Tree.

Kaye checks out the Sunday Markets.

Restaurants

It was also right next door to one of the many great restaurants on the island; ‘Thai Again’ which Col and Jenni had recommended – and they were right – the food was delicious.  We also got to chatting with the couple sitting next to us – long-time locals who live on the island and as it turns out – we’d spotted their stall ‘Hooked On Maggie’ at the Sunday weekly markets at Horseshoe Bay.

Magnetic Island Road Trip - Restaurant

Brian enjoys a glass of red wine at Thai-Again.

What can you do on Magnetic Island?

In a word… PLENTY! – In fact, we wish we’d had more than 10 days there. Such an amazing vibe about it.

They say there are 23 beaches on Maggie some of which can only be reached by boat so we didn’t get to see them all this visit – but we gave it a red hot go.

There are snorkelling trails and beaches with gentle waves perfect for kids. The Backpackers Base hotel and accommodation was chockers with young foreigners making the most of the re-opened international borders.

One of the highlights of our visit was the Moulin Rogue show at the Stage Door Theatre Restaurant… we can vouch for the idea that it’s a ‘slice of Vegas in the tropics’!

Basically ‘Moulin Rogue’ is a tongue-in-cheek send-up of the classic ‘Moulin Rouge’ cabaret which started way back in 1889 in Paris, France but this performance relied on two key performers who are locals and they were brilliant, a great soundo, and some audience participation.

And the food was great too because when you book they ask if you have any dietary requirements – and they cater to everyone.

Again we got chatting with the couple next to us. (Their story another time).

You can read our full story here along with a video compilation of the night we went!
https://foodwinepetstravel.com/travel/170-video-blog-the-moulin-rogue-magnetic-island

Summary

Now you might think… “WOW!… How much did all that cost and was it worth it?”

Well… cost is relative of course. You might go on an ocean cruise for a few days to a week and spend $8-10k! but after going through all our expenses – Fuel, food, accommodation, etc in round figures it was a little over $4,000.00 for our three-week holiday.

So was it worth it?… You bet! Will we do it again? Absolutely, but if we went back to Magnetic Island from Hervey Bay where we are now or (say from Brisbane or Bundaberg) for a short break, we would probably catch an overnight train and then rent a car in Townsville or on the island.

Estimated savings for the next visit would be about $400+ on fuel and several hundred in additional accommodation there and back.

Still, the sightseeing aspect of the drive was well worth it plus supporting local businesses, etc, and best of all, there are so many accommodation options in all price categories you do NOT need a caravan or camper trailer to do it, although if that’s your preference there are plenty of caravan parks and free-camps on the way.

Magnetic Island/Maggie?… We’ll be back!

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***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Muttaburrasaurus langdoni has been voted as Queensland’s state fossil emblem. The plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra, the hometown of Jocelyn’s father, William C. Scott. Read on to find out why “Mutt” has been declared Queensland’s official state fossil, and what you can see in Muttaburra.

Muttaburrasaurus was voted the most popular fossil emblem

The Muttaburrasaurus langdoni will now become part of Queensland’s official identity after it topped a popular public poll to select the State’s fossil emblem.

The 12 shortlisted fossils featured dinosaurs from both land and sea, early mammals, and flora, all discovered across Queensland.

Of the nearly 9000 votes cast by Queenslanders, the ornithopod emerged as the clear popular choice.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Muttaburrasaurus will join the nine other unique Queensland emblems.

“The 100-million-year-old, plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra,” the Premier said.

‘The seven-metre-long dinosaur makes a very big statement indeed.

“I’m sure it will be an enduring emblem Queensland can be very proud of.

“Along with our official coat of arms, flag and badge our emblems highlight the many wonders and beauty of our state.

“The Cooktown Orchid, koala, Great Barrier Reef Anemone fish, brolga, the sapphire, and our official colour – the mighty maroon, are all iconic symbols.”

 

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Travel back in time with Muttaburrasaurus

The Premier said the popularity of Muttaburrasaurus as the State’s official fossil emblem highlights the importance of dinosaur tourism in Outback Queensland.

“I encourage Queenslanders to get acquainted with our new fossil emblem by planning a visit to Outback dinosaur destinations,” the Premier said.

Queensland’s rich palaeontology discoveries have generated worldwide interest among experts and have attracted thousands of tourists to the Outback to see the fossils found firsthand.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said thousands of visitors travel to Outback Queensland every year to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and discover our rich palaeontological history.

“Everybody loves dinosaurs, they generate millions of dollars for the visitor economy, and we want to see Outback Queensland continue to grow as Australia’s paleo capital.”

 

Muttaburrasaurus - building

Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre, Central Queensland, Australia.Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre

The replica of the Muttaburrasaurus langdoni can be found at an interpretive centre at Muttaburra in Central Queensland. The displays include replicas, models and histories for guests to learn more about how this ancient creature was discovered as well as what life was like back then when they roamed our world 100 million years ago. PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts, July 2022.

Mutt, one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons in Australia

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said while there was an outstanding lineup of nominees for the State’s Fossil Emblem, he couldn’t think of a more worthy winner.

Muttaburrasaurus has been synonymous with Queensland Museum since it was described by our palaeontologists in 1981, and thanks to the iconic replica skeleton that stands proud within the museum, Queenslanders have come to know and love this home-grown dinosaur over the decades,” Dr Thompson said.

“Mutt, as people affectionately call it, is one of the most complete skeletons of an Australian Dinosaur and is a great ambassador for palaeontology and dinosaur history.”

Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus is a national icon and global treasure

Queensland Museum palaeontologist Dr Scott Hocknull said Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus was a national icon and global treasure.

“I started volunteering at the Queensland Museum as a kid 30 years ago and Muttaburrasaurus was the first dinosaur fossil I got to work on,” Dr Hocknull said.

“It inspired me then, as it will do for countless budding palaeontologists in the future.

“I used to dig dinosaurs as a kid, but now I do it for real and I can thank Muttaburrasaurus for this.”

The next step in making Muttaburrasaurus the state’s fossil emblem includes amending the Emblems of Queensland Act 2005 to confirm ‘Mutt’s’ official status.

To learn more about Queensland’s emblems, flags and icons visit:  https://www.qld.gov.au/about/how-government-works/flags-emblems-icons

Where is Muttaburra?

Muttaburra is located 152 kilometres from Barcaldine in Outback Queensland via State Route 19.

What else is there to see in Muttaburra?

While on an Outback trek in July 2022, I visited Muttaburra, the geographical centre of Queensland, to see the Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre and the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum where my father was the first baby born after Dr Arratta’s arrival in 1925.

Here I’m pointing to where my father, William C. Scott, is recognised as the first baby born in Muttaburra after the arrival of Dr Arratta in 1925. With me is Margaretha Siebert from the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum.

Muttaburra has the distinction of being the town closest to the geographic centre of Queensland. A monument, erected in recognition of this significance is located on Nev Bullen Drive near the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum. PHOTO: Selfie!

 

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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also travelling.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Sydney’s Art & Soul, a must-read for culture travellers

05 Oct 2022

With its lively arts scene and nature’s artistry on show at every turn, creative energy charges through the harbour city.

Now, as a jam-packed calendar of world-class cultural events weaves its magic throughout spring, summer and beyond, you’ll find innovation meets inspiration wherever you venture.

Here, are the must-do experiences that’ll leave you feeling energised long after the applause fades.

 

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Enjoy a refreshing new perspective

For more than 150 years the Art Gallery of New South Wales has showcased extraordinary creativity, and now its hallowed halls are set to unveil their own transformation as the Sydney Modern Project reveals a brand new building, inspiring outdoor spaces, and dynamic galleries.

Feel your mind expand as you explore the works of Adrián Villar RojasDaniel Boyd and Sol LeWitt; feast on Matt Moran’s culinary creations, and discover nature’s treasures on an Aboriginal bush tucker tour in the nearby Royal Botanic Garden.

Discover an icon’s secret stories

The Sydney Opera House is the glittering centrepiece of Australia’s arts scene, and as its pearly sails sparkle in the spring sunshine its stages feature everything from lively musicals to classic concertos.

Get swept away by powerful storytelling at Phantom of the OperaInstruments of Dance and L’Hôtel; discover the house’s rich, hidden history on a private tour, and afterwards, raise a toast as you drink in the views from the Opera BarQuay Quarter Lanes and Bennelong.

Embrace the magic where old meets new

With its futuristic cityscape perched atop historic cobbled streets, Sydney’s layers of living history set a magical scene for all manner of arts events.

At UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Cockatoo Island, the iconic architecture lends an industrial feel to contemporary events, including the upcoming season of Opera Australia’s Carmen and the Mode Festival.

The steampunk vibes continue to inspire at Carriageworks, where 1800s railway workshops host everything from the experimental art festivals to Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed – all just a stroll from South Eveleigh’s innovative eateries.

Venture east to feast your senses

With its twinkling city views, cosmopolitan villages, golden beaches and playful spirit, Sydney’s East is a cradle of creativity.

Become part of its effervescent rhythm as pop living legends Bruno MarsElton John,  Robbie Williams and Justin Bieber hit the stage; be awed and enthralled by Paddington’s eclectic galleries, and let your inspiration guide you to Bondi, where the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition showcases the world’s best creativity and landmark eateries like Sean’sIcebergs and Totti’s serve inspiration on a platter.

 

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Live in the theatrical moment

From the art deco opulence of the State Theatre to the heritage grace of the Capitol and the modern charms of the Sydney Lyric Theatre, the city’s entertainment venues are themselves inspiring works of art – and host everything from Moulin Rouge! The Musical to CinderellaThe Angels Symphony and Aussie comedy greats throughout spring and summer.

Afterwards, head to the Darling Quarter for late-night bites, before slipping between the sheets at The AidenSofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, or Crown Towers in buzzing Barangaroo.

Explore unexpected treasure troves

Wander around The Rocks and you’ll find arts, culture and entertainment as vibrant as the harbour itself.

With its thought-provoking collection of more than 4000 modern works and a rolling roster of world-class exhibitions – including the ground-breaking Do Ho Suh and Australia’s most exciting young artists – the Museum of Contemporary Art always inspires.

Nearby, look for treasures hidden in plain sight on an Aboriginal culture or architecture walking tour, before hitting refresh in YCK laneways‘ secret bars.

Revel in the buzz of diversity

Sydney’s community spirit comes to life in its lively culture. At the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre on the banks of the Georges River you’ll find a busy spring-summer schedule of events, including the Italian Film Series, and the multimedia extravaganza, Where Shadows Meet.

Just 15 minutes drive away in Campbelltown, the offbeat Fisher’s Ghost Festival brings everyone together each November; meanwhile, in Cabramatta, the local Vietnamese community shares its delicious culinary heritage at a delectable range of eateries all year round.

Find joy in the eclectic and eccentric

With its street-art-filled lanes, breweries, and a live soundtrack featuring everything from rock to rap, the Inner West is buzzing with creativity.

Embrace its carefree spirit at the Enmore Theatre, where upcoming headliners include Eskimo Joe and Joey Bada$$.

At The Vanguard, Sonny Grin and Blondie appear between cabarets.

Out and about, you can soak up the creativity at the White Rabbit Gallery, and the Imperial and Factory Theatre, and spend a night or three basking in the inspiration at the atmospheric Old Clare Hotel.

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***

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Romantic getaway: A lovers’ guide to a day in Canberra

Looking to whisk your partner away for a romantic night in Australia’s capital city, Canberra?

Whether you’re new to Canberra or just looking for something different, this guide will help you plan the perfect date.

From dinner and drinks to theatre and attractions, we’ve got you covered.

So check out our recommendations and get ready to enjoy a night you’ll never forget!

1. Watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon

Marvel at breathtaking views of the city and surrounding mountains as you watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon.

Taking off at dawn, drift gently with the wind above Canberra’s unique city design from the air with the award-winning Balloon Aloft.

Optional five-star buffet breakfast and champagne toast are available following the flight.

 

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Romantic Getaway - Hot Air Balloons

2. Tour a vineyard with stunning views

Don your walking shoes and get lost among the grapevines at Mount Majura Vineyard.

The winery, located a short drive from Canberra’s CBD, offers guided tours where you can learn about the site, and viticulture, and take in stunning views from the top of the hill.

Wander back down to the cellar door for a tasting of their award-winning Pinot Gris and other delicious varieties.

3. The perfect place for a picnic

Roll out the picnic blanket for lunch with a view on carefully cultivated lawns at the National Arboretum Canberra.

Enjoy spectacular views of the city before exploring a mosaic of living forests and gardens with more than 44,000 rare and endangered trees across the site.

4. Explore Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

For couples who enjoy exploring, you can also head to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve for a walk or hike.

Spot a myriad of native and endangered wildlife as you roam the forest, such as the Bush-Tailed Rock Wallaby.

5. Italian and Sons: the perfect date on romantic getaways

Cosy up for a hearty meal at one of Canberra’s award-winning restaurants, Italian and Sons.

Start off with a drink in the venue’s sleek wine bar at the back, before settling into the restaurant for a wood-fired pizza or traditional house-made pasta.

6. Nightcap lovers rejoice!

Top off the evening with a nightcap at Tipsy Bull.

The cosy, yet sophisticated establishment offers more than 300 gin varieties served deconstructed with botanicals and tonics tailored to your selection.

7. Sleep in luxury

Sleep in five-star luxury at Canberra’s award-winning Hyatt Hotel.

The popular wedding venue is oozing with heritage style and comfort with package deals available for loved-up couples and breakfast included.

Celebrate Romance in Canberra

So, if you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Canberra is the place to be.

With its stunning natural scenery and wealth of luxurious accommodation options, you’re sure to find everything you need to make your special night unforgettable.

Why not book a hot air balloon ride, visit the vineyards, enjoy a picnic, take a trek in one of the nature reserves, or explore some of the city’s best restaurants?

Whatever you choose, we guarantee that Canberra will exceed your expectations.

Book your trip today!

 

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Romantic Getaway - woman drinking wine

Romantic Getaway in Canberra.

***Content courtesy of VisitCanberra***

 

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9 reasons to visit Jumpers and Jazz in July

Looking for a fun-filled winter getaway in Queensland? Head to the Queensland city of Warwick for Jumpers and Jazz in July.

The 10-day festival celebrates winter with all the exuberant colours of nature and delicious flavours of local foods.

Warwick’s streets come alive with fantastic tree sculptures, yarn bombing exhibitions and a huge car display; there’s a church tower covered by knitwear as well.

And to top it off­­—you get jazz music performed by some amazing musicians who’ve come from near or far just for this occasion too.

Jumpers and Jazz in July began in 2004 when the Warwick Art Gallery wrapped trees in textile art to brighten up the cold winter streets.

The exhibition has since grown into a much-anticipated community event, with locals competing to create the most impressive and creative designs.

Whether you’re into jazz music or just want to take in the festive atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

For the latest information on festival dates, visit Jumpers and Jazz in July.

 

trees wrapped in knitted art works

Warwick Art Gallery wraps trees in textile art to brighten up the cold winter streets for Jumpers and Jazz in July. Photo: Warwick Art Gallery

 

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1.     Technicolour dreamland made of yarns

If you’ve ever been to Jumpers and Jazz in July, you’ll know that the streets of Warwick are transformed into a technicolour dreamland for the duration of the festival.

That’s all thanks to the Yarntopians yarnbombing team of crafters who combine their skills to produce stunning art installations that attract thousands of festival visitors each year.

Their large-scale installations take months to complete and can involve up to 100 contributors.

Knitters and crocheters send them pieces from all over Australia, and their smaller local team gets together regularly to assemble and install everything.

A chief organiser of one festival project in 2022 was my late mother-in-law, Georgie Watts, a long-time parishioner at St Mark’s Anglican Church. Georgie was heavily involved in St Mark’s display of knitted and crocheted flowers that adorned the historic church’s tower throughout the 2022 festival. Sadly, Georgie didn’t to see the colourful flowers draped over the church tower. She passed away a month before the event.

St Mark's Anglican Church

St Mark’s Anglican Church, Warwick, Queensland.

2.     Art at St Mark’s Anglican Church

St Mark’s Anglican Church is a beautiful heritage-listed church in the heart of Warwick and hosts the annual Art@StMark’s display and sale of high-quality artworks during Jumpers and Jazz in July.

During the 10-day festival, visitors can view and buy art and crafts, and get a bite to eat at their Art Café in the church hall on Grafton Street.

There’s also a Meet the Artists and Official Opening event. For details visit www.warwickanglican.org.au or phone Sharon 0428 614 708.

To book, email artatstmarksno2@gmail.com

 PHOTO GALLERY

3.     Tree Jumper Exhibition

Jumpers and Jazz in July is a great time to check out the Tree Jumper exhibition in Warwick. Up and down the footpath, you’ll find trees wrapped in charming textile artwork.

These yarn-bombed masterpieces are a visual treat for all ages, and they’ll be on display 24 hours a day throughout the festival.

Jumpers and Jazz in July is all about creativity and community participation in the arts, and every year the events and activities continue to grow.

So be sure to check out the program for each day of the winter festival.

 

4.     Grand Automobile Display

If you love cars and music, then you’ll love Jumpers and Jazz in July. This annual winter festival takes place in the charming town of Warwick, Queensland.

The main street of the CBD is closed to traffic, so visitors can admire a static display of veteran, vintage and classic vehicles.

There’s also a selection of classic motorcycles on display, building on Warwick’s growing reputation as the Horsepower Capital of Australia!

During the festival, you can enjoy live jazz performances in various venues around town.

Or if you prefer, you can simply take a leisurely stroll and soak up the atmosphere.

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the trees dressed in woolly jumpers—it’s all part of the fun!

 

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5.     Celebration of local flavours

Jumpers and Jazz in July is a great opportunity to check out some of the best food and drinks Warwick has to offer.

Stroll & Swing on Palmerin features the Celebration of Local Flavours—an opportunity for the region’s primary producers and boutique or cottage industry vendors to showcase their direct-market goods.

Visitors can enjoy a firsthand experience of local produce at the alfresco dining spaces on the street.

Jumpers and Jazz is a great opportunity to support local businesses. Make sure you don’t miss out!

6.     Women in Motorsport Track Day Invitation

The Warwick District Sporting Car Club is inviting everyone to spend a day at the Morgan Park Raceway for the Women in Motorsport Track Day.

Anyone interested in getting into motorsports can experience the thrill of motorsport and see how it all works.

The club will provide instructions on general maintenance and give you the opportunity to drive your own day-drive car or be a passenger with an experienced driver in a race car.

This is a great opportunity to jumpstart your interest in car racing and build your confidence in-car operations and functions.

For more details or to register your interest, contact the club secretary at secretary@wdscc.com.au.

7.     Markets

Jumpers and Jazz in July has a range of markets where you can find unique, handmade products to help you get into the spirit of the event.

Artisans from all over come to sell their wares and you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.

Whether you’re looking for a new jumper to keep you warm during the cooler nights of the festival or a piece of art to take home with you, head on down and support local artists while getting into the festival spirit.

  • RETRO ROCKING AT THE GALLERY is a small boutique market coordinated by Warwick Art Gallery. Featuring excellent artisans who present amazing bespoke wares of flair and colour, you’ll be able to find some great gifts for friends and family, or maybe even something special for yourself.
  • SHOWCASING OUR ATELIERS
    If you’re ever feeling creative, or need some inspiration, head to Showcasing our Ateliers. You can meet the artisans and immerse yourself in workshops and demonstrations. It’s a great way to get inspired, and maybe even learn a new skill.
  • SUITCASE RUMMAGE MARKET
    Looking for something a little different at Jumpers and Jazz in July? Check out the Suitcase Rummage Market. This unique market features many pre-loved and vintage items, from clothes and jewellery to books and records. And because they sell all of the goods out of suitcases, you never know what you might find. So head on down and rummage through some bargains.
  • WARWICK POTTERS CRAFT MARKET
    Jumpers and Jazz in July culminates in a large craft market on Palmerin Street, with over 200 stalls selling handmade arts and crafts, food and drink. There is also plenty of entertainment on offer, with live music and a wine bar.

8. St Mary’s Community Contemplative Tree

St Mary’s Catholic Church is a beautiful and unique church located at 163 Palmerin Street, Warwick.

The church was built in 1926 and the museum (1865) is also a must-see.

During Jumpers and Jazz in July, people are invited to participate in the Community Contemplative Tree, while enjoying the vista of yarn-bombed palm trees and church pillars.

Hand-knitted and crochet scarves and beanies can be taken home.

The event is also a great opportunity to learn about the history of the church and the Warwick community.

There are also tours of the church and museum available.

St Mary’s Parish is an involved community of the Warwick township and the historical and architectural value are enormous.

The church and museum are a must-see for anyone visiting Warwick.

9. Warwick Art Gallery Exhibitions

The Warwick Art Gallery is a great place to check out some amazing art.

In 2022, the Paper Quilt project is the culmination of their general call out for works on paper that respond to the word “abundance”. It’s on display in the Orange Wall Gallery.

Another exhibition is the Australia Wide 8 Art Quilt Exhibition. This is the latest biennial travelling exhibition in the Australia Wide series, organized by Ozquilt Network Inc.

The exhibition showcases the work of Ozquilt Network members in Australia and overseas. It demonstrates the variety of the ‘stitched and layered textile’.

 

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Want more festival information?

There’s so much more happening than my overview here, so be sure to visit the official website (link below) for this year’s dates, the full program and a list of entertainers.

https://www.jumpersandjazz.com.au/

Where is Warwick?

Warwick is a town in southeast Queensland, Australia, located 130 kilometres southwest of Brisbane, and 83.5 km south of Toowoomba.

With a population of 15,380 (as of June 2018), Warwick is the administrative centre of the Southern Downs Region local government area.

The surrounding Darling Downs has fostered a strong agricultural industry for which Warwick, together with the larger city of Toowoomba, serves as convenient service centres.

Warwick is accessible via the Warwick train station on the Warwick line or by car from any number of Warwick’s multiple exits off the Warrego Highway.

Once in Warwick, visitors can explore a variety of historical landmarks such as:

For those looking for a more modern activity, there are also a number of shopping and dining options available in the Warwick CBD.

Whatever your interests, Warwick has something to offer everyone.


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So, what are you waiting for?

Mark the date in your calendar and get ready for a great time in Warwick.

And, when you’re admiring one of the festival’s many intricate designs, remember—it’s all made of yarn by contributors from throughout Australia.

Jumpers and Jazz in July - musicians

Jazz musicians in concert. Photo: Commons.Wikimedia

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***

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Journey to Queensland’s lost world of dinosaurs

In Part Two of our series on dinosaurs, Peter Woodland takes you through Charleville and Barcaldine before heading deeper into Queensland where you can find more prehistoric reptile fossils near Winton. Keep reading!

Where to from Lightning Ridge? North! We’re heading to Winton, but there are a few interesting stops on the way.

I’d head north from Lightning Ridge through Hebel, Dirranbandi and Ballon on the A2 highway.

The most direct and shortest route to Longreach and Winton is the A2 and it will take you through historic Barcaldine, home of the 1893 Shearers Strike and the birth of the Australian Labor Party.

However, let’s not rush. Just north of Boatman, I’d take a left turn to Charleville.

 

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Get up close and personal with the cosmos and bilbies

Trail of dinosaurs - the Bilby experience

Bilby. Photo: Creative Commons

I’d do that because there are a couple of attractions in Charleville that I think are worth a look and we’re not in a hurry, are we?

Charlieville boasts the Cosmos Centre. It is an open-air astronomical observatory that is a treat for young and old.

We nomads know the night sky is an unfathomable wonder, way out there, but the Cosmos Centre will take you even closer.

There are other observatories around Australia, but I don’t know of one with as consistently clear skies as Charleville.

The next morning, you can visit the Charleville Bilby Experience at the local railway station.

These little critters are adorable and surprisingly little known.

If, however, Australia is serious about guarding and preserving this wide brown land we are fortunate to be custodians of, we could start with the bilby.

Clear your mind of the Easter Bunny; take the legend of the Easter Bilby home to your families and grandchildren.

Destined for dinosaurs

Dinosaurs - australovenitor

Australovenitor at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. Photo: Creative Commons

Heading north again, we return to the A2 and will eventually arrive in Barcaldine.

It’s only a short trip to Longreach and, then, Winton.

There are attractions in both of these centres worth dallying for, but we’re interested in dinosaurs and they are tantalisingly close.


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Stay at the home of Waltzing Matilda

In Winton, apart from the tourist parks, there are several hotels and motels from which to choose. Of note is the historic North Gregory Hotel.

Banjo Patterson wrote Waltzing Matilda while staying nearby at Dagworth Station and it is reliably reported that it was first recited at the North Gregory on April 6, 1895.

On the subject, the Waltzing Matilda Centre, in Winton’s main street, is a trove of detail about the era and the human faces behind this quintessential Australian piece.

Trail of dinosaurs - hotel in Winton

North Gregory Hotel. Photo: Creative Commons

 

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See world-class dinosaur attractions

Now as to the Dinosaurs, I hear you ask.

The area around Winton was, again, on the edge of that erstwhile sea, mentioned previously, during the early to mid-Cretaceous, 145mya to 110mya.

It abounds in dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptile fossils.

The district boasts the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History and Lark Quarry.

These attractions are spectacular, world-class facilities and both are an easy drive from the centre of Winton.

Dinosaurs - two models

Dinosaurs at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History near Winton. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

Dinosaurs - Lark Quarry

Lark Quarry, Winton. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

WINTON PHOTO GALLERY

 

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Explore further afield

If you wish to venture further afield while based in Winton, new discoveries and a comprehensive display of some of the denizens of the Eromanga Sea can be found in Boulia.

Alternatively, head to Eromanga and the Eromanga Natural History Museum to meet Cooper, the largest dinosaur found in Australia to date.

 

***

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Explore dinosaur trails less travelled

Have you ever wanted to take a journey in the footsteps of giants? One that is less travelled by man, and full of prehistoric wonder!

Well, now’s your chance because Australia’s dinosaur trails have opened up in this amazing world.

But if you’re already a dedicated traveller, there may be none of the well-known trails left in your repertoire.

So why not invent one of your own? May I suggest a slightly different trail?

If you’re a grey nomad or any other southern self-contained gadabout and you’re heading north to sunny Queensland, start your trail at Lightning Ridge in far northern NSW.

If you’re already in North Queensland, simply start at the other end.

 

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Start at Lightning Ridge

Dinosaur Trails - Cretaceous Australia.

Cretaceous Australia. Photo: Creative Commons

Lightning Ridge is the source of some of Australia’s most spectacular dinosaur fossils; spectacular because they are opalised.

The district is a productive sight for Australian opals and that can add another dimension to your visit.

Most dinosaur discoveries at Lightning Ridge are from the Early to Mid Cretaceous periods, between 145mya and 110mya.

At this time central Australia was covered by a vast, relatively shallow, inland sea. Lightning Ridge would have been on the south-eastern shore of this sea.

These opal fields are the source of several important dinosaur fossil finds. Most recently, the small ornithopod dinosaur, Weewarrasaurus pobeni, was announced in 2019.

This dinosaur was small, approximately dog-sized and likely travelled in family groups or herds for protection. We know it from two fragments of a jawbone and some teeth.

Dinosaur fossils found in an opal mine

Prior to that, fossils of what appears to be a herd of larger ornithopod dinosaurs were found deep underground in an opal mine.

This dinosaur, Fostoria dhimbangunmal, is related to the well-known Muttaburrasaurus from North-western Queensland.

Over 60 bones have been discovered for this species representing four individuals.

The species name is a local Aboriginal word meaning ‘sheepyard’ from the locality where the fossils were found.

Numerous other fragments and bones of extinct dinosaurs remain to be identified in the district. Perhaps the most tantalising of these is ‘Lightning Claw’.

This dinosaur is known from very little evidence and none sufficient to flesh it out or officially give it a name.

It is assumed to be a large theropod, a Megaraptor, perhaps the largest of a type of dinosaur rarely found in the Australian fossil record.

Lightning claw

Lightning Claw. Photo: Creative Commons

Things to see and do at Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge has several caravan parks. Check out the fossicking heaps at the Tourist Information Centre.

The John Murray Gallery is a must, and a good meal can be had at the Lightning Ridge Bowls Club.

In particular, I’d recommend Piccolo Italian Restaurant. The food is superb but whatever you do, don’t ask for connolis.

This is a proud Roman restaurant and they don’t do that sort of Sicilian fare, as I discovered when I asked. They were polite but very definite.

Try the Car Door Tours; an economical, quaint way to see the sights.

When you get to Lightning Ridge, ask about the new Australian Opal Centre.

This is a proposed, state-of-the-art museum to be built into the earth at Lightning Ridge. Construction is due to start in 2022.

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Lightning Ridge - Car Door Tours

The Car Door Tours at Lighting Ridge are a must-see attraction. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

Lightning Ridge - John Murray Gallery Mural

John Murray Gallery mural at Lightning Ridge. Photo: Jocelyn Watts

Explore Australia’s lesser-known dinosaur trails

So you’re looking for a destination that’s off the beaten path, why not explore some of Australia’s lesser-known dinosaur trails?

These areas are home to prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth, and offer an unforgettable experience for travellers of all ages.

Lightning Ridge

Sunset at Lightning Ridge with a labyrinth. Photo: Shutterstock

 

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PART TWO: DINOSAURS IN QLD

 

***

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Croquet clubs make for great travel destinations

Have you ever played croquet? No?! Well, it’s definitely time to add it to your bucket list!

While visiting the Queensland city of Bundaberg, members of the Bundaberg Croquet Club introduced me to the classic game and I have to say, it was a lot of fun.

The club members were friendly and happy to show me (pictured right below) basic moves of the game that date back hundreds of years.

Bundaberg Croquet Club president Jennifer Lee said not only was croquet a lot of fun, but it was also the perfect addition to any holiday, whether in Bundaberg or anywhere else.

“Whether playing on your own or with friends, croquet is a great way to enjoy leisurely days outdoors,” Jennifer said.

“It’s a fun and challenging game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.”

Newbies, including (right) Peter Woodland and Jocelyn Watts, try out the traditional game of croquet.

 

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A brief history of Croquet

Croquet has been around for centuries, having become popular in Europe in the 1800s.

Its roots can be found in Ireland. The name “crookey” comes from crook + oy ( hooked stick).

A Dutch folktale mentions how players would use an indoor clay court with football-sized wooden balls and one metal ring to play Beugelen or Maillette–two different games that emerged in Europe as well.

Introduced to England by John Jaques, the game of croquet became an instant hit with middle-class attendees at The Great Exhibition of 1851.

Croquet played an important role in the lives of Victorian aristocracy, with many wealthy individuals building courts within their expansive estates.

Over time, different variations of the game developed for different audiences.

For example, there are now games specifically designed for children and seniors.

Today, the game remains a popular game enjoyed by all ages, and it is still associated with elegance and refinement.

The Bundaberg Croquet Club at 29 Quay Street, Bundaberg West, is as busy today as it was when founded in 1900.

croquet - postcard scene

A card depicting a game of croquet on the beach, by Lucien Tanquerey, 1910-1919, Wikimedia Commons.

How to play

Croquet is typically played on a lawn or other open space, and involves hitting balls with mallets through hoops.

The game is relatively easy to learn, but it takes practice to master.

The basic rules are as follows:

  • Each player starts with two balls, and the first player to get both balls through all the hoops wins the game.
  • There are many different ways to score points, and players can also knock other players’ balls out of bounds.

Court etiquette

Croquet is an engaging sport that requires skill, strategy, and tact.

Whether you’re an experienced player or a newcomer just learning the rules, it is important to be mindful of the proper etiquette when playing a game.

Some basic tips for maintaining good etiquette on the court include following the correct order of shots, staying alert during your opponent’s turns, and knowing how to give and receive compliments.

With these simple guidelines in mind, you can ensure that every game is enjoyable, both for yourself and everyone else on the court.

The benefits of playing croquet

Croquet is a recreational activity that offers a wealth of benefits.

First, the game requires players to exercise both their bodies and their minds.

Whether you are playing singles or doubles, Croquet requires you to balance, coordinate your movement, and think strategically in order to succeed.

No matter your age, skill level or fitness level, you can enjoy the sport at your own pace while exercising your body.

Additionally, Croquet is a sociable activity that encourages good sportsmanship and interaction between players.

How to get involved

If you’re looking to get started with this exciting game, there are several ways to get involved.

One option is to find a club in your area and sign up for lessons or training sessions.

Another way to learn about the game is by watching instructional videos online.

You could also use resources like books, magazines, and other Croquet-related materials to gain a deeper understanding of the game.

Pack a Croquet set for your next trip

When planning your next trip, consider packing a Croquet set along with your other supplies.

Croquet is a great game to play while travelling throughout Australia.

It’s a great way to meet new people and can be easily set up and played in a variety of locations, wherever there is open space in parks or open areas.

To set up the game, simply place the hoops in a square formation, with each hoop placed about seven yards apart.

The first player then hits the ball through all the hoops, in order, before returning to the start point and hitting the ball through the hoops again.

You can find croquet sets at Amazon Australia or most local sports stores, so it is easy to get started.

Just be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated on those hot days.

croquet - modern equipment

Modern croquet equipment. Photo by Winnywinn, 2008, Wikimedia Commons.

 

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Visit Bundaberg Croquet Club

And, if you’re passing through Bundaberg, be sure to visit the Bundaberg Croquet Club and meet the friendly members who are keen to introduce new people to the game.

Visitors can play a casual game for just $10.

President Jennifer Lee said local members were always happy to help beginners, so you’ll be up and playing in no time.

There is also a clubhouse, which makes for a perfect place to relax after playing. It’s also available to hire for events.

Croquet is also the perfect way to enjoy the Australian sunshine and take in the beautiful scenery near the Bundaberg Croquet Club, right next to the picturesque Burnett River.

Who knows, you might just get hooked on this historic game and make some wonderful new friends.

To find out more about the club visit https://www.croquetqld.org/clubs/wide-bay-burnett/bundaberg-croquet-club, phone (07) 4152 8472, or email bundaberg@croquetqld.org

croquet - card depicting children

A card depicting children playing Croquet. Photographer unknown. Source: University of British Columbia Library. Wikimedia Commons.


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Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering history and culture—all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Add some Western Australia culture to your bucket list

Western Australia is a vast and beautiful part of the world, with plenty to offer travellers looking for new cultural experiences.

From bustling city life to countryside exploration and everything in between, Western Australia has something for everyone.

Here are nine new cultural experiences you can enjoy in Western Australia.

1. Perth’s Van Gough exhibition

One of the most visited multi-sensory experiences in the world is coming to Perth this autumn from May 27 to July 3, 2022.

Van Gogh Alive is an immersive, multi-sensory art experience that turns the life and works of the post-impressionist artist into a larger-than-life experience using large-scale projections, an ambient soundscape, dazzling lights and fragrance.

The exhibition will take place at the Supreme Court Gardens in Perth’s CBD in a specially designed and constructed 25,000-square-foot immersive gallery, which will display over 3,000 images beamed across walls, floors and ceilings.

Tickets for this limited edition season are available to purchase through https://vangoghalive.com.au/perth/

 

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2. Street mural that will take your breath away

An incredible new street mural is brightening up the wall of Perth’s iconic all-inclusive venue, The Court Hotel.

Located in the cultural hub of Northbridge, opposite the new Western Australia Museum Boola Bardip, the colourful artwork represents the diversity of Perth’s LGBTQIA+ community.

Created by world-renowned Fremantle-based artist Jackson Harvey, the thematic direction of the artwork was created after a series of workshops and consultations with the local LGBTQIA+ community.

Colour features strongly in the design, as well as a two-storey-sized unicorn, as the colours of each specific community flag are depicted in a stunning scene of flora and fauna.

The mural design also aims to speak to the local history of the all-inclusive venue and the community, by incorporating the building’s existing Pride Flag into the mural. https://www.thecourt.com.au/

3. The Beaufort opens in Mount Lawley

The Beaufort is a new multi-level, state-of-the-art hospitality venue that has opened its doors on the vibrant Beaufort Street strip in the city-fringing suburb of Mount Lawley.

Taking over a former 1950s warehouse space, the $10 million venue is the second hospitality project from the award-winning team behind The Old Synagogue in Fremantle. Set over three levels, The Beaufort offers patrons multiple venues to explore.

The ground floor features an outdoor beer and wine garden, which leads upstairs to the second level, the heart of the building and the main bar and dance floor area which surrounds the central tiered jungle.

Further upstairs is a large rooftop terrace space known as the Candy Bar, and hidden within the depths of the building is a concealed speakeasy called Cypher – which plays live music each night and has one of the largest spirit collections in Perth.

The venue is also home to Lotus—a modern south-east Asian restaurant serving a unique sharing style menu that is also set over three levels.
https://www.thebeaufort.com.au/

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4. Hi-Fi Listening Bar opens in Northbridge, Western Australia

Perth has recently welcomed the opening of its first hi-fi record listening bar—Astral Weeks.

Located down an alleyway in Northbridge’s Chinatown Precinct, the former herbalist’s shop has been transformed into a 60-seat vinyl-based listening bar.

The hand-built Line Magnetic hi-fi system sits mounted behind the bar, with the venue’s interiors designed to enhance the acoustics experience—with insulated ceilings, carpeted floors and acoustics panels on the walls.

The drinks menu includes a selection of lo-fi wines, craft beers, spirits and sake served by bartenders who are all either musicians or DJs, and who have also curated the bar’s vast vinyl record collection.
https://astral-weeks.com.au/

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5. Mandurah brewery and distillery makes waves

The coastal city of Mandurah, located just an hour south of Perth’s CBD, has recently welcomed the opening of its first microbrewery and distillery, with both venues taking advantage of the city’s idyllic waterside setting.

Boundary Island Brewery is on the water’s edge at the Mandurah Quay Resort and overlooks the stunning Peel Estuary and its namesake, Boundary Island.

The venue is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a range of specialty pizzas prepared in a state-of-the-art pizza oven.

Mandurah Cruises has also launched a new tour to connect its iconic dolphin experience straight to the brewery.

Little Stiller is on the Mandurah Terrace, overlooking the Mandurah Estuary, and produces four specially crafted gins and two vodkas, distilled onsite using locally sourced botanicals.

The boutique venue offers a Little Stiller tasting plate experience, as well as a range of classic cocktails with a fun twist.

A selection of bao buns is on the menu for those feeling hungry, as well as sharing style offerings.

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6. Exclusive wine experience at Margaret River, Western Australia

Gralyn Estate in the renowned Margaret River region of Western Australia has recently reopened its original underground cellar door to offer a new intimate and premium wine tasting experience.

Gralyn Estate was the first winery in the region to open a cellar door in 1978, and the original cellar door had been closed to the public for many years since a new modern cellar door was built upstairs.

Wine lovers now have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and be treated to the rare opportunity to taste museum wines dating back to 1980 in a small group setting.

During the 90-minute experience guests will taste a selection of cornerstone varietals, namely chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, or premium fortified wines, including the Artizan Rare Muscat which was just recently received the prestigious accolade of ‘Wine of the Year’ at the 2022 London Wine Competition.

The tasting’s hero wine will then be sealed and recorked for guests to take home. https://gralyn.com.au/


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7. Beerfarm brews up its next special edition native series

Beerfarm brewery in the Margaret River region of Western Australia has released a special edition Native Series of brews, a Quandong and Samphire Gose.

The Beerfarm brewers worked alongside Fervor, a regional pop-up dining experience that sources local produce presented in unique locations, and Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) to source the ingredients for the eighth edition of the Native Series.

BAC is a small community in Western Australia’s Great Southern region in Goreng Country.

The country that surrounds Badgebup is plentiful with Quandong trees and fresh Samphire from the saline wetlands, which were used to produce the special edition sour brew.

Native Series #8 Quandong & Samphire Gose is available to purchase from the brewery, as well as select bottle shops.
https://www.beerfarm.com.au/

8. Corvo opens in Claremont

Taking over the former Billie H in the Claremont Quarter precinct in Western Australia, Corvo is a European-inspired bar and kitchen.

The owner and sommelier have spent time with Marco Pierre White, and the chef has spent time in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Europe.

The space is designed for wining and dining, with a seasonal European-style menu featuring fine local produce, and a wine list of almost 300 selections, as well as cocktails, beers and bar snacks.
https://corvobar.com.au/

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9. European-inspired bar and restaurant you’ll love

A popular venue in Perth’s city-fringing suburb of Subiaco has recently reopened with a new bar and restaurant offering.

Dilly Dally has undergone a major refurbishment, with Bar Loiter opening at the back of the venue.

The new Italian-inspired bar and restaurant offer seated dining, a long wine table, plus an alfresco space—which was created by removing parts of the roof during the renovation.

Bar Loiter offers a menu of house-made Italian share plates, alongside a drinks selection of cocktails, wine and craft beer on tap.
https://www.dillydally.com.au/bar-loiter/


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So if you’re looking for a cultural experience that’s a little different from the norm, Western Australia is definitely worth checking out.

With so many new Western Australian attractions on offer, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest.

And who knows—maybe you’ll even become a regular visitor!

Western Australia - vineyard

Vineyards in Western Australia are worth checking out!

***

Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering history and culture—all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!