Esk – Queensland

We are currently in 14 Days quarantine after arriving home to South Australia from Queensland. While stuck at home we getting a few things ticked off the ‘get around to’ list and catching up with some blog posts.

Prior to out return to SA we spent 10 Days at Esk in Queensland attending the Rotary Nomads change over Muster at the Esk Caravan Park. A party that lasts 10 days! But that is another story. Click here if you would like to know more.

Esk is an interesting town located 100 km north-west of Brisbane. The historic town nestles under Glen Rock and Mount Esk on the Brisbane Valley Highway. It is notable for its historic timber shops, churches and houses. The town was named after the River Esk which runs from Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland to the Solway Firth in England.

Esk has a number of significant historic buildings on the Register of the National Estate and many buildings in the main street are good examples of late 19th century Queensland timber architecture.

Esk is also known for its stunning backdrop of Mount Glen Rock.

Glen Rock - Esk Queensland

Steven did attempt to hike to the top of Mount Glen Rock however unfortunately entry is prohibited. The land has been bought by the council for use by the public however in the meantime no one is allowed entry??

Glen Rock at Esk No Entry
No entry to Glen Rock
Nash Cafe bird

We enjoyed an afternoon tea with Blue-faced Honeyeater at the Nash Gallery & Cafe on the main Street. The Nash Gallery and Cafe (also known as the Lars Andersen house) is a delightful timber residence. It stands out against the other buildings on the street with a superb corrugated iron hipped roof and wonderful veranda to enjoy our afternoon tea. They also have hand thrown crystalline pottery and food with local produce. In 1917 the house was connected to the steam-driven saw mill and so was the first house in the town to have electricity. It is also is on the Register of the National Estate. Check out http://www.nashgalleryesk.com.au for more details.

Nash Cafe Esk
Nash Gallery & Café

At the southern end of the main street are several churches including the unusually named St Mel’s Roman Catholic Church (this Irish saint gave his name to Mel Gibson) and elegant old Queensland which is the Presbytery – they were built by local builders Lars Andersen; the timber St Agnes’ Church of England (1920) and the Anglican Rectory (1884); and the small timber Uniting Church. The tourist information centre is also at this end of town and worth a visit.

At the Lakeview Park Lookout there are supposed to be stunning views which stretch across to Wivenhoe Dam and beyond. So we drove up and down and up the steep rollercoaster road called Highland Street to the lookout. It seems that the trees have grown since the description was written! Nevertheless there was a geocache to find to keep us occupied and shaded picnic tables to sit for a while.

THE ‘yarn bombing’ winter craze taking over trendy suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney has now found a new locale in the chilly streets of Esk.

Yarn-bombers (The Esk Country Women’s Association) knit jumpers and colourful craft to decorate street trees, bike racks and park benches around Esk as a way of livening up public spaces and celebrating art. In a town as cold as Esk, the jumpers make people smile and perhaps warm them up a bit.

There are lots of places to visit near Esk. We only took a couple of trips out of town, one to Somerset Dam and the other a scenic drive up onto the Darling Downs and down to Spring Bluff Railway Station before returning to Esk.

Somerset Dam is one of the region’s oldest and largest water storages. It is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the region and feeds into the Wivenhoe Dam.

It is a pleasant, winding scenic drive West from Esk up onto the Darling Downs on the slopes of the Great Dividing Range. The place to have lunch up here is the Meringandan Hotel located about 15km North of Toowoomba. It can be difficult to get into which is a good sign and the steaks and sausages are monsters. Steven had the mixed grill which made for a huge lunch. They also had a choice of gluten free.

We called in to Spring Bluff Station and were surprised to find such a wonderful station surrounded by gardens

Spring Bluff Station

.A storm cut short our visit here and we returned to Esk. We look forward to a return visit to Spring Bluff.

Click here for our Spring Bluff post

On leaving Esk we noticed the Esk Garden and Lifestyle Fair was on. So just had to delay our departure and have a walk around the fair and the obligatory feed from one of the fundraising food stalls.

The fair has a huge variety of plants & everything gardening. A real country garden fair, with something for every gardener held in the picturesk parkland that surrounds the old Esk Railway Station in Pipeliner Park. Amazing to watch Shane Christensen a renowned Chainsaw Sculptor Carver at work turning logs into works of art.

Esk Rainbow

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