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September 12th 2010
Published: September 18th 2010
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Sunday looked to be another beautiful day and because of the rain-soaked disappointments of the previous Sunday we knew where we would be heading. So a minute or so before the opening time of 10.00am we arrived at the Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre. A couple of jolly ladies in the shop cum café welcomed us and invited us to read the information on the wall before we ventured further. The story of Glengallan is a common place one of boom and bust: the highly successful pastoralist erecting a beautiful house for his hard won station in colonial times but, even before the homestead was complete, drought and rural downturn took their toll. The visionary John Deuchar was bankrupt and forced from his home to die a broken man a few years later. The homestead was bought by the Slade family but never saw its grand plan realized or even known as the original house plans have never been found. It was abandoned in the 1940’s, fell into disrepair, was looted several times and came close to being demolished. But in 1993 it was saved by the Glengallan Homestead Trust and a Federal Government Centenary Grant of $2 million.

A few of the original artifacts from the house have been found and were on show in glass cabinets together with a host of information.

We meandered into the garden and admired the views across the ‘Darling Downs’ to the Great Dividing Range in the distance. There was a pretty area in the middle and under a tree a beautiful sandstone bench - how we love these things! We went into the house and sat and watched an interesting video before wandering around trying to picture what the house might have looked like in its heyday. Due to lack of funds the restoration is not complete so it was very sad to see the parts of the house still needing huge amounts of work but one day it is hoped to restore the house completely. The first floor must have been wonderful in its day surrounded by the balcony. We wandered back to the café for some refreshment before we got back on the road. The café ladies were very chatty - they had both completed the full circuit tour of Aus and were full of interesting tit-bits - but eventually we left them to it and made our way to Toowoomba again.

If you remember, last Sunday we trudged around Toowoomba in the rain so now the weather was better we hoped to actually see the views from Picnic Point and see them we did - they were spectacular! Picnic Point is a long escarpment with views across the valley to the hills beyond. It’s a very rural mainly forested landscape. There were lots of people there having picnics and bbq’s but luckily the café wasn’t too busy so we bagged a table with a great view and enjoyed another lovely lunch. Then we wandered along one of the short walks, returned to the café and had ice creams (getting to be a bit of a habit!). In the rain last Sunday I hadn’t spotted the distance from Picnic Point to London but now we found that it is 16486 and 1306 to Melbourne.

Before we left Toowoomba we were determined to visit the Japanese Garden. Daphne had previously bought a postcard with a view of the gardens on it and it looked beautiful. So ‘Jan Nav’ (often better than ‘Sat Nav’) easily directed us to it using a map of the town (mind you the grid road system of most Aussie towns makes it simple!). The scene as we entered the garden nearly took our breath away - as with most Japanese gardens it was a serene and peaceful place. If we had visited a week or two earlier it would have been even more stunning as the azaleas would have been in full bloom. The designs of the various sections were amazing. We strolled around for some time and then just sat and enjoyed the atmosphere. We were so pleased that we had taken the trouble to seek the garden out.

The drive back to Warwick took about one and a half hours but what a great day it had been!

Additional photos below
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17th May 2012
Saved for the nation:  Glengallan Homestead

"Saved for the Nation" Glengallan Homestead photograph
We've noticed a photograph of Glengallan Homestead on your blog page with interest as we were the landscape architects responsible for the re planning of the garden during the rehabilitation of the homestead and have not been back to the site since that time. Would you consider that we could use your photograph on our website description of the project ( Kind regards Beth Wilson
13th August 2012
Saved for the nation:  Glengallan Homestead

you probably won't read this but feel free to use the photo!

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