Wednesday, August 26, 2020


 Ten years ago, my friend Geoff and I drove around a large part of Queensland and early on in the trip we stopped at Childers to walk around. Marianne asked if we could take some time off going to the shops and supermarkets in Hervey Bay, so away we went.

It's an easy drive of about 50 miles.

This was Marianne's second drive in our new Honda. She drove all the way to Childers and I drove back. She did very well for her second go at driving on the other side of the road.

To be honest, most of the scrub trees in the Fraser Coast area are not too impressive.

This is the main highway up the Queensland coast and while it is a vast improvement on what it used to be fifty years ago, it's nothing great. Marianne appreciated being able to use the caravan in front as an excuse not to drive too fast.

Closer to Childers, the ground changes colour from this whitish brown to a deep red.

The changeover occurs within a few hundred yards and here you can see the red soil. On the right are mango trees and sugar cane in the distance.

In Queensland when you see sugar cane growing, it's usually red dirt underneath.

We parked in Childers on a beautiful winters morning. As they say about Queensland, 'perfect one day, better the next'. It's the coldest month and I have yet to put on a jacket or wear long pants.

The main street is very wide with space for extra parking access lanes on each side.

Bowling green. Note the artificial playing surface and the shade from the hot sun.

It looks like the RSL took over an old pub. You can read more about the Returned and Services League here. One of its functions is to organize the annual Anzac Day Parade. Another important function is to sell beer.

Quite a number of sculptures line the street.

Mosaics at the foot of the sculpture.

Pressed metal ceiling.

One of the OP Shops (Goodwill). Notice the social distancing signs on the floor.

Another statue. The strong sun made it impossible to take the photo from the other side.

Most of the buildings on this side of the street burned down in a fire in 1902.  Sadly, an arsonist set fire to this backpacker hotel in 2000 with the resulting loss of life of 15 backpackers. You can read about it here. The perpetrator will die in jail.

Entrance to the hotel which has been restored. It now serves as the local tourist office.

I try to keep politics out of my blog, but this was funny.

An old pharmacy which is now a tourist attraction.

The attendant took out this drawer to show us. At the bottom of the picture is the contact tracing register where we entered out details.

The chest of drawers and a cash register.

All the bottles etc were found in a shed out the back of the building. There is a long wiki article about the museum here.

All older Aussies will remember these piggy banks. I had one. They are modelled on the Commonwealth Bank in Martin Place, Sydney.

The old cash register that they stopped using in 1966 when Australia changed to decimal currency. It cost 60 pounds when new which was an enormous sum.

Childers had a lot of pubs. Cutting cane was tough work.

Yet another hotel.

And the interior of another across the street.

This picture theatre has been restored but is now closed because of the virus.

Sometime when the virus restrictions are eased, I might go there. More about the theatre here.

Post Office. Wooden buildings are very common in Queensland.

One of the dark secrets of the sugar cane industry in Australia was the use of Kanakas working in the sugar fields in the latter part of the 19th century. Men from some of the Pacific islands were kidnapped and brought to Australia to work for little or no wages. Most of them were repatriated to their home islands between 1906 and 1908 as part of what became the 'White Australia Policy'.

The strong sun makes taking photos at this angle difficult. There are several of these metal statues that represent the Kanakas in the Childers area.

The top story of the hotel where the backpacker tragedy occurred.

A wooden bank.

Yet another pub. I really took the photo of the young man in the hi-viz jacket who is a Postman wheeling packages and letters in a shopping trolley.

Childers has a lovely collection of old buildings.

They even have this enormous German Howitzer from WW1. It towered over me.

This Masonic Lodge appears to be much the same design as the Lodge in Barcaldine. If you scroll down towards the end of this post, you can see what I mean.

We really enjoyed our visit to Childers. If you come to visit we will probably take you there. It's a lovely place.

On our way home we bought a pineapple.

The farm house.

There are lots of pineapples grown in the area.

We bought one of the cucumbers and Marianne will use it in a dinner when she next cooks. Pumpkins usually have green or blue skins in Queensland. Orange is not common.

A disused primary school. It's only a few miles to the next town so it's no wonder it was closed.

So for brekkie the following day I had pineapple and icecream. In Oz you are allowed to be decadent at breakfast time.

The spiky cucumber, also known as African Horned Cucumber.


Contents scraped into a bowl. There was a mild taste that was reminiscent of who knows what. Marianne is including it in a chicken dish for dinner.