As I Sue and I left gorgeous Jimbour House, we bid farewell to its lush gardens and lavish buildings and motored down the road past endless fields and tiny villages, keeping a weather eye open for a place to stay the night.
We’d decided beforehand not to limit ourselves with reservations or pre-planned stops, so finding a place to pitch my tent each day was always a bit of an adventure.
So far we’d been lucky, finding a wonderful camping spot in the Bunya Mountains with access to unlimited hot showers. (Is there anything better whilst camping than a hot shower?)
As the sun sank lower and our road led us down increasingly uninhabited stretches, we started to get a wee bit nervous. We drove onward, hoping for a campsite yet contemplated just parking under a sturdy tree for the night before it got too dark.
Then I spotted a sign for heritage listed Boondooma Homestead. We didn’t know what it might be – a museum? A restaurant? An empty site where something important used to be? But we decided to give it a go.
What a delight it turned out to be.
Boondooma Homestead is actually Boondooma Homestead Museum and Heritage Complex. It is a quirky yet interesting hodgepodge of heritage buildings and a range of accommodation from cabins and camping to a caravan park. There are hot showers (yay!) and clean bathrooms, acres of space to wander through, and friendly hosts who welcome everyone for nibbles and drinks each evening.
Heritage-listed Boondooma Homestead was the center of the original Boondooma Station, which was settled in 1846 by three young Scotsmen. They brought in sheep to provide an income of tallow and wool, and shepherds from Germany and China to keep the flocks safe.
Being so isolated, Boondooma relied on supplies brought in by wagon twice a year and stored in the Stone Store pictured below.
The Stone Store was built to store and dispense supplies to the Station workers, and later to local settlers until 1922.
You can take a guided tour of Boondooma Homestead, and explore many old buildings such as the post office (1850), original shepherd’s hut (1861), cool shed, and the original homestead that was completed in 1855. You can also participate in several events throughout the year including Spirit of the Bush, a heritage weekend and balladeers muster, and Scots in the Bush, a celebration of the Scottish people who opened up so much of Australia.
We, however, were happy to simply set up camp and enjoy a good visit, a glass of wine, and the stunning views of trees and fields.
I didn’t get to enjoy the facilities as much as I normally would since I had an epic bout of heatstroke thanks to way too much sun during the day. I’d forgotten that in Australia, even when it’s lovely and cool (in the Bunya Mountains), the sun is fierce and will knock a Canadian girl flat if she’s not careful.
So I guzzled water, had a lovely sleep, and woke to this view the next morning.
We were amazed at the peace and quiet of the place, and the utter absence of flies and mosquitoes. It was marvelous.
We had a leisurely morning, reading our books while we sipped our coffees and watched the sunrise.
We had those blissful hot showers then sat down to the dinner I was too ill for the night before. I’ve never had gnocchi for breakfast before, but it was splendid, especially with a fresh tomato sauce, fresh basil, and a couple of crispy roasted sausages.
What a difference a good sleep and some good food makes. Heatstroke was a (mostly) distant memory, and I was ready for our next adventure.
What is your favorite camping breakfast? xo