Hosts Eion & Carlie Atkins and Brian senior, welcomed twenty-one members and guests of the Upper Dawson Wildlife Preservation Society on Saturday 31 May to their ‘Coorada’ homestead.
The hosts recounted the history of the Atkins family since arrival at ‘Coorada’ in 1867, and took the group on a tour of the out-buildings from various decades past, including three in which original adze-shaped slabs formed still-solid walls.
White-ant resistant Budgeroo posts have lasted over a century, a photo of Australia’s largest recorded orange tree hangs in the expansive dining room, and it was a surprise to learn that the magnificent old homestead was a ‘kit’ home brought in pieces on a bullock-dray in 1919. The nearby ‘Coorada’ Cemetery told of both long lives and very short ones when isolation and the hazards of life on the land took infants and men before help could reach them.
Along Turtle Creek the group enjoyed seeing sandy beds with clear pools of spring-fed water overlooked by crimson Bottlebrush – at one spot, diverted by a massive wall of grey sandstone etched with cream-walled caves around which the accompanying children enjoyed scrambling.
A representative of the Fitzroy Basin Association brought draft copies of the Upper Dawson Wetlands Survey Reports due to be released at the end of June. It is hoped that this document will provide a benchmark for future studies of the Palmtree and Robinson Creek Catchments. The scenery and generous hospitality made it a great day for the visitors.