Being a winter girl, a summer drive through Australia’s back roads isn’t always pleasant for me, living as I do in a humid sub-tropical part of the globe, but I have to admit I discovered the Linville – Moore region of the Esk county, in Southern Queensland did have a particular provincial charm.
Linville, itself, boasts a Pub and a general store, in addition to a camping ground and a vague attempt at a historic railway exhibit, but this too simply adds to the relaxing country appeal of a laid back rural lifestyle.
Situated a 90 minute drive, north west from Brisbane, the Esk shire had a rich history of timber getting and cattle grazing. Veteran soldiers returning from World War I established small dairy farms in the surrounding areas, many of which have folded, following the deregulation of the dairy industry in the late 20th century.
In 1910, the Brisbane Valley railway line was extended to Linville, from Toogoolawah. It must have been a big event when the railway branch line opened and dignitaries boarded the train that took them from here to the Pinkenba docks in Brisbane, 140 kilometres away.
The golden times have long gone for this small country town. The rail line was closed in the 1950’s and the station has suffered the ravages of time and neglect.
The railway carriages are unlocked and free to enter, but as charming as they are, they too, are in complete disrepair. They might just be awaiting a philanthropic entrepreneur to renovate them into a fashionable Air B &B?
Looking inside you can get a taste of rail travel of yesteryear. Beautiful leather seats and ornate plaster ceilings must have made for a luxurious alternative to a Horse and Jinker.
The old rails has now been removed but the track itself remains now as a cleared, cycle or walking path. Cyclists can access a level 23 km run north to the town of Blackbutt but those on foot can take the path in the opposite direction of 7 kilometres to nearby ‘Moore’ township.
The major waterway in the area, the Brisbane river, follows parts of the track, as it begins its winding course, meandering its way to Brisbane proper, finally spilling out into the sea, at Moreton Bay.
Due to recent good summer rainfalls, the vehicular causeway over the river was only just passable.
Before leaving Linville, you might enjoy 100 years of history over a meal of very decent pub grub, moderately priced at around $15 for a Burger with chips.
Word has it that you can even stay the night at the historical pub, if you wish.
Accommodation at the Linville Hotel will set you back $40, a night, if you chose to linger longer. Nighttime entertainment includes a game of pool, playing the piano or checking out the unique jukebox.
Or perhaps take in some more refreshments in the bar with the locals. Yes that label is fair dinkum!! Don’t let the chainsaw or the Port’s label, put you off!
Strolling down the ex-railway track for seven kilometres, you will arrive at the town of Moore. In the main street you will find a lovely gallery cafe.
The Old Church Gallery on Linville Road has a friendly buzz is evident with the owner operator enthusiastically welcoming visitors to her garden verandah cafe.
The menu for Lunch is centred on organic healthy cuisine, such as Cauliflower salad and Zucchini soup. There is plunger coffee, served individually to your table, according to taste, as well as infusions of loose leaf tea, and mouth-watering home made cakes, served with custard and figs, at prices that won’t blow your budget.
Plus you will find many interesting curios and artifacts from bygone times.
Home to Mackenzie fabrics, the adjoining Gallery contains a diverse range of arts, crafts, gifts and jewellery at moderate prices.
The Old Church Gallery is located at 35 Linville Road, Moore and is open from 11 am – 4pm, Thursday to Sunday, and will happily caters for Groups. Word has it a craft group has started up in Linville and they will also meet up at the cafe.
Access for disabled and Dogs are welcome in the courtyard. Always a bonus for dog lovers.
Moore and Linville’s Heritage Railway Walking trail make a delightful day trip to Ponder About and most suitable for Jo’s Monday Walks
Thanks goes to Ben and Nina for introducing us to the Linville area.