On Thursday February 23rd, 2017 a group of random strangers came together to spend a fantastic day traveling to and from a Central Queensland town called Allies Creek. A real estate advertisement for the sale of the small town in the middle of nowhere had caught the eye of a few intrepid souls. United by a common theme, that was to venture off into the unknown to explore the property, and then to set about dreaming about what it could potentially be turned into.
The group hit the road from the Gold Coast shortly after dawn. The wonderful not for profit organisation FSG had kindly provided the mini bus in which we all travelled together. Our dedicated driver, Gary, made sure that the 863kms that we would travel during the day was done in the safest possible manner.
On board the mini bus we had students, people interested in architecture, town and urban development, sustainable development, permaculture, property investment, tv production and even singing.
Once settled into the rhythm of the Warrego Highway the group on the bus got to know each by sharing their backgrounds and reasons for coming along on this trip. The further we headed west the more we explored about each others past, present and plans for the future.
We arrived at our destination at 851 Mill Road, Allies Creek just 23kms east of Monogirilby some seven hours after leaving the Gold Coast. The last part of the trip had seen an end of the tar sealed road. Gary, our driver, expertly drove us down a twenty kilometre stretch of winding, dusty, bumpy gravel road until we came upon the oasis that is Allies Creek. Nestled between acres of trees, a street of houses, a few water tanks, a vacant saw mill, and a small dam this idyllic little setting struck everyone on the bus with a large degree of surprise.
Soon after stretching our legs after the long journey we stood around as a group and listened carefully as the real estate agents who had been awaiting our arrival explained to us as much as they knew about the property.
We then as a group ventured off around the tiny, yet fascinating little town to see what gems it may be hiding. The sixteen houses in the town were small quaint mining type cottages. All were being kept in reasonable condition to the surprise of many of us. The remnants of a tennis court was over grown by weeds, yet there was still signs of a cute little club house that still stood beside the run down tennis court.
Our first visit inside one of the dwellings on the property also took us by surprise. We didn’t find a run down ant infested structure, but a tidy little place that had previously been used as a school room.
We went from one dwelling to the next. Soon we were standing inside the towns community hall, church and present day table tennis club. Our group was already throwing around ideas on potential business opportunities for the town as well as ideas on how to get people excited to come and visit this far away place. All along a drone buzzed above our heads making a video memory of our trip.
Soon we were standing in the huge vacant de-commissioned saw mill. Large machinery stood silent and looking sad. Waiting for the day when they could be once again fired back into life. Then it was onto the nearby dam. There two ponds sat side by side. One was fill of ducks each pond adding to the tranquility and serenity of the property.
After a couple of hours of exploring the town, and quick goodbyes to the real estate agents we boarded the mini bus for the long journey home. As we re-traced our journey we spoke our individual truths about what we had seen in the town and whether or not we wanted to be part of some greater development opportunity.
The consensus was that Allies Creek while a lovely little oasis in the middle of nowhere did take us all by surprise, the fact that it is absolutely in the middle of nowhere prevented any serious intent from anyone on our trip to take this opportunity any further. As the sun set and we all dived into a packet of fish and chips on the way back to the Gold Coast, and to reality, we all reflected on what had been a great day out. As they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.
By the time Gary pulled the mini bus into the car park at FSG ,and we all unpacked our bags from the trip there were some pretty tired souls on the bus. We said our goodbyes, locked things up and headed off on a separate ways into the night.
It had been a great day out, an opportunity to dream big, to see something different but above all else to spend a day in the presence of some great human beings. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come along. Thanks to Gary our driver for a sterling effort behind the wheel.
Let’s see where the next adventure will take us soon. Stay tuned.