Burleigh Heads Beach, Queensland, Australia

Friday, December 20, 2019


As most people know parts of Australia are experiencing a dreadful drought. The stock farmers and crop farmers are suffering badly. There is not enough water and feed for the animals, there is not enough water to plant crops, and country towns are running out of water.
Many city folk on the coastal areas are trying to help the people suffering from the drought. Some time ago our village raised money to buy bales of hay and send them to the cattle farmers in the country town of Quilpie.
This week a tour company, "Fun Over 50" invited villagers for a free trip to Stanthorpe in their newest Diamond Class coach. The idea is for us to go to Stanthorpe, a rural town on the Southern Downs of Queensland, to spend money in businesses there. Town businesses are suffering because the farmers don't have money to spend in the towns anymore. So city people are encouraged to go to the country shops to do Christmas shopping.
Besides taking groups of city people to Stanthorpe to spend up, "Fun Over 50" also paid for 10 tankers of water to be sent to the farmers in the area, especially to the vineyards to keep the vines alive.

 So we set off at 6:30am for the 220k/140m trip up the ranges to Stanthorpe. The main road was closed due to bushfires so we had to take a back road. The scorched, parched land was a sad site.
A dry brown land, no cattle, no crops and a thirsty town on the hill.

Some farmers are diversifying into solar farms.
These are banks of solar panels a poor phone photo from the bus.

We enjoyed the wine tasting and we bought lots of wine.

We were taken to 'Jamworks' where we tasted and bought jams.

We bought Christmas gifts 

Then we walked the main street and this message on a shop window says it all. We found an air conditioned hotel where we ordered a big lunch. The temperature was 40°C/104°F. We didn't have a lot of time left to spend in other shops unfortunately, because we had to get back to the coach for the long drive home. We hope our little bit helped the poor people of Stanthorpe. This is only one country town out of hundreds that are suffering.

Main street of Stanthorpe (image from web)


  1. That sounds an excellent idea to help out those suffering communities. Good to see the investment in solar power too; there's a lot of such development around here though I'm sure it would be a lot more efficient in your climate.

  2. I like the idea of sharing the wealth. Tough times in Australia at the moment.

  3. What a great idea and full credit to the tour company.

  4. It's very sad that the farmers are suffering so much. It is hard work to till the land and raise the animals even when there is no drought. It's good that Aussies are being encouraged to do what they can to help the small towns.

  5. It is horrible to see the fires on televison, must be so scary to loose everything you have built up. Those temperatures are also intolerable. Good thing you helped them.

  6. very creative way to help and one I would not have thought of, but it makes perfect sense. it is heartbreaking to see the photos and I have seen on the news how bad the drought is and the record breaking heat doesn't help either. I am singing Let it rain and doing a rain dance for rain to come where it is needed....

  7. It is so sad the fires and the lack of rain. I follow the weather closely as we have family in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Also Adelaide, though I have not heard from them for a a couple of years!

    Sounds live a good trip and I am sure it must have helped - wine tating is fun.

    Have a great weekend, t'other Diane.

  8. Someone had a great idea to bring folks on a shopping trip to this poor dry town. I hope the rain comes soon and the drought is ended. It will be a sad Christmas for those who are suffering.

  9. I'm sure money spent would help. So dry up that way in winter, worse now. From memory fires were about Stanthorpe in winter.
    It's a great idea to wander off to towns in the rural areas to spend, heard that another town in Queensland had visitors too that came in a bus.
    Not into wine tasting, never visit a vineyard unless it's for just a meal.
    Merry Christmas to you and Bill.

  10. Well done Diane, Bill and residents of your retirement place.

    Watching the continual updates on the TV is so upsetting.

  11. What a good idea to spread some cash around! The constant threat of fire is so stressful. I'm glad that some of the farmers could repurpose their land.

  12. Our country is on fire and there is little many of us can do, there is not enough water and we are all suffering

  13. I've read about your very high temperatures there. How considerate to try to help the small town businesses.

  14. I hope rain shows up where it is needed, and soon! They say water will be the new gold … and in some places, it already seems to be that way. Your village has the spirit of giving, though, in a world thirsting for kindness.

  15. I think the idea of going to a suffering community to help out by giving them your business is a great idea. I hope there were many other tours like the one you took. Sending hay and water to the area is also very helpful. Hopefully the rains will come soon.

  16. It is so good to read stories like this one. Thank you for sharing it Diane. People helping people, it's the way it should be and passing on kindness, very heartwarming.

  17. Breaks my heart seeing the countryside look like that. I was born in Laidley, the Laidley Creek Valley is my spiritual home, the place I go to connect with my ancestors who were first settlers in the area. Of all their descendants only two are still in farming, only one in that area. It's always been a hard life but now, I think, it is harder than ever. I'm so glad you and others are doing what you can to make life easier for them. Merry Christmas, Di and Bill.

  18. Oh my, I had no idea...how sad but wonderful that groups are trying to help out.
    That's a great plan to bring money into the devastated places.
    Praying for rain to visit you soon.

  19. A good thought and deed by whoever arranged that trip. I'm sure it boosted the townsfolk to see all of you there.
    Wishing you and yours a lovely Christmas Diane ~😊🎄💖~

  20. The folks who organized that outing had a good idea to help the merchants of Stanthorpe and glad to see that you and your friends helped out. It was sad to read about and see the drought aftermath. I hope that rains come as a holiday gift fr all. Merry 🎄 Christmas to you and Bill and yur family.

  21. Truly what the holidays should be about - and every day. Praying for more rain for your country!

  22. This trip sounds a very good idea.
    I pray that you have rain and cooler temperatures soon.

    All the best Jan

  23. What a wonderful creative way to help out the businesses in this town. Kudos to the group that thought to organize this.
    I wasn't aware of the droughts, but had read about those devastating fires.

  24. That is an inspired way to help those affected by the fires. Kudos. They are in my prayers.

    Happy New Year!

    My Corner of the World