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That’s me outside the Linville Hotel.

TOH

Andrea Ferris

from the editor One of the many crossings of the Brisbane River in the Linville district.

1000 word weekend

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he weather’s perfect; there’s hardly anyone around; the universe aligns – this is the best campsite/town/ caravan park/fishing spot ever. Clearly it’s a great idea to return at the next opportunity – or is it? Inevitably on the follow-up trip the weather is rubbish; the local scout troop of 300 boys under twelve is holding its jamboree on the site; the fish are all on holiday; and it’s mozzie season. Utopia as you know it is spoilt. Therefore, I was hesitant when the other half (TOH) suggested we take the van to Linville for the weekend two weeks after we’d been through there on our epic Easter cycle tour. (What? You missed the epic cycle trip report? Catch up on Facebook.) Linville, however, was still lovely and my fears were unfounded: more sun, more peace, more beautiful scenery, more free camping, more friendly locals, more cold beer at the pub, more fun on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail and more gelato at Moore. According to the 2011 Census QuickStats website, Linville’s population is 431. There are thirteen more men than women; fortyeight percent of the population is married and nearly thirty percent have never married. Most Linvillians are employed in farming; live in a three bedroom house and have at least one car. Not so relevant to a camping trip, but it’s a really cool website to browse! There’s one pub and one general store, which may or may not be open for business. George Street is the main drag and it runs northsouth. Straight line flying crows will intersect the D’Aguilar Highway at Moore to the south and end up in the state forest in the vicinity of Jimna to the north. My own census determined that traffic on George Street consists of four-wheel-drives either belonging to a farmer on weekend runaround duty or owned by urban weekend warriors heading into the surrounding state forests and national parks to get the Coopers dirty. 6 |

Go Ca mping Austr a li a

Wikipedia – an editor’s bible – tells me that Linville began its days in the late 1800s as the Balfour brothers’ Colinton run stock yards site. A little settlement sprang up, which became a proper town around 1905. Logging was an important local industry until the 1950s. There are a few faded photos of bushy-bearded blokes with large saws alongside large logs on the pub’s smoke-stained timber walls and the idle old mill on George Street is a reminder of more prosperous days. The pub’s a classic Queenslander: more verandah than building. Calling it run-down is being kind, but it’s an iconic Aussie pub nonetheless with one or two chatty locals to be found propping up the bar on any day; analogue TVs with Foxtel footy or racing 24/7; a pool table; and daggy, saggy single beds to rent for twenty bucks a night. Plus an impressive beer can collection gathering dust on the top shelf of the public bar. The pub’s handy for campers though. The campsite is across the road on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. It’s a free site with a 24-hr limit although, according to the locals, this is not enforced. There is a one-loo toilet block, water and two 15 amp power outlets – first in best dressed. When you want a shower, sling your towel and soap over your shoulder, head across the road and drop a gold coin across the bar – basic but cleansing. Although only ninety minutes from either the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane, Linville has no mobile phone reception and therefore no internet. One young guy we met rides his scooter five kilometres up the road to the Moore cemetery driveway everyday where he parks and sets up his laptop to check his emails – hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic considering it is 2013. On subsequent enquiry to the local federal member I was informed, via Telstra, that there are ‘unique challenges for telecommunications’ in the area and so

civilised communications will have to wait until 2015 for a satellite solution. Despite being in the communications dark ages, Linville and district has two great assets: one is the scenic headwaters of the Brisbane River, which snakes its way through the valley; the second is the rail trail. The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail is 160 kilometres of disused Brisbane Valley rail line that commenced construction at Wulkaraka, near Ipswich, in 1884 and was completed at Yarraman in 1913. Linville lies on the MooreBlackbutt section of the trail; seven kilometres from Moore and 33.5 kilometres from Blackbutt. Walking, cycling and horse riding heaven – motorised vehicles are prohibited! The trail is compacted gravel with a few creek/gully crossings. There is a slight uphill grade travelling north, but barely noticeable until you turn around and coast down! The scenery is constantly changing from open farmland vistas to pockets of grass trees to cool, shady forest. The Moore-Linville-Benarkin-Blackbutt section is lovingly cared for by the Ambassadors of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. I was privileged to meet one ambassador at the Moore markets and we had a good chat about the maintenance and funding of the trail, what’s planned for the future and the problems of dealing with government! The ambassadors regularly slash the trail and, over the years, have built horse yards, bicycle racks, gates, picnic facilities and interpretive signage for users to enjoy. Their efforts, which are entirely voluntary, stem from a love of where they live and a desire to attract visitors to keep the district alive: hats off and a big round of applause to them. Here’s to Linville and I’m sure there’ll be many happy returns. Andrea Ferris Go Camping Australia Editor andrea@vinkpub.com


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00 Getting there Linville is about 137 km north-west of Brisbane via the Bruce Highway and D’Aguilar Highway. The turn-off is at R Estimated travel time is 1 hr 50 mins. Moore.

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When to go

Editor Andrea Ferris E: andrea@vinkpub.com

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Advertising Manager

Where to camp campsite is on George Street within the Brisbane Valley NORTHThe UM BERL AND There are a few heritage railway carriages Rail Trail corridor. to view and the restored station. It’s free-for-all site choice ISLANDS on the level grassy area. Suitable for all types of vehicles. Sau ma rez Rbbqs, Amenities include horse yards, kids’ playground, gas SHOALWAT eef ER BAY toilet rubbish bin, drinking water and power. While Townblock, ce shend Is land signage, it’s understood that camping is there is no official P or t Clintoonly. short-term e n Ca pe Clinto

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Georgina F rederic Chapman k Re f T: (07) 3334 e8007 E: georgina@vinkpub.com Production Team Matt Limmer, Richard Locke, Karen Belik Contributors Lee Atkinson Martin Auldist Melanie Ball Julie Bishop & Regina Jones Miriam Blaker Andrea Ferris Cathy Finch Emma George Nicholas Grundy Danielle Harvey

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Front Cover: Wilson River, Willi Willi National Park. Photo courtesy of Lee Atkinson.

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Editor's Column Go Camping June 2013