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The Lamb Street Chronicles (On the Road With the Cackleberry Farmer 2)

John was born and raised in Australia. Subsequently, he is interested in all things Australian: language, sport and culture.

On the Road Again

On the Road Again

Back on the Road

Equipped with two new batteries, Busby the ex-bus/now motorhome has a new lease on life. Still a little worse for wear after his earlier confrontation with the gatepost, but the damage was purely cosmetic. Not pretty, but I can live with it as I can't afford the cost of panel beating at the moment.

Anyway, we had to test out the new batteries. The previous ones had been losing charge every couple of days and I was constantly recharging. By shopping around I was lucky enough to purchase two for a little over the price of one elsewhere.

We decided to take Busby on a drive to Nanango (about 45 minutes away) to visit a friend at Protea Park (see my previous article by that name), and then to check out a camping spot called Broadwater on our journey home.

Nanango War Memorial

Nanango War Memorial


Nanango is situated 190 kilometres (118 miles) north-west of the state capital, Brisbane.

The original inhabitants of the area were the indigenous people belonging to the Wakka Wakka (or Waka Waka) tribe. The area was used as a gateway to the bunya nut festivals, where Aboriginal people would travel from far as far away as the Clarence and Maranoa Rivers to feast on bunya nuts from the bunya pine trees.

The name Nanango has evolved from the Wakka Wakka word "Nunangi". It is thought the word means "large watering hole"

The welcome sign at Nanango claims that it is the fourth oldest town in Queensland, but such claims depend on how the age of the town is determined. Nanango's claim to be fourth oldest is based on the first establishment of commercial premises (e.g. store or hotel), which was Goode's Inn in 1848.

Dairy, beef, and timber (especially the valuable red cedar) were the primary early industries in the area. The discovery of gold near Nanango in 1867 resulted in a gold rush, and consequently a local population boom, however, the gold deposits were found to be mediocre so the boom was short lived.

Today, Nanango's chief industries are coal mining and power generation, agriculture, beef and pork production, dairying and milk processing, timber, small crops, natural medicine, arts and crafts, and tourism. (Source: Wikipedia)

Natural Gardens at Protea Park

Natural Gardens at Protea Park

Protea Park

Protea Park is a lovely acreage owned by a friend of ours who is a natural therapist and herbalist. My wife sees her regularly for treatment for various conditions and I also do when need be. However, this day was we were here for some fellowship and relaxation. Once a month a spinning and weaving group meets at the homes of different members, and this time it was at Protea Park.

While my wife, Kathy, and the other women spun and chatted I had time to wander around the property and then sit and write in the beautiful natural surroundings. I had lacked creative inspiration for a couple of weeks and needed a different writing venue. This place was perfect.

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I'm not sure of the exact size of the property but I estimate in the vicinity of 100 acres. Protea Park is home to various types of livestock including: alpaca, camel, goats, horses, sheep, peacocks, chickens, ducks.

We spent an enjoyable and relaxing three or four hours there and then went boarded Busby, and went on our way.

The Beautiful creek setting at Broadwater

The Beautiful creek setting at Broadwater


The camping area at Broadwater had been recommended to us by friends (who also have a bus/motor home). They told us it was a peaceful spot where they often went to just get away from it all.

As Broadwater is half way between Nanango and where we live in Murgon we decided to take the short detour off the main road and stop there for a look on the way home. It is actually not an officially recognised camp but situated on a private property that has been opened to the public. Because there are cattle situated on the grounds access is through a gate which you need to ensure is closed on entering and leaving.

The camp site is perfectly located on the junction of two creeks and the setting is truly beautiful and serene.

It seemed strange having to go out of our way to find a quiet rural setting when we have spent the last ten years on the Cackleberry Farm and such a setting was our home.

Busby parked at Broadwater

Busby parked at Broadwater

We parked Busby in a wonderful spot on the creek bank (there were plenty to choose from), pulled out our camp chairs and reclined to enjoy the peace and quiet. If it had been summer we would have pulled out Busby's awning but at the moment it is late Winter and the weather is mild.

Ducks floated lazily on the water and a variety of birds flitted and twittered in the overhanging gum trees.

The best part about Broadwater is that it is not widely known to the general public, and consequently, is never crowded. It is also free. Although there are no facilities such as toilets and showers there are sites specifically for erecting fires and plenty of fire wood. We made sure we have a porta loo in the motor home anyway. We also have a 12-volt refrigerator, solar panel, and gas cooker.

Well, this was only a short temporary visit to investigate the site and when we arrived there were only two other caravans parked there. One other 4x4 came and went during our two hours there.

Too soon it was time to pack up and head back home, as we didn't have our dogs with us, and hadn't brought any food for dinner. Next time we will be prepared to stay a night or two and bring the dogs along so they can enjoy it as well.

Another view of Broadwater

Another view of Broadwater

Homeward Bound

Busby was a pleasure to drive and seemed to be enjoying his new batteries and actually getting out on the open road for the first time in months. We had no trouble sitting on the maximum speed limit and were home in around twenty-five minutes.

Our decision to move from our 40-acre block at Ballogie to the town of Murgon was not an easy one but after weighing the pros and cons we are confident it was the right one. Town living provides easy access to amenities like hospitals, banks, shops, restaurants etc.

Ten years ago we gave up all that for a tree change, now that's all turned around. As you get older priorities change and the work involved with keeping up a farm or large property gets more difficult.

We still have the three dogs, five cats, and eight hens but not the roosters, or wildlife like kangaroos, wallabies, goannas, pythons etc.

Gardening is one of our top priorities at the new home and we have been spending most afternoons planting native trees to attract birds, as well as cleaning up and weeding the gardens already established here.

Our home in Lamb Street, Murgon

Our home in Lamb Street, Murgon

Contentment Makes a Home (a Poem)

No longer living on The Block,

The Haven's been and gone,

The Cackleberry Farm has bid farewell,

Life at Ballogie's done.

The town of Murgon called our names,

So "townies" we've become.

Lamb Street is our new address

Of the place, we now call home.

It has its cons but also pros,

Access and less for fuel,

Replaces natural quiet surrounds.

Some may think me quite a fool.

You can't always control the cards

That life decides to deal.

Just play your hand as best you can,

And keep an even keel.

Anywhere you hang your hat

Wherever you may roam.

Bricks and mortar make a house,

But contentment makes a home.

Part of our garden

Part of our garden

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 12, 2018:

Hi MizB. Yes, that was one of our main reasons. Close to medical facilities. Maybe we could have put it off for a few years but it would have to be done eventually. Thanks for reading and I am glad you liked the poem.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 12, 2018:

Gosh, John, I'm so glad I've retired because now I can go back and read the articles written by my friends that I missed when I was too busy kissing donkeys (that's "ass" in the Bible). I understand your move to town. We've wanted to move to the country now for years but we can't because we need the city convenience, like medical facilities. I loved your poem, but then I always do.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 25, 2017:

Thanks Lawrence. Your visits are always welcome. Busby's not as pretty as she was but yes still sturdy.

Lawrence Hebb on September 25, 2017:


Busby is pretty sturdy. She's built well.

Sorry I haven't gotten here before, few troubles with the internet.

Great catching up though.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 18, 2017:

Missy, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. It was sad to leave the farm but overall we are very happy here now. So glad you loved that last verse too... I feel it is something we should live by.

Missy Smith from Florida on September 18, 2017:

First of all - Love the poem! Second, this was full of wonderful history and information. Protea Park and Broadwater have beautiful landscapes! Thank you for sharing your life's journey with us, John.

Your home in town has a lot of character, and I know you and Kathy will bring that character to life. Although, I must admit, I am a little sad that the farm life had to go, but I do understand the curves in which this life can throw all of us at times.

With all that said, it was the last verse of your poem that warmed my heart the most:

Anywhere you hang your hat

Wherever you may roam.

Bricks and mortar make a house,

But contentment makes a home.

Ah yes, I really wish more people would grab hold of the contentment side of what home is, and not the picture of what it should look like. I think everyone would find so much more peace that way. ;)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 27, 2017:

Thanks Tamara. Yes, Australia is quite a unique place, especially our animals. When I lived on the Cackleberry Farm we had kangaroos and wallabies with babies in their pouches everywhere. You'd love it.

Tamara Moore on August 27, 2017:

Such wonderful journeys, adventures, and also lovely pictures to boot! I enjoy hearing about different places, and also various cultures.

I had forgotten that you live in Australia, John. I cannot imagine what it might be like there unless I read from your posts. I have never been there, before!

Are there really cute kangaroos hopping about everywhere with their babies inside their pouches? This is what I always think of when I picture Australia!



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 14, 2017:

I hope you found this helpful and inspirational, Jo. We were apprehensive about the move and it took almost a month to move our goods and shackles to a smaller home, bt now we are here we are really happy. Have more diverse activities to occupy us and closer to everything. I am sure you will make the right decision.

Jo Miller from Tennessee on August 14, 2017:

I needed to read this this morning, John. My husband and I are thinking about making a similar move as you and your wife did--from our much loved country home to a place in a small town. As

we make this decision I'm going to come back to your work for inspiration and support.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 13, 2017:

I am glad this article made you want to visit the area, Larry. Thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed the read.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on August 13, 2017:

You make me want to visit. Just a beautiful place.

Great read!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Thank you, Imran. Much appreciated.

pen promulgates on August 11, 2017:

Beautiful poem Jodah. I love the way you write.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Thank you, Flourish. Yes, that is what is important. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Thanks for reading this, Tim. So glad you could relate and enjoy. Cheers.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 11, 2017:

As long as you have your family (including your lovely four-legged members) you can settle anywhere and make it home.

Ann Carr from SW England on August 11, 2017:

Yes, it's going well thanks, John. We might be straight by Christmas!


Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on August 11, 2017:

Loved being with you on the journey of discoveries. It was easy for me to relate with my personal experience with changing an abode. The poem says it all about such experience and the last line "But contentment makes a home" is something I will take to heart.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Hi, Ann. Thank you for all the kind words. It's always kind of exciting to see what cards life deals you next, and we are actually enjoying this stage. It seems Kathy and I are actually able to do more things together now with more activities and facilities close by, besides, we have Busby to aid in some new adventures. Glad your new home is keeping you occupied for the moment. Hope it's all going well.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Hi Charmaine. I've still been around just had difficulty finding the time to read and write as much as I have wanted. Hopefully I am back on track now. Thank you so much for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Thanks for the love, Bill. That's always more than welcome and it's always a confidence boost to know my writing is enjoyed. It was a great little trip.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Mike, I am happy that you are still supporting this series as it goes through its changes. I wasn't sure if leaving the farm would result in the death of the Cackleberry Farmer stories or not but it's good to know that you are still enjoying them.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Hey Eric, come along for a ride any time. You're always welcome, as are your comments.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 11, 2017:

Alicia, thank you for following along as The Cackleberry Farmer becomes The Lamb Street Chronicles. I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to retain the reader's interest. You give me confidence that I can. Glad you enjoyed the poem too.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 11, 2017:

I'm going to enjoy the Lamb Street Chronicles as much as the Cackleberry Farm series. This is an interesting article. Your poem includes some excellent points. We can't control the cards that life decides to deal, and contentment definitely makes a home.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 11, 2017:

Howdy bro, it was great spending time with you all but I have to head home now. Thanks for the hospitality.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on August 11, 2017:

Hello John - I am glad that you continue the Cackleberry episodes. There is such a felling of freedom that you infuse in these works.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 11, 2017:

This is like a modern day Travels With Charley. Love that park, love your's a regular love fest this morning. :)

threekeys on August 11, 2017:

I enjoyed the trip too. That campsite you found on the quiet looked beautifully peaceful. Welcome back. Wondered what happened to you.

Ann Carr from SW England on August 11, 2017:

Great article and lovely poem, John. It sounds as though you're really content and happy with your decision to move, even though it was a hard one to make.

Your house looks even lovelier now (I remember the photo when you first bought it) and it sounds as though you're planting some wonderful things.

I love your outing here and I'm glad the bus is behaving itself. It's great to have a wagon you can travel around in. We often miss our self-built camper-van. Maybe when we've finished this house we might get a van again but for the moment we have little wanderlust.

Have a great weekend, John!


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