LAKE LESLIE TOURIST PARK, WARWICK
We left the bustle of the city behind as we set off on a three-day weekend at Leslie dam with the Gold Coast Camping & 4wd Group. We drove along the Border Range Loop. This scenic route took us from Brisbane to Ipswich and across the Great Dividing Range to Warwick before heading to 12 kilometers west to Lake Leslie Tourist Park. The drive encompasses the state's oldest provincial city, one of its most picturesque areas and a World Heritage-listed rainforest reserve. Mountainous views, ancient trees, wildlife, waterfalls and fresh creeks. Sightseeing and a spot of fishing are the order of these three days. Be sure to bring a camera and a spare memory stick to capture the countless points of interest and intrigue along the way.
We unpacked our gear and started exploring the Dam. Leslie Dam was built across the Condamine River to supplement the groundwater supply for irrigating farms along the North Branch of the Condamine River. The dam was named after a pioneer of this area. Patrick Leslie settled here and established a very sizeable station. The sculptures near the Dam Lookout are in memory of Patrick and his wife Kate. The lookout gives way to great views over the lake. All the natural boulders in this area are also interesting. We spent a bit of time letting our puppy (Shari) run loose. We headed back and caught up with everyone at the campfire. Late afternoon was a spectacular sunset.
The next morning we headed in to Warwick CBD, while the others went the tourist train to Clifton for the day. Nestled on the banks of the Condamine River lies the "Rose and Rodeo Capital' of Warwick, and host to the annual October hoedown of Australia's elite bull riders. We took a walk in the main street and ended at the markets in the park. Just before lunch we headed back to the dam for lunch and a spot of fishing. With the dam at 12% you would think the chances of catching some fish would be high.
No luck and no fish, we headed back and joined everyone at the fire for a yarns and drinks.