Jack Larkin, from Prosepine, Julie Chevalier, France and head stockman Sophie Lawson, England.
Jack Larkin, from Prosepine, Julie Chevalier, France and head stockman Sophie Lawson, England. Vanessa Jarrett

CQ town creates 'bush oasis' holiday to capture thousands

AS HUNDREDS and potentially even thousands of grey nomad and tourists come through Theodore each year to enjoy the Dawson River, they will soon be offered with something new to enjoy thanks to the committee of the Theodore Hotel.

Last Monday, a 'dry run' with the first stop at Gyranda Station.

Burnett Joyce from Gyranda Station spoke about his family history of the station, the landscape, the Gyranda range and the farming operations as the bus passed through workers on horses moving a mob of cattle.

The group had smoko in the oasis of the Gyranda Hometead garden Gyranda with more Gyranda history before heading off to the Saleyards.

Nestled on the Dawson River, an abundance of palm trees created an tropical feel in the middle of the bush as Burnett shared native foods among the group and spoke about the Aboriginal history of the land.

ON THE ROAD: The group of grey nomads and some locals who went on the trip.
ON THE ROAD: The group of grey nomads and some locals who went on the trip. Vanessa Jarrett

With a campfire barbecue lunch and some billy tea, the group filled up before heading off to the Cracow for a look at the museum and pub.

The group finished the day with a sunset view at Isla Gorge.

There were about 30 on the bus and among them were grey nomads, John and Narelle Thomas from Dorrigo, NSW, having a great time.

"I am very much enjoying it,” Narelle said.

"Burnett has summed up what we are interested in, what he grows, the pests.

"We have a farm so we are more interested in that, different areas have different problems and ways of problem solving.

"Our area is totally different, they have drought here and we have the opposite with 80mls.”

The tourist group tries some native foods from the land.
The tourist group tries some native foods from the land. Vanessa Jarrett

Tegan Green, secterary to the Board of Directors of the Theodore Hotel Co-Op Association, said the tours would help in bringing more profits to the Hotel.

"They will bring more tourism to Theodore and the Hotel and being a Co-Op Hotel, if we can cut boost our profits and accommodation we can help the community more.”

While Monday was just a day trip, the plan is to have a four-night package.

The package will include a flight to Thangool, travel to Theodore, four nights accommodation at Theodore Hotel, a trip to Gyranda Station, Convict Road, Isla Gorge and Cracow, a day in Theodore and a day in Biloela.

"We are trying to promote our town and our hotel,” Tegan said.

"And it is a different perspective, to see farms and how properties are run.”

Theodore Hotel Director, Chris Holmes, said they planned to have variety to interest the tourists.

"We are working with what we have so we can showcase the Theodore industries,” he said.

Burnett and Louise Joyce gave tours of their property.
Burnett and Louise Joyce gave tours of their property. Vanessa Jarrett

The main attraction for the day, Burnett and Louise Joyce were more than happy to come on board.

"I think it is a fantastic concept, people want to come on properties and learn about the history, the place, the food, the land,” Louise said.

"All things that as a tourist you could just drive past and not learn about.”

Louise said her husband, Burnett, was a wealth of knowledge and it was great to see him sharing it with others.

"Another thing that is so important is people like Burnett are so knowledgeable and once he is gone that information is lost,” she said.

The reins of Gyranda have now been handed over to their eldest daughter and husband, Nikki and Peter Mahony, allowing Burnett and Louise to be somewhat retired.

"We always had a lot of interest from our friends who love coming but we have never have the time before, we were busy running Gyranda and now we have more time it enables us to do so," Louise said.

”We have made a life of it and we enjoy sharing it with others,” Burnett said.

The first official package is scheduled to begin on October 16.

”We are talking quarterly at this stage but as it progesses and depending on how everyone goes, we might do it monthly or fortnightly,” Chris said.



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