Winter Safaris to the Willows
By John Menadue
There is nothing more relaxing than sitting amongst the trees at the Gem Air Village Caravan Park at the Willows Gemfields in Central Queensland. The peace and tranquillity of the place simply lifts one’s spirit. Sitting there quietly with a glass of wine and a bowl of the best peanuts in the world (bought from the Peanut Van at Childers), I was in heaven with only the sounds of Nature to disturb me. Galahs, cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets all provided their own music, with a number of smaller native birds and an occasional kookaburra’s laugh adding to the symphony.
It was good to have finally arrived, having driven from Brisbane to Rockhampton, then west along the highway to Emerald and finally on to the Willows. The Willows township and the welcoming Gem Air Caravan Park (run by Steve and Rae Walmsley) is about 11km from the highway turnoff. I did the trip in May this year and the highway in many places was a real mess, particularly from Childers to Rockhampton. The never ending roadworks resulted in a much slower trip than I’d anticipated.