The little township of Crow’s Nest is situated 42km north of Toowoomba. Don’t let the size of this town fool you though, there are so many things to explore that a long weekend was merely enough for us to scratch the surface.
You can start in town by visiting Carbethon: the museum which specializes in historical research. If you enjoy relics of yester year be sure to visit the big antique corner store right opposite the hotel.
But as you are well aware by now, natural attractions are usually the main drawing card for us and this area has plenty on offer. For starters there are no less than four national parks. We enjoyed Crow’s Nest National Park which is situated just east of the township.
In Ravensbourne National Park you can experience the rainforest that used to cover this area. Geham National Park offers Blue Gum, Black Butt and Tallow wood. In Hampton National Park you’ll see open forest heavily infested with lantana. All of these parks offer great opportunities for bird watching.
For the water sport enthusiasts there are three lakes to choose from: Lake Cooby, Cressbrook and Perseverance. These locations also offer picnic areas, camping spots, walk trails and bird watching. There is such a diversity of birds in this area that you can choose from 3 bird trails, each with seven or more sites.
We came to this town as part of the Brisbane 4WD club, so most of the weekend was spent on a dirt track in the forest. But even if you aren’t part of a 4WD club and still wants to get off the bitumen, this area offers a range of soft 4WD opportunities you can try out. All the drives follow gazetted roads or stock roads. For information visit the Hampton Visitor Information Centre.
Part of the Bicentennial National Trail also runs through Crow’s Nest. This trail is 5 330 km self reliant multi-use track through the Australian bush. It is suitable for hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers.
We stayed at the Crows Nest Caravan Park which is conveniently located on the New England Highway. The facilities are clean, but we did find the customer relations lacking. There is also a restaurant on the premise that is open 5 nights a week. The going rate is $17.50 per adult. You really get value for money as far as the food is concerned, but once again the service was lacking. In my opinion the place was overbooked and resulted in dinner being dragged out over several hours.
Over the course of the weekend we speculated where the town’s name came from, as there are no great numbers of crows to be seen. A visit to a prominent sculpture in town shed light on this dilemma. The town is named after an Aboriginal by the name of Jimmy Crow. Jimmy used a large hollow tree as his Gunyah and supplied information about the area to early settlers. This place became known as Jimmy Crow’s Nest and hence the current name of Crow’s Nest.
One last place of interest I want to mention is the Cuckoo Clock Centre situated right next to the New England Highway between Crow’s Nest and Toowoomba. Do yourself a favour and venture into this shop. It claims to be home to 1000’s of clocks and I do believe them!