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Gatton

The fertile Lockyer Valley of South East Queensland is home to the rich farming region of Gatton Shire, just 60 minutes from Brisbane.

Known for its spectacular scenic backdrop of steep hills and the mountains of The Great Dividing Range, Gatton is a fast growing region that has maintained its natural beauty and charm.

In November 2009, Gatton became home to the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre, a purpose built facility which houses a Library, Art Gallery, Function and Conference rooms, Visitor Information Centre and the Queensland Transport Museum - all this with the beautiful backdrop of Lake Apex. Take a walk around the lake, visit the 'Lights on the Hill' Trucking memorial, and enjoy bird watching within the fauna sanctuary. Or, for an insight into the history of the town and the Gatton area try visiting the Gatton and District Historical Society Museum which is located beside Lake Apex. The museum is open every Sunday between 1.30pm. to 4.00pm

There's so much to do here, including a highlight for train enthusiasts - the Spring Bluff Railway, a heritage listed site where you can relax and picnic in the landscaped gardens and learn about its colourful history.

See the natural beauty of the shire at Lake Apex Park, a must for bird watchers and explore the Aboriginal carvings while you picnic by Blackduck Creek. Also visit Glen Rock, the new regional park, comprising of picnic and camping facilities, bush walks, and swimming just 30 minutes from Gatton. For those who relish antique treasures, then the picturesque township of Withcott has a number of shops to browse.

From bushwalking on the scenic mountain trails and exploring heritage treasures, Gatton Shire is a great way to experience a beautiful part of Queensland's South East.

Gatton, Lockyer Valley Area
Queensland
Australia

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The Staging Post Café

Gatton, Lockyer Valley Area
The Staging Post Café makes its home in the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre. The venue is fully licensed, with beer and wine available for thirsty sightseers. The café serves Modern Australian dishes, from scones with jam and cream to steaks with veggies. All produce is sourced from local suppliers, so diners can eat well and support local industry.

Das Neumann Haus Museum

Laidley, Lockyer Valley Area
  • Free WiFi
Free Entry
Located in the gorgeous town of Laidley, Das Neumann Haus was built by German immigrant Hermann Neumann in 1893. The house has been restored to its former condition, refurnished in the style of the 1930s and open to the public as a house museum. Relax on the deck or under the shade of the 100 year old Jacaranda tree in the park. Sample delicious cakes, smoothies and more at Annie's Place Coffee Shop. Free wifi is available. Special events include the Heritage Festival annually in April, and the Laidley Spring Festival annually in September.

Ma Ma Creek War Memorial

Ma Ma Creek, Lockyer Valley Area
Free Entry
Fleurine Andrews' three sons died fighting in France in WWI. Their memory lives on in an unusual soldier statue in a small country cemetery, 13 kilometres south-west of Gatton. Mrs Andrews commissioned monumental masons AL Petrie and Son to produce the memorial, erected in the St Stephen's Anglican Church cemetery at Ma Ma Creek in 1920. The soldier statue, a popular choice of tribute in Queensland communities, embodies qualities of the ideal Australian: loyalty, youth, courage, innocence and masculinity. This one is a rarity, the only surviving 'Digger' wearing a cap instead of a slouch hat. Private James Martin Andrews was killed on 5 August 1916, aged 26. Private George Henry Andrews died on 9 June 1917, aged 28. Private Bertie Reginald Andrews was killed on 10 June 1918, aged 20. The war memorial stands behind the Andrews family plot and is the focus of public ANZAC Day memorial services. Mrs Andrews also donated a church organ in her sons' memory.

Weeping Mother Memorial

Gatton, Lockyer Valley Area
Free Entry
Many tears were shed on home soil as blood seeped in WWI trenches, Queensland's outpouring of grief most poignantly captured in a marble statue of a seated mother, weeping, at Gatton. While the foundation stone was laid in April 1922, it's not known when the marble memorial, which includes a mausoleum-type structure, was unveiled. It is known that it was designed and produced by Ipswich mason Frank Williams at a cost of more than £500 and that money was raised through public subscription. The weeping mother, slightly smaller than life-size, sits on a mound of rocks, her chin resting on her right hand, her left hand holding a scroll with the inscription 'Their names liveth for evermore'. Gatton's farming community lost 68 local men in WWI. The names of locals who died in subsequent conflicts, 23 in WWII and two in Vietnam, have been added. A light to illuminate the statue at night was added by the Gatton RSL and Women's Auxiliary, a WWI nurse flicking the switch on Armistice Day 1933.

Forest Hill War Memorial

Forest Hill, Lockyer Valley Area
Free Entry
An ex-serviceman who fought with the Australian Light Horse in WWI is believed to be the sculptor of Forest Hill's war memorial in the Lockyer Valley. The 4.5 metre monument, a life-size soldier standing on a tall sandstone pedestal with classically carved colonnettes, was unveiled in 1921 by five mothers whose sons had died at war. Monument masons PJ Lowther and Sons of Brisbane were commissioned to create the £300 cenotaph for the Forest Hill Memorial League. It's believed the family firm's sculptor son Charles Lowther actually did the carving. The finely carved grey sandstone monument faces east, towards the rising sun. Inscribed on the stone are the names of 97 soldiers who served including 11 who did not return. It's located in a small park adjacent to a railway line. A plate with the names of WWII servicemen has been added.
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