Our visit to Jondaryan Woolshed was most enjoyable. All buildings are authentic, being moved to this large Woodshed complex from their various locations. Jondaryan Woolshed is the oldest standing iron clad woolshed, and the oldest working shearing shed in Queensland, and lays claim to be the oldest and largest operating woolshed in the world.
Originally built in 1859 as a 52 stand blade shearing shed, up to 300,000 sheep were shorn each year. The station at the time covered 300,000 acres running 200,000 sheep, 8,000 cattle and a Clydesdale horse stud. It is only used for display purposes now.
The former Bank of New South Wales two storey building from Oakey houses the office and shop at the entrance to the Jondaryan complex.
Visitors can join from guided tours, as well as walk around the complex, which is spread over twelve acres, at any time during their stay. After morning tea of damper and spotted dog, our tour included a shearing demonstration when any visitors can take a turn trying the handpiece.
These ingenious hatches in the slatted floor of the sheep pens enabled easy access to clean out the sheep manure from under the grating.
A small flock of crossbred and Suffolk sheep were paddocked near the shearing shed for the shearing demonstrations. With the gentle sound of sheep baaing; something we had not hear for some months, we had the best night’s sleep.
The small camping area with quaint old amenities has power but no potable water. Amenities have been upgraded since our visit.
A shepherd’s “mobile home” on display in the shearing shed.
Most of the park buildings are wheelchair accessible.
This complex is three kilometres south west of Jondaryan on 12 acres of land which was donated to the community by the land owners. A number of historic buildings from the Darling Downs have been relocated there.
Amongst the extensive displays of farm and road building machinery, is the first Fordson tractor to be sold in the Darling Downs.
Developed by Lionel Irvine in 1931 the Irvine Heat Treatment Machine (Roadburner) converted clay soils like the notorious black soil of the Downs into durable baked roads surfaces. At the front of the machine prongs loosened the soil while the engine drove fans over a wood fired furnace in the mid section, forcing 1316ºC heat into the ground. The result was a road with a sub-layer that could withstand increased loads and a smooth surface that could be shaped, graded and rolled.
Clydesdale draft horses.
Lagoon Creek Homestead is one of many re-located buildings. It can now be hired as a convention centre.
Clydesdale horses are used to pull this replica Cobb and Co coach.
A modern café restaurant has been added at the woolshed since out visit (limited opening times).
We continue our travels through the green and rolling hills of the Darling Downs and visit the Museum of Australian Army Flying at Oakey.