Just thought I would do a quick post on one of my favourite local locations, the old Spring Bluff railway station. Just a short drive out of Toowoomba to the scenic railway on the range, its like stepping back in time with the heritage listed station and its magnificent gardens and surrounds. The original station masters cottage is now a cafe, with a bit of a dutch theme menu and serving up great pancakes. We have a bit of a weekend ritual with coffee and breakfast out, sometimes at a cafe, sometimes with a takeaway or a picnic in the park but Pancake Cottage café is one of our favourite weekend breakfast locations, as much for the environment as for the pancakes, so it is fairly regular event for us to wander out to Spring Bluff, sit on the verandah, and either read a book or watch the local birdlife while enjoying a coffee and a pancake.
Pancake Cottage café would have to be some of the easiest bird watching you will ever do, just sitting on the verandah you are likely to see; Lewin’s honeyeaters, blue faced honey eaters, fairy wrens, yellow robins and if you are not careful and sitting at the outdoor garden tables you are likely to have a scrub turkey join you for morning tea. In addition you will probably hear whip birds even if you don’t see them. The gardens at the Spring Bluff station are an enduring carnival of flowers drawcard, and while the station is especially beautiful at carnival time the area is beautiful at any time. Carnival time is generally very busy and getting a table at the cafe can be more of a challenge at such time, bookings are a good idea if you want to go to the cafe. Celebratory days like mothers day or fathers day also generally require a booking if you want food, they do tend to be very popular, if you like pancakes this is the place to come. Maybe I should say they tend to be the European crepe style of pancakes, thin, but large and filling the whole plate. Simple food but really enjoyable. Steam trains also run along the Spring Bluff route during the carnival of flowers, so a perfect opportunity to have that old world experience, and if you come to Toowoomba for the Carnival of Flowers in September, Spring Bluff is a must visit location.
The location has a sort of magical, timeless feel to it, you expect to see steam trains coming up the range to the station and ladies wandering about the manicured gardens in white lacy Edwardian dresses. The location has its surprises, if you go for a bit of a wander, follow the path up behind the cottage and you will find an old dance hall, nestled in the surrounding forest. You can kill time reading the graffiti on the rafters. I have always thought the old hall would be a romantic and evocative location for a steampunk event, hidden away as it is above the station and nestled in the forest. If you keep walking you can do a short a circuit around the ridge, no stairs but it is a bit of a slippery path in places, so shoes with a bit of grip are a good idea. It is a very short walk but quite pretty. The area just above the station has a children’s playground and a picnic area. The views down the valley are spectacular and the whole location is well worth the visit.