Revisiting the past…part 1

I was born and raised in Toowoomba, a medium-sized city located at the summit of the Great Dividing Range, in Queensland, Australia. I spent 40 years there until my life journey took a different tack and I headed to the USA for a decade. That’s another story for a future post. Growing up in Toowoomba was great, but as I got older, I became a little bored and didn’t see it as the place I would live my entire life. I’m sure that “grass is always greener on the other side” idea played a part in the boredom. I had been an inquisitive lad growing up and wanted to go out and explore the world and that I did, in those years out of the country.

When I was planning my return home to Australia, I needed to decide on where to return to live. Toowoomba? Brisbane (the capital of Queensland)? Or in another state. My Mum by now gone to live in an aged home specializing in dementia care, so I needed to be in driving distance. I could have returned to Toowoomba, however I had become used to living in more cosmopolitan places, so I chose Brisbane. I haven’t been disappointed with that choice by the way.

Most weekends I make a 90 minute drive to visit my Mum. Recently I reconnected with friends from my past in Toowoomba, and it’s been so lovely to do that. I’ve always thought of Toowoomba as being a little “conservative” and perhaps it is in some ways. But today I had my eyes opened somewhat when taken on an unplanned tour of some new facilities in the city. All the city needed was new blood and new ideas, and there is evidence of that everywhere.

My friend Alan is very passionate when it comes to singing the praises of our hometown, and especially so about a new airport built on the outskirts of the city. It’s a part of a new privately built/owned industrial and transport hub. I’ve never seen a new airport built – have you?  Sure, when travelling around the world, there is usually some form of extensions/improvements being built — if you’ve ever had the experience of transiting through LAX you’ll understand — it seems to be always undergoing major works. But the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport is brand spanking new, and it’s got more to be added as time goes by and demand increases. There weren’t any flights coming in at that time and apart from the security guard, we were the only ones in the complex. The owners of the airport built it in 1.5 years — an amazing feat, but doable when you control the contract and works, rather than relying on government departments. Its presence in Toowoomba is so overdue — in the past there has been a tiny airport only capable of very small craft.  Now the locals can fly direct to Brisbane and other capitals in the country and beyond. Much easier than driving to Brisbane and picking up a flight.

So this is the end of Part 1.  Part 2 comes soon, with more changes and reflections…of a former resident who left 20 years ago.  🙂

On the way to the airport.
On the way to the airport.
Here's the terminal.
Here’s the terminal.
Perfect location - big sky country, Aussie style.
Perfect location – big sky country, Aussie style.
Next flight out?
Next flight out?
This is really cool - history hanging out in the terminal.
This is really cool – history hanging out in the terminal.
Futuristic lights and other features abound.
Futuristic lights and other features abound.






5 thoughts on “Revisiting the past…part 1

    • Totally agree. I don’t know why they had to call it West Brisbane. Silly. It’s really nice out there — and lots of room for more runway if need be. Wagners must have spent a squillion on it.

  1. We have a small new airport about 5 km down the road from us. It was built up pretty fast despite the uprise of neighbours. It hasn’t seemed to impact us where we are as of yet. We already have flights from the international airport going over our place since we are 25 minutes drive from there. As for home towns, they do grow. We live near and frequent the home town where I went to high school (I grew up on a farm half an hour from there), and it has grown substantially since I went. The high school has moved to a new location and there is a lot more housing and shops and restaurants. It is still a town and the neighbouring, almost adjoining small city (still in the surrounding region of the Edmonton) is also booming. We lived in Edmonton for a few years and the other side of it for 10 years but came ‘home’. It is nice because my family is all around this area and our married kids are also in the area. Despite our reminiscent feelings of where we grew up, there is still something about going ‘home’. Looking forward to part two.

    • This airport won’t bother too many people Dawn. It is out in the countryside with only a handful of farms around in its direct flight path. The owners have their heads screwed on well. They are locals and have put the airport just near where a major new crossing of the Great Dividing Range will come through, and it will be the major route for freight going north from the southern states….so that will bring a lot more traffic. They are also building an industrial park close by and already there are some heavy earthmoving companies setting up. It’s great for the Toowoomba region. Rural Australia has been somewhat neglected over the years. It’s easy to understand when you know how large this country is, for such a small population (~23 million). I love blogging — because you get to know what’s going on here and vice versa. I’d love to come and visit you guys one year. Thanks so much for commenting.

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