Japanese Gardens landscaped in a traditional Japanese theme and containing a number of lanterns and other sculptures.
The Azumaya (sitting house) can be used to view the gardens and surroundings. The pond is an integral part of the garden and all elements are represented in a beautiful setting.
The Timeless Garden features unique species of plants from all over the world, some of which you won’t find anywhere else in Australia. A sacred bottle tree was relocated in 2008 and now resides at the centre of the landscaped lawns.
The Japanese Garden is a cooperative effort between the two sister cities Blackwater and Fujisawa establishing harmony and friendship now and for the future.
The traditional garden features various styles used in Japanese gardening. The use of white gravel stones denotes water flowing from a waterfall. The placement of rocks within the gravel patterns symbolize the planets in space.
The lanterns represent various facets of life and the Goju no tou lantern represents elements of water, fire, earth, wind and air. Some, like the Yamadoro lantern, are made from volcanic rock, and are unrefined, like the more decorative varieties. An Azumaya, (sitting house) is for tea ceremonies or for just relaxing and being at one with the beauty of nature. The pond is an integral part of any Japanese garden as are all the elements of nature.
My next Stop was at Bedford Weir, which is just past Blackwater, 26 kms from the highway.
The c amping area had only one other campervan…it was very quiet and very peaceful. As it had appeared to start raining I parked under shadecloth and enjoyed the birds in the trees..the galahs, the pink rosellas and the apostle birds busily searching for food and evening shelter.
The Bedford Weir is a man-made impoundment on the Mackenzie River, situated 25 kilometres north of Blackwater. The area is suitable for overnight stays and water, toilets and showers are available free of charge. Wood fired barbecues and a children’s playground are set in shaded areas by the river, making it an ideal picnic spot.
The area is popular destination for boating, skiing and fishing and has been stocked with sports fish, including Barramundi and Saratoga with a fishing competition in September.
Here you will find
- ANGLING SPECIES – Stocked: barramundi, golden perch Other: eels, fork-tailed catfish, jew, leathery grunter, saratoga, sleepy cod, spangled perch.
- CAMPING – Bush camping alongside the weir.
- FACILITIES – Toilets, showers, picnic tables, playground, BBQs. DNR staff patrol the site.
- BOATING – No restrictions apply. Open to all boating activities. Concrete boat ramp.
- COMMENTS – Fish for golden perch in winter and below the weir in flow events. Golden perch and spangled perch caught on bait and lures in times of low turbidity. A summer saratoga fishery exists in all major waterholes of the Mackenzie River the weirs.
There are many walks around the dam and you can walk on the dam wall and view the dam from different locations.
Read another story of Bedford Weir….
Blackwater (and Blackdown Tablelands)
A modern mining town servicing the nearby open cut coal mines.
Blackwater is 836 km from Brisbane and 190 km from Rockhampton, west on the Capricorn Highway. The town got its name from the colouring of the local water supply by ti-trees which are common in the area.
Behind the motels and roadhouses lies a town which was originally designed to hold 20 000 people. It currently has a population of around 8000, nearly all of whom work for the mines in the area. The result is a town which has shrunk from its original conception.
The first person to discover the Blackwater coal deposits was Ludwig Leichhardt who travelled through the district in 1845 on his way to Port Essington in the Northern Territory. 27 km from the present site of Blackwater Leichhardt observed ‘beds of coal indistinguishable from those on the Hunter at Newcastle.’
The township, named after the local water holes which seemed to have black water in them, was gazetted and laid out in 1886 after the railway arrived in the area. There was an attempt to establish a coal mine west of Blackwater during 1892-3 but it was short lived.
It wasn’t until the early 1960s that the town really started to develop. In 1959-60 coking coal was found to the south of the town. A mining lease was granted in 1965 and in 1967 the first mine in the area started operating. It is claimed that in 1962 the town’s population was only 25. Twenty years later it had grown to over 8000.
The coal reserves in the area are now being exploited by BMA which is a combination of the former BHP and South Blackwater Mines. Other companies involved in local mining include Curragh Queensland Mining Ltd, Cook Resources Mining Pty Ltd, Jellinbah Mine, Kenmare and Yarrabee Coal Company Ltd.
Blackwater is in many ways a model of how the community as a whole can be shielded from the grime of coalmining. The coal is shipped to Gladstone by electric trains (the line was electrified in 1988) which are often over a kilometre in length. Consequently there are no coal trucks choking up the roads in the area and the mines are far removed from the town.