8th December 2012
My work social club function was held last weekend and I thought I’d write about that for something different. We are a small group in the social club and we usually go somewhere reasonably close to home for a weekend away. This year we made our way to Cherrabah Homestead Resort situated about 30km outside Warwick, a small town in southern Queensland Australia. The area is known as the Granite Belt because of the prevalence of large granite outcrops and massive rocks. The resort has operated for many years and has undergone quite a few changes of ownership with varying degrees of success. The current management team have only been in place for about 2 months and are trying hard to turn the downward spiral around. If our visit was anything to go by they’re well on their way.
The resort is part of a 5,000 acre property with a great variety of activities suited for all tastes. Some of the facilities have seen better days, like the four little spa huts dotted around the accommodation blocks. One was completely trashed, another looked like it needed some TLC but the other two seemed fine so hopefully with the new management things like that will gradually be attended to. Even though the accommodation is only about a 3 star experience these days there was nothing actually wrong with it, just a tad tired in some areas. The main “homestead” building has a lovely big open fireplace in the main bar area which looks out over the pool and surrounding mountains. I can just imagine sitting there in winter curled up in one of the oversize armchairs with a good book and glass of red wine – heaven.
We had a barbecue lunch on Saturday followed by the “Cherrabah Challenge” held in the indoor bull riding arena!! They have often held bull riding competitions there apparently. We didn’t have any bulls, just a couple of barrel ponies we had to lasso and saddle as part of the challenge. We were divided into teams and competed against each other in a round robin type of thing until there was only one team left who then competed against the Cherrabah team.
First leg of the relay had to run the length of the arena, light a fire then run back. Someone who shall remain nameless ran so fast her body went faster than her legs and she landed flat out on the ground. But up I got, ran to the end, lit my fire and ran back again all before the boss’s wife had even lit her fire. Yay me!!!! The following legs of the relay had to don a Driza-Bone coat and crack a stock whip, lasso the barrel pony, saddle and mount the barrel pony after which you had to throw your hat in the air and yell “yahoo”. I might add my team was the grand champion team of the day although I should also admit I sat out the last couple of rounds and used a younger substitute. We had an absolutely wonderful afternoon and of course headed back to the bar for a blow-by-blow debrief and a few drinks to quench our hard-earned thirst.
Dinner was a scrumptious traditional roast meal after which we headed down the paddock for a bonfire and marshmallow toasting with a few more drinks thrown in for good measure. By the time we returned to the bar the karaoke machine was well and truly on fire so the rest of the night passed rather happily.
The resort has horses and quad bikes available for guided tours around the property so those of us who didn’t have to rush home for children stayed and went for a couple of hours horse-ride. I haven’t ridden much and not at all for years but it was fantastic. We made fun of each other, developed sore butts, had trouble getting on and off the horses and assorted other laugh worthy woes but it was THE BEST fun I’ve had for months. We rode for an hour each way through unspoiled true Australian bush and were only two and a half hours from Brisbane.
We always have fun on our social club weekends because we just make it fun no matter where we are or what we do but this weekend was exceptional I think in part because Cherrabah is such a wonderful place and the staff are committed to its success.