Hedlow Creek


Hedlow Creek, Darumbal country, Central Queensland

Hedlow Creek, Darumbal country, Central Queensland

One our favourite places in Capricornia area is Hedlow Creek. It is an easy drive from the city, but is remote enough that not too many people come out this way. We’re just enjoying a late Sunday evening  after having spent the weekend here again. We had to, it was my Birthday on Saturday.
We try to spend a lot of our free time out this way, just sitting and listening to the bush. This place supports a myriad of animals: Turtles, Eels, many fish species including Barramundi, a huge variety of  birds, lizards, snakes, Possums, roos and water rats.

Hedlow Creek is quite deep in most places and has never dropped significantly in water level in the 22 years that I’ve been visiting.

I was going to post a heap of info about this area, so I did a little Interweb research and found some links. Rather than repeat what these sites have already posted, I’ll just point you in their direction:

This link comes from 2007, describing the climb up Mt Hedlow, a prominent landmark on the otherwise flat country:


The next link provides some historical as well as geographical information about the Hedlow Creek area. This country is fragile and needs to be managed properly.

Thankfully, one threat to this ecosystem has been halted:



I will relate some environmental history to give you an idea of just how fragile this country is. Back in the late 1800’s and through the early to mid 1900’s, the land to the West of Hedlow Creek was prime dairy country. Gently undulating countryside with rich volcanic and Black loam soils produced beautiful feed for milk production. As the years passed, the farmers cleared the hills and flat country of trees to make way for more grasses.
Unfortunately they didn’t know how much the land relied on this tree cover to maintain the water table at a safe level.

Eventually, the excess run-off from the hills that wasn’t being absorbed by the trees, as well as the lack of uptake by non-existent trees on the lower country caused the water table to rise. This brought mineral salts to the surface. The continuing cycle of the water table fluctuations concentrated the salts on the surface in the low country, rendering the land useless. The hillsides eventually suffered from leaching and the topsoils lost their vitality.

Nowadays the land around here supports a few beef cattle and breeding herds, but still suffers from the effects of wholesale land clearing.

Surprisingly, even though it is just a very long lagoon for most of the year, Hedlow Ck still provides fresh and clean water for stock and irrigation.



  1. GOF said,

    November 16, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Hope this country of yours has been revived by good rainfall recently like much of eastern Australia.

    Many lessons have been learned the hard way with agricultural practices in Australia. There were warnings a long time ago….had the work of P.A. Yeomans (worth Googling if you are not already aware of his “Keyline Plan” and demonstration farms in NSW) from the 1950’s been adopted, a lot of the subsequent problems would have been avoided. Unfortunately at the time he was regarded by farmers and government officials as a nutter.

    And, BTW…happy birthday

    • Brad said,

      November 17, 2010 at 7:20 pm

      Hi GOF. Yep, plenty of rain in these parts. However, even when we were in the thick of the last drought, where it was very dry for 10 years at least, Hedlow didn’t dry out. In fact, it barely dropped more than half a metre.

      The Yeoman’s story reminds me of the Potter Farm Project. I did some climate change research about ten years ago and found this video series that documented a number of farms that had suffered from severe degradation (erosion, salinity etc). Different rehabilitation methods based on sustainability were employed at each of the 5(?) farms. Well worth looking for as well.

    • Brad said,

      November 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm

      Didn’t Yeoman’s Plow feature on The New Inventors some time back?
      Brilliant site GOF. Thanks for the info.

      • GOF said,

        November 18, 2010 at 7:14 am

        Yeomans invented his original plough back in the 1950’s….maybe there’s a new one.
        P.A. Yeomans book was called “The Challenge of Landscape”.
        Had the principles outlined within it been adopted, Australia’s pastoral lands would now be improved and not degraded.

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