Tandora : A Very Special Fraser Coast
I was searching for someone very special for my 100th Episode of Everything Fraser Coast. This isn't to say any of my past 99 interviews are not special, but I searched & found someone who has a lifetime of connection here in the Fraser Coast & limitless stories to share.
Meet Lindsay Titmarsh, farmer, author, grandfather (not necessarily in that order!). Lindsay shares a lot of stories & knowledge in the podcast episode, which I would encourage you to listen to. He also has three published works, available for purchase (visit website for more details here).
In this article I share the experience of visiting Tandora & meeting Lindsay. I hope you enjoy.
It is easy to get caught up in the suburbs & not venture away from routine of school, coffee shops & cafes, but every time I go off the beaten track I discover yet another amazing person, & amazing place here in the Fraser Coast Region.
For me I am lucky that I do spend an equal amount of time in suburbia and country west of Maryborough, it has made me transition through COVID-19 somewhat better than most people. It is through these farming connections that I am being connected with people who are the salt of the earth, & soul of the Fraser Coast. People with roots deeply implanted in the earth, & generations of family within the community. Those people, have a greater depth of understanding of our amazing region, & it is truly like striking gold when i am able to hear just a pinch of their experiences & share in the podcast.
Meeting Lindsay was certainly the highlight I was hoping for the 100th Episode, and without putting any pressure on myself or Lindsay, I believe he certainly achieved what I was hoping for!
Tandora is situated not far from Susan River, but right on the Mary River. From the homestead you see across to FraserIsland & the waters of the ocean & Mary River. This 11,000 acre property is predominantly cattle grazing, but is well timbered to provide a beautiful landscape, providing shade for cattle & habitat for local wildlife & birdlife. In addition to cattle, Tandora grows Grass Trees for sale & offers ecology tours combining Lindsay's knowledge of mangroves, farming & history.
When you arrive at the gates of Tandora, you are greeted with massive timber posts welcoming you to the boundary also marked by a cattle grid. You are then on Tandora land, & driving it takes you about 15 minutes, through cattle grazing property, to reach the homestead. On the day we recorded, there was a buzz of carpentry work being done on the original homestead, currently being restored to an improved standard to accommodate farmstay guests.
One note regarding the farmstay, the home won't be ready for guests until early 2021, and I am putting myself on the list to stay. This is a beautifully presented, quirky & comfortable homestead and I have no doubt I could muster half a dozen friends to join me in a relaxing night & enjoy a Mangrove Tour. Hopefully I can do a podcast when the homestead is ready to be shared.
Lindsay & his family warmly welcomed me & having explored a little of what was going on with the homestead renovation we sat down over a cuppa to record some stories.
A plane crash landing on the Tandora driveway in WW2 days, mangroves carbon dating back as far as 700 years old, are just a couple of examples of the stories lying under the surface at Tandora. Lindsay is passionate about every aspect of Tandora life, and for those who remember 12 years ago the governments intention to dam the Mary, Lindsay shared with me his story of at age 60 years, he became the first person to every travel by foot from River Heads up river to Maryborough, & across and back down to the other side of the Sandy Strait. This epic achievement just celebrated its 12th anniversary. The massive feat was done to raise awareness of the importance of the river system & to protect it. It raised positive media publicity on the issue, and Lindsay was celebrated in Canberra for his achievement.
I could write many more nice attributes but encourage you to listen to the podcast, you can find on Spotify & Podbean, just search for Everything Fraser coast, & go to Episode 100.
Lindsay's published works would make a useful resource for any library, primary & secondary school. Written within these pages is an enormous amount of resources for studies within Australian life spanning from 1900 to present day, spanning environmental, farming & social topics.
Thank you Lindsay & to your family for welcoming me onto your property and sharing your stories.
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