Preston, Queensland Australia

Who are you and what do you do?
'My name is Deb Tully and I am a Relief Teacher for Primary Schools in Toowoomba (the nearest main town to us). My husband and I also own a Wholesale Coffee business in Toowoomba.'

Why do you choose to live in Preston?
'We chose to live in Preston because it is a rural setting. We live on acreage surrounded by the Australian bush (great most of the time, but harrowing in dry hot summers like last year, as we nervously await bushfires). We have three kids and moved here ten years ago after living in the city of Toowoomba. It’s quieter out here, with lots more space, and lots of nature!

Preston doesn’t have any shops, facilities or services. It’s just farm land, and acreage allotments. It sits on a ridge which is part of The Great Dividing Range that runs down the interior of the East Coast of Australia. There is a long stretch of valley below us to the East, which echoes the sounds of so many birds including kookaburras, wedge tail eagles, supreme fairy wrens, cockatoos, king parrots, rosellas, galahs, kites, willy wagtails. We see all of these birds regularly either in our garden or soaring above it (the eagles).

We have wallabies and kangaroos frequenting our yard, and a large population of hares. I have spotted echidnas in the area, and a couple of times have seen a koala . We also get (too often) many varieties of snakes, most of the them from the top five most venomous in Australia! Eastern browns, red bellied blacks, taipans, and assorted varieties of pythons. We have plenty of lizard action as well including goannas, blue-tongue Lizards, geckos, skinks, bearded dragons. My kids used to feed a family of baby bearded dragons and their mum! The goannas freak me out though.'

What's your favourite place in Preston and why?
'My favourite place in Preston is probably the top of a large hill just near our house that has a lookout at the top. It has almost 360° views of the surrounding farms, paddocks, and bushland. You see the most amazing sunsets from there, and when it’s storm season you can watch massive storm cells approaching from the South West, but you have to race for home before they actually hit. Storms in Queensland can be catastrophic.'

What is Preston proud of?
'There is an award winning boutique winery in Preston set on a ridge overlooking the valley below us. It’s called Preston Peak Winery. It’s just beautiful and their wines and meals are exquisite. There is also a wedding venue in Preston, near the winery. It’s called Preston Manor & Village Chapel. There’s a purpose built chapel nestled in bushland with beautiful views below it, along with a function centre.'

Tell us something about Preston that people won't know?
'Preston is historically significant in that it was the site of a bullock trail in the 1800s to get supplies to the Darling Downs from Brisbane. Cunningham’s Gap was the only track before that and was quite a way south and treacherous at that. If you search for Gorman’s Gap bullock track, there is quite a bit of history there.'