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Halcyon Days

Read the latest news from Halcyon Days.

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‘Cutting’ is a sweet spot for Landing’s ‘Farmers’

Home owners at Halcyon Landing are tapping into Bli Bli’s agricultural roots with their rural revival of land adjoining an old Bli Bli cane train cutting.

The cutting, which traverses Peppercorn Hill, was originally excavated in 1941 and was later deepened to 10m to allow locomotives to carry greater loads of cane over the hill. 

These days the area sits behind Landing’s community workshed, and the road leading up to the shed is aptly named Peppercorn Lane.

The area caught the attention of some of Landing’s more rural-inclined home owners who have begun transforming almost 2000sqm of unused land just south of the cutting.

Known as the CTC (Cane Train Cutting), the site’s ongoing transformation into a small farming precinct has brought yet another dimension to the daily life of home owners.

Led by ‘frustrated farmer’ Ron MacNevin, home owners have built a chook run, started an orchard, planted vegetables and installed a beehive on the land.

Their work began almost a year ago when Ron decided to make some improvements to the area beside the cutting. 

“It started with myself and Stan Smith, and we got more people interested,” he said.

“We cut back grass and made a bit of a pathway to open up the area, and it just grew from there.”

Ron said it had been a hugely satisfying project, only made possible with the donation of materials, labour, chickens and fruit trees.

“It was an all-round effort; the social club bought materials, home owners donated all sorts of things like fencing and wire to help us out, and then more and more people got involved - it was overwhelming,” he said.

“I think I’m a frustrated farmer, landscaper and gardener, so to achieve what we have here has given me a great amount of satisfaction.

“This is the kind of work I’ve always wanted to do, and its been a great project to do with a few of the guys who shared a common interest.”

The CTC’s 14 resident chooks are cared for by a team of about a dozen ladies who are rostered to let the ‘girls’ out of their coop each morning and make sure they are rounded up and put to bed before sunset.

Home owner Jill Corish said the chook shepherds, also known as ‘Henherds’, feed the hens, top up their water, clean out their coop and collect their eggs.

“Most days we are getting about a dozen eggs from them and they are truly free-range eggs,” she said.

The eggs are bundled up into half dozen lots and sold during Happy Hour at the Rec Club each Friday night, with all proceeds covering the cost of chicken feed.

Jill, who is also a member of Landing’s Green Team, said the manure removed from the hen house was used to fertilise the nearby citrus trees, which were “doing very nicely” as a result.

Fellow ‘henherd’ Lee McGregor said the hens loved to roam and scratch in the orchard and veggie garden area, and to dine on the ‘food parcels’ dropped in by home owners.

“We have an esky-size container set up next to the coop where home owners can bring their veggie scraps for the chickens to eat,” she said.

“The chooks are very friendly and we have people who come up just to visit them.”

Lee said there was a trick to rounding up the herd in the afternoon.

“We just shake a plastic bag, so they think there’s feed in it, and they come running,” she laughed.

Meanwhile, former cattleman John Wettenhall is focussing on much smaller creatures these days after setting up his beehive in the CTC.

“Coming from an animal management background, I thought it would be interesting to find out about bees and create a nice little hobby out of it,” he said.

John, who has joined the Sunshine Coast Beekeepers Society, started with about 500 bees in November and expects to be harvesting honey in April.

He hopes to extract up to 40kg of honey from the hive each year and is thinking of registering the name “Halcyon Honey”.

“A few people have come to have a look and they’ve shown a lot of interest in the honey and when it will be available,” he said.

Elsewhere at the CTC, the orchard trees and vegetable garden areas are blooming with hopes that a wide array of harvestable fruit and veggies will be produced.

Some seating areas also have been established, allowing CTC visitors to socialise, enjoy a cool drink, relax or simply commune with nature.

The CTC even has its own PR person, home owner and former teacher Roger Buttenshaw, who pens updates on the progress of the precinct for the Landing community.

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Inter-Community rivalry IS ON A ROLL

Things are heating up on Halcyon’s bowling greens with the start of an inter-community tournament involving bowlers from Hope Island to Bli Bli. The epicentre of this bowls rivalry is Halcyon Glades, where a group of keen bowlers has organised to play each community in the Halcyon family over the next few months.

Launched in early March, the home-and-away series has already seen Glades play host to Halcyon Parks, Halcyon Greens (whose team includes some Vision bowlers) and Halcyon Waters respectively over three consecutive Sundays.

The Glades team is travelling to Lakeside, Landing and Parks for competition on Sundays during April and May before playing host to Lakeside and Landing in August.

The inter-community home-and-away series was the idea of Glades bowlers Kevin Bullard, Gary Coomber, Glen Mills, Vic Ritchie and Terry Tysoe, who have formed an organising committee for the new competition.

Kevin said their long-term goal was to take the competition to the next level and organise a championship play-off event that would involve every Halcyon community.

“The whole idea is purely and simply to have all Halcyon communities playing bowls against each other on the one day,” he said.

“Such a play-off would need to be held at a club venue because we would need at least two or three bowling greens to host all the games that would need to be played.

“And ideally we would like it to be held twice a year.”

In the meantime, ace bowlers from Glades and the three Sunshine Coast communities will roll up and compete for bowls supremacy in the very first Halcyon Bowls Challenge at Glades on Sunday 16 September.

The Challenge involves merit-based mixed teams of 12.

Halcyon Landing Community Manager Donna Osborne said the inaugural clash in September was going to be fiercely contested with bragging rights and a shiny new trophy on the line.

“We have a lot of great bowlers who will love the opportunity to play for their communities against the others, so it will be very competitive,” Donna said.

“They all want their name on that trophy.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

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Rick helping Nepalese kids one step at a time

Vision by Halcyon home owner Rick Parkes is about to embark on an epic journey that will combine two of his great passions – trekking and the Nepalese people.

Aged 74, the experienced trail walker, mountain climber and seasoned world traveller is preparing to walk 817km along the northern coast of Spain to raise money for disadvantaged kids in rural Nepal.

To prepare for the 50-day journey, Rick has been pulling on a 10kg backpack and hitting the treadmill in Vision’s gym each day while also doing lots of stretching and completing a decent bushwalk each week.

In Spain, he will walk one of the world-famous Camino pilgrimage trails that ultimately lead to the north-western city of Santiago de Compostela, thought to be home to the burial site of Biblical Apostle Saint James.

Rick aims to raise at least $5,000 for the Nepal Australia Friendship Association (NAFA) Queensland, which funds health, education and infrastructure in remote and regional Nepal.

His fundraising effort will help pay for the education and health of children in the remote region of Tawal where schools and other key infrastructure were destroyed in the 2015 earthquake.

“It’s great to make a difference and put something back into society as you get older,” he said.

“You do a lot of work for yourself and then in your 70s you can put something back that means something.”

Rick was moved to make the fundraising pilgrimage after a trip to Nepal last year when he witnessed the determination of villagers to rebuild their lives despite their remote location.

“They are a three-hour uphill walk away from the nearest road, and all materials have to be carried in,” he said.

“When pouring a concrete slab for the classrooms, everything was done by hand and it took the villagers 13 hours to do it.

“Everything is so hard for them, they want their kids to be educated and to have a future.”

Rick is no stranger to the Camino experience or fundraising, having walked the popular 800km Camino Frances route with wife Sue in 2010 after recovering from prostate cancer.

“I saw it as a reward after my recovery and it gave me a challenge to walk that far and realise that I’d got through it,” he said.

He returned to Spain in 2013 to complete the 1000km Via de la Plata route, which starts in the southern city of Cadiz. During those walks he raised a total of $20,000 for the Cancer Council.

So, this time, with just a sleeping bag, his water supply and a change of clothes on his back, Rick will set out from Irun, just south of the French border and walk about 25km each day until he reaches Santiago.

He hopes to complete the journey by late May.

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Pimpama: From farmland to boom town

A vibrant, connected and service-rich location is the backdrop for every Halcyon community, and the site of our latest project, Halcyon Greens at Pimpama, epitomises this philosophy.

While this spectacular 500-home community is surrounded by lush golf course fairways and a beautiful wetland conservation zone, it also sits at the heart of the Gold Coast’s latest boom town.

Located just east of the M1 and immediately north of Coomera, Pimpama was once a sleepy rural area dotted with farms and acreage properties.

Thanks to the meteoric rise of neighbouring Coomera and the city’s burgeoning population, Pimpama is firmly on the radars of government planners, developers, educators, businesses and home buyers.

It is surrounded by marine recreational areas, golf courses and major transport infrastructure such as the Gold Coast to Brisbane train line and the Pacific Motorway (M1), providing easy access to Brisbane and the rest of the Coast.

Last year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures revealing that almost 8,000 people had moved to Pimpama over the past decade.

In 2014-15, Pimpama had the fastest-growing population outside of any Australian capital city, rising 20 per cent or an extra 1,000 people that year alone.

Several years ago, property development giant Mirvac began rolling out its massive Gainsborough Greens masterplanned community on land adjoining the Gainsborough Greens Golf Course.

Many have followed Mirvac’s lead, with plenty of neighbouring residential projects completed, several new public and private schools and new shopping hubs open or under construction.

In recognition of its incredible growth, Pimpama is one of three Gold Coast locations the Queensland Government has earmarked to have a train station by 2023, making public transport more easily accessible for residents.

And opening later this year is the long-awaited $470 million Westfield Coomera Town Centre, which will inject greater convenience, choice and lifestyle amenity to the area.

It is also expected to be a major catalyst for further development across the Gold Coast’s northern growth corridor.

Located just east of the M1 and next to Coomera Train Station, the Town Centre’s major tenants will be Coles, Woolworths, Kmart, Target and an Event Cinemas complex.

The centre promises northern Gold Coast residents a dining, lifestyle and entertainment destination with 140 specialty shops, a market-style fresh food precinct and lively community spaces.

With all this population growth and community infrastructure springing up, it’s not surprising that a substantial number of baby boomers are expected to call Pimpama home over the next two decades.

Research conducted by Urbis reveals the Pimpama catchment’s population of 50 to 74-year-olds is forecast to more than triple to more than 23,000 by 2036, reflecting an annual increase of 6.1 per cent – almost three times the rate predicted for the entire Gold Coast.

The rate is even higher for those aged 75 years and over. This age bracket will grow more than 8 per cent a year to reach 4651 people in 20 years.

These forecasts and the area’s dramatic transformation over the past decade underpin Halcyon’s decision to create our largest ever community in the heart of Pimpama.

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‘Cutting’ is a sweet spot for Landing’s ‘Farmers’

‘Cutting’ is a sweet spot for Landing’s ‘Farmers’

Home owners at Halcyon Landing are tapping into Bli Bli’s agricultural roots with their rural revival of land adjoining an old Bli Bli cane train cutting.

read more
Inter-Community rivalry IS ON A ROLL

Inter-Community rivalry IS ON A ROLL

Things are heating up on Halcyon’s bowling greens with the start of an inter-community tournament involving bowlers from Hope Island to Bli Bli.

read more
Rick helping Nepalese kids one step at a time

Rick helping Nepalese kids one step at a time

Vision by Halcyon home owner Rick Parkes is about to embark on an epic journey that will combine two of his great passions – trekking and the Nepalese people.

read more
Pimpama: From farmland to boom town

Pimpama: From farmland to boom town

A vibrant, connected and service-rich location is the backdrop for every Halcyon community, and the site of our latest project, Halcyon Greens at Pimpama...

read more

Pimpama

Pimpama
Halcyon Greens

Bli Bli

Bli Bli
Halcyon Lakeside

Caboolture

Caboolture
Halcyon glades

Hope Island

Hope Island
Vision By Halcyon

Bli Bli

Bli Bli
Halcyon Landing

Hope Island

Hope Island
Halcyon Waters

Caloundra

Caloundra
Halcyon Parks