Arriving at Esk you cannot help but notice the striking Glen Rock monolith that towers above the village to give it a truly special ambience. This beautiful mountain overlooks the streetscape of a quiet heritage town that we like to describe as “picturesk”.
The area was known by the Aboriginal name “Gallanani” until the construction of the railway in 1886 at which time the station was called “Esk station” and the township became known as “the railway town of Esk”.
It was all a bit confusing considering nearby there were also Eskdale and Glen Esk. The confusion was finally settled in 1913 when the town was officially named Esk after Glen Esk in Scotland… or was it named after the River Esk?
What we do know from historical notes is that the township began as a teamster’s camp where the northern track from Ipswich crossed Sandy Creek. It was officially recognised as a town with the construction of a hotel in 1872, becoming a significant settlement during construction of the Brisbane Valley Railway.
As a centre of commercial life the town boasted several large hotels, sawmill, butter factory, saddler and assorted utility buildings that remain today. This legacy of heritage buildings now houses modern businesses, cafes, antique shops, curio shops and galleries to tempt visitors.
A famous example of the heritage buildings is the ornate Lars Andersen House that lives on as Nash Gallery and Cafe. Amongst the collection of arts, crafts and gourmet provisions you will discover a number of heritage panels that bring local nostalgia alive.
The town boasts a quiet energy in the arts that you can take pleasure in. For inspiration you might like to drop into the Glen Rock Gallery at the visitor information centre, The Australian Bowl Company studio, Julies At The Rectory or visit the Pillars of Strength in Pipeliner Park.
You will also find art, crafts and local produce each Saturday at the markets in the park.
Esk is central to the Somerset region and it is also an ideal stop over before travelling to the congestion of the coast or city, particularly if you are pulling a caravan or driving an RV as we boast the last caravan park before Brisbane.
You will find the Esk Caravan Park in a quiet and peaceful parkland setting in the centre of town within easy walking distance to restaurants and shops. It boasts an excellent camp kitchen, heated swimming pool, mountain views and the occasional koala or red deer.
Red deer were the symbol of the region until amalgamation of the shires in 2008 and can be spotted from time to time along with koalas and kangaroos. It is not unusual to be pleasantly surprised on an evening walk up Highland Street or along the rail trail.
For a unique insight into our country lifestyle time your visit to coincide with the campdraft, the picnic races or the Esk Show for wood chopping, post splitting and other rural sports.