PURE DELIGHT: Rain has produced green gold for Tim Patterson at the top of no.3 paddock at Bottle Tree Downs, Rolleston.
PURE DELIGHT: Rain has produced green gold for Tim Patterson at the top of no.3 paddock at Bottle Tree Downs, Rolleston. Trina Patterson

Farm owners take in 12 campers into their home out of rain

FARMERS in the Central Highlands have reported more than 200mm of rain as Fairbairn Dam cracked over 20 per cent last week.

At Bottle Tree Downs, Rolleston, Trina and Tim Patterson had a lovely 126.5mm fall over March combined with 54mm from April.

BEFORE: The
BEFORE: The 'table and chairs' were very dry and in desperate need of rain. Trina Patterson

AFTER: The
AFTER: The 'table and chairs' view after the rain. Trina Patterson

It was "good soaking rain” that has provided some run off to fill their empty dam.

To add to the positive news, Emerald's Fairbairn Dam has risen and is still growing.

BEFORE: The dry at the bottom of no.3 at Bottle Tree Downs, Rolleston.
Riding horses among the dry at the bottom of no.3 at Bottle Tree Downs, Rolleston. Trina Patterson

In March the dam fell to a new record low of 11.6 per cent (151,321ML).

It surpassed the previous record of 11.8 per cent in December 2006, the lowest since the dam was built in 1972.

On Anzac Day last Thursday, Sunwater recorded the dam was at 16.40 per cent. By the next night, on April 27, it was 18.02 per cent.

By mid-morning on Monday, the dam had hit the 20 per cent mark and was sitting at 21.09 per cent yesterday afternoon.

One per cent in Fairbairn Dam equates to 13,011.29ML of water.

The Rewan Creek crossing on the way to Sandstone Park Carnavon Gorge on the afternoon of April 25.
The Rewan Creek crossing on the way to Sandstone Park Carnavon Gorge on the afternoon of April 25. Contributed

Down at Bandana Station, they copped a whopping 210mm last Wednesday (April 24).

The 43,000ha farm, an hour south of Rolleston, is right beside the Carnarvon Gorge.

Husband and wife team Nathan and Olivia Evans live on the property and while Nathan takes care of the farm, Olivia runs Sandstone Park, a caravan park at the Carnarvon Gorge.

While the campers weren't stranded, all of their bedding was flooded as tents collapsed and swags washed away.

The Evans' rescued 12 campers and offered a dry place to stay at their home.

They even treated the new guests to a two-course roast dinner.

"The Carnarvon Creek had come up. It was very unexpected, the forecast was only 10-20mm but it just kept raining all day,” Nathan said.

"I'd like to think someone would do the same for me.”

AFTER: Glowing green grass at the bottom of no.3 at Bottle Tree Downs, Rolleston.
AFTER: Glowing green grass at the bottom of no.3 at Bottle Tree Downs, Rolleston. Trina Patterson

The rainfall has a glowing effect on the grass at the farm.

For the previous 15 months, they had only received a meagre 12 inches.

Already they've had 20 inches in the past four weeks.

"We had to sell some cattle earlier than we normally do, reduce numbers because it's so dry,” Nathan said.

"It's (the rain) turned the country around, we are starting to grow some grass for the next season.

"Without it we would have been in some real trouble.”

The Carnarvorn Gorge pocket received quite substantial rain, delighting all of the farmers. Further north it dropped down to the 100mm mark.

"Everyone is happy when it rains. It was certainly well received,” Nathan said.