Johnston Park is a parkland named after Archibald Wilfred Johnston, commonly known as ‘Wilf’, a councillor of Rosewood Shire Council from 1946 to 1949.
Rosewood Shire Council amalgamated in 1949 into the new Moreton Shire Council, where Wilf became the first chairman until 1952, and served again between 1955 and 1958. Moreton Shire Council has since amalgamated into Ipswich City.
Born in 1895, Wilf served during the First World War, and with distinction with the 9th Battalion in Egypt. He also served in the Volunteer Defence Corps during World War II. More locally, he served the community in the RSL and the Dairymen’s Association.
The park is conveniently located along the Cobb & Co Tourist Drive and the Scenic Rim Tourist Drive 16, close to the roundabout where the two tourist routes intersect. The park offers facilities to have a break with sheltered picnic tables, free barbeques, toilets, and a playground for children to release some energy.
The parkland sits along a gully that extends up to the main road, the road crossing over the gully at what was Mason’s Bridge . A foot bridge crosses over the gully at the back of the park.
An addition to the park is a reconstruction of a theropod dinosaur that lived in the Rosewood area during the Middle Jurassic period. Theropod footprints are common dinosaur fossils in the Rosewood area, possibly reflecting Rosewood’s ancient swamp providing an environment for meat-eating dinosaurs to hunt.
The Rosewood fossils are located underground, up to 140 metres below the surface. Makes you wonder who was digging so deep to find them? There are nearly a dozen underground mines, called collieries, to extract coal.
The interesting thing about the footprints is that they are reversed. Rather than the footprint being impressed into mud, they were left in thick mats of fallen leaf debris that was later covered by sediment-laden water.
The sediment became rock over time, while the thick leaf debris became coal. When the coal was extracted from the tunnel-mining, the footprints are left extruding from the rock ceiling.
The dinosaurs displayed in the park include a dinosaur, a nest of eggs, a baby dinosaur, and replica of a footprint fossil.
The park has a parking area to the south end of the park, close to the toilets and picnic table area. You could walk down the main street of Rosewood from here, about 500 metres to the Rosewood Staging Post for the tourist drive , with a Cobb & Co display.
To get there:
Johnston Park is on the main street of Rosewood, John St. Rosewood is between Grandchester and Walloon, west of Ipswich.
It is along the Cobb & Co Tourist Drive . From the Rosewood Staging Post, Masons Bridge is north, on the right before the roundabout on the corner of Walloon St.
Johnston Park is also on Scenic Rim Tourist Drive 16. When entering Rosewood from the north, continue straight through the roundabout and Johnston Park is 100 metres on the left.