Thursday, April 30, 2009

Carlo's Sandblow (Sand dune) near Rainbow Beach

These photos are taken at Carlo's Sandblow (Queensland speak for creeping sand dune) near Rainbow Beach. The third photo shows Double Island Point named by Captain Cook. Also could not resist capturing one of the two the para gliders floating above.

In the way here, we had a lovely three day stopover at Penny and Roland's comfortable house in Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast. They made us welcome and it felt like stopping at a caravanserai as we rested, showered, washed clothes, emptied toilet and did general fixing of things needing fixing. We also had to get the gas regulator fixed ($178) too. Penny even darned some of my torn clothes. It is good to have friends!

Next stop is Fraser Island.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Glass House Mountains

Today we are visiting the Glass House Mountains. Nice views and pleasant walks. I am doing a less energetic version of what Andrew is doing.
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Bribie Island visit

We visited Bribie Island and while there we contacted Fred and Mary Witsenhuysen who retired there 20 years ago. They are well and we had a game of bridge with them and took the above photo. Fred asked to be remembered to everyone at the Canberra Bridge Club.

Bribie Island is a pleasant place but we were disappointed that in order to go on the beaches in a 4WD one had to get a permit which would have been fine but Cooboltra Council would only allow an annual or a weekly permit which costs $35. We only wanted it for a day or two at the most. So, we decided to wait until Fraser Island. We contented ourselves with doing ordinary touristy things instead and following Fred and Mary's suggestion, had a very nice Indian meal at the Indian Brothers restaurant near the Visitors Information Centre.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Polish Place at Mount Tamborine

These delightful shots are taken at the Polish Cafe at Mount Tamborine. The lorikeets are on the lookout for anything edible and drinkable. They first grab the packets of sugar and would eat the lovely cakes to be found at this cafe. After the patrons finish they clear the plates of all edible remnants and drink anything, leaving milk froth on their beaks. While a nuisance, they are also very delightful and they add to the a charming atmosphere of the place. The menu of the mains is quite extensive and very authentically Polish. Inside are Polish artefacts and jewellery.

Mount Tamborine has some nice walks and lots of national parks.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Lamington National Park

These photos capture the interesting flora at the Lamington National Park. One is the vines around the big rock and the other is a giant beech tree. We are staying at the Green Mountains section of the park at the camp ground and we are getting wonderful reception on our wireless broadband, including a few conversations on Skype with people. But no reception on our mobiles via Optus or Vodafone . Telstra shows its muscles once again :-). We have had wonderful radio reception on ABC FM wherever we went so far. Thank you ABC.

We now have to put in a few words of praise for the Qld National Parks and Wildlife Service. The charge for staying at this campsite is $4.85 per person per night and for that we get free hot showers and drinking water. In NSW we paid $10 per person per night (occasionally $7) and for that we had no drinking water or showers. A few campsites had cold showers and gas barbecues. There was additional entry for the vehicle but as we obtained an annual national parks pass we did not have to pay that. There is no additional fee for a vehicle in Qld.

We did a 8km walk yesterday and a 10 km one today and it started raining half way through the walk today. It was wonderful to get back to Priscilla and a hot cup of tea after the drenching and the exercise. Now I am indulging in a little e-mail therapy and updating this blog. Waterfalls and rainforests are the features of the park. In fine weather the walks are nice.
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A seriously good meat pie - found in Qld

The previous much coveted Riszko award for the best meat pie was awarded to the Lady Featherston Cafe in Featherston, New Zealand. Featherston is on the way the Martinborough over the Rimutaka Range from Wellington.

I think this award now has to go to the Outpost Cafe at Canungra on the way to the Lamington National Park just across the Qld border from NSW. Andrew and I had a pie each there, his was a steak, bacon and cheese and mine was curried steak and I have to say these pies are delicious. At $5.20 they are very good value, meaty, tasty with a wonderful crust

Sunday, April 19, 2009

**Must see** - Natural Bridge

These three photos show the Natural Bridge which is a marvellous natural phenomenon just across the border crossing from NSW into Qld northwest of Murwillumbah. It is one of the loveliest and most impressive sights we have seen. Originally a waterfall hollowed out a cave beneath itself. Later, the stream broke through the roof of the cave and left the natural bridge rock formation standing. That is what exists today. It is incredibly impressive.
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Border Ranges National Park

After Mt Warning we went into the Border Ranges national park where we recommend the Pinnacle and the Blackbutts lookouts and some nice rainforest walks. The photo shows Brindle Creek.
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Mount Warning

The photo shows Mount Warning (Wollumbin) which is the central plug of a huge, shield shaped volcano that 20 million years ago stretched from Mt Tamborine in the north to Lismore in the south. It is a popular climb, of 4.4 km from the car park. Andrew did it 3 hours return, inlcuding the rock scramble at the top while Nikki read in the sunshine.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Post-Easter up along the NSW coast

Easter at Coffs Harbour was relentlessly wet. Thank goodness the bridge players at Coffs are a non-observant lot and there was bridge on the whole weekend. We played three times and on the one day it was relatively fine we walked along almost the whole length of Boambee Beach. It would have been nice to have enjoyed Coffs in sunshine but it was not to be. We were made very welcome by Andrew's mother and sisters and experienced being in a house again.

Now the weather has fined up a bit and we were able to enjoy a couple of swims at Minnie Water in the Yarigar National Park. Many post Easter campers were there. We are heading up towards Byron Bay and we hope the weather continues to hold up.

We have no new photos to post.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Visual arts at Nambucca Heads

This is a photo of what is called Graffitti Gallery on the sea-wall at Nambucca Heads. People from all over the world come and paint the various rocks comprising the retaining wall. I did not pick a very good example but some of these daubings are very good.

As you can see, we finally had some blue sky. However, as i write this at Valla Beach it is already clouding over.

I have to put a plug in here for Telstra and wireless broadband. It is serving us marvellously well, allowing us to keep in touch with those nearest and dearest. What will happen out bush remains to be seen.........

The second photo shows a solid wall of mosaics in the middle of the town around the police station. A little kitsch but somehow quite attractive.
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Monday, April 6, 2009

For our followers' interest

We are not sure our viewers and followers realise, because we have just experienced this feature of our own blog, that if you click on any of the photos it is enlarged and fills the whole screen. Our photos look better than anticipated. Just hope you all agree.

Point Plomer continued and Crescent Head

These two photos are taken at different points along our journey, not so far from each other.
The first photo is the campground at Point Plomer viewed from the long stretch of the beach. Priscilla and Max can be seen on the left hand side of the photo.
We spent two lovely days there and enjoyed it very much although the weather was not very kind. But we did manage a swim and some sunshine. The campground is quite deservedly popular and was fast filling up with Easter coming up. We left ahead of the throngs and continued on, backtracking to Crescent Head (see next photo). Both Crescent Head and Point Plomer are well known surfing beaches. We are now free camping and enjoying magnificent views of Crescent Head beach.Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Point Plomer stay

The view above is the view of the beach we see from our lounge and bedroom room in Priscilla at the Point Plomer campground. Point Plomer, just west of Kempsey and south of Crescent Head was recommended to us by some other grey nomads and it has, in my opinion, lived up to expectations. Andrew preferred Diamond Head but for me, the sight and sound of the sea right outside my bedroom is the ultimate pleasure.

All we need now is some good weather. The weather has been atrocious with rain and mud the order of the day. Point Plomer is one of 4 campgrounds south of Crescent Head and the one furtherest away. We had to drive through 17 kms of wet, potholed dirt road, made all the worst by the recent rains. The campground is one of the NSW national parks run ones and apart from toilets and non-drinking water, no earthly comforts are provided. At this one there are cold showers and at some others there is a good gas barbecue of which we availed ourselves. The cost is generally $10 per person which is not in my view all that cheap considering how little is being provided. But the grounds are well kept and the toilets clean. The gas barbecues too are kept in good condition.

As we are reasonably self sufficient with little need of power due to our four batteries and solar panels, we try to free camp as much as possible. I find there is something quite alluring in staying somewhere in the middle of nowhere and after a nice dinner, watching an episode or two of the West Wing on our DVD player. Some people call this "glamping". I like glamoing I have to say.
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Friday, April 3, 2009

At Diamond Head campground

These photos were taken at our latest camping stop at Diamond Head in the Crowdy Bay National Park south of Port Macquarie. The shot of the beach is supposed to encompass the campground to the left where Priscilla can just be seen through the bushes fairly close to tbe beach. We took the 4.2km loop walk and saw many dolphins in the water which the next photo demonstrates. Kylie Tennant loved this area and one of the beaches is named after her.
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Watch the dolphins to the top right of the rock.
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