Thursday, July 11, 2019

Shailer Park

We are now at Shailer Park, house sitting for a couple who used to live in Canberra and are visiting their daughter in the US (all very familiar) and Canada.  Benji, the lovely Golden Retriever is our charge and he and our little Maxi have developed a familiar but stand-offish alliance.  They stay and look after the house while we are out.

Benji is quite a big boy and he loves his walks.

He has also discovered Maxi's rope toys and he loves a tug-of-war with it.  When we come home from somewhere, both he and Maxi proudly bring us a rope each.  Very cute.

Mark and family spent a week in Byron Bay during the Victorian school holidays and Andrew expressed a desire to visit them there, so we went for part of the day and we had lunch together and a nice walk on the beach.

Andrew with Sean and Josh at Byron.

We finally went into Brisbane itself and visited the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) where the Margaret Olley exhibition is on as well as Bill Quilty's works.  Quilty was one of Margaret's numerous protegees.

Here is Andrew with Cathy and Ashton who are visiting from frosty Canberra.  We are at the GOMA cafe along the Brisbane riverfront.

A triptych of Olley.

There was a family setting at the gallery for children to draw their faces a la Quilty which Nikki had to try.  Here is her creation.

A nice old Queenslander in the city.

The former Treasury building which is now a casino.

The foyer with the chandelier which is in the form of two snakes intertwined.

There is a steak house restaurant in the casino and this is the showcase showing the various types of excellent Queensland meats.

The old windmill, built by convicts in 1828.  It was used both for grinding corn and punishment (as often the wind was not enough to run the mill and humans then did the turning).

Brisbane from the river.

We caught the ferry city-hopper which is a free service up and down the Brisbane River.

A visit to the Koala Sanctuary at Daisy Hill was also on the agenda.

The koalas, these adorable furry creatures, just sit there sleeping all day long while people come and admire them and take photos.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Wine tasting at Moffatt Beach

We went to a wine tasting at Jim Sutton's house in Queensland.  Normally, we go to his brother John Sutton's in Canberra for the wine tasting but as we are currently in Qld and we were playing bridge at Caloundra Bridge Club, Jim invited us to the tasting he and his wife Diane were holding.  It was good timing for us, on our way from Harvey Bay to Shailer Park so we accepted Jim's kind invitation and tasted some good wines and enjoyed excellent views.

Here we are at the tasting.

This is the Sutton's building at Moffatt Beach.

This is the view from their top floor apartment.  I have to say. this is the best view we have ever experienced at a wine tasting.  Diane would acknowledge that Ann Sutton is the superior caterer and Ann would also admit Diane's views are the best.  We are indeed lucky to enjoy both.

After we left the wine tasting we drove on towards Brisbane past the Glasshouse Mountains again and Andrew and Maxi went up to the Wild Horse Mountain Lookout where Andrew took these photos of the mountains once again.

A small panoramic view of the Glasshouse Mountains.  They are rather beautiful and well worth more photos.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A quick visit to Hervey Bay

We stopped off for a couple of days to stay with Marcel and Mattie, two bridge players originally from the Netherlands who now live at the Bay.

We also caught up with David Priol and his wife Gigi.  David is another bridge player whom I have known for many years.  He used to live in the Blue Mountains as did Marcel and Mattie.  They now all live at the climatically more pleasant Hervey Bay.

We had an excursion to Poona beach where Andrew took a photo of this osprey.  He was trying out our new Sony camera.

A shot of a clump of very attractive fungi on the forest walk to Lake Poona.

And some picturesque gum trees at the lake.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Socialising here and another two visits to the Maryborough RV Village

Last year when we were here, we met a few people at the bridge club who live at the RV Village just out of Maryborough.  We even spent a night then and looked around.

This time, Jan invited us to dinner. We had a lovely dinner with her and six others who all either live at or are visiting the village.

Jan's wonderful trifle and apple cake for dessert.

Jan's house, no 160 in the complex.  She has a lovely wrap around verendah. All the houses have verandahs but some are bigger and some smaller.

This village is somewhat like the one we had lived in at Newcastle but the difference is that these houses all come with an extra large garage, both in height and width to accommodate a motor home and/or a caravan plus car.

We stayed the night and slept in Winnie our van.  Jan's husband passed away and she has sold her RV but she has the space to allow visitors with RVs to come and stay.  The garage has water and electricity supply, all set up for RVs.

The concept is an American one and so far it is the only such village in Australia.  We met another couple from Canberra who live here half the year and leave their RV here over the summer when they are in Canberra.

At the end of our house sit at Beaver Rock Rd, Eric, another bridge player from the RV village, invited us to stay as his guest for a few days.  Here we are enjoying breakfast on his terrace.

Andrew walking with Maxi around the village.

Some of the houses have lake views.

We were delighted to be invited for another visit as the concept of such a communal village is still attractive, especially one where one can easily garage and protect one's RV and also leave if there during the summer months when, as in our case, one lives elsewhere.  But having tried it in Newcastle, we are reluctant to venture again.  But it is nice to be tempted.

After leaving the RV Village I stopped to have a massage at an out of the way location where Andrew took some photos of the livestock while waiting for me.

A nice looking black faced sheep.

A llama.  These are such good looking animals with the most beautiful eyelashes that many women would be proud to possess.  You can't unfortunately see these from so far away but they are very striking looking because of that feature.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Next stop - Maryborough

We are doing some house sitting this year and we secured a spot at Beaver Rock which is 10 kms out of the town of Maryborough,  We have visited the town several times in our various trips in the past and always enjoyed being here.  There is a decent bridge club and the town is very RV friendly with free parking for two days in the car park in the middle of the town.  There is a Thursday weekly market which is popular with locals and tourists alike.  

The house is set on a four acre block of land backing right onto sugar cane fields.  The owners have refurbished the very dirty and run down house and they have planted beautiful shrubberies all over the grassy fields so it feels as if we are in a park.

The house is a nice comfortable one with a lovely verandah out the front where we love sitting in the afternoons. Overlooking the lovingly planted shrubbery in front is a delight. 

We are here for about three weeks while the owners try their hand at caravaning. It is very peaceful and relaxing out here and Maxi loves it too.  The large property has no fences but she stays close by and only wanders around a little bit. 

Another little planted area of bushes among the field of grass on the property.  All in need of watering when there is no rain. 

Andrew did a little mowing on the machine.  

Setting off again in 2019

Our first stop in our winter northward travels has been Bribie Island.  Friends have an apartment here and we stayed a fortnight. We took Diana and Warwick to the Glasshouse Mountains and to the interesting towns in the hinterland, and also to Noosa on the coast.

We visited the wetland area near the apartment, played some bridge and I enrolled in some excellent aqua-aerobic classes.