Showing posts from February, 2016

Dalby - 27° 11' 48" S 151° 15' 28" E

Sam"s house How did we get here?!! Our nephew Sam is an agronomist working on the Darling Downs based in Dalby, a three hour drive from Palmwoods. A road trip was obviously required! Bunya Pines We piled into the Pajaro and headed west over the Great Divide through tropical rainforest, pastoral lands and crops of sorghum and mung beans. Chicken Parma at the local pub, a good night's sleep then off to explore the Bunya Mountains. The National Park includes the most westerly tropical rainforest in Queensland and the world's largest population of bunya pines. (Since bunya pines are endemic to South-East Queensland, this claim is not quite as impressive as it sounds!!) Looking up through a Strangler fig the original tree is long gone It is stunning. A few degrees cooler than down on the plain making hiking very pleasant. We wandered through the towering bunya and hoop pines, marvelled at the 400-year-old strangler figs and were awed by the views. There are

Double Island Point - 25° 59' 07" S 153° 09' 46" E

You need a pretty special beach to impress an Australian. We are visiting Wendy and Graeme who live in Palmwoods, Queensland - near some of the more spectacular beaches in the world.  Hundreds of kilometers of tan-coloured sand awaits, every afternoon, every weekend, every holiday.  So, where do they go when they have guests from the other regions and they really want to impress? They head here - Double Island Point.  The only way to get here is to: know about it own a four wheel drive vehicle drive 35 minutes north from Mooloolaba take a 3 minute long vehicle ferry ride across the river at Tewantin navigate the soft sand dunes that are famous for bogging unworthy vehicles drive for 20 minutes along this beach (which is a registered road with all road rules applicable and speed limits) As we made our way to our eventual picnic spot, we zoomed along an east-facing beach, exposed to the full effect of the winds on the Pacific Ocean.  Waves would roll in, churning up sa

The Mornington Peninsula - 38° 27' 04" S 144° 57' 27" E

Cook St. in Flinders, long ago General Store on the left The Flinders of my childhood was a farming community where a few people from Melbourne had beach houses. My parents were dairy farmers, surrounded by other dairies, beef, orchards, strawberry farms, chickens and eggs. It was quite acceptable to trudge into the General Store in your gumboots and ask Mrs Commons 'do you have....?'  We went to the back of the store for dog and chook pellets, right for hardware and farm supplies (men's stuff)  and left for newspapers, the Commonwealth Bank, haberdashery and clothing (women's stuff). Clothing was limited to overalls and gumboots but that was the farmers uniform then. The beach houses were just that, small, mostly fibro shacks clustered around the golf course and over looking the thundering Bass Strait. Roll forward a year or two! The dairies have gone as have most of the chickens, the eggs and the fibro shacks. The Peninsula now sports multi-million dollar hol

Great Ocean Road - 38° 29' 33" S 142° 41' 08" E

The Great Ocean Road is considered one of the world's great drives for a reason. It is stunning! So, on our way back from Horsham, we drove its full 243km from Allansford in the west to Torquay, stopping overnight in Apollo Bay. Getting there really was half the fun.  We twisted our way through the Grampians, taking seldom-used roads through the flat farming land of Victoria.  Big gumtrees were often planted as windbreaks along the roads and on our drive the provided a beautiful shaded canopy as we pootled along. Popping out near Childer's Cove, the prairie suddenly dropped away to a pounding surf. The Great Ocean Road was built as a memorial to the fallen soldiers in World War I, it is a wonderful tribute.  Sean was very impressed that the road was almost completely paid for before workers started construction.  The RSL (Returned Servicemen's League) had done a two year campaign and raised 81,000 British Pounds.  The rest of the funding was brought in through to