Friday, 15 January 2016

Summer Walking - Down Under

To better enjoy the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

It's summer and the temperatures have been rising. Last week 31C for our Wednesday walk and this week 33C.  We have been setting off earlier and trying to beat the heat.

Seventeen Mile Rocks - 11.5 kms

What a delightful spot for families to visit. Open parkland, playgrounds, picnic facilities  shady trees, river frontage and walking trails.
The park was opened in December 2003 on the site of a  disused cement quarry. To acknowledge the parks industrial and agricultural heritage, some of the equipment has been retained and a community garden created.

On arrival we were looking for the river walk and instead discovered the 'Zig Zag' trail. It did involve a short climb, but then took us through bushland. Later we enjoyed the 5 km [return] trail along the river.

Brisbane city views.

Creative scarecrows.
I loved the golden glow of this hibiscus and discovered later, that I'd also snapped a ladybird.
One of the Seventeen Rocks. Many were removed in the late 1800's for shipping.
Our lunch spot.
Great to be out and about, even in the heat.

Coochiemudlo Island - 7.5 kms

This week Jocelyn was finally able to rejoin us, after her lengthy foot issues. We wanted somewhere with an even surface, for her return.
Coochiemudlo Island in Moreton Bay fitted the bill perfectly, for both the feet and the heat.

Over the border

In 1960, my family moved from the dairy farming area of Afterlee, [near Kyogle] to Mooloolah, Queensland. It is always special to return and meet up with my cousins. Sadly we are now the older generation. Uncle Stan passed away at 94 in April.
I had the opportunity to travel down and stay on the old farm last Friday. The farmers are having one of their best seasons in a long time, so the countryside was looking magnificent. Added to this, my cousin took me back to places I hadn't visited in 55 years.

Saturday morning I got up at 5 to walk up through the back paddocks. As I walked through the house to leave, I spotted 2 foxes playing near the garden gate. Fumble, fumble, don't disturb them, be quick - took place and I only got 2 poor shots.
Can you spot them to the R of the central bush?

I wish I were an early morning person, because it is so rewarding when one does get up with the sun.

This was taken later in the day, but is typical of my morning walk views.

We drove into Kyogle to visit the weekly farmer's market and were astonished to see the size of this pumpkin. I was unaware they grew so big in Oz. US - yes. We learnt that Kyogle is holding a giant pumpkin, tomato and squash festival at the end of the month. This one is for the guess the weight competition, leading up to the event. It was just being delivered to the agricultural shop in town, to be on display for the competition.
Just outside Kyogle, a Eculpytus [gum tree] has been growing for well over a hundred years with a hole at its base. My Grandfather often spoke of it being there when he first came to Kyogle. Hope you can spot the hole.

We returned to Afterlee and then continued on up Cob o Corn Creek Valley to the Murray Scrub, a part of the Toonumbah State Forest. Before my family left Afterlee to move north, our cousins and their families regularly met here for picnics and swimming. The sandstone had been eroded into what we used to call' bath tubs.' We delighted in sitting in them and were quite safe. Such happy memories rekindled.

       Approx - 1956 picnic

Is this the same spot? We will never know.

My cousin and I are now planning a family reunion picnic here next summer.

Our next stop was Toonumbah Flats. Here the annual district Boxing Day cricket match was held and during the year, the district athletics for all the small schools in the area. I just loved these days.
I'm second from the right.

As we drove up the range, we just had to stop and inspect this gum. I've called it the 'kissing tree.' Joined at the base, it has  2 burls at different heights, joined to 2 more burls. It is most unusual.

Back at the farm I couldn't resist photographing this wonderful flowering gum.

Finally - setting off at 5.30 yesterday for a walk around my neighbourhood before the day heated up.

Yes, I do love walking 'down under.' I would love to read your comment.
Can you guess the weight of the pumpkin?


  1. That pumpkin is BIG. That looks like a wonderful park.

  2. How nice to visit the family. And what a pumpkin!

  3. I remember getting up early in Australia - I hope that our jet lag will make us early risers next month. Today - dare I admit it - I woke up at 10 am!!! It hadn't been light for that long and it was only 2°C.