Thursday, 15 August 2013

Walking without Jenny - Tamborine


Neglected Mountain you are neglected yet again, but be sure, we will conquer you come winter next year!!!!

Jenny not being well, Margot and I decided to hike on Mt Tamborine, just a 45 min drive from my home.

First up,  Palm Grove and Jenyns Circuits. After lunch we hiked the Witches Falls circuit.
Both were a mixture of flat, sloping, steep and winding. The vegetation and the paths kept changing.


Sadly, we yet again witnessed nature's force of earlier this year, with more paths closed and giant trees splattered on the forest floor.

We enjoyed the babbling sounds of this gentle water flow and then turned and observed the result of its   full might in flood.

This forest is noted for its buttressed carrabeen  trees  - such elegant grace!

The canopy wasn't without its beauty.

 Native King Orchids

We weren't always in rainforest. 


Occasionally we caught sight of the valley below.

The tenacity of these trees is mind boggling!

Margot and I both want one of these rocks in our garden.

The Witches Falls circuit had a pleasant surprise for us. The final 2.5 k's is now out of the rainforest and  along a leafy street with amazing gardens and homes on either side. We had a quick walk around a wedding venue with its high hedges and hidden nooks, and resisted sampling the liquors and vodkas in a local distillery.

The magnolias on the mountain were in full bloom and in abundance on this street - just beautiful!

Distillery grounds

Spotting these Sulphur Crested Cockatoos not long before the completion of the hike had us agreeing, that 'Walking Down Under with Friends' is always full of pleasant surprises!

Each of us is off on holidays over the next month and a half. I'm hoping to experience trails in the SW of Western Australia. Jenny is travelling in the NE of the US and Margot has 5 days walking along the Amalfi Coast before cruising in the Mediterraean.

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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Road Trip - Day 2, 4th July

               Red route for Day 2

Toowoomba is well known for its winter fogs, so it was not surprising that our 1st half hour of driving was in a white world.

The day soon cleared and again we were treated to a perfect winter's day in which to enjoy all that the countryside offered.

As we approached this bridge I was about to ask Laurel to pull over, but being like minded, she was already doing so. She had also spotted the photos begging to be taken.

We had a short stop in Cooyar where there is a pub but no school.

It was noticeable today that the towns we were passing through had much larger populations. Blackbutt, named after the the local tree [popular for polished wood floors], has just over 1000 residents.
Having taken the the Black 'butt' photo we didn't linger in this very pretty town, as the renowned  culinary delights of Moore drew us on.

First we had to descend the Blackbutt Range [474m] with its magnificent stands of Hoop Pine. We were expecting to slowly wind our way down, but a four lane highway has just been completed. Progress for those with busy lives, but disappointing for me. No sooner had we begun to descend, than we were down and the beauty of this forest had flashed by!

Soon after we were welcomed to Moore, but our cafe didn't open for another 20 mins, so we enjoyed exploring  this small bush town.

It wasn't long before we were deciding on the taste or otherwise of a Moore pie, but decided on the comfort and quirkiness of the Green Cafe.


1pm saw us back on the road and headed for Kilcoy and the Somerset Dam. 
We didn't quite understand why Laurel became so excited when she spotted this sign and settlement and quickly drove through the entrance into the grounds.

This was her Father's one teacher school for several years in the 1960's. 
Greater excitement followed, when she was greeted by a classmate, who had become the school groundsman and on its closure 'man of many talents' for the environmental camp for visiting school groups. It was truly a case of being in the right place at the right time, as Rodney had only just arrived at the closed school, to sort out a pipe broken by workers laying a new road in the grounds. Rodney was as excited as Laurel and happily opened locked doors for her to revisit her school and house at that time.

Once the single teaching space for years 1-7.

 School house

The kitchen hadn't changed at all.

The Hills Hoist not quite in operation.

And how many times did they get into trouble for climbing the tank stands?

View that Laurel grew up with.

The farm they had to walk to, to get the cream.

The hill they often set off to climb, but never made to the top of, because of some  exciting distraction.

The panoramas as we drove along the shore of Somerset Dam took our mind off having to leave the once  - Stanley River State School.

I was stunned by the level of water in the Brisbane River below the Dam and as we continued, it was the same all way to Wivenhoe Dam. It certainly has been a wet summer.

Reg was delighted to drive around Toogoolawah, another of the early small towns he taught in.

 The home he boarded in.
    Shingle roofed Anglican Church.

 Lutheran Church

In Lowood we purchased the famous Yowie pies for our evening meal and thought we would be home within the hour. Traffic conditions brought us to a standstill at one point, with time to view the frescoes on the sound barrier walls.
Thankfully the luck that had travelled with us over the past 2 days held on and by 4.30 we were relaxing with a cup of coffee and reflecting on k's travelled, people seen, places visited, and food eaten over the past 48 hours. The words " We definitely must to this again soon", were uttered!


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