Thursday, 24 April 2014


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

On Wednesday 9 April, we enjoyed a wonderful days walking in the area I lived in between 1960 and 1970.
It was a chance comment by my brother, who lives in North Queensland, that led to the discovery of these trails and consequently our visit.

I had great difficulty deciding on a title for this blog.
It could easily have been:- Awesome Fungi
                                          Tunnel and Dam walks
                                     or  Reminiscing
The result is I've written a little [well?] about each.

 Until my friends and I started our weekly bush walking, I was totally unaware of the variety and spectacular beauty of the fungi abounding in our forests.
New discoveries:-

At the age of 9, I moved with my family from near Kyogle NSW, to a milk dairy farm, 5 km's from the sleepy village of Mooloolah. It was an extremely hard life for my parents, waking at 4.30 am each day to have the milk ready for its collection at 7am. 4pm saw them back in the dairy and not surprisingly, asleep by 8.30pm. My 3 brothers and I had to help, [often with complaint] but our parents made sure that these were happy and memory making years for us. We attended  the 2 teacher village school to complete our primary education and then daily took the 1/2 hour train journey to the enormous Nambour State High School.
View from near the river to the house /dairy RHS.

 Cows entering the yards for milking.

  Trixie and foal
  Wish I could remember their names!

My sons have always lived in suburbia and even though we were fortunate enough to provide them with a leafy 1/2 acre to run around in, I always felt that they were missing out on that very special freedom of country life.
Climbing the mango tree, horse riding, swimming in the 'rocky hole' in the river, hide 'n seek in the corn  and cane fields, exploring the bush near by, making small towns out of the wood pile blocks, floating the cut corn along the flooded drains to be chaffed for milking time, milking cows, playing with the chooks, bonfires in the backyard, starry skies above, spotting satellites, cricket and football in the backyard  - without fear of a broken window and a community where you know everyone you meet. The list goes on.

Mooloolah is no longer that sleepy village, but thankfully it appears to have retained the village charm and friendliness. The school I attended is now a thriving community centre and the new school on 'farmland' outside of town, has 8 classes and 200 children enrolled. 

On reaching Mooloolah via the old tunnel from Lansborough, we relaxed with coffee and then I just had to go exploring. 
 Mr Rungert owned a large tract of land behind this park. He was a lovely old gentleman to visit. I would love to know why he was honoured by the naming of this park. 
  This shot looks down what was a dirt road to the PO and the butcher shop which had saw dust on the floor and a sign saying " NO EXPECTORATING"
Nothing recognisable in the street now.
  Our times tables were regularly repeated under this camphor laurel tree.
 My classroom for years 4, 5, 6 and 7. The photo of the Queen is missing from above the board.
 This should have been a view to the pine forest we planted in Project Club.
  The communal gardens replace our tennis court, vigoro and cricket pitches.
  Few schools are left with this style of verandah and port rack.

 The Anglican church used by the Methodists fortnightly.
 A now modernised hall, where we attended concerts, dances, Sunday school and the Presbyterian church service, on the alternate week to Methodists - same congregation both Sundays!
 The old farmhouse looking very glam!
  This road sits approx where our sandy driveway led to the dairy and house. The house is beside the van and the dairy would have been where the bins are.
  This shed is on the upper side of the road and looks very much like the shed my Grandfather built for the farm implements when he was in his 70's.
It is lovely to think it survived the sub division.
At the end of the bitumen road I was able to have a view across the fields towards the river.

We arrived at Lansborough and quickly found the 3 km trail via the old tunnel to Mooloolah.
Mooloolah is one of the few towns with a tunnel to enter and leave. The Dularcha Tunnel was built in 1891 and closed in 1932, when a new tunnel was built 350m away. Dularcha tunnel is now heritage listed. 

A 10 km drive along the Tunnel Ridge Road, took us passed our old farm to Ewan Maddock Dam. 
 Mr Maddock was another wonderful gentleman I visited with my Mother. His family were pioneers of the area and he lived from 1873 - 1973. We left Mooloolah in 1969. Again I would like to find out more about his life. The dam was completed in 1982 and its waters cover the melaleuca marshes that I enjoyed riding my horse through.
 About a km from the dam is this home that belonged to a Mrs Johnson, a very caring, hard working woman. Our farm was opposite and Sunday nights would see us trekking across the road for the 7.30 viewing of The Beverly Hillbillies with her. [black and white TV!]

It was 4pm when we set off for Brisbane, 17 km's achieved with 2 hours driving to follow, but we all agreed that 'walking down under'  is difficult to beat.

I love having you along. Please leave a comment if you have enjoyed the read.

Friday, 18 April 2014

My Favourite Time of Year

To best view the photos, please click on them to increase their size.

Cyclone Ita spent
Showers vanished
Crisp morning air
Clear, vivid blue skies
Warm, sweat free days
Glistening aqua sea
Distinct horizon
Feelings of unlimited energy

So fortunate to have just spent 3 nights at Tweed Heads to enjoy the blissful days of mid Autumn. The coast really threw up some spectacular days for me to luxuriate in. They even tossed in a full moon, solar eclipse, and stunning sunrise and sunsets.

I was on the beach by 6 am each day and reluctantly returned to the house, a couple of hours later. Time was spent paddling in the gentle wash of the waves, appreciating the skill and energy of the surfers, listening to the comradery of locals and of cause, continously snapping photos. Mid morning I was back and relaxing in the shade with a great book, ocean vista and the wondrous sound of the waves breaking. Such perfect weather made it difficult to leave for an evening meal and not miss the moon rising. So much to watch and appreciate.

 Just love this modern family arriving at the beach. Who gets to look after the baby?

Thankfully my Wednesday walkers were happy to meet me here, and after coffee and bun, we drove a short distance to just north of Kingscliff.
On setting off we followed the footpath, but this view beckoned us to the beach.

Once we reached Kingscliffe [seen in distance] we reluctantly had to leave the beach and return to the footpath.

 Observing families making the most of  this wonderful weather, brought back special memories of my sons at a similar age. Tennis balls were always being thrown to them by their father.
Cudgen Creek

 Whilst crossing Cudgen Creek, we spied Mt Warning in the distance. It is on our bucket list to achieve.

The path was continuous  after crossing the creek to just before Cabarita Beach. To our left was a green belt through which we could see and hear the sea. To the right, a modern well planned housing development, but the strip for the pathway was a leafy 50 metres wide and dotted with sculptures, access to the beach, showers and resting benches.

Before I found a special spot for my lady bird, Jenny shared 3 Lindt chocolate lady birds with us. I was going to keep mine BUT the day was hot!

A final beach walk completed the 15 km's to Cabarita. A delicious lunch was finished just in time to catch the bus back to Kingscliff and coffee with a good friend of Margots.

We all agreed that 'Walking Down Under' at this time of year, most definitely gives one that "glad to be alive" feeling!

I love having you along. Please comment if you have enjoyed the read.