Sunday, 29 March 2015

A day in the country

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"Few people have the privelege to walk through Paradise" 
This comment on my blog recently [in Portuguese and translated] is one of the reasons I love to be out exploring our spectacular countryside and, if I have to notch up another year, what better way to celebrate than being out exploring with friends.
 Unfortunately, both Frank and Reg had been suffering all week with a tiresome virus, so we girls did our best not to miss them too much.
An early start was made and after picking up Margot at Fairfield, we travelled south on the Mt Lindsey Highway to Beaudesert.  Here we turned onto the Boonah Road and 18 kms along, we turned right to Wyralong Dam on Teviot Creek. It was completed and then filled over night in the big wet of 2011. Here we enjoyed its pristine beauty and checked out future walking trails.

 Black swans were spotted on the dam's shoreline. Later we discovered 100's of them on the shoreline of Moogerah Dam.

A 50 min drive through Boonah and along the picturesque Mt Alford road, brought us to Moogerah Dam.

Lovely Laurel provided coffee and delicious lumberjack cake for us to enjoy, as we appreciated the warm sunshine and view.

Jolly Jenny opened the bubbles.

Here's to good friends and good health to continue our exploring.

There was hint of autumn in the air and in the cloud formations in the sky. A perfect day and this was a perfect position for a wedding to be held sometime later in the day.

Refreshed and back in the car, we travelled passed Mt Edwards to Aratula and Cunningham's Highway.
 Mt Edwards
  Approaching Cunninghams Gap

The sunflowers in the Allora district of the Darling Downs were spectacular.

Our destination for lunch was The Bull and Barley Hotel in the quaint little country town of Cambooya. Built in 1903, it was in the past, one of three pubs in the town.
Laurel enjoying her South African Bunny Chow.

Feeling in need of a walk, we set off to explore this country town.

Next was a visit to Picnic Point Toowoomba, for coffee before the final leg home, feeling blessed to have such good friends, good health and this wonderful country to live in.

Life 'down under' couldn't be better.

I hope you have enjoyed this visit through SE Queensland. I would love to read your comment. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Enjoying Country in the City

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Wednesday 11th March we made another early start to avoid the heat of the midday sun.
7.30 am saw us hitting the trail, along side Kedron Brook, at Teralba Park, Michelton. This trail proved to be another wonderful find through my weekly e-mail from 'Must Do Brisbane'.
We walked 7kms return here and after a short drive to Newmarket, another 7 return along Enoggera Creek. Once or twice we had to pass along quiet, leafy, suburban streets, but for the majority of time we could quite easily imagine we were in the countryside.

Beside Kedron Brook near Teralba Park.

Some signs stated the obvious.

Others acknowledged our pioneers.

Historical posts also added to our past history.

In 2013 theYr 12 Visual Arts Students of Everton Park SHS, collaborated with the artist John Coleman to create 4 bike rack pillars along the bike way of Kedron Brook.

Bike rack in a tea cup. The cup and saucer are at the back.

 Snake in the grass.

                           Redback bike rack

  Bike wheel bike rack.

Nature's imprints broke the harshness of the concrete pathway.

Mosaic snakes, dolphins and other creatures also softened the surface.

But nature's creativity was the winner.

 Half a trunk but still surviving.

The discovery of Gerbino's Pasticceria and Bread and Butter Bakery, at Newmarket, just 50 metres from the entrance to the Banks Street Reserve, just begged us to sample their cake and coffee.

Walking along Enogerra Creek.

 Three weeks previously, this creek would well and truly have been over Laurel's head.

A magnificent old Poinciana tree, begging to be climbed.

Someone has to do it!

   Amazing open spaces in our city suburbs.

A special family moment.

This proved to be yet another fabulous walk in the great outdoors 'down under'.
Brisbane City Council is to be commended for their foresight in planning  these amazing 'green spaces' for all to enjoy. My research, since the walk, shows that a pathway of 60 kms exists from Ferny Hills, [prior to Michelton] to Redcliffe. Not all of this would be through bushland, but I think it is an awesome effort by the council.

I hope you have enjoyed visiting Kedron Brook and Enogerra Creek with me. I would love to read your comment.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Down on the Farm

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Wednesday 4th March saw a return hike of Toohey Forest Park, Brisbane. Our numbers were 3 and we discovered an area of the forest that we hadn't previously hiked. We found lots of steps to get our hearts pumping. 12 kms were covered and we will return.

This blog however, records  my visit with Frank on Monday, to my brother's farm, which sits high above the Coolmangar Creek, in the Nimbin Valley, halfway between Nimbin and Lismore. [NSW]

Our visit was long overdue and as the peace and beauty of the locality completely relaxed us, we wondered why it had taken us so long to return. Because of Frank's U3A commitments, our departure was delayed until midday. Add in daylight saving time and it was near 3pm before we were sitting on Ian's verandah with a strong cuppa, savouring the cool, rainy view down the valley to Mt Burrell and Mt Neville. Adding to the natural beauty were over 150 roses and countless other flowering shrubs.

The vista was constantly changing with the clouds swirling and swooping down the valleys. At one point, they took on the appearance of a bushfire.

The following morning, just after 5, I crept out onto the verandah hoping to catch a magnificent sunrise across the valley. What I experienced was many times better than a golden sunrise. The clouds were still low, birds were calling, cows mooing and raindrops clung to the grass and shrubs. 

I decided I wanted to climb further up the hill behind the house, but I didn't want to disturb anyone. I grabbed my boots from near the front door and set off in my pj's. Not a good look, but noone was going to see me. It was exhilerating to be out and about.

  Distant cloud covered Nimbin Rock.

  Flowers of wild cotton and the cotton balls, plus an accidental caterpillar.

Pecans and pebbles.

Breakfast was organised by the time I returned. [almost a flat battery from all my snapping of pics]
Farm fresh mango, yoghurt and eggs with smoked salmon. 

Feeling completely sated, we all set off to hike up to the highest point on the farm, Here a spring  emerges from an underground water source. This provides water for both the animals and household use and has to be checked regularly. 

By mid morning the skies were clearing and Nimbin Rock was looking mighty impressive.

Impressive, but not welcome was this skin hanging over the back door, left by a carpet snake several nights previously.

Our return journey was via Kyogle where I was born. On this occasion not a happy return, as my Uncle of 94 years is not well after a bad fall and memory loss and we wanted to spend some time with him. The journey via The Lions Road, following both Gradys and Running Creek did lift our spirits.

The Northern Rivers District is certainly one of the most beautiful areas of farmland and rainforest to be found 'down under'. As my Father always quoted, "Gods own country"

I hope you have enjoyed visiting some of The Northern Rivers District with me. I would love to read your comments.