Saturday, 20 October 2018

Out and About with the Hungry Hikers

Over the past few weeks, our group has opted less for the bushwalking and more for making the most of local events. This has been partly because the options for bushwalking were depressing given the brown, drought conditions we have been experiencing. I am relieved and delighted to report, that as of this past weekend, the green has returned! There have been wonderful falls of rain and thankfully it has also fallen where it has been most needed.

Walking Wednesday 10th October

The original plan was to do a 30 min walk in Pine Ridge Regional Park, through banksia bushland and rare coastal heath, to see the wildflowers missed on a previous visit. This was to be followed by morning tea by the bay and then a lengthy walk through the Coombabah Wetlands, spotting wallabies and koalas.

The day prior, I learnt that the World Parachuting Championships were being held in a neighbouring suburb and should not be missed. So grateful for that snippet of info.

The walk.
Unfortunately the walk didn't reveal wildflowers. It must still be too early in the season, but it did stretch the muscles.

We became quite excited when we spotted this yellow cross on the sandy pathway. We assumed it must have been something to do with the parachutting event. Definitely not so on this day, but we could spot the parachutists in the sky, further to the west.

It was Joc's birthday, so we celebrated with style, under a brilliant blue sky and beside the glistening bay.

A five minute drive then had us at the Runaway Sports Centre, where we were able to enter the complex and explore for free. The flags of the 24 competing countries greeted us.

We watched teams rehearsing their manoeuvres on rolling pads prior to their jump. Others had returned and were laying out their parachute for repacking.

Here a group is practising exiting the aircraft.

A good hour was spent observing the teams preparations before we took another short drive to Luke Harrop sporting fields. The time was about midday so the light wasn't good for watching the parachutist's formations on exiting the aircraft, but it was certainly magical watching the constant stream of coloured parachutes drifting down to land. Some gently. Others almost manically, but in full control. Simply amazing to watch and to see the camaraderie between the competitors.

A discussion ensued re who would or wouldn't like to do a tandem jump, which has led me to delve through albums to find proof of the tandem jump Frank and I made [separately] back in 1997. It was a brilliant experience and I felt no qualms at any time.

Unfortunately, the weather during the latter half of the week was not great. On Thursday the gusting winds brought the program to an early halt and throughout Friday and the weekend, drenching rain fell.

Wednesday 17th's walk.
The weekend had seen constant rain and the forecast for the week was not promising for hiking. An adjustable plan was put in place. We met at Joc's unit, in the suburb of Camp Hill, close to the Brisbane River. Over a delicious morning tea, we checked the radar and weather reports and decided to take our chances on foot, to look for the magnificent displays of jacarandas in the New Farm Park area.

It was a short drive from Joc's unit to the cross-river ferry to New Farm Park.

Views down and upriver from the ferry terminal.

The moment we climbed the embankment from the pier, we were enthralled by the magical colour of these South African trees.

The carpet of fallen blossoms is equally beautiful.

The added bonus of the park's roses being in full bloom, had us gasping with delight. With our tropical climate, roses are very difficult to grow in the home garden.

The rain wasn't finished with us yet and umbrellas had to be unfurled. Joc had the perfect colour for this outing.

The rain wasn't heavy enough to send us looking for cover so we continued on to find the Graydon Gallery for their new exhibition by Pamela Gough. 
Alas, we were a day early, so continued onto the Brisbane river trail to complete a circuit back to New Farm Park, with a delicious lunch sojourn at the Merthyr Bowls Club and its river views.

My favourite Brisbane jacaranda is found here and today it was as splendid as ever. The mauve colours were stronger with the sun now out.

A final, short walk in New Farm Park in the sunshine, then time to retrace our steps back to the ferry.

Yes, two more wonderful days out and about, down under.

As I complete this post we have been treated to another torrential storm. [Sunday 3pm] We watched its approach via Stapleton Radar. As you can see there is more than one cell. It is now causing havoc at the Super V8 car race at the Gold Coast.

Photos taken through the windows.

The 3 ponds are all but one.

The worst has past but the rain continues to fall.

I quickly dashed out to read the rain gauge - 33 mm in less than half an hour. Yep, a typical Aussie, spring/summer storm. Hopefully, there hasn't been damage anywhere. The morning was intensely humid and now the air is so refreshingly cool it is cardigan time again.

I would love to read your comment.


  1. Well, as the saying goes, "When it rains, it pours!" I am delighted that you are seeing some rain-- even though it was a bit of a nuisance on this walk. I love that tea pot by the way.

    1. Sometimes a walk in the rain is just the best thing to do. We weren't complaining as we good follow up rain is needed for the farmers to get back on deck.

  2. That's a lot of rain - much needed too, I expect. And wow - the jacaranda shots are gorgeous!

    1. They really are a 'wow' tree in flower and their canopy is perfect shade during our hot summers.

  3. Such a lovely post, Helen! Where to start?
    The flag of Finland spotted! :) Another favourite photo is the one with a colourful teapot and some super delicious treats.
    The beauty of the flora of your country never ceases to amaze me.
    Finally, I hope the rains didn't cause damages!

    1. Thanks Sara. Glad you spotted your flag. Given the intensity and size of the storms everyone faired well. Thankfully very little hail and wind that cause the damage. The light afterwards was amazing and I was off around the ponds snapping beautiful reflections.

  4. I love Jacaranda season. We have to head to Sydney or the lower mountains for a good display. Our neighbour at Lawson has one it usually waits until Christmas to come out so we are a long way behind you. Perhaps the wildflowers will come out now there has been rain. I checked our bush block for flowers yesterday and none of the usual display (for the 2nd year in a row).

    1. Joan, if you ever get the chance, visit Grafton at the end of October. Its sensational.

  5. Those purple blooming trees are so gorgeous! Glad you are getting some rain so things can finally green up. It's just too bad all the rain has to come at once! But I guess beggars can't be choosers, huh?

  6. They are beautiful Linda, but I would really love to be able to enjoy your autumn colours.

  7. You've done a tandem parachute jump! Braver than me - I could never do that! :)

  8. Wow! Those purple trees are spectacular, as are the roses. What a treat!

    The parachute people are much braver than I. It looks as though it was well worth the trip.

    I hope the farm land got some beneficial rain. We were thankful for a week of no rain last week. We have the possibility of some on Wednesday, but I hope it will pass us by.