Thursday, 26 September 2019

Gold Coast Botanical Gardens

Wednesday 13 August

The Hungry Hikers are always on the lookout for somewhere new to walk. I receive e-mails from several local tourists groups, advertising what's on and where to go. It was in a recent e-mail from Enjoy the Gold Coast, that I learnt of the existance of their Botanical Gardens at Ashmore. It was a delightful walk of 5km, followed by another 5km along the beach front at Broadbeach.

This baby rosella parrot was being dived on by both crows and noisy miner birds. We were relieved when the park ranger came to its rescue.

The world of 'rock hiding' has suddenly become apparent to me. On my previous visit to PEI, I found my first and since then 2 more locally.

Another wonderful day in our great outdoors down under. A destination to be revisited and being highly recommended to friends.

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A little bit of Spring in my Garden

I'm pleased to report that the weather conditions improved for the better, 5 days after the onset of the bushfires in our area. Our firefighters did an mazing job of preventing loss of life and homes. Some areas have had small amounts of rainfall and we have our fingers crossed for more, although the outlook still isn't great.

We have tank water for our garden, although this is reserved for a few annuals, potplants and vegetables. Most of the garden is planted with native shrubs who have to manage with just rainfall.

Last week I was quite surprised with the spring colour that greeted me, especially my white king orchid, a native of the rainforest.

Last week the Hungry Hikers visited the annual Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast. "50, large scale contempory sculptures are set amongst the natural landscape of Currumbin Beach."

The frog sculpture, a little further on, sits on the huge boulder at the end of Currumbin Beach. We energetically climbed 100 steep steps for this lovely view.

My favourite

Front view

Back view

This finds me filling in time at Vancouver Airport, between flights, on my journey to visit darling Ben again, for his 2nd birthday. 

Saturday, 14 September 2019

The Difference a Few Days Makes!

Wednesday 11 September

My last post was of the magical, crystal clear, aqua seas we walked beside at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, beneath sunny blue skies. It was a hot day but unfortunately the temperature and westerlie winds were set to rise over the next few days. These conditions, along with very low humidity and tinder dry countryside, resulted in wide spread dust storms and ferocious bushfires. Our firemen were stretched to the limit and have done an amazing job of containing the danger. There were several days of respite with a change in the weather, but this weekend we are again on full alert for the worst to happen.

These conditions are not just confined to the area I live in, but also for far too much of Eastern Australia. The summer rain outlook is not promising. Thunderstorms are forecast for October. They will only bring isolated downpours and carry the threat of lightning strikes setting off new blazes. Fingers crossed.

Dust storm footage - Brisbane skyline.
 [Rebekah Powell]

Gold Coast skyline
 [ABC News]
Main Beach
 [Tim Marsden]

The first destructive fire in the Gold Coast hinterland destroyed the 85 year old Binna Burra Lodge, rainforest retreat.

 [ABC News]

 [Aleksandar Romanov]

 [ABC News]
Binna Burra Lodge
 [Binna Burra Lodge}
 [ABC News]

 [ABC News}

Three hours west of Brisbane is the wine and fruit growing area of Stanthorpe. The drought has been so extreme for them over the past year that water is soon going to have to be trucked in.  Bush fires soon broke out here with more devastating effects. Note the spring blossoms struggling on the fruit trees.
 [Ashley Smith]

 [Thomas Day]

 [ABC News - Damian Larkin]

 [ABC News, Stephen Cavanagh]

Then, two children, 15 and 12 set off an inferno at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast.
 [Ronnie Stanton]

 [Wavell Bush Photography]

 [ABC News]

Night view of Peregian from Coolum.
 [ABC Brisbane]

Day view of same fire.
                                                    [Ben Bylett - Sunshine Photography]

The big guns have arrived.
 [Ronnie Stanton]

A little further south at Lansborough, more devastation.
 [Glasshouse Mtns, Rural Fire Brigade}

The heartbreak is not just for humans but for our charred rainforests, hiking trails, birds and animals.
[I think, ABC News]

 [Lee James]

 [QLD Police service]

A little hope but not soon enough. Seen today.

This Wednesday, the plan for the Hungry Hikers was to attend a "Fire in the Botanical Gardens" event. This was postponed to the coming week, but has now been cancelled. 

A new plan had to be arranged. We met at Mowbray Park on the banks of the Brisbane River at 4pm and enjoyed a leisurely stroll, under the first clear skies of a week, along the southern shoreline of the river, under the Story Bridge and below the Kangaroo Point Cliffs to Southbank - 8 km. A refreshing drink was found at the historic Ship Inn. 6.16pm saw us sitting on the banks of the river in front of our wonderful Cultural Centre, to watch the  brilliant 'River of Light', laser light show. This is one of the many wonderful Brisfest, art festival events.

"This art-meets-technology water fountain, light-and-laser spectacle will illuminate the night and our river.
Following the phenomenal success of the 2018 telling of a Dreamtime creation story of the river – seen by almost 500,000 people – this new local story will again be told by Yuggera and Toorbal man Shannon Ruska working with Oracle Liquid."

The city, walking to our viewing point.


Jocelyn's  snapshots.

My take.

The walk - 9km in total.

My pics of enjoying the Citycat ferry ride back down the river, to the Mowbray Park ferry stop and our parked cars.

Ferry stop

Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

The main reach of the river.

A tad cold, but loving the wind in the hair and city lights.

Ferry pilot, Garry and his crew, added to the fun of this journey. The small domed building is old the Brisbane Custom House. 

The recently opened [well 1 year ago] the Howard Smith Wharves, beneath the Story Bridge.

Whilst loving the beauty of our wonderful river city, I am filled with sadness for the devasting impact fire and drought is having on our country and its hard working farmers.

Sunday 15 September
Our sunset and fullmoon last night, were also affected by the latent smoke of the bushfires.

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