Posts Tagged ‘Springbrook’

482. Sunday 20th March 2016. A visitor from Calgary and another trip to Springbrook…

20/03/2016

Wednesday 16th March

When I arrived at the Pain Management Clinic for a two hour session of “Turning Pain Into Gain” I noticed the Pre Polling Booth at Southport Community Centre was open.

Let me explain.

Throughout the State of Queensland there will be elections this Saturday. The elections are for.

Local Government to elect a local representative for each Ward.

Elect a Mayor for each Council area

The State Government has cannily decided to also hold a referendum at the same time.  (having a referendum at the same time as a Council election saves money by not being conducted separately)  The referendum is to decide ,”should politicians be elected for a fixed four year term” OR to continue the current system of elected State politicians are elected for roughly a three year term and election dates are decided by the State Premier.

Australia has a polling system of allowing Postal votes, Pre Polling in selected venues and Absentee votes – that is votes when you are away from your home area. Voting is compulsory in Australia for ALL Elections.

Saturday, the day of the Poll, Donnis daughter Alecia is arriving from Canada and we are collecting her from the airport. We have a lot to do Saturday morning and do not want to get tied up in queues of voters who all seem to arrive as soon as polling stations open.

We decided to drive back to Southport and cast our vote in a pre- poll station. As usual we had to fight our way through volunteers wanting to hand you their “How to Vote” for their candidate literature. Some even want to engage you in conversation so they can explain their candidates virtues and convince you to vote their way.

OK, that’s done. Our civic duty has been completed and we have Saturday free of any other impediment to our day.

Donnis is sooo excited.

Friday 18th March.

Alecia arrives tomorrow and her friend Sarah arrives for a visit on Sunday. So… Donnis baked three cakes for the occasion. I am on a diet and not allowed to taste test the cakes.

Sigh!!!

Saturday 19th March

Alecia arrived on time at Coolangatta Airport. She had a long flight from Canada and although tired insisted on staying awake as long as possible so her body clock attunes to Oz time. After lunch – Caesar Salad with my own anchovy based dressing we drove to Southport Beach.

This group of a Brisbane based Japanese family karate group took a plunge in the ocean in full kit as part of their training. Note the young man still testing his skills while his mates soak up the surf.

This group of a Brisbane based Japanese family karate group took a plunge in the ocean in full kit as part of their training. Note the young man still testing his skills while his mates soak up the surf.

By now a strong southerly was blowing people off the beach but we persisted in a walk along the waters edge being splashed by waves on an incoming tide. We gave Alecia a tourists view of The Spit

Donnis and Alecia walking back from the Spit Lightstation.

Donnis and Alecia walking back from the Spit Lightstation.

and the Gold Coast Fish Co-Op

The Gold Coast Fish Co-Op is a collection of fishing trawlers and crew who sell directly to the public from their on board refrigerators and freezers.

The Gold Coast Fish Co-Op is a collection of fishing trawlers and crew who sell directly to the public from their on board refrigerators and freezers.

followed by a barbecue of Salmon and Asparagus.

Part way through a movie Alecia was sound asleep.

20th March

Alecia backpacked around Europe and worked as a nurse at the Lions Gate Hospital in Vancouver  with her friend Sarah who arrived today for a visit. Donnis prepared a cheesecake for Sarah’s birthday and we drove to Springbrook

On one of many bridges over water courses which rush to fall over the escarpment lip. Donnis Alecia and Sarah.

On one of many bridges over water courses which rush to fall over the escarpment lip. Donnis Alecia and Sarah.

where neither had been before.

Donnis and her daughter Alecia beside a tree fern in the sub tropical rainforest at Springbrook.

Donnis and her daughter Alecia beside a tree fern in the sub tropical rainforest at Springbrook.

After a snack lunch we looked at several waterfalls and walking tracks along the top of the escarpment.

Twin Falls.

Twin Falls.

Surfers Paradise seen from Twin Falls Lookout.

Surfers Paradise seen from Twin Falls Lookout.

Life on the edge is precarious. This plant seem to be thriving on little more than a crack in the escarpment walls.

Life on the edge is precarious. This plant seems to be thriving on little more than a crack in the escarpment wall.

Tomorrow we plan on driving to Toowoomba.

Advertisements

479. Sunday 28th February 2016. Visitors get trips to the beach and leave on a jet plane…

28/02/2016

Monday 22nd February

After a late start we travelled along the M1 and crossed into NSW and continued to follow the Pacific Motorway turning off at Clothiers Creek Road, driving through interesting thick woodland to join Tweed Coast Road at Cabarita Beach. We had a late lunch of sardines on rice cakes topped with chilli dill pickles. The memory of the meal still lives with me. (Hmmm! Perhaps I meant the meal still haunts me!)

We walked to the top of Norries Headland with grand views to Coolangatta and Tweed Heads to the north, with whale watching seating at the top of a wind driven knob of land. Yes it was very windy today which still does not detract from the need for caution at the top of the sheer cliffs to the rocks below.

Doug Linda and Donnis brave the strong winds on the cliffs above Cabarita Beach.

Doug Linda and Donnis brave the strong winds on the cliffs above Cabarita Beach.

This location is as far as Donnis and I have travelled on the Tweed Coast Road. Not quite true to coastal being in its name, the road meanders along the coast then wanders back through farmland, crossing the Pacific Motorway then turns back on itself passing through small coastal villages to end at the easternmost point in Australia, Byron Bay. We had been here only once before when we were returning from Tasmania in our Toyota Coaster motorhome in late June, 2009. We spent one night in an expensive caravan park and had an expensive pizza for dinner.  It seems very little has changed since our last visit. Traffic was chaotic.

A busy Byron Bay street.

A busy Byron Bay street.

Norfolk Island Pines. Like many beaches throughout Australia these pines are an iconic fixture.

Norfolk Island Pines. Like many beaches throughout Australia these pines are an iconic fixture.

Parking meters have given birth to new parking meters all the way from the edge of town, through all beach locations to the lighthouse. The lighthouse is exempt from parking meters. Here live people collect parking fees.

Byron Bay Lighthouse. Easternmost point of Australia.

Byron Bay Lighthouse. Easternmost point of Australia.

We did not stop due to limited parking, bumper to bumper driving and it was getting late. As always this summer the weather has been perfect, provided you like hot days.

Tuesday 23rd February

Today we had an almost abortive picnic. We packed a great lunch in the Esky including ice packs to keep it cool. Donnis also packed cutlery and plates in a separate Esky. Frank picked up the first Esky, packed it in the boot and away we went. We did not discover the missing picnic materials until we arrived at our destination. Hmmm. Lids of plastic containers, a flick knife and fingers were put to good use.

First stop was Hinze Dam. Yes, we visited the dam last year but obviously Linda and Doug have not. The Hinze Dam was named in honour of a local family whose home and farm were to become part of the dam itself and is now underwater. The dam was not named after a shifty politician who was  distantly related to the family. The dam on the Nerang River had stage one completed in 1976, stage two in 1989 and stage three in 2011. The dam provides flood mitigation for people living downstream in the Nerang River Valley.

From the dam we drove to Natural Bridge

On the Natural Bridge walk with some of the Hoop Pines planted about a century ago.

On the Natural Bridge walk with some of the Hoop Pines planted about a century ago.

Natural Bridge.

Natural Bridge.

Inside the grotto. Home to a colony of bats and glow worms.

Inside the grotto. Home to a colony of bats and glow worms.

Leaving the Natural Bridge grotto.

Leaving the Natural Bridge grotto.

and discovered we had food but no plates, knives or forks. We have been to Natural Bridge before so we lunched, using fingers, before walking to the bridge and taking the loop track back to the carpark. We were interested to note many, many signs stating swimming is not permitted and heavy fines and penalties are imposed on anyone caught swimming. We saw at least three people walking the track, in their wet swimming gear and not a ranger in sight.

Interesting car with Bamboo roof racks and a bent steel tow bar.

Interesting car with Bamboo roof racks and a bent steel tow bar.

We then drove the back road to Springbrook to see the Best of All Lookouts. The temperature here had dropped from 32° at the dam to 18° at the lookout car park. The walk to the lookout through rainforest and on the cliff face itself the temperature would have been much less and the wind chill factor made standing at the lookout rather a chilly affair. No wonder there are ancient Antarctic Beech trees growing here and seem to be constantly dripping from the clouds which hover around here most days.   www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook/about.htm   We had just enough time to stop at Purling Brook Falls. As the afternoon was getting late and long shadows appearing we did not attempt any of the walks.

Wednesday 24th February

Today was intended to be a lay day where we sat back and did nuffin. Donnis son Peter arrived unexpectedly so we went for a walk on Southport Beach then went to Southport Surf Life Saving Club for a beer before heading home for dinner.

Thursday 25th February

A late start saw us at Burleigh Heads and remarkably, we found a parking spot. We walked into the National Park

Burleigh Heads looking north to Surfers Paradise.

Burleigh Heads looking north to Surfers Paradise.

Doug Linda and Frank at the entrance to the Burleigh Headland National Park.

Doug Linda and Frank at the entrance to the Burleigh Headland National Park.

and followed the low walking track as far as Tallebudgera Creek and back.

Looking south to the Tallebudgera rockwall. with Currumbin and Coolangatta in the distance.

Looking south to the Tallebudgera rockwall. with Currumbin and Coolangatta in the distance.

The southern shore of Tallebudgera Creek is distinctly family oriented. The norther shore, often underwater is more popular with those not of a family group.

The southern shore of Tallebudgera Creek is distinctly family oriented. The norther shore, often underwater is more popular with those not of a family group.

Sometimes the track is closed due to falling rocks.

There are several gates to close access during periods of bad weather when there is a risk of a landslide and as happened last year, a bushfire.

There are several gates to close access during periods of bad weather when there is a risk of a landslide and as happened last year, a bushfire.

These are just some of the rocks which could tumble down the steep slopes when heavy rain undermines the unstable tallus.

These are just some of the rocks which could tumble down the steep slopes when heavy rain undermines the unstable tallus.

The dron hovering over the surf.

The drone hovering over the surf.

The drone operator.

The drone operator.

A group of schoolchildren were on an excursion and treated to a display of a drone.

A group of schoolchildren were on an excursion and treated to a display of a drone.

From there we inspected an RSL Prize Home valued at M$1.7 overlooking Kirra Beach with views all the way to Surfers Paradise in the north to Greenmount beach to the south. A window in the back of the building overlooks Coolangatta Airport. Naturally we bought tickets.

From there we drove back to Currumbin Beach SLSC and had Calamari and chips and Flathead and chips washed down with a cold beer. Our table was on a level overlooking the rocks and surf.

Friday 26th February

Today started as a lay day but escalated to a visit to Robina Shopping Centre where I bought, of all things, a smart phone. I have resisted the urge to have a smart phone until now. I bought a Samsung Galaxy A3 and have a steep learning curve to learn how to use it.

Saturday 27th February

We were all up early so we could drive Doug n Linda to Brisbane International Airport for their flight to Hong Kong.

We then visited a shopping centre for coffee in air conditioned comfort then drove to see grandson Chris play his first ever game of Rugby League. The game was played in searing heat with a hot wind blowing from the northwest.

Sunday 28th February

Another lay day.

 

411. Sunday 1st March 2015. Walking in clouds, a death in the family and a long overdue surf…

02/03/2015

Monday 23rd February

The weather forecast was for showers and that was what we had. It was difficult to plan anything involving outdoor activity.

Tuesday 24th February

The weather forecast was for a few showers. On the strength of that forecast I thought it would be suitable for a trip to a Queensland National Park in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast and which is adjacent to the NSW border and sits on the edge of a giant extinct volcanic caldera. The hinterland was deluged with around 300mm of rain over the weekend so the waterfalls in the park should be pumping. The area is part of the Gondwanna  Rainforests of Australia World Heritage area.

The road to Springbook is narrow, steep, winding and in a few places, over timber bridges, single lane.

Narrow one lane bridge on the steep winding road to Springbrook.

Narrow one lane bridge on the steep winding road to Springbrook.

Our first stop was at Purling Brook falls and as expected, the falls were pumping.

Purling Falls

Purling Falls

Along with the heavy rainfall also came the problem of parts of the park being closed to tourists. Most of the walks to the bottom of the canyon were closed or too wet and muddy to consider. Far below we could see park staff working on a bridge with raging water all around. With the naked eye we could see the orange safety jackets of the workers. With the camera on 48 times zoom the men were easily seen.

Yet another view of the Gold Coast. This time from one of many lookouts on the escarpment at Springbrook.

Yet another view of the Gold Coast. This time from one of many lookouts on the escarpment at Springbrook.

We next visited the original public school at Springbrook built in 1910, now a Qld Parks office.

100 year old Springbrook Primary School now a National Park office,

100 year old Springbrook Primary School now a National Park office,

Original water tank and hand washing facilities. There is no town water here. Everybody relies on tank water.

Original water tank and hand washing facilities. There is no town water here. Everybody relies on tank water.

Next to the old school, is the stump of a huge Blackbutt tree. It seems the school was sited and built beside the tree estimated to be 1,000 years old at the time. A year after the school was opened it was decided to cut down the tree as it might become a problem and injure children. No thought was given to building the school 50 metres away from the tree. Nor was any thought given to moving the one room school away from the tree. The magnificent tree was chopped down and the wood burned.

This 1,000 year old tree was unfortunate to have a school built beside it. Fears for childrens safety resulted in the tree being chopped down.

This 1,000 year old tree was unfortunate to have a school built beside it. Fears for childrens safety resulted in the tree being chopped down.

Sigh!

Next was a place higher up the mountain to visit the Best of All Lookouts (yes that is its name). As we drove up the winding road we soon entered cloud and found the final 600m walk to the lookout was in dense moist cloud. The lookout itself was, initially, disappointing, as all we could see was thick grey cloud.

Donnis at Best of All Lookouts with a whiteout of clouds obscuring the view.

Donnis at Best of All Lookouts with a whiteout of clouds obscuring the view.

After few minutes we noticed a strange black cloud mixing with the grey then suddenly, like a curtain being opened we saw the valley floor and the distant township of Murwillumbah and the high peak of Mt Danger over the border in NSW. We were standing on the rim of a volcanic caldera which erupted 22 million years ago.

Same location with a break in the clouds.

Same location with a break in the clouds.

As suddenly as the clouds parted they closed again.

We stopped for a picnic lunch at a umm err, picnic spot. I heard Donnis squeal from the ladies toilets. The squeal turned into a request to bring the camera. Imagine my surprise (and certainly Donnis surprise) to find a large live specimen of a spiny crayfish, a sort of land based lobster. It was making a snack of a piece of toilet paper or maybe something which was in the toilet paper. These tasty but protected species normally live in and around creek beds or anywhere there is constant moisture and being on top of a mountain, in a rainforest which is covered in cloud much of the time I guess that counts for constant moisture.

This little creature is a Lamington (Lamington National Park that is, not a lamington cake) Blue Spiny Crayfish. From clawtip to tail tip it measured about 300 mm.

This little creature is a Lamington (Lamington National Park that is, not a lamington cake) Blue Spiny Crayfish. From clawtip to tail tip it measured about 300 mm.

Saturday 28th February

The remainder of our weekday was mainly taken up with health, dental and motor vehicle repair appointments.

We had planned to drive to the Sunshine coast yesterday afternoon to visit my uncle Bill. He had a bowel cancer operation last week and had indicated before the op that he hoped he would die on the table. ( he has had many health problems including cancer ops and broken bones over the last decade and was simply tired of living in pain). The op was a success – at first. He then started to decline then improve so we decided after we got the RALLYE back from the mechanic in the afternoon we would visit him. We collected the car at 2pm then received a call at 3pm to say he had passed away.

REST IN PEACE BILL.

Visiting with Uncle Bill in October 2013

Visiting with Uncle Bill in October 2013

We decided to visit with Enid anyway as she had spent more time with Bill than anybody else, including his children and grandchildren. His death was an emotional release for her and we thought a family visit would be beneficial to her.

On the way to the Sunshine coast we stopped in Brisbane to visit Peter and Regelyn. Peter has offered us his Mini Cooper so we took it for a test drive. We need to sell TERIOS before we can afford to buy the car and we certainly do not need three cars. It was an experience driving a low to the ground sporty car but Donnis is keen to own it so TERIOS is on the market.

At Enid and Ken’s we had chilli prawn pizza and a beer and wine as these were favourites of Bill’s so it was a way of toasting his life, saying goodbye and having a final meal with him, at least in spirit.

Sunday 1st March

We were all up early and drove to Noosa Beach. It pays to get to the beach before 7am especially on a weekend as parking is at a premium. We first walked to the National park entrance then on our return enjoyed a body surf and caught waves on a boogie board. I must have turned twenty again as soon as I waded into the surf. I enjoyed myself so much and was last out of the water.

Reluctantly.

However I had spent so much time on the boogie board I developed a rash on my chest and stomach.

Sigh!

I wanna go for a surf every day!

I forgot to take my camera this weekend.

After lunch and a siesta Donnis and I hit the road but once we joined the motorway traffic movement was down to a bumper to bumper crawl for the next 40 Klms. A trip of around 2 hours ended up being a 3 and a half hour test of patience.

I am sooooo tired tonight.

ZZZZzzzzz.