Russ on 21 September 2019

I love having a GPS, with one you can travel through a city trouble free, so my exit from Sydney was a breeze.  After an overnight at Murramarang Resort (read Caravan Park but right on the beach) I called in at Bermagui to see their water tower.  I felt it was a bit of a cheat with the artwork printed on plastic and glued to the tower, Merimbula and Eden turned out to be the same.  It was well done and colourful but I prefer the tower artwork that the artist has actually painted on the tower, as was the case for all the others I have visited.  I’ll let you judge.  The first photo is of the tower and the second a close up of the artwork.  There is a local controversy as the artist was serving 15 months gaol for domestic violence, threatening to kill his partners father, using a car to intimidate, etc. when the artwork was unveiled.  But this was unknown to the local council.

Bermagui Water Tower

 

Bermagui Water Tower Close up

 

The strikingly colourful Bermagui artwork is titled Spirit Dance and was originally painted by indigenous artist Joe Mackenzie in an attempt to help his young sons Latrell and Kobe to get to sleep, with its friendly protective spirits to ward off bad spirits.

I forgot to mention that it rained at Murramarang and I had to pack up in the wet, we got about 20 mm overnight.  I suppose I shouldn’t complain, it was the first rain for 7 weeks.  It cleared up after a couple of hours but the rain started again just when I was setting up at Merimbula, bugger.

The water Tank at Merimbula is at the top of a hill overlooking the town next to the fire station.  It was colourful but again a printed artwork stuck to the tower.

Merimbula Water Tank

 

Merimbula Water Tank Close up

 

This artwork is detailed and colourful and depicts what both locals and visitors alike appreciate about living in this part of Australia.  I learned there was another tank artwork at 5 Km north of Eden on the Princes Highway so I checked that out on the way to Mallacoota.  It depicts an octopus and crayfish engaged in a fight in indigenous art style.

Eden Water Tank

 

Eden Water Tank Close up

 

This artwork was taken from a painting completed by the artist some years earlier and the painting can be viewed in a local gallery.

I met up with Deen at Mallacoota on Wednesday afternoon where we will stay for 4 nights.  On Thursday we set off for a BBQ at Sou-West Arm on the Genoa River, a favourite spot we first visited in 1973 and many times since including with a UK branch of our family Justine, Robert, Lucy and Holly in 2016.  This time at Sou-West Arm, as well as the BBQ, we were to scatter some of Marg’s ashes.  Both Cam and Deen have ashes to scatter and Deen chose this place for her lot as it held good memories for her, and it was a place loved by Marg.

When the kids were about five and seven we stayed at Mallacoota with Barry (Marg’s brother), Cas, Sam and Bren and visited Sou-West Arm.  The kids rushed down to the picnic table and in an instant were on top of the table as a big goanna made a massive noise in the galvanised rubbish bin.  Much laughter from the parents.

Russ & Deen Relaxing at Sou-West Arm Mallacoota

 

After lunch (Deens delicious hamburgers in a fresh rolls) we moved to the end of the jetty and took turns to cast the ashes, sad, but also lots of wonderful memories.

Jetty at Sou-West Arm Mallacoota Panorama

We walked to the end of the arm to enjoy the view to the upper lake.

View to the Upper Lake Mallacoota from Sou-West Arm

 

We were blessed with the weather for this important event, mostly sunny, 20 °C with a cooling light breeze.

There was a very strong wind on Friday, but otherwise a perfect day, so we headed off down Genoa River Firetrail to a picnic area on the Genoa River in Croajingolong National Park.  150 metre walk to the picnic area where we got the fire BBQ going.  It was such a peaceful place with a tiny Flame Robin catching our attention from time to time.

Genoa River Picnic Area

 

On the walk down to the picnic spot we found a White Ladies Finger native orchid, something Marg would have spotted from 50 metres, she could even spot orchids from a moving car!  A delightful tiny flower on the middle of the very dry walking track.

Ladies Finger Orchid

 

That night we got Deens TV going in her campert  watched the Tigers fantastic performance on Friday night and on Saturday decided on a restful day with a counter lunch at the Mallacoota pub would be the go.  That night we watched the Magpies nearly win in a wonderful fightback.  Our evening meals over the time at Mallacoota has been 1/2 a dozen oysters mornay each using oysters I bought from an oyster factory in Pambula on the way down.  Delicious.  Tomorrow we start the journey home to Melbourne with an overnight at Nicholson River, so this will be the last post for a while, thanks to the people who posted comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russ on 14 September 2019

On another beautiful sunny mild day I set off for Hornsby to see their water tank, a fair part of the journey was on Pennant Hills Road again, but no B-Doubles and no caravan so it was an easy 50 Km drive.  The artwork on the tower was excellent but a security fence and trees made it hard to get photos, but I really liked the paintings.  This one is from across the road to give an idea of the tower’s situation.  I was across the road to take these and it was a busy road so I just kept snapping and eventually managed a break in the traffic so no cars in the photo.

Hornsby Water Tank

 

I managed to take a few close up photos through the fence and between bushes.

Hornsby Water Tank

 

Hornsby Water Tank

 

Hornsby Water Tank

 

The next tank was at Lower MacDonald, a small settlement in the bush on the Hawkesbury River near Wisemans Ferry (Wisemans Ferry does not have an apostrophe for some unknown reason).  It was a delightful drive through forest and the Berowra National Park where the road dropped down the edge of the escarpment.  This section of the road had eight hairpin bends that were 5 Km/hr absolute max plus lots of others to be taken at 15 to 25 Km/hr.  But the forest was beautiful, all green with lots of native grasses and grass trees.  The road was smooth and after the decline it was a delightful winding road, lots of motorbikes out enjoying the bends, but otherwise the traffic was light.  There is another steep decline down to Wisemans Ferry, but not a many sharp bends.  Along the way there was a lookout over the Hawkesbury and Wisemans Ferry which is the long shape in the centre of this photo.

 

Hawkesbury River at Wisemans Ferry from Hawkins Lookout

 

A ferry has operated at Wisemans Ferry since 1829 and is probably the longest continuously operating ferry service in Australia.  The crossing is 366 metres long and two ferries operate in parallel so there is not long to wait for a ferry, which takes about 4 minutes to cross the river.  Wiseman was a convict who was granted land in the area and started the ferry in 1827 and then moved it to the present site in 1829 when the road was repositioned.

The water tanks at Lower MacDonald are small ones but the artwork is good and they are in a bush setting.

 

Lower MacDonald Water Tank

 

Lower MacDonald Water Tank Perched Cocky

 

Lower MacDonald Water Tank Flying Cocky

 

Lower MacDonald Water Tank

 

The return journey to camp followed different roads but most of it was through the countryside and enjoyable.  Tomorrow is a rest day, well a more restful day, with a clear agenda, hopefully celebrating a Lions win, and then off down the coast on Monday to end up at Mallacoota where I am meeting up with Deen on the 18th for a few days, so I’m looking forward to that.  I will check out a couple of water towers on the way south at Bermagui amd Merimbula.

 

 

Russ on 13 September 2019

All the water tanks I plan to visit on Friday are in the Blue Mountains and my first was at Katoomba, but before the tower I went to Echo Point to view the Three Sisters, which I haven’t seen since I was a child.  There are still three, unlike the twelve apostles in Victoria where we are down to about eight.  The view over the mountains is stunning and worth putting up with hundreds of tourists, of which I am one.  You can understand from the photos why the Blue Mountains were such a barrier to settlement further west until Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson found a way across in  1813.  They were successful because they followed the ridges rather than the valleys.  As a result of their exploration Bathurst became Australia’s first inland city.

 

Three Sisters from Echo Point

 

I took a panorama of the view including the Three Sisters.

Three Sisters & Blue Mountains

 

And another from the other side of the viewing platform.

Blue Mountains from Echo Point

 

After enjoying the views it was off to the Katoomba Water Tank which was probably good in its heyday, but leakage and weathering have taken their toll.

Katoomba Water Tank

 

Katoomba Water Tank Sharks

 

Katoomba Water Tank Close-up

 

I then travelled to Wentworth Falls to see their water tank but could only find a plain green tank, apparently the artwork is on the other side but I couldn’t see how to get there.  So off to Mt Riverview water tank.  This tank has artwork as a strip around the bottom of the tank.  The green patches are where the paint has lifted off.

 

Mt Riverview Water Tank

 

Mt Riverview Water Tank Rosella

 

Mt Riverview Water Tank Blue Wren

 

Mt Riverview Water Tank Snake

 

The last tank for today was at Lapstone just off the Great Western Highway which is the main highway into the mountains.  The highway is two lanes each way and winds up the hills, a very easy and pleasant drive.  The artwork is eye catching, I love the frog the best.

 

Lapstone Water Tank

 

Lapstone Water Tank Closeup

 

A couple more tanks or towers tomorrow and that will be Sydney done.  Richmond has a very busy shopping strip within walking distance of where I am camped.  There are a few takeaways, a Dan Murphy’s and a Coles, so I have everything I need!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russ on 12 September 2019

So it was back to reality today travelling with a caravan through Sydney, at one stage I was on the very windy Pennant Hills Road in the middle lane with a B-Double on either side, I did breath in!  I set up camp at the Richmond Club, who have a 20 site small camping area.  I will travel out from here to the various water towers around Sydney.  Today I visited the Edmondson Park tower at Bardia.  I really liked the tower which was very colourful and interesting.  There was construction work happening on the site so I was able to take photos inside the fence after seeking permission from the Irish workforce.

The design featured elements of Edmondson Park from the past and present, which are demonstrated through an aerial view.

You can see a blue line running through the bottom of the mural which represents Campbelltown Road (the main road through the suburb). The artist has included things from the past like vineyards and market gardens through to Indigenous elements.

Also included are a local totem, a soldier, a Victoria Cross and foxes for Fox Valley Road, right through to future housing developments.

This was my first view of the tower.

 

Edmondson Park Water Tower First View

 

I then walked to the side to take this photo.

Edmondson Park Water Tower Side View

 

Ans a close up of the side view.

Edmondson Park Water Tower Close up Side View

 

I then had to seek further permission to walk through the worksite to the other side of the tower.

Edmondson Park Water Tower Another View

 

This tower could well be my favourite.  Tomorrow I will be off to Katoomba to see some more water towers.

 

Russ on 11 September 2019

The drive from Wauchope to Maitland Showground was along the Pacific Motorway through forests for most of the journey, an easy drive that seemed over before it started.  Once set up I drove to see a water tank at Coal Point on Lake Macquarie, about 40 Km away.  The artwork was only in a band around the bottom of the tank, but it was well done.  I was lucky to be able to stop and ask a trail bike rider for directions, as the best way to get to the tank was from a different street, rather than the one listed on the website.  As you approach the tank this is what you see, the glimpse encouraged me to keep climbing up the hill.

Approaching Coal Point Water Tank

 

I especially loved the owl, but the possum and lady bird were well done as well.

Coal Point Water Tank Front View

 

The back of the tank was more like artistic graffiti, but well done and colourful.

Coal Point Water Tank Back View

 

The side of the tank had a bird theme.

Coal Point Water Tank Side View

 

On Wednesday I went to Kurri Kurri to see their street art, sorry, should say murals, that is what the locals like to call them.  There are lots to see within easy walking distance of the centre of town and an amazing variety of subjects.  The town emblem is a kookaburra so every mural has a kookaburra somewhere in the painting, although I could not find a kooka in a few of them.  So, in order of my viewing, this is what I saw, appropriately the first into view was the town emblem.

Kurri Kurri Kookaburra Statue

 

Then came the toilet block, I take a risk here because have already copped some flack about taking photos of ladies toilets!  The kooka is in the second mural.

 

Kurri Kurri Toilet Block Mural #1

 

Kurri Kurri Toilet Block Mural #2

 

Schoolyard Mural

 

The school walls had murals painted on them, but they were hard to photograph, but here is one painted by the kids.

Kids Mural

 

Bullock Team Mural

 

Snake Handler Mural

 

Good to see the proper use of an apostrophe.

Galloway’s Electrical Store

 

Steam Train

 

Double Decker Bus

 

Christmas Mural

 

The firemen mural is on the side of the fire station and has flames coming out of all the windows, I could only capture the main part of the mural.

Firemen Mural

 

Preschool Puzzle Mural

 

Backburning Mural

 

Sewing Factory Mural

 

Car 54 Where are You

 

Time Tunnel Mural

 

Timber Cutters Mural

 

Cricketers – High on Hotel Wall

 

Christening Mural

 

So that is the best of the Kurri Kurri murals, well worth the visit.  Tomorrow I am off to Richmond in the west of Sydney for a few days and then I will start moving down the coast toward home.

Russ on 9 September 2019

Corindi Beach Caravan Park where I am staying is on a headland with a great view down the coast.

Corindi Beach

 

I visited Woolgoolga about 20 Km south to see the water tower there, sadly it was an old artwork, faded, with damage and not very good anyway.  It was of a seascape with whales cavorting, but disappointing.

Woolgoolga Water Tower

 

The Woolgoolga RSL had excellent artwork on the side of their building facing the road showing soldiers in combat, very well done.

 

Woolgoolga RSL

 

On Friday I received a call from Pete and Barb, long time great friends, who were camping at Wooli about 25 Km north of my camp, but a 60 Km drive.  So we met up at Wooli and spent a few hours together including a bistro lunch.  It was great to catch up and have a good chat, catching up on family happenings and other stuff.  I returned via a 4WD track which was shorter in distance but took longer, but I enjoyed it better than the highway drive.

Next day, Sunday, (I have to keep saying the days so I can keep track) I moved to Wauchope because I could!  There is a pioneer timber town here but I’m not big on touristy things and when the reviews said the entry price was steep, that made the decision.  I’m staying at the showgrounds for $20 a night.

On Monday I went to see a massive Red Bloodwood, called “Old Bottlebutt”, in the forest nearby, 16 metres around the base, 4.7 metres around where the trunk starts, 53.8 metres high, and the crown is 15.5 metres diameter.  Very hard to photograph with the sun casting shadows but it is a magnificent tree.

Red Bloodwood – Old Bottlebutt Base

 

The tree looks very healthy as you can see in the photo of the canopy.

 

Old Bottlebutt Canopy

 

On the way to the tree there was a valley dotted with palms with the sun highlighting their leaves, it was so pretty, not sure if the photo captures that though.

 

Palms on the Walk to Old Bottlebutt

 

On the way back I took a shortcut and ended up facing the embankment of the road I was heading for, about 4 metres high, just as well I had low range 4WD and the slope was rocky and dry, a bit exciting.

After that I headed for Ellenborough Falls which are the second highest single drop waterfalls in the Southern hemisphere.  The road to the falls was extremely windy and narrow but fortunately not much traffic. You view the falls from a platform suspended off the side of the gorge.  Not much water flowing as it has been so dry.  Wallaman Falls west of Ingham in Queensland are the highest single drop waterfall at 268 metres.

Ellenborough Falls

 

Ellenborough Falls Panorama

 

In 1981 Marg, Cam, Deen and I visited Wallaman Falls and this is a photo I took at the time on a Minolta reflex film camera, you view the falls across a wide valley, but they still look magnificent.

 

Wallaman Falls Queensland

 

Tomorrow I move on the Maitland for a couple of days to see some street art and a water tower.  There are lots of bushfires in NSW at the moment and controlling them is proving a real challenge because everything is so dry and water is scarce.  Very strong and cold winds are making the task more difficult, and also not very pleasant for campers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russ on 5 September 2019

Hardly a holiday hotspot but for Street Art, well worth a visit.  It is also the home of my cousin Neville and his wife Noreen whom I haven’t seen since I was at their wedding 59 years ago.  It was great to catch up and we shared lots of memories and found out about children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, etc.  I met up with Neville and Noreen at their home on the afternoon of the day I arrived and had lots of chat and an excellent meal with a delicious food and wine.

Neville and Noreen had checked out the Street Art earlier and knew all the locations of the Street Art so we spent a couple of hours the next morning and then some more time after lunch.  We visited well over 50 sites and walked most of the way.  So this post is about all the Street Art.

Uncertain

This was art was painted by Alysa Mae illustrating conflicting moods, a sense of sadness with an attempt of masking that with the use of scenery to create a sense of calm.

Unnamed

Another by Alysa Mae has a woman gazing into the beyond, expressing and under-lining sense of uncertainty and fragility and with and expression creates a moody undertone with a possible hidden narrative.

Elisha Rei, the artist, comments the Geisha girl, a suggestive self-portrait, is inspired by the aesthetic of Japanese ukiyo-e prints and connects with her heritage.  The painting is on the end of the Toowoomba art gallery and is at least 3 stories high.

The rest of the artwork lacked explanation on the theme or meaning of the art so I have just loaded the ones I liked best.

Three “Kiss” Women

 

Polar Bear

 

Blue Bowerbird

 

Japanese Lady

 

Reading to Children

 

Young Woman in Sunglasses

 

Aboriginal Artwork

There was a long mural representing the Toowoomba community.

Toowoomba Community

The portraits I liked best from this collection are:

Young Aboriginal Man

 

Young Farmer

 

Young Girl

The artwork below covered a wall about 10 metres long.

Large Aboriginal Artwork

 

Elephant Growing a Tree with a Treehouse

There was a small alcove with two seats, about three metres square, and there were aboriginal paintings on the four sides, the following photos are of this artwork.

Seating Alcove #1

 

Seating Alcove #2

 

Seating Alcove #3

 

Seating Alcove #4

This photo was on the wall of a mexican Restaurant.

Mexican Artwork

 

 

Perched Bird

 

Four Wolves

 

Horses Head

 

Snakes Head

 

Eagles Head

 

So that’s a small selection of Toowoomba’s Street Art, lots of high quality paintings and great to walk around the lanes and streets and to be surprised by what is around the next corner.  It was a highlight of my trip around the eastern states viewing public art sites.

I moved off this morning from Toowoomba getting on the road at 6.30 because I had a 500 Km journey ahead.  I am now at Corindi Beach Caravan Park about 40 Km north of Coffs Harbour.  It is right on the coast with green grass over the whole park, I haven’t seen that for a while, there is a cool breeze, sunny, clear skies, and 30° C, but someone has to do it.  But I have to say I still prefer the more basic camping spots where people are more friendly and speak to you, here people walk passed and avoid eye contact, maybe I look too disreputable with shorts, socks and boots.

 

 

Russ on 2 September 2019

A short trip of 80 or so Km brings me to Brisbane, bit of a shock after a month mostly in the bush, but the roads are good and the GPS is a saviour.  I have a number of towers to visit so I decided to do them all on Sunday, hopefully with less traffic.  I am staying at Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park which is busy but well set out with reasonable size sites and a number of trees scattered through the park.  I am under one and the shade is very welcome (29° C).  If you need to camp in Brisbane I would recommend it and it’s not too far from the CBD.   The first tower I visited was at Kallangur 33 Km north of the CBD. The name Kallangur originates from the Aboriginal word kalangoor, meaning a goodly or satisfactory place. The artwork on the water tower was a forest scene with trees and grass trees, reminiscent of places I had visited along the way.  It was well very done but sun glare made it hard to get a really good photo.  But the artists have captured a Queensland forest very well.

Kallangur Water Tower

There was a small memorial to Australian Defence Forces with statues of people dressed in clothing of all the different forces, there are several more statues that I couldn’t fit into the photo.

Kallangur Memorial Statues

From here it was off to Ferny Hills about 20 Km NW of the CBD.  Here the water tower is a squat one surrounded on two sides by houses and there were trees as well, so getting a full view into a photo was not possible on most sides.  The artwork was excellent and detailed.

Ferny Hills Water Tower

Here are some of the animals and birds on this tower.

Ferny Hills Water Tower Possum

 

Ferny Hills Water Tower Butcher Bird

The Blue Winged Kookaburra is a bit blue, artistic licence I guess.

Ferny Hills Water Tower Blue Winged Kookaburra and Green Tree Frog

 

I can’t find a parrot to match this painting, the closest is a Musk Lorikeet, but it’s a good painting.

Ferny Hills Water Tower Parrot

 

Back at the caravan park I took some photos of the artwork on the toilet block.  The ones on the mens toilet looked like they wanted to scare men from going in.

Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park Spider

Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park Emu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In contrast the artwork on the ladies toilet is much more inviting.

Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park Butterfly

Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park Flowers – Ladies Side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another couple from around the toilet block:

Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park Flowers – Ladies Side #2

Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park Ant & Ladybird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So later in the afternoon I headed off about 40 Km south to Logan to see a water tower decorated in aboriginal dot art style.  I had two GPS programmed but still managed to circle the CBD once and cross the river three times before I got to Logan.  There are a number of motorways that go right into the city but if you miss an on ramp you have to drive around a bit, but the motorways are good as are the arterial roads.  The tower was excellent but inside a temporary construction style fence, not sure why, and this with big trees made photography difficult.  There was also dappled shade on the tower.

Chester Park Water Tower

 

You can see the dappled shade on the tower in the photo.

Chester Park Water Tower Two Faces on The Top

 

The view from the back missed the shade and you can see how good the artwork looks without the shade.

Chester Park Water Tower Rear Face

Chester park Water Tower Side View

 

I think the Chester Park tower may be the one I have liked best so far.  From here I drove a couple of Km to wineglass water tower and got there as the sun was setting.  It is an amazing structure that holds a megalitre of water and weighs 400 tonnes.

Wineglass Water Tower at Sunset

 

The black dots on the tower are lights that come on every night.  Logan Council publish a webpage that gives the times the lights are on and the colour they will be.  They change colours to celebrate and event or sporting team in the council area.  They were to be green and gold on Sunday to celebrate Park Ridge Pirates Grand Final.  the lights operate from 5.30 until 10.30 and the tower can be seen on the top of the hill from many kilometres away.  I had to wait an hour until it was dark enough to see the lights well enough to photograph.  This meant a trip back through the city in the dark guided only by GPS, I was not looking forward to that, but it was worth seeing the tower.  Ever so often they switch back to the normal violet colour, which looks the best in my opinion.

Wineglass Water Tower Violet

 

On a normal night the violet tower would have violet lights on the flared section, not green and gold.

Wineglass Water Tower Green & Gold

 

Later in the night the green would cover the tower.  There were three power poles near the tower with artwork on them, two of birds and one of a Numbat, they were all well done.

Wineglass Water Tower Powerpole Robin

 

Wineglass Water Tower Powerpole LBB

 

For none birdwatchers LBB is an acronym for “Little Brown Bird”, often used when the LBBs are in the treetops and can’t be identified.

 

Wineglass Water Tower Powerpole Numbat

 

So at six I set off home, this time I paid close attention to the GPS instructions and all the road signs, as there are multiple off ramps and I had to use about half a dozen of them on the journey.  At one stage there was an interchange between two motorways that was different to both GPSs, so I just headed where I thought I should go with both GPSs off the road, but eventually the three of us were singing in unison.  The main issue is that the road signs refer to suburbs that I don’t know, for example, I am staying in Ashgrove, but the signs refer to Newmarket which I now know is the next suburb.  It was good to get home.

Tomorrow I’m off to Crows Nest near Toowoomba and will meet up with my cousin and his wife, Neville and Noreen, whom I haven’t seen for many, many years, so that will be good.  Then I start heading down to the NSW north coast.

 

 

 

 

 

Russ on 31 August 2019

On Wednesday my friends Trish and Dave came out to the caravan park and we enjoyed several hours of conversation on a deck that overlooked the view from the park over the Sunshine Coast, it was great to catch up.

We planned some walks for Thursday and a lunch, but the day was wet so the walks were cancelled and we met up for lunch, and that was very enjoyable, lots of reminiscing and friendly banter.  I dropped Trish and Dave back into Maleny where they are staying at the showgrounds for the Maleny music festival that starts Friday.

So on Friday I set off to Kondalilla NP along a road the followed the ridge to Mapleton with wonderful views and big drops off the sides of the road.  Sadly most of the rainforest had been cleared and prescribed burns obscured the views.  The walk to the falls at Kondalilla NP was 3.4 Km return with over more than 300 steps and lots of declines and climbs, but it was through the rainforest and quite cool, so that was good.  There were lots of staghorn ferns in the trees that looked wonderful.

Staghorn Ferns at Kondalilla NP

In the Kabi language Kondalilla means “rushing water”, not so rushing at the moment.  Views along the track were over valleys and forest and quite spectacular.

View from walk at Kondalilla NP

I crossed Picnic Creek where there was a small waterfall, especially small as the weather has been so dry, but it was still very pretty.

Picnic Creek Falls

The rainforest also hosted lots of big grass trees with leaves much thicker and bigger than those at Cania Gorge.

Grass Tree at Kondalilla NP

I eventually made it to the lookout over the falls on Skene Creek that drop 90 metres into rock pools, again, not much water going over.  Imagine them in flood.

Skene Creek Falls Kondalilla NP

From Kondalilla National Park I went to Mapleton Falls National Park, a very small park of only 26 hectares protecting remanent rainforest.  I didn’t walk far at this park, just to the lookout, which looks over the falls and the escarpment.  The viewing platform is about 200 metres above the creek and is a cantilever platform, so I had to take a big breath and tentatively walk to the edge to take photos.  The falls drop 120 metres and must be spectacular when it rains.

Mapleton Falls Mapleton Falls NP

In the bottom right corner you can see the rock face that the falls drop over, and the small flow of water.

On Saturday I went to Conondale National Park near Kenilworth about 40 Km from Ocean View Caravan Park.  It was a winding road through steep hilly country with the final section through a Mary river valley.  The road into the park became high clearance 4WD only, but I pushed on for a while, then stopped at a pretty picnic spot.  The signage there advised to tackle the road in one direction to not conflict with oncoming traffic, but didn’t say which way (to find that out you had to go to Kenilworth Forestry Office!   Also I was by myself and the road was quite rough and steep.  So I turned around and headed home.  I enjoyed the creek crossings though.

Creek Crossing Conondale National Park

As you can see the rainforest is quite dense, and it was good to hear lots of different bird songs.

The map below shows my journey from Mt Eliza to Coonamble in NSW.

Journey Day 1 to Day 10

I am now in my fifth week away and have driven 5,700 Km, set up and packed up camp fourteen times, visited and photographed thirty-three silos and water towers.  The journey since Coonamble is on the map below.

Map of Journey Day 11 to Day 34

Tomorrow I move onto Brisbane for a couple of days to visit several water towers around the city

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russ on 28 August 2019

After eight very restful days at Noosa I moved onto Ocean View Caravan Park, a big trip of around 80 Km, and the park really does have a wonderful ocean view over the Sunshine Coast.  The photo below is what I see from my van.

View from Ocean View Caravan Park Panorama

Once set up, I went to Maleny to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve which protects about 50 hectares of remanent rainforest.  A 2 Km walk takes you through beautiful rainforest with massive trees, plams, ferns and lots of birds.  The walk is cool and flat and very enjoyable.

Walk at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

The tree that looks like it is in the centre of the path is a Watkins Fig, a variety of Strangler Fig, so called because it kills its host tree.  A seed dropped in the upper branches of the host tree sprouts, it then sends down thin roots that thicken over time to eventually cover the whole outside of the host tree, killing it.  But it’s not all bad, as the hollow left inside the fig, when the host tree rots away, becomes an important habitat for birds and animals.  High in the big trees grow massive birds nest ferns, probably 20 metre up the tree and higher,  just as well my camera has 10X zoom.

Birds Nest Fern in Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Along the way I passed a couple of Red Leg Pademelons, small wallabies, and this one was a baby only about 200 mm high.

Pademelon at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

While walking around the reserve I heard a number of birds that sound like a cat meow or a babies cry.  I checked with a ranger and it was a Green Catbird.  You can hear it by pasting this link into your browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhtXtJYW3uA and listening to the video.

Green Catbird in Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

I had to be careful to not drop my camera while I climbed a tree to take the photo.  Only joking, the only timber involved was the floor of the information centre!  The view over the glasshouse mountains from the reserve was fantastic and I loved the cloud formation.

Glasshouse Mountains from Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve

Captain Cook named these mountains and today I found out why he gave that name.  I could never work out why they got their name because they don’t look like glass houses, but they do look like the glass making kilns in his native Yorkshire, where they are called English Glass Houses, so mystery solved.  The mountains were formed in the same way as Mt Walsh near Biggenden I visited earlier.  Magma was pushed up into crevices and voids under the earth’s surface and originally the magma would have been 300-400 metres under the surface at the time.  Erosion of the softer sandstone over the eons eventually exposed these mountains as they are today.  For good measure I also took a panorama.

Glasshouse Mountains Panorama

Today is Wednesday, I need to keep track of the days otherwise I would lose track and I have to be back in Melbourne to see the Lions win the flag!  So it was off to Bribie Island to view a couple of water towers.  The first was at Woorim on the far east side of the island.  It was excellent, with surfers on one face and a New Holland honeyeater on the other.

Woorim Water Tower Bribie Island

The honeyeater detail was excellent and I especially liked how well the grevillea flower was depicted.

New Holland Honeyeater on Woorim W/T

 

Surfers on Woorim Water Tower

On the top section of the Woorim tower they have painted a gull in flight, you can see part of it on left top of the photo of the whole tower.

Gull on Woorim Water Tower

I then headed for Bongaree water tower on the other side of the island, only about 5 KM away, it’s not a big island.  In fact the northern end of the island is a very long narrow spit of sand and it is feared that this will be breached soon as water levels rise, exposing Golden Beach to the ocean and possible erosion issues.  The tower is well done but lacks the fine detail of the Woorim tower.  It is also behind a cyclone fence so I had to go into the RSL carpark on one side and a caravan park on the other to be able to take photos.

Bongaree W/T Bribie Island

 

Large Turtle Bongaree W/T Bribie Island

Near the top of the tower is a smaller turtle.

Small Turtle Bongaree W/T Bribie Island

My friends of very long standing, Trish and Dave, arrive in Maleny today so we will share some good times together, and probably visit a few more places around the Blackall Ranges.