Saturday, September 26, 2009

Capricorn Caves and Mt Archer Qld

The view of Rockhampton from Mt Archer

Have you ever been in a Cathedral inside a Cave? It is quite a unique experience.

The Cathedral Cave

Yesterday we decided to go up Mt Archer which overlooks Rockhampton. Visibility was pretty poor because we are still suffering the effects of the recent duststorm which seems to be lingering about. There was a lovely bush lookout and a gorgeous little coffee shop and we spent a pleasant hours drinking coffee and listening to the many birds in the trees nearby. Afterwards we decided to visit the Capricorn Caves and opted for a hour tour. The caves themselves are not as good (in my opinion) as ours in the South West but quite nice all the same.

My best side walking through the caves

On the guided tour we explored a labyrinth of large caves featuring beautiful speleothems, amazing fig tree roots and little insectivorous bats. The Cathedral Cave is awesome with its near perfect acoustics. We then had to negotiate a Zig Zag passage with a candle and across the swinging bridge. Discovered in 1882 by John Olsen, the caves offer a special environmental experience, a rich dioversity of caves, remnant dry rainforest and rare flora & fauna.

The Cave entrance ( the tree roots have been growing for centuries and have altered the environment magnificently)

The air was quite pleasant inside the honeycomb limestone caves, naturally airconditioned which was great because it is very warm in Qld. Normally I get the heeby jeebies when in closed spots but I managed to do the whole tour without panicking apart from the big kid (DH) behind me rocking the swinging bridges. Afterwards we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch at the cafe where some of the other quests were bush turkeys.

One of the bush turkeys

We popped in to say hullo to Julie & Peter then ventured home for the night.
Talk again soon

Friday, September 25, 2009

Yeppoon Qld

Yeppoon Beach

Its been a very sad week. Firstly the computer was struck down with a mysterious illness. She was in danger of losing all of her attachments and her vital organs were shutting down. Along came an excellent IT Co (namely iassist her in Rockhampton) who performed immediate surgery and after a few days of recuperation she came home faster and cleaner and ready to go and with a full backup copy hidden among her many folders.

Keppel Bay
Last Friday while the bus was getting its nipples greased and her oil changed we took off in Jimny and drove over to Yeppoon. Yeppoon is a lovely coastal town, fishing and swimming being the main activities and you can catch the ferry here to Keppel Island.

A fisherman on the rocks

We espied a very shiny and new bus driving through the area and it was Ron & Aileen. (They actually built our bus) They were driving their new mid engine bus named the Grange. The car is parked into the back of the bus and when the car is out that room then becomes a spare room (or laundry as they have set it up for) After a quick chat and a perusal of their bus (Very, very nice)we headed back to pick up the bus.

We picked her up about 5pm and she was sporting a new muffler and her wheels had been rotated and she was longer coughing and spluttering. Just joking she has been running as smooth as a baby's bum and we haven't experienced any major mechanical problems. Thursday we had to have the tyre people come out and repair a puncture in one of the rear tyres and today we had to remove and repair one from the trailer you would think we would have noticed it the day before . So we are all swish and shiny and ready to go into the 24th National CMCA Rally at the showgrounds on Monday the 28th. I have just got over two months now before we fly home for Xmas yehhhhhh!!!

Talk again soon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mt Morgan Qld

A old swinging bridge once used by workers to get to work on the Mine

No, we haven't moved on we are still in Gracemere and will be until we go to the Rally on Monday 28th Sept. Nothing much has happened since I last blogged. We have enjoyed the company of Lesley and Wayne they are entertainers and will be singing at the Rally, Wayne also does vinyl signs and Lesley is a beautician and Masseur, they actually left today to entertain at the Solo's rally but we will catch up with them at the Rockhampton Rally. Our neighbours were Norm and Pam they were travelling around from Victoria with their Greyhounds they were lucky enough to have a win at the Derby here. They have now gone to try their luck at Townsville. So we are now looking for new friends LOL.

The Old Gold Mine

Sunday we drove out to Mt Morgan about 30kms away it was once a thriving Gold Mining Town but now it consists of lots of old historical buildings and quite a bit of character.

The Old Railway Station now the Tourist Information Centre

It is very dry there as I think their ground water is very acidic. There were lots of houses here so obviously residents must commute. There is also many houses left empty and in bad disrepair.

The Mural outside the Bakery

We had lunch at the Bakery and arrived home in time for Happy Hour and a BBQ with Wayne & Leslie and Norm and Pam. Yesterday we caught up with Julie and Peter and Laurie and Patty at the Rodeo Grounds near the Caves. Tomorrow the old girl has to go into the Truck Place for a much needed service so we will take the opportunity to drive over to Yeppoon for the day.
Talk again soon

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rockhampton Qld

Wayne on Budge

We enjoyed our impromptu Rodeo on Tuesday night. They did some Barrel Jumping,

Melissa on Charlie

Roping of the steers even young Dakota was involved. She normally rides Budge in the Rodeo, here I have shown her roping the barrel. Dad Wayne has the horse so well trained that he removed his bridle and bit and Budge managed to go where he was supposed to.

Wayne roping one of the steers

Adam was roping the horns and Wayne was roping the legs simultaneously. You will note that the steers are wearing something on their horns.

This is because the ropes can cause pain near the horns and this prevents this. They absolutely love their horses and they are so well trained that they follow without a lead.

Dakota roping the drums(she is only 5yrs old)

We arrived in the Gracemere Caravan Park on Wednesday and I think we will settle here before driving the 10kms to the CMCA Rally in Rockhampton on the 28th of this month. Thursday we were on the road in Jimny at 5am and wending our way down to Maryborough to meet my brother and Sister In Law who were travelling up from the Gold Coast. After a few mishaps namely their GPS taking them through Brisbane instead of the motorway and a Road Accident we managed to meet up in time for morning tea. The markets were on in the township as they are every Thursday so we meandered around town and had a leisurly lunch at the Aussie Hotel. We wandered down to the Wharf area where local paddle boats are for hire. There were lots of people enjoying themselves on the water. There were some wonderful historical buildings and the wharf area was spectacular but we forgot to take the camera so I am sorry but no photos this time maybe next time we pass through this area. We parted company about 3pm and arrives back at the bus at 7pm in time for Home and Away. We must be mad to drive all that way but we enjoyed catching up with them and getting all the goss from WA. They fly home today so I hope they have a nice flight home. We have driven into one of the local shopping centres and it was huge. My granddaughters would be pleased as they have quite a lot of the well known fashion outlets and some of their favourites.

Talk again soon

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Comet Qld

The Burdekin River Bridge is the districts well known landmark.

Known locally as the "Silver Link" it not only connects the towns of Ayr and Home Hill, but forms a vital transport link between the North and the South,Before the high level bridge was completed in 1957. The Burdekin River was impassable for much of the annual wet season. This hampered trade and limited economic development in North Queensland. The silver link is an impressive 1103 metres long and is the only bridge in Australia built without a firm Foothole.

If you are lucky enough to be in the Burdekin during crushing season (June to Nov) the brilliant orange glow of a cane fire, and the evening sky becomes simply breathtaking.

Try to get along to see this magnificent show. The Burdekin is one of the last remaining areas in Australia where green cane is burnt before harvesting to remove excess leaves known as cane trash. With flames jumping into the air it is a feast for the eyes. The ash from the cane is thrown high into the sky often travelling hundreds of metres even kilometres before spiralling down to earth. Locals commonly refer to this as "Burdekin Snow". Water, Sunshine, rich farmland the Burdekin has got all the ingredients to make it the sugar producing capital of Australia. The area is named as such because of the Burdekin River.

Camped up at Lake Elphinstone

The local Craft Group

We left Ayr on Saturday morning and drove inland to Lake Elphinstone where we joined fellow motorhomers for the weekend. Namely Carol & Graham, Julie and Peter and new friends Patty and Laurie. The lake is absolutely beautiful and a very popular spot for the locals. Many boats with skiers attached and jet skies zoomed up and down the lake. The shores were packed with campers and picnickers. We had a lovely BBQ for fathers day with a few of us having a little bit too much scotch & sambucca and a few secrets came out of the woodwork of some of our misspent youth


Skiers on the Lake

Monday we headed off towards Comet a very small town east of Emerald. We took the short cut through Moorabah but had to travel 6kms along a dirt track. Not very good for the bus very corrugated I almost wish I had the washing in a bucket on the floor it would have been very well agitated. We stopped in Emerald for lunch and picked up our Father's Day Mail. Thank you all for your phone calls and gifts. Dh is sharing his chocolate bag with me as he was requested. We arrived in Comet about 2oclock and met up with friends from WA Maureen and Mike. They are working and living in Comet and have been settled here for about a year now. We are parked near them on a horse farm. The owners do the Rodeo circuit and today we are being given the privilege of watching them do their roping practice. Their little 5 year daughter Dakota also rides in the rodeo on her horse Budge. There are about a dozen horses on the property as well as the steer used for roping. We leave tomorrow to go to Rockhampton and will probably drive from there in the car to meet up with my brother and SIL who are over here in the Gold Coast from WA for a holiday. We are looking forward to catching up with them. I have also booked our flights home. We will be home on the 14th Dec for 5 weeks hope to catch up with everybody then.

Talk again soon

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ayr Nth Qld

The Townsville

We have moved Yeh!!!!! Not too far just 80kms down the road. We are parked up at the Showgrounds in Ayr $11 per night with water & power. Have done the washing and cooked up a storm. We toured the town today and it is quite big. Normally we take the bypass road and miss Ayr but there are a lot of lovely shops here. There was a Quilt Show here too bad luck it was last weekend.
Jupiters Casino Townsville
We visited Motorhomer friends Bert & Joyce they are caretaking a few acres just near town. An old friend from WA is visiting us today on his way to work. He drives trucks from 4pm to 4am. It will be nice to catch up as we haven't seen since we were last here a few years ago.

A friendly Kookaburra

We will probably move on tomorrow although I hope we get the opportunity to see the canefields burnoff. Apparently this will be the last year for Burnoffs as the Sugar Mills are planning to use the waste as fuel for their Machinery.

Castle Hill Townsville

Talk again soon

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Magnetic Island Qld

Another Ferry on its way to Magnetic Island.

Hello again, It is Wednesday and we are still here. However we did a trip over to Magnetic Island on Sunday with another couple Graham and Carol. We took the car over by barge and left at 9am and returned at 3.30pm. From the barge as we approached the Island it looked uninhabited with lots of mountains and vegetation. But when we docked and drove around the Island it was amazing how much housing and shops and resorts there is nestled into the many bays. I think I liked Radical Bay the best, you had to follow a steep and winding road up into the mountain and as you ascended there was a lovely secluded bay situated between two rocky outcrops and surrounded by Palms.

Radical Bay

Jan,Carol & Graham at Radical Bay

Nellie Bay had the most action as that is when the ferries leave from and then is a couple of resorts.

Horse Shoe Bay

At Horse Shoe Bay there was Markets which I believe are held on the last Sunday of the month, mainly paintings and jewellery however it was interesting to view some of the local culture. Yhe island had a Bali feel about it, a lovely and charming area. We had a delicious lunch at Butlers Pantry, we tried the hotel first but the Bistro was closed for renovations. There was a bit of a mix up with our order being given to someone else, but the owner handled that very well by organising a corona each for the guys. They are easily satisfied.

One of the many Rock Wallabies on the Island
Talk again soon