Monday, August 30, 2010

A Snake in The Grass

Now I don’t mean to infer Bill is a snake in the grass. Definitely not!!! LOL. I wouldn’t dare. Yesterday we were all sitting around on the patio at the amenities block when Bill spied what he thought was a branch moving. You guessed correctly it was a snake believed to be a python. We watched it carefully as it made its way along the grass and across the bitumen towards the pool area. We figured it wasn’t going for a swim as he didn’t have a towel with him. LOL The caretakers attempted to find one of the wildlife experts in the village but unfortunately they were unavailable. We had many a discussion and kept a watchful eye on its movements for the rest of the morning. I know one little brown duck that won’t be wandering around after dark any more. LOL.

 Well all the washing and ironing and cleaning are now up to date and we are again ready to move on. Tomorrow we will head over to Grafton for a couple of weeks.

Talk again soon

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tenterfield & Stanthorpe

Reception at Casino Village

The Pool at Casino Village (temporary closed due to nesting Plovers)
Wednesday 25th August we popped over to Queensland for a quick visit. In fact we travelled over 400kms (200kms there and 200kms back) for a piece of apple pie. Yes we travelled to Stanthorpe again one last time why? Because we could!! I would have liked to have had a hot Belgian chocolate at Heavenly Chocolate but unfortunately they were closed. After salivating for about 100km at the prospect I must say I was very disappointed. Again the countryside was beautiful, but different to the rainforests we have been in recently. The area around Stanthorpe and Tenterfield remind me of America in winter with the trees barren of leaves but starkly beautiful. Actually here is a bit of trivia. Peter Allen (born Peter Woolnough), one of this country’s most internationally recognized Australian composers, was born in Tenterfield, on February 10th 1944, having grown up with his grandfather, a saddler. In fact he composed a song about his grandfather called the “Tenterfield Saddler” a special musical tribute to his much loved grandfather George Woolnough. Here is the words to this song.
“The late George Woolnough
worked on High Street and lived on Manners
 Fifty Two years he sat on his verandah
And made his saddles

And if you asked questions about sheep, or flowers or dogs
You’d just ask the Saddle who lived without sin
They’re building a library for him

Time is a traveller, Tenterfield Saddler, Turn your head
Ride again jackaroo, Think I see a kangaroo up ahead
The son of George Woolnough

Went off and got married and had a war baby
But something was wrong and it easier to drink than go crazy
And if there are questions about why the end was so sad
Well George has no answers about why a son has need of a gun
The grandson of George has been all round the world
And lives no special place
Changed his name and married a girl with an interesting face
He’d almost forgotten them both
Because in the life he leads
There’s nowhere for George and his library or son with his gun to belong
Except in this song
 Time is a traveller, Tenterfield Saddler, turn your head
Ride again jackaroo, I think I see a kangaroo up ahead

Oh time is a meddler, Tenterfield Saddler make your bed
Fly away cockatoo, down on the ground, emu up ahead”
Peter Allen is of course famous for his role in “The Boy from Oz” and his composure of the song “I still call Australia Home”
Here we are camped at Casino Village 

Some of the homes at Casino Village 

Talk again soon

Monday, August 23, 2010

Casino, NSW

We have been at the RV Resort in Casino for nearly a week now. We arrived here on Tuesday 17th Aug after spending a night at a roadside camp just outside Ballina called The Bicentennial Gardens. It didn’t take me long to settle in, I was off to craft with the Crafty Travellers in the Craft Room on the premises. A lovely lot of ladies most of them were into card making but a few were knitting and crocheting. I found out after that card making is done on Tuesday afternoons but you can still do other things if you wish. I also joined them on Thursday. It was great to spend some time with other likeminded ladies, so I will take advantage of this opportunity to explore my creative talents. LOL I must comment on the facilities here they are excellent and immaculate and I might add, very reasonably priced. There is a BBQ Hut, Men’s Shed and Club House. They offer many different activities from exercise to Art. The sites are nearly all drive through with plenty of room. They also house permanent residents in beautiful homes and there is a lovely village ambience to the place. Bill hasn’t been lonely as there is the HF Radio Hut here and he spends most mornings and evenings over there talking to everyone on the radio from all over the east coast and even WA. Wednesday we drove over to Grafton to map out our route for our next camping spot. Grafton looked like a much larger town with a big shopping centre. I managed to slip into Lincraft for 5 mins before Bill arrived to cramp my style. Grafton area didn’t seem as lush and green as here in Casino. Perhaps there has been a shortage of rain. On the way home we took another direction and followed the Clarence River some of the way.

 We even crossed the river at Bluff Point and caught the ferry across.

 Friday we ventured over to Evan’s Head for a day visit, first point of call was into Shark Bay where we were greeted by lovely rugged views of the point.

 The weather was a bit rough and the waves were breaking against the rocks.

 We then drove up to the Coast Guard to the lookout at Razorback Bay.

 We talked for a while to a trio of fishermen and fisherwoman who were cleaning their catch on the lovely fish cleaning tables in the Marina.

 The waste slides down the table to feed the pelicans waiting in the water. Evans Head is obviously a Fishing Village.

We enjoyed an excellent meal of fish & chips at the local fishery and it was lovely and fresh. Broadwater was our next stop after passing through lots of sugar cane fields. Broadwater has a huge sugar mill.
Talk again soon

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mullumbimby & Uki

Yesterday 14th August 2010 we decided to drive to Mt Warning National Park and have a good look at the Mountains overlooking Mullumbimby. According to the pocket guide Mt Warning is the first place in mainland Australia to feel the morning sun. This towering core of a long dormant volcano is a powerful monument to the forces of nature, and the centre of an ancient caldera, ringed by rugged mountain ranges. We drove along steep winding roads canopied by dense rainforest to form a tunnel at times.

Overlooking Mullumbimby
 We arrived at Mt Jerusalem National Park and followed the road through emerging eventually at the Rolands Creek Road.

 This road as the name states followed the creek down the other side of the mountain. We arrived at a lovely historical village called Uki.

Mt Warning Hotel Uki
 Uki was supposedly named for the UK1 imprinted on the butts of the best of the timber to be felled in the area by the early settlers, marking it as prime export for Britain. Some people prefer the story that “uki” comes from an aboriginal word for “place of edible ferns”.

From Uki, there are four roads to consider taking: north through Murwillumbah, south to Mullumbimby, east to Stokers Siding and Burringbar, or west out to Nimbin and the border ranges.
On our travels we encountered this little family of ducks.

 We decided to go east to Stokers Siding. This tiny little town boasted a pottery gallery and shop. Well worth a visit. We followed the Tweed Valley Way formerly called the Old Pacific Hwy, a lovely leisurely drive through Burringbar and Mooball (I espied a lovely patchwork shop here but it was closed) until we finally arrived home in Mullumbimby. I might add the mountain was only 10 klms away but we did a round trip of approximately 70klms. Still it was a very lovely drive, as we needed to take the car for a run after Bill decided to stop and chat to someone and left the lights on and flattened the battery.

The main street of Mullumbimby
 Today is our last day in Mullumbimby as we leave the area tomorrow to head towards Casino. I will be a little disappointed to leave this area as it is very lush and green and I could almost settle down here.

A sculpture for sale at entrance to town
 Early this morning Bill snapped this photo of a balloon flying over the area.

Talk again soon

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tweeds Coast

Parked at Mullumbimby Rugby Leagues Club
The heavens opened up and the rain poured down on Tuesday but by late Wednesday the sun started shining again. There have been a lot of strong winds since but still very sunny. Monday 9th Aug 2010 we drove to Brisbane to catch up with the family after battling the slow traffic through the Gold Coast. We had intended to watch them run in their school’s sports carnival on Tuesday but due to the rain it was cancelled, a bit disappointing but nevertheless we managed to have some more quality time with the grandies.

River at Rugby Leagues Club
 Thursday 12th August 2010 we decided to drive along the beaches at Tweeds Head and visit some friends at Palm Beach. We weaved our way along dropping into various beaches on the way. The water was a little rough but some people still braved the elements and were espied swimming, fishing and kayaking. Our first beach was Wooyong Beach not far from Mullumbimby and just past Brunswick Heads.

We had a little wander along the beach, nobody swimming here. We travelled along the Tweed Coast Highway through Pottsville and stopped at Hastings Point.

There was much more activity going on here. The water looked lovely and rich with green and blue contrasted against the white sand of the beach. There were a lot of folks walking around here. We continued on through Carbrita and into Diamond Beach.

 This again was a lovely beach. There seems to be a lot of caravan parks along the coast. We drove through a lovely resort at Cotton beach but were not able to access the water and then through Bogangar, Cudgen and on to Kingscliffe.

 Kingscliffe is a much more densely populated area but still nice. There were a lot of cafes and eateries along the coast especially at Kingscliffe but there wasn’t any parking available. We drove along Pacific Highway through Tweed Heads and Coolangatta towards Palm Beach looking for somewhere to dine as it was getting on to 2.00 by then and I was starving. We managed to find the Fish Monger in Burleigh Heads and enjoyed a nice lunch. We called in to see Noeleen and Ken, but didn’t stay long as they had a lot of visitors and were quite busy. We didn’t catch up with Ken as he was having a Nana Nap so I guess we will catch up with them sometime in Tasmania unless our paths cross on their way down. Monday we will be leaving this lovely spot and travelling on to Casino perhaps staying our first night at a roadside camp on the way.

River at Rugby Leagues Club
Talk again soon

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Crystal Castle Mullumbimby NSW

Thursday 6th August 2010 Today we made the trek down to Casino, where we intend to stay from Tuesday 17th. We took the scenic route through Bangalow, Alstonville and into Ballina. We made a quick stop here at Maccas for a cuppa and then progressed on to Lismore then followed the Bruxner Highway into Casino. We arrived at the Casino Village RV Resort at about lunchtime.
The facilities are ideal and there are several drive through sites. Seems to be plenty of available sites which is excellent. We met a lovely couple in a denning bus and had a great conversation and joined then for a cuppa before leaving and travelling on to Kyogle. (I might add that she is a fellow patchworker although a newbie and the resort has craft get-togethers 3 times a week). At Kyogle we stopped for lunch (about 2.00) and had a light meal at the Kyogle Country Cafe which was attached to the info centre. Picturesque countryside greeted us on the whole of the trip. I think this is definitely a lovely part of the country to be in. The area around here is known as the Northern Rivers. We dined at the Rugby League Club for dinner and enjoyed a deliciously cooked meal for $12. Saturday 7th August we drove back up the winding narrow track to Dunoon to buy some Macadamia nuts. They were reasonably priced and lovely and fresh. In fact I roasted some with a little bit of honey and cinnamon and they were delissimo!

 We didn’t realise but Coffee is grown here as well as Macadamias.

 Lots of Orchards if that is what they are called) are abundant in and around Dunoon, as I said earlier it is the Macadamia Capital of Australia.

 Our next destination was the Crystal Castle situated about 7kml from Mullumbimby.

 This is a lovely and peaceful area with lovely walkways and the Buddha and Lotus Pond one of the main attractions.

 They do spiritual readings, Aura photos, massage and have gift shops full of mystical gifts, jewellery, crystals, children’s treasures, books and luscious body products.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch in the cafe and both shared the lentil soup with garlic bread and it was absolutely delicious.

We did the Buddha Walk and admired the different Statues.

 In spontaneous gestures many visitors make coin offerings on the statues.

 These are collected and sent to the Tso Pema Tibetan Kindergarten in North India to help preserve the passing down of Tibetan culture. The Crystal Castle also support many other worthy causes.

 On the way out we decided to do the Rainbow Walk as well. We arrived home to watch the youngsters playing rugby on the field next to the bus. Today will be a rest day as there is a home game on at 1pm between Mullumbimby and Byron Bay. We will cheer on the Mullum players. By the way about my haircut, I think it is a bit too short.

The hairdresser actually asked me if I needed more off. Anymore and I would be bald, I have never had my fringe so short. LOL. Though they say there are only a couple of weeks between a good and bad haircut. LOL.
Talk again soon

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay and Lennox Heads NSW

Wednesday 4th August
It was another beautiful sunny day in NSW so we drove to the beaches. First stop was Brunswick Heads and the Marina.

We weren’t disappointed here the scenery was lovely. There was a sheltered secluded swimming hole when the little ones could safely swim.

You could look towards the west towards the heads. We walked out along the Groyne to view the water and the kayaks and swimmers. We lunched at a lovely little cafe called the Fish Bar and enjoyed fish & chips in the lovely fresh air. We checked out the Seafood for sale in the co-op and we will definitely come back for some fresh prawns and oysters and it is only 7klms away. We drove a bit further up the road to Byron Bay, and drove along the beach. The sand is so white and the crystal blue of the water in contrast is absolutely amazing.

 The shopping area is reminiscence of our days in Bali, with the usual hats, sarongs, Board Shorts and bathers were displayed in abundance outside the shops, the many eateries etc. It would be nice to spend a few weeks here just chilling out. The beach was very popular with many tanned bodies enjoying the surf. Our next stop was Broken Heads Beach. Another lovely spot!

We didn’t spend a lot of time here but the beach was quite nice. We drove on to Lennox Heads.

 This is very well populated with lovely houses and civilisation quite close to the beach. We drove out to Pat Morton Lookout which overlooks the whole of Lennox Heads.

 A few surfers were braving the elements. I believe it is well known for its surfing.

 Today we are having a rest day having the hair trimmed and wandering through the shops in Mullumbimby. Tomorrow we are planning to drive to Ballina, Lismore and Casino to check out our next stop with the car as we noticed some very low bridges when we were in Lismore on Tuesday. So we are trying to find other alternate routes to lead us into Casino. The bridges are about 3.8mts high and the bus is 4.2mts high so we could be in slight trouble if we went that way.  PS: About the Helicopter. It is a little bit out of action at the moment as on the weekend we were flying it with the kids when it came crashing down. Result equals one broken Radar. Oops!!!

Talk again soon