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Queensland 2010 Trip Diary

Perth to Sydney    Brisbane - 300km Radius    Brisbane to Bourke    Bourke to Normanton
Normanto to Cape York To Weipa    Weipa to Townsville    Townsville to Birdsville
Birdsville - Blrisbane
    Brisbane to Perth

BRISBANE - 300km Radius

2.2.10 The 23rd saw me leaving Sydney, and heading north towards Brisbane. I had decided to go up the Pacific Hwy, and do a straight thru run, figuring that I could come back and do the coastal detours without the van. Brisbane is to be my base for the next few weeks. The drive was without incident, and I managed something like 700kms, spending the night in a delightful little place called Broadwater. I reached Capalaba about 10.30 on Sunday morning, settled in, and was then taken on a tour of the Redlands area on Sunday afternoon.
Australia Day saw us head down into the Tomewin National Park, where we drove thru some of the most beautiful mountains and farm country, reaching Murwillambah, before returning via the Numinbah Rd, taking in the Natural Bridge on the way through.

Tomewin National Park Trip Photos

And then to the 30th, where a run north took us to Bribie Island.

Bribie Island Trip Photos

Sunday ended the month with us heading back down the Princes Hwy, now visiting the coastal regions bypassed a week previously, working our way down the coast to Byron Bay, before again heading for the hills, and the Bangalow road, bringing us home via Lismore, Nimbin, Mt Burrell, back to Murwillambah where we grabbed a subway, and it now being dark, headed for home. The weather had turned and although disappointing on one hand, gave us some amazing photography opportunities with the sunlight, backed with heavy dark clouds, and low cloud on some of the mountains late in the afternoon.
The roads are listed as tourist roads, but are narrow and winding, and there is no provision to stop and take in the view or for photo ops.

Byron Bay Trip Photos

6.2.10 It was decided that we would head down towards Armidale in NSW, and modify our destination if we were running out of time. We needed to be back in Brisbane on Sunday night, so a 1000km round trip was extremely optimistic.
We headed for Ipswich and turned onto the Cunningham Hwy, somehow passing the front gate of Willowbank Motor Racing Circuit. And so, it came to pass, that we didn't pass, and instead called in and had a look.
Not much further down the road, we drove into Aratula, and thus our first distraction for the day. The sign said Lake Moogarah, and so it was. The river had been dammed some years ago, and the resulting catchment has become a popular recreation area.
We then drove on around the lake, back onto the highway, and continued on towards Warwick. The Main Range stood between us, and so we stopped at the top of the pass, called Cunninghams Gap to climb to the lookout and have a look. In the early days, Moreton Bay required food supplies, and the inland farmers needed to be able to get their produce across the range to the coast. Alan Cunningham was given the task of finding a way across. He blazed a trail, but it really wasn't suitable for easy transportation. The highway now bears his name and a monument stands at Cunningham's Gap in his memory.
We passed through Warwick, and stopped for lunch at Stanthorpe, where we amused ourselves photographing some of the many Eastern Water Dragons that inhabited the park. And so on to Tenterfield, where it now being late afternoon, and having gained an hour in the last few kms as we passed into NSW (daylight savings) we decided to stay the night.

7.2.10 Tenterfield was mooted as the first capital of Australia at one point in time, and the architecture in the town reflected those times. A visit to the famous Cork Tree, and of course The Tenterfield Saddler rtounded out our tour of the town, before we set out for the Boonoo Boonoo NP.
On the way to the NP, you pass Thunderbolt's Hideout, and it is a must to stop and have a look at this unique collection of rocks that served as Thunderbolt's retreat.
As we approached Boonoo Boonoo NP, it was noted that we had climbed past the 1000m elevation mark. We also had no problem spotting the local breed of kangaroos which were not sparse in numbers. We also collected a couple of leeches as we moved around the extremely wet areas by the river taking photos.
On reaching the carpark, it is a 300m walk to the lookout over the Boonoo Boonoo Falls.
We then headed for Casina, and my GPS took us down Black Swamp Rd, which is not that far from the NP, and treated us to some absolutely glorious farming countryside. This in turn took us onto the Bruxner Hwy, which took us through more amazing mountain country mixed with grazing lands to Casino.
From here, we decided to travel to Beaudesert, via Kyogle, Grevillia and Rathdowney. This took us back into the hills, circumnavigating what I suspect to be Mt Lindesay in the process. Whatever it was, it dominated the horizon. By now, it was raining, and the objective was to get home in one piece. This had been the weekend that Surfers Paradise got 400mm of rain, and Brisbane 100mm.
And we missed it - we had a comparatively dry weekend by comparison.

Tenterfield Trip Photos

9.2.10 I'd been having problems with the batteries going flat in the van, and an apparent inability to run 240v power without going thru the inverter, so decided to get it all sorted once and for all. This meant taking the van to Caboolture, some 60kms north of Brisbane. A bit of sightseeing whilst awaiting for the van saw me in the Glasshouse mountains, and then at Godwin Beach.

Glasshouse Mountains Photos Godwin Beach Photos

13.2.10 Gympie was the place on the map that we decided to head to next, however, rather than drive straight up the Bruce Hwy, we decided to take an inland drive via the hills. Once we climbed to higher altitude, we were treated to some amazing views of the Glasshouse Mountains from a different perspective. Captain Cook noted that the mountains looked just like the chimneys at the glass making factories in Britain, and thus named the range.
Maleny and it's local attraction, Lake Baroon Pocket dam were visited on route. followed by Witta, And then we found Booloumba Creek NP, which has a ton of space for camping for both tent and caravan. It is a delightful spot, but accessible mainly by 4WD (you need a high clearance vehicle to negotiate the creek crossings.
Kenilworth is an attractive small town, followed by Brooloo, and then Kadanga. This is the town that threatened to disappear under water had the Queensland Governments planned damming of the Mary River gone ahead. We finally pulled into Gympie and set up camp for the night.
It appears that 8 years after Queensland separated from NSW, it found itself in dire financial strife, and it was the Gold discovered in Gympie in 1867 which saved the fledgling state.

14.2.10 We spent an hour cruising around Gympie, photographing some of the beautiful architecture in the town.
Then it was on to Kilkaven, and lunch at Goomeri. We detoured up Boat Mountain Road, which took us to an elevation that allowed us to appreciate the surrounding area, before winding our way back to the main road, that took us into Murgon.
We called in at the peanut capital of Queensland, Kingaroy, before moving onto Wondai, where there is a shop set up exactly as it was 50 years ago. I had the pleasure of looking through the shop some years ago, but sadly, it was closed this trip, because it was Sunday. Wondai looks as though there has been a concerted effort by the town to clean up, as the buildings all looked freshly painted.
Nanango was our next stop. The towns streets feature a number of wood carved statues depicting the pioneers of the town. Then to the Wivenhoe Dam, before wending our way back to Ipswich and finally home.

Gympie Trip Photos

20.2.10 I decided it was time to see where a champion racehorse came from, and so we set sail for Goondiwindi. We had to go over old ground by going back out to Warwick, before turning west and heading for our destination.
However as always happens, thank goodness, we got distracted and found the Leslie Dam just outside of Warwick.
After admiring the Dam, and rock sculptures of local pioneer Patrick Leslie and his wife, we hit the road, deviating to have a look at a small hamlet called Karara, saw Elvis at Oman-ama (see photos), and arrived at Inglewood. We had a bit of a nosey around this town which is where you turn off for Texas (Elvis and Texas in the same neighborhood?), and then made our run into Goondiwindi. A quick look around town before pitching the tent for the night.

21.2.10 Time to look around, and very obviously, the statue of Gunsynd was a must, located just beside the Border Bridge, which crosses the McIntyre River into New South Wales. And then to the local water park. the locals have been industrious, and have excavated a water channel around a piece of land, and it is fed by a creek, allowing the locals to indulge in skiing and other water activities. the water level was reasonable when wee were there, but Iwould imagine is now pretty full after the drenching that Qld has suffered in March.
Time to start heading back to Brisbane, and we chose to go through Millmerrin. You greeted at the town boundary by a Teepee, which is apparently a loo (it was locked when we went through). the Millmerrin Shire holds a Camp Oven contest every two years, and also has a biennial National Rendezvous of Muzzle-load rifle shooters.
The town commissioned a regional firm to paint a number of murals around town which depict the pionering history of the area. Fortunately, none of these have been defaced by mindless idiots with spray packs..........yet. A bit of photography at a beautiful park on the northern boundary, and we set sail, only to discover Yandilla. This church is all that remains of a small community, and is the 2nd oldest church in Qld. It was built in 1878, on the site of an ealier church. The graveyard around the church was established circa 1863.
Another detour into Brookstead, and then onto Pittsworth. The main road runs past the town, which is a pity in some respects. The locals are probably happy that their town is not inundated with blowins, but probably equally disturbed by the revenue lost from passing traffic. The town features some beautiful architecture.
We then followed a couple of dirt roads, enjoying the countryside, before rejoining the main road and heading to Toowoomba. Toowoomba is a major Rural City, with a population of 90,000 people. It's origin dates back to 1827. The major attraction for us, was a visit to Picnic Point, which overlooks the plain stretching back to Brisbane.
It was time to head back to Capalaba, and yet again we had been lucky, managing to avoid much of the rain that was saturating the state.

Goondiwindi Trip Photos

22.2.10 Anyone who is motor racing fan will remeber Lakeside Motor racing Circuit, and the epic battles between Peter Brock and Dick Johnson. I decided to go have a look at the refurbished track. At first it looked as tho we wouldn't get in, as the gate was closed, but negotiation with an official finally allowed us to not only look at the track, but to do a slow lap around the circuit.

Lakeside Photos

27.2.10 Took another trip north this weekend.
We decided to travel via northern suburb Redcliffe, and discovered the wreck of the Gayundah, before deciding that the town was too urbanised for this weekends trip plan, and so we decided we would do that at a later time, and headed North.
We wasted too much time negotiating traffic at the Sunshine coast, before realising that the Sunshine Coast I saw a number of years ago, was nothing like today. It is now very urban, and so, time to get out of there fast.
And so we arrived at Pomona. The town is dwarfed by Mt Coomoora, which is famous for it's King of The Mountain footrace. As with many country towns in Qld, it has some cute architecture. We the wound our way around to Kin Kin. This is a rally cute little town, nestled in the hills, with a river running through the bottom of town. A week after we were ther, I believe the town was flooded.
We asked Wanda (my GPS - cos we wonder where she's gonna take us) to take us the shortest way to Rainbow Beach, and so she duly turned us into a forest road, which had warnings about the potential for being flooded, and 4WD only. So we thought, what the heck, and enjoyed the drive thru the forest to the Tin Can Bay Road, before finally arriving at Rainbow Beach.

28.2.10 We awoke to the news that a huge undersea earthquake off Chile had set off a tsunami, and it was due to reach our coast in about an hour. aA couple of hours later, and still no real action in the ocean, and we decided that it was time to get moving. we headed down to the Inskip Peninsula, and then set sail for Gympie, which was the jumping off place for the next bit of our trip. We would cover some old ground, but pick different routes to get back to Brisbane.
We called in on the Bjelke Petersen Dam which had way less water than other Qld dams at this time.
Running back into Nanango, we discovered a gem we had missed a fortnight before, with a Garage that had a mural, and a workshop, both unprotected by any sort of door, and neither touched by the mindless vandels.
And so to Crows Nest, and more timeless buildings. It begs the question, why are we in so much of a mind to destroy our heritage, and replace it with buildings with no character. They don't rip down 600 year old buildings in Europe (do they?). Most of ours will never reach that, especially in the cities.
I knew there was a genuine German Clock Maker/Shop on the New England Hwy, but thought it was a few hundred Km further north. So imagine the delight when we found it not far from Toowoomba. sadly, we got there 5 minutes after it closed for the day.
But I was on a mission, to revisit an historic railway station at Spring Bluff. And as we approached, we passed a coal train also heading in that direction. And so we managed to photograph the station, the train passing through the station, and then it was time for coffee at the cafe which was open when we arrived about 20 mins ago. You guessed it............ we missed it by 5 minutes as they had closed up for the day.
And so we headed down the Murphys Creek Road and wound our way back home. 330 km on saturday, 550 km on Sunday. A great weekend.

Sunshine Coast Trip Photos

6.3.10 With the country literally being under water (many off the towns we visited in the last few weeks are under water) we decided to actually explore some suburbs closer to Brisbane.
We had abandoned Redcliffe last week, and so we went back for a closer look. We found a great little cafe decked out in 60's decor - called the Retro cafe, it was just that. And the food was great too.
Then to Petrie, and a rebuilt Historic village. The Moreton Bay Fig Trees here were fantastic.
It started raining, and by the time we got to Dayboro, it was teaming down. We hung around until the rain backed off, and we got our photos.We then aimed for Mt Mae, and then decided to cut across country to Wamurin. The road was narrow, steep downhill, and very windy around a mountain, and tons of fun - wet, winding, steep narrow road. We got home in one piece, and hoped for less rain on Sunday.

Redcliffe Dayboro Trip Photos

7.3.10 Time to visit the lookout at Mt Coot-tha. But first kangaroo Point, which overlooks the Brisbane River and the city, and is the locality where the Storey Bridge is located, and the Brisbane Jazz Club has it's home.
We then headed for our destination, got in the wrong lane on a crucial intersection, and found ourselves heading for Moggill, and while we were heading in that direction, why not have a look at the Moggill Ferry. It was just like the ferries that run the Murray River in South Australia and Victoria and down there, because there are no bridges, the service is free of charge. .... not in Queensland, here they charge a fee.
We then actually found the right road back to Mount Coot-tha, where we spent time with a thousand (weeelllll) tourists, most of whom couldn't speak English, overlooking Brisbane city and the Brisbane River winding it's way through Indooroopilly. You could also see landmarks some 40-50 kms away. We continued the drive around the mountain, passing the four major TV channels perched on top of the hill, before finding ourselves back home.
Another fabulous weekend.

Mt Coot-tha Trip Photos

20.3.10 Saturday morning, and time to tick off another box. When I was 13, I had the good fortune to be sent on an Eastern States tour with the Young Australia League and one of the places we visited was Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Now I couldn't remember much about it, so here I was, 49 years later, heading back out to revisit this little piece of koala heaven.
It is set in a piece of bushland on the Brisbane River, not too far from the city. And it is gorgeous. It's a must to take the kids (or the grandys). The kids can feed the kangaroos, have their photo taken with a koala, or just marvel at the many Eastern Water dragons that run free around the park. There are wombats, Tassie Devils, emus, Dingo, a menagerie of exotic Australian birds, and more. it was a great morning

Lone Pine Sanctuary Photos

21.3.10 Back on Feb 28th, I mentioned that we had stumbled onto a German Clock Shop just out of Toowoomba. But we got there 5 minutes after they closed. So we decided to head back out and have a look. We followed the Murphy's Creek road around again, and had a closer look at that community, before arriving at the Clock Shop at Carbarlah. Now this is 15kms out of Toowoomba, and stands on it's own on a stretch of the New England Hwy - Nothing within kms of it.
The original owner built a replica of a German barn, lived upstairs, and decked out the lower floor as a clock shop. He sold it to the current owners a few years ago, and moved back to Germany..
The place is full of Cookoo clocks, and there is a room full of grandfather clocks at the rear. There are battery operated clocks (where the cuckoo can be shut down for the night), and mechanical clocks. All are handcrafted in Germany. One of the Grandfather clocks was made of glass, and would set you back a cool $24,995.
We then headed for Prince Henry Heights lookout, catching sight of a 1959 Ford Zephyr at a service station in the process. Having once owned a 1957 Zephyr Ute, I swung around and collared the guy, who told me he had bought it for his wife, had done some restoration work a couple of years ago and he was allowed to drive it, I guess as long as he filled it with petrol :-)
Then, instead of sitting on the hwy all the way home, we took a detour through Grantham and Gatton. This used to be the main road before the highway was built to bypass the towns. Grantham has sadly become a sort of ghost town, probably because Gatton is a major centre just down the road, and the bypass probably didn't help either.

Carbarlah Photos

28.3.10 Another box to be ticked. We had travelled extensively through the SE Qld Mountain Range, but still hadn't done Mt Tambourine. And so, that was our task today. We headed south down the Pacific Hwy, turning off at Beenleigh, and wending our way to the Mt Tambourine Rd.
We came across a turnoff to Cedar Springs Falls, and decided it needed to be investigated. Leaving the parking area, we started the 900 metre walk to the falls. We didn't have to go that far, before the lookoput point was reached, which overlooked the first part of the creeks descent. We also descended, as one tends to do at these places, and followed the track, recording the creeks progress as we did. We came across a number of people wandering back up the track, all carrying tripods and heaps of camera gear. I had an SLR and a video camera, and thought that was enough. Turns out, there was a camera club having a day out at the falls.
Once having recorded and seen, it was time to head back to the car, and remember I said we descended........
Back in the car and having recovered - it wasn't a tough climb, but I have been sitting on my bum a lot recently - am looking forward to getting back on the road in a weeks time where this will become daily ritual - but I digress. Back in the car, we resumed our journey up the Mt Tambourine Road, passing through Eagle Heights on the way, until we reached the village of North Tambourine. Now so far, all this had reminded me very much of Kalamunda, and the way Perthites troop up there on Sundays.
A look at the hinterland spread below us from the Rotary lookout was very much appreciated, as was the view from the next lookout just a few hundred metres down the road. This lookout is used by local hang glider pilots to launch themselves into space. Sadly, this Sunday wasn't one of their launching days.
Continuing around the mountain and heading down to Nerang, we copped a great view in the other direction towards the Gold Coast.
Now it was a journey of family, visiting a relative at Mudgreeba, and then into NSW to Murwillumbah to see another relative.

Mt Tambourine Photos


Simpson Desert In Bloom Posted 17/9/10
Waterfalls - North Queensland
Old Telegraph Track - Qld
Gillies Hwy - Qld

Cattle Muster Qld
Gulflander - Normanton - Qld

Sheepyard War Memorial - NSW
Back O Bourke Hotel - before the fire
The Ant Ordeal - Bourke

Mt Moffat - Top Shelter Shed - Carnarvon NP

If you would like to contact me or email your thoughts or comments, please feel free to do so. I would love to hear from you

For more photos, visit Lesley's site. Queensland, Australia

Lesley Bray Photography






Updated 28-12-2010

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