Alan Wigginton: Blog http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Alan Wigginton wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) Mon, 14 Mar 2016 05:10:00 GMT Mon, 14 Mar 2016 05:10:00 GMT NSW Camping Trip Day 22 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-22 9 March 2016

Many showers during the night and the tent was quite wet. At least there was no check-out time like a caravan park and we could wait for the sun to dry the tent. I hadn't planned taking any photos this morning, but when I saw the light and clouds I couldn't resist.

Morning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National ParkMorning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National Park

Morning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National ParkMorning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National Park

Packing up was a hot and sweaty job as the showers had cleared and there was no breeze. At least the sun dried the tent.

We had arranged to visit Bev's cousin Estelle  at Bogangar on the way home. It was good to catch up with her, although her husband Ian was playing bowls, and we were provided with a very nice lunch.

And finally home at last with unpacking and a lot of washing to be done.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-22 Mon, 14 Mar 2016 05:09:48 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 20 and 21 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-20-and-21 7 March 2016

We had a few showers during the night but the morning was fine, although the tent was quite wet. We packed up fairly quickly and were on the road by 9:15 (NSW time).

Our destination is Boorkoom campground in Yuraygir National Park, near Diggers Camp just north of Wooli. We had missed this during our walk last year so I wanted to check it out and get some photos of white-breasted sea eagles, which we had seen frequently during the walk.

It's a small campground with not much shade and not much flat ground, but we found a spot with a bit of shade. Hoping to see a sea eagle we drove the sort distance to the Wilsons Headland picnic area and walked out to the lookout. Although we sat there for ages, we saw no eagles. We did see a Spangled Drongo and a Little Wattlebird on the walk out.

Spangled Drongo, possibly juvenileSpangled Drongo, possibly juvenile Little WattlebirdLittle WattlebirdWilsons Headland

The choice of campground wasn't the best for Bev as it's at the top of a cliff and, although there are stairs down to the sea there isn't really any beach. It has some sand but is mostly rock and large pebbles.

8 March 2016

Up before sunrise and down to the 'beach' for some photos.

Morning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National ParkMorning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National ParkJust before sunrise

Morning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National ParkMorning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National ParkSunrise. More rocks than beach.

Morning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National ParkMorning near Boorkoom Campground, Yuraygir National Park

Later in the morning we drove the few hundred metres to Diggers Camp for a swim - it was quite hot again. Conditions looked a bit dangerous with a biggish swell, a strong set along the beach and a drop-off a few metres in. We went in but stayed near the edge, however we got out fairly quickly after Bev was knocked over a couple of times by the waves. It looked safer a bit further along the beach, but when we got there we could see the fins of sharks swimming around. We had a cold shower under one of the pipes set up that diverted water from streams on the hill.

After lunch we drove to Minnie Water for a walk on the beach and coffee and cake at the shop. We should have come here for our swim as it looked quite safe. it was now overcast with showers so at least it was cooler.

Later in the afternoon, I sat around for an hour at the cliff edge waiting for a sea eagle to fly past, but no luck. But as the sun was setting, we walked down to the cliff edge and had a sea eagle and a couple of kites fly past within five minutes of each other. Of course I had packed up the camera for the night.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-20-and-21 Mon, 14 Mar 2016 04:55:47 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 19 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-19 We are back home now and I haven't had time to post these because of housekeeping and building a new computer.

6 March 2016

I left Bev sleeping in the tent and went for an early walk along the beach and took a few photos. I tried to find the dunes we had visited in about 1983 but didn't find them. Perhaps I didn't walk far enough. This is looking north to Smoky Cape.

South Smoky Beach, Hat Head National ParkSouth Smoky Beach, Hat Head National ParkSmoky Cape in the distance

The next two are looking back to Hat Head.

Hat Head from South Smoky BeachHat Head from South Smoky BeachHat Head National Park

Hat Head SunriseHat Head SunriseHat Head National Park

Catching up on the washing and having a swim occupied the next part of the day. After hanging up the washing we had a look at the Smoky Cape Lighthouse. We had been here in 1976 but I don't think the lighthouse itself was accessible then.

Smoky Cape LighthouseSmoky Cape Lighthouse

The view from beside the lighthouse is excellent.

View from Smoky Cape LighthouseView from Smoky Cape Lighthouse

Bev seemed confident she would be OK for a short walk so we decided to try the Connors Track not far from the caravan park. The walk to the first beach, shown below, was easy, but the track to the next beach was quite rough and Bev was struggling a bit so we turned back. On hearing noise, I turned around and Bev had fallen and was lying between two rocks. She had bruised two fingers and her arm but wasn't badly hurt. No more walking on anything but smooth paths.

Connors Beach, Hat Head National ParkConnors Beach, Hat Head National Park

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-19 Mon, 14 Mar 2016 01:51:47 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 18 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-18 5 March 2016

A clear, much colder morning greeted us when we woke, with the swamp covered by mist.

Polblue Creek in early morning mist

Mist over Polblue Swamp

After an early breakfast we left for our next stop of Hat Head. We would have liked a cabin, but being Saturday we weren't hopeful and, sure enough ended up with a powered site. We couldn't book as we had been out of phone coverage.

Lots of people here but still plenty of room. The beach and creek are nice.

Creek at Hat Head

Creek at Hat Head

So here we are, crammed in with hundreds of other campers. While I prefer the quiet of the National Parks, it is nice to have clean toilets, hot showers and drinkable water on tap.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-18 Sun, 06 Mar 2016 10:51:23 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 16 and 17 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-16 3 March 2016

Packed up quickly and had a quick dip in the river to cool off after the effort,  then drove to the Polblue campground on the Northern side of the same national park. This is above 1400 metres and located next to the Polblue swamp.

Camp at Polblue Swamp, Barrington Tops NTional Park

It has open grassy areas with lots of trees and signs saying 'Branches may drop'. I picked a shaded spot with no branches directly overhead. We arrived rather late so only had a quick look around the campground before dinner and bed. There was a bit of mist or smoke around, lit by the sun shining through the trees.

At Gloucester River we had the air force flying over periodically, here we have dump trucks driving up and down the road, presumably delivering gravel for the roadworks.

Afternoon Light, Polblue CampgroundAfternoon Light, Polblue CampgroundBarrington Tops National Park

4 March 2016

The swamp circuit walk is about three km but Bev wasn't feeling up to it, so I left her at the tent and went alone. An attractive walk but there were area of grass that had been dug up, by pigs I would guess.

Polblue Creek flowing out of the swamp

When I returned we drove to a lookout, then to Polblue Falls.

Polblue Falls

During the afternoon I went chasing smaller things.

Wildflowers, Polblue Swamp walk

Butterfly

 

 

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-16 Sun, 06 Mar 2016 10:32:58 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 15 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-15 2 March 2016

Early in the morning we drove the 18km or so to Gloucester Tops to do a couple of short walks. The Gloucester Falls walk was a little disappointing as you don't  get a good view of the falls. The River walk was pleasant and we saw this on the track.

Snake, River Walk, Gloucester Tops

It looked alive but didn't move when I stamped my foot or threw sticks at it, so we carefully walked around it off the track.

The fairy wrens were back for afternoon tea.

Fairy Wren visiting for afternoon tea

A bit of extra effort for dinner and we enjoyed some excellent steak.

Dinner at Gloucester River

We had the campground to ourselves for the night.

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-15 Sun, 06 Mar 2016 06:22:47 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 14 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-14-and-15 1 March 2016

We packed up our camp at Booti Booti, bought more supplies in Forster and started back to Gloucester River Campground, hoping the two days of fine weather had reduced the flow at the fords. I had hoped to get some close-ups of goannas but for some reason we didn't  see much of them after the first day.

The Gloucester River Campground in Barrington Tops has lots of short green lawn but not much of it is level.

Camp at Gloucester River

The river runs past just across the road.

Gloucester River near the campground

As soon as we arrived, these fairy wrens were hopping around us, even going inside the car. They are tiny birds.

Superb Fairy Wren

To add some excitement, we had the air force flying over periodically (FA/18s?)

Late in the afternoon, we sat by one of the pools hoping to see a platypus, but had no luck.

Gloucester River, Barrington Tops National Park

I had a couple of dips in this pool. It's not very deep and the bottom is uneven but is very refreshing.

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip-day-14-and-15 Sun, 06 Mar 2016 05:56:54 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 12 and 13 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip 28 February 2016

Leaving Gloucester, we headed for Gloucester River Camping Area in Barrington Tops National Park. The road fords the Gloucester River a number of times, and on reaching the first one I chickened out as the flow looked a bit strong after yesterday's rain. We implemented plan B and headed for Booti Booti National Park just south of Forster.

'The Ruins' camping area is just behind the beach and a few hundred metres from Wallis Lake on the other side. It also has hot showers. A number of goannas were doing circuits during the afternoon and some would come right up to you. They weren't aggressive though.

A gonna visiting our camp

Another one is not visible behind the car. We had a quiet afternoon and had a walk on the beach at sunset.

29 February  2016

Bev wasn't up to strenuous walking so I did the Booti Hill/Lakeside walk by myself. That hill was steep in places and when I arrived at the next beach, I found you could drive there. The lake portion was pleasant though.

Wallis Lake, near Forster

After my walk we drove to Seal Rocks and walked up to the lighthouse on Sugarloaf Point. This was a bit steep, but paved and short.

Climbing to the lighthouse on Sugarloaf Point.

We ended up at Bulahdelah for lunch before driving back to camp.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/3/nsw-camping-trip Sat, 05 Mar 2016 10:18:52 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 11 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-day-11 27 February 2016

Rain all day today but at least it's cooler. I'm pleased we got the cabin. We did go for a short drive and I went for a walk to check out the park, but otherwise a very quiet day.

It looks like less rain tomorrow so we'll  probably have a look at Gloucester Tops and stay there if it's not too wet, otherwise we'll  head for the coast. I'd  prefer to avoid setting up in the rain if I can.

A bit too wet for photos except for a couple of the caravan park.

Gloucester Caravan Park

Cabin, Gloucester

Apologies for the quality of the photos but I don't  have any editing tools and some are with the phone.

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-day-11 Sat, 27 Feb 2016 05:44:37 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Days 8-10 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-days-7-9 24 February 2016

On the way to Armidale yesterday, we stopped for lunch at Wollomombi Falls, in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park,and went for a short walk. The falls were dry except for a small trickle but the gorge is impressive.

Bev at a lookout, Wollomombi Gorge

Today we drove to Dangars Gorge, also in Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, with similar geography to Wollomombi, but again the falls were dry. We set up camp but I didn't choose the site very well as the tent was in full sun for a few hours each afternoon. This photo is early morning.

Camp at Dangars Gorge.

This is the view down the gorge from the lookout near the falls.

Looking down Dangars Gorge, near Armidale

Late in the afternoon I left Bev at the camp and drove back along the road to take some photos in the light of the setting sun. I also wanted to check the national parks web site as I thought camping was free but a pay station had been set up, although with a blank information board. Here are a couple of photos.

Farm Shed near Armidale

Dead Trees near Armidale

When I got phone reception, I checked the web site and it said free camping, so it looks like they are preparing to impose fees.

​25 February  2016

Leaving early because of the heat, we tried the walk to McDirty's lookout (about 7km), but Bev had to stop about 1.5km from the lookout with a pain in the groin. So I went on by myself while Bev sat on a convenient log and waited. This track has some spectacular views. I thought the Rock Wallaby lookout was better than McDirty's. This is the view from McDirty's.

View from McDirty's Lookout, Dangars Gorge.

Bev managed to walk back and her limp gradually disappeared. The campground here is quite small and we were a bit concerned when four caravans and a mobile home turned up together. Thankfully they just had a quick look at the gorge then drove off. One other group were camped here and two more arrived late and left early, so it was mostly quiet.

Finding the heat and dryness uncomfortable, we drove to Gara Gorge where we found water but nothing accessible for swimming. I did see some Kingfishers fishing.

Azure Kingfisher with CrayfishBlue Hole, near Armidale

 

On arriving back at the camp, we found that the other campers had left and we had the place to ourselves.

I thought it would be cooler here but it has been unpleasantly hot during the day with cool nights. The forecast for tomorrow is 34 degrees.

​26 February  2016

I had planned another night here or in another part of Oxley Wild Rivers National Park but had had enough of the heat and hoped to find an air-conditioned cabin in Gloucester.

On arrival at the caravan park, they had no cabins available so we checked out the tent sites. It's  a large park beside the river, with lots of green grass for tents. On returning to the office ten minutes later, they advised they had a cancellation on a cabin, so we get air-conditioning.

Probable showers are forecast for tomorrow but it should be cooler. We will stay here tomorrow, do some washing and decide where to go next.

Gloucester River, beside the caravan park

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-days-7-9 Fri, 26 Feb 2016 10:38:48 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Days 4-7 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-days-4-6 ​20 February 2016

We spent today at and around the Mann River Caravan Park. After doing the washing we went for a walk down to the river where I had a swim in the beautifully clear water. The gravel bottom was very hard on my feet when wading through the shallow parts. Bev just sat and watched here.

After lunch we went for a short drive on Cangai Bridge Road and found a large cleared area with good access to the river. A low level wooden bridge crosses the river where it runs in rocky channels. Quite a few campers and swimmers here. We had a look around and left ahead of an approaching storm. The storm didn't come to much but it then rained all night.

21 February 2016

We got away reasonably early and headed for Grafton for fuel, food and water, and then on to New England National Park. We had intended to stop at Guy Fawkes River but the roads are dry weather only and, after last night's rain we decided not to risk it.

​We set up the tent in fine misty rain, just before the heavier rain started. I managed to get rather wet getting the camp organised but we were able to eat lunch under the shelter of the tent. It continued to rain all afternoon. This is the view from the tent.

A wet view from the tent

A mist descended as the rain eased. We are quite high here - about 1400 metres.

Misty Camp

With the mist and drizzle, dinner in the shelter shed seemed a good idea.

​22 February  2016

This morning is fine with just a bit of cloud around. We tackle the 4km Teatree Falls track and a very pleasant walk it was.

On the Teatree Falls track

I tried the Cascades Track but its rating of 'hard' proved to be true, requiring rock-hopping up the creek. With Bev waiting back in camp, I decided not to risk it. It was a steep climb back to the top.

​23 February  2016

​We got up early and as it looked clear again, drove up to Point Lookout to see the sunrise. This is about 1560 metres above sea level and quite cool.

Bev watching the sunrise at Point Lookout

As the sun rose clouds rolled in.

Mist and clouds from Point Lookout

When the show seemed over, we drove back to camp for breakfast and breaking camp. I managed to get a couple of bird photos.

Eastern Yellow Robin, New England National ParkEastern Yellow Robin, New England National Park

Flame Robin, New England National ParkFlame Robin, New England National Park

We tried to drive to Gibraltar Range National Park again as everywhere seemed dry away from the camp. It was supposed to be 2wd, but turned out to be not much more than a rough track. I gave up when we encountered a pothole full of water across the whole track that looked like it might be too much for the Camry.

We headed for Armidale and another cabin, intending to head for Dangars Gorge tomorrow.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-days-4-6 Tue, 23 Feb 2016 21:14:09 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 3 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-day-3 ​19 February 2014

We had the campground to ourselves last night but a couple of other campers arrived today.

We had planned to travel on to Guy Fawkes River National Park but were late leaving and decided to stop at a caravan park for washing, recharging batteries and re-setting up my phone.

The phone seems to have reset itself. I had turned it off to save the battery as there was no signal, and had put in the cupholder on my chair. After a while I noticed that the screen was on even though I had turned it off. When I picked it up, the text was in Chinese. I managed to set it back to English but all my apps had gone. I can only guess that the sides of the cupholder had managed to press the right combination of power and volume buttons to reset it.

While packing up we had a couple of the largest flies I have ever seen buzzing around.

Large fly

We stopped at the Mann River Caravan Park because the river looked interesting. It's really hot now we are down from the mountains, so decided to get an air-conditioned cabin.

Mann River, Jackadgery

We'll be doing some washing tomorrow and leaving on Sunday. The phone is mostly set up now - I'm just missing some contacts.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip-day-3 Fri, 19 Feb 2016 23:40:25 GMT
NSW Camping Trip Day 2 http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip 18 February 2016

We arrived at the Boundary Falls campground in Gibraltar Range National Park yesterday, set up camp and had a look at the falls.

Boundary Falls

I saw a pair of Lyrebirds this morning on the path to Boundary Falls.

We walked to Lyrebird Falls this morning. Nice view but you don't have a close view of the falls. After the walk, we went back to Boundary Falls for a swim. The water was cold but not take-your-breath-away cold. Very refreshing.

Swimming at Boundary Falls

After lunch we checked out some lookouts, picnic areas and went for another walk.

Here we are relaxing back at the camp.

Camp at Boundary Falls

I may post more when access and batteries permit.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/nsw-camping-trip Fri, 19 Feb 2016 04:04:58 GMT
Sam and Drew Visit http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/sam-and-drew-visit Bev's mother passed away on Saturday 10 October. While this was a sad time, Sam came back from Korea for the funeral and brought Drew with him. Having them around helped us all.

Drew and Mia got on well most of the time.
Drew Sharing Food with MiaDrew Sharing Food with Mia Drew and MiaDrew and Mia Drew and MiaDrew and Mia Drew and Mia DrawingDrew and Mia Drawing

Drew loved the beach and the playground at Broadbeach.

Drew at BroadbeachDrew at Broadbeach Drew at BroadbeachDrew at Broadbeach

Drew at BroadbeachDrew at Broadbeach

Among many other activities, he also went swimming in Tamborine Creek,

Swimming in Tamborine CreekSwimming in Tamborine Creek

went for a ride in the back of a ute

In the back of the UteIn the back of the Ute

to an Aussie barbecue in the bush

Barbecue at SwattonsBarbecue at Swattons

met some friendly dogs,

Friendly dog at SwattonsFriendly dog at Swattons

used a real saw without cutting himself,

Drew using a real saw at SwattonsDrew using a real saw at Swattons

fed some cattle,

Drew Feeding the CattleDrew Feeding the Cattleat Jake and Katie Swatton's

nursed a chicken,

Drew Holding a ChickenDrew Holding a Chickenat Jake and Katie Swatton's

and played on a trampoline.

Drew and Joey on the TrampolineDrew and Joey on the Trampolineat Jake and Katie Swattons

More photos in the gallery.

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/sam-and-drew-visit Wed, 21 Oct 2015 12:14:27 GMT
Outback Camping Trip Day 14 and 15 - Winton to Blackwater to Home http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/outback-camping-trip-day-14-and-15---driving-home Thursday 17 and Friday 18 Sep 2015

This is a bit late but we have been rather busy for the last week or so.

We decided to drive home via Blackwater and Biloela instead of the shorter route retracing our steps.

I couldn't resist the machinery on display at Ilfracombe even though we didn't have time to see it all. A large number of machinery is displayed alongside the highway. The 1917 Ruston crawler was interesting.

1917 Ruston Kerosene Tractor1917 Ruston Kerosene TractorIlfracombe Museum

Description of 1917 Ruston TractorDescription of 1917 Ruston TractorIlfracombe Museum 1917 Ruston Kerosene Tractor1917 Ruston Kerosene TractorIlfracombe Museum 1917 Ruston Kerosene Tractor Cylinders1917 Ruston Kerosene Tractor CylindersIlfracombe Museum

The drive appears to be by this massive chain. 1917 Ruston Kerosene Tractor1917 Ruston Kerosene TractorIlfracombe Museum

Details of a Southern Cross Boring Rig.

Weatherd Timber and axleWeatherd Timber and axleIlfracombe Museum

Detail of Southern Cross Boring rigDetail of Southern Cross Boring rigIlfracombe Museum Detail of Southern Cross Boring rigDetail of Southern Cross Boring rigIlfracombe Museum Detail of Southern Cross Boring rigDetail of Southern Cross Boring rigIlfracombe Museum

A Furphy Water Cart that includes sentences in Pitman's shorthand.

Furphy Water CartFurphy Water CartIlfracombe Museum. Note shorthand in centre. Furphy Water CartFurphy Water CartIlfracombe Museum

Signs from the water cart. The lower one is the decoded shorthand.

Signs on Furphy Water CartSigns on Furphy Water CartIlfracombe Museum

I think Bev was pleased to get away from here. We stayed the night at a motel in Blackwater and this was the only night we didn't sleep in the tent.

We didn't see a single wedge-tailed eagle on the trip until just past Monto when we saw one standing at a road-kill as we drove past. There were two of them but this was the only half-decent photo I managed to get.

Wedge-tailed EagleWedge-tailed Eaglenear Monto

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/outback-camping-trip-day-14-and-15---driving-home Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:43:14 GMT
Outback Camping Trip Day 13 - Winton http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/outback-camping-trip-day-13---winton Wednesday 16 Sep 2015

We weren't sure whether it would be worth the 110 km each way drive to see the Lark Quarry dinosaur footprints but in the end we decided to do the drive. It was worth it for the landscape alone. This is the view from the car park back along the approach road.

Lark QuarryLark Quarry

While the footprints and the guide's description were interesting, I thought the lighting could have been better as it was placed low so the shadows would bring out the footprints but it was quite dim.

After the tour we tried the short Spinifex Walk (in the midday sun) which takes you to the top of a hill behind the building.

Spinifex Walk, Lark QuarrySpinifex Walk, Lark Quarry Spinifex Walk, Lark QuarrySpinifex Walk, Lark Quarry Spinifex Walk, Lark QuarrySpinifex Walk, Lark Quarry Spinifex Walk, Lark QuarrySpinifex Walk, Lark Quarry

On the way back we took a short detour to the Nareen jump-up where the plain drops 60 metres or so. You are driving along on a typical flat plain when the plain suddenly drops and continues at a lower level. Here is the view looking South-West - what appears to be a ridge in the middle distance is the edge of the same plain I am standing on.

Nareen Jump-up Looking WestNareen Jump-up Looking West

And here is the view from close to the same spot looking back along the road to the east.

Nareen Jump-up, looking EastNareen Jump-up, looking East

Later in the afternoon we returned to Bladensberg National Park to have a look at the homestead and shearing shed. This was a grazing property before being acquired as a national park.

Bladensberg National Park HomesteadBladensberg National Park Homestead Bladensberg National Park HomesteadBladensberg National Park Homestead Bladensberg National Park HomesteadBladensberg National Park Homestead Bladensberg National ParkBladensberg National Park Bladensberg National Park HomesteadBladensberg National Park Homestead

The shearing shed is a short drive from the homestead.

Shearing Shed, Bladensberg National Park, WintonShearing Shed, Bladensberg National Park, Winton Shearing Shed, Bladensberg National Park, WintonShearing Shed, Bladensberg National Park, Winton Shearing Shed, Bladensberg National Park, WintonShearing Shed, Bladensberg National Park, Winton Old Sheep Pens, Bladensberg National ParkOld Sheep Pens, Bladensberg National Park Old Sheep Pens, Bladensberg National ParkOld Sheep Pens, Bladensberg National Park Old Sheep Pens, Bladensberg National ParkOld Sheep Pens, Bladensberg National Park

Tomorrow we start the trip home.

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) bladensberg homestead lark national park quarry shearing shed http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/outback-camping-trip-day-13---winton Mon, 05 Oct 2015 11:42:05 GMT
Outback Camping Trip Day 12 - Winton http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/outback-camping-trip-day-12---winton Tuesday 15 Sep

A little bit of excitement for some of the campers when a couple of Brolgas visited the caravan park.

Brolgas visit the Caravan ParkBrolgas visit the Caravan Park

The Age of Dinosaurs Museum is situated on the edge of a mesa a short distance from Winton. The location is spectacular and the main museum building blends with its location.

Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonAge of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton, it blends into the landscape

The separate laboratory building is a short distance away, accessed by a path along the surprisingly flat mesa.

Landscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonLandscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton

In the lab, volunteers work on the fossils.

Volunteers working on Fossils, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonVolunteers working on Fossils, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton   Volunteers working on Fossils, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonVolunteers working on Fossils, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton

More views from around the museum.

Landscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonLandscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton Landscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonLandscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton Landscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonLandscape near the Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton

We tried a walk that went below the cliffs. The path wasn't all that well defined and we must have lost it at some point and the last part of the walk was a bit rough, but we made it back.

Deep Gully Walk, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonDeep Gully Walk, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton Deep Gully Walk, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonDeep Gully Walk, Age of Dinosaurs Museum, WintonSituated on a mesa near Winton

More photos in the gallery.

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) age of dinosaurs brolga dinosaur mesa museum winton http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/10/outback-camping-trip-day-12---winton Sat, 03 Oct 2015 21:52:24 GMT
Outback Camping Trip Day 11 - Longreach to Winton http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/outback-camping-trip-day-11---longreach-to-winton Monday 14 Sep 2015

The pattern of the early morning sun on these tanks caught my eye while we were preparing to pack up at Longreach.

Water Tanks, Tourist Park, LongreachWater Tanks, Tourist Park, Longreach

Very little grass is to be seen around Longreach and Winton. There is grass along the road, but the adjoining paddock is almost bare. This is on the highway between Longreach and Winton.

On the Longreach to Winton RoadOn the Longreach to Winton Road

I took this photo of Bev while we were waiting for our coffee to be served in the Winton Bakery.

Waiting for coffee, Winton BakeryWaiting for coffee, Winton Bakery

Unlike the Longreach Tourist Park, the Pelican Caravan Park had grass and shade-cloth.

Camp site on grass and under shade cloth, WintonCamp site on grass and under shade cloth, Winton

After a quick look around town, we had a look at the nearby Bladensberg National Park and found it as dry as everywhere else. This is supposedly Mitchell Grass plains, but not much grass to be seen.

Grassland with no grass, Bladensberg National Park, WintonGrassland with no grass, Bladensberg National Park, Winton

Although there were signs to points of interest, they didn't show distances, so we decided to get more information before going any further.

We relaxed at the camp site during the hottest part of the afternoon, then went to have a look at the long waterhole where a number of birds were drinking and feeding.

Whte-plumed Honeyeaters.

White-plumed Honeyeaters, Long Waterhole, WintonWhite-plumed Honeyeaters, Long Waterhole, Winton

Budgerigars Budgerigars, Long Waterhole, WintonBudgerigars, Long Waterhole, Winton Budgerigars, Long Waterhole, WintonBudgerigars, Long Waterhole, Winton

Black-fronted Dotterel Black-fronted Dotterel, Long Waterhole, WintonBlack-fronted Dotterel, Long Waterhole, WintonElseyomis melanops

Prepared with a guide, we went back to the Bladensberg National Park. Everywhere is so dry.

Mitchell Grass Plain, Bladensberg National Park, WintonMitchell Grass Plain, Bladensberg National Park, Winton

Engine Hole, Surprise Creek

Engine Hole, Bladensberg National ParkEngine Hole, Bladensberg National Park Engine Hole, Bladensberg National ParkEngine Hole, Bladensberg National Park

On the Jump-up Spinifex on the Jump-up, Bladensberg National ParkSpinifex on the Jump-up, Bladensberg National Park Spinifex on the Jump-up, Bladensberg National ParkSpinifex on the Jump-up, Bladensberg National Park

Along Opalton Road. Spinifex in afternoon sun, Opalton Road, near WintonSpinifex in afternoon sun, Opalton Road, near Winton

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) bladensberg dotterel national park spinifex winton http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/outback-camping-trip-day-11---longreach-to-winton Wed, 30 Sep 2015 12:16:29 GMT
Outback Camping Trip Day 10 - Longreach http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/outback-camping-trip-day-10---longreach Sunday 13 Sep 2015

Riverside Park on the Thomson River just outside of town was packed with caravans taking advantage of the free camping, but it did not look at all attractive with rows and rows of vans.

Free Camping, Riverside Park, LongreachFree Camping, Riverside Park, Longreach

Thomson River, LongreachThomson River, Longreach

We used our pass to finish looking at the Qantas Founders Museum. They have a PBY Catalina that you can climb into.

Catalina, Qantas Founders MuseumCatalina, Qantas Founders Museum

Catalina CockpitCatalina Cockpit Catalina - view from the bubbleCatalina - view from the bubble Catalina InteriorCatalina Interior

The De Havilland DH61 was one of the early Qantas passenger planes. The pilot sat in an open cockpit,

De Havilland DH61.De Havilland DH61.Early Qantas passenger aircraft

but the passengers had the luxury of an enclosed (tiny) cabin. I don't think I would have enjoyed travelling in this. Passenger cabin of DH61Passenger cabin of DH61

This is a cylinder of a radial engine.

Radial Engine Cylinder, Qantas Founders MuseumRadial Engine Cylinder, Qantas Founders Museum

We continued with the Stockman's Hall of Fame and decided to see the outback show, which I didn't find all that impressive. The Hall of Fame itself is excellent, but there is a lot to see and read.

Stockman's Hall of Fame, LongreachStockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach Stockman's Hall of Fame, LongreachStockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach Stockman's Hall of Fame, LongreachStockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach

We will be heading for Winton tomorrow, so we have a look around the city centre, but there's not much happening on a Sunday afternoon.

Water Tower, LongreachWater Tower, Longreach

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) longreach museum qantas http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/outback-camping-trip-day-10---longreach Tue, 29 Sep 2015 12:30:13 GMT
Outback Camping Trip Day 9 - Blackall to Longreach http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/outback-camping-trip-day-9---blackall-to-longreach Saturday 12 Sep 2015

I left Bev sleeping in the tent and went out to take a few photos of Blackall before leaving for Longreach.

We had looked at the Barcoo River when we arrived and found it dry except for one small side channel. I had a closer look and found it was being fed from a bore. I couldn't easily cross it to the main river so left to check out some buildings instead.

Bore Drain to Barcoo River, BlackallBore Drain to Barcoo River, Blackall

The next two of an abandoned garage.

Old Garage, BlackallOld Garage, Blackall

Old Garage, BlackallOld Garage, Blackall

Then some old buildings in Ram park. Historical Building, BlackallHistorical Building, Blackall

Old Railway Station Building, BlackallOld Railway Station Building, Blackall

We managed to pack up and start on the drive to Longreach at a reasonable time.

I wasn't too impressed with the caravan park we chose at Longreach; we had no shade (except first thing in the morning) and nothing to act as a wind-break. This photo was taken just after sunrise.

Campsite - Longreach Tourist ParkCampsite - Longreach Tourist Park

Once we had set up camp we visited the Qantas Founders Museum. We decided to try the 747 tour and only had time for a quick look in the museum before the tour started. The tour includes three planes: 747, 707 and DC3, although you don't get to go inside the DC3.

Douglas DC3, Qantas Founders MuseumDouglas DC3, Qantas Founders MuseumActually C47 (Military Version)

The 747 is parked right beside the car park.

Boeing 747 at Qantas Founders MuseumBoeing 747 at Qantas Founders Museum

Boeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, LongreachBoeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach Boeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, LongreachBoeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach

Inside the 747. Boeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, LongreachBoeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach

747 Cockpit. Boeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, LongreachBoeing 747 Tour, Qantas Founders Museum, Longreach

It was almost closing time and we hadn't had a good look at the rest of the museum, so we obtained a pass to return tomorrow.

 

]]>
wigzac@gmail.com (Alan Wigginton) blackall founders longreach museum qantas http://alanwigginton.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/9/outback-camping-trip-day-9---blackall-to-longreach Mon, 28 Sep 2015 04:16:20 GMT