Felicity is presenting at the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne this week, so we decided I would accompany her and spend some time checking out the city’s cycle trails. Our friends Marion and Elephant invited us to visit them in Allansford near the western border of Victoria for a few days beforehand.
Continue reading Allansford and Great Ocean Road
It was our last day in North Queensland today, so we decided to have one last trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Yesterday’s rain had stopped, but it remained overcast right up until the boat left to return to Cairns. Flynn reef is about 60 km off shore, so the land was pretty much invisible by the time we saw a line of breaking waves indicating that we had arrived.
Continue reading Flynn Reef
The skyrail trip from Cairns to Kuranda is one of the best attractions we have run across. The ride up in a gondola took almost an hour and a half, including a couple of stops along the way.
Continue reading Kuranda
The area around Mission Beach is known as the Cassowary Coast, because it has one of the highest concentrations of this big bird in the country. You can’t drive more than a few hundred metres without seeing warning signs about them crossing highways. We were determined to see one.
Continue reading Cassowary Coast
This morning we were so well organised that we arrived at the water taxi office almost 20 mins before departure time. We had booked a trip across to Dunk Island, about 10 mins off the coast. Today was the first blue sky, hot sun day we have experienced on this trip to Australia.
Continue reading Dunk Island
The backpackers we are staying at is actually at Wongaling Beach, which is in between Mission Beach and South Mission Beach. Even though we were up bright and early this morning, it ended up being a bit of a rush to get to the Clump Point boat ramp, where a ridged-hull inflatable boat operated by Reefexpress was waiting to take us on another snorkelling expedition.
Continue reading Mission Beach
From the deck of our backpacker’s hostel we could see the ocean through the trees, so the first thing we did this morning was to drive down to Bingil Bay and walk up and down the beach. There were signs warning about crocodiles, but I overheard a local saying that all the north Queensland beaches now have these signs so they are not particularly meaningful.
Continue reading Bingil Bay
Dunkly’s Place must be one of the most unimaginatively designed and badly situated motels we have ever stayed in – not surprisingly it is up for sale. It did provide everything we needed for the night, and there are lots of interesting things to do in the neighbourhood, so I shouldn’t complain.
Continue reading Lake Eacham
We left Port Douglas this morning and drove up to the Atherton Tablelands. After a bit over an hour’s driving we saw a sign pointing to the Mareeba Wetlands, and decided to take a look. While it is only about 30km inland from Cairns this area is over 400 metres higher, so the surroundings are much more like the rest of Australia than the steamy rain-forest on the coast.
Continue reading Mareeba
We had such a good time snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef yesterday that we decided to do it again today, and booked ourselves on one of the Sailaway catamarans. Their trip is to the inner edge of the reef, about 15km off shore. The wind had dropped almost completely overnight, so we didn’t get to actually sail, but the water was almost flat, and perfect for snorkelling.
Continue reading The Low Isles
The main objective of our Queensland trip is to see the coral reef before it gets bleached and dies. Reports of damage I have read range from 93% of the reef destroyed to less than 15%, so I was a little concerned we were too late, but while there clearly is a problem it turns out there is still plenty for tourists like us to see.
Continue reading Great Barrier Reef
They don’t call it rainforest for nothing – it has been wet every day of our Queensland trip so far. As I have been writing this post we have been forced to move further under a wide veranda to escape the deluge. With temperatures around 27 degrees this is not as bad as it sounds, and we have been enjoying our adventures so far.
Continue reading Daintree
My latest grandson Saul is almost five months old, but getting his extended family together in one place has taken a bit of time to organise. Felicity, Judith and I flew over to Brisbane on Friday morning, at the civilised time of 9.30am.
Continue reading Saul’s Naming Day in Noosa
We’ve been staying on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this weekend, visiting grandson Eli and his dad and mum.
Continue reading Peregian Beach
This is the last day of our trip to Australia to meet my first grandson: Eli Saxon Potter.
His grandmother Waveney was the main celebrant, but I was asked to read a poem by Susan Polis Schultz. I glanced at it briefly beforehand just to make sure it didn’t suck too badly, but when I began reading I quickly realised that it expressed my values better than I ever could have done in my own words.
Continue reading Eli’s naming day celebration
Today’s adventure started with a drive to the top of Black Mountain, which was pretty much a waste of time unless you are extremely interested in telecommunication towers. We then made a detour to the end of Black Mountain Rd before realising that we should have been on Black Mountain Ridge Rd, which heads in the opposite direction.
Continue reading Cudgerie Loop and Mt Cooroora
It was after 10 by the time we got ourselves organised and in to the park, by which time every carpark was taken, so we drove over to Sunshine Beach and found one of the southern entrances. This part is very dry, with sandy tracks and lots of Australian Grass trees. When we were here last time there had been a big fire and everything was black, but the forest has now recovered and turned green again.
Continue reading Noosa National Park
Yesterday we packed up and headed north to the Sunshine Coast, stopping at Brisbane airport on the way to pick up no.1 son James. We had a much longer wait than we expected, because he should have applied for a visa in NZ before he came, which he neglected to do. The immigration official came and talked to us and they finally agreed to give a rare border visa on compassionate grounds, after we explained that he had come to attend a big family reunion in the weekend.
Continue reading Meeting grandson Eli
By popular demand, it was decided that today would be a good idea to go to the beach. By the time we arrived at about 10am, the swimming areas were packed.
Continue reading Burleigh Heads beach
At the crack of dawn this morning a kookaburra outside our window let us know it was time to get up. We had planned to camp up at Binna Burra, but hundreds of other people had the same idea, and enough of them had remembered to make advance bookings, so every site was full. When we saw all the tents packed together like sardines, we stopped behind disappointed.
Continue reading Daves Creek Circuit Lamington National Park