Page 3 of Debra and Dana Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads March 29th 2017

Cyclone Debbie hit Northern Queensland with winds peaking at about 260 km/hr. Thankfully the eye of the storm was 900 km North from where we are staying. Our friends Pat and Lesha were heading up to the Great Barrier Reef and ended up cancelling much of their trip because of the storm. They retreated back to our place and basked on the TV coverage of the area during the storm, that was definitely the right thing to do. Our impression of Australia has been that it's a well run country which has been reinforced with the way the various agencies etc prepared for the storm. In spite of it's furiousness, there was only 1 reported fatality (a traffic accident). The damage will be in the Billions!!! If there is any good news that can come from ... read more
Enjoying a walk around the Ginger Factory grounds
Aftermath of storm resulting from cyclone Debbie
More damage to clean up

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Brisbane March 13th 2017

Brisbane is about 1 1/2 hour's drive from Noosa Heads and is Australia's 3rd largest area with a population of 2.3 million people. It's been well over 20 years since our last visit and I think about 1 million people lived there at the time. The changes have been dramatic and there is on going construction that's obviously fueled by continued growth. The Brisbane river runs through the city and drains into Moreton Bay to the north. The city has done a great job in developing the river front and the waterway is an efficient transportation artery. There has certainly been great thought given to infrastructure planning as the Airport, with train connections throughout Queensland, is close to the Cruise port that is connected to downtown through a well run ferry service. We were able to ... read more
Meeting with more friends in Brisbane!
Carlos Sandblow
Carlos Sandblow

Oceania » Australia » Queensland March 4th 2017

We're back on the trail again! At the Kondalilla Falls National Park there is a well maintained trail that meanders down to the bottom of the tropical forested fjordes. The circular route is about 5 km and with the dramatic difference in elevation, it is very humid at the bottom. The Falls itself is less than spectacular as there is only a trickle of water even though Kondalilla is an aboriginal name meaning rushing water. (The whole area is experiencing a drought with water reserves down 20%). At one of the plateaus, and fed by the Falls, there is a lagoon that is popular for swimming with the locals. At the top of the trail the noise made by the Cicadas(type of cricket) is almost deafening. Obvious these species aren't nocturnal as are crickets from Chipman, ... read more
Kondalilla Falls National Park
Kondalilla Falls National Park
Lunch in Montville

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads February 27th 2017

We're now back in Noosa Heads to settle in for a few games of golf and try to get back on an exercise regime. Roger and Linda headed out for a 2 day tour of Fraser Island which is the largest sand island in the World and a Heritage listed site. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience which required touring in a special vehicle as most of the journey was on beaches and sand dunes. We may book the same tour later in our stay. On February 24th, Linda and Roger head home after 3 weeks "down under" and we hope they had a great experience. Our plans over the next couple of weeks is to explore more deeply the Sunshine Coast and to take full advantage of the facilities at the resort and golf course. In ... read more
Noosa Sunday Market
Waiting for Brekkie

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne February 26th 2017

Back in Melbourne for a couple of days before heading to Noosa Heads. Melbourne, as with Sydney, is a very cosmopolitan city, although somewhat different. Keeping in mind we only spent 2 days there, however, it seemed more interesting. Public transportation included cable cars and it appeared to be less congested with traffic etc. Our neighbour in Niagara on the Lake, David Smith, gave us a couple of books on Australian architecture, which increased, at least a little, our understandings on building design etc. As a result, we took more notice of the vast array of unique buildings in Melbourne which set the city apart from others. Of course, Melbourne grew rapidly in the late 1800's as a result of the gold rush and immigrants arrived from all over the world in search of their fortune. ... read more
Train Station Melbourne
"White Night"
"White Night"

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne February 18th 2017

Debra and Linda flew to Sydney for a few days of touring while Roger and I hung around Noosa Heads to play some golf and tried our luck at fishing. The fish weren't biting that well but we did manage to catch 4 or 5, of which one Perch was big enough to keep (Although it was a very light lunch). We flew out on Wednesday to Melbourne and met the ladies for a few days on the Great Ocean Road. Linda and I attended a performance of "Great Opera Hits" in the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House which we both thoroughly enjoyed. It was a collection of songs from different operas performed by four different singers prefaced by a small summary of each story provided buy the host. Of course the venue ... read more
Along the Ocean Road
Tree Stump Carving
Mariner's Lookout

Oceania » Australia » Queensland February 10th 2017

We have now settled into the house in Noosa Heads, Queensland. It is certainly up to our expectations, looks out onto the 15th hole of the golf course and is very comfortable. The golf course, club house and spa are also "top drawer" with great gym facilities, driving range, pools and other amenities, in which membership is included in our monthly house rental. We even have our own private golf cart to drive back and forth to the club house. So we feel very fortunate and look forward to enjoying our time here until mid-April. The weather has been hot, ++ 30 C, but not to the level covered on the news. Parts of New South Wales (Sydney) and Victoria (Melbourne) have had extreme heat warnings and there has been sporadic power outages in those areas. ... read more
Eumundi Market

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Blue Mountains February 2nd 2017

The Blue Mountains is a beautiful area a short drive from Sydney. We spent 3 full days hiking various trails and stayed at a B&B in Katoomba, the largest town in the area. Most of the hiking trails were well organized and clearly marked. They were rigorous in places and certainly challenged our fitness level. Many panoramic views were bountiful as the trails descended down into the gorges that contained numerous waterfalls. Of course, a steep trail down always partners with, what seems to be, a steeper trail up. One of the most popular areas, Echo Point, is where the famous Three Sisters can be seen. These were very unique rock formations that change in colours as the sun's reflection moves. Aboriginal legend is that the Chief of the Katoomba tribe had 3 girls who fell ... read more
At Wentwprth Falls
Empress Falls
the three Sisters

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney January 31st 2017

We arrived in Sydney at noon and checked in at the Grace Hotel. This is a central location and a comfortable, refurbished facility that provided good value. Day one was spent trying to recover from the long flights and we managed to stay up until 9:00 P.M. Experience has taught us over the years to try and integrate as quickly as possible to local time. We visited the Rocks, an area close to the harbour, where there are numerous pubs and restaurants and they have a local market every weekend with various crafts, souvenirs etc. After dinner in Darling Harbour, an area next to the Rocks, we dragged our tails back to the Hotel. Day two in Sydney mostly was spent on the Hop on, Hop off bus. We've found this to be the most effective ... read more
Harbour Bridge
Sydney Fish Market
Sydney Opera House

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads January 28th 2017

We're spending this winter away in Australia altough, with unusually milder weather so far in Niagara on the Lake, there is less of an incentive to escape the typically harsh cold and snowy conditions. Before leaving, we did experience the Ice Wine Festival in Niagara which spanned a 2 week period in January and various events were hosted by a number of communities in the Region. For those who are unfamiliar with Ice Wine, it's a very unique product that is made from frozen grapes which obviously gives Canada some advantages over Vineyards in other countries. It's a very good product for Export and the Industry has enjoyed growing demand, particularly in Asia and USA. In order to meet the Niagara's VQA (Vintners Quality Assurance), grapes must be harvested in -8 degrees Celcius temperatures which raises ... read more
Frank at Ice Wine Festival
Hong Kong Wharf New Years Day

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