Tracey & Bernie Gaffney


Tracey & Bernie Gaffney

Tracey and I love to travel, but when at home, Golden Retrievers rule.

Oceania » Australia » Victoria August 17th 2019

We left Canberra just before 9.00am this morning for the drive home to Melbourne. We made our first stop near Gundagai for the BIG Koala and, of course, the Dog (back) on the Tuckerbox. The statue was vandalised (knocked from its plinth) at the end of July and had to be taken away for repairs. Bernie checked this morning to learn that the dog is back. When we arrived, not only was the dog back on the tuckerbox, there were hundreds of people at the site for the ceremonial return of the dog. What a momentous day to visit! Tracey took over the driving and we continued down the Hume. As we neared Holbrook, Tracey decided that it was probably time for another leg stretch and maybe some lunch. When we stopped near Gundagai we smelt ... read more
Abandoned wagon
The Dog (back) on the Tuckerbox
HMAS Otway at Holbrook

It was another chilly start to the day but, once again, we were lucky with the sky blue and the sun shining. We are staying at the Hotel Kurrajong which is very well-located in Barton for most of the things we have planned to visit/re-visit while we are in Canberra. After a self-catered breakfast in our room we set out on foot for Old Parliament House which houses the Museum of Australian Democracy. We approached from the side and walked through the Parliamentary Rose Gardens and then beside the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage Commemorative Fountain. Once inside we participated in a brief orientation tour and then continued exploring on our own. Although we have visited before and done the guided tour previously, on our own we managed to explore parts of Old Parliament House that we ... read more
Old Parliament House
I can still remember when I had hair
Senate Chamber

This morning we set off to visit the Jenolan Caves. Only 27 Kilometres away from Katoomba, as the crow flies, but 74 kilometres by road! On our way we made a quick stop at Govetts Leap Lookout near Blackheath. The falls here are known as the Bridal Veil Falls or simply, Govetts Leap. One more stupendous view of a rugged Blue Mountains valley, this time the Grose Valley. Back on the road we made it to Jenolan Caves nearly an hour before our scheduled cave tour at 11.30am. The weather associated with the polar vortex dumped snow on this part of the world last weekend closing the road to Jenolan Caves. Knowing that there could still be a bit of snow and ice by the road we decided to allow plenty of time for the trip. ... read more
Bridal Veil Falls
Snow on the way to Jenolan Caves
Jenolan Hotel

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales August 14th 2019

So, here we are in the Blue Mountains and they really are blue but, why is it so? According to a map produced by the Blue Mountains City Council, the phenomenon is known as ‘Rayleigh Scattering’ after Lord Rayleigh who first investigated it. It is caused by scattering rays of light coming in contact with fine dust particles and droplets of oil dispersed by the eucalyptus trees. The distinctive blue haze that gives the Blue Mountains their name is quite different and of a different hue than that found in any other part of the world. The first official use of the name ‘Blue Mountains’ is attributed to Captain William Patterson of the New South Wales Corp, in his dispatch describing his attempted crossing of the mountains through the Grose River Valley in 1793. Our exploration ... read more
View from Echo Point
Three Sisters in the early morning
Sister 1

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Katoomba August 13th 2019

Our host at the Brooklyn Motel, Keith, told us this morning that someone drove their car off the Peats Ferry Bridge overnight. This is the same bridge that we crossed coming into Brooklyn yesterday afternoon. As at this morning police divers had still not located the vehicle and the driver. After packing the car we headed down to the Brooklyn Public Wharf for our cruise on the Hawkesbury River with the Riverboat Postman. We were so lucky with the weather today as it was a beautiful clear blue and sunny day on the river. Although it was a bit brisk, it was perfect for a leisurely cruise. The first Riverboat Postman started the run in 1910. Today the tradition continues with Hawkesbury Cruises, the current operators of this famous half day trip. Before we left the ... read more
Dangar Island
Sea Eagle
Sandstone Rocks

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Hawkesbury August 12th 2019

This morning we had to do some gift shopping before leaving Newcastle. On the last two nights as we have walked along Beaumont Street on our way to dinner we have spotted gifts that would appeal to Kerry who had a birthday last month, but has not received a present yet! One was in the chemist’s front window and the other was in the newsagent’s front window. After securing a park Bernie went to the newsagent and I went to the chemist. The first person to approach me in the Chemist’s was the pharmacist. I told him I didn’t need anything pharmaceutical; I just wanted to purchase something from the front window. He told me they were short staffed and he could help me. As we approached the front window I joked that he was overqualified ... read more
Swansea Head
Petrified Wood at Swansea Head
Norah Head Lighthouse

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Newcastle August 11th 2019

Well, we have travelled south and the polar vortex has blown north and we have met up in Newcastle. It is extremely cold and windy today! We parked near the Surf Club at Newcastle Beach this morning and watched the surfers as we walked towards the Art Deco Ocean Baths. After taking far too many photos of the surfers, we continued heading out towards Nobbys Head via the Surf Club at Nobbys Beach. As we walked out we thought that we were seeing Fort Scratchley on the headland and the ‘lighthouse’ at the end of the breakwater. Very disappointing we thought, as it looked to be only a beacon. About halfway out, Cathy turned around and realised that we had walked around the base of Fort Scratchley and it was actually the lighthouse and associated buildings ... read more
Surfs Up
Between the flags
Nobbys Lighthouse

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Newcastle August 10th 2019

This morning we started heading down the NSW coast in earnest. Yesterday we did a down and back from Coffs Harbour to South West Rocks and back to Coffs so today we travelled straight down the Pacific Highway to Port Macquarie and had a closer (but not too close) look at the fire that is burning in Limeburner NP. Whilst searching for info about the fire(s) I discovered that there are 50 fires burning along the NSW coast! Hopefully most of those have been small outbreaks that have been quickly brought under control. There was a huge plume of smoke blowing out to sea from the fire north of Port Macquarie. Our first comfort break was at the Visitor Information Centre in Port Macquarie. Very posh! The info centre is co-located with the Glasshouse Theatre so ... read more
Shag on a pier, Port Macquarie
The smoke from the bushfire in Limeburner NP
Tacking Point Lighthouse from the car park

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Coffs Harbour August 9th 2019

Bernie was back at Beaurepaires just after 8.00am this morning to have the repaired tyre re-fitted. He thought that if he was there they would be sure to do the Golf’s tyre ‘first thing’. Good to their word the tyre was already repaired when he arrived so the dinky space-saver tyre was taken off and the repaired tyre was re-fitted ready for a big day of sightseeing. Our first stop was at the BIG Banana - not to visit any of the theme-park amusements, just to photograph ourselves at another big thing! With our BIG Banana shots secured we found our way to Tourist Route 18 to make our way down the coast on the roads less travelled rather than motoring down the Pacific Highway. Our first stop was at Boambee Head. The view from the ... read more
Where Boambee Creek meets the sea
Boambee Beach
Towards Bongil Beach

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Coffs Harbour August 8th 2019

This morning we set off from Armidale to drive along the Waterfall Way to the coast. We hadn’t even reached the outskirts of Armidale when the Golf’s tyre pressure warning system alerted us to a change in tyre pressure in the passenger side rear wheel. To be on the safe side we headed back into town to check the tyres. Hmmn, sure enough, the tyre did need some air. With the tyre situation addressed, our first stop was at the Baker’s Creek Falls. There was a little bit of water in Baker’s Creek, but not enough to flow over the falls. Ah well, a short stop was all that was needed because there was no need for Bernie to set up the tripod to take arty photos of the waterfall. A little bit further along Waterfall ... read more
Baker’s Creek
Wollomombi Gorge
Wollomombi Gorge

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