Dwain & Lorraine Holsapple


Dwain & Lorraine Holsapple

Well, it's about time for another trip "Down Under". Sept 6 we leave for Australia and what Lorraine is billing as her "last trip home". This will be Dwain's fifth trip there to visit his in-laws and see that wonderfully beautiful and unique country. This is really our only big trip this year. An earlier trip in 2016 to Oregon was cut short by health problems. All that is well now and we are rarin' to go. We'll do our best to keep posting regular blogs and notes so you can enjoy our experiences and see the sights through Lorraine's photos.

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba October 2nd 2016

Saturday we planned to take a picnic lunch and drive around to some more beautiful spots in the town of Toowoomba. First Robert wanted to take me to a few more of the classic old Queensland style homes. One of these can be rented for special occasions such as parties, dinners and weddings. It is called "Gabbinbar House" and was once a private home and estate. Wandering around the grounds I said to Dwain, can you imagine living in a place like this about 100 years ago and wandering around the grounds?? It must have been fantastic. Then we visited the University of South Queensland which reminded me of the University of Victoria with the beautiful gardens surrounding the buildings. This is also where we wandered through the Japanese gardens.... read more
Queensland style home
Japanese Gardens
 Japanese Gardens

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba September 30th 2016

The city of Toowoomba, Queensland is located on a major highway into the interior from Brisbane, with heavy truck traffic right through the middle of town on the old main highway. For several years the government has been developing plans for a bypass highway to climb the escarpment by going around the city, and work has just recently commenced on this massive project. The bypass will not be far from Rob & Marge’s home, so we were able to observe the work and trace the process of cutting through the gum tree forest to build an 800 meter long viaduct and four-lane highway to climb the hill and get around the city. The entire project will be 41 km long and should be finished by the end of 2018.... read more
 Bypass excavation looking from Rob's house
 Bypass excavation through sitting room window
 Bypass excavation

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba September 30th 2016

Last Tuesday we packed our bags and moved from Yvonne’s house to Rob’s place in Toowoomba where we will stay for the rest of our time in Australia. Their house is up on the bluff where they get an expansive view over the escarpment toward the east. They graciously moved out of the master suite to give us the privilege of staying in there where we are very comfortable and able to enjoy the expansive views from the bedroom and sitting room windows. While here we have had opportunity to take day trips around Toowoomba and the surrounding area. I have enjoyed some of the old Queensland style homes that have been kept in good condition over the years. They have such character with the verandas and wrought iron work. We have also seen more modern, ... read more
Rob and Marge's home 02
Water tank and clothes line
View from Robert's House

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba September 28th 2016

On Sunday we had planned to meet up for lunch at Picnic Point in Toowoomba. It was a beautiful day, so we left Yvonne’s early to give us time to wander through Queens Park in Toowoomba and the beautiful gardens there before meeting for lunch. The more we drive around here, the more beautiful parks and gardens we see. Toowoomba is a city full of parks. The site for what is now Queens Park was originally used for grazing and a brick pit. In 1874 Mayor Groom launched a campaign to establish a botanic garden in this area. The Botanic Gardens were established in 1875. The site has evolved over the years to become today's beautiful Queens Park Gardens. Each year Toowoomba Regional Council’s gardener meticulously plans and plants a mix of favorite blooms and exotic ... read more
Picnic Point (3)
Picnic Point (4)
Picnic Point (1)

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba September 26th 2016

As part of the Flower Festival a special excursion train ran from Toowoomba Central Station to the little station at Spring Bluff where steam powered coal trains used to stop halfway up the escarpment to take on water. The little station and stationmaster’s house have been preserved and beautiful flower gardens have been planted. Picnic tables and well-manicured lawns welcome day-trippers from the city. We enjoyed this little trip with Yvonne, Robert & Marge. The trip also gave us a clear perspective on the huge bypass highway being built to take truck traffic up the escarpment without going through the city. Ravensbourne is a National Park, and also an administrative area containing two man-made lakes: Lake Perseverance and Lake Cressbrook. In this quiet countryside setting we ran across kangaroos again, and a number of campers out ... read more
Gardens at Spring Bluff station
Sign at the station
Goana (2)

Oceania » Australia » Queensland September 23rd 2016

Crows Nest This little country town about 40 Km north of Toowoomba is the place where my sister, Yvonne, lives. We have had the privilege of staying here since Friday, Sept. 14, enjoying her beautiful home and warm hospitality. Yvonne moved here from Perth, WA, two years ago and has been a busy girl with the construction of her new home. It is the law here in Queensland that every house has a holding tank to catch the rain water from the roof. This water is used for outside watering, car washing etc. as well as for the toilets and washing machine. City water is used in the rest of the house for drinking and bathing. So you see large holding tanks as well as clothes lines on every lot. The town itself is a quaint ... read more
Crows Nest - Jimmy Crow and nest
Crows Nest city park (2)
Crows Nest city park

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba September 22nd 2016

Flower Garden Competition Around 100 stunning private gardens enter the Chronicle Garden Competition and are open for public viewing throughout the festival. Of course it was not possible to visit all of these gardens so we chose a few of the top prize winners. The patriotic and unique garden of Kevin and Dianna Drew won the title of 2016 City Reserve Grand Champion. We were amazed as we wandered through this beautiful and unique garden. Apparently Kevin is a collector of antique motor cars and had several on display in his garage. We also met Kevin’s sister, Bev who had a display of her beautiful quilting and “needle and thread painting” pictures for us to enjoy. It was a pleasure to talk to her and learn more about this new and unique art which involves sketching, ... read more
 Grand Champion garden
 Grand Champion garden
 Grand Champion garden

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba September 22nd 2016

For 10 days from September 16 to 25, Toowoomba comes alive with flowers, food and fun. The Carnival of Flowers plays host to a whole series of fantastic Festivals, concerts, displays, special events and tours. On Saturday we joined thousands of people who lined the street to watch the Carnival Parade wind its way through the heart of the city, ending at Queen’s Park. This year’s theme is “Carnival Comes to Town – Laugh, Play, Hooray!” The parade did not start until 3 o’clock in the afternoon, so we arrived in town to find a good viewing spot by 2 o’clock. We were entertained by performers, carnival characters, community groups and floral floats on their way to Queens Park. It was good to see how involved the community is in this event and interesting to ... read more
 Flower Festival parade
 Flower Festival parade
 Flower Festival parade

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Bunya Mountains September 19th 2016

On Wednesday, Sept 14, the day after we arrived at Yvonne's place in Crows Nest, we packed an over-night bag for our trip up into the Bunya Mountains. Robert had reserved a holiday house up there for us all to stay in for two nights so we could enjoy the wildlife that come out in the evenings. Nights are alive with the sounds of the nocturnal creatures and a myriad of stars on a clear night. The Bunya Mountains is a spectacular wilderness range forming an isolated section of the Great Dividing Range located about 150km from the coast. The immense subtropical range of cool, green rainforest, eucalypt forests and woodlands is home to the world’s largest forest of bunya pines. The Bunya nuts are very large and look somewhat like a pineapple. The nuts can ... read more
Wallaby taking a rest

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Toowoomba September 17th 2016

After spending the night in a Motel in Casino, NSW we set off on our trip to Toowoomba where Rob and Marge live and then on to Crows Nest to Yvonne's home. Instead of taking the most direct route, the plan was to go the scenic route along the Lions Road Border Loop and through the National Parks, Rain Forests and beautiful scenery of mountains and lowlands. It was a full day's drive which proved to be most spectacular and rewarding as we enjoyed the beauty of the rain forests and the variety of the animal and bird life. Rain forests cover less the 1% of Australia yet contain half of all Australian plant families and a third of their mammal and bird species. On our journey we were rewarded with a look at many varieties ... read more
Narrow bridges across the creeks.
A beautiful place for a picnic.
Picnic shelter

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