Time Changes and Turtles

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December 16th 2008
Published: December 17th 2008
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Morning SunshineMorning SunshineMorning Sunshine

This was our waking up view.
The night was cool, a significant difference to the heat and humidity of the Sunshine Coast. Waking up this morning to a view of the Great Dividing Range was stunning, the sun was coming up and the blue skies were prevalent. I actually put my fleece on for the first time since arriving in Australia. However that was not on for long, by 7.00 the sun was quite strong and the day was turning out to be very warm. I do have to say at this point I am getting up earlier each day, today was 5.00 am, it is somehow easier to get up when the sun is shining.

This morning’s effort at getting ready for the day is truly back to nature; I wash using a bowl of cold water that Andy has put out for me. The water is lovely and cool, in many ways a relief from the heat and humidity that we have endured for the past 5 weeks.

While we are getting ready to leave a man pulls into the rest area with his camper, he wanders over to speak to us. Explaining to us that he was heading to Ipswich for some
Camp SiteCamp SiteCamp Site

Fassifern Rest and Camping Area.
work, he sets up industrial machines for textiles. Living in Warwick, he often has to travel to various places in Australia and around the world. If in Australia, he will take his camper and stay in the locality of where the work is.

As Andy did a large stint at driving yesterday I take the first shift today, heading South toward Warwick. We are in no rush and as Andy has actually picked the map up to see where we are going points out that there is a lake just off the 15 that we should go and see. I oblige and turn off the 15 where it is signposted.

If you could see what I am seeing now, it would take your breath away. Andy and I are sat at Lake Moogerah, just near Mount French. A couple of boats are on the lake, we can see them dragging inflatable’s with kids hanging on for dear life, listening to their screams of delight. The vantage point is about 150ft above the water line, with the Great Dividing Range ahead of us, I promise that there will be pictures for you to see. I could only hope that
Andy & Oven GloveAndy & Oven GloveAndy & Oven Glove

Andy makes the morning tea
you get the same breathtaking feeling.

Andy is of course feeding the birds. There is a black and white bird that I have seen everywhere we have been so far in Australia, including our last trip here. They are not the most attractive birds, but they have the most amazing bird song, if I can capture a sound bite and somehow incorporate it into the blog I will.

Another bird, I will have to research some of the names, grey in colour with yellow around the eyes, pecks at the dried noodles that Andy has used to coax them near us, the bird has found a way to break them into smaller pieces. Picking up the piece in its beak and then twisting his head smashes the noodle against the table and thus breaking it into smaller manageable pieces to eat.

Lake Moogerah is a dam, construction started in 1959 and finished in 1964 it holds about 20 million gallons of water and is 717 feet long. As with most Australian tourist spots, there are plenty of facilities, such as toilets, barbecues and picnic areas. It is very well kept.

Andy has just been exploring the
Washing in Cold WaterWashing in Cold WaterWashing in Cold Water

this is me having my morning wash. Cold Water but very refreshing.
area and I am just about to do the same.

We walk the length of the dam admiring the view, then walk back, Andy shows me where a dead fish that must 4ft long is the water and is being pulled apart by turtles. We are quite high above the turtles on the dam wall. It is hard to see them, but after a while when your eyes adjust you can see lots of little turtle heads bobbing up in the water.

Sadly this lake suffers with Blue-Green algae, although there is a low risk on this at the moment, you can see how the turtles are covered with algae and they are hard to spot because of the algae floating on the waters surface. There are a lot of turtles in this lake, how lovely to see them in the wild.

Time to move on again, we drive around the locality having a little bit more of exploration before rejoining the 15 for our journey south. We have decided to head for Glenn Innes for our overnight camp.

Fuelling up with diesel (118.9 per litre) just to ensure that both tanks are topped up, oh
Ready to goReady to goReady to go

After a nights camping we are packed and ready to hit the road to Warwick and on to Glen Innes
and an ice-lolly for Andy and me, well it is a hot day after all.

Our journey South has to cover 322 kilometres, so we needed to cover a lot of ground. The signs along the way are insistent that you take a rest, they also provide plenty of rest areas along the way. We stop regularly for 5 or 10 minutes, having lunch in Warwick, we spot an Internet café. However we cannot use our own laptop, so we just check a few emails and look up a couple of things then we are on our way again.

The sky is blue and there is not a cloud in sight, the road is stretching ahead of us and the terrain becomes greener the further south we travel. This stretch is called New England.

At one stop Andy tells me that I have killed a butterfly. This poor thing was caught under the wiper blade, but it was too late to save it. There are a lot of butterflies around and they do just fly into the windscreen.

Phoning ahead to ensure that the campsite that we want has vacancies, we are about 1 ½ hours
Moogerah DamMoogerah DamMoogerah Dam

We walked across this dam wall. Very high above the water level
away, crossing the border into New South Wales we are now on a different time zone. NSW are 1 hour ahead of Queensland as they have daylight saving.

Pulling into the Craigieburn camp site we check in. Helen and Robin are lovely people and we get chatting. Robin tells us that while he was cutting the long grass yesterday, he came across some large eggs. Conferring with a local expert it turns out that they are snake eggs and very likely to be an Eastern Brown. Of course poisonous but also very antagonistic, which means that even if you leave it alone it is likely to attack just because you happen to be in the vicinity.

This site covers 40 acres and has some rocky outcrops dotted around the land, we are told that we should walk along the creek and admire the scenery.

Robin tells us also that the temperature is going to drop dramatically tonight, we may want to borrow a couple of blankets. I think that we will be ok as our sleeping bags are suitable for conditions of minus 30 degrees.

I ask if we are very high here, we are in
Waitng for FoodWaitng for FoodWaitng for Food

This little bird waited in anticipation for food at the Moogerah Dam picnic area.
fact about 3000 metres above sea level, no wonder it dropped to 6 degrees last night. Robin was not wrong, it was a cold night and we did have to wrap up exceptionally warm. In fact we did not even open the internal shutters in the tent for the first time since we have had it.

When we head out of Glen Innes we will start to drop height again as we head to the coast, the temperature will increase again the closer we get to the Ocean.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Feeding TimeFeeding Time
Feeding Time

Andy gave these chaps some super noodles.
Still WaitingStill Waiting
Still Waiting

Australian Magpie, they have a beautiful bird song, sound very flute like and when performed in a group, its very magical.

This little fella was wanting more noodles, he worked out a good way of bashing the dried noodle on the table to break it into manageable chunks.
Rainbow LorikeetRainbow Lorikeet
Rainbow Lorikeet

I think this is a Rainbow Lorikeet, there are lots of multicoloured birds large and small.
Moogerah LakeMoogerah Lake
Moogerah Lake

This lake isformed by the Moogerah Dam, that was finished being built in 1964. Holds 20 million gallons of water.
Turtle AttackTurtle Attack
Turtle Attack

If you look closely you can see a turtle munching on this dead fish like creature.

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