Blogs from Queensland, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cunnamulla August 21st 2019

We woke on Sunday morning to a bit of a dust storm. IT was slowly building so it ended up being a good day to leave as we had ourselves on the outskirts of town before it really hit hard. Was a bit of a struggle to drive at times with the vehicle and trailer catching the wind. We drove through Windorah which was our first stop for the day at around 9.30am. A pie, a coffee and top up the fuel and out! At the next stop (Quilpie) I discovered that the same tyre on the Paj had finally given up the ghost i.e. dead flat, so I had to do a quick change out for another tyre that already had a plug in it - so far so good with that one (touch wood)! ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Birdsville August 17th 2019

We exited the Hay River track onto massive salt pans that were a bit weird to look at - very white amongst the red of the sand and green/grey of the trees and bushes. After a short time we hit the QAA line, which is one of the main tracks across the Simpson Desert. So after five days of travelling South we took a 90 degree turn to the East. This was some awesome driving up and over the dunes. There were a few that we had to back down and try a few times - mostly because my stoopid traction control kept turning on automatically which kills the wheel spin that is sometimes needed to get over those last few ruts. The pictures that we have do not do justice to how big, long and ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland August 6th 2019

After several days living out of the jeep, we experienced having a two bed apartment in Cairns as living in a mansion! Added to that, we were very excited to meet up with our visitors from home: Granny and Grandad were in Cairns waiting to join us for this leg, having already enjoyed a few days meeting up with Grandad's cousin Kyran who lives here. We had planned for three days in Cairns to allow plenty of time to catch up with with Kyran and to soak up the chilled out 'Cains' vibe. After Kyran's generous airport pick up service, Senan promptly passed out in the back of his car on the way to the hotel. He got a good nap in while I set out to locate Granny and Grandad who were staying in the ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa August 2nd 2019

OK, Noosa isn’t for everyone – but it tries to be. There are luxurious homes, exclusive resorts and expensive restaurants for the rich. And there are backpacker lodges, caravan parks and cheap cafes for the poor. Although to be fair, and to paraphrase Joe Hockey: “The poor don’t go on holiday very much!” You actually don’t need a lot of money to stay in Noosa and have a pretty good time. Accommodation can be had for under $50 a night and then after that everything of any note is free! The beaches, the National Park, the markets and the weather!! On the negative side, Noosa has become the Land of the Leafblower. Every morning without fail, from about 7 o’clock, the army of amateur alarm clocks start their intrusive blowing and it seems to go on ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Goondiwindi July 5th 2019

We left Cairns on Wednesday morning and headed south. We had spent a few lovely days with Liz and Graham who are fantastic hosts, but now it was time to turn our heads towards home. We made good time driving back towards Townsville. The going was fairly easy, though there were many large vehicles on the road. We passed the many cane fields and had to stop for the Cane Trains as this was the start of the cane harvest. We skirted Townsville and then headed along the coast. For lunch we decided to stop at Ayr but I was driving and saw a pub in what I thought was the outskirts. However, this proved to be the Hotel Brandon. Here we had a counter lunch. I chose lasagne and Fletcher, predictably the Seafood basket. Both ... read more
Airlie Beach Dugong statue
Airlie beach
Beach perspective

Oceania » Australia » Queensland July 3rd 2019

Another bit of a hike up the road from Longreach to not far shy of Camooweal. Not a lot to report. The Rigby three met up with a mate not far North and then we lost contact with each other for most of the rest of the day! All was well though as we all had said we’d like a beer at the Walkabout Creek Hotel (see Crocodile Dundee). Funnily enough we all ended arriving within 20 minutes of each other so no harm was done. The camping offered there was in a gravel car park so we set off in late afternoon to find any spot we could. Which we did, on the side of the road, around 150m from the highway. Yay!... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns July 2nd 2019

We awoke on Sunday morning after an amazing catch-up the night before. We find it so easy to stay with our friends as they allow us to have our own space but are always there to provide hospitality if we need it. The conversation continued and we had a relaxed morning. Graham and Liz suggested we go to a local park, Lake Placid, for a walk and lunch. This was a beautiful area, not far from their house where there is a river and a large lake and walking trails. We went to Alessandro's Pizza restaurant for lunch. This is in a great location with fabulous views of the lake, but the service was very slow. We did have some good pizzas to share and some nice wine. Back at their house we continued the conversation ... read more
Some of the tanks on show
Another tank

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Longreach July 1st 2019

Today was our first rest day that involved no driving. Whoot!!! I had big plans of taking the kids to see the Qantas Museum and/or the Stockman’s Hall of Fame but they were so horribly overpriced that I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Instead we went to a fantastic show about Harry Redford, a cattle rustler from the old days. It was bloody funny with the two lads acting it out being good on their feet and very happy to give it to the Kiwis, Tasmanians and Victorians on the audience. The pollies copped it a fair bit as well. As a lead-up to the show there was a local bush poet (Patrick Casey from Stonehenge, QLD) reading from his latest collection. He was the best part of 85-90 and a real character. Tony bought ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland June 30th 2019

Again it was another day of getting the kilometres under the belt ASAP. Kicked off around 9am heading North once more. As I sit here on day four I cannot remember anything significant about this drive. The kids slept a lot so it was mostly me and music. The camp spot we found was great - sitting atop a river bank (a very dirty muddy brown river as they often are around this part of QLD) and we had the whole joint to ourselves. Unfortunately the two doggies picked up an abundance of buzzies, but we all pitched in with scissors and gentle hands to get rid of them - and then threw them in tents/swags so they didn’t get anymore!!! Played cards that night. I dominated. The end.... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Townsville June 29th 2019

From Tuesday to Friday I participated as an Official in the Oceania Athletics Championships which were held at "The Red Track" in beautiful Townsville. This is a picturesque track with Castle Hill towering in the background. These are the first Oceania Champs to be held which, under new IAAF rules, give points towards qualifying for the World Champs and so Australia and New Zealand sent full teams and thus this was the largest Champs ever held with over 700 athletes competing from every country in the Pacific. During the four days I officiated at more than a dozen events including Shot Putt, Discus, Triple Jump and Long Jump. My favourites, though, were the three High Jumps where I was a bar judge twice and a recorder the other time. Excellent competitions and very good heights were ... read more
Inside our apartment
Our veranda
Dinner with Debbie

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