Blogs from Oceania - page 4

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Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory July 6th 2019

I have to admit I'm a little excited to be going on the Ghan this morning. Our Hotel was a transfer location for the Ghan as the train station is 10kms out of town. There was a Great Southern Railway employee waiting in the hotel lobby. She asked for ID and checked our luggage in. We were allocated room 7 in carriage K. The train was 24 carriages long with 2 locomotives, 125 guests with 27 crew to look after us. Weighing 1210.2 tonnes. We had our photo taken at the front of the train then headed towards the rear of the train to board. In our room were a number of goodies along with a journey companion on the small table. We only just fitted into our small cabin bags. Our room had a tiny ... read more
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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 » New South Wales » Byron Bay July 5th 2019

From the first note he grabs me by the hair...twists me in his fingers and swings me around...taking me on a journey to the heart and soul of black America...falsetto to base vocals...drums stamping...keys sharpening then caressing...the crowd joining in singing...not because we know the words but 'cos he owns us. Fantastic Negrito is his name...his plaited mohawk in sync with his lead guitarist's riffs...like a breathless chainsaw cutting the air. Lyrics flashing images like a newsreel cranking...a train rattling...up to the summit where the altiplano is crisp and clear...mind sharp...adoration skidding every which way. It has taken us 30 years to finally get here...always thought Bluesfest was too large...but now I know that the Dancing Duo are meant to be here. As Skip McDonald (Little Axe) says, "Sisters and brothers ride on...ride on...ride on." Yeh! ... read more
Papa Elliott
Mavis Staples
St Paul & the Broken Bones

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory July 5th 2019

Big drive. Biggest yet. Sleeping kids and dog. And a bit boring as the kids slept, as did the dog. So I saved up my education on Metallica and Gravediggaz until they woke up. They loved it...... We went through Barkly Homestead ($2.02 per litre for diesel!), Three Ways and up onto Daly Waters. Interestingly (at least for us) there was a distinct lack of road kill on this long stretch, which in a way is good, but in another way shows how harsh the country can be for animals. And it is harsh. And hot, And dry. Almost every creek/river we supposedly went over was as dry as a dead dingoes donger! We saw some wild camels, which was a highlight, but otherwise it was a fairly uneventful drive. The aim of the day was ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Batchelor July 5th 2019

We're on the move again heading to Batchelor for the night so we could visit Litchfield National Park. To continue our buff tour of the Northern Territory we spotted another Railway Museum. The Adelaide River Railway Heritage precinct displays much of the original equipment from the rail line built in the 1880 to service the Pine Creek Goldfields. Extensive work has been done to restore and document their rail history and it was very impressive. Unfortunately we had to keep moving so couldn't check out all of the buildings. I'd read about a Butterfly House in Batchelor and thought we should check it out. The owner (a VERY strange and eccentric guy) had built the butterfly house and pet gardens from scratch. He's collection of butterflies were very impressive and we really enjoyed feeding the bunnies, ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » South Australia July 5th 2019

Odd to start a new post with a Postscript but nevertheless: As we continued on our way further west on Friday, 5th July we stopped at Minnipa for a quick break and whilst we were having a look at the information board about the area we discovered that the LP Track we were on in the Gawler Ranges Nat.Park is in fact a one-way track. In our defence, we were only going one way and there was no (apparent) signage to tell us which direction we should have been going in. I rest our case. Ceduna is the largest town in far west coast of South Australia, it being just 480km away from the Western Australia border. A lady we met on the START Foundation Ride for the RAH 4 years ago originally hails from Ceduna ... read more
70607.4 Ceduna foreshore
70707.2 Ceduna Jetty
70707.5 jetty posts

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory July 4th 2019

Last night we camped at a random spot up a road around 200m on the road-side of the fence. A great little spot despite the rocks on the ground. Today we rolled through Cloncurry, Mt Isa and Cammoweal, among a few other tiny towns. Not much of any great interest except that out of Camooweal there was nothing of great interest. Nothing. Anywhere. As far as they eye could see in all directions. Flat as a tack with a bit of Mitchell Grass. It was a bit weird for a city boy! We spent a bit of time in Mt Isa, looking into some advice on what appears to be a cursed battery box, Phil has an issue with his UHF and I managed to break a few plates, cups and a box that holds out ... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia July 4th 2019

Wudinna is the heart of granite country. There are several rocky outcrops to climb including, nearby to Wattle Grove Rock, Mt. Wudinna. Rising 261m above ground it is the 2nd largest monolith in Australia. Not as grand in scale as Uluru but impressive all the same. Its slopes are very steep – too steep for our old legs – so we settled on a climb up Polda Rock. The 360o view from the top was well worth the effort; as John declared it was definitely a W-WAL (well worth a look). Not too far from Wattle Grove is the granite quarry. It was quite visible from the road but we thought a closer inspection was warranted until the sign on the gate quite firmly told us entry was to authorised vehicles only. Bother! Problem solved though ... read more
70407.7 Mt. Wudinna
70407.10 Mt. Wudinna
70407.13 Polda Rock

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Busselton July 3rd 2019

The flight to Perth was, thankfully, again, a relatively painless experience. We arrived at about midnight local time. Senan had been accosted by sleep on the plane about 2 hours previous, but sadly Qantas didn't get the concept of the need for a buggy at the plane door as we were curtly informed that it was 'available at oversized luggage'. In fairness it wasn't a huge walk, but the buggy would have been welcome rather than carrying the dead weight of a sleeping child through the queues at immigration. Fortunately, despite a few protests, he accepted being transferred into the sling and carried on sleeping as I carried him on my back all the way out of the airport. We quickly checked in at the Aurum Airport Apartments where we scored some breakfast bags for the ... read more
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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




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