Ride For Chappy 2010

Well we did it.

Finally back on the old faithful motorbike after a year of trouble and strife.

A bike riding neighbour of ours dropped in a pamphlet telling of a charity motorbike ride starting at Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast last Saturday 28th August.

Ride Saturday

“Ride For Chappy” is an annual event to raise funds for the Chaplin of the Beerwah State High school. Have a look @ the write up in the Sunshine Coast Daily news paper

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/story/2010/08/29/cruising-down-highway-at-82-ride-for-chappy/

Mavis was keen so the mothballs were blown off the bike and the riding clothing, bike washed, tyres and oils checked on Friday ready for the run the next day.

We awoke to a gorgeous morning albeit a little early for normal human beings.

6am is not an hour to be up on a crisp winters morn grin.

We met three other riders at the Shell service centre at Nudgee on the North bound Motorway before heading off for the meeting point at Beerwah about 30kms away.

9am was the kickoff time for the ride which was to take us from Beerwah through Kilcoy to our first stop for morning tea at Somerset Dam, on to Esk, back through Kilcoy with a wee stop at Woodford straight to the motorway and back to Beerwah.

80 odd bikes set out for the trip with the oldest rider at 82 years old riding a 250cc scooter that she had previously ridden to Sydney from Brisbane.

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One of the highlights (not the only one of course) of the run was the ride through the church after our return to Beerwah.

The record for the number of bikes riding through the church was not broken but we managed 62, not a bad effort.

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There were a lot of riders that did not go to the church to finish the ride.

What a great day although our Gluteus maximus ‘s were a little tender after 330kms in the saddle grin.

If we are in the region next year we might saddle up again for this run.

Being our first group run it has definitely made us think about participating in other charity runs.

“Now I wonder how can I get that bike on the drawbar of the caravan hmmmm”

YUSUF Concert in Brisbane June 2010

YUSUF formally Cat Stevens was born Stephen Demetre Georgiou in 1948 to a Greek Cypriot father and  Swedish mother and grew up in England.

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Yusuf

This concert was one the most memorable experience that Mavis or I have ever had. We attended with Margaret, Mavis’s sister and her husband Robert both of whom also raved about it.

YUSUF’S Son’s band opened the concert and played for a little less than 25 minutes then leaving us to an intermission of 30 minutes before YUSUF came on stage at 9pm

This 62 year old grey headed legend has lost absolutely nothing with the slow aging process that we are all experiencing. The first couple of songs were performed with himself and only two other guitarists,then the whole band filtered onto the stage to join them.

This dynamo performed non stop for one hour and ten minutes before leaving the stage while his superb back up group played and sang Waltzing Matilda to an audience that was thoroughly appreciative. When the group had finished Waltzing Matilda Yusuf returned after obviously having changed clothes and refreshed to continue performing without fault until the end of the concert at 11pm. That performance went non stop from 9pm to 11pm WOW. All of his well known songs as well as some great new stuff were played beautifully.

Having grown up with his great music I have to say that there were times during his performance that brought tears to my eyes, associating past memories both good and bad with the songs that he played.

What a legend and what a superb performance!

QUEENS BIRTHDAY WEEKEND 2010

Our weekend started on the Thursday when we travelled north from Brissie to Tewantin near Noosa.

A $14 ferry ride took us across the Noosa River at about 10:30 am to be on the beach about one hour before low tide.

After dropping the tyre pressures on the car and van we took the first cutting onto the beach. Have to say the it was a waste of time letting the tyres down as the soft access to the hard sand was not too bad at all, but we are not ecological vandals and we do the right thing most of the time.

The 26km run to our pre booked National Park sand hill camp was a dream. The low tide provided a three-lane highway without much traffic.

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Having found our favourite spot we set up our camp, to enjoy the two days of supposed solitude before our Daughter and family were to arrive with their new camp trailer on Saturday.

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From the time of our arrival there were a never ending stream of vehicles running up the beach to camp. It was decided to park the car well to the side of the van to claim a spot for the family.

To say that there were a mass of campers by Saturday is an under statement. The whole National Park camping area past Teewah was packed, so much so that people were driving back and forwards looking for a spot to set up. We did get some nasty looks with the car where it was until the family arrived on Saturday.

The weather up until Saturday had been great, but Saturday evening brought in some strong winds and rain, which were to set the tone for the rest of the stay.

Our camp was pretty cosy. We had parked the van with the off side facing the breeze when we arrived and I had put up the two end curtains of the annex and the draught curtain along the bottom of the van.

Before we came away Mavis had sewn up a windscreen made of rip stop nylon.

We had first seen these screens at a double 60th birthday party where some friends of ours had made one as a pressie for the birthday kids.

I had purchased 7x 10mm diameter 1.5meter long fibreglass electric fence poles from Wamuran farm produce Co Op and these were inserted into pockets that Mavis had sewn in at about 1.5meter spacing. There was about 100mm of exposed pole on the bottom of each and this is pushed into the ground leaving the screen standing. The poles are flexible enough to withstand any wind as we found out and the screen just bends with the wind and springs back. A great success and the whole lot fits into a tube about 90cm diameter.

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It was great to have the Ozpig fired up with the flu just outside the awning and the screen around the fire pushing the warmth back into us yummo.

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Monday saw us drive up the beach to Double Island Point followed by the family in their Forby. To our surprise the cutting through to Rainbow Beach was open, unlike our last trip when we found it closed.

An executive decision was made to go back to Freshwater where there was a toilet dump for the family’s porta potti, which was apparently making a sickening noise in the back of the Hilux.

A most entertaining site was the emptying circus, with Daughter forced to hold open the dump lid as she was gagging, trying not to breath and attempting to keep her breakfast where it belonged, while her hubby disposed of the body grin.

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After that little entertaining interlude we did the 13 km sand track from Freshwater to Rainbow Beach for lunch.

After lunch we ran down to Inskip Point to have a look and from there back onto the beach to enjoy the site of the colored sands before returning to camp.

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We stayed here until Tuesday to avoid the end of long weekend rush to leave. Fortunately the rain stopped long enough for us to pack up.

All In all another good relax.

Bellengen Music Festival May 2010

This was one of the greatest and entertaining weekends that we have experienced. http://www.bellingenmusicfestival.com.au/program.html

We arrived in Bellengen on Friday night after a great trip from Brisbane via the coast road. We set up camp in the Bellengen http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=bellingen&aq=0s&aqi=g-s2g-sx4g-s1g-sx3&aql=&oq=bellengen&gs_rfai=  Show ground,expecting to be met with a mass of campers for the Festival. This was not to be. Their were only three other campers there.

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When we asked the Caretaker why she said that the festival was only for poshies grin. Guess we must be poshies,cause we loved it. The concerts were patronised by better than 50% locals.

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The Festival was held over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of May and was our first experience of the “Camp Creative” organised event and will not be the last for us.

David Helfgott http://www.davidhelfgott.com/ is a patron of this wonderful event and performed on both Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to standing ovations and they were so well deserved,what a legend he is.

                 David Helfgott

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If you have not seen the great Aussie movie “Shine” have a gander.It is all about David portrayed by Geoffrey Rush. David  ran onto the stage giving never ending thumbs up and shaking the hands of everyone that he could reach Geoffrey Rush portrayed David to a tee his actions were exactly as we saw David in life. His performance without music in front of him was astounding and completely passionate. His constant chatter while playing was something that we would have loved to hear along with his wonderful performance. Truly was a tear jerker with goose bumps on top.

Mavis has vowed to not wash her hand as David sort her out on both Saturday and Sunday to shake her hand as we were sitting in the front row with Mavis in the wheel chair with a broken ankle.

David’s exit from the stage was as equally wonderful as his entrance. This effervescent little guy again ran around shaking hands and giving thumbs up to all and on Sunday afternoon chose his own encore “the bee” (Flight of the bumble bee) WOW. David’s poor wife Gillian was at the stage exit trying to entice him from the stage,but he was enjoying the experience so much as was the audience that she just had to wait until he was led off by fellow artists.

Must tell you that we are not fans of classical music on the whole,but watching the creative skills of the talented performers here did move us to appreciate the physical and mental talents of them all.

The BYO “Bellengen Youth Orchestra”

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Not all of the performances were classical in origin, as their was a wide range of entertaining experiences didgeridoo was just one and played beautifully by William Barton along with Anthony Garcia a great Guitarist. Williams Mum also made an appearance with a traditional indigenous performance.

The BYO no not an alcoholic event but the “Bellengen Youth Orchestra” were fantastic and performed with David Helfgott on Sunday afternoon. Yes they did have “BYO” on their “T” shirts grin.

For us Nick Parnell,the Windchill Five,David Howie pianist was a legend expertly accompanying many of the artists.,Claudia Douglas,  Annalisa Kerrigan, Nick Parnell, William Barton, Anthony Garcia,  Mark Walton magic on wind, Niki Vasilakis violin & Emma Jane Murphy chello  along with David were absolutely fantastic and worth the visit to this magic wonderland. Pianist David Howie was a legend expertly accompanying many of the artists.

Annalisa Kerrigan is the most dynamic little lady that we have ever seen. Not only did she sing superbly buy it was with an absolute love of what she was doing that was felt by the whole audience.

Monday saw us leaving Bellengen heading for Dorrigo also in New South Wales. The trip to Dorrigo was via some of the steepest mountain ranges that we have experienced but was absolutely spectacular. Dorrigo a great little country town where we had smoko in a cafe called Cafe Del Fuego http://cafedelfuego.com.au/ A wonderful cafe with some great motorbike memorabilia. Unfortunately the good tasting coffee was only half a cup topped with froth and the fruit pies were less that average. The eye candy was great for a bike enthusiast.

From Dorrigo we made our way to the “Summerland way” and on towards Casino. We had an over night stop at Whiporie NSW.

Whiporie General store with free camp.

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What a great little free camp.The local shop has a small area next door where you can pull up for the night no charge. Or for bigger groups you can stay in the paddock behind the shop so we were told by a fellow traveller in a motor home that camped next to us.

The grounds were beautifully manicured.

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Their are tables and chairs with toilet facilities. Mavis was in her element with 3 very friendly goats and a pony in the paddock next to the camp area. A carrot was duly dissected and fed to these little critters.

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Bread was supplied to the blue faced honey eaters, butcher birds, magpies and pee wees. What a great stop over. Garlic and chilli prawns on the BBQ were fed to those that fed the other little critters. The couple that run the shop and free camp are great people, appreciating the visitors and making you feel most welcome.

Tuesday Morning the run home was commenced in earnest. We spent about 4 hours on the road travelling through some absolutely wonderful country most of which was new to us.

All in all a superb 4 days away. We will most certainly be there next year if we are still in the area.

Hunting Lodge Winery Kilcoy Near Brisbane unfortunately now closed permenantly.

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Greetings all.

Have recently returned from one of the best short stays that we have experienced in a long time. Only a short run from Brisbane.

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Check out the web site http://www.huntinglodgeestate.com.au/

This place is run by Darryl and Vicki Higgins. You can stay in their lodges or camp by the flowing creek. Their are toilets and showers available for campers in the winery.

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The grand sum of $8.50 per adult was charged for the camping.

They are with out a doubt the greatest hosts that we have come across in a long time. The wine tasting in this place is the most entertaining event ever.

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Darryl in his past life (well maybe still is) a big game hunter but don’t let this put you off. Will explain later. His lovely wife Vicki presents the wine tasting with an explanation of the trophies that are on display in the tasting area. (including a Bear, Hippo and heaps of deer) Darryl accompanies this in the background hamming it up and sometimes their young daughter. (A real family affair).

The wines are extremely good with most at reasonable prices and some superb Ports and Muscat’s. All of this available with great cheese platters or the biggest pizzas that I have ever seen.

This place produces some of the best red wines in Queens land (from experience). The whites are not too shabby either. Prices are competitive.

The animals on display in the restaurant and tasting area have all been shot in controlled areas in Africa and North America, full explanations are given that do make even the most conservative individual feel a bit more  comfortable with what has happened.

Sunday saw us doing a bit of clay target shooting with Darryl giving the shooting instruction while Vicky handled the target launcher. This was great fun enjoyed by young and old alike. Following the target shoot Darryl gave us a tour of the winery that included a great explanation of the process involved in producing their great product then a Devon shire tea was enjoyed by all in the restaurant area.

Darryl also took a group of us on a tagalong 4wd tour of the property. The highlight of this was champagne and nibbles off the back of his old truck at the highest vehicular accessible point on the property,what a view wow.

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Must say that this was a great place to visit and an extremely entertaining and picturesque experience all round. Thoroughly recommend it.

Great even for a short weekend drive from Brisbane and a meal.

We will be back most definitely.

Regards and happy travels.

Mavis and Rod.

Australia Day long weekend at Rangemore Estate Winery 2010

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We spent the weekend (more to the point 5 days ) with family and friends at Rangemore Estate Winery.

This has to be one of the most layed back and relaxing destinations in South East Queensland.

Our Host Dave Allen provided us with not only accommodation in the form of a powered camping site at a very reasonable cost but also a friendly and homely atmosphere ensuring our stay was a great experience. Rangemore wines are superb and Dave grows meat goats and from them produces the most superb pies and sausages. This is not the limit to his culinary skills,the menu is very good.

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We arrived on Friday of the Australia day weekend in our caravan intending to stay only for the weekend then off home. We ended up staying until the following Wednesday and only then dragging ourselves away with a freezer full of goat curry pies, sausages and two cases of wines:-/

We had family and friends organised to stay with us in their own vans to celebrate the holiday. The festivities commenced with a meal cooked by Dave of goat pies with chips for those game enough to try. and a goat curry. As we had experienced the delights of his pies before there was no choice for us it had ta be the goat. I cooked a BBQ on the veranda for those not so adventurous.

Some of the view from the veranda.

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What a wonderful meal complemented by Dave’s great wines. If you want 5 star stay away. If you want good wholesome Aussie hospitality,great food with great wines you have to try this place. Dave also has B&B accommodation in an old Queenslander and two double bed units all beautifully presented.

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Their are some great day trips to be done from here including the Palm National park near Cooyah with its swinging bridge and great cafe and pub, Muntapa tunnel, Bunya Mountains National Park and lots more to see. The night sky here is unbelievable with no town lights to interfere the sky is a picture of stars planets and satellites. So if the camp fire is not too bright the view is superb.

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We thoroughly recommend this experience to anyone but allow more than a weekend if you can.

Mavis and Rod.

OCTOBER 2009 BORE BATH TRIP part 5

Bingara  is a wonderful country town. Exceptionally clean and with very friendly natives that welcome we grey nomads.

It sits right on the picturesque   Gwydir River and at the time we were there the Jacaranda and Silky Oaks were in full and magnificent bloom.

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We turned right after crossing the first bridge out of town off the Fossickers way tourist route to get to our camp spot.

Must say that this has got to be the most camper friendly place that we have ever experienced.

For about 10kms out of town you can free camp along the Gwydir River.

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Our site was about 5kms from town with plenty of room for all of us to have a water front only stumbling distance from our awnings. What an absolutely magic place this is.

Bob was the first to wet a line after setting up camp and also the first to catch a fish followed by Glen with two. All the fish were Murray Cod that are stocked by the local fish stocking club. Unfortunately they were too small and the season was closed. Consequently brag pics were taken then the fish released back to the river.

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Judy got full marks for trying but unfortunately like the rest of us didn’t catch a fish.

It was a great place non the less.

The kayaks were launched here and the peaceful surroundings enjoyed to the full.

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Our itinery called for a run to Coolmunda Dam for a few days on the water and then home,but after this wonderful spot we could not bring ourselves to return to the land of the prickles and burrs, so Glen and Deb suggested we move on to Girraween National Park for the rest of our adventure. The suggestion was unanimously agreed to 🙂

The run to Girraween took us through Tenterfield where we had a break for lunch at the pub. As can be seen from the picture it was a morbid bunch that ate there 🙂CRW_4570A  It seems that we ate out for most meals on this trip. I am sure that we took home more food in the fridge than we left home with,but it was all great.

Girraween was great. Our camp spot was great with water available nearby and fantastic walks to be done.image

We did manage to do some walking and were rewarded by the sites of this great place.

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The only unfortunate thing about Girraween was that it was way too close to the wonderful wineries of Stanthorpe. Suffice to say that many wine tastings, much stocking up of cellars and sampling the cuisine of the area occurred during the few days spent here. It was very fortunate that no one was put over a weigh bridge on the way home as I am sure that we all would have been over (weight that is 🙂 )

And that my friends is the story of our October Bore bath trip. We hope that you enjoyed hearing about it as much as we did experiencing it.

As usual there was a lot more to tell and I apologise to those that came along for missing any important stuff but as we know what happens in camp stays in camp hehehehe.

Again a huge thank you to Deb & Glen, Judy& Greg, Lynda& Nev and Beryl & Bob (Greg’s brother from another Mother 🙂 for helping us to have a great time.

Must say that it is good to be home (for hopefully only a short time) to dry out a little.

Thanks to everyone for contributing pictures. If you claim copy write just try and find me grin.

Heaps more pictures are on the way soon.

Love to all.

Mavis and Rod.

OCTOBER 2009 BORE BATH TRIP part 4

A fond farewell was said to Lightning Ridge.

Burren Junction Bore was to be our next stop, to spend a couple of days in the refreshing waters.

When we arrived at the Junction we found that the baths had been closed for renovation. Should be great when they are finished with the incorporation of new toilets and showers facilities. Really did need it with the number of travellers that take advantage of the great baths.

Non the less it was a bugger. So it was decided to travel to Piliga baths about 40 kilometres away.

This could not have been planned better.

Piliga baths had been renovated to include toilets and a cold/ bore water shower,with camping right next to the baths.

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We all had a ball here with a lot of laughs and some refreshing dunking.

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The added bonus was the drain from the baths was heavily populated with blue claw crayfish. Yummmeee. Just had to suffer a couple of feeds of this superb crustaceans.

Thanks to Bob, Mavis and Glen for being the hunter gatherers.

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We experienced a big Willy Willy during our stay at Piliga.

Fortunately not too much damage. One of Bob and Beryl’s open windows was blown hard open and the struts separated. With a group effort a temporary repair was carried out. Lots of gear had to be searched for after the blow. But that was not all the drama. Neville lost his full stubby and cooler. Fortunately the cooler was retrieved later some distance away but we had to hear about the stubby contents for some time after the event 🙂

We left Piliga Bore on Sunday the 25th heading for Bingara.

It was a fairly short run of about 200 kms stopping at Narrabri for smoko and a top up of provisions and draining of the black water storage at the most inhospitable Country town show grounds that we had ever experienced. The Manager was not the best bloke that we had ever met but the job was done so to speak.  Then we climbed the mountains to get to Bingara.

On the way we stopped for a short walk in Mt Kaputar National Park for a look at Sawn Rocks. This was an amazing natural feature check out the write up and the pics that follow.

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This looked like a giant crystal formation only it was not crystal.

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Moving over the mountain range we experienced some spectacular scenery on the way to Bingara. Flowing creeks and great rural landscapes were everywhere.

The next instalment is the last of the October Bore bath trip Our next stop Bingara then Girraween National Park.

OCTOBER 2009 BORE BATH TRIP part 3

After this most relaxing experience at Rose hill Aviaries we packed up to move on to Lightning Ridge in New South Wales for an Opal experience.

For our over seas friends Lightning Ridge produces the only black opals in the world and they are gorgeous beyond belief.

We had to stop at the little town of Hebal for a beer in the little pub, What a gem grin.

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image The inside of this Pub was a typically great little outback licensed establishment, providing a little light relief and refreshments for the travelling public as well as the few locals that frequent it.image

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After refreshing the weary bodies we left Hebal and crossed into New South Wales from Queensland.

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This town my friends is one of the great attractions of the west.

There is a hot bore bath here but most found it too hot and crowded so we just enjoyed the rest of the town.

Our original plan was to book for 3 nights in case we needed a bit more time here. We only paid for 2 nights in case their was not enough to keep us there any longer.

Gotta tell you that this place has some of the best tourist attractions that we have ever seen. So much so that we stayed for 4 nights and left reluctantly on the 5th day vowing to return to see more of the area.

Staying at the Lightning Ridge Hotel Motel Caravan Park we booked a tour with the Black Opal Tour company. This cost us $25 each for a 3 hour tour of the Ridge. Money very well spent.

Margaret our tour guide treated us to a great first hand knowledge of life on the Ridge and some of the attractions, culminating with coffee and scones at the Tour companies old train carriages where they had a great opal shop (revisited by some later on :-).

As a result of the tour we decided to visit two of the famous attractions in the Ridge the next day. They were booked that evening

The first was “The Black Queen” in the morning with the

Chambers of the Black Hand “ mine tour in the afternoon.

Both of these attractions were first class. “The Black Queen” being our favourite while the Chambers ran a close second. It is hard to compare the two as they offer a completely different experience but both never to be forgotten.

Gale and Roger Collins own and operate this magnificent establishment that is “The Black Queen”.

Gail being the orator to a magnificent story concerning Joan Andrews the original occupant and builder of this not to be missed attraction.

The “Black Queen” was the most moving theatrical experience that we have seen and included a priceless museum collections of oil lamps, some absolutely priceless.

We were treated to a display of the lamps during the performance by Gale.

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This display of lamps dated back to 200bc. We were allowed to not only view but hold some of the lamps and some were alight for our viewing.

Gale Collins.

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The lamp on the right dates to 200BC.

We won’t go into this great attraction too far as we think it would spoil the experience for those that subsequently visit. Suffice to say it must be seen as one of the true wonders of Australia.

“Chambers of the Black Hand “ mine tour was fantastic.

It is a display of over 400 carvings in the sandstone walls of an opal mine and display of how the mining was done before mechanisation in a 100 year old mine shaft.

This is an ongoing work of art with some of the carvings having been painted.

Absolutely fantastic display and presentation.

I was very proud of Mavis who overcame her fear of confined spaces ( thanks to the compassionate guide) to view the carvings.

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A great effort and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

The themes ranged from movie s, religion to an Egyptian room where he had carved and painted Tutankhamen s tomb. Wonderful viewing.image

It is hard to imagine that this is all done in sandstone 40 feet underground.

The next day was a bit of a rest day,although we did visit Bevins cactus nursery. Another great experience in the Ridge,consisting a garden filled with cacti from all over the world

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It is probably a good time to say that Lynda and Neville had adopted a pee wee in Surat. This bird was fascinated with their windows and mirrors on the car. We know it is a long shot but we think that they smuggled the bird into Lightning Ridge, because this  bird was seen behaving exactly the same in the Ridge. Terrible mess on the glass grin. It even managed to remove shopping bags that were placed to deter its amorous advances to the mirrors.

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After relieving some of the opal dealers of some of their heavy burden we reluctantly although excitedly said farewell to the Ridge and headed for Burren Junction.

Part 4 soon.

October Bore Bath trip part 2

From Surat we travelled to Mitchell which was to be our first Bore bath experience.

On the way Roma was the lunch stop even though it was a bit early. This is one really great town, it has absolutely everything.

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We all could not believe the haberdashery shop in Roma. Their was everything imaginable sold here from kitchen wear to fabrics and it was piled to the ceiling and spilled out to the front of the shop. Nothing had a price marked but the owner could come up with a reasonable price when you finally found the front door and the cash register.

The Camping shop was raided for the purchase of the inevitable last minute forgotten or newly required items.

The cake shop was also raided to fill up on the luxury items such as pies, sausage rolls,creamy cakes and yummy coffee’s that we so crave while roughing it in the wild untamed outback then off we went to the next adventure.

A short photo stop to capture a beautiful Prickly Pear cactus,This one would have to be THE most photographed noxious weed in the west

🙂

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We arrived at Mitchell and camp was set up at Neil Turner Weir after a riotous trip from Surat. The conversation over the CB on this trip had to be heard to be appreciated. Mavis was in tears for most of the way thanks to Greg and Glen.

Neil Turner Weir was pretty sad. The water level was almost non existent. Their was a few small bodies of water that held some bird life and the weir wall was fully exposed concrete.

The camp site was good but on dirt with toilets and water available. A nice green grassy area was available for picnics or just to walk on green grass. We ringed up into a circle comprising the 5 vans and had a ball for two nights. Great food and even greater company.

Colin and Gayleen and their two poodles Cherie and Moet turned up for an overnight with a brand new Kedron van. They were on their third day out of Brisbane on the way back to Cairns. What a coincidence to bump into our intrepid little group.

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Had we explored a little further and had a look at the other free camp at “Fishermans Rest “ we could have been on water and used the Kayaks, but this was not discovered until later.

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The spar in Mitchell was in the swimming pool area. It was a pay experience but we all thought that it was worth the expenditure.

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The water was at about 39.0 degrees and regulated by the pool staff. The second day we were told that the bore had heated up to 52 degrees so they were recycling the water to bring the temp down to the required 39 ish degrees. Absolutely wonderful. Their was a cold pool beside the hot bore pool for those brave souls that could leave the warm pool and venture into the cold and a full size Olympic pool next door.

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Our only gripe here was with the showers (on the second day) the cold tap was from the bore and it was so hot that it was not refreshing. But hey it was a shower.

After two great days in Mitchell we packed up to head off to the Rosehill Aviaries about 56 km west of St George. This part of the trip was on the first dirt road that we had experienced on this run. About 120 kms of dirt mostly well maintained dirt but with the last 20 kms were fairly corrugated.

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This gave a great proving ground for Linda and Nev (first trip in their new van on dirt )and Judy and Greg first time on dusty conditions to see how the new Kedron’s held up to their reputations. Linda and Nev had traded an older Kedron for this new baby and had done a lot of happy off road travelling in the old one.

Both new vans had some dust ingestion but not a great amount.

Unfortunately as is usual our Kedron manage to become completely filled with dust.

It would seem that no matter how we tape windows and vents we always manage to become filled with dust. Have to do some serious homework on this problem.

Rosehill Aviaries is a great property run by John and Elaine Beardmore.

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The Aviaries (still) have the greatest display of Australian native birds in Australia although they closed the doors on the aviaries after the September school holidays 2009 for a well earned retirement.

I had called at the start of September and spoken to Elaine and asked if we could still camp on the beautiful bore drain on the property and was told that we could.

Arriving at the property we found Elaine entertaining family that had come from all points around the Brisbane area to celebrate a 21st and 18th birthdays.

John came out and we were charged the grand sum of $6.50 each to view the great bird collection. For this princely sum we could also camp at the bore for as long as we liked. Money very well spent.

The bore drain is one great place, with plenty of firewood available on the ground to collect.

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The bore water is hot and fresh with no smell (unless you disturb the mud on the bottom as we found out on a previous trip) and so soft that to shower in it is a real treat.

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Glen had completed the design and assembly of his portable 12volt pump before leaving Brisbane and this was the place for the proving run.

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It was a huge success with him hooking it onto their van and supplying pressurised water for the shower etc. A hose was later run to Judy and Greg’s van so they also had pressure. (Life is pretty hard and rough out here in the bush :-).

Two glorious days were spent here just relaxing and cooking great food with some walking thrown in.

Unfortunately for John, Elaine and the areas tourism, no one has stepped up to take on the birds to maintain this wonderful attraction.

More to follow soon.