30 May 2013

All Good Things Come To An End

Today, after breakfast, we transfer to Horn Island by ferry, then board a flight over the vast Cape York Peninsula, to arrive back in Cairns where our Cape York Tour ends.

We fly back to Cairns from Horne Island
But we have another exciting trip ahead tomorrow.

29 May 2013

Thursday Island

Today, we cruise up to Thursday Island. In the 60s, while living in Papua new Guinea, a group of friends organised a weekend on Thursday Island and we paid for it. Then on Friday, I was called to an urgent job in Rabaul and had to cancel this experience, so now I finally make it.

Thursday Island

Thursday Island, also known as TI or Waiben, is the administrative and commercial centre of the Torres Strait Islands. Lying 39 kilometres (24 mi) north of Cape York PeninsulaQueenslandAustralia in the Torres Strait, Thursday Island has an area of about 3.5 square kilometres (1.4 sq mi). The highest point on Thursday Island, standing at 104 metres (341 ft) above sea level, is Milman Hill, a World War II defence facility. At the 2006 census, Thursday Island had a population of 2,546.[1]

28 May 2013

To the Top, to the Top!

Today, we travel to the tip of Cape York Peninsula and disembark near Frangipani Beach. Then a walk to the tip of Australia.

Frangipani Beach on Cape York

The Top of Australia
That's if the sign is there. Apparently tourists frequently take it home as a souvenir.

27 May 2013

On to Bamaga Resort

Skirting the Jardine River National Park, we continue through the traditional lands of the Injinoo Aboriginal people. Our journey today becomes quite adventurous when we travel on some of the original sections of the old Telegraph Track. This route was carved out in the 1880s and some of the telegraph poles can still be seen. We stop at Fruit Bat Falls for a swim in the crystal clear waters on the way to the Bamaga Resort for the night.

Jardine River

26 May 2013

We go mining Beauxide Today

Today we join a local guide for a tour of the Weipa Bauxide Mine, the largest of its kind in the world.

Weipa Bauxide Mine

A large mine with very large equipment
Then we'll continue along rugged dirt roads of Cape York to the Moreton Telegraph Station located on the Wenlock River.

24 May 2013

Quinkan Country

Today, we'll explore Quinkan Country, ranked by UNESCO as one of the top ten rock art areas in the world and one of Queensland's best kept secrets.

Aboriginal Rock Art at Quinkan Country
We journey into Lakefield National Park

Lakefield national Park

22 May 2013

To Cooktown

This morning, we'll travel the remote and rugged Bloomfield Track

Bloomfield Track
All the way to Cooktown, the first European settlement on Australian soil.

21 May 2013

Cape York Adventure

After a fabulous 4 days on the Savannahlander train journey, we're ready to embark on another trip, this  time to Cape York and the islands with APT Tours.

APT 4X4 Tour Bus
So, this morning, we're leaving Cairns on our journey along one of Australia's most picturesque coastlines to Port Douglas.

We'll be cruising along the Daintree River, hopefully spotting crocodiles and other wildlife.

Daintree River
Cape Tribulation

19 May 2013

Milla Milla Falls and Paronella Park

This morning, we're doing a 'Eco-Certified' scenic Tableland tour with spectacular views of the Mulgrave Valley, to Milla Milla Falls and a visit to Paronella Park, built by a Spanish immigrant in the 1930s..

Milla Milla Falls

Paronella Park
 José Paronella arrived in Australia from Catalonia in Spain, in 1913. For the next 11 years he worked, cutting sugar cane initially, then purchasing, improving, and reselling cane farms. In 1924 he returned to Spain and married Margarita in 1925. The trip back to Australia was their honeymoon.

First they built a house to live in, then they started on the Castle itself. Apart from the house, which is made of stone, all of the structures were constructed of poured, reinforced concrete, the reinforcing being old railway track.
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18 May 2013

Final Day - Back to Cairns

After three days in the outback, we jump back onto the Savannahlander and head back to Cairns.

17 May 2013

Undara - Mt Pleasant

An early start this morning. We leave just before 7.00AM, this time on a coach to Mt Surprise where we'll be visiting the famous Lava Tubes.

Undara Lava Tubes at Mt Surprise.

Tonight, we're staying at the Undara Lodge in modified railway carriages converted to motel rooms, how exciting?

16 May 2013

To Forsayth

Day 2 of our Savannahlander train tour and we're leaving Chillagoe early this morning for Forsayth, southwest of Chillagoe. It's nearly a full day on the train, passing through the Newcastle Range and promises to be a photographer's dream with spectacular vistas all the way to Forsayth.

The Savannahlander crosses Copperfield River

Forsayth Railway Station
Cute little Forsayth Station i not exactly Paddington Station in London, the Garde du Nord in Paris or Union Station in New York, but it's cute.

15 May 2013

Onto the Savannahlander

This morning, we jump onto the Savannahlander Railmotor which will take us all the way to Almaden and from there we're on a coach to Chillagoe

Railmotor Route

The trip will take us up the 34km journey trough heritage listed rainforest on one of the most incredible rail engineering feats of the 19th century, past the spectacular Barron Gorge onto Kuranda.

The Savannahlander on the Kuranda track
Chillagoe Station
In the afternoon, we'll be visiting the famous Chillagoe caves
Chillagoe Caves

Accommodation tonight is in the Chillagoe Cabins.

14 May 2013

We're Off On Another trip

Today, we're flying to Cairns in North Queensland for a couple of tours. Firstly a four day trip on the Savanahlander Train and then on a APT tour to Cape York.

First up, Brisbane to Cairns

by Qantas, of course
You'll be able to follow us on this blog which is updated most days during the trip.

08 May 2013

Minor Renovation

When we had a new kitchen built some years ago, the installer fitted dual trash drawers under the sink. It was plastic and broke about a year later. We put up with it but the Blogger was not pleased and frequently complained to me that we should do something about it.

So, we told the kitchen company (our very nice neighbours) and they delivered a new set of drawers which looked much sturdier. That has been standing in the back bedroom now for a few months, ready for installation, but Keith (the neighbour) is aways very busy so we didn't push it.

So, this morning I decided, maybe I could install it myself. I measured and it looked a very tight fit.

I got the tools  required from the garage, opened the box and inspected the contents.

Will it fit????
 It looked a very tight fit between the pipes and the hinge of the door. I'll try, but first I need a coffee.

The old coffee machine comes in handy

It makes a decent flat white

Oh yeah, that hits the spot

OK, Back to work
I'm really getting too old for this
It works
Finished and ready to use
It goes to show, you're never too old to fit a set of trash drawers.

04 May 2013

25 Years Ago Brisbane Hosted the World Expo '88

It's the 25th Anniversary of an event that changed the city of Brisbane forever. What used to be a quiet country town evolved into an international city, capable of staging world events just like any other major city. The event which brought dignitaries from around the world to this city was of course WORLD EXPO '88.

To honour the 25th Anniversary of that event, the newly renovated City Hall is displaying an exhibition of the event in its gallery.

We met up with long time friends Norm and Joan from Esk for a lunch in town and visited the exhibition in the city hall.
The City Brisbane Hall

There are lots of familiar images on display reminding us of a fun six months when we were much younger. A lot of visitors to this event weren't  even born at that time.
Mascot Expo Oz
Uniform of the Expo marching Band
Both our daughters, Carol and Sonya were members of the J.P.C. Marching Band which performed regularly in the daily parade or in the performing area, the Piazza.

Daughter Sonya on trumpet (right)
Daughter Carol-Ann on trumpet
Street Performers
Diane and Joan at the entrance to the Exhibition
A little more about Expo '88
World Expo 88, also known as Expo '88, was a World's Fair held in Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland,Australia, during a six-month period between Saturday, 30 April 1988 and Sunday, 30 October 1988. The theme of the Expo was "Leisure in the Age of Technology", and the mascot for the Expo was an Australian platypus named Expo Oz.[1]

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, came out to open Expo '88.

The A$625 million fair was the largest event of the 1988 Bicentennial celebrations of the European settlement of Australia.[2] Expo 88 attracted more than 15,760,000 visitors who bought tickets worth A$175 million.[3] The event achieved both its economic aims and very good attendances, was successfully used to promote Queensland as a tourist destination and it spurred a major re-development at the South Brisbane site.[4] The core feature of the site were the international pavilions.[3] Many of the exposition's sculptures and buildings were retained by various entities around the state and are still in use or on display decades later.

01 May 2013

A Cliff Hanger At Kangaroo Point Park

At Kangaroo Point here in Brisbane, there used to be a TAFE college catering from memory for hair dressers. With the dumbing-down of the state, which we currently experience, the college has been pulled down and a park has been created. Surprisingly, the Brisbane City Council did a great job. So, today, we visited the place.

Magnificent view over Brisbane city
The council had commissioned International artist Wolfgang Buttress to design this interesting piece of art called Venus Rising - Out of the Water and into the Light. The sculpture is 23m high and constructed from stainless steel and copper tubing.
Venus Rising - Out of the Water and Into the Light
 You can actually walk inside and look up into the heavens. I must admit, I love it.

Looking up through the Space Needle
For more information on this sculpture -  CLICK HERE
There are other interesting features at the Cliffs

A construction which might be for children to climb on 

A construction which might eventually turn into an arbour way

 There is also a coffee shop with fabulous views over the city where we had morning tea. It's a great place to take interstate and overseas visitors to see the city of Brisbane.