Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Our Friends the Birds

The local birds have made themselves right at home with us and have kept us fully entertained.  Who needs a TV with these guys around!!

King Parrot being seen off by a Rainbow Lorikeet

King Parrots making themselves quite at thome

Rainbow Lorikeet and King Parrots at peace at last!

Grey Butcherbird - so, where's my dinner??

King Parrots

King Parrots - you get the occasional grumpy one!

King Parrots

26 July to 1 Aug 2012–Yallakool at BP Dam and surrounding areas

26 July
We got away from the Nestle Inn at a reasonable time (before 09:30am!). Traffic was running freely on the Gateway and the Bruce and we made the turn off onto the D’Aguilar Highway at Caboolture without too many problems.  Stopped in Woodford (gotta use the dunnies), and decided that it was time for coffee.
Going through Kilcoy, we decided to have a look at a spot on the Brisbane River where we have camped before.  It’s on the bank of the River, and is quite pretty.  Unfortunately, this spot has now been blocked off.  A locked gate is in place with a STOP sign, Private Property no Trespassers posted.  The last time we stayed there, Rick spent quite a while picking up rubbish and glass, so this may be the reason.  There is still a road down to the lower levels, but that is not really suitable for vans or camping.  Damn!  In that case, we will carry on towards Kingaroy and THE PEANUT VAN!!!
We had an early lunch at Nanango.  Stopped at the Nanango Pie Van and had Pie and Peas.  Yummy!!!
I managed to restrain myself in Kingaroy, at the Peanut Van.  Just bought some Super Crunchy Peanut Paste and a small bag of Chilli and Lime peanuts.  Very tasty indeed.
We took a shortcut across country to the Burnett Hwy which came slightly unstuck. 1 road was marked as a through road on my map, and and it did NOT have a No Through Road sign.  Unfortunately it came to a dead end in someone’s driveway.  It looked like the road used to go through, but no longer. Getting in the driveway and turning around was fun.

View Yallakool Park at BP Dam in a larger map

Finally got to Yallakool around 14:45pm. We’ve booked to stay four days, paying $27 per night.  It’s a lovely place and lake is full as a goog!

First night Sunset
27 July
Nice quiet day, it’s cool but sunny so I was able to get the washing done and dry.  Rick got the Mungrill organised and we collected a nice little bunch of people for Happy Hour.
28 July
Took a drive from the caravan park out to the dam wall itself. The embedded sign was primarily self-promotion by old Joh!  It was windy as hell out on the lookout – 30 sec stay and then we bolted.
Drove into Murgon via Barambah Bush Retreat.  Nice little spot at $26 per night powered and $21 per night unpowered. It’s quite a bit busier than Yallakool though.  We’ve booked in at Yallakool for a further 3 days, making it a full week.
Had the obligatory coffee in Murgon, then headed to the Information Centre. The presiding volunteer was very helpful and gave us a lot of information about the local area.  Rick bought a car  sticker and we headed to the QLD Dairy and Heritage Museum. Very interesting but I got a bad case of hay fever / cough??? while in there – probably dust or mould causing it. Place is certainly worth a visit though.  There is a very good display donated by a local of polished stones of various sorts.  They also have displays set up in various old houses and sheds, and have a small church which is still used for local weddings.


From there we drove up onto the Tableland through some healthy looking agricultural areas to couple of local beauty.  The area also has some pretty spectacular homes.
Today was a Footy Day.  Port Adelaide was playing Fremantle at home in Adelaide.  Not that the home advantage was ANY help at all.  Best we don’t comment on that game at all.
Wow, it was quite cold this morning with a quite heavy fog!  Lasted till probably 9:00 before slowly dissolving.
We decided to drive to Goomeri and then take a loop around the countryside.  Had some coffee and then drove down to Kinbombi Falls.  It’s a nice place for an overnight stop but is quite small.  Would be a tight squeeze for the van.  The view down the valley is nice, and apparently the toilet caretaker has a sense of humour.


Friday, 27 July 2012

10 Jul 2012 to 25 July 2012 - Lake Cooroibah, Pine Rivers Showgrounds, Nestle Inn Caravan Park

Lake Cooroibah

Paid a quick visit to Terry & Nelly to see how they were doing, and pick up our mail.  They have had a tough time of it recently, with the loss of Ralph, a very good friend, and then the sudden illness and passing of Jessie, their tiny Toy Poodle.  Jessie was 13 and a real little character.  They both miss her badly.

Pine Rivers Showgrounds

Major reason for being here is the AGM of the Kedron Owners Group.  That was on Saturday 14th and went very well.  The following Monday, Rick went under the knife again with Dr Paul.  He had three more cancerous lesions removed from his right cheek, on the margins of the existing skin graft.  He’s been told by Dr Paul that anything further in that area will require further skin grafts!  Fortunately, pathology results came back clear, so he’s free of the doctors for four months.  Back again in mid October.

Pine Rivers Showground is in complete disorder at the moment.  There are extensive road works going on outside, on Gympie Road, which are playing hell with the traffic.  Additionally the Show Committee is trying to prepare the grounds for the Pine Rivers Show to be held in the first weekend in August.  This means a lot of ground and building works, and also all campers will have to evacuate the site until about 13 Aug.  None of this is being helped by the constant rain.  Chaos!!  And the NOISE!!!!

While there, we took the opportunity to have three fluoro lights inside the van replaced by Springers with LED lights.  Additionally Rick replaced the light under the awning.

We moved out on 21 July and headed across to Manly to the Nestle Inn Caravan Park.  Case of, we had to move, and Manly was chosen because our doctor suggested Bowel Screenings for both of us and this was closest practicable to the surgery.  That was not fun – and that’s all I’m going to say about that!! – All Clear though!

Nestle Inn Caravan Park

All I’m going to say is I’m glad we no longer live in Brisbane.  The road noise and the constant sound of air traffic was enough to drive us both mad.  Rick had his stitches out on Wednesday, then Thursday we bolted out of town.  Leaving was a huge relief.  Back to the bush.

Monday, 9 July 2012

5 Jul 2012 to 9 Jul 2012 – Mingo Crossing Caravan Park, Paradise Dam

We found Mingo Crossing quite by accident, by taking a back road from Monto to Biggenden via Mount Perry.  It is a superb little spot, not free but relatively cheap – $23 per night and if you stay 7 nights, you only pay for 6.  Power, water, large camp sites, and grey and black water sullage points at each camp site.  Management is very good and very helpful, and we would definitely stay there again.  The most amazing fact is that this park has been completely re-developed since the floods of late 2010 – early 2011 when the whole area went under water.  The park is on the banks of the Burnett River.  The following photos are a mix of current and flood conditions.  The differences are staggering.
Quite coincidentally, just after we arrived at Mingo Crossing, fellow Kedron owners Sue and Anne arrived also.  They were planning on staying just overnight, so we joined them for happy hour.  It’s quite some time since we have seen them so it was really good to catch up.
Mingo Crossing 2011 Flood - 1
Mingo Crossing 2011 Flood - 2
We also took a drive downstream to the Paradise Dam.  There is a nice little camping area there, and photos of what the conditions were like during the floods.  Once again – than and now!

Paradise Dam 2011 Flood
6 metres of water over the spillway - the small object is the top of a water-tank going over the dam!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

29 Jun 2012 to 4 Jul 2012 – Monto and Cania Gorge

After leaving Standown Park, we headed off towards Monto via Kilkivan, Gayndah and Mundubbera.
Mundubbera Water Tower - lovely painting!
We had arranged a quick visit to look over a prospective house-sit just out of Monto, and had decided to go on to Cania Gorge afterwards to camp.  However, we were invited to camp for the night on the property at Monto.  It was lovely meeting Annette and Richard and having dinner with them, but unfortunately (because it was a lovely opportunity) realised we would have to decline the offer of the house-sit.  Because Rick is having further facial surgery (skin cancers) on 16 July, we realised that we could not say definitely that we would be able to start on 30 August.  The last time he had surgery in that area, it took 4 attempts and 3 months before the surgeon set him free and we didn’t want to let our prospective clients down at the last minute.
Cania Gorge is just a beautiful place to stay.  The last time we went there was in August 2007, and like everywhere else at the time, Cania Gorge and Lake was very, very dry.  There are two camping grounds at Cania – Top Tourist and Big4.  The Big4 is the closest to the lake, therefore the most expensive.  We stayed at the Top Tourist on both occasions, and feel we got the best end of the deal.  It’s cheaper, has a roomy feel about it, and is now very green and well looked after.
The first series of photos is August 2007, the second is now.  Huge difference.
August 2007
Cania Dam 08/07
Cania Dam Nearly empty 07
Cania Retreat Camp Ground August 2007 001
July 2012