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Beauty at Low Tide

Golden Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

The esplanade at Golden Beach is perfect for walking. On one side of the street, private homes look out over the calm waters of Pumicestone Passage while on the other, the path follows the contours of the sandy beach…

until you come to the mangrove boardwalk.

As the boardwalk winds into the mangrove the houses disappear from view, hidden by a dense forest of trees, vines and undergrowth. Along the way two paths leading to viewing platforms over the channel branch off the main walkway.

The word mangrove refers both to an area of coastal vegetation and also to the particular types of trees which grow there.

Other native plants flourish in the forest too.

The mangrove is home to animals as well as plants. Golden Orb spiders build large communal webs, filling in the gaps between the trees.

When they feel the vibrations of footsteps on the boardwalk, small crabs suddenly stop their sideways scuttling. Once still, they’re hard to distinguish from the pebbles embedded in the sand.

At high tide the ocean reaches almost to the road, covering much of the vegetation on the ground. But when the tide is low and the water has receded, the true beauty of the mangrove is revealed.

Joining Jo for Monday Walks

Namesake

Girraween National Park, Queensland

Do you ever think about how or why places are named? At Girraween National Park in southern Queensland, the reason for some place names is more obvious than others.

The designation of Underground Creek is self-explanatory, as the tannin stained water disappears beneath an ancient rockfall. The creek might be hidden from view, but it can be heard trickling between the granite boulders before it emerges further downhill.

Girraween is an Aboriginal word meaning “place of flowers”. In late summer, drifts of golden paper daisies brighten the bush while delicate fringed lilies bloom close to water.

It’s logical to assume that Dr Roberts’ Waterhole was named for a local personality, but it’s only at the end of the track his story is revealed.

The wide sandy path leading to the waterhole winds through open eucalpyt forest. Huge slabs of granite, laid down as magma 240 million years ago, are revealed where the topsoil has been eroded by wind and rain.

At the end of the track a panel explains the conservation work of Dr Roberts, and the reason for honouring him becomes clear.

After good summer rainfall, the waterhole is full. A light breeze sends ripples across the surface, blurring the sky’s reflection.

I wonder how many times Dr Roberts visited this waterhole in his wanderings. I think he would be delighted that this beautiful place bears his name.

 

Joining Jo for Monday Walks

Brought Back To Life

Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre, Warwick, Queensland

On the drive towards Warwick along the New England Highway, the scenery is beautiful. On the eastern side, the forested mountains of Main Range National Park rise abruptly from the land. To the west, the fertile plains of the southern Darling Downs extend all the way to the horizon.

Not far from Warwick, this spectacular vista is interrupted as an elegant two storey house comes into view. Glengallan Homestead has stood here, surrounded by farmland, since 1867. Built by Scottish pastoralist John Deuchar and his wife Elizabeth, the house was once known as the most elegant in the colony. But in 1949, after passing through the hands of several owners, the homestead was left unoccupied. Exposure to the weather began to take its toll, with some sections of the veranda collapsing and water leaking inside. In 1993 a project to restore the homestead began; grants and donations allowed an army of volunteers to rebuild the home before it was opened to the public in 2002.

The exterior walls of the house are made of huge blocks of sandstone excavated locally. Deep verandas on the ground and first floors shelter the interior from both the high temperatures of summer and cold winter winds.

Inside, the building has been restored just enough for visitors to visualise its former glory. The house tells its own story though, with deterioration caused by decades of neglect not completely covered up. In some rooms, the original construction methods are visible.

The garden too is a mere remnant of what once existed. A wide curving drive originally led to a tennis court and extensive orchard. All that remains is the rose garden and, like the house, its faded beauty tells of a much grander past.

Glengallan Homestead and Heritage Centre are open 10am to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday.

#27 Spending Time with Vincent

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border into New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

 Brisbane QLD, December 2021

After starting 2021 in Brisbane, we ended the year there as well. Again, we were there for a special exhibition. This time it was an exhibition with a difference at the Grand Pavilion in Northshore, Hamilton.

Van Gogh Alive, a multi-sensory extravaganza of light, sound and colour, featured the beautiful works of Vincent Van Gogh. After visiting 65 cities around the world, the exhibition came to Brisbane in October.

More than 3,000 images of Vincent’s paintings, drawings and writing were projected onto huge screens inside the pavilion in a 45 minute display, accompanied by music and animations. We stayed for almost two hours, enjoying the visual spectacle of Vincent’s art on this grand scale.

Did you spot the very peculiar image of us, looking short and squat, captured in a mirror?

#21 Get Dressed!

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border in New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

Warwick Art Gallery QLD, July 2021

The Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival in Warwick included several exhibitions and displays. We were intrigued by an exhibition at the Art Gallery of textile arts using unconventional media.

Can you guess what material was used to create this miniature dress?

Look closely and you will see hundreds of metres of tape originally found in audio cassettes.

Who’s old enough to know what I’m talking about?

#20 Winter Trees

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border in New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

 Warwick QLD, July 2021

As part of Warwick’s Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival, these trees were decorated by children from local kindergartens.

The children used recycled materials, creating quirky ornaments to hang from the bare branches of the winter trees.

#19 There’s a Dragon in the Garden

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border in New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

Emerald QLD, May 2021

There’s a guardian with a difference at the Emerald Visitor Information Centre.

The Emerald Dragon watches over visitors who come to explore the Central Highlands and the regional town of Emerald. Made from recycled metal bits and pieces, this quirky dragon was created by Emerald local Jase Moore and has been living in the Visitor Centre garden since 2016.

#15 At the Beach

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border in New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

Kirra Beach QLD, April 2021

From the bush in February to the beach in April: a week at Kirra Beach brought a welcome change of scene. Every day we sat on our balcony enjoying these stunning views of the southern end of the Gold Coast.

It wasn’t just the scenery we enjoyed. We saw some unexpected human activity too.

One morning, a group of paragliders drifted down from the sky and landed effortlessly on the sand.

Early on Saturday morning, people more energetic than those of us on holiday competed in a triathlon. We watched the swim leg from our balcony.

And, most unfamiliar of all in the days when interstate airline travel was just restarting, an occasional plane would fly past. With the Gold Coast Airport nearby, they would fly up the coast before circling back around to begin their descent.

#8 Hidden

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #OddSquare.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border in New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

Girraween National Park, February 2021

When is a creek not a creek?

Millions of years ago, in what is now Girraween National Park, an overhanging rock wall collapsed, burying a section of Bald Rock Creek under tonnes of rubble. Where the water flows beneath the rockfall, it’s known as Underground Creek.

Massive granite boulders lie where they fell, some wedged above the creek and others balanced in the most precarious of positions.

We’re dwarfed by the enormous curved wall of granite left behind after the collapse.

The tannin stained water of Underground Creek is heard but not seen for several hundred metres. Finally it rushes out from beneath the tumbled granite and continues on its way through the park.

So when is a creek not a creek? Perhaps when it flows in unexpected places.

#7 At the Station

I’m joining Becky in her February Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules of the challenge are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word Odd, referencing one of these definitions: different to what is usual or expected, or strange; a number of items, with one left over as a remainder when divided by two; happening or occurring infrequently and irregularly, or occasionally; separated from a usual pair or set and therefore out of place or mismatched. Look for #SquareOdds.

While we didn’t travel as much as usual in 2021, we were fortunate to enjoy several holidays in our home state of Queensland and one short trip over the border in New South Wales. Join me this month in a retrospective look at the very odd year of 2021. 

Wallangarra QLD, February 2021

At first glance the railway station at Wallangarra, with its 19th century architecture and its red and cream paintwork, looks like any other country train station in Australia.

A closer inspection reveals some unconventional characteristics which make this station unique. While it’s not unusual for a station to have a platform on either side, at Wallangarra they have different roof styles.

The reason for this peculiar design goes back to the days before Federation, when there were six separate British colonies. Each was self-governed, with its own laws and taxes. Each had its own railway gauge and even the postage stamps were different.

Located on the Queensland/New South Wales border, the station at Wallangarra catered for trains from both colonies. Plaques on the platform tell the story.

When the building was constructed, the standard design for Queensland train station platforms was a curved bull nose roof while in New South Wales all the platforms had skillion roofs. The border between the two colonies bisected the platform so Wallangarra Railway Station was given one of each.

On the New South Wales side the wider gauge track heads south towards Tenterfield,

while the narrow gauge on the Queensland side marks the start of the journey to Brisbane.

A  national standard gauge track was introduced in the 1920s and a new railway line linking Kyogle in New South Wales to Brisbane in Queensland was built. While the Wallangarra line was no longer needed for interstate travel, the station was a vital transport link in the defence of Australia during World War Two.

The railway to Wallangarra continued to be used for freight services until the New South Wales line closed in 1988 and the Queensland line closed in 2007.

Today the heritage listed station houses a small museum and a café in the Railway Refreshment Rooms, with tables on both platforms. A traditional morning tea of fruit scones with jam and cream is too good to resist. The only question is, where will we eat it – in Queensland or in New South Wales?