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Walking in the Clouds

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #14 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Springbrook National Park

With a name like “Best of All” this lookout promised much.

But cloud had enveloped the track, covering everything in a misty drizzle. We wondered if there would be anything to see at the end of the path.

Luckily the cloud lifted and the lookout lived up to its name. The views into northern New South Wales were the best!

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare.

Stay Away From the Edge

Kind Squares Photo Challenge #8 ~ Queensland: One of a Kind

Destination: Point Pure Lookout, Brooyar State Forest

The signs at Point Pure Lookout were straightforward – they left us in no doubt about where we needed to be.

Beyond the fence was a sheer drop, a favourite spot with abseilers.

We were happy to enjoy the views of Brooyar State Forest from the safety of the lookout.

It was a long way down to the ground.

This month I’m joining in every day with Becky’s October Kind Square Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: most photos must be square and fit the theme word “kind”. Look for #kindasquare.

It’s a Sign

Australian Landscapes #36

Destination: Mudlo National Park, Queensland

If we’d looked more carefully at the sign, would we have walked up to Pearson Lookout? Of course, but we might have been better prepared for what lay ahead.

Our walk in Mudlo National Park began on the Scrubby Creek trail, which took us through open eucalypt forest. Vines and lianas climbed every tree trunk in search of sunlight. Although we crossed the creek several times our feet stayed dry; there’d been no water flowing for months.

We were alone on the track this day, but found evidence of others who’d been here before us.

It was late in the afternoon when we reached the track to Pearson Lookout, but the extra distance wasn’t great and the temptation of a lookout was hard to resist. Enthusiastically, we headed off without looking closely at the sign. One of those past visitors had left a vital clue, but we missed it.

Before long, the track changed. Rough stony steps went up

and up

and up.

Encouraged by a few brief glimpses of what was to come, we continued our ascent

until finally we reached the lookout.

The effort of our steep uphill walk was forgotten as beautiful views of the Lower Burnett Valley were revealed.

Then we had to go down again.

Join Jo for more Monday Walks

Rain in the Rainforest

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #29

Destination: Goomburra Section, Main Range National Park, Queensland

Last November Queensland was in the middle of a crippling drought. So even though we were in a rainforest, we didn’t expect it to rain.

The sky looked ominous but we gave it no thought as we set off up the track to the Mount Castle Lookout.

We saw evidence of damaging storms which had passed through a few weeks before.

As we reached the lookout the sun broke through the thick layer of clouds, illuminating the sheer stony cliffs of Mount Castle.

Through the haze we could clearly see the domed tops of distant mountains – Greville, Moon, Barney and Maroon. But as we lingered, gazing out over the valley and the mountains, the mist enveloped us, bringing with it heavy rain.

The patter of raindrops joined the calls of birds hidden high in the trees, enhancing the beauty of the forest. We were drenched, but there was no inclination to hurry back along the track.

It’s not every day we get rained on in a rainforest!

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time. Also joining Jo’s Monday Walks.

Cloud Shapes

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #27

Destination: Granite Lookout, Washpool National Park, New South Wales

The information board at the Granite Picnic Area promised us sweeping views of the Gibraltar Ranges.

We walked for 400 metres on a track shaded by eucaplypt forest,

until we came to a natural granite platform on the edge of the range, 1065 metres above sea level.

The huge slab of granite was perfectly positioned to see over the hidden gully where Coombadjha Creek flowed to the tree covered mountains beyond.

After walking through the forest with its branches arching overhead, the open sky was a welcome change.

We got all we were promised and more.

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time. Also joining Jo’s Monday Walks.

A Walk In the Forest

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #25

Destination: Washpool National Park, New South Wales

The temperate rainforest at Washpool National Park is part of the World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests of Australia. The plants growing in the park now are the same species as those which grew here 550 million years ago, when Australia was part of the supercontinent Gondwana.

Come for a walk in the forest with me.

Ferns with ancient ancestry begin life on the forest floor, while larger tree ferns form umbrella-shaped shelter overhead.

Vines and aerial roots twist together, using tree trunks for support in their quest to reach the sky.

The clear water of Summit Creek flows around granite boulders strewn in its path, creating an ever-changing canvas of ripples and reflections.

The tallest trees compete for sunlight which filters down through the canopy, making shadowplay on the tracks below.

Before turning back, let’s rest a while. With its mossy coat, this bench might have been here since Gondwana.

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time. Also joining Jo’s Monday Walks.

A Walk to Remember

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #11

Destination: Newcastle, New South Wales

It’s hard to imagine that the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in Turkey and the multi-national mining company BHP would have anything in common, but the connection between the two goes all the way back to 1915.

The ANZAC forces, comprising troops from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, landed on the shore at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, in what was to be an eight month campaign with more than 8000 Australian casualties. In the same year BHP, which was founded as a mining company in the outback town of Broken Hill in 1885, opened their first steel works in Newcastle.

It was this connection between two Australian legends which led to the construction of the Newcastle Memorial Walk. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, the 450 metre memorial walk passes over Strzelecki Headland, linking Bar Beach and King Edward Park. 64 tonnes of steel, manufactured and paid for by BHP, were used in the construction of the walkway.

Half way along the path, a bridge passes over the cliffs near the top of the headland. It is here the ANZACs are remembered. Striking silhouettes of servicemen and women line each side of the bridge.

Cut from steel, they are engraved with the names of 4000 regional families whose loved ones served during World War One. Steel plaques on the bridge tell the stories of their service.

The Memorial Walk is a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made in 1915.

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time. Also joining Jo’s Monday Walks.

Up, Down, Up

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #9

Destination: Tomaree Head, Shoal Bay, New South Wales

The sign said it was only a two kilometre walk, but it looked a long way up to the summit of Tomaree Head.

At first the track was easy going,

but soon the gentle incline was replaced by steps up to a cantilevered walkway leading through the trees and around the edge of the hill.

At the top our efforts were rewarded with expansive coastal views to the north and south.

Heading back downhill, we left the summit walk and turned onto another path. It led us up again to the Fort Tomaree gun emplacements, part of Australia’s coastal defences during the Second World War.

The guns were removed a long time ago, but the structures which housed them have been left behind.

It was easy to see why Tomaree Head was chosen as a strategic site. The views were spectacular.

 

While our travel plans are on hold I’m joining in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. The rules are simple: photos must be square and fit the theme of perspective. My posts represent the definition of perspective as a vista – seeing something over distance or time. Also joining Jo’s Monday Walks.

All or Nothing

Western Queensland Road Trip #18 St George

After seeing seeing little more than puddles in several outback rivers, the broad expanse of the Balonne River at St George was an unexpected surprise. Tall river gums lined the river banks and the almost cloudless sky above was reflected in the water flowing slowly towards the weir.

With the sun nearing the horizon we set off along the Riverbank Walkway, a two kilometre track on the town side of the river. As the shadows lengthened and the tree trunks glowed in the light of early evening, a little cruise boat carrying tourists passed by.

There were plenty of locals enjoying the river too, with cyclists, walkers and even two horseback riders on the track. We mentioned our surprise at the volume of water in the river to a lady walking her dog and she explained. “The dam wall upstream needs repairs so all the water has been let out of Lake Kajarabie into the river. It’s being held back by the weir, but the situation is very worrying. This is all the water we have. If it runs out, there is no more.”

Even before the sun had set over the water the moon rose into the clear night sky. We stayed until it was almost dark, taking in the beauty of the river and the bush.

The next day we drove out to Beardmore Dam to see for ourselves. That lady was right. The dam wall, which usually holds back up to 81 000 mega-litres of water, could clearly be seen and the lake was as dry as those rivers we’d seen elsewhere.

Like the people of St George, we could only hope that rain would fall again to replenish the river and the lake.

Post Script: After recent heavy rain in the St George area, Beardmore Dam filled in less than two weeks and is now at 99.98% capacity. The Balonne River broke its banks, reaching a peak of more than 12 metres but no homes in St George were inundated.

Join Jo for more Monday Walks

Hills of Sand

Western Queensland Road Trip #14 Cunnamulla

In the heat of mid-morning there’s very little movement in the bush. Every now and then an unseen bird calls to its mate but it’s the constant hum of insects that dominates.

On the edge of town, a line of red sand hills rises up out of the trees. From a distance they don’t seem high, but the slope is steeper than it looks. Climbing up proves to be a challenge as the fine red sand moves constantly beneath our feet.

Once at the top our effort is rewarded. Cunnamulla’s buildings are just visible through the hardy mulga scrub and the Warrego River sparkles like a silver-backed serpent in the distance.

A small mob of kangaroos rests in a shady spot and they watch us watching them. They stop feeding on the sparse ground cover, lifting their heads to catch our scent. One seems to decide we’re no threat; he returns to his grazing and the others follow his lead.

For a while we copy the kangaroos, finding a cool place to sit and enjoy the view. And when it’s time to leave, the descent is much easier than going up.

Join Jo for Monday Walks