Tag Archive | #roadtrip

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

Hidden Remnants

Australian Landscapes #35
Destination: Kilkivan, Queensland

Copper was first discovered in the area west of Gympie in the 1870s, at a time when it was selling for up to £95 a ton. The value of the ore more than compensated for the remote location and difficult terrain, and several mines and smelters were quickly established around the base of Mount Clara.

But after such a successful beginning, the mines were closed by the end of the decade and the hundreds of men employed by the companies had moved on.

All that remains to show for their effort is a hand built stone chimney surrounded by the ruins of a smelter which once processed ore from the mines. Thought to be one of the first of its kind and also the oldest surviving mining chimney in Queensland, it is now listed on the state’s Heritage Register.

Built in 1872, the Mount Clara smelter chimney was constructed of local bluestone and mortar made with sand from Fraser Island. The skill of the stonemasons is evident in the intricacy of their work, with stones of varying shapes and sizes neatly placed together. Iron bands, although rusted with age, still provide support for the chimney’s walls.

Did the stonemasons work with the stones in their natural state, building the chimney as if they were assembling a puzzle? Or did they deliberately create the unusual shapes to give extra strength to the structure?

We’ll never know.

Regrowth

Australian Landscapes #34

Destination: Great Alpine Road, Victoria

As the Great Alpine Road continues its ascent into the Victorian Alps, the vegetation changes again. Beyond an elevation of 1500 metres, stands of towering alpine ash give way to snow gums and low growing heathland. Orange snow poles alongside the road indicate how different this landscape is in winter.

The final remnants of last winter’s snow, packed hard into crevices on the southern slopes of the mountains, defy the midsummer temperatures.

At the top of Mount Hotham the road widens, revealing 360° views across the mountains and valleys of the Alpine National Park.

On 8 January 2003, lightning strikes ignited bushfires in the national park. They burned through inaccessible forests for 58 days and destroyed more than 60% of the park’s vegetation.

Since then the bush has regenerated and recovered.

But despite the regrowth the skeletal remains of thousands of dead trees still stand on the mountain slopes of the Alpine National Park.

Kings of the Forest

Australian Landscapes #33

Destination: Great Alpine Road, Victoria

As the Great Alpine Road leaves the Ovens River Valley and begins its ascent into the Victorian Alps, the scenery changes dramatically. Dairy farms, orchards and vineyards give way to mountain slopes covered with dense eucalypt forests.

When the road climbs even higher, the view changes again. Stands of magnificent Alpine Ash, their white trunks reaching high into the sky, line the sides of the road. These beautiful trees only grow between elevations of 900 to 1450 metres and are amongst Australia’s tallest flowering plants. While most average around 50 metres, a few are almost 90 metres tall.

Eventually the Great Alpine Road reaches the tree line, beyond which trees do not grow. But here, where conditions are just right, forests of Alpine Ash reign supreme.

 

Hidden Beauty

Australian Landscapes #32

Destination: Lockhart, New South Wales

Unlike the silos at Thallon or the water tower in Cunnamulla, the painted water tower in Lockhart takes some effort to find. For a start, Lockhart isn’t on any major roads so you’ll need to make a detour. And, once you’ve arrived in this small Riverina town, you’ll still need to search because the water tower is almost hidden by the trees in the garden around it.

But it’s worth looking for!

Located on the main street, the water tower was painted in 2018 by two Blue Mountains artists using freehand techniques and spray cans. The mural they created pays tribute to one of Australia’s most important resources – water. It depicts a waterfall tumbling over a rocky cliff before flowing down to a creek on the forest floor, giving sustenance to the plants and animals native to this area.

If you’re on the road in the Riverina district, look out for the turn off to Lockhart. The extra kilometres will be forgotten when you do find the water tower!

On the Road

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #31

Destination: Australia

Many Australians love a good road trip and, with more than 900,000 kilometres of roads in Australia, there are plenty of places to go.

For a great road trip, leave the major highways and explore the country roads – your journey will be an adventure.

You’ll travel on single lane roads,

and wide dirt roads. Don’t get too close to anyone in front or you’ll be covered in bulldust!

Sometimes you’ll need to go around obstacles,

over cattle grids,

and through farm gates. Make sure you shut the gate behind you.

You’ll find paved roads hand built by pioneers,

and record breaking roads which opened up the interior.

Sometimes you’ll share the road with large vehicles,

or large pedestrians. Don’t argue about who has right of way with either.

So next time you’re thinking about a road trip pack your bags, start up the car and head off the main roads. If you want to see the best of Australia, country roads are the only way to go.

See this post from 2013 for more Australian country roads.

While our travel plans are on hold I’ve joined in every day with Becky’s July Square Perspectives Photo Challenge over at The Life of B. Thanks Becky, it’s been a fun month. 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.

Always Remembered

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #17

Destination: Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

In October and November 2018, the grounds of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra were transformed in a spectacular commemoration of the centenary of the end of World War One.

62,000 handcrafted poppies, created and donated by people from all around the world, spread across the lawns of the memorial in a sea of red.

Each unique poppy represented an Australian who died in the service of their country during the Great War.

At a time when Australia’s population was fewer than five million, a loss of 62,000 was immense.

Lest We Forget

 

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.

Looking Down, Not Up

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #13

Destination: Rocky Hill, Goulburn, New South Wales

High atop a hill overlooking the regional city of Goulburn stands an imposing stone tower. Built in the 1920s and paid for by public subscription, the tower is a war memorial honouring local men and women who served in World War One.

Inside the tower, the ground floor contains an honour roll and a flame of remembrance, while from the upstairs windows there are beautiful views of the city and the surrounding countryside.

I found it difficult to look up at the tower as we walked along the path.

After seeing these signs, I was too busy looking out for danger.

 

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.

Solitude

Square Perspectives Photo Challenge ~ Australian Landscapes #10

Destination: Port Stephens Region, New South Wales

Shoal Bay

Salamander Bay

Salamander Bay

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.

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.