A Travellerspoint blog

Home again

We are home safe and sound and starting to get used to the time change and recover from the long flights and layovers. If you know us, you will understand, income tax forms are filled out and on their way to the government.

We had not seen these views from the Vancouver airport before - they have done a lot of renovations since our last time through that airport.

We are home for awhile now. New adventures will take place in 2016.

First view of Canada

First view of Canada

Rocky Mountains from Vancouver Airport

Rocky Mountains from Vancouver Airport

Posted by A-RPoulton 08:39 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Newcastle and Frazer Beach

Last day of travel in Australia

all seasons in one day 24 °C

We woke this morning to a bright sunny morning at Newcastle, NSW which was quite a surprise because of the storm that we drove through and listened to into the evening. We had fond memories of our first visit to Newcastle in 2011 and the walk we had taken along the foreshore so after breakfast we went over to the foreshore.

We were greeted in the foreshore area by corellas feeding on the lawn.
Corellas feeding on the lawn

Corellas feeding on the lawn

We enjoyed watching all the young people enjoying a morning at the beach.
Fun on the beach

Fun on the beach

We walked along the breakwater and watched the ocean freighters being guided into the harbour to be loaded with coal. Newcastle NSW has the same industry as Newcastle in Britain, coal mining. Newcastle NSW ships up to 150 million tonnes of coal each year.
Ocean freighter coming into port for coal with pilot boat

Ocean freighter coming into port for coal with pilot boat

A major feature of the Newcastle Harbour is the Nobbys Head Lighthouse. This was one of the first lighthouses built in Australia to aid navigation. It was originally built in 1804 although it has changed many times over the years.
Nobbys Lighthouse - Newcastle

Nobbys Lighthouse - Newcastle

A section of beach seems to be designated as a dog beach and many dogs and their owners were frolicking on that beach.
Nobbys Beach dog beach

Nobbys Beach dog beach

Reta was focusing on getting a picture of a Willie Wagtail which is a flycatcher type of bird. It was only when we viewed the picture on the computer that we noticed the surfer in the background.
Willie Wagtail with surfer in background

Willie Wagtail with surfer in background

We began our drive to Sydney but stopped along the way at Frazer Beach to eat our lunch.
Frazer Beach

Frazer Beach

Lifeguarding is highly regarded in Australia. We thought we would include this picture as a tribute to those who train so hard and are so diligent about saving lives.
Lifeguards on duty - Frazer Beach

Lifeguards on duty - Frazer Beach


As we ate our picnic lunch we watched the ships off on the horizon.
Ship out on the ocean

Ship out on the ocean

By the time we had eaten our lunch and were getting back into our car to continue our travels, grey clouds were blowing in from the west. By the time we were back on the highway, we were again driving through a torrential rain. Happily the storm lasted about a half hour. The sun was back out by the time we reached Sydney.

Here we are in Sydney. This is our last stop before going home. It is now time to get organized for our long flight home.

Posted by A-RPoulton 21:37 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

A day in rural NSW

A wonderful experience

all seasons in one day 19 °C

We woke this morning to a bright and sunny day.

We drove to the community of Wallabadah, NSW and following instructions emailed to us found our way to the property of Springfield. This property is owned by relatives of Reta.

It was very good to not only renew our friendship with this young family but with the parents of the wife of the family who live in southwest SK and were also visiting AU.

We were given a tour of their property and learned about some of the challenges faced by the farming community in this area. We learned about the wildlife that shares their home - kangaroos, wallabies, lorikeets, cockatoos, kookaburras, wild pigs, wild deer (escaped from a deer farm) and many other birds and animals. Their property is largely a cattle range.
Springfield near Wallabadah NSW

Springfield near Wallabadah NSW

After lunch we followed their 4 wheel drive suv to the town of Blandford and left our car in a rest area and rode with them in their vehicle over very narrow gravel roads to a property on which there is a volcanic plug called "Wallabadah Rock" which is is the second largest rock monolith in the southern hemisphere. The largest is Uluru or Ayres Rock in the outback of AU. While websites say that access can be gained to this rock, we only got there because of the friendship that our relatives have with the family who operate this property. It is possible that there are other views of this rock from other properties.
Wallabadah Rock

Wallabadah Rock


Wallabadah Rock from another angle showing that it is split

Wallabadah Rock from another angle showing that it is split

The area we drove through had cattle grazing on the rangeland.
Cattle grazing

Cattle grazing

It was late afternoon by the time we started our drive back to the highway. There were many mobs (groups) of kangaroos grazing in the rangeland. We did not get close to these kangaroos so the pictures are a little grainy but we thought you would enjoy them anyway.
Kangaroo in a valley

Kangaroo in a valley

Kangaroos running off as our suv approached

Kangaroos running off as our suv approached

The property of the family we were visiting has not had rain for some time. The family we visited to see the rock had had three days of rain over Easter and their property was already starting to turn green.

As we started driving to Newcastle where we had arranged lodging many months ago, before we knew that our relatives had moved into the area that they now farm in, the rains started. We have had a message from them since we arrived here but they did not say that they got rain but we had torrential rain the 180 kilometres to Newcastle. It was a wild ride.

We valued our experience with an Australian family and learning about their life here in Australia. This was a precious experience that most tourists would never have.

Posted by A-RPoulton 22:40 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Happy Easter

Many "Big" things

rain 24 °C

Happy Easter everyone

Today we continued our trip south along a highway on the west side of the Great Dividing Range. This highway travels through rural areas that are rangeland. We noticed as we looked at our map that there were a lot of "Big" things along the way.

Our first "Big' thing was "The Big Apple". This was an advertisement for a store that was a cafe, sold fruit, and did wine tastings.
The big apple

The big apple

We thought you might enjoying seeing the fall colours. This area has mostly native eucalypt trees or gum trees, which do not lose their leaves or change colour in the autumn but their bark peels off. There are a few imported poplars and other deciduous trees.
Fall colours

Fall colours

We crossed the border from Queensland into New South Wales.

Our next "Big" thing was the "Big Lamb". The community of Guyra has a "Lamb and Potato" festival in January. You will notice that under the lamb is a potato plant. This statue is an advertisement for that festival.
Big Lamb

Big Lamb

We drove on to the community of Uralla. They had two statues. The first one was of a bushranger, Canada and the US would call him an outlaw, This man was named Fred Ward but had the nickname "Thunderbolt" because of the pounding hooves of his horses. He went about robbing banks, mail coaches and private homes from February, 1865 until May, 1870 when he was shot down by Constable Walker. He had committed at least 62 crimes during his unsavoury career but at least 200 were attributed to him. He is buried in the town of Uralla. The other "Big" statue in Uralla is the "Big Soldier" which was erected to pay tribute to WW II Anzac soldiers.
Bushranger nicknamed Thunderbolt

Bushranger nicknamed Thunderbolt


Big soldier

Big soldier

Our next "Big" attraction was the "Big Chicken" which we found outside of the Moonbi Museum.
Big chicken

Big chicken

Our last "Big" item is just outside of our motel at Tamworth, NSW. Tamworth has the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame so the "Golden Guitar" in Tamworth is an advertisement for country music.
Golden Guitar

Golden Guitar

It was interesting to see these items on the map and then track them down as we entered these communities.

Posted by A-RPoulton 20:25 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Traveling through range land

Mundubbera to Warwick

rain 24 °C

Again we start our day's story with a return to the previous evening.

We were talking with the managers at the motel we were staying at asking the name of our mystery bird. The man we were speaking to said he was not sure what that bird was. We thanked him for providing kangaroos to entertain us. He said that they had them on remote control. LOL

We had another rainy evening followed by a cloudy morning this morning.

Reta noticed this "farewell" as we left the motel at Mundubbera.
Farewell from Mundubbera

Farewell from Mundubbera

We also received a farewell from the kangaroos who were grazing on the other side of town was we drove by.

We are travelling west of the Great Dividing Range. We thought it would be interesting to see another part of Queensland other than the coastline. We drove through mile or kilometre after mile or kilometre of range land. Some of the paddocks (Aussie for pasture) had sparse trees in them and some had many trees and some had none.

We stopped for a "rest stop" at a town called Jandowae. The Lions Club had made another wonderful rest stop. We thought the mural on the public washroom with labels Lions and Lionesses was humourous.
Mural on the loo - Lions and Lionesses

Mural on the loo - Lions and Lionesses

They had a lovely play area for children. The kangaroo bouncy play structure caught our eye.
Cute playground toy

Cute playground toy

The corellas (white birds smaller than Sulphur-crested Cockatoos but from the same family) were causing quite a commotion and flying all over. Reta got a photo with four of them sitting close together in a tree. We have a challenge for you to find all four of them in this picture.
Find the four corellas

Find the four corellas

We had rain on and off all day. The high temperature for today was 24C (75 F).

We spotted an interesting comment on the car next to ours at a shopping mall. "Adventure before Dementia" - have fun while you can.
Have fun while you can

Have fun while you can

Our hotel tonight is called the Buckaroo Motor Inn at Warwick, QLD. They have a mascot out front.
Buckaroo at Buckaroo Motor Inn, Warwick

Buckaroo at Buckaroo Motor Inn, Warwick

We are having another wet evening. Today we were able to park right by our dinner/supper restaurant so we did not get soaked to the skin today. The restaurant we chose was kind of interesting in that it was in the same building as the local movie theatre and they shared a foyer. We thought that was good marketing in that customers could have a meal before their movie or after their movie.

Our host at the motel says they are desperate for rain in this area so these downpours are very welcome.

Posted by A-RPoulton 19:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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