I was born and grew up in Dalby, Queensland, which is only about 50 or 60 kilometres from the Bunya Mountains. In Australia 50 or 60 kilometres is a doddle. Mum would drive that far to go shopping. Consequently for a way to escape hot summer Sundays Dad would often take us for a drive there. The change in temperature was noticeable even as we climbed from the flat plains of the Darling Downs to the summit.
Travels by Land
These are short stories of our travels on land.
As we lived on The Capricorn Coast for 14 years, and still visit there as recently as 2010, I think I can still lay claim to have a fair knowledge of the area. In fact I would be quite happy to find a nice place with a view of Keppel Bay and the Keppel Islands and retire there.
Yeppoon, Emu Park, and Keppel Sands are close enough to the Tropic of Capricorn to give rights to the name Capricorn Coast. On 27th May 1770, Lieutenant James Cook, captain of the bark “Endeavour”, came within 3 nautical miles of the mainland here. A memorial to his visit was erected in the 1960s, and The Singing Ship stands proudly on an Emu Park headland. The concrete and steel monument is called the Singing Ship because its structure represents a large white sail, and the rigging consists of fluted pipes that capture the sea breezes for all to hear. [Read more...]
Do you remember Butter Pats, Cross cut saws, Party Lines, Snuff boxes, Jewish harps, Slates, Razor Strops, Bed warmers, Nose whistles, Iron lungs, Ink wells, Coppers (to boil clothes in, not policemen), Chamber pots, Side saddles, and Dick, Dora, Nip, and Fluff? At the Miles Historical Village and Museum they have examples of all of them.
Being 300km north west of Brisbane, to include the town of Miles in the S.E. Queensland district might be stretching it a bit, but as I have spent a lot of time there, and the Historical Village and Museum is one of the best in Australia, I thought it would be acceptable to write about. [Read more...]
For those of you who have read “Bali – A Family Holiday” in Life and Travels of a Non-Famous Person, you may have noticed a paragraph where we visited the village of Trunyan across Lake Batur to see where the locals bury their dead above ground. This tour has been almost abandoned for nearly two decades. I thought it had been stopped either because the villagers had stopped the tradition, or laws had prevented anyone undertaking the tour.
But no; it appears the tours were all but ceased because of aggressive, heavy-handed, and coercive behaviour by Trunyan villagers towards tourists crossing the lake to view their unique community. These actions had been the source of numerous complaints, causing tour operators to largely avoid sending their guests there. The village chief is now seeking to restore the reputation of the village as a tourist destination.
Eileen and I did this trip with our son and his family in their car, and it truly is wonderful to get away from the hustle and bustle of the southern end of the island. See
Bali 2010 – A Road Trip. If you don’t have family who live on Bali to take you to the north, here’s the next best thing. Book a tour!
Then you too can explore the green rural countryside of Bali as you travel the whole length of the island. There is not much to see on the far west coast unless you are catching the ferry to Java, so this journey through the central mountains to Singaraja and Lovina Beach on the North Coast is ideal. [Read more...]
Mount Glorious is a great spot to head for lunch, or spend a weekend or longer. The cool rainforest at nearly 700 metres above sea level is invigorating in winter, and simply glorious in summer.
There are several roads to the tiny village on the mountain. One is from the Wivenhoe – Somerset Road along Northbrook Parkway. Another is from Mount Nebo along Mount Nebo Road on Route 31 from Brisbane’s CBD.
Our usual route coming from where we live on the northside of Brisbane is along Mount Glorious Road from Samford. Regardless of which direction you approach from, you will need to pay attention on the windy road, especially if you are on a motorcycle which we usually are. [Read more...]
Terowie is not quite a ghost town, but at night the sighing desert wind sounds like one.
It is a small township with about 200 people, and is about 220km north east of Adelaide. The origins of the district are steeped in pastoralism, but the town flourished as part of the railway network constructed in South Australia in the late 19th century. From 1969 the importance of Terowie as a rail town declined, and by 1980 the line had been removed. The population started to diminish rapidly, but most of the original buildings remain. [Read more...]
Yowah is ‘The Friendly Opal Field’ 132 kilometres west of Cunnamulla. It is a small town in outback western Queensland, Australia in the Paroo Shire Local Government area. It is 938 kilometres west of the state capital, Brisbane. As of the 2006 census Yowah had a population of 142. It is the home of the Yowah Nut Opal and the Ironstone Matrix Opal; opal type to be found only in this part of Queensland.
The electric blues and green’s encased in ironstone (hemitite) are some of the most magnificent patterns ever created by nature, which no laboratory produced stones can ever match. [Read more...]
On our temple tour of Thailand we were the only tourists booked that week. Instead of a coach we had a late model Mercedes sedan with a guide and driver. After the first day I asked Pam, our guide, to skip the rest of the planned tour and to take us to see and do exciting stuff. Here’s some of what we ended up doing, and with a bit of luck or planning you can too.
Back on the road north and we arrived at the Mekong River where it flows past Chiang Saen. Once again because there were only Eileen and I, Pam, suggested we take another long-tailed speedboat to our hotel at the Golden Triangle. Later at a museum I was reading that the opium trade no longer exists, so can anyone tell me why this canoe had a turbo-charged 1300cc Toyota motor with exhaust extractors, which I estimated had us cruising along at about fifty knots? We were flying! [Read more...]
You can organise a fascinating trip on the Japanese Bullet Train for yourself by booking a JR Rail Pass BEFORE you leave your home country. My Japanese was limited to some Karate terms and a read of a phrase book on the seven hour flight to Narita Airport. This is the story of my trip.
Now I got really adventurous and booked a ticket on the Shinkansen (bullet train) and went backpacking. The teachers at the school thought that I would get lost for sure, especially with my limited Japanese language.