Melbourne to Calen, March – May 2016

2016-05-xx
Blog, Melbourne to Calen. via West Victoria, NSW etc.

(Sorry for the late Blog, but due to not keeping updates on our computer updated, it wouldn’t connect to the Internet, I have finally fixed it, the reason for computer not being updated is downloading updates consume lots of expensive mobile data, usually we wait til we get somewhere/sometime where we can get free data downloads)

After an uneventful Bass Strait crossing back to Melbourne, we set our in-carGPS for a course west out of Melbourne, and we quickly found ourselves safely out of there, phew. First call was to the RAAF Museum at Pt Cook, Pt Cook being the first ever RAAF Base.

01. Mirage III1. Mirage III at RAAF Pt Cook

There was a good range of aircraft there, from old to new, from small to large. We spent most of the day there, could have spent much more time there.
Next day we ventured off, bypassing Geelong, and on to the Great Ocean Road, this road reminded us very much of many coastal NZ roads, the weather was the same too!

02. Great Ocean Road 1 2. Great Ocean Road 1

Along the way we passed areas where the large bush fires had been through at the start of the year, the fires had burnt right down to the road edge.

03. Great Ocean road 23. Great Ocean Road 2

After we left the coast to cross a big range of hills, we came across a colony of Koalas feeding in the gum trees, the many Koalas here were hard to see in the trees, but their location was given away by the tourists who were looking up in the trees at them.

04. Koala up a Tree 4. Koala up a tree on the Great Ocean Road.

Then it was on to the Twelve Apostles, well there were 12, but 1 or 2 have fallen over in recent times.

05. 12 Apostles 1 5. Twelve Apostles 1

But a recent underwater exploration by some university people have discovered quite a few more Apostles underwater.

06. 12 Apostles 2 6. Twelve Apostles 2

From the area of the 12 Apostles we headed off further west to Warrnabool before turning north towards Ararat, from there we day tripped to the Grampian National Park, this Park consists of many big rocky hills that appear to have been pushed up from millions of years of the earths crust slowly moving.

07. Grampian National Park 1 7. Grampian National Park 1

Also in this park are several dams storing water for many of ther towns in this part of west Victoria, the piping of water over 100’s of kilometres in Aussie is normal. There is a wide range of rock structures in this park, some are very picturesque.

08. Grampian National Park 2 8. Grampian National Park 2

After Ararat, we headed cross country through another wheat growing area, these areas sometimes go on for 100’s of kilometres. The roads (tar sealed) are very corrugated from the trucks hauling all the wheat away, and on several occasions I pulled over and checked all our wheels for faults, it felt like we had square wheels which were about to fall off!

09. Paddle Steamers on the Murray River at Echuca 1 09. Paddle Steamers on the Murray River at Echuca 1 (note the polluted water colour)

Eventually we arrived in Echuca, a pleasant country town on the border of Victoria/New South Wales, and on the Murray River. We found a nice area on the banks just out of town expecting to do a spot of fishing, but was put off by signs warning that the river was polluted and eating fish from this river could be harmful to humans, we found several rivers in Victoria & NSW like this, a bit dissapointing.
We spent a day around the Echuca port area and enjoyed a ride on one of the Paddle Steamers, a couple of these Paddle Steamers were the centre stage for the TV series ‘Where The Rivers Run’

10. Paddle Steamers on the Murray River at Echuca 2 10. Paddle Steamers on the Murray River at Echuca 2

11. The Paddle Steamers Engine 11. The Paddle Steamers Engine

12. Paddle Steamers on the Murray River at Echuca 4 12. House Boats on the Murray River at Echuca.

After Echuca we headed across more open country before passing through the growing mecca of Griffith, we recognised many of the crops grown, such as oranges, apples, grapes, rice (lots of it!), a few crops we coiuld not identify. There was a big network of irrigation channels and associated equipment. Of interest was that the rice is grown in paddy fields and the paddocks all have earth banks around them to enable them to be flooded.

13. Vintage Car Club outing 13. Vintage Car Club outing at Ariah

14. Typical campsite 14. Typical campsite

Then it was on to Temora where we visited the Aviation Museum, a lot of these museums have flying days every few weeks, unfortunately we missed those days, We’ll have to plan more carefully on future trips.

15. Meerkats at Dubbo Zoo 15. Meerkats at Dubbo Zoo

We spent several days in Dubbo & checked out the Zoo, this one you can drive through, we walked, next time we’ll drive around it, & take our lunch.

16. Big cat at Dubbo Zoo 16. Big Cat at Dubbo Zoo

After Dubbo we zigzagged our way up through back-country roads, somewhere east of Narrabri we found an interesting bit of scenery called The Sawn Rocks, apparently the cooling off of this rock following the volcanic activity millions of years ago caused the rocks to crack in this way, on closer inspection the cross-section of these rocks is roughly hexangonal. They are sometimes refered to as Organ Pipes.

17. Sawn Rocks, Narrabri 17. Sawn Rocks, east of Narrabri

We crossed the border into Queensland at a place called Texas, yes we had to check out this town.

19. Texas (2) 19. Texas, NSW/Qld Border crossing.

Then it was via more back-country roads to spend a week with Wendy & Ryan at Coolum Beach, on the famous Sunshine Coast. We had a great time checking out the area, the hinterland was an interesting place, but best of all was Noosa Beach, the surf was just great to play and cool off in. Before we new it, the week was over and we went our different ways, Wendy & Ryan back to cold NZ, Janet & I heading further north to Mackay for another season of tractor driving in the sugarcane fields.

18. Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast 17.Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast.

xx. Where we been Map to Calen 16. Where we been map!!!!!!!!

At the end of the year we will be heading back to NZ to catch up with everybody. See ya.

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Tassie Blog 2016 Jan – Mar

Tassie Trip

Sorry for the LATE BLOG!

2016 18 Jan – 6 Mar

After much tripping around parts of Victoria, we eventually got ourselves to the Port of Melbourne for our sailing on the Spirit of Tasmania. After arriving late into the night in Tassie, we rose next morning to find ourselves blanketed in smoke, and we quickly learned of the fires which had started only 2 days earlier, thanks to a massive electrical storm.

01. Spirit of Tasmania
1. Spirit of Tasmania

First we headed to the clear northwest corner and spent several days based at Stanley. We climbed The Nut behind Stanley in clear conditions. Then tripped out to Arthur River on the west coast & back via the largest dairy farm in Australia, it was owned by a Kiwi and now being transferred to Chinese ownership!

02. The Nut at Stanley
2. Stanley & The Nut

03. Krolls on The Nut
3. Wildlife on top of The Nut

04. Incoming smoke from Fires
4. Incoming smoke from the fires

After several days the wind started to turn and it was time to get out of there before the smoke got to us, on our way back along the coast, we saw a large number of Fire Service personnel & equipment headed west to fight the fires. A number of the tourist routes in the northwest were also closed due to the fires.

05. The Tamar River
5. Tamar River from Launceston Wharf.

While in Tassie we celebrated Janets Birthday with a river cruise, this was a gift from all the kids. The cruise took us up the very spectacular Cataract Gorge which was lined with steep rocky cliffs, then it was back down the river to view the more open Tamar River Valley, the area was first settled in the 1830’s and the river was the main highway and centre of the growing industry & population.

06. Tamar River bridges
6. Tamar River Bridges & Cataract Gorge.

07. Wine tasting on the Tamar River
7. Tasting local wines on the River Tamar Cruise.

08. The Cruise Boat
8. The Cruise Boat

We had only just finished the cruise when the heavy rains arrived which resulted in heavy localised flooding in the Tamar River area. The rain only brought a small amount of relief to dampen down only some of the Tassie fires. So then it was off to the northeastern and only smoke free corner of Tassie near St Helens. Obviously it must have been the reddish algae growing on top of the large rocks which gave the Bay of Fires its name.

09. Camping at The Bay of Fires
9 Camping at the Bay of Fires.

10. Bay Of Fires
10. Bay of Fires.

11. Pub in the Paddock
11. A lone Pub in the Paddock near St Helens.

This pub now sits by itself in the middle of a dairy farming area, the community has dwindled away. Nearby there is a dairy farm which uses automated milking machines and the cows just wander in when they think its time to do so, an interesting sideline to this dairyfarm is a shop that produces and sells its own very tasty cheeses.

12. Ross River Bridge
12. Ross River Bridge

From St Helens we travelled down through the centre of the Island State via the towns of Ross and Oatlands towards the Port Arthur Penitentiary. Along the way here were many buildings and bridges that were built by the convicts, the Ross River Bridge being one them. After seeing all the buildings, bridges, roads & other structures that were built by the convicts it becomes obvious that convicts were really white slaves!

13. Flour Mill at Oatlands
13. Flour Mill at Oatlands

This mill was very interesting in that it have a small tail fan that when the wind blew from one direction, or the other, it would, through a gearing system, rotate the whole roof assembly, including the main fan, around and keep the main fan blades facing into the wind. Also the main fan had variable pitch blades controlled by a governer located under the roof to prevent over-speeding. Very ingenious, must have been designed by a helicopter engineer (before the invention of the helicopter & aeroplane!!)!!!

14. Port Arthur
14. Port Arthur Penitentiary

The Convicts at Port Arthur were the very bad ones from sent down from other prisons such as Sydney, if they still misbehaved badly, they were sent onto Norfolk Island! On completing their sentences, many convicts settles into the local areas, some did well, and some continued there life of crime.

15. Ida Bay Train
15. Ida Bay Rail.

One ex-convict moved to south of Hobart to the Ida Bay area and set up business, first a timber exporter, then as a limestone/carbide exporter, this carbide was the predessor of acytelene and was very valuable in the manufacturing of steel machinery, ships, tanks, etc used during the World Wars. To get his stuff out he built a railway, first using logs as tracks, then upgaded to steel rail tracks. Locals have now got together and restored the rail to provide a trip along this railway. Also lying in the Ida Bay is the hull of one of the boats used in transportation of this valuable carbide.

16. Echida in the wild
16. Echida on the roadside.

After doing the southern (Hobart) area we headed off to the west side of the Island State through the mining town of Queenstown, this town had been very prosperous in it heyday when many minerals were found and transported out of the area.

17. Queenstown Rail
17. Queenstown Rack & Pinion Rail.

To get all the very valuable minerals out of Queenstown, various methods of transportation was used, starting with packhorses, then as the industry advanced, a rail system was laid over the steep terrian, the rail so steep that a 3rd cogged centre rail, the rack, was used on which a pinion wheel engaged its teeth on to enable the locomotive to get enough traction to climb the hill. When the rail was eventually not required anymore, the complete length of rail was uplifted. Enthusiests have since relaid the entire length of the track. Unfortunately the hills around Queenstown were stripped bare during the mining days and many remain barren today. Unfortunately, during the mining process, a lot of the area was severly polluted, this can be seen by the murky yellow water running down the local river. The town itself is deteriorating, it is hoped that the tourist industry, and the drive for city people to retire to here, will revive the town.

18. Cradle Mtn & Dove lake
18. Dove Lake, Cradle Mountain, & The Boat Shed

We managed to get to both ends of the Cradle Mountain/St Clair National Park, at the north end we did the 2-3 hour tourist walk around Dove Lake which sits nicely under the north facing slopes of Cradle Mountain.
From there we motored back to the centre north of the Island State to Evandale for several days, the centre of this town has been immaculately maintained as it was in the 1800s.

As the fires were now being bought under control and not much smoke around, we did several days of motoring and sightseeing, first we did a circuit of the highland lakes, altitude of 4000 – 4500 asl. Then a round trip out to St Marys down the east coast to Swansea, & back. Both days were great, the camera working overtime. Then it was time to head back to the ferry terminal for our sailing back to the mainland, we didn’t want to miss, as the next available sailing for caravans was not until June!!!

We’re now enjoying our trip north through Victoria & New South Wales, this will be another blog on another day.
Tasmania where we been map

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2015 Calen -Sydney – Melbourne – Tassie – 2016

2016 January
Hi All,
After another 6 months of hauling sugarcane near Mackay, we hit the road south to Tasmania, the first couple of nights we spent at the back of one the bosses farm in amongst the mountains, with the temperatures getting up into the 30s, and the humidity very high, we were keen to head south!

01 1st Night on the Road

1. 1st night after leaving camp in amongst the rainforest at the back of one of the sugarcane farms in amongst ‘the mountains’.
We then took the main Bruce Highway south through Rockhampton, then narrowly missing a very damaging storm we headed inland a bit and spent about a week cruising down through the country towns of Dululu, Biloela, Monto, Mulgildie, Eidsvoid, Mundubbera, Gayndah,Ban Ban Springs, Goomeri, Kilkiven, then back out to Gympie on the main Bruce Highway, we met with a number of very interesting country folk along this route, including a heritage group having an open day with horse drawn farm equipment.

02 Working the Land

2 Lawgi Heritage Group open day, doing it the hard way.

 

From Gympie we headed down to the Sunshine Coast for a few days –

03 Glasshouse Mtns

3 Glass House Mountains on a cool morning!!!

 

04 Keeping Cool (2)

4 Janet keeping cool while reading her books at Wallabadah

– before heading back inland to accompany some friends down the New England Highway to south of Tamworth, that took about another week, from there we headed further inland across to Gulgong and Mudgee before finding our way back over the Blue Mountains into Sydney for Xmas with Janets brothers and their families.

05 Gundegai Bridge

5. Old road bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Gundegai, NSW. probably was a great bridge in its day.

After Xmas we motored southwest through several very old towns, which the main highway now passes, including the towns of Gunning and Gudegai before heading into the Snowy Mountains area for a nosey around. We spent several days at Blowering Dam near Tumut, and while there took a day drive to Cooma and back over the Snowy Mounains Highway. There was a lot of interesting information about the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme along the way. The most interesting fact is that the scheme is primarily to store water to release as required into the Murrumbidgee and Murray River Systems for irrigation. Generating power is just a sideline to this operation. We also visited the Tumut 3, and Murray 1 & 2 Power Stations.

06 Tumut Reservoir

6. Tumut Reservoir, which supplies water through power stations to the Tumut River then onwards to the Murrumbidgee River area for irrigation.

 

07 Parrots

7. Parrots in the Snowy Mountains

 

08 Great Dividing Range

8. Crossing the Great Dividing Range on our day drive over the Snowy Mountains Highway & back.

 

09 Yarrangobilly Caves sign   10 Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool    11 Yarrangobilly Cave

9, 10 & 11. Yarrangobilly Caves & Thermal Pool, pool could have done with a bit move thermal heating!!!

 

12 Roos at Blowering Reservoir  13 Emus at Blowering Reservoir

12 & 13, Kangaroos & Emus feeding on the shores of Blowering Reservoir, no need for lawn mowers here!

 

14 Arriving in Victoria

14. Entering Victoria near the town of Corryong

 

15 Murray 1 Power Station

15 The Murray 1 Hydro Power Station, which as the name suggests is on the Murray River.

We also visited many other towns such as Wagga Wagga, Albury, Wodonga and many small towns before finally arriving in Melbourne.

16 In Melbourne

 

16. In the Heart of Melbourne

17 Melbourne Tram

17. Free Tram rides around Melbourne CBD.

 

18 Street Art

18. A Bit of Street Art

 

19 Melb Train Station

19. Federation Square Train Station, Melbourne CBD.

 

Our departure from Melbourne on the ferry, “The Spirit of Tasmania II”, was slightly delayed due the mooring ropes snapping when it was hit by some extremely high winds, fortunately only the vehicle loading ramp was slightly damaged when the ferry was blown around about 90 degrees to the pier it was loading at and almost onto the beach.

 

20 Spirit of Tasmania

20. Spirit of Tasmania I

 

We are now safely in Tasmania trying to keep well away from the 80+ vegetation fires and thick smoke, more about that in our Tassie Blog.

21. Where we been Map to Tassie

21. Where we been Map.

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2015, June, Sydney – Canberra – Dubbo – Tamworth – Mackay

2015 Dubbo – Gympie – Mackay
Soon after leaving the town of Dubbo, we stopped at a rest area and found the famous (replacement) Black Stump! Adjacent to it was a sign explaining all about the original black stump, so now that we have been to and beyond here, we can now say we have been out Beyond the Black Stump!

1. Beyond The Black Stump 1
1. Beyond The Black Stump

Another 100kms past the Black Stump, not beyond it, but the other way, we drove past another one of a number of cattle feedlots we have seen on our travels, this one we estimated to have over 1000 head of cattle, poor animals, they think they are in heaven here, not knowing that they are destined for the dinner table or a BBQ somewhere.
2. Cattle Feedlot 1
2. Cattle Feedlot

Just north of this feedlot at Tamworth we joined up with the New England Highway and spent the next couple of weeks cruising north on it (we did the Tamworth south to Newcastle section last year), we passed through many rural towns such as Uralla, Armidale, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Wallangarra, Stanthorpe, Warwick, Toowoomba, Hampton, Crows Nest, Cooyar, Nanango, Kingaroy, Wooroolin, Wondai, Murgon, Goomeri, Kilkivan, to Gympie, and too many smaller villages to list. In many places the New England Highway sort of follows the backbone of the Great Dividing Range and reached altitudes up to 4500ft and continued at around 4000ft over rolling hills and through flat valley floors for quite some distance, it did look very much like rural NZ, there was much cropping and cattle farms along the way. The temperatures through this area were several degrees below what it was on the coast at around 20deg C.

3. Glen Innes in Autumn 1
3. Glen Innes (on the New England Highway)

4. New England Highway 1
4 New England Highway near Tenterfield, in 1844, these bluffs was the place where some of the indidgenous population were thrown over the top by men of a neighbouring station!

5. NSW - QLD Border Crossing 1
5. Town of Wallangarra on the NSW – QLD Border Crossing, here passengers & freight had to change trains as the gauge of the rail tracks differed in each State

6. Cropping farms - near Toowoomba 1
6. Patchwork Cropping Land just south of Toowoomba

7. Peanut Crop 1
7. Peanut growing near Kingaroy.

We discovered that peanuts grow in the soil, first a raw peanut is planted in the ground, which then grows low to the ground similar to dwarf beans, shoots of these plants grow back into the ground where the peanuts then grow. When mature they are harvested, dried, roasted etc.

8. Peanut Storage Silos
8. Peanut Storage Silos in Kingaroy.

Comments about this trip:- the roads are shocking due to lots of 50 ton trucks pounding the roads, many people are complaining about the roads, we got caught by the edge of a big coastal storm and had to sit it out for several days. Travelling this highway showed us a vey different countryside to what we have seen further west.

When travelling back up the Bruce Highway, we stopped off at a Country & Western festival just outside of Bouldercombe, in the big shed where the musicians where performing there were hundreds of grey nomads, a lot of these grey (some where bald) nomads obviously just travel all over the country from one venue to the other. These festivals often last a week. I’m just thinking of all that grog consumed at all the happy hours!!!!
9. Country & Western 1
9. Country & Western festival.

10. Where we been Map
10. Where we been map. (Follow the Pink Line this time.)

We are now arrived back just of Mackay at Calen, spent a bit of time in some of the many free or low cost camping areas before coming into our usual camp early June for yet another “Crush” which will take us through til Oct/Nov/Dec when we will be starting another adventure!!!!!!
We have now been stopped for almost a week now to due too much rain, but there was ot enough rain to do mch benefit to the cane farms.

Also, due to lack of people acknowledging our blogs, we are wondering wether to terminate the blog, if you want to see us continuing on with the blog, please indicate somehow. Thanks.

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2015-04 Mackay to Sydney

Hello everyone,

We have been very busy since our last blog in May 2014, we got back to our base in Calen, near Mackay in Queensland and got stuck into another sugarcane harvest season, or ‘The Crush’ as cane folk call it.

The Cane Farmer, Anthony, restructured his operation and I also got involved in the replanting operation, this took up all our rostered days off for the first 10 weeks of The Crush, there wasn’t much time off, but the bank balance was looking healthy after this.
After The Crush we headed south to Sydney, on the way south we turned inland at Rockhampton and tripped down through many towns including Goodiwindi and Tamworth. Whilst tripping through Queensland we were dodging some very big impressive thunderstorms.

01.  Goondiwindi Main Roads Intersection
1. Goondiwindi Main Roads Intersection

02.  50km's from nearest town of Miles, got power & water  1
2. Doing laundry, 50km’s from nearest town of Miles, got power & water

03. A bit of weather, a lot of rain
3. A bit of weather, and a lot of rain

South of Goodiwindi we passed through the town of Narrabri, outside of this town is a cluster of 5 radio satellites dishes,the 6th dish of this group is at Parkes, some 385kms to the south, these dishes are linked into many more around the world and are used to explore whatever there is out in space.
04. Australia (Radio) Telescopes at Narrabri
4. Australia (Radio) Telescopes at Narrabri

Tamworth is the Country Music Capital of Australia and here we visited The Golden Guitar visitors centre, there is a lot of history and a great little museum in this centre.
05. Golden Guitar at Tamworth
5. Golden Guitar at Tamworth

After Tamworth we motored into Sydney arriving Roger & Jo’s home. Here we spent Christmas & New Year. While we were here we carried out a lot of work on the vehicles, replaced the vinyl on the floor, it was a long job scrapping off the old stuff, re-levelling the plywood floor, it had squashed flat in places, and also had many outings. Thanks Roger & Jo for the use of your drive, etc, over this time. Also, we celebrated New Years Day at Colin & Christines home in Campbelltown.
After this we ventured out over the Blue Mountains, had several nights at Katoomba, then on to Bathurst where we did a couple of circuits of the Bathurst Race Track, from here we travelled south through the towns of Oberon and Taralga to Goulburn, and then back to Sydney, then flew out to NZ. Oberon is the highest town in the Blue Mountains area at an altitude of 3500 feet, yep, it does snow up there.
06. Completing a circuit at the Bathurst race circuit
6. Completing a circuit at the Bathurst race circuit

Our 2 months in NZ went very quick, we caught up with family & friends before returning to Sydney.
07. Family enjoying a splash at Kuratau, Lake Taupo
7. Family enjoying a splash at Kuratau, Lake Taupo, NZ

After visiting 2 of Janet’s brothers in Sydney & Campbelltown, we tripped out to the coast, south of Sydney, to Woolongong for a wedding of a couple who cart cane on a farm near where we work. Nearby here we saw some marvellous engineeringi n the form of the Sea Cliff Bridge, this was built to overcome the continuing problem of crumbling cliffs blocking a main coastal road, a bridge such as this would be ideal in various locations in NZ! And a bit south of there, and thanks to some rough seas, we saw the Kiama Blowholes perofrming well.
08. Sea Cliff Bridge
8. Sea Cliff Bridge

09. Kiama Blowhole
9. Kiama Blowhole

After Wooloogong we tripped southwest to the ACT, and Canberra. Here we took in a visit through the Houses of Parliament, it was Sunday and very quiet.
10. Parliament Visit 1
10. Parliament Visit 1

11. Parliament Visit 2
11. Parliament Visit 2

The next day we went for a 2.5 hour drive south into the Blue Mountains to the town of Thredbo, it’s a quaint little town that is one of the few ski centres in these mountains, it seems strange to see the ski trails all pass through heavily wooded slopes, not like NZ where all the slopes are rocky covered by lots of snow. I can only assume that many skiers have come to grief up against one of these many trees, ouch!
The roads from Canberra to Thredbo are great with many downhill straights on the roads back to Canberra, the speed cameras would be clicking away furiously during the ski season! We were treated to an abundance of poplar trees about to shed there autumn leaves.
12. Road form Snowy Mountains to Canberra
12. Road form Snowy Mountains to Canberra

13. Seen at the Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra
13. Seen at the Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra

We also visited the at National War Memorial Museum in Canberra, there is much to see from the many wars that Australia has been involved in with many large models of scenes from the various wars.
14. WWI Battle Scene
14. WWI Battle Scene at National War Memorial Museum, Canberra

15. Japanese Gardens
15. Japanese Gardens in Cowra

We did find the sixth radio telescope dish in Parkes, it is some 385kms from the other 5 dishes at Narrabri. The Parkes dish is famous for relaying the communication from the 1st Man on the Moon to Earth.
16. Parkes Radio Telescope
16. Parkes Radio Telescope

17. Where we been-going Map
17. Where we been & going Map.

We are now in Duddo and headed back up to Mackay for another Cane Harvest (Crush) Season.

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2014-05-25 St Lawrence

>2014-05-23 Return to Oz.
It’s been a wee while since our last blog update, we had a very busy time in NZ. We visited the family and relatives, some several times over, spent time with all the grandchildren, all 7 of them. And we carried out lots of maintenance on our property, it needed it.
We have now been back in Aussie for a month, and have traded up from the motorhome to a caravan & a Toyota Landcruiser to tow it, we realised some time ago that this set up would be much better for us whilst we continued with our seasonal job in the sugar cane fields.
The motorhome got sold to a Kiwi couple that we met up with back in NZ, we carried out a lot of work on it before parking it up for them, they will be coming over soon, and we hope they have as much fun travelling around in it as we have done. The caravan was owned by an old couple and this too was needing a lot of work, yet to finish a lot of it.
We must thank our Aussie Friends who have given us room and help in getting our vehicles sorted, without their help and room to do the work, a lot of what we have done over the last 4 years would have been too much for us, THANKS to all those people!
1. The Sun sets on the old Coaster
1. The Sun Sets on the Old Coaster.

2. The New Rig
2. The New Rig

We are now headed back to Calen ready for the next sugar cane harvest season which is starting early June. On our way to work, we called in the Rockhampton Zoo and saw a number of Australian animals, birds, snakes, emu, crocs, chimps (not an Aussie), Koalas, Wombats.
3. Rocky Zoo
3. Rocky Zoo.

4. Creatures at Rocky Zoo
4. Creatures at Rocky Zoo

5. Furry Creatures at Rocky Zoo
5. Furry Creature at Rocky Zoo

6. Another Furry Creature at Rocky Zoo
6. Another Furry Creature at Rocky Zoo

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2014-02-02 Update

2014-02-02

G’day to all,

Last year, we had a full on Sugar Cane Harvest Season, it went very well. As well as carting the harvested cane, I got involved in the planting side during our rostered days off. The planting operation is quite involved and time consuming, ideally the cane paddocks are re-planted every 7 years. That took up the first half of the season.

In the later stages of the season our computer fried itself, fortunately I had most stuff saved on an external hard drive, unfortunately I left the hard drive behind in a safe place in our Aussie motorhome, along with all our email contacts, hence we haven’t been emailing all our Aussie friends. I do have the old computer from which hopefully we will be able to retrieve some more files, and of course the email contacts, in a few weeks time.

Then towards the end of the season, my work phone got an accidental wash, it sort of worked after it got dried out, but I lost all my contacts off it! So now we have a new computer, and I have a new phone, both missing lots of our contacts, but that will be remedied in time.

At the end of the harvest season, which was dragging on so painfully slow thanks to the sugar mills poor performance, we quickly got ourselves to Gore, NZ, for a 60th Birthday Party, which included a family reunion, it was bitterly cold for us Queenslanders there, it did snow in the hills around us while we were there.

Then it was back to the Manawatu, there we caught up with our families, friends, and lots of work on our property. We are now cruising around the North Island visiting and holidaying.

We will be returning to Queensland in April to do a bit more touring, and of course, for another Sugar Cane Harvest Season, or as the locals in Oz call it, The Crush!

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