Atherton Tableland

Bench Series : December along the Waterfall Way…

Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 093_4000x3000

Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 091_4000x3000

Look what I found in the small village of Ebor, along the Waterfall Way,  an hours drive outside Armidale. 

 I am going to take you back in time 4 weeks when we were in Armidale. We only had 2 days to explore this very interesting town.

Day 1 we took a Heritage bus tour. (Check it out here)

Next day we drove along the Waterfall Way. One of Australia’s lesser known, iconic and beautiful drives. It passes through National Parks, the stunning gorges rise on either side of you and then there are the waterfalls. So many of them. But being summer not many will be flowing. So we went to Ebor Falls as it never dries up.

These are some of the things we saw.

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Paddocks of white daisies. When we passed them near Dubbo I thought they were weeds, but Ruth of “Ruth’s arc” informed me in the comments that they are actually Pyrethrum Daisies. She sent me this information…

“Botanical Resources Australia Pty Ltd (BRA) is the Australian grower of over 60 % of the world’s pyrethrum, the botanical insecticide, and runs the most high-tech pyrethrum industry in the world.”

They are very photogenic…

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 046_4000x3000 Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 049_3000x4000 Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 045_4000x3000 Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 040_3000x4000

I think these may be growing wild though…

I will link this to “flowersoverflowers” I’ve been missing in action on this site for a while.

This is the Guy Fawkes river cascading over the gorge. Creating the Ebor Waterfall, described as one of Australia’s most attractive falls.

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 062_3000x4000

A walking track winds around the top of the falls and we find another bench to sit and admire the lookout.

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On the way out we pull up at an old pioneer cemetery.

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How difficult life must’ve been for these hardy pioneers when they settled in this area in the 1800’s.

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 082_3000x4000

After a welcome cup of coffee at the “Fusspot’s Café” it was time to head back to our mini house sit in Armidale.

But one last side trip on the way to see another waterfall.

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Art Gal Ebor Falls PC 102_4000x3000

Wollomombi Falls was almost totally dried up. Can you see the small pool and the trickle of water falling into it? But look at that massive gorge and imagine the force and power behind the falls in full flow during the winter wet season that has created that. It would be an awesome sight.

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Now I have caught up with my travels to this house sit and we only have another 2 weeks here.

Weather up date. After the sweltering heat of 39c+ on Sunday, yesterday the temperatures dropped to mid 20’s and it started to RAIN, and today it is still steadily falling, mana from heaven. I can see the grass and weeds growing as I look at them!!!

Well Jude week 51 of your very popular bench series and only one more week to go…

Categories: Armidale, Australia, bench series, Ebor Falls, flowersoverflowers, National Parks, Pyrethurem, travel, Waterfall Way, waterfalls | Tags: , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Visiting the Goldcoast Hinterland

Having friends stay for a few days is an ideal opportunity to show them the “green behind the gold” as the marketing people call the mountains inland from the Goldcoast.

It is only a 20 minute drive along the motorway to the turn-off. Then it is a steady climb 1000 metres to Springbrook Mountain plateau.

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It is misty and a slight drizzle shrouds the view, but if you squint you can just make out the hi-rises of Surfers Paradise. This is a land far removed from the glitz and glamour of the Goldcoast. Now we are entering a land of ancient forests and waterfalls cascading over steep precipices. Springbrook is part of the Gondwana Rainforest and is a World Heritage Area.

Purling Brook falls

Purling Brook falls

Can you see the falls? Look very carefully at that black stain and you will see a tiny trickle of water coming over the top of the cliff. It has been a very dry spring.

The last time I visited this area was in March 2013 just after the big Queensland floods.

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What a difference…

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Just at the entrance to the Purlingbrook falls walkway, appropriately called Dancing Waters Café. So after walking to the falls and back we went in for lunch.

Famous for Good Quality Home Cooking

Picture

“The café has gained the reputation of providing the best coffee on the Mountain. Only good quality coffee beans are used to grind freshly as required.  After 5 years of using Gian Carlo coffee Anastasia now uses BUN coffee from Byron Bay.Famous for good quality home cooking, the café provides delicious cakes such  carrot cake, indulgent chocolate cake, vegan apple and berry crumble , gluten free upside down cake, varieties of which include peach and ginger, pear, apricot and cinnamon , served with cream or Ice cream.  Scones with Jam and Cream .   Tofu Burgers, Felafel 2 ways as a wrap or salad .  Specials change weekly.”

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It lived up to it’s expectations and 2 extra locals came and joined us…
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So much to see, the road is only 11 kilometres to the end. But the local Springbrook community hall is just down the road from the café, and it is a work of art. So out came the cameras and I thought of Dawn at “Lingering Look at Windows” she encourages us to show any windows we find and share them with her window searching community. So these are for you Dawn…
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Which is a window and which is a painting???

Which is a window and which is a painting???

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Springbrook jc 095

Next stop is into the Old School Road.

From inside the school room

From inside the school room

 

The school opened in 1911, but now it is a mini museum about the flora and fauna in the area. The tree stump is a reminder of the huge trees that once grew here. The land was cleared for farming and not many trees were left. (More windows Dawn)

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The Best of All Lookout is at the end of the road and it is a 30 minute walk along a track lined with moss laden relics of the last ice age.

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The temperature has dropped considerably in this part of the forest. The wind is swirling through the branches and the moss is dripping with moisture. It is very “Lord of the Rings” atmosphere and I look around for Hobbits. THEN rounding a corner we come face to face with these gnarly old giants.

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Springbrook Ray n Kay pc 081_4000x3000

These magnificent specimens are approximately 2000 years old. I stand and gaze in awe at them.

There are many longer walks in the area, but now it is time for us to head home.

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As we head down the mountain there are glimpses of the dairy farming land on the lower slopes. Going a different way home we pass through the Numinbah Valley and stop in our tracks at the community hall when we see this…

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“Come in” she calls. They are having a Halloween Party and cent auction. But they are just setting up the hall and it is not due to start for another couple of hours. So we decide to keep moving on. But then we see this round the back of the hall.

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2 Beautiful Percheron horses pulling a cart and giving a ride around the paddock for a gold coin donation. It is all in aid of raising money for the local school.

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The horses seem to be saying “come on, have a ride” So we did. I love how small communities get together and make their own entertainment. Approximately 300 people live here.

We’ll have to hurry now as it is almost dusk and there is one more place I want to take our friends to.

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It dusk by the time we walk around the Numinbah Valley track, gazing up at the tall fig trees and following the stream as it trickles along over the rocks. Till suddenly it disappears underground.

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Walking carefully around the track and down some steps the river can now be seen as it joins an underground river. It is only a trickle today, but it is an amazing site in full flood.

As darkness falls we decide to put the GPS on. My eye site is not good in the dark and the roads around here have been changed to accommodate a new stretch of motorway and I didn’t know were the new road started. BIG mistake as we realize the rental car’s GPS is out of date and it takes us on a merry ride up hill and down dale into areas unknown. It didn’t know the new motorway existed…

It did look a very scenic drive, what we could see in the head lights (memo to myself, must come here again in the daytime)

Just arrived in Burleigh Heads in time to catch the fish and chip shop before it closed…

Categories: Australia, Goldcoast, photos, Queensland, Springbrook National Park, waterfalls | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

Timeout for Art : Goodbye Yungaburra

How time has flown, after 3 months house sitting at Malanda it is now almost time to gather together all our “stuff”, that has spread through the house, and find space to pack it back into Matilda. But before we go I must visit Yungaburra, my favourite village round here, get a hair cut and have a final cup of coffee at “The Whistle Stop”.

I also want to “take timeout for art”. Lisa from “Zeebra Designs and Destinations” is a very talented artist living and creating in Ecuador. She posts a weekly “timeout for art” challenge that inspired me, about 2 months ago, to take up pencil and rubber and begin sketching. It has become a passion and I try to produce a sketch most days. So today I wanted to try to sketch my favourite coffee shop.

My favourite coffee shop

My favourite coffee shop

Then, of course, I had to go inside for a cup of coffee and when we walked in we saw these gorgeous 8 week old puppies that belonged to the owner of the café. Jack just had to take their photos. I would like to pop them in my bag to take back home.

What a cuddly hand-full (photo by Jack)

What a cuddly hand-full (photo by Jack)

What a hand-full of mischief...

What a hand-full of mischief…(photo by Jack)

 

 

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, house sitting, photos, Timeout for art, Yungaburra | Tags: , , , | 37 Comments

Lingering Look at Windows : Devonshire tea with a view

The days are dwindling, there are only a few left before we head back south and home. Where has the time gone? I have enjoyed just being absorbed in this “good life”.

Before we leave there are a couple of places I want to revisit and one of those is Lake Barrine. It is only a short drive and the Tearoom has a reputation for its Devonshire teas with fresh-baked scones. So this week I will take you to visit this iconic wet tropics area. Maybe I will see a tree kangaroo.

Lake Barrine Tea House

Lake Barrine Tea House

 

It was not very busy

It was not very busy

Most people were sitting out on the deck with the view of the Lake spread before them

Most people were sitting out on the deck with the view of the Lake spread before them, but this young fellow is more interested in his phone…

 

It's a warm day and the windows are open all round to catch the slightest breeze

It’s a warm day and the windows are open all round to catch the slightest breeze

 

Windows make the most of the view

Windows make the most of the view. What do you think of their colour scheme?

 

The scones were delicious but I thought a bit over priced at $15 for one and a half scone each and a cup of coffee. I think you pay extra for the view!

The scones were delicious but I thought a bit over priced at $15 for one and a half scone each and a cup of coffee. I think you pay extra for the view!

 

Pelicans float majestically by

Pelicans float majestically by

 

 

Here is Jack admiring the view and the flower beds.

Here is Jack admiring the view and the flower beds.

The day lilies are beautiful

The day lilies are beautiful

Lake Barrine

 

On the shady side the orchids are flowering

On the shady side the orchids are flowering

 

We go for a short walk along the track around the Lake and find these huge Kauri trees

We go for a short walk along the track around the Lake and find these huge Kauri trees

Looking way up into the canopy

Looking way up into the canopy

Lake Barrine

 

 

 

Some information about this area

Some information about this area

 

 

I didn’t see a tree kangaroo…

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Dawn from ” The day after” has a challenge to find windows and post them each week. I love these Word Press challenges they open your eyes to the world around you. I also enjoy looking through all the other interesting and varied windows from around the world. Go to Dawns link, you may have some windows you can show us.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, Lake Barrine, Lingering look at windows, photos | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

Country monthly market.

With over 150 stalls displaying every thing you could imagine today my favourite village, Yungaburra, was holding its monthly market. It certainly lived up to its reputation as being the best markets on the Tablelands. Only drawback was every one started packing up at mid-day and we had only arrived at 11am so it was a hurried look around. The standard of produce and products was very high. I hope we get another chance to visit these markets before we head home.

Time to have a snack of local sausages

Time to have a snack of local sausages in the shade of the gum tree

 

Proudly diplaying all her own produce

Proudly displaying all her own produce

Colourful display

Colourful display

Bright blue glass

Bright blue glass

Imaginative tea-cosies

Imaginative tea-cosies

 

The eyes have it...

The eyes have it…

 

 

These are just a few photos I managed to take. There was so much to look at.

When the market closed we went over to the local hall to browse around the hundreds of books at the annual book fair. I found two beauties about sketching and art, my passion at the moment. So I came home happy.

This is one very tall lady.

This is one very tall lady. Every one is happy.

 

Outside 2 country and western singers entertained

Outside 2 country and western singers entertained

Hundreds of books to choose from. Can you see the title? It is "Managing your emotions"...

Hundreds of books to choose from. Can you see the title? It is “Managing your emotions”…

 

In the back ground a harpist played relaxing and harmonious melodies.

In the back ground a harpist played relaxing and harmonious melodies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, photos, Yungaburra, Yungaburra markets | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

How does the garden grow?

Our own private rainforest

Our own private rainforest

We are custodian/house-sitters of a 2.5 acre tropical North Queensland property. It is lush and green and has a small stand of tropical rainforest surrounding it. So far I have not seen any snakes or tree kangaroos lurking in the bush or up in the canopy, but I love to wander through it. Though first of all I smother my skin with tick repellent to prevent those insidious little nasties latching on to me.

Come with me for a look at part of my backyard…

Does anyone know the name of this creeper?

Does anyone know the name of this creeper?

Just look at this gorgeous flower. It is a vine and twines its way through the trees. I do not know what it is called. Here is another unusual tropical climbing vine.

Thank you Deanna Tennant Masterson for identifying the plants for me.

The yellow flower is: Thunbergia mysorensis (Wight) T.Anderson Common name(s): clock vine, lady’s slipper vine, dolls’ shoes, brick and butter vine.

The red flower is: Scientific name: Passiflora racemosa Brot. Common name(s): red passion flower

I wonder if anyone can tell me the name of this unusual flower.

I wonder if anyone can tell me the name of this unusual flower.

Here is a closer look.

Here is a closer look.

Meanwhile over in the vegetable patch every thing is flourishing. despite the up hill battle against slugs and snails, caterpillars and a sneaky little bandicoot. He finds the smallest gaps in the fence to push his way in. He does not eat plants or seedlings but digs down to find a feed of worms and in the process up-roots any thing in his way. At the moment I am winning the battle against the bandicoot after Jack reinforced the bottom of the fence. Pyrethrum, derris dust and a dish of beer seems to be helping keep the numbers of slugs, bugs and insects down.

Gardening is a challenge, but a pleasure to see the plants growing. Nothing tastes better than home-grown produce straight from the garden to the plate.

Part of the vegetable patch

Part of the vegetable patch

Courgettes and sweet corn

Courgettes and sweet corn

The tomatoes will soon be ready, but who will get to them first the bugs, birds or me

The tomatoes will soon be ready, but who will get to them first the bugs, birds or me

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, house sitting, Malanda, photos, rain forest, tropical garden | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

In search of the elusive tree kangaroo

Tree kangaroo

Tree kangaroo

 

A few years ago I caught a glimpse of this tree kangaroo at Fleays Wildlife Sanctuary on the Goldcoast. I only managed to catch a quick, rather blurred shot of him before he disappeared back into his pen.  They are elusive and secretive creatures and are on the endangered species list. One of the last remaining habitats for them is in the rainforest that surrounds Malanda, my house sitting home. So last weekend we went on a mission to see if we could spot one. They come out to feed in the late afternoon so we wandered slowly through the rainforest with necks craned searching the canopy for signs of a dangling tail.

They are strange creatures related to both the kangaroo and the possum. Their tail is only used for balance and unlike other tree dwellers it cannot wrap around branches. They are the closest Australia has to a monkey.

“The ancestor of the kangaroos and their kind was possum-like  and descended from the trees to spawn a large and diverse fauna of browsers and  grazers. Curiously one group the Tree-kangaroos ascended the trees again to  exploit the large foliovore (leaf-eating) niche in the tropics of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) occupied by primates like Proboscis Monkeys in nearby Indonesia. Thus the Tree-kangaroos are in many respects the closest animals we have to monkeys in the Australo-Papuan region. Unfortunately for Tree-kangaroos their meat is  tasty (hence the genus Dendrolagus or tree-hare given by the Dutch) and hunting along with habitat destruction and climate change are significant threats. Thus the majority of species are threatened or vulnerable under IUCN Red List classification” For more information click here.

Needless to say we did not see one but had a pleasant walk/stroll/wander through the rainforest.

Late afternoon searching for the tree kangaroo

Late afternoon searching for the tree kangaroo

Malanda rainforest gazing into the canopy

Malanda rainforest gazing into the canopy

 

Malanda rainforest

Malanda rainforest

Malanda rainforest

Malanda rainforest

There are a couple of other places near here that these strange creatures hang out. So we will try again to spot them.

We have 5 more weeks left before the home owners come back. How quickly the time has passed

 

 

 

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, Malanda, photos, tree kangaroo | Tags: , , , , | 31 Comments

Lingering Look at Windows : Atherton Catholic Church

I noticed the Atherton Catholic Church, St Josephs, was being given a face-lift. A team of painters had almost finished transforming inside and out with a pristine. sparkling coat of white paint. So I went inside for a look and to take window photos…

Painters hard at work

Painters hard at work

Dawn from ” The day after” has a challenge to find windows and post them each week. I love these Word Press challenges they open your eyes to the world around you. I also enjoy looking through all the other interesting and varied windows from around the world. Go to Dawns link, you may have some windows you can show us.

Categories: Atherton Catholic Church, Atherton Tableland, Australia, Lingering look at windows, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Eggs, eggs and more eggs

6 dozen+ eggs

6 dozen+ eggs

I am totally overwhelmed with eggs. The girls are doing a sterling job and I collect from 6 to 11 every day. Just how many egg meals can you have in a week? Poached, boiled, scrambled, omelette, frittatas, I have even started baking cakes, much to Jack’s delight.

In desperation I went to Google, that know-all depository of the computer world. I typed in “how to use lots of eggs” it came up with 34 MILLION results in 24 seconds. Now that is a lot of people with surplus eggs…

This was one of my favourites

Impossible Pie

  •  4 eggs (I used 6 small bantam eggs)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 tsp van ess

Mix all together, pour into large pie pan or casserole. Bake 180C approx. 45 minutes.

That is very easy to make and it forms a delicious custardy centre under a coconutty topping. Yummy….

I would appreciate any suggestions for using lots of eggs.

Sitting on the feed bin, waiting for breakfast

Sitting on the feed bin, waiting for breakfast

 

Come and get it girls

Come and get it girls

I love to watch how the cockerels take care of their harem, calling them over to the choice food

I love to watch how the cockerels take care of their harem, calling them over to the choice food

 

Well after all that work it is time to relax with a book in the hammock

Well after all that work it is time to relax with a book in the hammock

 

and watch the tomatoes growing.

and watch the tomatoes growing.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, chickens, eggs, house sitting, photos | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

Lingering Look at Windows : Tolga

After a week of very welcome rain, the sun is back and the temperatures are soaring, more like summer than early spring. Records are falling all over the state. So time for a country drive to explore another area.

Several people mentioned the village of Tolga as a must see. The Tolga Woodworks Gallery, I had been told, is outstanding.

In a country of such vast distances between attractions the Tablelands are an exception. A pleasure to explore as so many places are within an hours drive in all directions from Malanda.

 Tolga

We were not misinformed about Tolga. The Gallery featured a stunning display of craft and art by North Queensland’s finest artisans. Many of the pieces are crafted in an adjoining studio and the workmanship is truly outstanding.

This particular piece of art, crafted in wood had a story that touched my soul. I read the accompanying script and as I stood there I felt I had become part of the audience that witnessed this magic moment.

Making music with what you have left

Making music with what you have left

Making music with what you have left

 Tolga

 Tolga

 Tolga

I wonder if you felt as I did as you read that moving story, then looked at the sculpture of the violin with the broken string. Sometimes you come across a work of art that will stay with you forever.

Then I noticed a large painting of lorikeets in all their vibrant glory, unmistakably done by William Cooper. Take a look at the gallery web page, this Gallery in this small town deserves the description as ” a most prestigious woodworking centre showcasing a superb collection of woodwork and craft.”

Time for lunch and the Gallery Café served a delicious array of meals using the freshest local produce with flair and imagination. Then I remembered it was Thursday, windows day. I noticed the louvered window at the far end of the café balcony area framed a perfect Banksia. Lit by the sun it became a work of art, a sculpture created by nature.

Banksia

Banksia

yungaburra Tolga 023_2448x3264

After lunch we went for a walk along the short main street and look what we found…

 Tolga

 Tolga

 Tolga

 Tolga

 Tolga

On the way home we drove past Tinaroo Dam, a large man-made lake that was built between 1953 and 1958 for the irrigation of the fertile Tablelands farming areas

It was the first large dam in Queensland built primarily for irrigation. Its construction opened up new areas to farming and allowed different crops to be trialled.

Tinaroo Lake

Tinaroo Lake

Lake Tinaroo

Lake Tinaroo

These huge irrigation machines (is that the correct name?) are every where

These huge irrigation machines (is that the correct name?) are everywhere

Signs of spring growth is every where

Signs of spring growth is every where

This post is inspired by the challenge from Dawn of “the day after” to show off windows we have found on our travels. Visit her post to see more windows bloggers from round the world have found to show us

Categories: Atherton Tableland, Australia, Lingering look at windows, photos, Tolga, Tolga Woodworks Gallery | Tags: , , , , , | 18 Comments

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