travel theme

Just Ducking Through…

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Look what was wandering through the garden this morning. Almost camouflaged.

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He popped out to say “Hello” when he saw me.

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Of course I had to rush inside, get him some bread, and grab my camera. Can you see all the bread in the side of his beak? And look at those lovely turquoise feathers. Almost like a splash of paint.

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Then with a “quack, quack, thank you”, they meandered over to the neighbours.

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Categories: Australia, birds, ducks, garden, paint, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

The angles of the Swell Festival…

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The  Swell Festival is here again. This is the 13th year it has created  an open air, free, art and sculpture installation for 10 days on the glorious Currumbin Beach.

It is quirky, it is fun and it is set against a backdrop of sea, sand and sun

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There are 56 installations this year from Australia and all over the world.

This is called “Googlemon”, Scott Maxwell, the creator, asks you to “weave around the space, head south, find the “sweet spot” and it will all come together”

 I wandered around it looking from all angles. And I thought of Ailsa’s travel theme.

Suddenly, there it was…

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In your face… If you have a spare $18,000 you can put this in your garden.

I will come back later and show you more of these amazing sculptures.

Categories: angles, Australia, Goldcoast, photos, swell festival, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Travel Theme : Wild Wind

Queensland is the sunshine state, beautiful one day, perfect the next.

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The lake at the end of my street is placid, with just a few ripples to ruffle the surface and the air is still.

But Australia has a capricious weather system and it can show its violent side.

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 The storm clouds can roll in from the distant hinterland, dark and foreboding. The wind builds and boils to a ferocious storm.

In the garden the palm fronds bend and twist in a frantic dance to the accompaniment of the wind and lashing rain.

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Branches snap and fall unable to withstand the cyclonic force of nature.

At the beach the ocean is whipped into a frenzy of foam and spray.

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The Pandanus tree, unable to bear the destructive winds, topple and fall.

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This country is subject to intense changes in weather patterns and Ailsa’s “wind” theme made me think of the storms that occasionally lash our coast with disastrous consequences.

Categories: Australia, photos, Queensland, storms, travel theme, wind | Tags: , , , , , | 29 Comments

Browsing in Brunswick Heads…

We have a new toy. Actually it is more than a toy, for me it is a brilliant piece of technology. She talks to me, keeps me on track and even beeps at me if I exceed the speed limit and what’s more, warns me of fixed speed cameras. Brilliant, a GPS system, I will never get lost on car journeys again…

Yesterday we tried it out on a car journey to Ocean Shores to meet Sue and Norm who we will be house sitting for in September.

We cruised along, under the speed limit, in complete confidence that at least the GPS knew where our destination was. I didn’t even look it up on Google maps before we left home. In 45 minutes the smug voice announced “You have reached your destination”.

Now I will “never walk alone”….

After a cup of tea and a pleasant hour meeting the pets, Mitch, a very well behaved rescue dog, and Rainy and Lenny, 2 cream coated Burmese brothers. We left and will be looking forward to coming back in September.

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What a view. This is from the “Lion’s Lookout” and down below is the small township of Ocean Shores, snuggled into the bush. I’ll look forward to dog walks all around this area.

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In the opposite direction I can see the Mount Warning range. But look at those yellow flowers, glowing in the sun and I spot small birds flitting among the blossom. I slowly inch forward camera at the ready. They move so fast and they are almost camouflaged among the flowers.

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They are the scaly breasted lorikeet gorging on the nectar. I have read in Google that this area is renowned for bird life. More to look forward too.

Time to move on and with confidence I reprogram the GPS to Brunswick Heads, only 10 minutes down the road.

Gathering information brochures of the area from the information office we wander round this  traditional seaside village  Timber bridges link the riverside to a safe, quiet beach at the mouth of the Brunswick River and to the surf beach that spans the coastline.

Lunch is our first priority and there are plenty of options, but we choose Park Street pasta bar offering alfresco dining, set in a cool, hip, relaxed family-friendly atmosphere. 

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This town has an alternative lifestyle vibe. The locals are relaxed and many have their dogs with them. The dogs lay under the tables and wait patiently for their owners. I make a mental note that I will be able to bring Mitch, the dog, here with me.

Here is a gallery of things I saw on my browse around Brunswick Heads.

After walking along the river bank we go back into the shopping area.

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Now this is a bright and breezy welcome.

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The architecture is old world style and has a friendly welcoming feel. This looks like Another place to try…

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There are a number of op shops, antique and boutique places to potter through.

 

This artistic layout caught my eye, very “olde worlde” which matched the display of retro clothes inside.

Look at the shadows...

Look at the shadows…

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Now this gate would suit our garden…

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It was an interesting day with a promise of more to come in September.

But now it was pressing the “favourite” tab on the GPS and we drove stress free home…

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Here’s my weekend walk with Jo and her cyber walking group. Also link (a bit tongue in cheek) to Ailsa and her theme of “toys” this week.

 

Categories: Australia, Brunswick Heads, Jo's Monday walks, lorrikeets, New South Wales, photos, toys, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 53 Comments

On top of the world…

Surfers Paradise is a tourist mecca on the Gold Coast of Australia.  An influx of 10 million visitors pour in every year to soak up the sun, play in the surf and enjoy the many attractions. Locals tend to stay away from this “glitter strip”.

We are just 2 of the 515,000 people that live here permanently. How often is it that when you live in an area it is not explored or appreciated. We have travelled extensively all over this huge country. I am always planning the next adventure. So while we are home for a short while I thought it was time I discovered some of the attractions closer to home.

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 We parked our bikes then rode this new form of transport, the new light rail, “G-link” that, after 4 years of very disruptive construction, opened for business one year ago this week. Come for a ride with me.

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The destination today is to visit “Q1” (Queensland number 1) Opened in 2005 for a while it was the tallest residential building in the world.

At 77 stories and 322.5 m (1,058 ft) and with a roof height of 245 m (804 ft), Q1 now qualifies as the world’s third[dated info] tallest all-residential building when measured to the top of its structural point (spire),[7] (Wikipedia information)

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It is a beautiful day for walking and as we walk toward Q1, surrounded by the other towering apartments, I notice the parking police are vigilant and I am pleased we came on public transport. That 3 story “walk-up” apartment in the photo below, is one of the older style accommodation blocks. 

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The media have been forecasting “Arctic conditions” as a low pressure belt sweeps up the coast. Inland the temperatures have dropped to single digits and snow is falling. Last night it dropped to 3C, and I snuggled under an extra blanket, but apart from a slightly cooler breeze it is now a warm 19C here.

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Look up….

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Now that is impressive…

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We take the fast lift that whisks us up 77 stories in almost the blink of an eye. But there is another way to get to the top…

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Here are a group of intrepid troopers ready to scale the outside. I think it will be cool and breezy up there.

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The observation deck circles 360 degrees round the 77th floor and the views are stunning.

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Looking south I can just see our Burleigh Beach.

Before the 1920’s this was an area of swamp or as it is now called “wetlands” and known as Elston. Then in 1933 a man with a keen eye for promotion, Jim Cavill, with the support of locals, lobbied hard until the place name Elston was changed to the more glamorous Surfers Paradise.

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The land was drained and the swamp converted into canals.

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Looking north the canals open out into the Broadwater, a playground for boaties and fishermen

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Far, far below I can just make out the ant-like figures of people enjoying the beach.

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It is not too busy today, it is mid-week and of course it is winter!!!!

400 people are allowed on the observation deck, but it is not that crowded today.

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Looking up I see one of the climbers peering down at us. See how far they went up…

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Time to go back down. There is a dining area and a cafeteria but we have decided to have Indian for lunch. There is no shortage of choice in Surfers Paradise and as we walk by mainly empty restaurants, I wonder how they all manage to survive.

This looks interesting so in we go…

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We are the only customers, but the meal is delicious.

Before we take the “G” back home we walk down to the beach and watch the activity going on.

This is a classic case of “land meets water” on my walk around Surfers Paradise. So I will link this post to Ailsa’s travel theme, and Jo’s Monday walks (even though it is Friday. Maybe I can be early for next weeks Jo!!)

Categories: Australia, Goldcoast, Jo's Monday walks, land meets water, Q1, Queensland, Surfer's Paradise, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Travel Theme : Graceful #3

Gracefully landing

Gracefully landing

Pelican

Pelican

Just another 2….

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Wanted to put these 2 with the last post, but, I couldn’t find them. I searched and searched, I knew they were somewhere buried in the archives. I really should organise my photos….

But this morning I have found them….

So these will be the last I will post for Ailsa’s “Graceful” theme…

Categories: graceful, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

Travel Theme : Graceful #2

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The pelican in flight is majestic and graceful…

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Couldn’t resist posting just one more for Ailsa’s travel theme “graceful”.

Categories: graceful, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , | 26 Comments

Travel Theme : Transformation.

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Last week I noticed this strange box of dirt or sand in the centre of Robina (to see more of Robina click here), the large shopping complex.

Whatever could it be?

No signs or posters to tell us what was happening.

Today I went back to Robina to do some shopping and look what I found.

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A transformation. A delightful sand sculpture is now in the place of that pile of dirt.

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Look at the expression in the Lion Kings eye. A work of art…

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How appropriate that this week Ailsa has chosen “transformation” as her “Travel Theme”

This is also advertising that a sand sculpture competition is being held at Surfers Paradise this week-end. We will have to go and see it tomorrow.

Categories: Australia, photos, Robina Town Centre, transformation, travel, travel theme | Tags: , , , | 55 Comments

Travel Theme : Details

I find flowers are fascinating in their variety of colours, shapes and intricate details. I try to capture these details. It is often difficult to get sharp images in close up as even the slightest puff of wind can cause the flowers to shimmy and shake, but I still try…

In 2010 I timed our journey of discovery around Australia so that I could be in Western Australia in spring when the wild flowers were in bloom. The sight of carpets of colour stretching to the horizon took me on a 3 month journey from North to South along Western Australia’s trail of flower wonderland.

It was a dream come true for me. Now I have hundreds of images on my hard drive and  I can look at them any time I want to be transported back to that magic time and have a flower fix…

I would like to share some of them with you for this weeks “Travel Theme” from Ailsa.

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The texture of this flower makes me think of delicate tissue paper. I must confess that I do not know many of the flowers names. There are at least 12000 species to be found, they are one of the most spectacular displays in the world.

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Many are very tiny and yet they are vibrant. Look at the scattering of pollen on this dainty plant.

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The Kangaroo Paw is a favourite of mine, the unusual shape and looking closely you can see how the stamens are poised to attract insects and dab them with pollen.

The Princess Gum pops open its flower bud to reveal a powder puff of stamens. Look closer and you will notice the bee busily doing it’s job.

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Orchids come in many shapes, colours and sizes. This is the Donkey Orchid. Can you see why it is called this?

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This is the green hooded orchid. Can you see the detail of a small spider’s web?

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I’m running out of words to describe all these amazing plants.

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Finally this beetle is trying to rival the beauty of the flowers. I think it has succeeded.

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Here is a Johnny Joke for you…

The teacher asked young Johnny to write a sentence using the words defence, defeat and detail.

Johnny thought for a while then put pen to paper.

When he took it to the teacher she read..

“The cow jumped over de fence, de feet before de tail…. “

Have a happy week….

 

 

Categories: Australia, details, photos, travel theme, Western Australia, wild flowers | Tags: , , , , , | 55 Comments

Travel Theme : Freedom

In 2009 we decided a major downsizing was needed to create the freedom to travel. So we had a garage sale.

Getting ready

Getting ready

Lots of stuff...

Lots of stuff…

Ready and waiting...

Ready and waiting…

and the people came...

and the people came…

It is amazing how liberating it is to have a good clean-out. Things that haven’t been used, clothes that are never worn, objects that have been bought on impulse, but not really needed. At the end of the day almost all gone. The few things left went to the op shop.

Not only things were being disposed of we also downsized the space we lived in. Moving from a 3 bedroom house to a one room Granny flat/studio. Keeping a few pieces of furniture the rest was sold/given away.

Now we were ready, we had the FREEDOM to travel.

But we then downsized even further and Matilda came into our lives.

Setting off

Setting off

This small van gave us the freedom to travel around Australia. For a year in 2010 we travelled 37000 kilometres, met many interesting people and saw the incredible diversity of this great land.

Crossing the Nullabor Plains

Crossing the Nullabor Plains

To see more about this iconic part of Australia click here.

Freedom camping at the beach

Freedom camping at the beach

Freedom camping in the outback, cooking over open fires in the camp oven.

Camping alongside rivers

Camping alongside rivers and billabongs in the shade of the mighty gum trees.

Feeling as free as the birds to follow our own path.

Feeling as free as the birds to follow our own path.

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The open road, the anticipation of what is over the hill. That is the great feeling of FREEDOM…

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Feel free to click here and go to Ailsa’s “Where’s my backpack” for many more glimpses into the freedom bloggers have found.

 

Categories: Australia, camping, freedom, freedom camping, outback, photos, travel theme | Tags: , , , , , , | 50 Comments

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