Travel

A Famous Evening Walk – Coolangatta

On the border of the Australian East Coast states of New South Wales and Queensland, at the end of the tourist drenched Gold Coast, there’s a small version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, only with famous Australians.

You can find this unique attraction if you are walking, as I did, along thethe beautiful beaches of Coolangatta, following the path up around the hill of Duranbah, the Mecca for Surfers, worldwide, ending the evening at the Twin Towns Services Club, where the Walk of Fame is located.

All kinds of famous Australians were represented. Pianists, Musicians, Sports Stars, Entrepeneurs, and even a Horse – see the hoof prints? I guess they have to make room for ‘Winx’ now. Has anyone outside of Australia, heard of Winx? Let me know if you have. It is an incredible story.

As a child I remembered seeing Ken Rosewall play in a tennis match. What a legend! Not even Roger Federer has matched his record. Eight Grand slam titles!

Not only musicians were included but sports stars too.
Entering New South Wales

Background

Twin Towns refers to the two towns of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta on Queensland glitzy Gold Coast, one hour’s drive from Brisbane. Tweed Heads is on the southern or New South Wales state side and Coolangatta is on the Northern state side, governed by Queensland.

It is often a source of contention for residents, because Tweed Heads follows Daylight Saving Time in Summer and Queensland doesn’t. Oops if you live there. You have to shuffle back and forward across the border changing your watch and phones back and forward in time if you cross the road. At least you can be a time traveller if you want!

One Queensland foot and a New South Welsh foot.

The location of these towns side by side also means that they actually straddle the border marker. You an literally have one foot in one state and one foot in the other!

The Walk ends opposite the entrance to the Services club, where you can enjoy a delicious meal.

In its heyday, the Twin Towns Services club used to be one of the few casinos outside of America. Now there are many. Many concert acts and events are held here. Meals, dancing and entertainment as well as the poker machines that made this place famous, are always available.

I remember seeing the Monkees perform here. I suppose that ages me, doesn’t it?

Linking to Jo’s Monday Walks

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Community

Monday walk -Boreen Point Foreshore

It has been some time since I have been walking with Jo and I am delighted to be able to join in again! Yesterday, despite the oppressive humidity and the summer heat, we visited Boreen Point, situated on the shores of the largest lake in the super hip Noosa Region of Queensland, the Sunshine State of Australia.

The start of the Foreshore Walk

With a population of just over 250, Boreen Point is a welcome break from the hipster tourist laden surf beaches, and a chance to chill out and enjoy stand up paddle boards, kayaks, sailing and other water sports.

Me, I am happy to sit on a rug, take a short walk or dip my toes in the water and let the tranquility of the area ooze over me. Come and see what I mean.

Rebel is keen to start walking, so let’s go….

Today I took the path less travelled and the dogs didn’t seem to mind.

The shady trees were a welcome relief from the burning sun.

The vistas through the trees added to the area’s appeal, being a restful pause for the eyes.

Lake Cootharaba, itself, is about 10 kilometres long by about 5 kilometres wide, but average depth is only a mere 1.4 metres! My kind of lake!

The perimeter of the lake forms part of the Great Sandy National park and is rich in wetlands and bird life, and offers World Heritage attractions such as the Teewah Coloured Sands and the ‘Mini Sahara Desert”, known as the Carlo Sand-blow,  which I visited some years back.

Historical connections

Hidden in the bushy undergrowth in the Foreshore Reserve, stands a stone tribute to Eliza Fraser. She was a Scottish woman who was shipwrecked nearby in the19th Century and survived for several weeks with the assistance of the indigenous folk before she was rescued and taken back home. She became a minor celebrity in Australia and England regaling lurid details of her adventures being held as an “Aboriginal Tribal Slave,” to aghast Victorian audiences, and was later immortalized on celluloid by actress Susannah York in 1976. World Heritage listed Fraser Island is named after her. Seems she has left quite an impression.

All too soon, we had reached the conclusion of the foreshore walk and it was time to leave this lakeside paradise to the birds.

Linking to Jo’s Monday Walks

something to ponder about
old railway car
Community

‘Moore’ Meanderings at Linville

Being a winter girl, a summer drive through Australia’s back roads isn’t always pleasant for me, living as I do in a humid sub-tropical part of the globe, but I have to admit I discovered the Linville – Moore region of the Esk county, in Southern Queensland did have a particular provincial charm.

Linville, itself, boasts a Pub and a general store, in addition to a camping ground and a vague attempt at a historic railway exhibit, but this too simply adds to the relaxing country appeal of a laid back rural lifestyle.

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Historic Linville Hotel

Situated a 90 minute drive, north west from Brisbane, the Esk shire had a rich history of timber getting and cattle grazing. Veteran soldiers returning from World War I established small dairy farms in the surrounding areas, many of which have folded, following the deregulation of the dairy industry in the late 20th century.

In 1910, the Brisbane Valley railway line was extended to Linville, from Toogoolawah. It must have been a big event when the railway branch line opened and dignitaries boarded the train that took them from here to the Pinkenba docks in Brisbane, 140 kilometres away.

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The golden times have long gone for this small country town. The rail line was closed in the 1950’s and the station has suffered the ravages of time and neglect.

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The station master’s office contains several historic photos and memorabilia, but unfortunately it was locked when we visited and we could only peer inside through the window.
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The railway carriages are unlocked and free to enter, but as charming as they are, they too, are in complete disrepair. They might just be awaiting a philanthropic entrepreneur to renovate them into a fashionable Air B &B?

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Looking inside you can get a taste of rail travel of yesteryear. Beautiful leather seats and ornate plaster ceilings must have made for a luxurious alternative to a Horse and Jinker.

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The old rails has now been removed but the track itself remains now as a cleared, cycle or walking path. Cyclists can access a level 23 km run north to the town of Blackbutt but those on foot can take the path in the opposite direction of 7 kilometres to nearby ‘Moore’ township.

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The major waterway in the area, the Brisbane river, follows parts of the track, as it begins its winding course, meandering its way to Brisbane proper, finally spilling out into the sea, at Moreton Bay.

Due to recent good summer rainfalls, the vehicular causeway over the river was only just passable.

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Before leaving Linville, you might enjoy 100 years of history over a meal of very decent pub grub, moderately priced at around $15 for a Burger with chips.

Word has it that you can even stay the night at the historical pub, if you wish.

 

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Accommodation at the Linville Hotel will set you back $40, a night, if you chose to linger longer. Nighttime entertainment includes a game of pool, playing the piano or checking out the unique jukebox.

Or perhaps take in some more refreshments in the bar with the locals. Yes that label is fair dinkum!! Don’t let the chainsaw or the Port’s label, put you off!

 

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MOORE

Strolling down the ex-railway track for  seven kilometres, you will arrive at the town of Moore. In the main street you will find a lovely gallery cafe.

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The Old Church Gallery on Linville Road has a friendly buzz is evident with the owner operator enthusiastically welcoming visitors to her garden verandah cafe.

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The  menu for Lunch is centred on organic healthy cuisine, such as Cauliflower salad and Zucchini soup. There is plunger coffee, served individually to your table, according to taste, as well as infusions of loose leaf tea, and mouth-watering home made cakes, served with custard and figs, at prices that won’t blow your budget.

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Plus you will find many interesting curios and artifacts from bygone times.

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Home to Mackenzie fabrics, the adjoining Gallery contains a diverse range of arts, crafts, gifts and jewellery at moderate prices.

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The Old Church Gallery is located at 35 Linville Road, Moore and is open from 11 am – 4pm, Thursday to Sunday, and will happily caters for Groups. Word has it a craft group has started up in Linville and they will also meet up at the cafe.

Access for disabled and Dogs are welcome in the courtyard. Always a bonus for dog lovers.

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Moore and Linville’s Heritage Railway Walking trail make a delightful day trip to Ponder About and most suitable for Jo’s Monday Walks

Thanks goes to Ben and Nina for introducing us to the Linville area.

Architecture, Australia, Community, History & Traditions

Anzac Day in Australia

 Anzac day is a celebration of the commitment and sacrifice of the young men and women who served in battles, under the Australian and New Zealand flag, in years past.  As it is a declared public holiday, most of us spend our time making Anzac biscuits, throwing ‘snags’ on the ‘Barbie,’ or even attending a Dawn or Remembrance service, whilst others just chill out.

Land Administration building

Where and when did this tradition start?  Last week, I visited a former workplace of mine which, I was surprised to find, (according to Wikipedia), was significant in the first Anzac day. The Land Administration Building in George Street, Brisbane has, at various times, since its completion in 1905, housed the Queensland Department of Lands, the National Art Gallery, the Executive chambers of the Queensland Parliament, and the State’s Departments of Mapping and Surveying, until the nineties, when it was converted to a five star hotel providing accommodation for the Treasury Casino.

lac6My former workplace for 8 years: my desk sat between these two columns. Once only a window, today steps and a doorway have been sensitively added.  Local materials were used in the construction and this window fronting Queens Park in central Brisbane overlooks a somewhat glum statue of Queen Victoria. [Some years ago, Queens Park enjoyed some less than salubrious residents, being as it was, a haunt of the aged, homeless folk of the inner Brisbane.] There was no sign of them this day.

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The exterior of the building, along with the front of the neighbouring Treasury, features architectural features from construction methods of the past, such as banded rustication, Ionic colonnades, balconies and sculptured facades. The lift, (yes, there was one!), had walls that comprised a fancy metal cage, a bit like you see in old French movies and it operated at a snail’s pace, in fact, the snails would probably beat you to the second floor.

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Air conditioning is almost a pre-requisite in the harsh Queensland summer, but during the time I worked there, the high ceilings, thick sandstone/freestone walls, marble floors, and wide stairwells  meant the building was actually very well ventilated, naturally cool and surprisingly comfortable. I recall the government did provide their employees with a ‘government issue’ towel, presumably for mopping one’s brow if the stress of the workplace got too much! 😛

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The entrance vestibule, at the rear door, features stained glass windows with allegorical depictions of the backbone of the state’s economy: ie. mining and agriculture. [and the kangaroo makes a cameo appearance!) Furthermore, each room contained one or two large wooden mantlepieces constructed  from more of the state’s natural assets:  timbers such as maple, cedar, silky oak and black bean.

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One of my co-workers at the time, wrote a book about the building’s construction by the main contractor, Arthur Midson, who just happened to be the author’s grandfather. But the building is personally significant, for me, as I met my life partner there, and next week we will visit this building again to eat in a restaurant, located in the very same room in which we both worked!

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But getting back to Anzac day: Wiki tells us this: “Of particular importance is a marble tablet set into the wall of the George Street entrance inscribed with the message sent by King George V to the people of Australia on 25 April 1916, establishing the Anzac Day tradition.” 

Lest We Forget - Anzac Day in Brisbane

I often noticed this particular stone/ marble tablet, but was completely oblivious to its significance to Anzac day until today.  Lest we Forget.

 

Something to Ponder About on Anzac day.

 

 

Food

Making Cheese with Mad Millie

Being a bit of an old Hippie at heart, in the sense that I like home-made foods, I thought I would try to make my own cheese. But I wasn’t prepared to go it alone, so I enlisted the help of Mad Millie, a cheese making kit. Today I tried making Italian cheese – “Mozzarella.” Here is how it went:

I needed a slotted spoon, large pot, Citric acid, calcium carbonate, vegetarian rennet, salt, 4 litres full cream (non homogenised ) Milk.

1. You have to be clean and sterilise all utensils and pots first.

2. Then heat some milk that has NOT been homogenised (pasteurised is ok, but it  has to be non- homogenised) to 13 Degrees Celsius or if you are in a hot climate you might have to refrigerate it to this temperature.

( I used Maleny Dairies milk, if you live in Queensland), unless you are lucky enough to have access to fresh milk from the farm.

3. Add 2 mls of Calcium chloride to help clot the milk and 2 teaspoon of citric acid diluted in some cool non-chlorinated water.

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4. Mix thoroughly with a slotted spoon and heat to 32 degrees Celsius – you must keep stirring at this point..

5. Add in 1 tablet of rennet (supplied by Mad Millie), diluted in cool non-chlorinated water and mix thoroughly with the slotted spoon.

6.Put the lid on the pan and set aside for 30 minutes so the milk can set.

2013-11-03 Heidi'27. Do you have a clean break? As shown here when you cut the curd with a knife. If not, leave it for a bit longer. Cut in 3 cm cubes, cutting vertically, horizontally and diagonally

8. Slowly heat the curd to 42 degrees celsius whilst stirring VERY GENTLY. Don’t rip into the curd, stirring it like a mix-master on warp speed!

9. Gently lift out the curd and drain in a colander lined with butter muslin cloth for 5 minutes.

10. Have a bowl of salted ice cold water ready and a pot of water heated to 70 degrees Celsius.

11. With the slotted spoon, take a handful of curd and lower it into the hot water. Immerse it several times until it obtains a glossy smooth texture.

Making cheese12. Now you can begin to fold it and stretch it over and over and over, turning 90 degrees each time, until it resembles the even texture of Mozzarella cheese then squeeze it through a closed fist to make the characteristic mozzarella shape.

13. At this point, you can dunk it in the ice water and allow it to cool.

Mozzarella
Stretching the cheese

14. Let it sit in the cold water for 20 minutes and then you can eat it.

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Delicious on pizzas. Lovely fresh, home-made mozzarella. There is nothing like it.

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Is it economical? If you make several batches, then yes. You do have to remember it is fresh cheese and it does not have preservatives. So you must be prepared to eat it within a few days. I am going to experiment to see if it freezes well. Something to ponder about by people with food sensitivities as they know exactly what is in the food they are eating.

More info at http://www.madmillie.com

Community, History & Traditions

Scandinavian midsommar in Australia

midsummer

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scandinavian Australia

How can a Scandinavian midsommar  be held in the depths of winter, yet the temperature and weather conditions be the same? The answer is when it is held Down Under’ in Australia! The ethnic clubs of Scandinavia are active and popular with those Scandi expats living or working in Australia.

The Danish club of Qld, for example started 140 years ago ( with some Norwegian members) to support those who had immigrated from Denmark, the Norwegian club some 50 years ago, and the Swedish and Finnish club are represented too. Each clubs hold various activities throughout the year as a way of preserving the traditions and culture of their homeland.  Whilst the language barrier in Australia,  is not so much a problem for Scandinavian immigrants arriving today, the clubs still play a role in social connections, activities and pastoral care of their members.

The Danish club also has an active group of folk dancers and historical reenactment ‘Viking’ group. The Norwegian club has traditional craft and baking days as well as the annual Constitution day March on Syttende Mai, and the Swedish club holds a increasingly popular Midsommar celebration, complete with dancing around the Maypole, which, of course, has been decorated, as is the tradition, with flowers and all clubs are represented in thecombined Scandinavian choir.  The Folk bank, Kupaleja, comprises Swedish, Norwegian Danish and Australia members and they provide the traditional instruments and music.

I try to join in with the activities as much as I can, being an active member of the Danish and Norwegian clubs and midsommar particularly is a lot of fun.

The individual club links are found here:

Swedes Down Under

Norwegian Club of QueenslandSaga Viking reenactment group

The Danish Club in Brisbane

Saga Vikings


Do you have an ethnic club in your area?

What traditions do they follow?

Something to ponder about.

Australia, Community

A Natural Wonder (Two Days in Tin Can Bay)

Continuing the travel journal:

Whilst we were hand feeding the dolphins at the Barnacles Boat Ramp, one of the staff suggested we go out to Rainbow Beach and visit the Carlo Sandblow, a natural wonder.

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What is that, we wondered? The mind boggled, but as Rainbow Beach has a bit of a reputation for being a very “cool” place to go, we had to investigate. It is really quite embarrassing to say that I have lived in Queensland most of my life, yet never have I set my foot on the sands of Rainbow beach…. ooops. Now wait a minute, I tell a lie…. If you count the Teewah Coloured Sands as being almost as cool as Rainbow, being located a few hundred metres from the official Rainbow beach site, then yes I have been there. If you don’t, well I am pretty uncool, until now….

Rainbow beach is approximately 20 minutes from Tin Can Bay on the outer coast of the peninsula that provides the protective wing for the calm waters of Tin Can Bay. Mecca for the surfies, ferals, saronged, thonged chicks, and the Hilux driving 4 WD enthusiasts. Rainbow beach is the gateway to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world and World Heritage Area. (See more info on Fraser below*)

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But I am getting a little ahead of  myself.

My very uncool family car with decorative roofracks is not 4WD and could not cope no more with beach driving than a lizard could cope with flying, so Rainbow was as close as we got to Fraser today, and thank god for that. Being Easter, the hordes and I do  mean that literally, of 4WD maniacs were everywhere. There was a line up of twenty cars waiting to fill up with fuel and supplies, at the last garage before the ferry departure point to  Fraser, and it was a hub of activity. Fishing rods, bait, fuel was flying out the door. The gas station owner must have become a millionaire that day. What did I purchase? Nothing but directions to the Carlo Sandblow.

But before we did that, we drove through the township, and being Good Friday, shops and facilities are always closed. Conversely, or perversely, some might say, in Rainbow beach, everything was open. People right left and centre. On the beach itself, there is a surf lifesavers club and public toilet facilities. Apparently you can walk along the beach to see the Teerwah Coloured Sands, but the mercury had reached ” foot blisteringly hot”, so that was out of the question.

Instead we followed the directions and the signposts to the Carlo Sandblow, passing by luxurious apartments with million dollar views of the beach and water.After a few minutes of encircling a hill, we reached the Cooloola Water tower and adjacent parking lot. No sand within sight, but people were getting out of cars and making their way along a track in some dry heathland/sclerophyll forest, so we followed: what sheep we are!

After 5- 10 minutes of walking, we were getting quite cynical about this natural “wonder”,  but trekked on, despite the complaints of Miss 13 who could think of better ways to spend an afternoon, preferably one that involves technological options!!! I was, however, enjoying the forest stroll, and stopped to take a few photos. Suddenly Miss 13, who had run on ahead out of sheer boredom, let out a cry of excitement. Mum, you have to see this… it is awesome.

And without warning, hidden behind the foliage, was the Mini “Sahara desert” we had been searching for….

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The Carlo Sand blow covers 15 hectares and was named by Captain Cook, after one of his deck hands, Carlo, in 1770,  so was definitely present 250 years ago. Carlo would certainly have been able to spot this feature from the poop deck!

Kids (big and small) absolutely love to run or toboggan down the sandhills, and it can be a great fitness activity, if you are into soft impact exercise. One certainly shed a few kilos of fat and fluid walking the length of what looks like an alien moonscape in the middle of sub tropical beach/woodland.

The Sandblow was enormous, looked like it was spreading and swallowing trees with each passing year, and it was hot. In fact, we soon realised it was what we could see all the way across the inlet at Tin Can Bay. The heat of the sand was a bit of a problem, you could not stand still with bare feet. We simply had to remove our shoes, or else they would have become completely filled with sand. Even on an Autumn day, the heat reflected off the sand was fierce. Hubby was impressed, and it takes quite a bit to impress him. ( he is so not a sightseeing tourist).Tincanbay2

The 360 degree views are spectacular, to the East has magnificent views of the ocean where one can often see the migrating whales from August to October. You can also see Double Island point and the orange colour of the Teewah coloured sands, which we were allowed to collect, as children, to the south.  Tin Can bay lies to the West.   When the thermals are right, you will often see Hang Gliders taking off and landing at this beautiful piece of Nature’s sculpture.Family 2013 243

This was really something to see, such a weird thing, and Miss 13 loved it…Next time we visit, I think we will try to approach it from the beach side, although:

A website also offers this warning to tourists:
WARNING:
Keep well clear of cliffs and edges. They are unstable and may collapse without warning, resulting in serious injury. Do not attempt to access the beach from the sandblow. Supervise children at all times.

The beach can be a treacherous place at the best of times, yet people take risks, as you see in the clips below….Unnecessary risks is something I hope I will only have to ponder about.

See Related Posts  about Day 1 and 2 Tin Can Bay Holiday here:

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/a-date-with-wild-dolphins-tin-can-bay-day-2/

https://forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/travel-diary-two-days-in-tin-can-bay-australia/

More pictures of the Carlo Sand Blow here:

http://www.ourrainbowbeach.com.au/our-rainbow-beach/rainbow-beach/carlo-sandblow.html

* (Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in recognition of its outstanding natural universal values. It features complex dune systems that are still evolving, and an array of rare and unique features in this sand environment, including dune lakes and tall rainforests. Fraser Island was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992.Fraser Island was one of 15 World Heritage places included in the National Heritage List on 21 May 2007.)

Australia

A Word a Week photo challenge – Island from A Word in Your Ear

Island is the word from A Word in Your Ear photo challenge….

 

http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/a-word-a-week-photo-challenge-island/#respond

Moreton Island - Tangalooma Resort
Moreton Island – Tangalooma Resort

 

Heading away from Stradbroke Island
Heading away from Stradbroke Island