Architecture

As High as the Government in Tokyo

Designed by Kenzo Tange to resemble a computer chip, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Government Office Building is a set of three towering skyscrapers, in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo.

Two of the towers have a panoramic Observatory on the 45th floor, or 202 metres up, and there’s a few things about them that are rather special.

As well as one of the most amazing illuminated Cityscape outlooks you’ll find, the T.M.G. Building Observatory is open to the public, every night till 9pm, and what’s more – entrance to the observatory is FREE to the public.

Now that’s something that doesn’t come along too often, does it?

The Street Level Courtyard

But back to the building. Impressive by day, the view was spectacular by night.

This is one of the views that awaits you.

From the Tower, one can see the Mode Gakuen Cocoon shaped building in the background.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government building complex occupies an entire block close to Shinjuku station. Entrance is via street level or a subterranean shopping arcade and underground walkway. There are actually two observatories, one in the North tower and one is the South tower, each with alternate openings times, so that if you visit two nights in a row, you might see two different views.

This is important to note, as it can be somewhat disorienting, if you exit via a different lift than you entered previously. Or perhaps it is only a sign of my approaching the elder years?

Uniformed Security Personnel are on hand to check bags prior to entering the lifts in the main foyer. In typical Japanese fashion, these Assistants are immaculately dressed, polite and helpful. Note that there will be a queue to enter the lifts, so factor this into your time allowance when visiting.

I would allow 45 minutes to an hour for this experience. Longer if you want to browse the gift shop or eat at the rooftop restaurant – which comes complete with faux Roman columns! The few trip advisor reviews for the restaurant I read, were mixed but they would surely have a first class view.

When you return to ground level, don’t forget to keep an eye out for an interesting clock in the foyer.

Even in the daytime, the building is quite impressive. In the foreground is a walkway across the busy street.

If you are observant of details and the resolution is not too small, you might note there is what appears to be a homeless person in the foreground. This was the only one I ever saw in the time visiting Japan. He appeared to be reading his Buddhist scriptures in the morning mist. I know that he was Buddhist, not that it is of any consequence to me what religious persuasion he was.

I realized this at a much later date, when I was informed by one of our guides that Shintoism does not have any written scriptures. In fact, anyone can invent a deity in Shinto if it is meaningful for them. They have thousands of deities.

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Something to Ponder About

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
Community, Environment

Monday Mystery Photo – Last time Canary Islands

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Where do think this structure is located?

Every second Monday, I post a new photo of a ‘mystery’ location, and sometimes a mystery object.  I invite you to leave a comment if you think you know the location, or what the mystery object might be.

If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog in the follow-up post, when the answer is revealed.  N.B. Comments will be released on alternate Mondays (Australian E.S.T.), so as not to spoil the fun for late-comers to this post.

Contribution and guest posts of Monday mystery photos are very welcome. You can send me the photograph by email. My addy can be found by clicking on my profile.

Many thanks to Banactee for submitting the above photograph.

Previous Monday Mystery Photograph

 

The photo from Banectee depicted the ancient petroglyphs from the Fajana cemetery on the island of La Palma, Spain in the Canarian Archipelago, thought to be etched by the Indigenous people of the Canary Islands.

“Today, archaeological and ethnographic studies have led most scholars to accept the view that the pre -colonial population of the Canaries shared common origins with North African Berber tribes from the Atlas Mountains region who began to arrive in the Canaries by sea around 1000 BCE or earlier.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canary_Islands_in_pre-colonial_times

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Monday Mystery Photo – Something to Ponder About on Mondays

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Community

Monday Mystery Photo – Last time Norway

Every second Monday, I post a photo of a ‘mystery’ location, and sometimes a mystery object. 

I invite you to leave a comment if you think you know the location, or what the mystery object might be.

 

This Week’s Monday Mystery Photo

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Can you guess the location?

If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog in a post the following Monday, when the answer is revealed.

Comments will be released later in the week, (Thursday Australian E.S.T.), so as not to spoil the fun for latecomers to this post.

The Mystery photo this week comes from Amy P from the Blog Tesserolo.  Many thanks to Amy for the use of her photo.

If you also have a travel photo you would like featured on Monday Mystery, please leave a comment or contact me on my email which you will find on the Contact page.

You can also find my email by hovering over my Gravatar and viewing my Profile information.

Last Time on Monday Mystery

Ted from recipereminiscing.wordpress.com has been a very welcome regular commenter on Monday Mystery, but his gorgeous photo comprised the very last MMP for 2017.

It was of course, the very famous Vigeland Sculpture park in Oslo, Norway.

  Thanks Ted for the photo!

This photo was taken on New Year’s Eve some years back, and strangely enough, both Ted and Myself were at the park on that very night!

Although we did not know of each other then!!! The snow fell right on midnight following the annual Fireworks display lighting up the sky.

A wonderful moment for a traveler in Norway!

Congratulations to Drake for correctly guessing the location.

Who will guess the location this time?

Something I do Ponder About

– Amanda

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Community

Monday Mystery Photo – Last time Poland

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object.

I invite you to leave a comment, if you think you know the location, or what it is. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog when the answer is revealed, the following Monday.

Guest Submissions are very welcome! You can find my Email at my Gravatar if you have a photo you would like to submit.

This week’s photo comes from Hanne Sieber’s collection, and you can find her blog here.

Thanks so much for your guest submission, Hanne. What a great photo!

This week’s Mystery Photo


Last Week’s Mystery Photo – seen below

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The selfie was mine, but the iconic location it seems, was known to many people, and not just for its unusual structures, but also because of its significant history. I am standing at the shipyards in Gdansk,at a place where, in 1980, ordinary workers stood up to a powerful nation on earth; they defied the iron fist of the Soviet Union, destroying the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe. It was here that people power formed a union called Solidarity, led by an electrician, named Lech Walesa. As a student of modern History, Walesa was a hero of mine, and although he did become President of the new independent Poland, he later retired from politics to a quieter life, and still lives in a house overlooking the shipyards, today. Here is a link to more of his story:

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This was an incredibly exciting and difficult era in time. I was told of a Grandmother, who had worked and saved hard, for years upon years in order to buy a house, and when she had saved almost enough money, independence from the old Soviet order came to Poland. But with economic independence, came the financial shock that the only thing her savings could now buy, was one pair of shoes!! Soul destroying? Such was the price of freedom!

Here are the list of bloggers who correctly identified the country/location:-

Yvette from Priorhouse Blog

Pooja from Stories from Europe

Mel and Suan from Traveling Matters to Us

TidiousTed From Recipe Reminiscing

Gerard from Oosterman Treats

Drake from ledrakenoir

Dina from The World According to Dina

Leggy Peggy

Polish Revolution – Something sobering and inspirational to Ponder About

Monday Mystery

Røros
Community

Røros – A Walk back in ‘Mine’

 

At latitude of 62 degrees North, in the Sør-Trondelag region of Norway, 620 – 675 metres above sea level, lies the copper mining town of Røros  – a UNESCO World Heritage site and a must see for tourists.

 

 

The town, itself, comprises traditional Norwegian wooden buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries, that are still owned and occupied by businesses and residents today.

The smelting house “Smeltehytta,” (now the Røros Museum), forms the major part of the world heritage site, and is surrounded by black slag heaps.

Furthermore, it lies adjacent to the iconic, picture postcard, white-washed masonry church dating from 1784, that stands as a sentinel overlooking the town and countryside. (See more about the church in a later post)

 

 

The landscape surrounding Røros, is one of great scenic beauty – snow capped mountains, alpine flora, log cabins. This photo was taken in early summer and there was still ice in the lake, yet it was a gorgeous, warm summer day.

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Lake Aursund

The largest lake, Aursund, which you will circumnavigate if you travel to Røros from Trondheim, (the nearest city) –a drive of about 2-3 hours, or 5-6 hours if you choose to  travel by train.

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Forbidding high country on the Norwegian Swedish border

 

History

Lying close to the Swedish border,  military action between Norwegians and Swedish forces was a common historical event in Røros, culminating in the Swedish forces burning the town in 1678 and 79.

The Norwegians rebuilt and a revenge, of sorts, was exacted by nature, in the winter of 1718, when 3000 Swedish soldiers died attempting to cross the border, into Sweden, via the mountain range near Røros.

 

 

The first traces of copper,  in the area, had been discovered at Rauhåmmåren, and by 1646, the first smelting shed had been constructed in Røros.  The same copper-mining company, ‘Røros Kobberverk’, operated the copper-works for 333 years from 1644 until it went bankrupt in 1977.

Museum

Røros Copper Mine
Smelting house

Today, 300 years of mining history is depicted in the Rørosmuseet Smelthytta (Røros Museum Smelting House). It was awarded the Best New Museum in Europe in 1990 and consists primarily, of a large permanent exhibit with full scale 1:10 models showing each part of the copper mining and production process, as well as family and cultural life, in this frontier style town.

English language audiotapes are available. Tours of the mine are also available.

If visiting, allow, at least, a good hour at least to see all the museum has to offer.

 

Artists Mecca

The mine may have closed, but tourists has another reason to visit Røros. Not only will they experience the authentic flavour and atmosphere of a 17th century mining town, but the town has re-invented itself as an meccas for artists and of all kinds and specialist food.

More about the some of the unusual creatives of Røros in the next post. Til then, Røros’ long history is Something to Ponder About

Linking to Restless Jo’s Monday Walks

 

 

Community

Monday Mystery Photo – Last week South Korea

Each Monday, I post a mystery photo, or occasionally a mystery object. I encourage you to leave a comment if you think you might know where this week’s mystery photograph, is located, or what it is. If you guess correctly, I will link back to your blog the following week when the answer will be revealed. Guest submissions are very welcome. Drop me an email if you would like to submit a photography to Monday Mystery Photo.

Where would you find this structure?

 

Last week we were in South Korea at the double decker Bridge.

MMP Sep 12

banpo-bridge-south-korea
Source: http://www.kuriositas.com/2013/06/banpo-worlds-longest-double-decker.html

As Drake pointed out, in the comments last week, there are two bridges. Being a double-decker bridge, the second layer was built on top of the first bridge. Each layer has their own name.

Do you know what the names are? The beautiful rainbow fountain even has its own name.

Read more about the bridge/s here.

That shall give you something to ponder about.

Monday Mystery

marimekko shop helsinki
Community

Finding my Feet in Finland

I was surprised with what I found. Can I say that?

I knew so little about Helsinki or Finnish history.

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The Nordic regions weren’t a focus of the Australian school curriculum at all. In fact, growing up in Australia in the sixties,you would be considered a bit of a nerd, or at least a well-read child, if you even knew of the country called Finland, (unless, of course, you had Finnish heritage or a ‘Euro-vision’ Song Contest fanatic in your family).

Armed with this startling lack of knowledge, and the little I had gleaned from my post- school reading, I flew into ‘Vantaa’ airport in Helsinki, en route to Norway. And let me say again, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

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First impressions of Helsinki:

There is something about the smell of the place that I can’t quite put my finger on. It has the smell of Scandinavia, or at least that is what my nostrils tell me…. but I can’t be sure just what this is. So I challenge my thinking a bit more.

It is then I realize, it is not the smell of a country iself, but the smell of clean, crisp, fresh air. Air that is unadulterated by the pollution that besets many cities today. The proximity of Finland to both the North Pole and the Baltic sea, as well as its clean energy sources  clearly gives Finland this privilege and I for one, revel in it.

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Heading into Helsinki after a long haul flight, I look out airport-city bus window to see Green everywhere and it is not the same green; there are 101 varieties of green.  Brilliant green, apple green, mint green, moss-green, and of course, leaf green in the many trees, plants, grassy fields and forest. Beautiful!

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Then I notice that all this greenery is punctuated haphazardly here and there by massive granite rocks, seemingly flung around like a giant’s marble set. One that is over 560 million years old. The remnants now lying still and intractable. Permanent.  Polished smooth by glacial action and natural forces through time.  Houses, trees and modern infrastructure with simply no alternative, but to build around these stoic, granite monoliths.
But don’t visualize a stark moonscape of rock, because it is not like that at all, purely because there is so much greenery and interesting architecture.Because, shading almost each and every boulder, you will find the ever graceful Birch trees. Quintessentially Scandinavian. Being summertime when I arrived, the Birch branches let their long leafy tresses sway gently in the sea breeze. It felt like a welcome party, beckoning me forward to experience Helsinki.

BIrch in Helsinki

Yes, there is something wonderful here. I feel instantly comfortable, even though I am an alien in this environment and a solo female traveler. ‘Hey,’ I remind myself, ‘I don’t even know any Finnish words yet!’  But it is only a matter of minutes after setting down in my hotel at the harbour, that I quickly understand ‘Moi’ is ‘Hello’ and ‘Kittos’ means ‘thank you.’  Essential language if one would like to eat or drink in public!!

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If you fly into Helsinki from the west, you will undoubtedly spot the coastline of Finland, dotted as it is with thousands of islands and small skerries. Maritime navigation must be a nightmare for the inexperienced sailor!  Particularly as: “The southern islands in the Gulf of Finland are mainly of low elevation,

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But, perhaps I should tell you a little more about Helsinki, other than what you find in the usual tourist brochures?

Finland share its borders with Russia, Sweden and Norway and I do think the history with these neighboring powers is reflected in the capital’s architecture. When you imagine Helsinki, imagine glass conservatories, crisp white, copper green or even red painted domes and turrets and lemon yellow or eggshell-blue buildings adorned with white window details, all of which echo the historic Swedish and Russian imperialist regimes and their respective architectural styles.

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The clothing, lifestyle and culture in Southern Finland also evokes a typical Scandinavian summer day: cool and crisp in the morning, warming towards a lazy long afternoon where time becomes confused, (it may be 10 pm and some are only thinking about dinner).

Imagine also long shafts of golden evening light and cool glades with shadows resting languidly behind a festive main street atmosphere. All this, at the onset of twilight, before the night makes its slow descent to darkness.

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The capital city Helsinki is a fashionable place… a secret I am sure is kept from the rest of the world. In the storefronts, I see elegant dresses with unique and beautiful designs and lots of bold bright colour…of which ‘Marimekko’ is famous. [And if anyone knows me, they will tell of my preference for this exact thing: bold, bright colour]. So I wear a happy smile!!!

20160528_160903Gorgeous dresses with a distinctive, personal flair, not seen in my corner of the world, adorn many of the formal wear shops in the streets of Helsinki. Who would have thought I would find this so far north?

I also spot botanical, Linnean- inspired prints in delicate, lightweight fabrics, all with that indefinable something, that says ‘Scandinavia.’ It is so light here in the summer and like the beech and birch wood, Finland also seems free and tolerant…  a little like the mentality the Scandinavian summer landscape seems to suggest. Helsinki has me feeling all romantic!!!

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Mind you, the Finns are a little reserved with strangers, but this will only be a bother if  you expect American or Australian open-mindedness towards strangers. Despite the staging of a multicultural music and ethnic festival held in the city during my stay, I could still feel the Finnish character: that wonderful Scandinavian persona, but with an inner stoicism that visitors may find a little aloof. Rather, than thinking this was a negative, I preferred a more romantic view of the people. One where Finns guard their privacy and others’ privacy, with the respect it deserves.

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There is so much more to Helsinki and Finland, and I will talk about that in the next post. After all, there are some of the most iconic sites found around Helsinki, not the least of which is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Suomenlimma Fortress.

For me it is   Something to Ponder About.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Architecture, Community, History & Traditions

Back in Bakklandet – Norway

With every tourist arriving in Trondheim, (Western Norway), heading for the medieval Nidaros Cathedral and the mandatory picture in front of the “Gamle Bybro” ( the Old Town Bridge, built in the late 19th century) shown below, with the iconic carved woodwork, you could be forgiven for asking why you would seek out the back streets of Trondheim.

trondheimgamlenbro

The eastern side of the Nidelva river, once the haunt of Trondheim’s fishermen, seamen, and labourers features cobble-stoned, picture-perfect alleys of wooden buildings, many dating from as far back as the 17th century, all lovingly restored and renovated into cafes, vintage stores, retro gift shops, galleries and private residences.

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On a summer evening in Trondheim, the sun doesn’t really set, the light just dulls somewhat, so one can wander the streets of Bakklandet in safety, and not get lost in some dark alleyway, fearing for your safety.baklandet

If you enter Bakklandet by bike, you might also like to experience the world’s only (?) coin-operated, (now card-operated), “cykel tramp” or bicycle lift, up a very steep Trondheim street, (see tramp in action to the right of the photograph below). I believe, this tramp, takes a little practice to master, so I declined the offer to experiment on this occasion.

Bicyclelift

The bicycle lift takes you past more ‘old world’ homes, painted in pretty shades of pastels and Norwegian red, to ‘Kristiansten’ fortress, still complete with tower, bastions and whitewashed army barracks and artillery supply buildings from days of old. The fortress can now be accessed free of charge and was established for the protection of Trondheim from all those marauding Swedes of the past, (at this latitude in Norway, Sweden is less than 200 kms away)

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Being a student town, and for that reason alone, Trondheim offers a huge range of options for eating out, and late opening hours to suit any age. One such cafe with especially unique interiors and a friendly atmosphere is the Baklandet Skydsstation, pictured below, and it is not just the food that is good.

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This cafe is stuffed with handcrafted cushions, wall hangings and embroidery that screams Scandinavian tradition and fight to divert one’s attention from their food. The cuisine is freshly-made: waffles and cafe food, and the hot chocolate of gargantuan proportions is topped with a mountain of fresh Norwegian cream. Just what I needed after walking up and down the eastern side of the river.

Frequently overlooked by passing tourists, Bakklandet, the real jewel in Trondheim’s crown is Something to Ponder About this Travel Tuesday and you can see all of this for the price of a cup of coffee if you wish……

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Community

New Zealand – Oriental Bay

It is said that you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and really, you can’t. The beach and harbour-side is so accessible from the city, it is ridiculous.

Croc Bikes at Oriental Bay, Wellington, New Zealand New Zealand 2013

Oriental Bay, Wellington

You can choose to stroll along the 3 km or so promenade, relax by sitting on the beach wall and eating ice cream, or perhaps fish n chips on the beach, or as I did, ride a ‘Croc Bike’. I know these bikes as ‘Silly Cycles’ in Surfers Paradise, Australia, but basically it is a fun way to ride around with a few people, under a shady canopy along the promenade area. A family of islanders/maori with flowery shirts crammed 8 people in a croc bike and crossed our path singing and playing guitar, making for a very festive “tropical mood”. Young kids made the most of the good swimming conditions, by leaping off the bow of  the floating seafood restaurant (converted ship), yet for me it was too chilly to take a dip.

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Oriental bay also has some stunning houses overlooking the water, and reminiscent of what I have seen of San Francisco, on TV.. (never having been there, of course)

Day 3 Te Papa, Beach and Wind energy

Day 3 Te Papa, Beach and Wind energy

I particularly liked the scenic nature of the boating sheds, or at least I think that is what they were.

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The croc bikes took us to the old ? lighthouse near the ferry to Eastbourne, but that was our destination the next day. So, we turned around and later walked back to the city along Kent Terrace, and the main street of Wellington, along which, I believe, all the Hollywood/Wellywood celebrities walked the red carpet to the Art Deco themed Embassy theatre, for the premiere of The Hobbit, and previously, The Lord of the Rings movies..

Embassy theatre, New ZealandStrange art installations along the Wellywood street

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Well, it is Wellywood, so they capitalize on it…

I have yet to see The Hobbit….

Something to ponder about one day.

Previous New Zealand post: Wandering Around Whitby

Australia, Community, Environment, Gardening

World Heritage Springbrook National Park – reminders of Tambourine Mountain

I found Kristin’s fabulous travel blog, A Pair of Boots and a Backpack. and her entry High Above Tamborine Mountain on the Skywalk | A Pair of Boots and a Backpack which reminded me of a short break I took,  in UNESCO world heritage listed Springbrook national park. Memories of  the waterfalls, the soft spray that caresses your face, the cool refreshing humidity, the awesome views – that is Springbrook National Park.

Cool rainforest glades and rock pools

Springbrook  is an easy 1- 2 hour drive from Brisbane, Australia, and whilst a small township, with several cafes, basic amenities, and art/ craft gallery, its forte is nature- based walking tracks and trails. In short, it is national park full of private retreats, awe-inspiring lookouts, picnic areas, walking tracks and spectacular nature. Aiming for a relaxing holiday, we found ouselves walking up to 9 kilometres, through open and closed Eucalypt and rainforest, Palm and Picabeen groves, and splashing in rock pools, fringed with waterfalls, each and every day.

 

As long as you have an adequate water bottle and  snack, the shaded, mostly- level walk makes the 6 or 9 km circuit pleasant for anyone with moderate fitness, (Miss 9 certainly managed the 9k with only a few grumbles).  At times, it was all very ‘Lord of the Rings’, as the path criss-crossed gorges and behind waterfalls, under overhanging rocks and between rock crevices. I did not have a good quality camera at the time, but nevertheless some of the pics turned out:

Walking behind a waterfall
The walking path leads behind the waterfall itself

Purlingbrook Circuit
Purlingbrook Circuit Walk

View from Springbrook out to the Gold Coast
View from Springbrook out to the Gold Coast

We stayed at Springbrook Mountain chalets, a private self contained stand alone group of houses, separated from each other with lush rainforest and tall trees. If you want to get the sense of living in the forest, with all the comfort of home, plus a few more, like a 6 person spa, this is the place. On the upstairs rear balcony of the house, you are level with the low tree tops, as the valley falls away sharply beside the house. The bush is literally all around you, and the birds are almost constantly active, save for their midday siesta ( the hottest part of the day).  It can get cold and rainy up here, even in summer, so bring a cardi!! If desperate, there is always the log fire.

Springbrook Mountain Chalet
Springbrook Mountain Chalet

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 Another walk on the southern side of the township is only 500 metres in length and takes you to a lookout in the clouds. Being so cool and moist on this side of the plateau, 600 to 1000 m above sea level, you are standing, literally, in the clouds, even on a relatively clear day. If you are patient, the breeze will part the clouds revealing views to  the coast beyond.

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Along the way, take a moment to admire the ancient trees, “Nothofagus”, I believe, which make me feel like LOTR was filmed here and not in New Zealand. My Botany lessons all those years back in Uni, taught me that trees, such as these, were part of the remnant flora that was called the ‘Antarctic element’. Millions of year ago, prior to commencing its continental drift southward, the Australian continent was part of a huge super-continent called Gondwana. Gondwanaland consists of  modern day Australasia and Antarctica, and as the landscape was not as dry as today, Nothofagus trees, (found in wet sclerophyll rainforest), such as these examples, thrived. As such, they deserve our respect and protection.  These could possibly be several hundreds of years old.

Springbrook National Park
Where’s Frodo?  – Nothofagus trees a remnant example of the flora from Gondwanaland

How long have these trees been standing here like Three kings? Something I pondered about when visiting Springbrook. I hope you find your visit as energising and invigorating as I did.

Jan 2014 update: Recent storm damage has closed parts of the Purlingbrook circuit due to landslips, but it is still possible to see the falls, as long as you return up the same path. Updates can be found here.

Australia, Community, Environment

Cedar Creek Sunday Picnic

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Even though the weather was a bit dismal today, it suited me fine to go for a picnic at Cedar Creek, around 40 minutes drive from home.  I did take my raincoat just in case. Doubting Thomas husband and Miss 13, weren’t convinced, particularly when a heavy shower hit us half way to our destination. Scoffing at their admonishments, I reminded them that all we needed was a good half hour interval of no rain to sit and eat our picnic lunch, and if it continued to rain, we would just find a nice cafe under cover somewhere???? Sounds convincing, doesn’t it?

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Well as luck would have it, the weather Gods smiled at my optimism and patches of blue sky emerged from the misty clouds of the D’agular Range. Only one other family braved the weather, so we had Cedar Creek to ourselves, once they departed.

Usually there are throngs of people there, enjoying the environment and outdoors.

So here is my Cedar Creek Picnic Story, in pictures:

Lovely reflections in this pool.Cedar Creek, Australia

Go Rock Hopping, swimming, paddling, in cool clean rock pools which were great to try out the varying shutter speed settings on the new camera: Top Photo 1/2500  Bottom photo: 1/13

Cedar creek

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and my favourite pic

Tiffany Schnazuer enjoying Cedar Creek
Tiffany Schnauzer enjoying Cedar Creek

DSC_0163After our picnic lunch, I captured a rather nice reflections photograph.

and some nature shots….

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Upstream there is an Art Gallery selling Devonshire Tea, but our tummies were full from our picnic of rolls and fruit, so we left that for next visit. On the way back, we spotted what might just be the entrance to Vlad’s haunt in Australia!! The less than inviting gargoyles reminded me of the baby vampire bats in ‘Van Helsing’ and obviously the owner, had a few pennies to spend on the Gate tower! IMAG0340Our path home led us through Dayboro, which is about 16 kilometres from the Cedar Creek Turnoff. Dayboro is renowned for its butcher, selling 50 varieties of sausage, the pub, and the bakery. I was more interested in the bat colony, (this time it was flying foxes, not bats) that resided in the tree tops above the “Pump shop” – such raucous screeching noises!!!

Nice country SE Queensland scenery capped off the day.

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To find Cedar Creek, Take the road west from Brisbane towards Samford Village, and then head north to Samsonvale and Dayboro. Take the Cedar creek road which is about 6 kilometres along from Samford. Then follow this until you see the Cedar Creek sign on the left. ( around 4 kms). Take the road north again back to Dayboro, which is clearly signposted, and from Dayboro it is but a short drive past Lake Kurwongbah, and Old Petrie Town (great hand made markets there), and back to Brisbane again.

Just me, pondering about the weather, or something!

Something to Ponder About