vrijdag 26 juni 2009

Mind, body & spirit festival

Friday we visited the mind.body & spirit festival in Brisbane where everything 'alternative' was on display. The public was 95% women which says something about the new age scene in Australia, the average aussie man watches aussie rules football and drinks beer it seems.

Inge dived in a crystal shop and bought a few things to take home.

both Inge and I had a neck and back massage at a chinese massage stand, really good as my back muscles were as stiff as a board!

Winter is half over

This was on the blog of my gliding club

The shortest day is over for 2009

We can now look forward to ever increasing hours of sunshine, later sunsets and longer gliding days.

There are not many places in the world where gliding is available as a year round sport and even fewer where it is good all year round, we are lucky to be one of them.

Last weekend was a bit wet, with not many flights on Saturday and none on Sunday however this weekend is forecast to be good.

woensdag 24 juni 2009

Mount Tamborine revisited

One of the definite advantages of working from home is you can plan your day as you like and take a day off when it suits you, which is what I did today. I wanted to take Inge to Mount Tamborine to see the shops, galleries, etc. We started off at the Cheese Making Shop/Factory (1st photo) but was a bit dissapointed as everything tasted like cheddar, even their Gouda(!).
I spotted a small billboard on the road so the next stop was a dutch cafe called 3 Nations where we had poffertjes (small dutch pancakes) the menu included dutch favourites like pea soup and other delights so worth a visit back again. Inge asked the owner (Boukje, a friesian) where she got her cheese from as we both really miss decent dutch cheese. So some ringing around to do.
The next stop was a crystal shop along the main street which was full of quirky shops and galleries. We both really had the feel that we were on holiday even though Mt Tamborine is only 1hrs drive away.

The last photo is of a quiant cotswold cottage, called Fig Tree Cottage which you can rent and stay in, maybe an idea for the future.

Yesterday we booked a 2 day stay at Tangalooma Resort on Moreton Island via the internet, at the resort you can hand feed wild dolphins at night. Plenty of other things to do like going out on a boat for some whale watching and taking a closer look at dugongs. We will be going there in mid July so I will keep you all posted.

maandag 22 juni 2009

Lake Eyre

All the rain and flooding in Queensland has resulted in water travelling down to Lake Eyre (pronounced "air") in South Australia. This is on my wishlist of places to visit and see but the cost of a ticket to go for a few days is as much as a trip to Europe so someother time perhaps.

During the rainy season the rivers from the northeast (in outback Queensland) flow towards the lake through the Channel Country. The amount of water from the monsoon determines whether water will reach the lake and if it does, how deep the lake will get.

However the greater proportion soaked into the desert or evaporated en route to the Lake leaving less than one cubic kilometre in the Lake which covered an area of 800 square kilometres(!!!) or 12% of the Lake

Typically a 1.5 m (5 ft) flood occurs every three years, a 4 m (13 ft) flood every decade, and a fill or near fill four times a century. The flooding at the moment is a once in a decade event.

zondag 21 juni 2009

Jade Buddha

Today (Sunday) was a rainy day so no day trips away from home, we decided to go and see the Jade Buddha statue which is visiting Brisbane for 4 days before it tours the rest of the country and then around the world. Its 2 3m statue carved out of a solid jade boulder originally found in Canada in 2000 and weighing 18 tons. Thai craftsmen spent years painstakingly carving the statue. It is intended to promote world peace during its travels. Here's the website.....I see it visits the USA but not Europe.


zaterdag 13 juni 2009

Scenic Rim drive to Warwick and back

Today we took a drive up the Scenic Rim mountains up towards the town of Warwick on the Darling Downs, a 350km round trip. The road up the mountain was great, lots of twists and turns as it made its way through the forest upto the plateau above and the town of Killarney (nothing special) then Warwick. The road is popular with bikers and we even passed some hardy cyclists near the top. The weather was prefect but a chilly 14C on the mountain pass and 22C in the valley. We stopped in Warwick for a bite to eat and a cup of coffee in the high street opposite the town hall and hotel, there are still some nice buildings in the town centre.

dinsdag 9 juni 2009

Aussie cities most liveable in world

Australian cities have been ranked among the best in a British survey of the world's most liveable cities.

Melbourne came third behind Vancouver and Vienna, out of 140 major centres.
Perth was equal fifth, Sydney ranked ninth, Adelaide was 11th place and Brisbane 16th.

The survey assessed cities based on stability, health care, education, infrastructure and culture.

After being here almost 9 months now both Inge and I vote Brisbane better than Perth. Melbourne is a nice city but the climate in wintertime is like Europe wet and windy. I would say that Vancouver is right to win it and is very nice having been there but what put me off Canada was they almost have no holidays to speak of so cant enjoy themselves because they are too busy working!

The aerial photo I attach is good as it shows you the Brisbane River meandering out to the ocean and Moreton Bay. You can see the Port at the end of the river. That was a real nice boat cruise a few weeks back, must do it again if we get visitors.

The photo of the beach is of the South Bank and the childrens beach area, in what place other than Rio de Janeiro can you laze on a beach right in the middle of the city.

Queens Birthday (UK Queen that is) & view from Mt Tambourine

Yes the Australians celebrate the english Queens official birthday on 8 June as a public holiday so we had a long weekend here. It was beautiful sunny weather and 22C so fine for winter so on the way back from flying I took a drive up Mount Tambourine which is a local beatyspot with fantastic views across the Gold Coast Hinterland.
The plateau is an irregular shape, about 8 kilometers long and about 5 kilometers across at its widest part. The highest point on Tamborine Mountain is about 600 metres above sea level.

Geologically it is only 20 million years old. Geologists say that it was formed by the ancient shield volcano directly to the south. The landward remains of this immense crater can be clearly seen from the air and from a number of vantage points in the Border Ranges. This is what is so nice gliding here you get to see these fantastic views. Mount Warning, so named by Captain Cook as he sailed up the east coast of Australia in 1770, is just a small volcanic plug near the centre of the crater.

Tamborine Mountain plateau looks down on the surrounding lowlands, across the Nerang and Coomera River valleys to the Gold Coast and Pacific Ocean to the east and over the beautiful Albert River valley and right out to the Great Dividing Range to the west.

vrijdag 5 juni 2009

Brisbane Greenfest

Today we went to the Greenfest Festival held in Brisbanes Botanical Gardens. The purpose of Greenfest is to create a dynamic gathering of new ideas from all industries, conservation groups, government and other community groups. This gathering provides the opportunity for individuals and networks to adjust towards and invent a greener future faster. Greenfest provides a blend of music, food, fashion, film, art, etc. IT was opened by an aboriginal dance/singing group. Lots to see from the environmental side. We even got to see a Bilby up close - see the photo - a rare marsupial only 400 left in the wild, theres a conservation effort to save them and they are protected from feral cats and foxes by a big fence running around their reserve.
The building is the former government Treasury Building. Now its a casino - so stilling taking money from people first in taxes and now by gambling...