Day 17 - Lightning Ridge

Day 17 was a ‘recovery day’ spent in and around Lightning Ridge after our 700km drive to get here. It’s an interesting place - eclectic; dusty but attractive; reputedly one of the poorest towns in NSW; beautiful and clear light. It seems that places with such clear light attract many artists. It is the same with Broken Hill. Plenty of tragedy and hard, physical work and plenty of artists as well.

Day 16 - Angellala Creek Bridge

Day 16 was a long driving day - a little over 700km. It should have been less than 600km but our GPS suggested a route that involved 170km of dirt - which we only discovered after driving the first 50km on tar. Anyway, the drive from Charleville to Lightning Ridge took us past/over the Angellala Creek Bridge which was the scene of Australia’s largest transport explosion when, in 2014, a truck carrying 50 tonnes of ammonium nitrate caught fire, crashed and exploded.

Day 15 - Charleville (in sepia)

Day 15 involved a drive from Blackall to Charleville. Much of the road is flat and straight with varying forms of sparse landscape. A cup of coffee in Tambo and a couple of stops along the way saw us arrive in Charleville before lunch. After lunch we walked the Warrego River Walk which was only a kilometre or two long. Plenty of stops along the way to check out the river and bird life.

Day 14 - Blackall

Day 14 saw us leave Winton for Blackall. After lunch in Pioneer Park we sought out the Black Stump and walked part of the Blackall bird nature walk in the afternoon. The Black Stump was a major survey point for western Queensland in the 1800s. Anything west of that point was ‘beyond the black stump’. Statue of Lieutenant Edgar Towner VC. Reenlisted for WWII and was promoted to Major. Edgar's sister, Greta Towner, WWI nurse The Black Stump (replica!

Day 13 - Bladensburg National Park and two waterholes

Day 13 was spent around Winton. The morning involved driving the ‘Route of the River Gum’ in Bladensburg National Park. The national park was formerly the Bladensburg cattle station. It was an amazing place - apparently desolate on the surface yet plenty of life when you pause and look and listen. The afternoon saw us visit two waterholes south of Winton: Long Waterhole to the south east and Pelican Waterhole to the south west.

Day 12 - Age of Dinosaurs

Day 12 began 95 million years ago (or something like that) with our visit to the Age of Dinosaurs outside of Winton. Our visit comprised three components: A guided tour of the fossil preparation laboratory; a tour of the collection room and a couple of videos about the history of the discovery of dinosaur fossils; and a tour of the March of the Titanosaurs trackway exhibition and walk through Dinosaur Canyon.

Day 11 - Winton

On day 11 we drove from Longreach to Winton. It’s roughly 180km and there is little human habitation between the two. Winton Banjo Patterson wrote the words to 'Waltzing Matilda' on a property near Winton. rams ewes nice bin cutouts nice 'footprint' groovy chairs!

Day 10 - Longreach and the Stockman's Hall of Fame

Day 10 was still in Longreach - with a visit to the Stockman’s Hall of Fame in the morning and a wander through Longreach’s town centre in the afternoon. Stockman’s Hall of Fame In the town In the tropics. Apparently the Tropic is currently many metres north of this because the Tropic moves each year. Interesting tree carving near the Council building. On Duck St, no less.

Day 9 - Longreach Cemetery and QANTAS

Day 9 was spent in Longreach walking part of the linear Longreach Botanic Walkway and visiting the cemetery in the morning; and seeing the QANTAS Founders Museum in the afternoon. The QANTAS Founders Museum at first light A couple of shots along the botanic walkway Longreach Cemetery A 'reliquary' originally containing physical items in memory of the deceased. Another reliquary. They are also known as 'immortelle houses'. Nun's graves. The crosses were originally marble, but have been replaced by tin.

Day 8 - Alpha and Barcaldine

Day 8 was the drive from Emerald to Longreach: A cup of coffee in Alpha and a break in Barcaldine to view the Tree of Knowledge. I don’t know when the tree was so named, and if the biblical half-reference was intended or not. This was our second tree visitation of the trip. One more to come! Alpha street view. A bit early for much. Barcaldine and the Tree of Knowledge

Day 7 - Comet and Emerald

Day 7 saw us heading west towards our primary destinations of Longreach and Winton. Our overnight stop about half way was Emerald, but a little before Emerald is the small town of Comet which houses the Dig Tree carved by Ludwig Leichhardt in 1847. The tree was originally at the intersection of the Comet and Nogoa Rivers some seven kilometres north of its current location. Leichhardt’s Dig Tree The Emerald City (Town)

Day 6 - Gladstone and Botanic Gardens

Day 6 was spent in Gladstone - spending time in Spinnaker Park in the morning and the Botanic Gardens in the afternoon. In and around Spinnaker Park From what I can ascertain, this is the site of the original 'Gladstone Pier' The Queensland Alumina Limited alumina refinery Botanic Gardens Brush Turkey 'friend' Oops. Corrected on the other side!

Day 5 - Childers and Gladstone

Day 5 saw us driving from the Sunshine Coast to Gladstone. It was overcast most of the day with frequent rain. We stopped for a morning coffee in Childers (opposite the site of the infamous Backpackers Hostel fire of 2000 when 15 people were killed). After our arrival in Gladstone we stopped near Matthew Flinders bridge (a ‘bascule’ bridge) in Port Park and took some photos in the light drizzle.

Day 4 - Eumundi, Coolum, Noosa Heads

Day 4 began with a trip to the Eumundi Markets followed by a look around Coolum and an afternoon stroll around Noosa Heads. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to do it! Eumundi Markets Coolum (Wilkinson Park Lookout) Noosa Heads Noosa Architecture Classic

Ballarat and Bendigo

Day 15 and the last day of photos from our trip. We left Melbourne and headed for Ballarat with a view to spending some hours there before heading off to Bendigo. Drizzly rain in Ballarat hampered our sightseeing, but we did spend some time in the famous Lydiard St and had lunch by Lake Wendouree before travelling to Bendigo and having a look around there. Ballarat: Bendigo:

Parts of Melbourne

Day 14 was spent in Melbourne - wandering around South Yarra and the Yarra River with views of AAMI Park and the MCG. Punt Road bridge over the Yarra AAMI Park the 'G' overflow

Brighton - Mornington Peninsula

Day 12 was rainy and grey and so the few photos taken that day aren’t worthy of broadcast. Day 13 was spent heading south from Melbourne to Brighton then on to the Mornington Peninsula. Brighton: Arhtur’s Seat: Sorrento:

Great Ocean Road II

Day 11 began in Port Campbell and finished in Melbourne. The highlights along the way were the Loch Ard Gorge, the Twelve Apostles, and the sheer pleasure of driving (or being a passenger) along the Great Ocean Road. Loch Ard Gorge was named after a shipwreck in 1878. Of the 54 souls on board only two survived. I believe the ship ran agroud on the rock shelf on the far left hand side of photo eight, below.

Mt Gambier and the Great Ocean Road

Day 10 saw us traversing the first quarter of the Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell. We began with an early morning visit to the Umpherston Sinkhole followed by visits to the Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto and London Bridge before arriving in Port Campbell for the afternoon and evening. Umpherston Sinkhole: Bay of Islands: Bay of Martyrs: The Grotto: London Bridge: Port Campbell:

Mt Gambier

Day 10 began in Mt Gambier and saw us traverse the first quarter of the Great Ocean Road to Port Campbell. In Mt Gambier we began with a walk into the Umpherston Sinkhole before stopping to view the Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs, The Grotto and London Bridge before arriving in Port Campbell for the afternoon/evening.

Glenelg - Brighton - Port Noarlunga

For day 8 we decided to take a trip west to Glenelg (about 10-15km west of Adelaide) on the Gulf of St Vincent. We then headed south and visited the piers1 at both Brighton and Port Noarlunga. Glenelg: Brighton: Port Noarlunga: They are often referred to as ‘jetties’, but I think jetties are made of stone or rock and serve as breakwalls whereas a pier sits on piers(!). ↩︎


Day 7 was spent in Adelaide - looking at some of the street art (for example), walking along Rundle Mall, photographing buildings, visiting the Art Gallery and finishing with a quick tour of parts of the Botanic Gardens. bikes, bikes, more bikes Salvador Dali, apparently baubles a 2m high steel pigeon old and new. I prefer the old war memorial And a few photos from the Adelaide Botanic Gardens:

Eden Valley - Hahndorf - Mt Lofty

On Day 6 we left the Barossa and drove through the beautiful Eden Valley to the interesting-but-touristy Hahndorf, stopped at the Mt Lofty Summit and eventually descended into Adelaide. A cross overlooking the Eden Valley is a reminder of the Christian heritage of the area A few photos of the Eden Valley Hahndorf, as evidenced by the sign Adelaide city from the Mt Lofty Summit

Near Yunta

Day 5 - Driving from Broken Hill to the Barossa via Yunta. Much of the first half of the 450+ km was through fairly desolate terrain. Rain threatened much of the way but yielded interesting cloud formations and variable light as evidenced below:

Broken Hill

Day 3 was our first full day in Broken Hill. We began with a trip out to the Living Desert sculptures and later that day spent some time at the Line of Lode memorial. The air in and around Broken Hill was so clear and clean. And the view of Broken Hill from the memorial was excellent. Views from the Living Sculptures park Broken Hill east to west

Cobar and Beyond

Day 2 saw us leave Nyngan behind and continue west - aiming for Broken Hill. Our first port of call was Cobar, then a few stops in the middle of nowhere before having lunch in Wilcannia and arriving in Broken Hill mid-afternoon. The countryside is sparse but beautiful. We saw the odd emu but they were vastly outnumbered by goats–hundreds of them grazing at the roadside, but too clever to become roadkill (not that we were trying!


My wife and I recently completed a holiday/road trip starting on the mid coast of NSW through the central and far west of NSW, into the primary wine making districts of South Australia and Adelaide then south east through Mt Gambier and along the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne before returning through central Victoria. Our first port of call was Nyngan. One of Nyngan’s claims to fame is The Big Bogan1.

12 January 2013 Sydney Embarkation

Ten years ago my mother-in-law generously paid for our family (and her and her sister) to take a cruise to/around New Zealand. Given that this is the tenth anniversary of that trip, for the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting some photos on the anniversary of their occurrence. There will be little to no commentary, and no family photos will be shown.

Warrumbungles Walk

In this last batch of holiday photographs we undertook the “Gould’s Circuit” walk in the Warrumbungle National Park. The walk is a 7 km circuit from Pincham carpark heading south to Febar Tor and Macha Tor. Both tors offer magnificent views into and across the valley containing the Breadknife, Belougery Spire and several other bluffs. The views are fine from Febar Tor, but even better a bit further south from Macha Tor.

Pilliga Forest

Heading further north we spent a morning walking the Sandstone Caves track in the Pilliga Forest, and the afternoon between Coonabarabran and Barradine. Signs of regrowth The way in Some bizarre patterns A mighty big lump of sandstone Holes within holes The way out Grasstrees Siding Spring Observatory from the Barradine Road An abandonded farm?

Dubbo: Botanical Gardens

Continuing the holiday trip we spent some time in the botanical gardens in Dubbo. The gardens are divided into a number of areas incuding Japanese, Indigenous, and an Adventure playground area.

Cowra: Japanese Gardens

On our recent holiday we visited the Japanese Gardens in Cowra. There is something of a link between the Japanese and the people of Cowra as a result of the breakout from the Cowra POW camp in 1944. Here is a selection of photos from the gardens. Sunshine appeared about half way through! Crepe Myrtle Weak sunshine From the teahouse A place to pond-er Spring and autumn probably look the best

Christchurch in black and white

Here are some photos in Christchurch converted to black & white, with contrast and noise boosted to partially emulate high speed film. Cranmer Square Armagh St, looking east Bowker Fountain, Victoria Square Victoria, Victoria Square Cathedral Junction from Gloucester Street New Regent Street The Christchurch Club, Latimer Square Transitional Cathedral across Latimer Square Transitional Cathedral Cashel Street 170 Cashel Street High Street Christchurch Cathedral Godley Statue, Cathedral Square Municipal Building, Oxford Terrace Crossing the Avon Great Scott.

Day 17 – Christchurch to Sydney

Our final holi-day was spent looking around the coast north of Christchurch then winging our way to Sydney. At Waikuku Beach. Bizarrely here, at the beach, you could see snow-capped mountains in the distance Final view of the west coast of New Zealand - presumably around Greymouth or a little south of there

Day 16 – Christchurch

Our last full day in New Zealand was spent in Christchurch. It was fascinating to walk around and see how the city was recovering and rebuilding some seven years after the earthquakes. We visited Quake City which is a contemporary museum about the earthquake. There is video from some survivors and their stories of loss or escape. The buildings on the right form part of the Provincial Council Buildings which were damaged in 2011.

Day 15 – Lyttelton

For day 15 we were staying in Christchurch but went for a drive to Lyttelton - a port town about 10km south-east of Christchurch. Lyttelton is a busy, active port but also had a selection of boutique and specialty shops that gave the town a really nice feel. We only spent a couple of hours here but could have stayed longer. Lyttelton is the port town that cruise ships used to dock in on stopovers for Christchurch, but that has ceased since the 2011 earthquake.

Day 14 – Akaroa to Christchurch

We left a very grey and rainy Akaroa for the 100+km trip to what would work out as a very sunny but cool Christchurch. Sun making a valiant effort to shine through near Lake Ellesmere Part of the view from our apartment. The interesting hand/face thing is part of the Art Gallery That's got to hurt! One view of the Anglican Cathedral damaged in the 2011 earthquake And a closer view

Day 13 – Akaroa

Akaroa, with limited comment What town is complete without a slightly unkemp pétanque/bocce terrain? Cloud coming over the mountains Still coming French influence More French Looking back down the main pier Apparently the lighthouse was relocated to its present position - here for show rather than safety Surely one of the creepiest children's toys? Akaroa from Childrens Bay

Day 12 – Murchison to Akaroa

Day 12 - the three quarter mark through our holiday was the longest drive of our trip - from Murchison to Akaroa. We started in the mountains, with deep gorges, plantation pine forests and snowy peaks followed by a lunch stop in Culverden then through the outskirts of Christchurch and finally winding down to the east coast at Akaroa. In the Hurunui Region at St James Walkway The Waiau River approaching Culverden Culverden Coffee Akaroa

Day 11 – Murchison

Day 11 was a relaxing one - spent in the town of Murchison in the central north region of the South Island. These days Murchison is something of a hub for white-water enthusiasts - being at the junction of a couple of rivers. In 1929 it was the scene of an earthquake that took 17 lives. Near the centre of town is a memorial comprised of some stones. Part of the plaque reads:

Day 10 – Picton to Murchison

We awoke to a fairly grey and overcast day in Picton and headed south-east through Blenheim and St Arnaud to Murchison. A peaceful trip, not much traffic, and a great lunch at the Alpine Lodge in St Arnaud. Our grey morning in Picton Still grey - looking towards the main street. Pretty even when overcast The Anglican Community Church in Wairau Valley I was taken by the simplicity yet profound message of this headstone in the Community Church cemetery The Mount Richmond Forest Park just north of St Arnaud

Day 9 – Wellington to Picton

The ferry trip from Wellington to Picton was fantastic. The scenery leaving Wellington was equally matched by the scenery entering Picton. Now that's a ferry! Picton from the ferry

Day 8 – Wellington

Day 8 - the half way mark saw us spend much of the day wandering around Wellington. Here are some samples: Looking like something out of Star Wars Spiral Man (or is is a Woman?) Weird but cool art installation! Did someone say cake? 2013 redux

Day 7 – Napier to Wellington

Day 7 saw us begin the day overlooking Napier from the Bluff Hill Lookout above Napier Port before heading south for Wellington. We opted for SH 2 through Waipukurau and Dannevirke before cutting across towards Palmerston North and down the west coast to Wellington on SH 57 and SH 1. Napier from Bluff Hill Lookout Napier Port from behind some spooky purple flowers Snow-capped peaks looking north over Hawks Bay Queen Elizabeth Park on the way to Wellington

Day 6 – Napier

Day 6 was spent in Napier and surrounds - from Cape Kidnappers to Hastings. Napier 'beach' from our motel balcony Cape Kidnappers cliffs from Clifton From Clifton looking north to Napier

Day 5 – Rotorua to Napier

A very pleasant drive through the centre of the north island from Rotorua to Napier. A good cup of coffee from a roadside caravan in Taupo, and then a stop at Waipunga Falls: Taupo on a grey morning And a stopover at the falls. The only hint was a roadsign saying “Scenic Lookout”. Somewhat understated:

Day 4 – Rotorua

Day 4 was spent in and around Rotorua. We visited two paid tourist sites of the half-a-dozen on offer. The first was the Wai-O-Tapu “Thermal Wonderland". The first site was the mud pool, followed by the Lady Knox Geyser, finishing with a walk around the site viewing such things as the Devils Inkpots, Champagne Pool and other geothermal phenomena. It was an amazing place – the colours, the features, the smells!

Day 3 – Auckland to Rotorua

Day three saw us collect our hire car in Auckland and make our way down to Rotorua. The first photo is the view from our apartment – of a fairly grey cityscape, Auckland Harbour and bridge. Morning tea was in a very pleasant cafe called the Town Mouse in Pukekohe – although we did earn the mild ire of one of the waitresses because we ordered from the counter before sitting down.

Day 2 – Auckland

Here are a few photos from my phone – resized – from our wanderings around Auckland on the second day of our holiday: The Rainbow Warrior

Day 1 – Sydney to Auckland

Day 1 saw us flying from Sydney to Auckland. The flight, although delayed, was uneventful. No photos to speak of for day 1. The only photos taken were of our opened luggage at the hotel in case there were subsequent disputes about ownership!

Lonely Planet

I called it to the local library this afternoon seeking something in particular – not so much a specific book as a type of book. And what may that type of book be? A travel guide. You know, like Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, DK and Michelin (close, but not the restaurant guides). But why, I don’t hear you ask? Because I need a holiday and I have too much annual leave accumulated (close to 10 weeks now).