Tag Archives: beach

To the End of Australia

UntitledWe decided to see how far south we could drive in Tas and this took us on the southern most road in Australia and to Cockle Creek. Cockle Creek is a tiny little southern Tasmanian settlement, one sign saying that population was 3! It seemed mainly consist of holiday houses, no shops or anything and campgrounds surrounded by national park. We followed a dirt road past all of the above and suddenly stopped into an area where you can turn the car around and go back. A bit of an anticlimax but at least we can say we’ve driven as far south of Australia as possible.

View from the whale sculpture

View from the whale sculpture

We stopped and go out of the car for a very quick walk to a giant bronze whale sculpture, sculpted in memory of the area’s whaling history.

Bronze Whale Sculpture, Cockle Creek

Bronze Whale Sculpture, Cockle Creek

A member of the Mott family

A member of the Mott family

We also came across a cemetery. I love old cemeteries and this one didn’t disappoint. A number of headstones still exist scattered through the overgrown area; with a number that have disappeared overtime. The headstones still standing are mostly legible with names and the information board states that a number of the descendants of the original settler families still live in the local area.

Headstones of the Fields family Thomas (killed in a logging accident) and Alice

Headstones of the Fields family Thomas (killed in a logging accident) and Alice

The overgrown cemetery at Cockle Creek

The overgrown cemetery at Cockle Creek

The information board provides some fascinating history of the settlers who lived and died here. Some of the settlers died in mysterious circumstances, in tragic accidents, of disappeared suddenly and their bodies never been found. The conditions must have been very harsh; one family, the Adams, had 11 children with 8 dying before the age of 3. We weren’t able to camp in Cockle Creek this time as we are running short of time before we need to head back to Brisbane. I would love to come back and spend a few days relaxing though, definitely the place for some R&R. Cockle Creek_A Girl A 4WD And A Trailer-4

From Stanley to Arthur River

The next morning I went for a run, Hubby decided to stay in the nice warm bed while I headed out. Previously I’d mentioned that climbing The Nut really took it out of me so I’ve vowed to TRY and run every morning if possible. The caravan park we stayed in overnight backed onto a semi circular beach with a boardwalk, I started a light jog one way, not much there so I jogged back and headed the other way. This took me to the old wharf at the base of The Nut and to some historic buildings we hadn’t visited yesterday so I stopped jogging and went for a look around.

It was really interesting, a few more historic buildings with information points, a strange random rock carving and of course the wharf. All up I took about an hour and really enjoyed my jog / sightseeing trip. If jogging is like this everyday I might actually start to enjoy it!

Come Holy Spirit Carving

Come Holy Spirit Carving

I came back to the car, gathered hubby for breakfast, packed up the car, grrrrrr I really hate packing the car when we have so many plans for the day!!!! And we took off.

We drove through Smithton, really not much there, and headed west to another potential campground and according to the map the furthest northwestern campground there is before heading down west. When we arrived we were surprised, or shocked, whatever. People seemed to be living there, which really isn’t that odd usually; however, people had set up fences, boundaries, around huge patches of land with mesh and made semi permanent structures in these patches. It reminded me of trailer trash meets US cult camp crossed with boat people refugee camps. We politely advised the caretaker, who had come out to greet us, that we weren’t sure of what we were doing and would come back to him. We very quickly drove out.

The drive to the next campground was stunning with more rolling green hills spotted with cows and as we were coastal we kept getting quick peeks of stunning isolated and empty beaches. The free camp we were heading to was in Marrawah and was gorgeous, it was on the beach nice camp area, toilets (bonus!) and showers albeit cold ones. Hubby for some reason didn’t like it so we kept going until we reached Dismal Swamp.

View near Marrawah, stunning right?

View near Marrawah, stunning right?

I’m really not sure why its called Dismal Swamp, but basically it’s the only blackwood sinkhole in the world, quite a pretty sinkhole I might add, in the middle of a rainforest. All the land around the swamp has been cleared for farming but they managed to preserve this little area and they’ve built an information and education centre in it. $20 per person to get in, steep I know but I really wanted to check this out, and $2 each for a slide ride down into the sinkhole. We could have walked down for free, but $2 for a slide was ok.

Random Door

Random Door

We slid to the bottom and had a look around. They have built raised platform paths, you are given a map, and along the path are information points and random items that have been placed in growth. For example, apparently there are crayfish in the swamp so they made giant crayfish mounds, complete with giant crayfish statues and stuck them into the growth. There was also a giant wooden door, a couple of random chairs; bones of an extinct creature and a fake cow just to name a few.

So we walked around, got lost a couple of times and headed back up to the information centre for a massive slice of chocolate cake.

Hopping back into the car we drove some more to Arthur River. This is the point leading into the Arthur Piemen Reserve where we plan on four-wheel driving. We purchased our 4wd pass  and picked a campground where we can set up for a couple of days.

On the way to the campground we had a quick stop at the Edge of The Work Lookout, the west coast of Tasmania is apparently the longest uninterrupted expanse of ocean on the globe. I tell ya what, it’s bloody scary! I would not be hopping into that surf anytime soon! Anyway after absorbing the beauty, taking some pics, we headed off to the campground for a couple of days of R&R

The Edge of The World Arthur River

The Edge of The World Arthur River

The Historic Town of Stanley

I’m going to say upfront and without having seen too much of Tas yet, Stanley is one of my favourite places in Tas to visit. The quaint town is set on a peninsula in Northwest Tasmania and its star attraction, other than being super quaint, is The Nut. The Nut is a rather large volcanic plug that looks like someone took one big hill and stuck it down right on the edge of a peninsula.

The Nut, Stanley

The Nut, Stanley

We drove into Stanley, after having a great homemade pie at the roadhouse, parked and set up Herc (the 4WD). Setting up camp is soooooo boring when you have so much to see and do, but we got it out of the way and finally started our ascent of The Nut.

There are two ways of getting to the top of The Nut, one by taking a paid chair lift to the top, and two by climbing an incredible steep 430mt stretch, which is of course what we took. I hadn’t realised how unfit I am until this point and now have vowed to run every morning.

View of the chair lifts from The Nut

View of the chair lifts from The Nut

Once at the top of The Nut, there is a km or so walk around the summit, super windy and cold, but stunning views of the town, ocean and farm land surrounding the area. Quite unexpectedly on various sides of the summit were different types of flora and fauna. On the less windy side was a strange little forest filled with butterflies. From The Nut I’d also spotted an old cemetery, I know this is a little freakish but I really like old cemeteries, there’s something about the history and the quiet that I really enjoy. So we started the descent down The Nut via the really steep path, rather than the comfy chair lift, and walked off to investigate the cemetery.

Another picture of The Nut because it's so pretty!

Another picture of The Nut because it’s so pretty!

Of the list of cemeteries that I’ve visited (don’t judge!) I’d say this is probably the second loveliest cemetery I’ve ever visited after Waverley Cemetery in Sydney. The Circular Head cemetery in Stanley had the most stunning views overlooking the ocean and The Nut. Lots of old graves with stories, lovely!

Circular Heads Cemetery_Stanley_A Girl A 4WD and A Trailer

As Stanley’s main street was just around the corner, it’s a very small town, we strolled down and read the historic trail information points. Stanley was opened in 1827 as a port and so there are many beautifully restored historic buildings in the town. The historic information points lead us straight into the historic pub with an old cellar, not much there so we made our way to the Pirate Oyster Bar where we ordered oysters and chips of lunch. The oysters were Pacific oysters grown locally in the next town over on an oyster farm. Unfortunately the farm is private and can’t be visited, but the oysters were lovely yum!

By this time is was getting to mid arvo so we headed back to the caravan park. As we were parked in a caravan park with washing machines, we had some domestics to do; however, I won’t bore you with that right now.

Jealous Much? Burleigh Heads in Winter

Had a smashing day walking around Burleigh Heads. Thought I would share a couple of quick pics just to rub it in 🙂

Burleigh Beach

Johny didn’t understand why I was taking pics of birds. I think they look like they’re having a great time in the sun

Burleigh Beach

Burleigh Beach

This was taken while we were walking towards the Burleigh Heads National Park

This was taken while we were walking towards the Burleigh Heads National Park

View from the look out at Burleigh Heads National Park - bloody stunning day!

View from the look out at Burleigh Heads National Park – bloody stunning day!

The Ugly Side of Moreton Island

Everyone says that Moreton Island is beautiful, and it is; however, that beauty is marred by the amount of washed up rubbish littering these beautiful beaches.

Moreton Island Matress

About halfway through our trip I realised that the pictures I was taking weren’t accurately portraying the island at all; therefore, I was actually doing it a great disservice.

If someone had told me that Moreton suffers from a serious rubbish issue, I would have packed extra rubbish bags,  some gardening gloves and Johny and I would have done our little bit to try and help out.

Moreton Island Rubbish

 

 

Moreton Island RubbishThis problem hasn’t gone completely unnoticed with the SEQ Catchments teaming up with P7 Offroad Driving to try and alleviate some of the problem.

However, this is only a patch up job, the underlying issues still exist.

Moreton Island Rubbish

 

 

 

So, although we weren’t able to help much on this trip, I hope this blog inspires you to do the right thing and contribute when you visit Moreton Island.

 

 

Our Weekend at Beautiful Bribie Island

Finally we’ve had a break from the seemingly never-ending downpour plaguing Brisbane for the past 3 months. To celebrate, Johny and I took our newly decked out 4WD and went bush/beach for a night. Our destination this weekend was the beautiful Bribie Island. We had only ever been to Bribie once and had no idea that beyond the suburban sprawl of Bongaree was a stunning natural recreation area.

Friday night was organised our camping and vehicle permits* and early Saturday morning we took off. Bribie is only an hour’s drive from Brisbane so we arrived early in the day. There was plenty of 4WD action happening when we arrived at the car park where the off road track began. It seemed other people had the same idea to take advantage of the fine weekend. We quickly deflated our tyres and took off down the track straight onto soft sand and beach.

Driving onto the beach

This was the first time we have been sand/beach driving and was quite an experience. The sand was soft and churned up by the numerous vehicles that had come before us. The beach was glorious. A wide, white ribbon of sand wove along the coastline and we drove straight down the centre of it. The waves were crashing on one side of us with sand dunes and native shrubbery on the other. It was a 19km drive to our campsite, since the speed limit on the sand was 30km/hr we had a lot of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

When we reached our campsite we set up our new roof top tent, opened up the side awning, took out our camp chairs and had some lunch. During the afternoon we went for walks along the beach, sat in the water and played frisbee. By about 5pm it was getting cooler so we had dinner and sat in the tent. We fell asleep to the gentle sound of waves rolling in the distance.

Decked out 4WD

I woke up at about 6am; I climbed out of the tent with my camera, went down to the beach and caught the tail end of the sunrise. I stayed out there for about an hour. I nearly had the beach to myself at that time of the morning with only a couple of fisherman to share with. I walked up and down and took numerous photos. The tide had removed nearly all the tire treds from the vehicles traversing the beach the day before. Everything felt fresh, new and peaceful. I could have stayed out there for hours if my tummy hadn’t started talking to me.

Morning Beach IMG_3763

I went back to our campsite, woke Johny, made breakfast and packed up the site. We drove a little further down the beach and parked. From there we went on a 5km return walk down to the World War 2 fortifications, which extend up to the northern tip of the island. There is no much left, just a few crumbling buildings set into the beach. I wonder what the island was like back in the first half of last century? Did the beach look the same? We’re there this many March flies and mozzies? How did they cope without A/C? Seriously, it’s bloody hot!

World War 2 Ruins World War 2 Ruins

To get back to Bongaree we took the Northern Access Track, which went inland and down. The sand was incredibly soft, the track narrow and we didn’t always have great visibility. We had to make a number of stops to let other cars through and more then one nearly slid right into us.

On return to Bongaree we stopped for fish & chips and a beer overlooking the water. We then went home to wash down the car and unpacked. Since Johny bought us a year vehicle permit to drive on Bribie, I know we will definitely be visiting a lot more over the next 12 months.

* A must for camping and driving through the recreation area. Obtained from http://nprsr.qld.gov.au

Photographs By Monica

The other weekend I went on a lovely Landscape Photography Tour in and around the Gold Coast. The tour was organised and run by the lovely Andrea at Photo Tour Experts.

The day started at 8am on Saturday, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, we couldn’t have wished for a more perfect day. 12 of us hopped into a big van, driven by Andrea, and  headed out to Fingal Head for some amazing coastal scenery.

Next stop was near Murwillumbah, a long and winding road through some stunning hills brought us to a dilapidated old shed next to a field of cows.

A little further down the road we stopped at an organic farm and had lunch. I was introduced to these amazing Australian Native Finger Limes. They’re skinny like fingers but when you open them there looks to be hundreds of tiny green caviar looking balls which taste like lime.

From here we went to Springbrook National Park, Natural Bridge. Here we took photos of waterfalls and fungi.

Then we headed back to the Gold Coast for some marina, sunset and night light shots.

It was a fantastic day out, I learnt plenty of cool photography tricks and I met a bunch of lovely peoples.