Tag Archives: day trip

A Day Trip to The Land of The Clouds

After 6 glorious days we left Byfield and resumed our journey north to Mackay.

From this point forward we will be staying in caravan parks. I’ve never been up this far north and I want to spend some time in the larger towns. Unfortunately you don’t find free camps in bigger towns/cities so we have to stay in caravan parks for ease of access.

Anyway, the next stop was Mackay. I spent a couple of hours in Mackay CBD and while the historic building trail I was following was very interesting, the town itself was pretty average.

On one of the days we drove out to the Mackay hinterland, to Finch Hatton Gorge and Eungella National park / Township.

Finch Hatton Gorge is a beautiful secluded section of Eungella National Park. We did the short 1 hour walk to the Araluen Cascade Falls. On the way back we came across our first snake, a tiny baby black. We stamped and banged the ground and it slowly slithered away.

Araluen Cascade Falls

Araluen Cascade Falls

Eungella means “Land of the Clouds” and the township definitely embodies this being 1280m at its zenith. The drive up the mountain is not for the faint hearted, thankfully we weren’t towing at the time. It is the oldest and longest stretch of subtropical rainforest in Australia and it’s been cut off from other rainforests for roughly 30,000 years. This has guaranteed that there are a number of strange critters not found anywhere else in the world.

We did a couple of very short stops at lookouts around Eungella.

View from Sky Window Lookout

View from Sky Window Lookout, Eungella

A walk around the Historic Eungella Chalet where the backyard looks out over a cliff and a number of random woodcarvings have been placed.

Wooden carvings on the lawn outside of Eungella Chalet

Wooden carvings on the lawn outside of Eungella Chalet

Then through the cane fields, with stunning mountainous backdrops, back to our campsite.

Cane fields with mountains in the background

Cane fields with mountains in the background

Exploring Five Rocks Headland

Looking behind us towards Stockyard Point

Looking behind us towards Stockyard Point

At about midday the tide was going out, so armed with our wet suit boots, drink bottles and a camera we traversed the rocky crop on the north side of Little Five Rocks Beach.

Yesterday during our exploratory trip to Stockyard Point Lookout we could see that there was another tiny remote beach. A quick check of the maps confirms this to be the case. So with a hop, skip and a jump were on the second beach.

From here we weren’t able to positively ascertain whether or not we would be able to reach the headland. The rocks were all different sizes and we couldn’t see if there were any obstacles that might stop us from getting across. We decided that the only way we would find out is by attempting it, then we could always turn back if we got stuck.

Climbing over the rocks

Climbing over the rocks

Over, across and through the rocky outcrop we went for about 30 minutes and finally we came to the channel separately us from the headlands. On the other side of the rocks was another perfectly remote beach.

The channel separating us from the start of the headland

The channel separating us from the start of the headland

As the tide was nearly at its lowest point, we were able to walk the short distance to start of the headland. It soon became apparent that the headland is actually separated by small channels. We traversed 3 channels, about half way along, before calling it a day and turning back around to our campsite.

Back onto Little Five Rocks Beach. When the tide is out there is a huge sand plain

Back onto Little Five Rocks Beach. When the tide is out there is a huge sand plain

Hiking Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake Circuit

Cradle Mountain, Dove Lake Circuit

We were disappointed that we weren’t able to four wheel drive in western Tas as we had planned; however, our next stop, Cradle Mountain, made up for it. We decided to splurge out and pay a steep $36 for an unpowered site at the Cradle Mountain Holiday Park, the only campgrounds nearby. You do get what you pay for, lovely wooden hot showers, huge wood fires in the stunning camp kitchens and even wood fire pizza ovens!

As we arrived late, we decided not to attempt any hiking, instead we sat ourselves down in front of the wood fires, made pizza and had an early night. The temperature was predicted to drop to 6 degrees, I don’t know how low it got but, nonetheless we didn’t take any chances, a hot shower, thermals and our extra sleeping bag. Thankfully we did as it rained and stormed all night.

We awoke the next morning and unfortunately the weather hadn’t abated; but, I wasn’t going to let a little thing like freezing cold rain get in the way of hiking. We donned our wet weather/ freezing cold weather gear after a nice warm breaky, decided to extend our stay by another night so we could have another hot shower and made our way to the information centre to catch the shuttle.

Cradle Mountain_A Girl A 4WD And A Trailer-2

TIP: thankfully someone advised us the vehicle pass we purchased for entry into the National Parks also acts as shuttle bus tickets so we didn’t need to pay more for the shuttle.

The Boat Shed

The Boat Shed

We hopped on the shuttle and were dropped off at the Dove Lake Circuit carpark. The Dove Lake Circuit is approx 6kms long and was to take approx 2-2.5 hours. The track itself is actually more of a boardwalk, all wooden planks and chicken wire (as non slip) so the circuit is in great condition. We were warned that as Cradle Mountain is in an alpine area we should expect 4 seasons in one hour and we weren’t disappointed. In the two hours we were there it rained, hailed, sunshined and was foggy, we got the full spectrum.

Waterfall, Dove Lake Circuit

Waterfall, Dove Lake Circuit

The walk itself was stunning though. Even hubby, who isn’t a great walker, really enjoyed himself! The lake is gorgeous and the views of Cradle Mountain were fantastic. The rain was also a bit of a blessing as they haven’t had rain here since late December and so the rain got the waterfalls flowing, great for pictures.

Once we completed the Dove Lake Circuit, I really wanted to check out Waldheim Chalet. Back in 1912 – 1920 an Austrian / Australian couple Gustav and Kate Weindorfer took a shine to the area, bought some land (stopping it from getting logged completely) and built the chalet. It is due to Gustav’s vision and passion that the area became a National Park.

Waldheim Chalet - Replica

Waldheim Chalet – Replica

After we checked out the replica chalet and Gustav’s grave, we headed back to the comfort of the wood fire in the kitchen for lunch and afternoon drinks. The end to a lovely day!

Bird in Hand Winery and Cellardoor

During my quick visit to Adelaide Hills I was lucky enough to stop over at Bird in Hand winery and cellardoor.

Having sampled a bottle of their Rose the day before, I was fairly eager to check out their cellardoor and the estate and Bird in Hand excelled my expectations. Green vines greeted us surrounded by rolling green hills; perched on top was a stunning sandstone building and bright blue silos behind, you really couldn’t miss it. I later learned that the site was once a dairy farm, many of the original structures remain and have been transformed to house different areas of the winery including the two big blue silos which were once used as grain storage for the cattle.

There were only another two devotees sampling at the cellardoor when we arrived, benefits of visiting mid week. The lady serving, Rachael, was lovely. She was knowledgeable, polite and wasn’t averse to cracking a few funnies throughout the visit. There were 21 different wines to taste, more if you paid for the premium range, and with Rachael fuelling my wino tendencies, I managed to get through the majority of the wines on offer in the hour we were there.

I had a very memorable experience and cannot recommend it enough. So if ever you’re in the area, Bird in Hand should not be missed!

My ratings for the winery:
Service: 5/5
Wine: 5/5
Estate and grounds: 5/5
Overall Experience: 5/5 – great winery, will definitely frequent again!

General Information:
Charges for tastings: no charge for the 21 on their listing. If you want to taste the premium range (there are 3 levels and you get to taste the other 2 for free) there is a charge of $35
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 10am to 5pm, Weekends & Public Holidays: 11am to 5pm
My favourite wines: Pinot Noir Sparkling, Honeysuckle Riesling and Nero d’Avola
Address: Pfeiffer Rd, Woodside SA
Website: http://www.birdinhand.com.au/
Other amenities onsite: Lovely outdoors area where you can enjoy a glass of wine, a new restaurant / gallery and a functions area in the barrel room. They were setting up for a wedding when we were there.

Blue Silos

Blue Silos

King Island on a Lovely Winter Day

Although I’ve only been living in QLD for the past 2.5 years; however, feel that I’ve acclimated nicely. This means that when the temperature drops below 10 degrees I feel the need to have a bit of a whinge. Since it’s been a fairly mild winter in QLD this year I’ve not whinged too much thankfully 🙂

On a recent glorious winter weekend, Johny and I went for a drive to King Island. King Island is barely more than a raised sandbank off the tip of Wellington Point. It is only accessible during low tide when a sand bridge is uncovered and tourists and locals alike walk over to the tiny island.

King Island JettyOne Saturday we packed a picnic lunch and drove down to Wellington point. We circled the crowded car park a couple of times before finding some empty parks. Hopping out, we sat ourselves down on a grassy area off to the side and looked out over Stradbroke Island. After a mug of vino (yes mug, we were packing light), we walked around the small picnic area and over the sandy walkway.


As it was such a fine day we had a nearly uninterrupted view of the beautiful surrounding suburbs, headlands and far off in the distance cranes from some industrial areas. There were massive yachts, wind surfers and jet skis and on one side of the bridge, a muddy flat area. We walked to the island and walked back in a little over an hour. A word of warning, barefoot is best.


This little day trip definitely wasn’t the most interesting trip we’ve ever taken; however, it was a lovely short day trip and fantastic way to spend a warm and sunny winter day in Brisbane.

King of the Mountain

Last Sunday a friend and I got up early and drove from Brisbane to Mount Cooroora, Pomona for a few hours of mountain climbing. Image

Pomona is a sleepy, small town inland from Noosa. Mount Cooroora is home to the annual Pomona, King of the Mountain Festival where a number of fearless entrants attempt to go up and down Mt Cooroora the fastest to win the race.

The track starts off at a medium gradient and advances to the point where you are climbing on your hands and knees up rocks. There is a safety chain to hold onto for the majority of the climb and then near the top it disappears and you’re on your own.

ImageAs we were heading up there were a number of people who were obviously training for the King of the Mountain event. It was very scary to watch these people running, jumping, careening, sliding up and down, and barely dodging the recreational climbers in training for the big event.

We eventually reached the summit and were rewarded with sweeping 360-degree views of the country side around Mount Cooroora.

The decent was scarier then the ascent. In some areas we were free sliding down on our butts or crab walking down on our hands and feet. It was a relief to get to the bottom in one piece.

It took us about an hour and a half to go up and down Mount Cooroora.

The weather was amazing, we had clear blue skies, a hot sun, and you would never have known it was the middle of winter.

Pomona Hotel

Once we got back to the town we have a bit of a wonder around. We stopped in at the Pomona Hotel had a beer and the best chips and gravy I’ve have in a long time.

It was a lovely daytrip which I would definitely recommend to others.