This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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1999 Travels January 16


I walked to the local shops for the papers. Then spent much of the morning reading them.

John went off to afternoon bowls.

I cleaned the van and had a long and lovely swim. I usually have the pool to myself and it is long enough to swim laps and feel like I am exercising a little.

John returned, pleased with the game he’d played today.

We took down the annexe roof and packed away the loose items into Truck.

Tea was soup and leftover pizza.

We have been in Toowoomba for four weeks now. The Truck repairs delayed us somewhat. The place has served its purpose, over the holidays, but I am glad we are moving somewhere new. It really is too urban to be really enjoyable for this long.

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1999 Travels January 15


John decided last night that the video machine had developed a fault, so he wanted to take it to the repair place. He did not want me to navigate because he thought he knew the way. He did not – and then got cross!

We did a small shop on the way back from the video repair place, after leaving the machine there. I bought a small ham on the bone – cheap post Xmas surplus stock.

After lunch, I went to the doctor and had the freckle thing on my face checked – nothing untoward, thankfully. I am very relieved about that. I should use sun screen on my face more than I do, I know.

Drove back to pick up the video machine, late in the afternoon. They could not find anything wrong with it and said the problem would have been with the rented tape.

Went for a short walk around the streets.

For a change, we bought pizzas for tea, which were very nice.

Watched cricket on TV at night. Australia beat England.

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1999 Travels January 14


After breakfast, returned the borrowed Defender and collected Truck.

It is great to have it back and now to feel free to drive, without worrying about damaging one that is not ours! It looks good. The repairs they made have strengthened the roof.

It cost $120 for the panel beating they did to beat the tree dent out of the top – good value, we think.

Back at camp, we cleaned out the inside, thoroughly, taking advantage of having it empty. Then repacked it. This took quite some time.

In the afternoon, we went for a walk around the streets and the creek area. On the way back, rented another video.

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Blue herons at the wetland park area

Tea was soup and cold pasties again – John made so many of them!

We started watching the new video – Absolute Power. But it would not track properly, so we gave up on it.

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1999 Travels January 13


Had the usual sort of morning around camp.

I found a new freckle type of thing on my face that I don’t like the look of, so made a doctor’s appointment – Friday.

John went off to bowls at 12.30.

I walked to Video Ezy and returned the video. Picked up photos that I’d put in for printing. Then I walked up to the Japanese Gardens and wandered about there for a while.

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A very carefully shaped pine tree in the Japanese Gardens

I had a copy made of a photo I’d taken of T, in the Gardens, when he visited. Wrote him a brief letter, then walked to the local shops and PO to mail it.

I spent the rest of the afternoon putting photos into an album. I am now on the fourth album for the trip to date!

Flohr Motors phoned to say the truck will be ready for collection, tomorrow. Good!

Tea was soup, and cold pasties.

Watched the One Day cricket – Australia Vs Sri Lanka. Australia won.

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1999 Travels January 12


We were rather reluctant to use the loan vehicle, in case we damaged it!

Walked to the KMart Plaza. There, went to our bank, to transfer the money to our cheque account, that is our wedding present for P and K. Browsed in Mega Books and I bought a book on Hardanger. We purchased a Brumby’s focaccia bread and ate it as we walked around, for lunch.

Went to Video-Ezy, at the local shopping centre, paid a $20 deposit, then rented a video for $2.50. We will get the deposit back, when videos returned, so it is a cheap way of obtaining same to watch.

Bought a nice card and then mailed the cheque to K.

Walked back to the van. It was a fair walk, in all; probably about 7kms.

Then, I pickled some onions we’d bought yesterday. John has a hankering for home done ones. Made barley and vegetable soup, using the lamb stock.

John felt like doing some cooking, so he made pasties, which we had for tea, with the soup.

I phoned K to let him know the cheque was in the mail. He had news that he has been promoted at work, to Reservations Supervisor. I asked him to send the next lot of mail to Stanthorpe, which will be our next destination – not sure for how long, though. There seem to be some interesting National Parks not far from it, so it will, we hope, be a good base for a little while.

Watched the video we’d hired – Good Will Hunting. It was very good.

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1999 Travels January 11


We had to get up early – alarm again – in order to take Truck to Flohr Motors for its scheduled work. I admit to some “separation anxiety”, leaving Truck behind for surgery to its roof!

We were lent a replacement vehicle – a utility style Defender 110 that has only done 500kms. It is good that we are not without wheels. However, this style of vehicle has definite drawbacks. The groceries I bought had to sit out in the full sun, in the tray back, and thus the shopping was not secure, either, for us to go anywhere else and leave it all in full view of passers by. I wonder if this is why farmers always have dogs chained on their ute tray? Might not help much with meat, though!

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Our borrowed Defender

Back at the van, John played computer games and I sewed, then he watched the one day cricket on TV.

I boiled lamb shanks for tea – it is a favorite  meal, and I use the stock thus generated to make soup, next day.

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1999 Travels January 10


There were storms and rain, on and off through today.

Harvey Normans was having a big computer software sale, so we went to that. John bought a couple of games, and one that he intends to give K for his birthday.

After that, we just filled in time as usual, back at the van.

Later in the day, we unloaded just about everything from Truck and packed it all into our en suite bathroom. It was pretty crowded in there!

Tea was soup, baked potatoes stuffed  with coleslaw and cheese, and fruit.

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1999 Travels January 9


Woke to what promised to be a hot day.

While John slept in, I walked to the local shops for papers. Then I made some picnic sandwiches.

We drove to Crows Nest, north of Toowoomba, then took the road to the Crows Nest Falls National Park. Had our lunch in the picnic area there and then went walking.

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Tree growing over rock at Crows Nest Falls National Park

Took the track to the Falls, through dry, eucalypt type forest. The falls were not running much – the creek was fairly low. Continued on to the lookout over the Valley of the Diamonds. This gave a distant vista down over the edge of the Divide. It was a very pleasant, very varied walk, with lots of birds to distract us and make us take about three times longer to do the walk than is normal.  But it was very hot. We walked about 4.5kms.

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This tree trunk really stood out, on the Crows Nest walk

For variety, back at the New England Highway, turned right for a little way, then took the back roads through Haden and Goombungee, coming out on the Warrego Highway west of Toowoomba. Thus we turned the outing into a circuit drive. Most of it was through farmland – interesting, varied and a pleasant way to go.

Back in Toowoomba, refuelled Truck at the Woolworths discount servo – 56cpl. That is excellent.

Returned to the van and read the papers for a while before tea of soup and left over pizza.

There was a storm in the evening, with much thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

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1999 Travels January 8


We used the alarm to get ourselves up at 7.30am, in order to play morning bowls at the Drayton club. It was a pairs event, and John and I played together. We lost the game – by 16! I played very poorly. John was alternately brilliant and erratic. We did not seem to have much luck, either. It was not an enjoyable morning.

After lunch back at the van, we drove to the dental place, to get the tooth reattached to its bridge. While that was being done, we went to the Central shops and walked around for a couple of hours. Checked for mail – there was a birthday card for me and Xmas card from R – rather late!

The tooth repair was excellent – my front teeth are all back to normal. It only cost $30, which I thought was very reasonable.

Back to the van, where John watched the cricket.

We ordered Domino’s pizzas for tea, and very nice they were, too.

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1999 Travels January 7


John slept in a little later than he had intended, so we did not get going until 11am.

Went to a dental technician to see about getting my bridge repaired – he will do it tomorrow afternoon.

Then we set off for the Bunya Mountains National Park – considerably later than we should have!

It was a boring drive as far as Oakey – just flattish cropland, but a bit more interesting after there, where we at least paralleled the railway and could watch for trains. Turned north at Jondaryan and still travelled through farming country, but with somewhat more varied terrain. At Maclagen, took the Bunya Mountains Road. The final climb up into the mountains was very steep and rather winding.

We stopped at the central area of Dandubah, to get a map and walk information, and eat our sandwiches at the picnic area there. There are quite a few private holiday houses there, and a couple of very pleasant looking camp areas. We liked the look of the one at Dandubah, and at Burtons Well.

There were lots of birds at the Dandubah Picnic Area – parrots, kookaburras, bower birds. The king parrots were particularly friendly, landing on John. They must be fed by a lot of the tourists.

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John with feathered friend at Dandubah – female King Parrot

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Male King Parrot

The park is named for the special Bunya Pine trees that grow there. They are an ancient species and the largest remaining stand in the world of these is here. The Bunya Pine nuts are very large and have very tasty seeds in them. The parrots seem to like them! In past times, aboriginal groups from a wide area would congregate here, over summer, to harvest the nuts.


John communing with an ancient Bunya Pine tree

We walked the 4km Scenic Circuit walk, leaving Truck at the picnic area. It was excellent, through the forest, the best walk we have done in ages. The route took us past lookouts and a couple of little waterfalls. Lovely and green and cool seeming. We saw a satin bowerbird.


On the Scenic Walk

There are several other good sounding walks up there too, that we did not have time to tackle today. I toy with the idea of going camping up there, sometime. Or we could take the van a bit closer and commute up. There is absolutely no way to take the van up there, though!  Kingaroy might be the closest caravan park?

We drove a longer way back, taking the Maidenwell road through to the New England Highway, meeting it a bit north of Cooyar. Then followed the highway back through Crows Nest to Toowoomba. It was a much more interesting route than the one we went out on.

I drove most of the way back, as John was very tired and felt like he was getting a cold.

We got back just after 6pm. Drove 290kms today.

Tea was soup, French toast and fruit.