This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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1999 Travels January 9

SATURDAY 9 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

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

FRIDAY 8 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

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

THURSDAY 7 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

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.

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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.

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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.


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1999 Travels January 6

WEDNESDAY 6 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

John decided he wanted to play bowls this afternoon. He had some trouble finding a game, but eventually got in at the Toowoomba Club.

While he drove around, visiting clubs, I shopped for food for tea.

Then I had a swim before lunch, after which John went off to bowls.

T arrived about 2.15. There was much “school” talk, bringing me up to date with last year. We walked up to the Japanese Gardens and around those. It was a pleasant day to do so.

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John was back from bowls when we returned from our walk. The men talked technology and the like, while I prepared tea – steak, potatoes in foil, mushrooms, salad, bread, followed by fruit and cheese.

T left about 9.30pm, to go stay with a local cousin.

It was a most enjoyable afternoon and evening and a break in this fairly monotonous time here.


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1999 Travels January 5

TUESDAY 5 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

It is a calendar year since we set out on this trip! Hasn’t that gone fast? From my perspective, right now, can see us enjoying lots more years of this.

I did the washing in the morning and it actually got dry. It still feels quite humid and damp out there.

John watched the end of the Ashes cricket series.

After lunch, drove to the Tourist Information Centre, seeking some inspiration about things to do in the area. Then went walking for an hour on the paths at Picnic Point.

Received a phone call from friend T. He is coming to visit tomorrow. That is exciting news – it will be great to see a face from home.

We had fish and chips, and a nice bottle of champagne, to celebrate the year on the road.

I broke a front tooth off my bridge, eating tea! Not good. Fortunately, I carry the old plastic plate, from years ago, for just such an emergency. Does not feel a great fit, but will fill the gap until I can get the titanium one repaired.

Reviewed my photo albums for 1998: they are a great record of the year.


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1999 Travels January 4

MONDAY 4 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

We had the usual slow morning.

John went to bowls in the afternoon, calling in at the Post Office on the way. Our bag of mail had finally arrived, from home.

When he got home, I had a lovely time sorting the mail and reading lots of lovely Xmas cards and letters. But I was surprised and saddened to read that a former boss of mine and his wife had separated – after forty years of marriage!

John was rather grumpy because there were no cards from anyone at his former workplace.

Tea was kumara soup, sausages and salad. We are still eating up our Xmas ham as lunchtime toasted ham and cheese sandwiches. I think I should have bought a smaller ham.


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1999 Travels January 3

SUNDAY 3 JANUARY     TOOWOOMBA

There was more rain today.

After lunch, walked the local streets for an hour, for our exercise.

Apart from that, it was a computer, sewing, reading day. This really is a slow start to our year. It is just a matter of waiting out the main holiday crowds – and the bad weather.

Tea was kumara soup.

With all the rain of the past few days, I have appreciated having the ensuite site and not having to walk any distance to go to the bathroom.