Cania Gorge, Queensland – pt.1

Greetings from Cania Gorge National Park . What an amazingly beautiful peaceful place this is. We are camped right at the entrance to the hiking tracks, at Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat . We have been here a few times before when there was no communication reception. Recently the owners of the Retreat have splashed out and got themselves a Telstra tower installed so Halleluja, we now have phone and internet which is great.

The trip here from Pomona was very lacklustre. Typical Queensland inland roads, very bumpy, even jarring in places, of course we can’t go real fast as we don’t like bouncing all our nice things around in our (house on wheels). It was a very long day, with a lunch stop in Gayndah and catching up with some friends. We didn’t arrive here at the Gorge till round 4.30 pm.

Here’s where this story turns nasty…….

Last Light : Laughing Kookaburra at Cania
Glasswing Butterfly bedding down for the night, looks so comfy …. not
Rainbow Lorikeets enjoying a morning bath

When we unhitched the van, it made some really horrible creaking noises and actually seemed to be sitting way to low on the back of the truck.

We did manage to unhitch and started to look around the King Pin Box (hitch) with a torch and to our absolute horror, saw two very big cracks in the framework behind the hitch. We also noticed that the hitch had hit underneath the front of the van, as there was a chunk of fibreglass missing……which means that it was flexing a hell of a lot to do that.

After setting up we googled to see who on earth around here could possibly help us.

 

Cania Gorge Dam

Some more pics from Cania

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We are 26 kms from the nearest town, (Monto) and luckily found a large engineering firm there, we rang them and they are coming out tomorrow for a look and fingers crossed, can help us out of our predicament.

Oh that’s not all, it gets even worse……we really wanted to see if there were cracks anywhere else, so we had to cut the lining away and take a lot of the trim off, take out the insulation etc to even be able to see the main beam and framework that the hitch is attached to and guess what????? We found 7 cracks, the biggest is over 3 inches in the main beam.

 

Wow, I was so lucky to grab this Great Egret Flyby
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Then it landed and stood tall and proud for me to capture this shot.
We spent a good hour or so being mesmerised by this Azure Kingfisher fishing at very close range.

So now we are wondering how on earth we managed to get here without losing our van on the highway, talk about an absolute ship stopper, we ain’t going anywhere for a while till all this is fixed somehow. Our house is broken and unable to be towed. Of course we are devastated but after doing some massive googling find that this does happen a lot over time with 5 th wheelers and we have been travelling in ours now for 11 years.

We will certainly be keeping a close eye on this area once fixed.

 

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This stunning male Striated Pardalote put on quite a display.


 

Blue-faced Honeyeater

This family of Blue-faced Honeyeaters just kept on following us around, they’re so funny to watch


 

Adult Pied Butcherbird
Adult Pied Butcherbird
Stephanie ready for immediate action

 

In between all this happening we have been out and about, so don’t worry…..it’s not all doom and gloom. We have been walking our socks off, seen lots of birds.

We drove to the reservoir today and Anthony got some really wow photos as you will see.

Since we will be stuck here for a while we may have to blog Cania Gorge in a series form so hang on to your hats….there’s plenty more photos and video coming, plus keep you all posted on our repair progress.

Cheers Steph and Anthony.

 

One of the 7 (ship stopping) cracks in the frame supporting the king pin box (hitch)

Noosa Botanical Gardens and Lake Cootharaba

Hello again from the Pomona Showgrounds…..yes we are still here and having a gypsy good time. Things went well on Monday. A hydraulic hose doctor come and made up a new fitting for the end of the steering pump hose, he seemed to think the fitting we had was a disaster just waiting to happen as it was a type of swivel fitting with an o-ring in it which is what blew out…..he has put a fixed fitting there without an o-ring so shouldn’t have any more problems. We have been driving around here the last two days and all has been well. This is a great base with lots of natural attractions around, being north of the busy Sunshine Coast there’s not much happening with development so we are just loving being around all these beautiful trees and lakes.

I think this image captures the peace and serenity of Lake Cootharaba
And so does this 😀

Yesterday we had a family picnic at Boreen Point, what a beautiful place, so peaceful, we got some great reflection photos just before the wind picked up enough to ripple the water. There was an Osprey cruising around and some other critters, but we have noticed there doesn’t seem to be many birds around this time of year. I guess it is winter so hopefully as we travel north things will improve on the wildlife front.

 

Can you spot what I was taking a Photo of ?
Of course it had to be a bird !! An Eastern Osprey

 

More pics from around Lake Cootharaba 

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Only a couple of birds to share here

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Today we visited the Noosa Botanical Gardens , also just beautiful there. The kookaburras were very noisy and quite a few Eastern Whipbirds and I can tell you they are extremely hard to get photos or video off, I did manage to get a couple of snippets but every time they do their whip call, they quickly find a higher perch (I guess so their call travels further) and because the foliage is so thick it’s really easy to lose sight of them. What a fantastic call they have though, we just love hearing them.

We stopped in Cooroy on the way to the Gardens, we just had to visit one of our favourite cafes whenever we pass through this way. We don’t really like posting photos of food but this French cafe ‘Maison de Province’ has absolutely amazing food and the best cuppachinos do they definitely deserve a mention.

 

A view of the Amphitheater at Noosa Botanical Gardens, which looks over Lake MacDonald
This sign is fabulous to see, if only all public parks would follow suit.

 

Just a couple of critters captured here

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A couple more pics of the gardens and lake

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Press or click play to view a short video of the Gardens


Well tomorrow we are hitching up again and heading inland to another one of our favourite stops, Cania Gorge. We have seen lots of birds there in the past but have never been there this early in winter so see how we go. It’s still a beautiful place to spend a few days, some great walks in nature are always enjoyable. It’s about 4 hours drive so we hope Chloe the Cat is ok with that as her longest run so far has only been 2 hours. I’m getting a video together of her quirky ways so will post it soon, she’s got quite a character now that we are getting to know her. We won’t have internet at the Gorge so it might be a few days till we post something so bye for now and chat soon.

Cheers Steph and Anthony.

 

A big shout out to Maison de Province, Cooroy.

A day at Australia Zoo

 

Well here we are again. It’s great to be out and about after 7 months of thinning and picking apples. It’s been a hard season, not so much for us but the Stanthorpe area is in drought and all the dams on our farm ran dry so as you can imagine it’s not good when farmers have to cart water to keep their fruit or crops alive. We are hoping it does rain up there so we will have jobs to go back to in November. Everyone has been extreme water restrictions since around Xmas time so there was no washing of the truck or van for quite some time. We also had some record low temperatures for May, one morning being minus 8 degrees, I can tell you we really don’t like the cold and we’re so glad to finally finish the picking and escape to somewhere with water.

So our first stop as usual was Toowoomba which was great for getting things cleaned up and it’s only a two hour run from Stanthorpe. Things always feel a bit strange when we haven’t moved for so long so we try to do a short trip for our first in a while.

Chloe ( our rescued cat) settled straight back into travelling too which is fantastic, she has come along so well, we still give her spirulina everyday and she is super healthy now.

Madagascan Ringtailed Lemur
Sumatran Tiger chewing on a bone
Meerkat on alert (as always)
A (cheeky) young Giraffe
Southern White Rhinoceros
Red Kangaroo

 

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More Mammal images

We have now made it to the Sunshine Coast to visit family and friends…..Anthony has bought himself a new Tamron 150-600mm lens that he was super keen to try out. We were short on time with all the family and friends catch ups so decided to visit the Australia Zoo this afternoon. We thought we at least would get a chance at seeing a few birds etc and Wowsers we absolutely walked our socks off. That place is enormous and so much to see. We didn’t even see any of the shows as we just wanted to get some photos but it’s so worth a visit and the animal enclosures are fantastic, we could have easily spent the whole day there.

Rose-crowned Fruitdove
Green-winged Macaw
Glossy Ibis (adult breeding)
Emerald Dove.
Eclectus Parrot

 

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More Bird images

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A short video clip of our visit

 

As you can see by the photos and video there are some amazing animals , a lot from Australia of course but plenty from other countries too, it’s fantastic.

Some fantastic statues around the Park

 

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A Wild Azure Kingfisher visiting the Zoo
And another wild visitor – Great Egret

We now feel like our holiday has started at last and the next few months we will be heading north, tomorrow only up to the Pomona Showgrounds but there’s some nice wetlands to explore and maybe a little mountain to climb…..not sure how our legs would cope having been shaken to bits on the cherry picker machines for the last seven months, but would be nice to see if we are still fit enough. So we will see how things progress and hope to get some more great photos coming your way soon, bye for now Steph and Anthony.

Scrub Turkey Photo Bomb