Archive for the ‘4WD & tracks’ Category

Mt Mee State Forest + School

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

After a wet start of the winter we’re now having many sunny days. Temperature differences during the day are considerable. During the day it typically is around 20 degrees and at night it can fall to 6 degrees (Celsius). Since dual layered glass is not usual here, temperature in house may decrease to 17-18 degrees requiring us to start the wood burner, or to invert the airco (NL: warmtepomp).

Sunrise is already at 6.20 am, but when Nicole and Jorick go to school at 8 am it is still cold. In their uniforms with bare legs. That’s why we bought them long trousers from the school uniform shop in uniform colors (we bravely follow the rules here).  Poor Nicole is only allowed to wear her long trousers on Tuesday when she is in sport uniform. On the other days she can wear some stockings (from the school uniform shop) under her dress.  They also have a jumper (also part of the uniform collection) for during the cold morning hours.  The sun is very powerful so an hour later the temperature is already much better.

The dry sunny weather in Winter is perfect for activities outside. One of our trips was to Mt Mee State Forest for a walk, a bbq and playing. We took an unsealed road to The Gantry which is a recreation area with barbecues and lots of space for a play.  The unsealed road was beautiful and we didn’t expect this so close (40 km) to our home.  Unfortunately the wood for the BBQ was wet, so lots of smoke guaranteed, but finally we had a delicious meal. The kids always love the barbies in Forest Parks.

unsealed road to The Gantry (Mt Mee) Smokey BBQ at The Gantry (Mt Mee) Hungry Kookaburras waiting for an opportunity.

The Kookaburra’s noticed our food and were waiting for an opportunity as usual. During our play they made several dives to our table. We  played some soccer and watched the birds.

New game: Keeper behind the goal.Somerset Lookout Black parrot

The Somerset Trail (4WD track) brought us to Somerset Lookout. On our way we saw some beautiful black parrots.




Leaving the mountain over the Sellin Road gave us some nice views over the area.

View from Mt Mee (Sellin Road). Sunset


 Nicole at Athleticsday Jorick at Athletics DayOnce a year the school organizes an Athletics Day with many activities. Parents and family is welcome to have a look. It was first planned a month ago, but then it was raining so it was postponed. It was fun. Nicole could jump very far. On the left photo she is joining a “running relay in the box”. 

You may have noticed that the  children always wear hats outside. That’s a school rule for sun protection.

Nicole had an excursion to the Osprey house about rubbish, recycling and saving nature. Lessons about sea life. Many animals get killed by plastic and other rubbish.

A week later Nicole had an excursion to the Osprey House. Jan joined as a volunteer and it was fun to see how the children learned about how to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. They also learned about how harmful rubbish can be for animals and the environment. Nicole found it very interesting. Following to this Nicole got an assignment from school to register all rubbish flows in home and to look for ways how we could improve reducing, reusing and recycling our waste. Not bad such an internal “rubbish consultant”. 🙂



Blackdown Tablelands + Canarvon National Park

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The day after our visit to Great Keppel Island we went from Rockhampton along the Capricorn Highway to The Blackdown Tablelands National Park (180 km west of Rockhampton).

           Road to Blackdown Tablelands National park.          View from Horseshoe Lookout.

This is an amazing sandstone plateau that rises out of the flat plains to a height of 600m. It features stunning panoramas, great bushwalks to waterfalls and lookouts. Because of the height the temperature was a bit lower up there which has impact on the type of flora. We experienced the bush there a bit more European, which made it a special experience in itself. A short walk brought us to the Horseshoe lookout and a longer trail to the Two Mile Falls with a beautiful view.

Bush Walk Track. Along the track. Two Mile Falls.

We also enjoyed a 4WD track (16km) showing other parts of the Park with other beautiful views. The road was easy going until the last part. This National Park was certainly worth a visit. It is beautiful. Finally we left the National Park and continued our trip to Emerald (261 km west of Rockhampton)to spend the night in the Emerald Meteor Motel.

View from the 4WD track. 4WD track. Goodbye.

The following day we left early to Canarvon National Park passing Mt Zamia and Virgin Rock (The Virgin Rock was named after the feature which resembles a statue of the virgin Mary and Child). 

Gregory Highway to Canarvon National Park. Mt Zamia and Virgin Rock (left small peak). Our first Australian Camp in Takarrakka Bush Resort.

We drove into the Canarvon Park to Takarakka Bush Resort at the beginning  of the Canarvon Gorge. Here we would experience our first nights of camping in Australia.

Carnarvon Gorge. Photo: EPA.Lonely Planet describes Canarvon Gorge as simply stunning. Massive, crumbling, yellow-white sandstone cliffs, up to 200m high, conceal a “lost world” of giant cycads, cool moss gardens, king ferns and rare palms. Over millions of years Canarvon Creek and its tributaries have carved 30km of twisting gorges and waterfalls through the soft sedimentary rock. 21km of walking trails bring you to majestic scenery, rare plants, wildlife and poignant Aboriginal art.

Ater setting up our tent (Coleman Chalet 9CV), and greeting the Kangaroos that were looking around, we walked the Mickey Creek Gorge track. It was a very beautiful track walking along exotic palms, very big and high rainforest trees. At the end we (carefully) walked a bit into a cool cave with beautiful flora. There we saw many well growing palms that are doing less in our (much dryer) garden.

Kangaroos at the camp site. Crossing a creek. Into the cave, keeping balance.

A cool oase with high humidity and beautiful palms. The Explorers. Hi Roo.

There are many species of Kangaroos and Wallabies in Australia. When we left the track a Whiptail Wallaby (one of the species we had never seen before) was saying hi.

At dawn we went to a Platypus Creek where sometimes Platypuses show up, but  unfortunately we didn’t see any. At the camp site we had a barbeque and in the evening we visited an presentation from EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) with a slide presentation about the history and beautiful features of the Canarvon Gorge. That was a good introduction to the next day experience.

(to be continued)