An Aussie Bounty – Gold and Precious Stones

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.06.44 amIt was as hot as blazes in SE Queensland last week and due to the wave of heat… we are talking 40C… we have upped camp and moved south into the back plateau country of Northern New South Wales. This is beautiful country, they call it the Northern Rivers country closer to the coast but where we are is the Clarence River Catchment, otherwise known as Gold Country.

The Great Dividing Range runs down the eastern seaboard of Aus. separating the coastline and the rolling plains beyond with the hinterland regions. Then westward it sweeps across the great western farming plains. The rivers that drain west from this dividing range had the adventurers and surveyors looking for an inland sea, which the Aboriginal people said was one of stone and sand. They should have believed them. Continue reading

Oldies at Large – Out on the Tar at Last

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.06.44 amWe are ‘on the road’ finally! We drove out of the gate and barely looked back.  Though hubby managed to collect the cover for the gas water system and wiped it out… nahhhh who needs hot water in summer, fix it latter … just add it to the list. We will return on occasion, for better or worse, to check up on the home and hearth but mostly our home now will be in our cosy 20 feet of caravan along with two dogs and a solar and gas supply. I haven’t told you much about our caravan but it has taken three years in the organizing… actually longer than that if you count our adventures in the Bitch Box. Continue reading

Oldies at Large – Giving up the Rituals

DSC_0264Something which I have realised as we move closer to the event of our running away from home and that is giving up all those lovely well known and age old rituals of central family living. Yep… those things that you barely notice at times but which are markers of a family group in practice.

When hubby and I left home on our marriage, after we had returned from our honeymoon all those decades ago, gathering up our goods and chattels we headed north to what was to become home central for our new and growing family.

One of the first things we did once settled was organize the delivery of the Sunday paper. In this ritual we established our intent to nest. This practice of course was way back in the dark ages according to the kids, as was the delivery of the daily bread and milk but those ritual niceties have since fallen by the wayside over the years in the name of progress. Now-aday’s you are the one who delivers the monies to the shop and exchange it for milk and bread… the emphasis no longer on service but on sales.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 7.45.24 pm Continue reading

Oldies at Large

Preparing for the SKI Trip –>  Oldies at Large.

Free-camping around Aussie Land – Where Tourists Never Go

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Cape York, Far North Queensland

I love to travel, particularly travelling about Australia. I truly love to get out into the bush or the Outback, set up camp somewhere where the skies are open and the sounds of the wilderness are all about me. Or where the sounds of the bush are a constant carol and the shade of great trees shelter you, and every other creepy crawly, hoppy or slidy creature around which you can hear move in the whisper off in the litter of the earth, deep in the forests of this land.

Burial site

Aboriginal Rock Art

Having not long come back from Mount Moffatt on the Carnarvon Plateau of central Queensland having revelled in the ancient Aboriginal art sites there which are some 25,000 yrs old, older than the last ice age, I am fresh with the want to head out again. I loved visiting these story sites created by ancient man, which are as breathtaking as the magnificent rock formations created by nature and which were simply amazing.

One of the best things about travelling around Australia is one of the things most tourists to our continent and country never see. I always thought that this was strange that tourist and holiday makers never generally understood where the essence, the spirit of our land really slumbered. Hidden as it is, silent and well away from where people gathered en-mass and where it is not so easy to go.

Most people head to the coastline or the cities, or better still a city on the coastline, including most Aussies but the best of the country won’t be found there. You will not find the true spirit of Aus. in the body of people roasting their skin under our harsh sun on the crowded beaches of golden sand. Nor will you find it commonly in the many tourist places where tour companies and groups will take you. They serve tucker there that is more often haute’ cuisine and fine dining representing many lands and cultures and as lovely as it is, this is not what I know as a Aussie experience.

These places frequented by tourist serve food that is not simply good and filling pub-grub or camp-cooking served from a well used camp-oven which is dangling over a roasting fire beneath a crystal dark sky. The places where tourists generally frequent are what commerce has made of Australia and many people do enjoy such delights quite happily, including me at times.

Natural Arch, Mount Moffatt Qld

Natural Arch, Mount Moffatt Qld

The real essence of Australia (not the industry) is where there are few people, where the horizons are vast and often bare or even rugged and endlessly mysterious. It is where the silence all around you is so deafening that you are left only with your own thoughts and the thoughts of what few companions you may have with you. It is where laughter fills the air along with song and poetry and the laugh of the kookaburra or the crack caw of the crow or cockatoo greets a crisp dawn and heralds a glorious sunset. This is the best part of Aus. and few visitors see it.

Read more about travelling around Aus.

Wild Colonial Sons of Australia

I have just returned from the Rooftop of Queensland, having spent time toasting my toes around the campfire at the delightful Mount Moffatt. We camped in what is part of the Carnarvon National Park, up high on the Consuela plateau where the Maranoa River is born and we explored the ancient lands of the Bidjara People.

The Roof of Queensland

The Roof of Queensland

I have visited the Carnarvon National Park many times over the years but this was the first time I could sit with the wild birds and animals, amongst the towering cyprus pines and gums on the high plateau for more than a short time. It was glorious!

Our days were filled with exploring the ancient campsites and art galleries of the Bidjara mob, photographing and documenting stencils left on sandstone cave walls in ochres of red, yellow and black along with rock etchings of the burial sites where the tribal people of the plateau buried their dead in a rich social and ritual life for near 20,000 years.

Continue reading