Each September in Brisbane you’ll start to see bright yellow flowering trees – these are known as ‘trees of gold’ or tabebuia aurea.
As these trees are deciduous and lose their leaves over winter, they gain the blossoms before their new spring leaves so this makes them visually stunning, this year because we had a very dry winter they are even more stunning with abundant blossom.
As soon as these stop blooming along come my favourite flowering trees: purple jacarandas.
Almost two years ago I was walking through a local forest with our three boys when Finley suddenly started screaming and crying out. I realised he had fallen face-first over the side of a large boulder and was at the bottom injured. I raced down and found he had fallen on his elbow which was dislocated. Three surgeries and almost two years later the only thing that remains is a feint scar and his arm is well and truly back to normal.
On Sunday we visited the same forest and Finley wanted to climb up on the same boulder again. Despite the five metre ledge – he had no fear or anxiety present. I was told the reason he fell off the boulder was he dropped a crystal he was carrying that day and he fell down towards it trying to get it. Standing on top of the boulder Finley spotted the missing crystal half way down that he lost almost two years ago. This time he let me fetch it and he was reunited with the crystal after all this time.
I am constantly amazed how resilient children can be.
“The only true voyage would be not to travel through a hundred different lands with the same pair of eyes, but to see the same land through a hundred different pairs of eyes”
~ Marcel Proust
I like my morning ritual where most days I go for a walk or jog through the forest right by our house before logging on to work at home. I stick to the same path mostly (I vary it slightly depending on my cravings for exercise and/or nature), but the benefit of this is I get to see the same landscape over and over again, through the days and seasons. Some days I notice things I’ve never noticed before even thought I’ve been there hundreds of times before. And some days some amazing things happen, like when I see baby koalas, kangaroos and when like this morning a thick fog covers the entire forest.
In December 2016 I attempted to climb to the top of Mount Tibrogargan in the Glasshouse Mountains. I was physically capable but not mentally ready. This morning I summited with the help from a new friend who’s an experienced climber. I felt satisfied.
On Saturday morning I had plans to climb Flinder’s Peak, but it was too wet, so I took some photos of some cows instead 🐄
Last Sunday we went on an afternoon drive to the scenic rim to visit Lake Moogerah for a picnic. On the way Kitty spotted a sign for a Camel Farm and Diary so we stopped on the way home, of course. Summer Land Camel Farm only opens Sundays from 9:30 to 4 and has a cafe and an area where you can get up close and feed the camels – we all loved it so much!
About an hour south-west of Brisbane sits Lake Moogerah and Dam: Moogerah is derived from the Aboriginal word Moojirah, meaning “home of the thunderstorm”.
Lake Moogerah is in the scenic rim and is beautifully framed by the surrounding mountains.
Mount Mitchell sits on the southern side of Cunningham’s Gap in the Main Range National Park. There are some excellent views of Mount Cordeau to the north whilst walking to the peak and the peak itself is a cosy rocky little area covered in grass trees with fantastic views East, South and West. I loved sitting up here and reading a book in the sun and having a cup of tea all to myself. A great walk with an awesome summit so would do it again 😊
Distance: 10.5km return
Time up: 1h:13m
Time down: 53m
Elevation Gain: 381m
I’ve been fascinated by the Spring Hill Reservoirs in inner-city Brisbane for some time.
The first reservoir was built in 1871, and the second just metres from the first some eleven years after. Both were built primarily of red-brick and mortar, set in-ground. Interiors feature columns and arches between walls for reinforcement. At the time of planning, Spring Hill was considered to be the ideal location for a Brisbane water source, due to its elevation above most of what is now Brisbane CBD. Water was sourced from Enoggera Dam via gravity feed. They were built in 1871 and 1882 by Henry Holmes. They serviced water to what is now Brisbane City until 1962. Currently, the reservoirs are covered by three hut-like structures above ground. For many years the reservoirs were locked and inaccessible to the public. However, since 2014, they are used occasionally for cultural events.
I’ve been waiting for a ‘cultural event’ in the reservoirs so I was lucky enough to find out about a light exhibition by artist Meagan Streader, The Weight of Light, being held in the reservoirs.
So last Thursday we picked the boys up from school and visited the reservoirs at Spring Hill. I’m not sure what I was more impressed by: exploring centuries old underground reservoirs or the neon light art exhibition within the darkness. It was a very memorable experience – particularly as we were the only people in there initially.
I can’t wait to revisit – it seems there is another art installation planned for the reservoirs as part of Brisbane Open House on October 7 – that’s definitely on the must-do list!
Yesterday we visited Wellington Point, about 30 minutes drive from Brisbane, for a family picnic. Just north of Wellington Point sits a small island known as ‘Yerra-bin’ or King Island. During a low tide you can walk across the sand bar to the island. Fortunately the tide was low and we walked over and back in time for a play at the playground and a cup of tea using our new family sized Thermos.
Toowoomba is a pretty sweet little city. Despite having a relatively small population (~100,000) it has the vibe of a bigger city.
Another good thing about Toowoomba is its proximity to Brisbane. You can get up there fairly easily in 90 mins on a weekend, which makes it a perfect day trip destination if you set off early.
I set off early yesterday as the sun was rising and began my road trip. I couldn’t help but stop at the abandoned Servo Plus service station at Plainland (cool suburb name) for a few quick snaps.
My first destination in Toowoomba was Table Top Mountain. This is a mountain just East of the main range which has a large grassy plateau on top which you can walk around on checking out the views of the surrounding pristine Lockyer Valley. I wanted to get here early before it got too hot, and also to see the rising sun to the East. The climb isn’t for the unfit or faint-hearted but the views are definitely worthwhile.
After admiring the views I made my way into the city to check out some of the Toowoomba street art. There’s a long weekend festival in Toowoomba each year called First Coat where street arts cover buildings around the city in murals. It’s been running since 2014 so there’s already plenty of murals to check out. Any lane in the city is pretty much guaranteed to have a few different murals.
One of the benefits of exploring the laneways in the city is you come across places to eat you wouldn’t otherwise discover. One such place was called Skewers which is an Indonesian street food style restaurant serving skewers grilled over hot coals, and slow cooked rendangs 😍
I’m a huge fan of roadside produce stalls and doing some Googling I discovered that the Lockyer Valley sitting just East of the Great Diving Range has lots of farms, and lots of roadside produce stalls. So I descended from Toowoomba into Flagstone as Flagstone Creek Road has heaps of the roadside stalls. My favourite stall was at Winwill, and during the drive back I managed to pick up two dozen fresh eggs, two pumpkins, spinach, potatoes, a watermelon, two punnets of tomatoes, and three stems of broccoli. All so fresh and delicious! The fringe benefit of this ‘produce run’ is that the views driving through the valley are top-notch:
With a slightly cool change in weather this morning I decided to take an early hike to Goolman Lookout. This hike is part of the same conservation estate as Flinders Peak but leaves from a different picnic area known as Hardings Paddock.
The hike to Goolman Lookout was pleasant and not at all difficult. The trail was wide and accessible, with some steep sections but no climbing or scrambling required.
I walked back via the ‘Rocky Knoll’ Lookout which, true to its name, was a rocky knoll which you can only access by climbing over a barbed-wire fence 😳
The Mount Gravatt Caves are something of a mystery: many people talk of them but there’s little online evidence to show they actually exist.
Well they do exist, and I’ve been inside them.