New Farm Park, Brisbane

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


After spending a few days in Grafton we followed the Gwydir Highway over the ranges to Glenn Innes. It took just over two hours driving through beautiful National Park scenery. 
We drove through the beautiful Jacaranda arbor of Ryan Street as we left Grafton. 

 The road was steep and wriggled through rainforest.

 We turned off the highway and drove a short distance to Raspberry Lookout. (Named after a spur used by aborigines and stockmen) in the Gibraltar Range National Park.
 We could see over the top of the Great Dividing Range, which runs all the way down the eastern side of Australia, dividing the coastal areas from the inland areas.

 We pulled into the lovely country town of Glenn Innes, settled by the Celts in the 1800's. We found our very comfy B&B which I had booked before we left home.

 It had a dining/lounge room, a little kitchen and a big bedroom and lounge with big glass windows looking out to a beautiful garden.

 There was free champagne in the fridge.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


When we were visiting Grafton, we were so lucky to meet a blogging friend, Karen from "Pieces of   Contentment". I have always admired her photographs, her quilts and the stories about her big family. She is so calm and "content" and yet she doesn't have an easy life. She is an inspiration. It was a convenient coincidence, that without knowing, I had booked a B&B in the same street as where she lives. One afternoon, Karen took us for a walk which took us over Grafton's iconic double decker bridge.
Photo taken from the WWW.
 The bridge was opened in 1932. It has a pedestrian walkway on both sides of the lower level.

 It has a rail track on the bottom level and a two way road on the upper level, with a very tight bend where the road accesses the city. It is very narrow and very tricky to navigate if a BW truck is coming the other way, as it needs both lanes to turn the corner.

 There is also the town's water pipeline on the lower level.

 From the bridge we could see the ever beautiful Jacaranda trees and ...

the usually peaceful Clarence River .

 But at the moment a new bridge is being constructed and not before time. There is a lot of congestion on the road trying to get onto the bridge.

We walked a short way along the bank of the river, where we saw two big yellow tailed black cockatoos high up in a tree. I like the yellow spots on its cheeks.

My lovely blogger friend and now a real life friend, Karen. She showed us the gorgeous Fig Tree avenue.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


The country town of Grafton is situated in the northern part of NSW. It is famous for it tree lined streets and it's Jacaranda Festival. (see last post). However, there is more to see there than the trees.
When we were there we had dinner on a hotel deck overlooking the Clarence River. It had been a very hot day so I guess this dog was enjoying a cool off. Naturally, the river is used for a lot of recreation sports and activities.

The next day we decided to check out some of the historic buildings in the town.
The Northern Rivers County Council

But you can't get far without noticing the street trees. 
This is a White Fig Tree. (Ficus virens)

Besides old commercial buildings there were many gorgeous old residences. Country towns seem to have avoided the bulldozers knocking down old buildings to make way for new ones.

We didn't get much further because this is Shaeffer House Museum, where we mooched around and learnt more about the history of Grafton.

It was built by F.W.C. Shearer in 1900 for his family. He was the first city architect for Grafton. Later the house was turned into flats but in 1966, the Grafton Council bought the house and it is now the home of the Clarence River Historical Society. The house was restored to its early glory and houses many artefacts.

The original wall paper was found underneath many others.

I also learnt there who was responsible for planting all the beautiful trees in Grafton. It was Henry Volkers, 1835 - 1911. He was born in Germany and arrived in Sydney in 1856. He moved to Grafton and in 1871 opened a shop. He advertised himself as a seedsman, florist and practical gardener. He planted many of the trees which adorn the streets of Grafton including the Jacarandas.

Jacarandas line most streets but look at the end of the street on the left there are huge fig trees.

Ficus microcarpa line this street nicknamed Fig tree Avenue. It is an amazing sight.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


I have always wanted to visit the country town of Grafton during its Jacaranda Festival to see the beautiful tree lined streets that I had seen in many photos. So I organised a short road trip taking in Grafton, Glen Innes and Warwick. Grafton is 340 km south of Brisbane in New South Wales. Grafton is the seat of Local, State and Federal Governments administration centre. It sits on the banks of the big Clarence River. It was established in 1851 and it still has many historic buildings.

Our Bed and Breakfast house was one of those. It is a heritage listed federation style old house.
 The evening we arrived we went exploring the streets and parks to photograph the beautiful Jacaranda Trees in the golden light.

 I had stuffed up my settings on the camera so they are not sharp. So the next morning we did it all again. There were so many streets lined with the beautiful trees.

The flowers were starting to fall to make a purple carpet throughout the town.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


When we stopped for coffee at New Farm Park this scruffy bird came and sat next to us. I have no idea what kind of bird it is. Stop Press, Christian says it is a common crow with a problem with its neck.

 On our walk we saw these trees. They were unusual in that they had lost their leaves and just had seed pods dangling. We don't have many deciduous trees in the sub tropics.

They looked pretty against the blue sky.

I don't know what kind of tree it is. This post proves that I'm not big on biological names. Stop Press Our friend Roland says that it is a "Robinia pseudoacacia"

Monday, October 16, 2017


As most readers know, we moved into a retirement village six months ago. The village has been growing over the last five years and the last two stages are in progress at the moment. We have been watching the quadplexes being built opposite us, well not quite opposite thank goodness so we can keep our view of the forest. It has been interesting watching the buildings grow.
 The retaining wall is up and the drainage done.

 The concrete slab is poured.

 Pouring concrete

 Blocks for the ground floor walls arrive.

 The garage walls are up. scaffolding for the upper units.

 Walls, windows and roof.

The street is developing.

Painting, balcony shutters, hot water heater, air con inside outfitting and landscaping.

People are moving into the "Upper Apartment "this week. Access is from the road behind the building while access to the lower "Garden Apartment" is from this street. So there are no stairs in the village.