Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thursday, December 4, 2008


A very good friend of mine, Joan, rang and asked me to come to a surprise 70th birthday party for Norm, her husband. Joan and daughter Cheryl had organised a cruise and a picnic at Bribie Island. Bribie Island is one and a half hours drive north of Brisbane. As we live on the south side of Brisbane we set off early and had to jostle with peak hour traffic until we were on the north side of town.

Soon we were driving over the bridge which connects the mainland to the island.

We were early so we watched the busy, noisy corella parrots.
The boat is getting ready for the tour and the parrots take off.
Norms friends all turned up before Joan and Cheryl brought Norm to join us. He thought he was going for a drive with the grandchildren.
The boat pulled in and we boarded for a 3 hour cruise along the Pumice Stone Passage. The stretch of water between the island and the mainland. There is a surfing beach on the other side of the island.
We set sail in the specially designed boat, with a shallow draught and no propellers, so that none of the water animals will be hurt. There are endangered dugongs (sea cows), turtles and dolphins.
Most of the area is a National Park. These are the Glasshouse Mts named by Captain James Cook in 1770. (They are ancient volcanic cores)
It is a fisherman's paradise. There are beautiful little picnic grounds which are only accessible by boat.
It is a 3 hour cruise,very relaxing and informative. There were many birds to watch, some have migrated from China, Siberia and northern Europe to enjoy our summer,which was beautiful today.

I think this is an osprey eagle (help me Lizzie)

This is a beautiful Jabiru but he was so far away you can't see his beautiful orange legs and bluey, green neck and head. They are mostly found in northern Australia and this is the furthest south that they come to nest.

Then we sailed into some canals on the way back to check out how the "rich" live in their posh houses and......

...their posh boats. The tour guide called them "not bad fishing shacks"

Then it was back to the park for a birthday picnic of fish and salad. Then there was a special present for Norm.

Norm and Joan have a son,Craig, who lives in Tasmania. He has a vineyard there and has just produced his first bottles of wine. As he couldn't be here today he sent his sister 2 bottles to give to his dad for his birthday lunch today.

Two Bud Spur-Semillon Blanc
It was a nice drop. Well done Craig.

A toast to the Birthday Boy with his own son's wine.

Happy Birthday ol' mate.
We met Joan and Norm in Papua/New Guinea in 1965 when we were all young and vibrant, and we have been friends ever since)


  1. What a nice day that must have been. I don't have a lot of old friends...too many moves. But it's amazing how some friendships just stay through the years. Congrats on that!

  2. That sounds like a lovely time was had by all!
    You are surrounded by a special group of friends in your life. What a blessing!
    And you live surrounded by SO much beauty! My family and I hope to see some of Australia one day.

    Oh, and "Happy Birthday, Norm!";)

    God Bless,

  3. Lucky Norm.
    Surprise parties are fun aren't they (when they are for someone else.....)?

    Looks like a lovely spot for a cruise and the inaugral imbibing of a brand new wine!

    Lovely to have friends from way back when!

  4. Not bad fishing shacks indeed! Sounds like a great time with good friends. I would love to hear stories about Papua New Guinea.. seems like such a primitive place, but I'm sure my notions about it are all wrong.

  5. It looks like Bribie Island has changed over the years Diane...Last time I was there I was 12...Let`s say it`s many moons ago....lol...

    Looks like a great day was had by all...He looks pretty fit for 70.....Hope i`m like that if I ever get to that age...lol

  6. What a fabulour birthday! - you lot always have some rippers.

    I'll add that island to my list of visits to do!



  7. Great pics...the ambience of the day is obvious......

  8. Aww, that's lovely, I'll go and stay in one of those shack any day!