Burleigh Heads Beach, Queensland, Australia

Monday, April 12, 2010


Last weekend we drove to Wivenhoe Dam to meet friends for a picnic. It is about 90 k from here and our friends live about 20k on the other side of the dam. 
On the way we passed this traditional old Queensland  house.(Originally they were not built in underneath but left open to keep the house cool.)

We were excited to see how much water was in the dam. Over the last five years we had very little rain, a drought in fact. The three dams providing Brisbane and surroundings with water dropped to 15% capacity. We were on very strict water restrictions and the State Govt was worried we would run out of water so they constructed a desalination plant and water recycling facilities. However, at the end of last year it started raining and it has been raining on and off all through summer, like it is supposed to in the sub tropics. The dams are now 98% full. Unfortunately we don't have mountains and melting snow to help fill the dams.

People stopped going to the dams for outings as they were nothing more than mud puddles but Easter weekend saw more people at the dams than ever before. This is just one of many picnic sites. There are also camping areas too. Some dams allow boating but not this one.

We met our mates, Joan and Norm, who had secured a table for us with a view over the park and water.
Joan and Norm are our oldest friends,( not their age), but how long we have known them. Joan and I taught at the same school in Papua/ New Guinea back in 1964. I was single then and I used to babysit for them sometimes. Later when I met Bill, I took him to meet them and I asked their opinion of him. Like, "Do you think he is OK to marry?" They approved and it turns out that they were right. We left P/NG before them but we met up again here in Brisbane in the 70's. Later they took a "tree change" and moved to Esk, a country town, which is turning into an artist's retreat, Joan loves this because she is into weaving and felting.

Not bad weather for Autumn!

After our ham salad lunch, we drove back over the wall and around to the spillway. There are five steel gates 12 metres wide and 16 metres high. The biggest of that kind.

This photo is from the web to show how it looks when the gates are opened,(which is not very often).

Then I tried to get a shot of the earth and rock wall which is 2.3 k long, with the Brisbane Valley Highway running along the top. However I couldn't get far enough away to fit it all in and the damn tree got in the way of the dam wall. The dam holds 2.6 million megalitres. 
On our trek around the spillway we saw a gum (eucalyptus) tree in blossom and...

a scaly breasted lorikeet and...

some pretty seed pods. They look like pac men.


  1. Brilliantly done Diane and exceedingly informative with the details.
    It is like a DVD I have on two Champions of the Turf I have - called "Super, Better, Best".
    Aussies with racing in their blood will know the two horses concerned. Others may ponder!
    Well done, Diane, and I look forward to more of your talents being displayed for all to see.

    Colin (HB)

  2. So great that the dam is full again. I love the old Queenslander at the top.

  3. Wonderful shots of the dam, but sorry I must correct you on the bird. It is a scaly-breasted lorikeet. Ann J

  4. Thank you Ann. I've fixed it now.

  5. It looks like lake ! what a huge dam ! I also have a friend, even longer, we met in 1951 in the same class, but always stayed in contact. Isn't that nice such long friendships ?

  6. Oh, how lovely. The lake, the gum flowers (how funny that sounds!) the beautiful brightness of the trees and the birds. Thanks for a lovely little trip this morning.

  7. Diane, it looks like you had a very enjoyable outing with your friends. The weather looks so warm. The photos of the of gum flower and lorikeet are wonderful!

    I am always fascinated by the engineering effort that goes into making a dam. Good to hear that your area's drought problem has gone away.

  8. What a beautiful place for a picnic. Looks like you had fun.

  9. Beautiful pictures-the gum tree is very pretty.

  10. How gorgeous, Diane. I'm so glad that your drought is over. The area and the dam and all of that water and the view are all WONDERFUL... Looks like alot of fun with your OLDEST friends, and a great picnic.

    Love that lorikeet.... Gorgeous!!!

    Have a great day.

  11. Hi Diane! That was a nice picnic surely... Great to hear that the dams are in almost full capacity; 15% was surely a big concern... (That's the former Counsel to the Electricity company talking... ;))

    Blogtrotter Two is waiting for you in Turkey.... ;) Enjoy and have a great week!!

  12. The reservoir looks like a really lovely place to go for a picnic in the autumn! You took some incredible pictures of the Lorikeet, gum blossoms and seed pods! Do they still build raised houses? I will have to go get my Australia map and find Wivenhoe and Esk.
    I always enjoy your posts so much!!

  13. How fabulous that water is so plentiful - will the restrictions be lifted for a long time you think?

    I distinctly remember a raucous ruckus every morning from those scaly breasts - right outside my bedroom window!

    Lovely shots Diane.



  14. I had a chance to go look at the snake visitor post you sent me.. LOL He was a persistent thing, wasn't he? I guess the moral of the story is, if your cat is ac ting strange, take notice!! :-)

  15. A lovely place to meet up with friends Diane. Lovely photos as always.

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  17. What great photos giving such a real flavor of beautiful Queensland.

    The organic farmers markets are on Sunday at the Miami High School on the Gold Coast.

    The school is situated on the Gold Coast Highway just after Nobbys Beach and the markets start really early (open at daybreak) and go till about eleven.

  18. WONDERFUL! I got a really great tour and much information and delightful photos. Your bird shot is really good.


  19. I just love this tour and the way you link photo to photo. Fancy asking them if he was okay to marry!! Made be chuckle. I did not realise that Brissie got down to 15% capacity. I think we only went as low as about 31% and that was scarey enough. I think we are about 60% at the moment.

  20. Lovely pics and outing....

    I went to Cooby Dam yesterday and it is just a puddle so all the dams in seq did not fill but the water is being pumped up the range from Wivenhoe..

    Great to have been friends for so many years and keep in touch.