Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


While in Marybrough we came across a statue of Mary Poppins.

Although I couldn't find out who did the sculpture we did find out that it is there in memory of the author of  the Mary Poppins books.  P.L. Travers was born in Maryborough in 1899.

She was born Helen Lyndon Goff in the residence above the bank behind my friends . Her father was the bank manager. She was a novelist, actress and journalist and left for London in 1924 where she died in 1996.

Her books were adapted to film and musical theatre.Down the street were more sculptures every 50 metres 
depicting scenes and excerpts from her books. 

We also visited Queens Park in Maryborough where there was a band rotunda that was bequeathed by Janet Melville in memory of her brother who was the mayor. The entire structure was imported from Scotland in 1890.

Many trees were planted in the park before 1900. This is a huge Banyan tree with aerial prop roots, which hold up the branches. (The council have helped by using metal ones too.)

The Mary River was named after Governor Fitzroy's wife, Mary, in 1884. The guns were given to the community by the Navy in 1914, when they updated their arms for WW1.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


After Gympie we stopped at one of the oldest towns in Queensland, MARYBOROUGH.  It was settled in 1847 and it was a major immigration port. It sits on the banks of the Mary River and is famous for its preserved colonial architecture.
Customs House (now a museum)

Post Office

St Mary's Church

Court House
The main industries are engineering, sugar and timber. It is 255k/158m north of Brisbane.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Gympie is a small country town 106k north of Brisbane. It has 16000 people. They grow crops, especially pineapples and they produce dairy products. Gold was discovered there by James Nash in1867, which helped Queensland climb out of debt at the time. The town was known as Nashville at first but then changed to Gympie, coming from the aboriginal word gimpi-gimpi meaning 'stinging tree'.
We walked around the city park-Lake Alford Recreational Park. It was a grey day.

Australian native Black Swans.

Mallard Duck.  
A sculpture of Gold Diggers by Herman Husman stands in the park.

Just outside Gympie we drove up Mt Kanigan, where our friend George grew up on his parents farm. He told us stories of walking down to school in the little settlement seen in the distance and then the hard walk back up the mountain.

George also told us how he had to transport churns full of cream down the slippery dirt road behind a horse on a dray when he was a young boy. He said it was hard stopping it going too fast and spilling over. However, they had a wonderful 360* view from up there.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


It is the last day of our mystery tour and I thought we would be heading home. I was wrong. We left Scarborough Beach and headed towards the Glasshouse Mountains where Ann had booked up for us to see a Parrot Show at Parrots in Paradise. Dail has a collection of parrots from all over the world. She breeds them, sells them and puts on a show to educate and entertain guests. She has trained some of the parrots to do tricks. She maintains the the birds are not forced to do anything they don't want to. She says they actually enjoy playing and showing off. Here are some photos of the birds, unfortunately I am not sure of the names of all of them. They are certainly beautiful and clever birds.
I think these are Eclectus Parrots found in New Guinea. They are unusual in that the female is the brightly coloured red one and the male is the green one. However the male is also colourful in that it has blue wings and red underneath.

This is an Australian Galah, we saw many of them on our trip.

It is an Australian Red Tailed Black Cockatoo.
 Major Mitchell Cockatoo. It is bright orange underneath

The one above was a character, it is waving to us.
This X rated pair are Alexandrines. There were lots of them and they were the ones that put on a show for us doing all kinds of funny tricks. I think they come from Asia. After the show we were really on our way home. We dropped off Mary first then Ann and George. George followed us in his car while we returned the hire car and then he dropped us home.
WOW! What a fun adventure.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


The surprises continued to come even in the last days of our tour. After having a surprise Birthday Morning Tea with dear friends we headed towards Brisbane but not home yet.
George was driving and we started to see the familiar outskirts of Brisbane but then he turned off towards the Redcliffe Peninsular and then pulled in to Scarborough Beach Resort, where our friend and tour guide, Ann, had booked us into an apartment for five people. You can see George on our balcony.

Bear enjoyed the view from her new deck chair and was glad to put her sore leg up after getting it broken yesterday when she fell out of the car.

Moreton Bay

Mary and I decided to take a closer look at the beach and put on our jumpers and went for a walk along the waterfront in the chilly evening.
This is the last night of our mystery tour and we were told  we were going to a restaurant for dinner. It turned out to be the famous Morgan's Seafood Restaurant. It was a smorgasbord of prawns, oysters, Moreton Bay Bugs, lobsters, mussels and hot fish, calamari, chips, potatoes, vegetables and salads. It was a fabulous meal. In these last hours of our trip Ann had organised another surprise for us.

Mary, me, Helen, Paul, Ann, George, Bill and an empty chair where Bear should be, but she stayed at home to recover from her accident. 
Ann had arranged for Helen and Paul to come to the restaurant for dinner with us. Helen and Paul are members of our Birthday Bear Dinner group but they couldn't come on the mystery tour as they had intended to, because Paul was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma and had to have chemo therapy and recover from an operation. It was great to see they could manage the long drive to this side of the city and enjoy our last night of the tour, and my birthday. What a fantastic birthday I had. Thanks to Ann.

The next morning greeted us with a lovely sunrise before we headed towards home. However, Ann had another attraction for us to see on the way home.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Just when you think there couldn't be any more surprises left in this mystery tour of ours, Ann pulls more  out of her bag of tricks. Yesterday it was my birthday and when I got up  (in the Farm Stay house)  I stumbled across Birthday Bear in her new attire.

She was dressed in holiday attire, sporting a new scarf, shirt and pants. She had a frog pen (I love frogs) and she was sitting in her very own deck chair planning more holidays. Her camera lanyard had "BEEN THERE DONE THAT" written on it. Ann and George made the clothes and chair.

I was very happy with my birthday present.

It was soon time to pack up and leave our farm stay for our next unknown destination. We drove through beautiful countryside and headed for Esk. 

Our oldest friends live in Esk but I couldn't have rung them to say we would be there because I didn't know I was going to be there. Even though Ann, the organiser, didn't know our friends Norm and Joan very well, she had secretly contacted them and made arrangements for them to join us in a Birthday morning tea celebration in Esk. It was so exciting to be with them all on my birthday..Bear as well.

After morning tea we continued on our mystery journey. We drove to Somerset Dam and got out for photos. Poor Bear had an accident and fell out of the car. I administered CPR and set her broken leg and we were on our way again.

The Somerset Dam is 100% full and supplies Brisbane with water. It is a very popular camping place during school holidays.

Evening was falling and we must away to our next destination. This will be our last night, where could it be?

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Continuing our mystery tour. Each day Ann gives us a little envelope with the information on where we are going.  Yesterday Ann told us we were going to The Chinchilla Bed and Breakfast. However, we ended up at a mutual friend's house in Chinchilla and she was expecting us...da dah.. it was a surprise.
Judi, also worked at our school with the rest of us but has now moved to Chinchilla. She offered to put all of us up for the night in their big new house.

Another surprise. Later in the evening another friend turned up, who also worked with us some time ago.  Jo has also moved to Chinchilla unknown to us. She came over and helped Judi prepare dinner for all of us. Their husbands were also there and joined in the fun. It was so exciting meeting our old work buddies again.

The next day we drove on and on to Bunya Mts, another bucket list place for me. Ann has done such a lot of organising. We were to do some forest walks but it was raining so we had a lovely piping hot lunch. Then we drove a short distance to Maidenwell, where we stayed in a farm house.

George had to chop the wood for the fire.

Bear was very happy to stretch out on the sofa in front of the fire. We were to visit the local observatory after dark to look at the stars and moon but it was cloudy and rainy so we went to the local pub for dinner.