Brisbane, QLD

Saturday, July 31, 2010


The courier brought us a parcel.

"Hey Diane, the parcel has arrived."

"What have we here?"

"Yippee, our travel documents have arrived with some goodies too. This backpack looks handy."

"Yep, it fits and not too big."

So, what did we end up with? 2 backpacks, 2 laundry bags, a document holder and........

........a guide book for Canada and Alaska, the itinerary, the air tickets, and information booklet together with health forms and baggage labels. The cruise ship documents I had to download from the internet.
Soooo in two weeks we will be on our way. Rah, rah, rah. Do I sound excited? This trip has been on my bucket list for years, I can't believe it is about to happen.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


When I'm on the coast I can't help photographing Pandanus Palms, I think they have an interesting shape. There are 600 species and vary from 1m to 20 m. 

They grow on the coast of Australia and the Pacific Islands. This one is at Redcliffe on Moreton Bay
They have unusual fruit which goes orange when ripe. In Micronesia it is a major food source. It can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves are used for flavouring sweet dishes.

These are on Bondi Beach in Sydney

The afternoon sun shows up the colourful rings which are leaf scars.

I like using them to frame a shot.

This one was at Bustard Head  

They attract  insects and animals eat the fruit. The Polynesians use the leaves for weaving baskets, canoe sails, mats, thatch and grass skirts.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


While we were at Redcliffe on Sunday we visited the markets on the edge of the bay.

There were a variety of stalls.

One stall was selling Bonsai trees, as I took the shot of the tree I noticed the amorous couple on the beach in the background. I thought it looked like they were under the tree.

Then we came upon these gorgeous dogs. They were not for sale just visiting. The little girl found someone with the same hair colour.

I didn't quite hear the name of the breed but they are a type of German mountain dog.

The bridges  in yesterday's post are on the map below in the middle at the top near Clontarf. If you move the map you will find Redcliffe a little north and Brisbane a little south. I'm not sure that Google Maps have got it right where they have printed Coral Sea it should be Moreton Bay. The Coral Sea is further north.

View Larger Map

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Grey Day in the Sunshine State

There is a saying about the great Queensland weather:  "Beautiful one day and perfect the next." Well it wasn't happening last weekend. It was grey and cold...well 18*C/65*F...thats cold for us. We went to Redcliffe to have a look at the new bridge from the Brisbane suburb of Brighton to the Redcliffe suburb of Clontarf crossing Bramble Bay which is part of Moreton Bay.
There are now three bridges next to one another crossing the bay. See to the left is the old wooden Hornibrook Bridge, to the right is the new  Ted Smout Bridge and we are on the Houghton Highway Bridge.

The old wooden Hornibrook Bridge was built in 1935 and named after the engineer in charge. It is the 2nd longest wooden bridge in the world. (2.8k/1.7m) It will be demolished this year except for 100 metres, which will be kept for recreation and fishing. 

The Houghton Highway concrete viaduct in the middle will be renovated and will carry the northern bound traffic. This bridge was a disaster from the beginning. It was built in 1979 and was already too small for the volume of traffic when it opened. It dips in between every support and makes for a rough roller coaster ride. It was named after the local member of parliament who resigned before the bridge opened. For years there was dicussion on how to improve the bridge. Finally a new one was opened this month. 

The Ted Smout Bridge is named after Queensland's last surviving WW1 veteran who lived locally but died in 2004. It is strong enough to withstand cyclones and is the longest bridge in Australia at 2.74 k/1.7 m.

While in Redcliffe we walked out onto the renowned Redcliffe Jetty.  The bathing pavilion was built at the entrance to the jetty in 1937.

The first jetty was built in 1885 where convicts were unloaded to build the Redcliffe settlement which was to become the main town but later the Brisbane River site was preferred. The jetty was renewed in 1922 and again in 1999.

It was a bit breezy and cold out here amongst the forest of blue light posts so we turned around, walked across the road into a sheltered coffee shop. 

Many still enjoy outdoor eating in winter.

The day didn't get any brighter so we headed for the car. I spotted this pelican preening on a light post but Bill wasn't too impressed as it was.......

....right above our car. It even provoked Bill into a run to move the car before it was bombed.

Then we travelled home on the brand new bridge which carries the south bound traffic. We made it before the rain which was only a light shower anyway.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


A Pale Headed Rosella visited my garden this morning. It has red under its tail.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I went shopping for a sunbed for Bill to lie in the sun and read, and soak up some Vitamin D. However, I came home with an addition for the new kitchen as well. Two black bar stools. Whenever we have dinner guests they want to sit in the kitchen and chat so we needed something for them to sit on. I liked these and they were on special.

If you are trying to work out what the pictures on the wall are, they are photos of different types of wine grapes. I purchased them from a cellar door on one of our earlier wine trips.

The pot plant was a gift from my friend Helen and the black heron and seal used to belong to my mother.

Friday, July 23, 2010


The Gold Coast is a city located 57k/35m south of Brisbane. It has a sub-tropial climate with a Mean Max Temp of 25*C/77*F and a Mean Low Temp of 17*C/63*F, There is 57k/35m of coastline beaches. Sounds like paradise, in fact one of the beaches is called "Surfer's Paradise"

Looks like paradise.

However, the city is the 6th most populous city in Australia with over 450,000 people, not counting the millions of tourists. The beaches are surrounded by concrete towers.

Even more are being built.

They provide jobs for lots of people, can you see the little blobs on the 7th balcony up? 

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I am working for three weeks but I don't work on Thursdays. It was good to have the day off to go to the coast to visit friends who are on holiday there from Perth, Western Australia. We used to be neighbours 38 years ago and since then we have gone our different ways but have always kept in touch.
You always know when you have arrived at the Gold Coast you become surrounded by high rise apartments. It only takes an hour from our place. 

Our friends are staying here in a nice low set block only 100 metres to the beach.

We went to the Broadbeach Surf Club for lunch and had delicious fish and chips overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful warm winter's day.
A lovely day for a walk along the boardwalk with friends we haven't seen for many years. George, Laila, Bionic Bill, and Moi.

The City Daily Blogger at work.

This is the view he was looking at to the north.

Looking south.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Wompoo Fruit Dove (photo from the net)

Thanks to my SIL and his brother Jon, who is an environmental scientist, I have an ID for my window crash victim on the last post. Blogger Julie, from Sydney Eye, also identified it for me. Thank you friends I can add another bird to my list of known birds.


Three posts ago I had another identification problem, which Titania  from Yesterday Today and Tomorrow in my Garden, has solved for me. I didn't know the name of this flower and she has provided the answer. Thank you blogging friends....collective blog brainpower is handy.

Many of you have been asking how Bill is after his visit to the hospital for a few days to get his ICD implant replaced. Well as you can see he is home again soaking up some Vitamin D from our winter sun.
Thank you everyone for your best wishes and prayers, it obviously worked with some help from a very skilled heart surgeon. So now he is recharged for another 7-10 years. The flowers peeping into the corner of the photo are:

Zygo Cactus (Christmas cactus in the northern hemisphere)

a pink one

a red one, great winter flowers.