Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


After we left the Goodwill Bridge, we continued on our walk along the river edge into the old City Botanical Gardens. The gardens were first established in 1825 by convicts who grew food crops for the prison colony. Later, in 1855, it became a botanical garden where Charles Frazer experimented with adapting imported plants to this new environment. Due to the gardens being flooded nine times and plants washed away, a new Botanical Garden was established at Mt Coot-tha on the higher side of the city.
Riverside walk

There were lovely plants along the walkway to the gardens even though it was all flooded here in January.

We turned off the main path and continued along the boardwalk through the mangrove trees.

An ibis looking for a meal.
Mangrove trees provide fish with a breeding ground, birds with a feeding ground and the trees prevent erosion. The spikes are pneumatophores or aerating roots which are sent up from the main root. They collect oxygen for the plant which has its roots mostly covered by water.

We continued walking until we.....

...finally entered the botanical gardens. Soon we needed a rest and a snack. We were lucky to find an empty bench where we gobbled down some eggs, apples, cheese and Easter buns. It was beautiful sitting under the huge trees. The garden has very old trees, rainforest trees and exotic plants, but alas someone was a bit tired and didn't want to go on and see more plants. It did look like rain and we had a long walk back to the car.

So we headed back to the bridge and South Bank where our car was parked. This time we took the main path higher above the river.

What is this? I think it is an Autumn leaf, we don't have many deciduous trees in Brisbane but I think I found one here in the gardens.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


After strolling through South Bank Parklands, we continued our walk over the Goodwill Bridge to the north bank. The bridge passes over the Brisbane Maritime Museum.
HMAS Diamantina
The HMAS Diamantina is open for inspection after the dry dock was flooded last January. Volunteer US sailors cleaned up the old frigate. The sailors were from a US submarine visiting Brisbane for some R&R. The HMAS Diamantina is a River Class Frigate built in 1945 and she went to war in the Pacific Ocean. After the war she was an Oceanographic Survey ship in WA. By 1980 she was the last war time frigate still sailing, but her time was up and she was given to the Brisbane Maritime Museum.

Ella's Pink Lady
Ella's Pink Lady is also in the museum. She is the tiny yacht, in which 16 year old Jessica Watson sailed solo, non stop, around the world last year.

The City Cats are back.
A City Cat ferry passed underneath us and it is good to see them back on the river after they evacuated during the flood. They sailed out of the river and sheltered in a marina on the bay. Many of the ferry terminals were washed away. Many have been rebuilt. It was quite a sight seeing  all 20 of them come back up river together.

Brisbane City-north bank of Brisbane River.
These clouds are a familiar sight these days. They come rolling in every afternoon and drop a tropical downpour and they hang around until the next morning when we have blue sky and warm sun again. Typical tropical weather but it has usually gone by this time of the year. We were lucky it didn't rain until after we got home.
Looking back across The Goodwill Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists only.

Captain Cook Bridge
One of the many road bridges over the Brisbane River, which is still a revolting colour from the floods.
The pedestrian bridge passes under the motorway.

CityCycle station
At the end of the bridge there is a CityCycle station. It is a council, sustainable, public transport scheme aimed at reducing traffic congestion and parking problems. It also encourages fitness exercise. Patrons must pay a subscription on line and wear your own or hired helmet. (This could be a bit off putting for casual trips and tourists.) I'm not sure how it works but I think you have to punch in a pin number to release the locks. You don't have to return the bike to the same station you can drop it off at any one of the 150 stations for the 2000 bikes. Then we walked into the Old Botanical Gardens.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Today we visited South Bank Parklands in the city on the southern bank of the Brisbane River. Parts of it were badly flooded in January but tireless workers are getting it back to it's former beauty. It is a great community park with lots of areas for walking, cycling, playing, swimming, resting and having picnics or BBQs. It is close to the cultural centre, restaurant precinct and university campuses.

The Arbor walkway

Uni campus on the edge of the park.

The statue of Confucius was given to the people of Queensland from the people of Ji'nan, Shandong, China for QLD's 150th birthday in 2009. 

There are streams and ponds all over the park, with fish. ducks and lilies.

 There are a few Banyan Trees with their unusual aerial roots, which drop down from the branches, take root in the ground and then help support the huge branches. This is only a small tree compared to others that I have seen.

 The common Bird of Paradise plant is flowering at the moment.

 The water dragons were sunning themselves. This is a baby.

The road at the end of the park is pretty too. We walked from the park over the bridge to the old Botanical Gardens.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


We went to our local nursery, Neilsens Native Nursery. for some potting mix. It is a good nursery, which has won lots of prizes for being the best Native Nursery in QLD. It is quite big and it has a variety of native birds there too as well as a big aquarium section in the building at the back of the photo. Another added attraction is a little restaurant, which is how I con Bill into coming with me to the nursery. He's not keen on gardening but having lunch out he can't refuse. I didn't have my camera so phone camera had to do.

This is the view from the restaurant balcony, it is only a very small part of the nursery.

When you enter the restaurant you are greeted by Mr Lizard.

A Water Dragon
He came over to our table hoping for a snack but you are not allowed to feed them.......

.......even when it gives you the pleading look. He was right next to my chair and I had to step over him to leave. They are not shy here.

We walked around the nursery and heard this fellow asking for a scratch, I was a bit hesitant of his sharp looking beak so he didn't get a scratch from me.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I spied this cute little fellow in the garden and luckily I had my camera but he was hard to capture against the light. After fiddling with a few settings I managed to get him before he flew away.

I think it is called a Scaly Breasted Lorikeet.

I moved around the tree to get a better shot but he had disappeared but then I suddenly saw where he had gone. He went to woo his girl. I'm not sure that she is interested.

Monday, April 11, 2011


In my garden there are orange flags.

There are 30 of them throughout the garden.

The orange flags are so that I can find these little containers when the plants over grow them.  The containers are termite stations. Some time ago I discovered termites in a cupboard under the house, where I keep the gardening stuff. I got into a panic thinking that the termites might be eating our house, so I called the termite exterminator. He came to check the house and proclaimed we were lucky as they hadn't got into the house. He was not happy with all the loose timber we had lying under the house nor did he like the bark mulch covering the garden, all of which attracts the termites.  I asked him how could we prevent them getting into the house and he suggested installing termite stations all around the house as a barrier.
So we told him to go ahead. $2300 dollars later we had 30 installed. Every month we have to open them and check if there are  termites eating the timber slats inside. If there are we call the man. The first time I checked them I found one full of the creepy, white horrid pests. We rang the man......... 

  He undid the lid with a special key,

but because I had disturbed them most of them had run away. There are just a few on the timber sides. Anyway he fills the container with a paper pulp poison mixture, which hopefully, they eat and take back to their nest and feed the others. Then he asks for $140 dollars. An expensive feed for the little critters.

Did you notice the ground cover is in flower. I think it is called japonica pachysandra but I'm not sure.

Last week we cleaned out all the timber from under the house and found more of the little blighters. Our dear friend Paul and his son helped us get all the rubbish to the dump. Hopefully we are safe from the termites now.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Kids from John Paul College raised enough money to help rebuild a house for a young couple who lost everything in the flood and they didn't have enough money to rebuild. Tonight there was an article on Channel 7 News. It was about the family moving in. It brought tears to my eyes.

Friday, April 8, 2011


When I drove home from the gym and turned into my street it was literally full of children all walking towards my house. Teachers herded them off the road to allow me to get into my driveway. I recognised the uniforms as the local school called John Paul College. It is an ecumenical private school and the largest school in Queensland with 2400 students. It is only one block away from our house.
I raced upstairs and grabbed my camera and captured thousands of children walking past our house and around the block 3 times. It was a walkathon to raise money to rebuild a house for a family who lost their house in the floods. Their house wasn't insured against flood.

They didn't have to wear their uniform but could dress up or wear their sports uniform.

They just kept coming and coming.....

....and going. More and more and more....... It is a quiet cul-de-sac street so they were quite safe on the road and there were many teachers and adults with them.

JPC is a lovely school and it is where our girls went in the 80's, but it wasn't as big or as flash as it is now. This is the Coleman Centre for high school children.

The classroom foyer in the Bradley Centre
Open Learning Centre for older students.
A Primary School class.
  This school is a leader in computer education and often have international teachers visiting for seminars.

For the very young students.
The school caters for children at Child Care, Kindergarten, Prep through to Year 12 and Year 13 if students need an extra year to qualify for university. There is also an English Language School, where overseas students learn English prior to entering the college at high school level.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


We had a Hoover clothes dryer and it has lasted for years, I bought it to dry nappies back in the seventies and it just kept going until a few months ago and I had to get the switch replaced. It cost a fortune to have the repair man come to fix it.

Last week the door catch broke and we decided it was going to cost nearly as much to get it fixed as to buy a new one.  We realised that the poor old Hoover had passed its use by date so off we went and looked at all the space age models and especially the Hoovers but they were all too big and expensive.

Since there are only the two of us we only needed a small, simple one as I only use it for undies and towels. So we ended up getting a Fisher and Paykel. Our daughter has one and she says that it is good.

In case you are wondering why the car is parked in the laundry, it is because the laundry is in the garage. This suits me because it is down stairs and close to the washing line.

Can you believe this. The man is actually reading the instructions.