Tag Archives: queensland

Granite Belt – Part 3

The sunlight was just hitting the top of the trees – the garden was surrounded by bush.

Granite Gardens

But it was still very frosty on ground level after below zero temperatures overnight.

Granite Gardens

The property also had a private 9-hole golf course on-site. Hubby had a go at a few holes at the end of the day, and even convinced me to swing a club. Bridie meanwhile had more fun running around the course – she must caught the scent of some roos.

Granite Gardens

Granite Belt – Part 1

We ventured across the border into Queensland, into the region known as the Granite Belt. There were certainly lots of rocks about!

Boireann Wines

Geologically, this region is of the same make-up as the country we’d travelled through since Armidale, but for Queensland this place was an anomaly since it wasn’t subtropical or semi-arid. That is, it’s high up (at least 800 metres above sea level), and isn’t humid. And because the soil is so poor it’s perfect grape-growing country. Yes, Queenslanders can make wines too.

Boireann Wines

There are about 60 wineries in the area, mostly around the towns of Ballandean, Stanthorpe and The Summit. Unlike in the Hunter Valley or Margaret River, these are mostly small winemarkers, growing only a few acres of vines at most, but that makes wine tasting all the more enjoyable.

Bungawarra Wines

Outside of vintage time, which it was in mid-winter, winemakers had time to chat about their wines. They were on the whole a passionate lot, who seemed to really care about quality more than quantity.

Stanthorpe beer and wine

The result showed in their wines. They were yummy! And it didn’t seem to matter what the variety, there were lovely reds and whites to be had. Hubby and I were so enamoured by them that we brought back 5 cases from half-a-dozen wineries. Don’t worry, we won’t be drinking them all at once – quite a few require a bit of cellaring. We’ll certainly be looking forward to sampling them in the future.

Going Home – Part 3

It really hit me that we were going home when we came to the edge of the Gregory River – the boundary of the Riversleigh fossil fields.

Going home

This was my last glimpse of the lush, green oasis by the Gulf rivers.

Going home

It was also exciting the slip through the water like that. And the water was relatively deep too.

Going home

Half way back to Mt Isa, we passed by the gates of this station. It reminded me of Mr Thornton in North and South.

Going home

We glimpsed a couple of cowboys mustering cattle in the dusty yards, but I was most curious about whether the station was founded by a Mr Thornton or not. It would be rather exciting if a Mancurian industrialist did turn pastoralist in the Australian outback. It would be quite a story, anyway.

And that is the end of my journey to the Gulf. I’ll be back soon with a post about somewhere much closer to home.

Going Home – Part 1

The end of the week came all too soon – it was time to go home. At Riversleigh, the palaeontologists bagged all their specimens.

Going home

And then put them in the 4WD’s to bring back to Adels Grove.

Going home

There, they put the bags on to palettes, which will eventually be taken back to Mt Isa, and then transported by train back to Sydney.

For them, it’s really just the beginning of their discoveries – the extraction, and then the identification and write up are all still ahead. They certainly have enough work to tide them over until next year’s trip to Riversleigh.

Boodjamulla National Park

Boodjamulla (formerly Lawn Hill) National Park, is actually a very large place. It encompasses both the gorge area, Riversleigh fossil fields and beyond, all the way to the Northern Territory border.

A mere kilometre or so from the gorge, the landscape once again turns dry.

Lawn Hill Gorge

The geologists can’t help having a squizz at the rocks.

Lawn Hill Gorge

I was more interested in the flora. There were, once again, long wattles.

Lawn Hill Gorge

But I was more fascinated by this tree.

Lawn Hill Gorge

And the mottled bark pattern on its trunk.

Lawn Hill Gorge

Was it caused by insects or naturally occurring?

Lawn Hill Gorge – Part 4

Indarri Falls is a pretty popular place in the school holidays. But since we came in the late afternoon, and because the water was cool, there weren’t too many people.

Lawn Hill Gorge

We moored the canoe, put on our snorkel and mask, and swam in the cool water. I had heard that turtles, catfish and fresh water crocodiles lived there, but unfortunately all I saw were the ubiquitous archer fish. It didn’t however detract from the exhilaration I felt in swimming at such a delightful place.

Lawn Hill Gorge

We weren’t the only ones that liked this place. It’s a wonderful place to bring the kids.

Lawn Hill Gorge