Mandurah and Rockingham

There are a couple of Art Trails around Mandurah, we did one on a nice fine day, having a good walk around the foreshore while we did.

Heather was pretty as a picture so we framed her.

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Sorry, it’s crooked!

There was a large flock of well-fed Cormorants chilling on the breakwater, these ones good examples.  It has been estimated that Cormorants catch and eat > 4 tonnes of fish from the waters around Mandurah a year.

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We found a canal system called the Venetian Canal, with high rise apartment blocks around them.

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There are quite a lot of the artworks located in this precinct, this one representing a beached boat.

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Across a pedestrian bridge to the Dolphin Cove area near a large marina, we found more boats, this one being tossed around in a storm.

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Later we did a ferry ride around the waters of Mandurah, in much calmer waters.

On Stingray Point is a beautiful Moreton Bay Fig tree near the Sebel Hotel.

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It was planted in 1930 by the owner of an earlier hotel, the Peninsula Hotel and has become an icon of Mandurah.

Residents lobbied Council in 2012 because excessive nesting by Cormorants was causing damage to the tree and a health risk to people near the tree.  In 2016 other residents lobbied the Council to stop knocking bird nests out of the tree.

The tree and its environs look pretty healthy now, so do the Cormorants.  We did go past it on our earlier walk and it is quite sound.

Near the mouth of the river we saw some dolphins swimming around, probably eating more fish.  They were difficult to photograph, this was about the best we could get.

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The cruise took us through some more of the canal system, past some large houses.

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They are all quite new, the canals were built in the 1990s and most of the houses have been built this century.  Some of them are quite large but they are all very close together.

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We made it back out of the canals to the river, a nice day for a cruise.

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We did another Art Trail walk around the town where we saw The Drover’s Dog, representing all the dogs that have had to wait outside the pub for their masters.

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This collection used boats to represent the containers of the trials and troubles of our lives.  You can just see the Sebel and the fig tree in the background.

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The Fisherman represents the fishermen of Mandurah and its old fish canning factory, now gone.

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This piece represents the passing of an Aboriginal Message Stick from an Aborigine to a Settler.

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We’ve had some good walks around Mandurah, it is a nice comfortable place and we’ve had perfect weather for our stay here.

Another day we went north towards Perth to Rockingham and were again pleasantly surprised.  The town beach and foreshore have been well developed with a park with good facilities (Tables, shade, BBQs etc.) between the town and the beach.

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We took a walk out on the pier, much shorter than Busselton, but the bottom of the ocean shelves away to deep water much quicker and it doesn’t need to be so long.

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Just north of Rockingham is a lot of Perth’s industry that requires shipping.  There is a grain terminal, 2 oil refineries and an aluminium smelter in this next photo.

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We know that there would be strict pollution controls but the condition of the beach and the water is pristine.

There is also a large naval base on Garden Island about a mile offshore and connected by a causeway.

We took a walk out along Cape Peron which has some excellent views of the surrounding area.  This looking south, one of these islands is Penguin Island which has a colony of Penguins nesting.

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You can wade out to the island, not advised as with the changing tides you could be swimming for your life a bit later.  Or you can catch a ferry or glass-bottomed boat to walk to the island and take in the acquatic life as well as the penguins.

More rugged coast around the Cape, more Cormorants too.

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Is this another Natural Bridge?  Albeit much smaller than the one in Albany.

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We have enjoyed our time in the west but it is drawing to an end and we will be heading home on the weekend.   Look out for our next travels.

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Visiting Fremantle and Bunbury

We are enjoying our time around Mandurah, built around its extensive foreshores on the Indian Ocean beaches, river and lakes, there are places to see and walk around, all with excellent water views.

Looking across the river to the town proper.

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Looking out to sea –

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As if there weren’t enough waterfront views, an extensive network of canals have been built and filled with houses and boats.

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One day we went up to Fremantle and Perth for a change of scene.  Fremantle is the original port for Perth, on the Swan River mouth.  Here is the fishing port, working boats here.

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Ships have been docking at Fremantle for nearly 200 years, bringing passengers and cargo for Perth, and transiting here on the way to the other Australian ports and the world.

The buildings are a real mixture of the old and the new.

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We went out to the end of the breakwater at the Swan mouth and found another lighthouse, not open today.

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Looking back upriver, we could see the port area and the new Maritime Museum.

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There are a lot of exhibits of Civil and Naval shipping, including a complete Owens Class submarine on display.

At the front of the Museum, there is a Welcome Wall where the names of 21,000 migrants that have passed through Fremantle are inscribed on panels in the wall.

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There have been millions of migrants that have come through here over the years.  Roger came through on the SS Largs Bay in 1950, so we tried to find his name but it wasn’t here.

However, we did find Amber’s grandfather who came through here with his family on the SS Orontes in 1911.

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There was even a bronze statue of them on the docks –

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Walking around Freo, we were headed for the Round House and noticed these strange yellow lines painted haphazardly all over the place.

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It wasn’t until we reached the Round House that we realized what an artistic achievement it is.

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Very impressive.

The Round House is claimed to be the oldest Public building in WA, dating from the 1830s.  Built on a hill, it has a good view over the ocean and the river mouth and has a time ball and cannon which were and still are operated at 1pm each day.

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Inside the building which is open in the middle, cells are built into the walls as it was used as a jail to house unruly residents and visitors.  There is a large well in the middle.

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Freo is in the process of evolution but most of the older buildings are protected to retain the character of the place.  The old Customs House was not completely retained, but its façade is.

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We drove up along the city beaches for a bit, here is Cottesloe on a nice day.

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We moved on to Kings Park which is high on a hill.  Here is the meeting place of the Swan and Canning Rivers, looking south.  The Swan is to the left, the Canning straight ahead to the right, and the Swan continues downstream to Freo on the near right out of picture.

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Here is the Swan and the Perth CBD, a great view.

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Another day we went down south to Bunbury, visiting several coastal communities along the way.  The first was Falcon Bay.

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A nice low density community with a good beach, popular with surfers and boaters.

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Set back a bit from the beach was this strange canal community, trying to appear a little Mediterranean, but not quite right unfortunately.

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We walked out to a boardwalk on Lake Clifton, 20km long, land locked and fresh water.

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In the water are many Thrombolites.

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They look like rocks but they aren’t really.  Each pod is a community of microbes which work together photosynthesising to create their own energy to survive, producing oxygen as a by-product.  They also absorb calcium carbonate from the local limestone to make their own ‘rock’ to live in.

About 600 million years ago, they were part of the process of generating enough oxygen in the air to support life as we know it.

At Myalup we saw how some locals go to the beach.

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We stopped for lunch at Binningup, it seemed a very comfortable community with another nice beach.

At Australind, we saw a large flock of the local Black Swans enjoying the Leschenault Inlet.

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We found Bunbury to be larger than expected, bustling with mostly newish buildings and a good lookout  over its CBD.

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This is looking towards the Boat Harbour and the mouth of Leschenault Inlet.

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Nearby is Wyalup Rocky Point with a rocky outcrop of basalt rock created millions of years ago by flowing lava giving some unusual character to the beach.

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Bunbury’s main street, Victoria Street is very nice, and getting ready for Christmas.

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There is a walking trail around the town with many exhibits on display.

This sculpture in the middle of the street, very convenient place for seagulls to have a rest.

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Many of the murals were on the side of buildings.

A couple of good examples  – this is on the side of Officeworks.

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This on the side of the Library –

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So we are seeing a lot of the south west, and enjoying our time around Mandurah.

 

On to Mandurah

On Friday we moved on from Busselton, headed to Mandurah, 165 km up the coast towards Perth although with our chosen route it was more like 300.

Before we left we took a walk on the Busselton Pier.

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We had another nice fine day and the walking was easy and interesting.  We missed the train but enjoyed the walk.

The water here is on the Indian Ocean which can get rough, and the water is shallow.  There is nowhere for a harbour or port as the beach is straight and long so the pier was originally built in 1865 to receive passengers and cargo from ships and transport them to the shore.

The pier was used for docking thousands of ships until 1972 when it was decommissioned from shipping.  In 1978 the pier was badly damaged by a Cyclone and the WA State Government resolved to demolish the pier.

The residents of Busselton were not happy about losing their pier so they banded together and salvaged the timbers that they could, conducted many fundraisers and lobbied their Government with the result that eventually the current pier was erected.  Good result!

We enjoyed our walk out along the pier learning about it and enjoying the experience for quite some time.

Are we there yet?

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Not on you Nelly!  Not even close.

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We did make the distance, it’s about 2 km to the end and well worth  it.

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There is an Underwater Observatory at the end but we didn’t visit it this time.

Our accommodation at Mandurah is the Silver Sands Resort, a Timeshare Exchange to which we couldn’t check in until after 2, so we headed south to Nannup instead of driving north.

Heather’s friend Jan’s Mother was raised in Nannup and her Father in nearby Greenbushes.  Jan thought we might like to have a look at their houses and towns and so we did.

Nannup is a small, quiet village although it is on the main road between Albany and Busselton.  We had no trouble finding Jan’s Mother’s house, looking well cared for with nice gardens.

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Across the road is the Nannup Park, a good outlook.  The Nannup Pub is a short walk down the road.

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Not a lot more to see in Nannup so we pushed on to Greenbushes through some more nice farming country.

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We arrived in Greenbushes and found Jan’s Father’s house also in good condition, next door to the local Primary School.

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The house looks a lot like some of the early Australian miners’ cottages, and so it was.  Jan’s paternal Grandfather had been a miner at the nearby Tin Mine, virtually just up the hill from the house.  There is a lookout < 100 metres from the house, and this is the view of the nearest pit, the Cornwall Pit.

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Over 4,700,000kgs of Tin were removed from this pit before it was exhausted about 15 years ago.

The Mine is much larger than this pit, Google Maps give you some idea of the magnitude – here.

The Greenbushes Mine is still operating, although now it is operating underground and the minerals of choice are Tantalum and Lithium.

There is a very good Discovery Centre in town, giving a display of the Mining, Timber and Farming activities in and around Greenbushes.

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The building was originally the town’s General Store.

We pushed on from there to Mandurah, making good time for our check-in around 4.

Silver Sands Resort is very comfortable with a huge outdoor pool and spas, an indoor pool and spa, saunas, tennis and squash, mini golf, BBQs and more, all in very good condition, and a short walk to the beach.

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We will be staying here for the rest of our time on this trip and day tripping between Bunbury and Perth.

The South Western Corner

On Thursday we set off from Busselton to tour the coast south down to Cape Leeuwin, which is the south-eastern corner of Australia, a planned route of about 280 km..

We drove first along the coast of Geographe Bay to Dunsborough, a pretty, newish town.

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Then we drove out to our first lighthouse for the day on Cape Naturaliste.

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This is the second lowest lighthouse on mainland Australia, being set high up on a hill.  It has been operating 24/7 for more than 100 years, requiring a team of 3 keepers working rotating shifts.

We joined a tour of about 8 people and climbed to the top (only 59 steps) with a very informative guide telling us the history along the way.

The light was automated in the late 1980s, it has recently been upgraded to use 1000 watt LED lamps.

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The lenses are original and would cost a fortune to replace today.

It was a bit hazy outside, but it’s a very rugged coast along here with lots of submerged rocks.  There is a new boardwalk being built outside, using more beautiful Jarrah timber.

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At nearby Bunker Bay, we saw an interesting example of sedimentary rock layering.

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The beach at Eagle Bay is beautiful.

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We saw that there are some canals along the coast so of course we had to go and have a look.

The canals are naturally formed between piles of rocks at the end of a headland, and another good boardwalk took us out amongst them.

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The swell and/or tides exert constant pressure on the canals so they must be continuing the erosion.  We really would not like to take a boat through there as we could see a strong current in the canals.

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The rocks in the exposed areas are amazing.

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With the combination of their shapes and the wind and water erosion, we could imagine several ‘statues’ along the way.  There was Dog Rock in Albany, but 2 rocks here look to us like a dinosaur and a lizard.

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Is this a meerkat?

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At Prevelly/Gnaragup there was this odd shape in the water, Casper the friendly ghost?

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The Margaret River mouth is also at Prevelly, lots of kids learning to paddle surfboards in the sheltered waters.

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Further along we drove through the Boranup Karri Forest in the National Park.

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The Karri trees are not as old or as tall as the Red Tingles in the Valley of the Giants, but still impressive.

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More wildflowers along the way.

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We reached Cape Leeuwin and our second lighthouse in good time for another guided tour, this time with 190 steps to climb.  This lighthouse is the tallest on mainland Oz.

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The flies had been bad all day but here they were the worst, very irritating.  Some peoples backs were completely covered.

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We climbed to the top of the lighthouse and saw the meeting of the oceans at this corner of Oz.  On the right is the Southern Ocean, on the left is the Indian Ocean.

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Another beautifully made original lens. Some of the lens have broken and won’t be replaced.

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This is looking out to the meeting of the Oceans, hard to see any difference really, but it did feel cooler.

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We drove back to Busselton via Hamlyn Bay, Margaret River, Cowaramup and Carbunup River.  We passed many wineries as this is a prime location for them but we were strong and did not partake.

Back in Busselton, we had another delicious Thai meal (we really like Thai food) and wine that we had missed out on all day.

On to Busselton

On Wednesday we drove across from Albany on the south coast to Busselton on the south west coast, about 375 km on our chosen route.

A couple of Kangaroos came to see us off very early, making a good meal of our hosts well-tended lawn.

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We drove along the coast for the first part, stopping to have a look at Cosy Corner with its beautiful white sandy beach.

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There were still a lot of wildflowers to be seen.

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Between Torbay and Denmark we found a Woodworking Gallery so just had to stop to have a look.

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It was well worth the visit with some excellent and innovative pieces on display, some pure art and many with a purpose in mind.  Even some pieces of furniture.

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The gallery specialises with West Australian Jarrah and Karri, varieties of Eucalypt Gum trees, which have beautiful grain and colour.

Heather was surprised to meet a wood worker named Ian Staveley, who had been to her schools in Melbourne as a child, just 2 years ahead of her.  They did not remember each other but had several mutual acquaintances to discuss.

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There are several people who come here to work with wood, some for a living, some as a hobby, and it is all very impressive.

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We visited a toffee and cider shop and did some tasting, the cider was awful but we did buy some toffee which was very nice.

Ian told us to visit a beach called the Greens Pool which was made up of a beach with a row of rocky outcrops just offshore.

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It was a pretty place, very sheltered from rough seas by the rocks so it would be good for children and also to learn skin diving.

We were headed for a tree top walk called the Valley of the Giants, just short of Walpole.

There are many Red Tingle Gum trees in the area, over 400 years old, and very tall.  Through part of the forest, a metal tree top walk has been built which we walked in wonder.

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At its highest point we were 40 metres off the ground and the trees were still high above us.

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The Red Tingle trees are very shallow rooted so they develop buttresses to spread their weight.

There were several trees with large holes in their bases that we could walk through.

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These are usually caused by a combination of insect attack and fire.

Passing through Walpole we saw a large lake surrounded by Melaleuca trees.  The tannin from the trees has stained the waters of the lake to a dark brown.  The water is very clear but brown, like tea.

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There was a lot to see on our way to Busselton, but we made it and found a Motel to stay in for a couple of nights.

 

A Western Sojourn

After coming home from Queensland, we stayed for a bit over a month before heading off to Southern Western Australia for a couple of weeks.

We flew into Perth, picked up a hire car and stayed locally the first night at an AirBnB in Victoria Park, with a distinctly Middle Eastern décor.

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Well appointed, and quite comfortable, we had a hard time choosing where to eat, there was so much choice in the area.  We settled on a light Thai meal and were well satisfied.  Just as we sat down, outdoors, an incredible hail storm started.  People all around were shocked.  On the news they said it was the worst storm in 10 years and the photos shown of the lightning striking in many places at once over the water were amazing.

The next morning, we set off early along the Albany Highway to Albany, just over 400kms away.

The highway is in good condition and it was an easy drive.  Most of the communities along the way were small, Williams, Arthurs Creek, Kojonup to name a few.  We passed through nice, rolling farming country, pretty dry, but getting greener as we neared the coast.

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The main farming activities are Wheat and Cattle.

Mount Barker is a little larger community, with some older buildings around, mostly well-kept.

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We drove into Albany mid-afternoon, it’s larger than we were expecting.  Here is the main street leading down to the water and Albany’s Port area in the Princess Royal Harbour.

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We headed out towards Frenchman Bay to another AirBnB property at Little Grove, very nice, quiet and comfortable.

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The property is semi-rural so water is an issue, it had a very unusual cistern arrangement for the toilet.  A short flush button to the left, long to the right, but the water flows through a sink so that you can wash your hands while the cistern refills.

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Not a lot of birds around, but we haven’t seen one of these before.

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The next day we set off to see some of the sights around Albany, starting close by along the sea coast of the Flinders Peninsula.

A rugged coastline, formed around 1,350,000,000 years ago when it crashed into what became Antartica.

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A boardwalk across the rocks to a viewing platform at an area called the Gap was very welcome, beats clambering over all the rocks. We are very impressed with the workmanship and safety of the boardwalks, lookouts and paths in the National Parks.

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The view was well worth it, none of our photos do the Gap justice, and the swell was quite mild.

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It must be very impressive in heavier conditions.

Next was the Natural Bridge, formed by nature over more millions of years.

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A network of vertical and horizontal cracks was formed as the rock originally cooled and the pressure on it was reduced.  Rain, seawater and wind gradually eroded the cracks until separate boulders were able to drop away and were washed away by the surf, until this layer remained as a bridge.

It will ultimately break up also, but it should take a while yet.

We walked out to a light house on a very secluded point, through low, wind-swept vegetation.

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We are late for the wildflower season, it must have been very pretty a few weeks ago.

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We moved on to Frenchman Bay with King George Sound to our north.

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This looking back towards Albany in the distance.

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The sand on the beaches around there is very white and fine.  The water is incredibly clear, a beautiful combination.

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We had come here to see the old Whaling Station which is open to the public and a popular tourist attraction.

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Albany had been a key location for whaling for about 100 years until the late 1970s.  The original abundance of whales in the area attracted whalers in the early days.  Humpback whales don’t dive for as long as Sperm whales and others so they were relatively easy to spot and catch, with thousands being caught in King George Sound itself, virtually on Albany’s doorstep.

When Humpback numbers diminished in the mid-20th century, they became protected and Sperm Whales became the target of choice.  With Sonar technology and spotter planes, it had become easier to track and catch the other whales.

A whaling ship, Cheynes IV is on display so we climbed aboard and had a good look around.

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The harpoon gun was very prominent, explosive charges in the head of the harpoon would ideally kill the whale quickly and secure its body for recovery.

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The skipper was also the gunner, so he had a special gangplank to move between the bridge and the harpoon platform.

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The whalers didn’t waste much of the whales’ bodies, nearly all of their bulk could be processed into saleable products.  The main product was oil derived from the whales’ blubber, and after the complete whale was hauled up out of the water, these platforms were where the blubber was flensed from a whale’s carcass.

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Each whale was dissected here, cut into smaller (though still large) sections before hauling the pieces up onto the next platform where they were cut up and pushed through the holes in the platform into large pressure cookers  to separate the oil.

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When cooled, the oil was pumped into the large holding tanks, the residue was further broken down into a meal product which was used as fertiliser and stockfeed.

The most valuable by-product by weight was ambergris, extracted from the whales’ intestines, and used to make expensive perfumes and cosmetics.

Inside was a display of some whale skeletons, here a Pygmy Blue Whale (only 72ft long) and a Humpback Whale.  Some Blue Whales can grow to 110ft long.

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Inside the shop was a display of sea shells, literally thousands of them all in perfect condition.

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We moved on to Salmons Holes beach at the end of the Flinders Peninsula before heading back into Albany.  Pretty and sheltered.

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Near town was a very good Museum which gave a good account of Aboriginal and early settler history (too much to recount here), outside was a replica of the SS Amity which brought the first convict settlers to the area in the 1820s.

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We went to the top of Mt Melville which has 360° views of the area in and around Albany.  This is looking across the Port area and Vancouver Peninsula to Frenchman Bay.  You can see the pile of wood chips waiting to be shipped out.

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Here is a view of the town.

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This is looking out along Middleton Beach towards Emu Point, with King George Sound to the right.

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We drove out to Emu Point, past Dog Rock, complete with collar.

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Apparently there are turtles about.

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And Bandicoots!

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Oyster Harbour spreads inland from Emu Point.  Popular for boaters, it has a very narrow entrance channel which must be hard to handle when the tides are in full flow.

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On our way back to Little Grove, Albany was all lit up by the setting sun.

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We went to Maleny

We had intended to go to Maleny on an earlier day trip but when we reached Montville there was too much to do for us to visit Maleny as well.  So we saved it for another day, and we did make it.

Maleny is elevated being in the Hinterland and overlooks the Glasshouse Mountains, although again there were some fires and the view wasn’t very clear.

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The Glasshouse ‘mountains’ are the very solid cores of ancient, now extinct volcanoes.  They were formed millions of years ago and the rock and soil that originally encased the cores have eroded away and left the strange shapes that remain today.

They were originally named by James Cook in May 1770 when he was sailing through Moreton Bay.  He noted in his journal that – ‘these hills are remarkable on account of their singular form of elevation which very much resemble glass houses which occasioned me giving them that name’.   He was apparently referring to the dark brick kilns used in his native Yorkshire for firing glass, not the agricultural structures which didn’t exist in 1770.

We moved on to the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve which is a diverse tropical rainforest.  We walked around and through it and it was very impressive.

There are currently over 100 species of trees in the forest.

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The Reserve covers 55 hectares and contains Rose Gums and Strangler Figs that are around 400 years old.  The land was privately gifted to the local Council in 1941 on condition that it be preserved and remain open for public enjoyment.

The birds in the forest pass seeds into the canopy from the fruit of tropical fig trees that sprout into vines which grow down to the ground.

When they have taken root, they grow and effectively strangle the tree that is supporting it.  Over a period of 1 – 200 years, they will completely subsume the host tree and end up standing alone.

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Everywhere we went there were the vines growing all over the place.

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There was quite a lot of wildlife to be seen, this small bird nesting.

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Any suggestions as to what type of bird it is?

We nearly walked through this Orb Spider web.

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Even though it was daytime, we could hear bats chattering, but couldn’t see any of them.

Then we looked up and there they were – Fruit Bats or Flying Foxes.

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We finally made it into Maleny, a nice town which hasn’t changed a lot over time.

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All the shops are along a central main road, and we had a good look around.

Heather made a new friend

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We had a good day in Maleny but still found time to hit the beach when we returned to Peregian

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All to ourselves again.

 

Working at the Spirit House

The Spirit House is a unique Asian Restaurant and Cooking School set in a private rainforest style garden at Yandina, not far from where we are staying.

Their specialties are Thai and Vietnamese, we have eaten there before and the food, service and presentation are very good.  We were given a voucher for a class in the School for our 70th birthdays, and the ‘Thai Favourites’ course which was being held today was our choice, so off we went.

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There are several buildings laid out amongst the forest, with walkways in between them.  It is a lovely property and very peaceful.

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This is the Cooking School building where we spent most of the day.

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The agenda for the day involved us preparing the ingredients for what was to be our lunch for the day, then making the sauces, cooking the ingredients, plating them up and finally eating them.

The kitchen was well equipped, and we had Chef Simon leading us through the steps, ably assisted by Yunie.

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There were 18 of us doing the course and the others were quite friendly and all seemed to enjoy the day, as we did.

The menu was –

  • Fish Cakes with Thai Cucumber Relish
  • Chicken, Stir Fried with Chili Jam, Asparagus and Cashews
  • Penang Style Curry of Grilled Beef and Caramelised Pumpkin
  • Seafood Salad with Lemongrass, Chili and Lime
  • Sweet Sticky Coconut Rice with Seasonal Fruit

We sliced, diced and shredded a wide range of ingredients, many more than are listed above including many types of chillies and onions, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, snake beans, lemon grass, coriander roots and their fronds and mint to name some.

We ate the fish cakes as an appetiser, then managed to take a walk around the property which was very nice.

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There were a lot of Water Dragon lizards when we were here before but today we did not see any.  It is very dry up here in this beautiful weather that we are enjoying so they must be staying around the water pools.

In addition to the School building there is the Restaurant, and a new building that contains a free standing and well equipped Bar.

Here we are in our special aprons that we were able to keep.

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Then came the serious work of cooking it all and bringing it all together.

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Finally we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labour.

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The Stir Fried Chicken, Seafood Salad and Rice –

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The Penang Style Beef Curry –

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We enjoyed most of the food and we had some very nice Clare Valley Riesling with it.  The Stir Fry and Curry  were  especially good.

By the end of the meal we were well and truly fed, and on our return to Peregian Beach, took a walk on the beach to walk it off.

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It was a very low tide.

A lovely day, thank you for our birthday present, we don’t need much dinner tonight!

Visiting Montville

We thought that we would visit Maleny in the Hinterland, the gateway to the Glasshouse Mountains.  Only problem was that we went via Montville and stopped there instead.

First stop was at the Big Pineapple in Nambour.

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This is a very large pineapple dominating the landscape on the site of a Pineapple Plantation.  Now there is a zoo, and a produce market on Saturdays, which was not when we visited.

The view from Montville was a little better than our earlier visit to the Hinterland but not much.

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There is still a lot of bush fire hazard reduction burning happening on the coastal plain and this does restrict visibility.  There have already been a few bush fires while we have been here with roads closed and a few homes lost unfortunately.  It is very dry up here and without rain, it could be a dangerous summer this coming summer.

Montville is a village built along the escarpment with a lot of shops, mainly for tourists like us.

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The stores have clothing, Jewellery, food of various types, art displays, clocks and lots of knick knacks from which to choose.

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Connemara House was built in 1984 by Joseph Delaney, and Irishman who thought that Montville was a bit like an Irish village.  So he built the house in an Irish style, complete with thatched roof which has thankfully been replaced by tiles now.

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The Bowerbird Shop is full of novelties for tourists to take home, and decorate their nests.  Mr Bower and Mr Bower’s Bird are sitting up the front.

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Amongst the wares for sale are tacky thoughts for life, on plaques, like –

‘Laugh and the world laughs with you,

    Snore and you sleep alone’

There are a lot of restaurants in Montville, most in lovely surroundings.

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The clock shop deserves special mention.  It has hundreds of clocks for sale of generally German style.

Here are some wall mounted cuckoo clocks, all set at different times so that there is a cuckoo going off about every 5 minutes.

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There are also grandfather clocks and other wall mounted clocks of traditional and modern design, quite a collection.  Some are very elaborate, costing well over $10,000.  We always enjoy seeing the clocks, however many they sell there are always plenty more to replace them.

Except that there was a special grandfather clock for sale the last time we were here that has been sold and not replaced.  It had a Bavarian scene carved into the  base of a real tree trunk and when we asked  about it, the lady there said that there had been a young lad who came to the shop often and every time he said that when he grew up he would buy it.  He did grow up and got a job then went straight in and put it on layby.  It is so unique that it can’t be replaced.

We enjoyed Montville and decided to leave Maleny for another day, our walk on the beach was waiting.

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Our own private beach again, as far as you can see.   Ahh, beautiful.

 

Noosa Open Studios

The Noosa Arts & Crafts Association had a wonderful weekend called “Noosa Open Studios” where 50 artists opened their houses and studios to the public.  Some gave demonstrations of their work and most were quite happy to talk and answer questions about the techniques they use.  The artists’ work included Ceramics, Glass, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Sculpture and Textiles.

It was broken up into a Costal Circuit which we did on Friday and the Hinterland Circuit which we did over Sat & Sun as they were further apart.

We visited 42 of the artists which was quite impressive and hard work.  We were so busy moving around that I didn’t take many photos.

Not only did we enjoy the art but some of the houses on the coast were unbelievably huge and would have cost millions. One was built on the turn of a canal and had fantastic views all around. These houses also had purpose built Studios within the house with carpet on the floor.  I prefer a home not a house you couldn’t relax in.  Others had fabulous views out to sea or across the inland countryside..

The Hinterland was something else.   Some were classy and others the complete opposite.   Many were just broken down shacks with hardly any room to move around their art work.   One studio was set up inside a shipping container another under her old Queensland house with not a lot of head room.  A couple were in factory units. They were all very interesting and a lot of fun to see.

Tricia Bradford

Noosa art (1)

She has an interesting way of making the waves on pictures look like white bubbles by lifting cling wrap on and moving it around on the wet paint. Her underwater turtle pictures are amazing.

Helen Peel

Noosa art (2)

Uses a very expensive linen board and is able to make her portraits look like photos . Her oil is so smooth that it looks like it’s painted on velvet.

Cheryl Mc Gannon

Noosa art (3)

We had a great time watching her demonstrate a new style that I have never seen before using both hot and cold wax. She uses a small blow torch on the hot wax and burns the wax then wipes most of it off. She creates unusual effects this way.  She also builds up the colours then scratches or cuts into the wax layers until she has the effect she wants.

Fiona Groom

Noosa art (4)

Amazing eyes, I have never seen eyes done so well . Her animals, the character and expressions  are so real that you feel like you could touch them.

Trevor Purvis

Noosa art (5)

He paints huge Australian countryside oil paintings. I love the way he uses big brushes and whacks on bold, happy colourful  paint which is very powerful. They are fabulous from a distance. You need a big house to show them of properly.

Julia Carter

Noosa art (6)

She uses a lot of gold paint and gold leaf which works well and makes her work more unique. She uses a lot of flowers in her dainty pictures. Most of her paintings seem to be dainty and whimsical.

Barry  Novis

Noosa art (7)

A British/Australian artist.  Is best known for painting larger than life “legends”.  Inspired by their accomplishments, he paints them larger than life using oil or acrylic.

They remind me of the way Rolf Harris did his huge paintings.

James Ainslie

Noosa art (8)

His work is inspired and influenced by nature & Light.  His preferred medium is acrylic.

Michele Knightly

Noosa art (9)

She works in traditional medium of painting, drawing & printmaking.  I would be afraid of working under the conditions that she has in her studio.

Rob Roy

Noosa art (10)

His work is quite unique and his perspectives belong with modern and conceptual art. They are cinematic, painterly, sculptural and layered, and much more three dimensional.

Bel Arnold

Noosa art (11)

She works with fleece and combines painting and ceramics beautifully. She says you can felt it, spin it, knit or crochet it, weave it: the possibilities are endless.

She has made some beautiful hats, clothing and round lamps as well as paintings using the colourful fleece.

Leigh Hooker

Noosa art (12)

This lady’s studio is a renovated shipping container made to look like a gypsy caravan in her back yard. She is a Kiwi married to an aboriginal. She likes to capture the souls of her subjects.

Caroline Elliott

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Glass has a magical quality and she has taught herself to fuse the glass together and create beautiful sculptures with lots of colour and movement. Her large outdoor dividers liven up and separate areas of the garden.

We had a fabulous and busy weekend, though Roger is ‘arted out’.