Thongs and Queenslanders in the Aussie snow 2018 trip – Hwy delights
A light crunch to the grass and the telltale vapour pillowing from excited lips signal the migration South for the winter. Yes, apparently I am not cold enough yet haha. Or is it our defiance to not aline ourselves with the grey nomads…..
With half-mast eyelids from the early start, we make our first stop at Lismore with family catch up and a quick tour of the Back Alley Gallery. There is a beauty in the chaos of colour and line and then there is the just plain moving. Lismore has a relatively old soul in nature and literal with many grand churches.
The start of our trip is streamlined to get us to the snow which means the HWY…I know, never you say, however dotting it with many side stops keeps it bearable. For example, our first stop is a lunch break by the crashing waves and Banksias at Saphire beach. Heading out for an after lunch walk there is Kangaroos popping there heads up like…who are you with their gaze fixed on us, but yet calm enough to not give a hoot. In the far distance on the cliff top there is something…someone…no something. Walking across the somewhat barren headland top my eyes are fixated…what in the world. It’s a Kangaroo, on the cliff! And I don’t mean that he hopped along to the edge, this dood would have had to climb. We navigated a rocky narrow path down and then climbed up the rock face on the other side with massive waves crashing beside us to get to it. And here it was, calm and relaxed dosing in the sun on the grassy clifftop. So comfortable that we could get up close and personal…not too close though I do not think I could live with startling a Kangaroo and then it falls off the cliff face. Can you spot him in the first photo??
On the way to the roo I also noticed this huge bird soaring above and then a huge thing in the see that I couldn’t quite make out but was too fascinated by how the kanga got where he was. Once back in the car I zoomed in to see what this thing was floating in the ocean. I will confess that I got all excited thinking it was a seal or something, but was actually the bird I had seen soaring above, a huge albatross that had swooped and court a huge fish and in the process of feasting on the waves. Big bloody bird is all I can say, never seen an albatross before…gotta love google…no B, stop playing with the iPad, can’t you do anything else…. mum needs it lol.
Cruised all the way Bright blue skies and smooth highways to Laurieton for an overnight family visit stop. And what a beautiful area it is. Mangroves, lakes, beaches and soft tree covered hills butting cow pastures.
The next morning on the road again we find the hills disappearing beneath clouds as fog almost kisses the road surface. Glimpses of mist hugging expansive rivers with a magical ora…and its nearing 11.30am, definitely not in Queensland anymore.
Towering power allians into the distance, stepping over mile long snaking freight train carriages. As mysterious as it had appeared the fog leaves us to the awe of blue against green hills as we play leapfrog with the odd semi or two. We have hit the central coast; Gum trees are now starting to hug tightly knitted to the rocky mountainsides. The full and classic Aussie bush now almost bowing to the stretch of road as it leans forward and dances with every passing vehicle.
Mooney Mooney Point was a beautiful little lunch stop beside the Hwy
Roadworks are starting to increase the mundane, but the gorgeous rocky outcrops are starting to periodically appear to the left and right. Crisscrossing of roads is becoming more regular as do the rock walls now bordering the Hwy. Cranes, construction and congestion almost instantaneous as we hit the ‘welcome to Sydney’ sign.zzzzzzzz 2 1/2hrs later we emerge from the wall of red tail lights….and only 92km done haha.
Saved from the city traffic hell by the gorgeous long trunk trees flanking the windy roads, as we make our way through Helensburgh. A nice quiet street with a generous clearing to one side, and backing onto bush suffices for a good free night stop. The wolf-like huge shaggy old german shepherd wandering around was daunting at first but he was oblivious…or blind, not sure lol.
Now for a bit more adventure with a relatively easy walk in the crisp evening air takes us to the Old Rail tunnel. Now night time in the mountains in a dark tunnel may not be the idea of fun for most, but as we entered the tunnel from the pitch black the magical display of sparkling lights was entrancing. To our delight part of the tracks are still present adding to the magical mood as we stepping stoned over the puddles along the tracks further into the tunnel. Obviously, the glow worms are loving the cool damp wet as they reached way on into the tunnel and an end that we never reached. Cold toes and fingers and a little scary for some standing in the quiet darkness, waiting for photos to process was a bit much so we headed out sooner than I would have liked. Ok so you will not see any photos of the worms from me, after tonight I have decided to no longer attempt night shots, I just do not have the patience…or the eyesight… I am struggling to say this because the pure stupidy still has me giggling….I still had the lens cap on….through all my timed long exposures (those who have done such shots know it means waiting bored out of your brain for each shot for up to 16min to take and then process) never realised till we were leaving lol. I put it down to one child whining and the other constantly wanting me to get out of the shot for her own photo but hey, they are probably just excuses lol, leaves me now to just enjoy the calming beauty of such nights.