A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: charlystyles

Out and about in Cabarlah - QLD

Some of the great experiences happen when you don't go looking for them.
Here are some highlights from a brief stay in Cabarlah that couldn't go un-blogged!
This view of Table Top mountain was taken one day when we stopped for lunch.

Staying with families offers opportunities to meet people, and experience real Aussie life and not just the tourist route!
Whilst staying at Tami's I met her friend Mark and also two other 'workawayers' Ann & Mat.
It wasn't hard to persuade them into a night out dancing ... wihtout Angel the cat (pictured)

That weekend Mark was helping a friend move house and I offered to help. Here began my Aussie experience!
It was great to be able to help Justin move, as he'd injured his back and another friend that was helping had his leg in plaster! So the odds weren't looking good... until I got involved! At the end of a day of packing, lifting and clearing, there were some items that weren't moving house, so in true Aussie style, we burnt them!
some furniture
a pool table
the encyclopedia collection
even a keyboard
with the help of Bonzo the dog
and the accompaniment of music from the car ..which we had to move back when things got too hot
We also had to move back the sofas we were sitting on, before we, or them, caught on fire
DSCN6166.jpg DSCN6181.jpgDSCN6180.jpg
and there was dancing til the wee small hours

The following morning there was very little left
except this amazing piece of melted aluminium,
and Bonzo looking after the place

The days' entertainment, between moving house, was the sale and collection of one of the (Aussie mandatory) broken down vehicles on the property. How many men, and how many vehicles, does it take to load a car on to a trailer....???

On my last night in Toowoomba we went chasing the sunset, but just a little too late.
However, twilight looked good too, looking down on the town

Thank you Mark

Posted by charlystyles 13:15 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Ravensbourne National Park Walk - QLD

Enjoying a Saturday walk whilst staying in Cabarlah, Ann and I joined Drew and his two children, Sam and Chelsea, for a walk in the local rainforest.
Ravensbourne National Park is situated on a spur of the Great Dividing Range between Toowoomba and Esk.
Buaraba Creek walk, with palms on one bank and open forest on the other, is a striking destination. Piccabeen palms grow thickest where drainage is poor.
Rainforest changes to eucalypt forest as the path goes downhill and out of the protected gully. Birds find this area, where different forests meet, irresistible.
Downhill all the way and uphill all the way back!
Buaraba Creek is spring fed and always moist.
Creeks and gullies are more than drainage lines where water runs after rain. Here they harbour narrow strips of rainforest stretching like fingers from the scrubs higher up to the open country in the valleys below.
Signs of a Beaver, or signs of higher water levels...?
Piccabeen palms, ferns, elkhorns and fungi thrive in the cool, moist remnants of rainforest and wet eucalypt forest along the edge of the Great Dividing Range.
Evidence suggests the rainforest is slowly overtaking the open forest. Gullies with trickling streams are moist and inviting, while exposed ridges are warm and dry.
A lot of fun for the kids
especially with this colourful bread to look forward to in the picnic lunch!
At the end of the walk there is a sandstone outcrop which was undoubtedly used for shelter by the Koori people.
Other signs are the burnt out trees, hollowed out by fire

Beutel Lookout give panoramic views over the range towards Brisbane and the Scenic Rim and the Lockeys Valley.

Posted by charlystyles 13:42 Archived in Australia Tagged ravensbourne Comments (0)

El Rose Morgan Horse Stud - QLD

An hour west of Brisbane is a town called Toowoomba (nicknamed 'The Garden City') in the Darling Downs region of Queensland.
Toowoomba hosts the Australian Carnival of Flowers each September and national championship events for the sports of mountain biking and motocross. There are more than 150 public parks and gardens in Toowoomba.
It is the sixteenth-largest city in Australia, the sixth largest in Queensland, after Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Cairns.
My next stop was at El Rose Morgan Horse Stud in Cabarlah approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of the Toowoomba with views to the east of the Lockyer Valley through to Brisbane and to the west across the Darling Downs.
Among the animals on the property were 7 chickens, 5 ducks
three outside Devonshire Rex cats - Arimus, Shareka & Paris
two indoor cats; Angel a devonshire Rex
and Pippa, a moggy
Pippa was a great hot water bottle at night, though a bit of a bed hogger! and Angel was the sweetest little cat, when she wasn't sneezing in my face!
Roaming the paddocks was Penny the rather fat goat
and of course, the stables
for the horses: Pollyanna
and the two foals, Flash
and Banjo (Penny's foal)
I tried platting Polly's tail, but it didn't look quite like the professionals
and of course the dogs, and Brownie in particular, who was Matt's little follower

Matt and Ann were doing a great job to train the foals, and also take the time to retrain the horses

The round pen was one project the three of us undertook, to remove the bright orange mesh (which we found out wasn't foal proof),
and create a more rustic look

It was great to work in a beautiful environment with great people, but unfortunately something's were shared that weren't necessary, like colds! This is me keeping warm - a new fashion statement at El Rose!

Posted by charlystyles 13:20 Archived in Australia Tagged el_rose_morgan_horse_stud cabarlah Comments (0)

Beaches & Parks in Brisbane - QLD


South Bank is Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural destination.
Located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River, its 17 hectares of lush parklands, world-class eateries, stunning river views and hundreds of delightful events all year round make it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
this beautiful flower archway creates an enchanting walk along the river.
Southbank parklands features lush parklands, a man made lagoon
endless picnic areas, Vege patch
lots of bikeways, stunning river views
and public artworks.

Roma St Parkland
Hugging the northern side of the CBD, Roma Street Parkland and Spring Hill are iconic parts of Brisbane and its history.
Roma Street Parkland, one of Brisbane’s premier parks, is considered to be one of the two best examples of contemporary display gardens in Australia and in my opinion far outdoes the Botanic Gardens in Brisbane.

Gardens and Precincts
Designed to create a public garden that would excite the imagination and be an attractive environment for both the local community and visitors to the city.
Planting throughout the parkland has been carefully considered and is sensitive to the climate. Microclimates representative of subtropical Queensland have been created in the parkland as distinct precincts, creating the feel of a subtropical wonderland representing Queensland’s varied plant life. Alongside the planting, the parkland hosts a number of community spaces for events and activities and is also a popular wedding venue.

Upper Parkland
Encompassing the original Albert Park and Recreation Ground, the Upper Parkland is a wonderful recreational area, home to the children’s playground, amphitheatre and the contemporary Harry Oakman Pavilion. The Upper Parkland provides some of the best vantage points of the city skyline.

A big brass band? A local rock band? Shakespeare? Whatever your taste in music or theatre, the 1,200 seat Amphitheatre plays host to a range of concerts and theatre productions throughout the year, including the popular Bands in the Park sessions.

Spectacle Garden at Colin Campbell Place
Enjoy meandering through the winding pathways of this garden lovers' paradise with an ever-changing seasonal display of blooms. The Spectacle Garden at Colin Campbell Place displays a vivid array of colour all year and includes a collection of flowers, herbs, water features and art works. You might even be greeted by one of the resident water dragons.

The Rainforest and Fern Gully
The chance to explore a subtropical misty rainforest in the centre of Brisbane!
Follow the pathway at ground level to walk through the lush ferns and gushing creeks or take one of the walkways leading you gently above the tree tops, allowing you to look down through the forest canopy to the pathways and plants below.
Fern Gully Bridge
is 82m long and is constructed from structural steelwork and Australian hardwood.
The largest span of 15m extends over a portion of the lake below.
The random angles of the supporting columns are intended to reflect the varied nature of trees within the parkland.
Angiopteris Ravine - the world's largest fern, found naturally only in two isolated areas of Queensland, is one of many rare native species in this misty, shaded valley.

Lake Precinct
With its wide open lawns and lakeside walkways, the Lake Precinct is a wonderful place to take a relaxing walk, have a picnic or watch our resident ducks on the lake.
Explore the plants from the South Pacific, Australian wetlands and sub-tropical Queensland.

Celebration Precinct
Celebration Precinct boasts a magnificent lawn, which is often used for major community events. With unique artwork, a living mural and a dramatic water wall,
This precinct is one of the focal points of the parkland. Crossing over the little bridge between the water walls takes you through to Frangipani Court with its lovely trees, barbecue areas and the Jumping Salmon water feature. This Ibis was enjoying the surroundings too!

Spring Hill is home to the Old Windmill and Spring Hill Baths, and also plays host to a number of vibrant cafes and restaurants, making this area a unique inner-city paradise.

The Old Windmill
commenced in 1828, the windmill is the oldest surviving structure in Queensland. built to provide convicts with wheat and maize using two sets of millstones, one driven by the sails of the windmill and the other by a treadmill.
In 1861 it was converted into an Observatory and Signal Station.
From the late 1880s and into the twentieth century, the Fire Brigade used the tower at night as a fire observation platform and in 1934 the first experimental television broadcast in Queensland was transmitted from the tower.

Posted by charlystyles 13:29 Archived in Australia Tagged big_wheel streets_beach Comments (0)

Brisbane City Walking Tour - QLD

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and ranks third in size in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne, Situated on the Brisbane river and surrounded by misty blue hills, the city is known for its scenic beauty.
Due to it's position on the river, Brisbane is prone to floods. Here is an image on someone jumping from the first floor window, in the Great Flood of 1893 when the river burst its banks three times in the February
For the first flood, Crohamhurst recorded an all-time Australian record of 914.4 mm of rain in a 24-hour period. The water surge was recorded on the Port Office gauge (now the City gauge) as being 8.35 metres (27 feet, 5 inches) above the low tide level. The February 1893 floods were the second and third highest water levels ever recorded at the City gauge, the highest being the January 1841 flood at 8.43 metres (27 feet, 8 inches). There was however some oral aboriginal history suggesting a flood level of nearly 12 m prior to the first European settlement.

The Old Windmill
The Old Windmill is a heritage-listed tower located in Wickham Park. According to the heritage notice (shown below), it is the oldest surviving building in Queensland. The convict-built windmill provides a link between the lives of two Elliotts. Alfred Elliot captured his sweeping vista of Brisbane from the observation deck in 1895 and Thomas Elliott, his nephew, made radio and television transmissions from inside the windmill in the 1920s and 30s. By 1895, When it was known at the Observatory, the building had been used for many purposes, including to grind floor and maisze for the penal colony, a treadmill powered by convicts, an observation tower for the fire brigade and a telegraph station.


One of the best way I've found to get to know a city is by walking, and I made the most of the free Tourist Information Walking Tour. The Tourist Information Office has been lucky enough in the last couple of months to inhabit the Regent Theatre.
The Regent
A picture place opened by Hoyts Theatres Ltd in November 1929. Beyond the marble staircase was Brisbane's largest motion picture theatre. Seats cost from 2 shillings, or 20cents.
When it opened, the Regent was Brisbane's most opulent and lavish entertainment venue. For more than 80yrs it provided an evocatively-designed space where audiences could lose themselves in a fantast world that cost more than £300,000 to create when it was built.
An evening at the Regent offered an unprecedented scale of magnificence. Everything about the Regent was designed to make visitors feel like royalty and provide an exotic escape, far beyond the fictional story presented on the screen. From the moment patrons entered the lobby there was a promise of admission to not only a motion picture, but palatial comfort and service.
Every space was decorated by ornamental plasterwork, murals, tapestries, artworks and elegant light fittings.

Story Bridge
a heritage-listed steel cantilever bridge spanning the Brisbane River that carries vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the northern and the southern suburbs.
It is the longest cantilever bridge in Australia.


City Hall
Completed in 1930 the Neo Classical City Hall is home to Brisbane City Council, the largest council in Australia.
In the King George Square foyer, some fine examples of traditional craftsmanship are evident in the floor mosaics, ornate ceilings and woodwork carved from Queensland timbers.
City Hall's 92m Italian Renaissance-style tower gives a panoramic view of the city from a platform at its top.

The Greek Orthodox Community of St George,
was established in 1929. It is the oldest established Greek community in south-east Queensland where the Greek descendant population numbers more than 25,000 people.

The Treasury
is a casino in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It also houses a hotel, five restaurants, seven bars, and a nightclub.
An early 19th century building with Edwardian-Baroque exterior designs and ornate colonnades, striking sandstone walls and six-story atrium, the historic Treasury Building houses a three-level gaming emporium of 80 gaming tables and over 1,300 gaming machines, and was opened refurbished as the Treasury Casino in April 1995.
The inside is an intereting mix of original architecture with slot machines and gambling tables squeezed in every corber
and lavishly furnished lounges
A new a world-class tourism, leisure and entertainment precinct is being bid for, that provides economic growth for Queensland with the creation of around 8,000 new jobs.
The revitalised precinct will provide improved facilities for everyday use and public events, showcasing Brisbane to locals, interstate and international visitors.

Telegraph Newspaper building

National Australia Bank
A heritage-listed bank designed by Francis Drummond Greville Stanley and built from 1881 to 1924. It is also known as Queensland National Bank.
It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.
As with a lot of buildings, the façade is only so deep...
The burgeoning gold mining industry of the early 1870s created a mood of optimism and a desire for increased development capital, free from inter-colonial and overseas control. Seizing on this mood, eight prominent local businessmen and politicians formed the Queensland National Bank (QN Bank) in March 1872.
The mantle pieces and the marble for the entrance hall were purchased by Lt-Colonel Edward Robert Drury, the Bank's General Manager, while he was in the United Kingdom during 1883-84.
New Zealand Oamaru limestone was imported for the Corinthian columns.
The upper floors provided a lavish suite for the Manager, while the lower floors accommodated banking chambers and offices.
Drury also selected much of the furniture still extant on the bank's upper floors.
A passenger lift was installed in the 1890s and electricity replaced gas for the building lighting around the same time.

a lot of buildings in central Brisbane are made out of a mixture of granite, sandstone and local stone
some buildings are squeezed in, with a small footprint
but this isn't due to charges based on ground coverage. Maybe it's more to do with funding at the time of building.
Small_house1.jpg Small_house.jpg

One thing I learnt from the walking tour, was to always look up - you never know what you're missing, like these street lamps

Parliament House
Designed in French Renaissance style, who won an architectural competition. Completed in 1868 feature were added more suitable to Queenslands tropical climate, such as shady colonnades, shutters and an arched roof which is made from Mt Isa Copper. The building is still used for its original purpose.
It is noted as being the first legislative building in the British empire to be lit by electricity.

Kangaroo Point
is located on a peninsula formed of harder rhyolite rock which the Brisbane River flows around

Anzac Square
All Australian cities commemorate those who have given their lives life for their country.
Iconic Boab trees are often used in the landscaping
The Eternal Flame burns in a Greek revival cenotaph.

St Johns Cathedral
Design along French-Gothic lines in 1888 it is regarded as one of the most splendid churches in the southern hemisphere.

Memorial to James Thomas Mooney, and to all firemen who have made the supreme sacrifice, 1988.

Edward St

A bustling area of Asian restaurants, supermarkets, cinemas and martial arts.
The lions at the entrance were turned around when a Feng Shui expert considered their original position to bed bad for business.

Prince Consort Hotel
is a heritage-listed hotel at 230 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley. It was designed by Richard Gailey and built from 1887 to 1888 with later extensions. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992. In 2014, it is trading as the Elephant Hotel.

Sailors Knot by Simon Perry 1996

Central Station

Brisbane Arcade
was built in 1923 for Dr James Mayne, and his sister Mary Emelia Mayne. It was designed by Richard Gailey, Junior and constructed at a cost of £70,000. Construction was completed in the same year and the arcade was subsequently opened in 1924.
On 5 February 1952, the Johnstone Gallery was opened in a former bomb shelter under Brisbane Arcade, where it remained until closing on 19 December 1957 in order to relocate to Bowen Hills.
Brisbane Arcade was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.
Original features remain, such as the roll up doors

Queen St Mall
A pedestrian mall that extends approximately 500 metres (1,600 ft) from George Street to Edward Street, and has more than 700 retailers over 40,000 square metres (430,000 sq ft) of retail space, which includes six major shopping centres. It receives over 26 million visitors each year. It was intended to bring more people into the central business district. A far cry from how it was in the past
and in 1860

Wintergarden Façade
Decorated in flora and fauna designs, with large metallic butterflies, the 86m by 25m facade was lit for the first time by Premier Campbell Newman in the Queen Street Mall.
The lighting of the structure, marks the end of stage two of the centre's $100 million redevelopment.
Incorporating 24,000 LED lights, the facade's lighting system is designed by Canadian artist Bruce Ramus, who has produced lighting and stage designs for U2 and David Bowie.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/butterflies-bring-wintergarden-to-life-20120503-1y1rm.html#ixzz3g8ta9d2j

The Myer Centre
is the Brisbane CBD's largest shopping centre. It has almost 200 stores spread across 6 floors including Queensland's largest department store, Myer, as well as Target and Birch Carroll and Coyle.
The Myer Centre shopping complex opened in April 1988 (just in time for Brisbane's World Expo '88) and Myer relocated its Brisbane department store into it. The construction project by REMM Group Ltd went for 18 months, and required excavation of 375,000 cubic metres of earth, to a depth of 22 metres (eight metres below the Brisbane River level), which was the largest urban excavation in Australia at that time.

Strainer Sculptures
Trevor Reddacliff was a prominent Brisbane architect, town planner, developer and businessman. His vision was to refocus the City on the magnificent Brisbane River, to introduce the city to international design and to renew and enliven our cultural outlook.

City Roos, by Christopher Trotter

One hidden gem of the city is Bean Café,
found down an obscure alley
and only given away by the telephone box entrance!

City Botanic Gardens
The historic gardens have played a vital role in Queensland history and today is a major focus for recreation in Brisbane.
Before European settlement, the river was fringed by rainforest where Aborigines hunted and fished. The low-lying flat areas were cleared in 1828 to create a food garden, essential for the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement.
In 1855 the area was extended and became the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, testing economic and ornamental plants for this suitability for the subtropical colony.
Sugar, teas, tropical fruits and many other commercial crops had their origins here.
Today the remaining old trees and feature plants evoke a splendid tropical garden character.
Planted in the 1870s and a native to India, the Banyan fig
acquired its name from the Hindu merchant castle, the Banyans, who set up their stalls under the shelter of this expansive tree. It is renowned for it vast growth and send down aerial roots to support the large branches. These roots eventually develop into a new trunk and so the tree spreads - one in India covering 1.5ha with over 1,000 subsidiary trunks.
Morning Star

Old Government House
Queensland was established as an independent colony in 1859. One of the colony's highest priorities was to build a suitably grand viceregal residence for Sir George Bowne, Queensland's first Governor. The building was completed in 1862.
Eleven governors lived and worked in the house over the next 48yrs. The building served as an administrative office as well as a home to the governor and his family.
The chandelier was designed by Urban Area Projects and depicts the flowering of the native Bangalow Palm.
The principal room on the business side of the house was the office of the Governor, of the Governor's Library.
It functioned as the administrative headquarters of the colony of Queensland and meetings were held here with the Premier and Governments Ministers,

Customs House
Restored by the University of Queensland in 1994, Customs House with it's landmarked copper dome and stately Corinthian columns is now open to the public. Commissioned in 1886 is is one of Brisbane's oldest buildings. Today it is used for civic functions.

Science & Engineering Centre
Our Science and Engineering Centre is a learning space for the whole community – students, researchers, industry, schools and the public – with a focus on education and research in sustainable technology.

The Cube is one of the world's largest interactive digital display systems. It is two storeys high, has 170m2 of high-definition screens, and includes 48 touch panels. It took our developers more than two years to build.
Here visitors can participate in explorative, inspired experiences in what is part science lab, part digital engagement hub.
The QUT Visualisation and eResearch team has partnered with the Queensland Government to build The Cube Globe which shows a vast amount of the State’s open datasets and satellite imagery for visitors to explore, discover and share – it will surprise you just how much Queensland does! The world-first spatial platform uses state-of-the-art immersive visualisation, interactive maps, animation and multi-media design to tell compelling stories about Queensland’s performance in key economic sectors. It’s the perfect platform for all of our visitors to get a real sense of who we are and what we do in Queensland

Physics Playroom
A game-like environment where people of all ages can engage in learning about physics. Tapping into our desire to construct and to deconstruct, the playroom is a space where people can come together to build (and destroy) each other's creations in fun and engaging physics simulations.
Objects in the playroom can easily be found in any child's bedroom - from blocks, to wooden horses and trains. Each of the objects is characterised by real-world properties, such as mass and friction. Additionally, the state of the room as a whole is governed by the laws of physics such as gravity and wind velocity. Users interact with the objects in ways that allow experimentation with classical mechanics, fluid motion as well as sound, colour and light.

Plasma Wall
A fun and colourful interactive collection of abstract light and movement games to discover through the movement of your own body.
Using motion capture technology, coupled with four state-of-the-art projectors, the Cube Studio team have created a new experience that encourages free play and interaction. The wall intelligently tracks your movement and then mimics it in the 4 different mini-games. The projectors are designed to work together to create an entire wall of interactive games, from the trippy ‘Lava Lamp’ to the rather alarming ‘You’re on Fire’. The installation is intended to catch the eye of anyone passing and engage them in an interactive game of copycat, or digital follow the leader.

Lava Lamp – A rainbow of flowing colours that you manipulate with your movement.
You’re on Fire – Your whole body is ablaze with cartoon flames dancing around your silhouette.
80’s Disco – You become the party, as multiple copies of your silhouette repeat your actions in a cycle of colours.
Smash the Image – You blow the static image apart with your own body movements.

Outside the Cube was this 'Noisey Minor' bird, trying to get a sweet treat

A full day of sightseeing, topped off by a drink in the hostel roof top bar :)

Posted by charlystyles 13:24 Archived in Australia Tagged brisbane Comments (0)

Brisbane City Hopper - QLD


The distinctive red and white CityHoppers are Brisbane’s only free inner-city ferry service.
They operate every half hour from 6am to midnight, seven days per week.
It's a great way to explore the river of Brisbane and see the city from a different angle.
part of the day was walking, but as I can't walk on water, the map below shows the city hopper route
Passing under the iconic Story Bridge.
Kangeroo Cliffs
Pelican Statues
Paddle Boats
Goodwill Bridge
I decided to take some time out and enjoy the full loop, down and back, for 1hr 45mins as the sun was setting.

Posted by charlystyles 13:42 Archived in Australia Tagged city_hopper brisbane_river Comments (0)

Brisbane Cultural Centre - QLD

The Brisbane Cultural Centre is the hub of Brisbane's arts scene, with a spectacular setting on the South Bank it incorporates the Queensland Art Gallery (first established in 1895, the Gallery of Modern Art (Australia's second largest public art museum), the Queensland Museum & Science Centre, the State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Performing Art Centre.

The State Library

Queensland Museum & Science Centre
A natural history museum filled with full scale models, both prehistoric and current. Here is a collection of my favourites:

Dinosaur Discovery

Broken Hill - NSW

Mt Morgan - QLD

Blue Winged Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra

Eastern Tube-nosed Bat


Royal Spoonbill

Sea Creatures

Green Pythons
Young Green Pythons are bright yellow which provides perfect camouflage among the fallen leaves on the forest floor. Adults shelter during the day in the canopy and hunt on the ground at night.

The World Turns Parekowhai 2006
this sculpture casts a native water rat, the kuril, in the role of hero.
Along with the traditional Aboriginal custodians, the kuril is one of the caretakers of the land upon which the gallery and this sculpture stand. Here, the kuril is planted firmly on the ground, going about its business, even though it has shifted the world - represented by a large, upturned elephant - from the axis.

Koori Meeting Place
A designated meeting place for the Aboriginal members of the communities, made form local sandstone and allowing them to light open fires.

Queensland Art Museum
The gallery was established in 1895 as the Queensland National Art Gallery.
Throughout its early history the gallery was housed in a series of temporary premises, and did not have a permanent home until the opening of its current architecturally-acclaimed building on Brisbane's South Bank in 1982, the first stage of the monumental Robin Gibson-designed Queensland Cultural Centre.

Morumbeeja Pitoa (Floods and Moonlight) Lin Onus 1993
This painting shows the artists country, the Barmah Forrest, in flood by moonlight. Reflections of flooded gums and silver-lines moonlit clouds reflect off the water's surface, under which fish are seen swimming.
the fish are cloaked in rarrk, a cross-hatching design Onus learnt in Arnhem Land and incorporated into much of his work as a reminder of this Aboriginal land.

First Days of Retirement Choe Chang Ho 2009
Ink on Mulberry Paper
Breaktime Im Hyok 2009
Ink painting is a revered practice in North Korea and has an established history in the arts of East Asia. These brush and ink paintings are drawn from a suite of five that were inspired by the Mansudae artist's site visits to the Kansong Steelworks, a site which holds an important part in the history of the nation.

The skin speaks a language not its own Bharti Kher 2006
Bharti Kher uses stick-on bindis as a central motif in her practice. In India, the bindi was traditionally a mark of pigment applied to the forehead to Hindu men and money to symbolise the 'third eye'. Today, it is commercially manufactured and has become a popular decorative item for girls and women. Kher views the daily ritual of applying this third eye as offering the possibility of seeing the world with fresh eyes. she uses this tiny object to transform various objects and surface allowing the viewer to look at them anew.
In The skin speaks a language not its own, Kher uses thousands of tiny white bindis to cover the surface of a full-sized fibreglass elephant, reclining on the brink of death. the white elephant is revered across Asia as a symbol of dignity, intelligence and strength.

Gallery of Modern Art
Focussing on 20th and 21st Century works from Australia it is the largest gallery of modern and contemporary art in Australia.
Lounge with a view

Powerful Connections Matilda Rodgers 2014
pastel on paper.

Wall of portraits

Y.N.G.M.S Mobile Studio Yoshitomo Nara and graf 2009
Automobile with reclaimed timber, synthetic polymer paint on wood panel, found objects and drawings on paper.

PixCell Double Deer Kohei Nawa 2010
Fusing the natural and virtual realms through exquisite studies in form and perception through the application of transparent glass or resin beads.
The outer surface approximates the thousands of pixels that make up digital images, recreating the visual experience of the computer screen in sculptural form.

Landscape in silence Kimio Tsuchiya 1996
The moon consisting of chunks of wood cut from trees about to be felled, is a sculpture about loss recalling the phases of the moon.

Breath-graph Tokihiro Sato 1988
Created using a dark filter over the camera lens, with the shutter left open for three hours. During this time, Sato used a penlight to make vertical gestures in the air as he moved through the space. The camera does not catch the movement of the artist as they are too fast - only the strokes of light that penetrate the filter.

Woods III Shigeo Toya 1991
Squared-off tree trunks set in an open grid, suggesting a copse or forest with elaborate patterns carved in using a chainsaw.

Amata paintings
Amata community is located in north-western South Australia. Both men and women paint abstract imagery adapted from traditional symbols and concepts. These seven works were painted by families, including grandmothers, their daughters and grandchildren.

Waturru Our Country 2012

Seven Sisters 2011

Punu 2011

Flowers that bloom at midnight Yayoi Kusama 2011
At once simplified and fantastical, with a great starring eye and a polker-dotted finish. Though its scale and alien appearance evoke a strange and overwhelming power, its pristine surfaces and exuberant tones are decidedly joyous.

Reflection Model Takahiro Iwasaki 2010
An intricate miniature recreation of Phoneniz Hall, and the building's reflection, appearing as a three-dimensional mirrored image floating in space.
It exemplifies conceptions of 'oriental' architecture, bearing an uneasy relationship to exotic conceptions of Japan, and Asia generally.

Soul under the moon Yayoi Kusama 2015
Based on the mirrored concept of an infinity room.
Set in space with UV lighting.
Remembering to remain on the walkway into the room, as water surrounds the internal area!

Posted by charlystyles 13:06 Archived in Australia Tagged science_museum brisbane_cultural_centre queensland_gallery_of_modern_ar Comments (0)

Q1, Surfers Paradise - QLD

Vertical Village
With 526 residents, a 10 storey sky garden, pools, restaurants, shops and a spa Q1 (Queensland Number One) is a true "Vertical Village".
Q1 stands at 322.5m, more than twice the height of Sydney harbour bridge (699km away), and taller than the Eiffel Tower or the Crysler building in New York City (16,038km away). It is the largest residential tower in the world. Auckland's Sky Tower, at 328m, is the tallest free standing tower in the Southern Hemisphere.

How far can you see?
At ground level, in flat level country or looking to the ocean, you can see about 3km before your view is obscured by the curve of the earth. From Skypoint Observation Deck, you can see about 60km in every direction!

The lights you see at the top of the tower at night make for a great atmosphere in the café lounge

Southport Broadwater
the Broadwater is a large shallow estuary of water reaching from Southport to the southern section of the World Heritage Listed Moreton Bay.
Being the largest expanse of calm water in Australia, the area is particularly popular for boating and other water sports. The Gold Coast end is lined with parks and walking trails and a swimming enclosure.

Nerang River
Originally chartered as the River Barrow by government surveyor Robert Dixon in 1840. the surveyor general Thomas Mitchell later changed many places to Aboriginal names, and this included the Nerang River.
Most canals in the Gold Coast are in fact extensions of the Nerang River.

The gold Coast is home to 445km of canals. That's nine times more canals than in Venice!
Residential canals were first built on the gold Coast in the 1950s and construction continues providing waterfront land to over 80,000 residents.

Gold Coast Convention Centre
The Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre is Australia's largest regional convention centre.

Jupiters Casio

Mt Warning (the pointy one on the left)
Formed from the central core of the largest shield volcano in the Southern Hemisphere, the peak of Mt Warning is the first part of the mainland Australia to be touched by sunlight each day.

Mt Cougal (the bumpy one on the right)
Forming part of the Springbrook National Park, Mt Cougal's distinctive twin peaks have a significant place in stories told by the local indigenous people, who have inhabited the area's mountains and valleys for thousands of years.

South Pole

Burleigh Heads
10km. The cliffs of Burleigh Heads National Park and the foreshaw fringed with Norfolk Island Pines provide a dramatic and magnificent backdrop to one of the finest surf beaches on the God Coast.

Snappers Rocks
Home to the world-famous 'Super Bank', regarded in surfing ircles as the longest, most consistent and most hollow wave in the world. Snapper hosts elite surfing events such as the Quicksilver and Roxy Pro's annually. On any given day, you will find some of the world's best surfers out in the water.

Danger Point
Captain Cook named POint Danger on his journey up the East Coast of Australia in 1770. Cook named Point Danger as a warning to Sailors of the treacherous reefs nearby. Point Danger also marks the border between Queensland and New South Wales.

Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's 5 oceans. It covers 165.2 million square kilometre, which is about 32% of the Earth's surface.
It also contains the deepest point on earth, the Marianne trench, situated between Australia and Japan. he Mariana trench is deeper than the height of Mt Everest .

Beach Markets


Posted by charlystyles 13:22 Archived in Australia Tagged surfers_paradise skytower q1 Comments (0)

Beach Cruising, Surfers Paradise - QLD

rain 18 °C

Surfers Paradise is fronted to the east by the Surfers Paradise Foreshore, a rejuvenated public space that fronts Surfers Paradise Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The Foreshore was completed in 2011 and features contemporary coastal streetscaping that incorporates existing trees and vegetation, including about 95 pandanus trees.
I wanted to explore the whole foreshore from The Spit to Burligh Head - 19km, but with only a day, the best way to cover the distance was to hire a bike, and what better bike than a 'beach cruiser'! and... they came in green :)
From my accommodation at Surfers Paradise I cycled up to The Spit, a recent land formation.
At the beginning of the 20the century The Spit did not exist. The Nerang River mouth, known as the Southport Bar, was located near Southport Surf Club and Stradbroke Island extended down to where Sea World is today.
In 1896, the tidal flows in Moreton Bay and the Broadwater were dramtically changed when the sea broke through Stradbroke Island. As a result, a sand spit began to develop from Main Beach, rapidly pushing the Southpiort Bar northward and eroding the southern tip of South Stradbroke Island. The Southport Bar migrated north by four km until it was stabalised by the construction of the Gold Coast Seaway in 1986.
the landscape of The spit has always been a focus of activitiy from mineral sand mining in the 1940s to commercial development for the boating industry, tourist resorts and theme parks from the 1950s to the 1980s.
Just before the end of The Spit is the Sand Bypass Jetty.
Gold Coast Seaway enjoys the world's first permanent sand bypassing system, which currently delivers all sand that arrives at the Gold Coast Seaway across the entrance and into the World Heritage listed Moreton Bay Marine Park. The Gold Coast Shoreline Management Plan is reviewing this practice[1] and examining the concept of Island Welding to determine if 85% of the sand (80,000 cubic metres per year) can be sustainably recycled to Surfers Paradise. This system works by pumping the sand through the jetty and delivers it away to clear the channel.
The view back to the city showed how the sky scrapers stand out on the coastline

Whilst standing admiring the view, I met a lovely couple of ladies, out for a walk - Ann & Catherine.
Ann is currently filming as an extra in Pirates of the Caribbean! (shhh!) so look out for her!

Treacherous waters
Prior to the construction of the Gold Coast Seaway, the constantly shifting sandbanks of the Southpiort Bar created hazardous navigational conditions leading to numerous boating accidents.
In February 1887 the Scottish Prince, an iron barque carrying cargo up the coast, ran aground and broke up off the southern tip of Stradbroke Island. Today the wreck is a popular dive site lying about 400m off the beach of The Spit.

Thankfully, this yacht sailed out past the breakwall with no problem
Doug Jennings Harbour

Federation Walk
A project to conserve and enhance the reserve as a natural public open space for the benefit of the community.
Federation Walk Coastal Reserve encompasses 70 hectares of vegetated dunes on The spit, stretching along 2.7km of ocean beach from the Gold Coast Seaway to Philip Park. The reserve features a network of established tracks encouraging locals and visitors to experience the natural setting.

Unfortunately, at this point, the heavens opened! I was at the furthest point form 'home' with no shelter!
So, heading back south towards Surfers Paradise, I stopped for a change of clothes before I carried on!
On the way I past Nobby Beach
and stopped to walk up Mick Schamburg Park, for a great view back the way I'd just come
on passed Mermaid Beach
and Miami Beach
witnessed a wedding, and the photograpghs on the beach
tested the 'beach' part of my 'beach cruiser'
and carried on towards Burleigh Head

Burleigh Head
Rising 79m above the popular Burleigh beach is the distinctive rocky headland, original named 'Burly Head'. The park can be explored by two walking tracks, which wind their way through the headland.
The thick basalt lava cooled slowly, causing it to shrink and crack into massive six-sided columns. Over millions of years, wind and rain have worn away surrounding rock to leave only the more resistant basalt columns. Some of the huge columns can be seen on top of the headland, while many have tumbled down to the ocean's edge. The fallen basalt columns form a barrier at the cliff base, protecting the headland from further erosion. Heavy rain can cause occasional rock falls on these steep, coastal slopes. This tree had obviously had some battles in it's time
I stopped for a little while to watch a pair of Kookaburras, flying up to an ants nest in the tree tops, and picking them off, one by one
A little different to watching the Seagulls hunting for food at the beach!
Tallebudgera Creek
The rocks and sandy shores here were food-gathering places for the Kombumerri people. Here women and children gathered seafood, prawns, oysters, crabs and other shellfish while men cast their nets wide to catch fish herded into their nets.
The view from Burleigh Head showed the rain clouds passing over
but it didn't deter the surfers
Heading back the sun was begining to set
so I climbed up Mick Schamburg Park again to watch the last of the light disappear

Posted by charlystyles 13:27 Archived in Australia Tagged beach_cruising Comments (0)

Brisbane Greeters City Hall- QLD

Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland and Australia's only subtropical capital. It is friendly, cosmopolitan city of charm and urban beauty, with fabulous restaurants, inspiring theatre, exciting nightlife, art and history.

Brisbane offers an intriguing mix of theatre, public arts program, outdoor performance and exhibitions. the Gallery of Modern Art, the Queensland Museum and the Art Gallery are all located in the South Bank precinct.
Brisbane Greeters is a free service run by local proud and passionate volunteers who are keen to share Brisbane's best spots and go behind the scenes of the city.
I met with Janice who showed me her favourite parts of her home town.

Brisbane City Hall
The civic seat of the city and is home to the Lord Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The construction of the building in the 1920s was a major Australian undertaking, ranking second only to the construction of the very famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The site of the City Hall was once a swampy waterhole known as 'horse pond' during the 1900s. this made construction of City Hall quite difficult. In fact these watery conditions meant continuous pumping was needed to keep the pile shafts dry during construction.
European observers recorded that the water on the site was deep enough to swim in!

BasementOriginally this level of the building was the location of a soup kitchen for women and children. More recently this space has
become the home to the much loved Red Cross Café which was established by Brisbane City Council and the Red Cross as
a place for homeless and disadvantaged youth to access free meals, showers/toilets and health facilities. This level is now
also the location of a new industrial kitchen which lays beneath the Auditorium floor.
In the depths of the building is the iconic and heritage listed “signature wall”..which contains signatures, names and dates from many soldiers of different nationalities stationed in Brisbane during World War II.
Discovered in 2008 hidden beneath layers of plaster were names, service numbers and amusing mottos written by approximately 150 WW2 servicemen between 1941 and 1943. This was was originally the back wall of a men's urinal, located in the gents lavatory accessed via the Red Cross Tea Rooms.
Brisbane City Hall played a vital role during World War II as a central location for the voting and other community services. Organisations such as the Australian Red Cross provided cups of tea, a friendly ear, domestic services as well as social and volunteering activities. the Australian Comforters Fund provides care packages that likely included the pencils used on the signature wall, 1944
Soldiers on leave, volunteer at the Returned Soldiers Leagues Welfare Room by shelling peas, 1942
Men from the A.I.F lined up for sewing repairs at the Welfare Recreation Room in the City Hall basement, 1940.
Queensland nurses attached to the Second A.I.F (Australian Imperial Force) made their first public appearance in uniform at Brisbane City Hall, 1940.

Closed between 2010-2013 for vital restoration, Brisbane's favourite building has been returned to its former glory. While in the basement, you can examine the last remaining original supporting column of City Hall and view the damage to the foundations that preceeded the recent 3 year $215 million restoration due to extensive damage to the original foundations.

Enoggera Courtyard
has been restored as a courtyard and features a cobblestone floor
and drain
that were discovered while excavation took place in the Main Auditorium, during the building restoration. the stone is called 'tuff' and was gathered from the Kangeroo Point Cliffs.
Workers excavated 5m below the auditorium floor to find the remains of porphyry (Brisbane tuff).

an historic and visually stunning amphitheatre with construction inspired by the famous Pantheon of Rome.
This space houses the Willis & Sons Pipe Organ, ori1ginally built in 189 containing over 4,300 pipes, with several pipes reaching 13 metres in height. It is one of only 2 of its kind remaining in the world, the other being located in Westminster Abbey, England.
It was completely dismantled during restoration of the building.
While seated in the auditorium, you can view the amazing sight of 8500 L.E.D. lights displaying a light show over the domed ceiling.
Reflect on the history of this room, with musicians such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and KISS, along with other dignitaries such as 2 Popes, 2 Dalai Lamas, 6 Kings and Queens of Europe, including Queen Elizabeth II, Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales, all visiting or performing in this magnificent space.

Lord Mayor’s office and Gold Mirror Room
used for intimate receptions and press conferences. This room was named for the large mirror classified as French second Empire, donated to Lord Mayor Clem Jones and his wife in the 1970s by the Rosenstengle family who were famous Brisbane furniture makers based in Fortitude Valley for more than 100 years.

William Bustard stained glass
Offering a burst of colour the beautiful 4.2 metre stained glass windows, created almost 100 years ago by well-known Brisbane artist William Bustard.
These magnificent windows display scenes symbolically representing colonial Brisbane, as well as Brisbane’s original coat of arms, floral emblem and motto.
Upon opening on the 8th April 1930, it was he tallest building in Brisbane and remained that was for 37years. From an architectural perspective, City Hall is a fine example of neo-classical architecture and is one of the finest civic buildings in Australia. The interiors of the building features extensive use of beautifully grained Queensland timbers and marble drawn from Belgium, Italy and within Australia. The size of the building occupies nearly two acres. It is mainly constructed of Queensland freestone, most of which was obtained from Helidon, a small town about 96km away.

The City Hall clock tower measures 92m high and was the tallest structure in Brisbane for more than 30 years until the late1960s. With an observation platform at 76 meters, it can be accessed via Brisbane's oldest lift.
The complete clock was built in Brisbane to the design of Mr Arthur Jackson.
The four impressive opal white, clock faces are almost five meters in diameter, with minute hands measuring three meters long built of sheet copper.
When the clock was built, it was the largest public clock and most modern time-keeping piece in Australia. Being the tallest structure until the 1960s, it was fitted with a red beacon at its apex to warn aircraft of this location.
The four smaller bells comprise the Westmeinster chime, or more correctly, the Cambridge Chimes and total a weight of approximately three tonnes. The large hour bell is 6'4" in diameter and weighs four and a quarter tonnes.

King George Square Foyer - the beautiful foyer incorporates many features typical of the 1920s such as the enormous metal and glass chandeliers that light the space, hanging from the elaborate coffered ceiling. The grand staircase is made of Italian marble from the same quarry used for Michelangelo's sculpture of David Another highlight is the mosaic floor.
The black and white colours were often used in the formal buildings of ancient Greece and Rome.

Shingle Inn Café
An iconic 1936 walnut-panelled café that has been restored to it's former glory was much loved by the people of Brisbane, the features and fixings are from the original Shingle Inn Café that was located on Edward St.
They were designed by TR Hall who partnered with George Prentice to design Brisbane City Hall.
Lord Mayor's Foyer features photographs of all of the past Mayors.
Copper Dome sits above the Main Auditorium,

Views from the top
Looking down on St George Chapel


Posted by charlystyles 13:35 Archived in Australia Tagged hall brisbane_city Comments (0)

Surfers Paradise - QLD

all seasons in one day

Surfers Paradise
is a suburb within the local government area of Gold Coast City in Queensland. Colloquially known as 'Surfers', the suburb has many high-rise apartment buildings and a wide surf beach.
The feature of the heart of the suburb is Cavill Mall, which runs through the shopping and entertainment precinct.
Exploring Timezone (the largest Indoor Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) in Australia and the biggest TIMEZONE™ Family Entertainment Centre in the world with 5000 sqm of leading edge interactive and the latest interactive attractions and entertainment products), I came across two 'games' from my youth. A shoot out, where you fire water at targets to make movements
and mum's favourite - camel racing! Where you roll the balls into holes to make the camel move.
Cavill Avenue, named after Jim Cavill, an early hotel owner, is one of the busiest shopping strips in Queensland, and the centre of activity for night life.
Surfers Paradise is the Gold Coast's entertainment and tourism centre and the suburbs high-rise buildings are the best known feature of the city's skyline.
The median/average age of the Surfers Paradise population is 36 years of age, 1 year below the Australian average.
49.4% of people living in Surfers Paradise were born in Australia.

Although, since it's winter, the weather wasn't exactly perfect, you could see the rain coming from a long way off
but afterwards, it was worth it for the beautiful (double) rainbows
One of the features of the area is the Surfers Paradise Meter Maids introduced in 1965 by Bernie Elsey to help beat the bad image created by the installation of parking meters on the tourist strip in December 1964. This was a controversial promotion, using young women dressed in gold lame bikinis and tiaras, who strolled the streets of Surfers Paradise feeding coins into expired parking meters, and leaving a calling card under the windscreen wipers.
In 1967, the Gold Coast was battered by cyclonic seas smashing into the coastline, so the then Major, Sir Bruce Small, along with the Meter Maids went on a campaign trail promoting the Gold Coast to Australia, getting people back to the beaches and our beautiful holiday resort. Within weeks the idea had attracted national and worldwide publicity and the Meter Maids became the spearhead of many a promotional drive throughout Australia and New Zealand. This was one of the best known gimmicks and probably the best known Gold Coast promotion.
Gone are the outdated tiaras, replaced by the sun-conscious and true Aussie Akubra hat ideal for our tropical climate, while Gold Lycra Bikinis with the occasional sequin have replaced the traditional lame bikini and even the traditional form of financing the service has taken a new turn. Modern Meter Maids with the famous Meter Maid Cutout. In the past a weekly contribution of a few dollars was paid by each local business as part of their community service but in this commercially competitive era, sponsors are expecting public profile and positive media exposure in return for their dollar.
I ventured out on the buses to Carrara Markets - Australia's largest market
a little different to the well known Beach Markets at Surfers Paradise
Each Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night, treasure hunters, bargain spotters and after-dinner walkers make their way to the Beachfront Markets to wander along the coastal stretch of more than 120 market stalls, while live entertainers set a casual mood in their performance.
One of the largest of the Gold Coast Night Markets, the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets feature a variety of premium products, including fashion, jewellery, accessories, artworks, photographs, beauty products and home wares.
There were some funky light up t-shirts
cool artists
a talented Didgeridoo busker

and great views along the beach
and back to the city

Posted by charlystyles 13:26 Archived in Australia Tagged surfers_paradise gold_coast Comments (1)

Diving Julian Rock, Byron Bay - NSW

sunny 21 °C

The Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located on the Julian Rocks in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales. The 4,047-hectare (10,000-acre) reserve comprise two small islands, situated in the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean, approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) northeast of Byron Bay.
Aboriginal People have lived in the Cape Byron area for many thousands of years. The traditional landowners are Bundjalang people. A plaque at Cape Byron tells their story, of how a jealous husband threw a spear at a canoe carrying his wife and her lover. The canoe broke and sank, leaving only the prow and stern sticking out of the water, and thus creating what is now known as Julian Rocks.
Captain James Cook discovered Cape Byron in 1770. He named it in honour of Admiral John Byron, another British navigator, and grandfather of Lord Byron. The naming of Byron Bay streets after literary figures is just poetic licence. Cook noted Julian Rocks but did not name them. On a chart from 1828 they were still unnamed. By 1883 they had been charted as Juan and Julia Islands.
Surfer at Captain Cooks Look Out
From the mid 1880s to the 1960s Byron Bay was a commercial port, but not a good natural harbour. The first jetty was built at main Beach in 1886 and the second at Belongil in 1928. Many ships have sunk in storms, in the Bay.
Truck with the boat heading to launch
launching the boat
Between the Pass and Middle Reef there is a string of rocky areas which provides interesting snorkelling.. There are also rocky areas between Clarks and Main Beach. Movements of sand within the shallow areas of the Bay are enormous, and exposed rock comes and goes, hulls fill with sand, so the quality of habitat for marine creatures in these areas changes over time
Divers on the boat
By far the best local spot for catching up with marine life is Julian Rocks. Commercial operators run several snorkeling and diving trips to Julian Rocks every day.
Ready to dive
Julian Rocks is rated as one of the best dive sites in Australia. Coral growth is limited but the abundance and diversity of larger animals is enormous. Leopard Sharks and Grey Nurse Sharks visit at different times of the year. Wobbegongs and turtles can almost always be seen. Julian Rocks is a Marine Reserve and the creatures are generally friendly.
Green Turtle
In 1982, after pressure from locals, the area surrounding the rocks was established as a marine reserve, with all fishing and commercial exploitation banned for a 500 metres (1,600 ft) range around the rocks.
White Eye Moray Eel
The area is home to large numbers of marine species, including leopard sharks, grey nurse sharks, wobbegong, a variety of nudibranchs. It's one of about a dozen critical habitats for the grey nurse shark in NSW. Scuba divers identify the site as one of the top sites in Australia for its wide variety of marine life.
Goat Fish
Snappers & Goat Fish
This is where warm and cool waters meet, hence the enormous biodiversity. A minority of species are endemic to this area. Most are found over a wide area of the Asia-Pacific region.
Snapper Fish
From May to September, humpback whales are commonly spotted traveling between the rocks and the mainland and are a common sighting on the short boat trip between the mainland and the rocks. The Cape Byron Marine Park, declared in 2002, surrounds the reserve. A sanctuary zone within the marine park was declared in 2006.
Starry Puffer Fish
Blue Star Fish
Orange Star Fish
Since 1982, after 10 years of lobbying by local users, Julian Rocks falls under the Fisheries and Oyster Farms Regulation. This means that injuring, disturbing and removal of all forms of marine fauna within a 500 meter radius of the rock is prohibited.
Sea Urchins
Not only does Julian Rocks provide resting and nesting grounds for many seabirds, such as seagulls and cormorants, underneath the water is an invisible world with abundant marine life present.
Red Morwong
Purple Coral
With water temperatures and currents changing throughout the year there are many seasonal visitors. The grey nurse sharks come to Julian Rocks during the winter months, presumably to breed. Although these sharks look ferocious with their mouths slightly opened and their teeth sticking out, it is perfectly safe to dive with them.
with the largest Starry Spuffer Fish he'd sever seen
Puffer Fish
There are of course the ëregularsí like different species of wobbegong sharks, turtles, cuttlefish (family of the octopus), schools of white spotted eagle rays, egg-cowry shells, moray eels, banner fish, giant guitar fish and shovel-nose rays. Sometimes there are so many fish around, you can hardly see where you are going. Not to mention all sessile animals (attached to substrate) like tunicates, colourful sponges, both hard and soft corals, giving you the feeling you are floating through some beautifully landscaped underwater garden.
Common Dart Fish
The Rock also forms a home for rare species such as the leaf scorpion fish, the pineapple fish with bioluminescent organs under its eyes, the shy blue devil fish, white banded anemone fish and a species of nudibranch previously thought not present in Australian waters: Noumea labouti. (A nudibranch is a colourful underwater snail without a shell, carrying its respiratory organ on its back)
Clown Trigger Fish
The interaction of tropical and temperate species makes every dive an exhilarating adventure. The three minute boat trip to the rock is almost as exciting: surfing the waves sometimes accompanied by playful dolphins. From May till September the Humpback whales come past Byron Bay and can easily be spotted from the boat. With water temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius and visibility of 20 meters at most times there is really nothing to complain about.
Black Spotted Porcupine

Banner Fish
Fortunately the dive operators in Byron Bay also realise the value of this Aquatic Reserve. Moorings have been put in place and are taken care of, so destructive anchors are not needed. And since there are only a limited number of commercial vessel launching licences available, no over-diving can take place.g
Other fish sightings
All different dive sites around Julian Rocks are equally impressive and offer dives that are spectacular for the novice and the very experienced underwater explorer!
Me, diving
divers at the end of the dive
The boat coming to pick us up
Looking Back to Byron Bay
Cape Byron
Surfers come in all sizes!

Posted by charlystyles 13:44 Archived in Australia Tagged diving julian_rocks Comments (0)

Nimbin - NSW


In May 1973, thousands of students and other 'alternative' groups arrived in the sleepy village of Nimbin. They came from all over Australia and overseas to attend the 'Aquarius Festival'. The festival captured the optimistic and reformist mood of the time - following and success of the national student struggle to end conscription and Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.
The festival was an exploitation of the counter-culture and a reaction to consumerism. There was a vibrant exchange of ideas about different ways to achieve greater creative expression as well as harmony with nature and spirituality.
Nimbin was chosen because of the valley's natural beauty, the amenities of the village and its relative isolation from authorities. However, it was a tough economic time for Nimbin and many shop fronts were vacant. The festival organisers committed to 'recycle' and invigorate the village. The festival lasted ten days. Many left the festival and made lifestyle changes, while some decided to stay. In the following years, so-called 'new settlers' bought up farming properties and established alternative lifestyle communities.
For years after, Nimbin was known as the 'Alternative Capital of Australia' and the legacy of that cultural creativity and innovation can still be seen and heard in Nimbin today.

It's not often you can walk down a street an openly be offered drugs, but I think we found the 'park' for the evenings' entertainment so fth residents!

Across a bridge
we found Nimbin Candle Factory
For over 30 years, this family-run business has been making beautiful traditional, non-toxic candles using essential oils and vegetable dyes.
The distinctive pyramid candles can be seen for sale around the area
an iron is used to finish the candles and give a shiny finish
Their water powered dipping deck was inspired by similar equipment used in ancient monasteries.
Outside the factory were some curious bone stones!


Hemp Embassy
At Nimbin's Hemp Embassy you can find information and alternative hemp based products such as building materials, body products and vitamin supplements.
There was plenty of interesting reading material...
Innovative bongs

Nimbin Rocks
The towering Nimbin rocks are estimated to be 20 million years old and are of sacred significance to the traditional owners from the Bundjalung nation and for this reason access is restricted.

In the distance, Blue Knob watches over the town

Rocky Creek Dam
On the way home from Nimbin, we stopped to explore Rocky Creek Dam which is the principal source of water for the Rous Regional Supply and is supplemented by Emigrant Creek Dam, the Wilsons River Source and several bore sites in Alstonville and Woodburn
Rocky Creek Dam has a capacity of 14,000 mega litres at full supply level which is 187 metres above sea level. This high elevation allows high pressure gravity supply to most areas within the distribution system. The dam wall is 28 metres high and 220 metres long and is made of about 80,000 tonnes of rock, soil, clay and concrete. Water is released via the spillway which is designed to discharge more than 1000 m3/s under probable maximum flood conditions.
There are aoms beautiful walks around the dam

On the way back to the car, we couldnt' resit some fun on the swings!

Posted by charlystyles 13:22 Archived in Australia Tagged nimbin Comments (0)

Waterfalls around Rosebank - NSW

On a Sunday off, I had the pleasure of being shown some of the local watering holes (not pubs) by Dave. It's one of the great things about travelling and meeting so many great people.
First stop, Marom Falls. Pulled up on the side of the road, walked across a field or two and came to this beautiful water fall and swimming pool.
I have to say, it was too chilly for me, but looked like a great idea...

Next stop was Dalwood Falls.
Similarly hidden and just as impressive
also, with a great swimming hole!
and apparently some really really high jumps... which I didnt' investigate!

Final stop for the day was Victoria Park.
Jingi Walla Widjabal Na Jogun Ba La
Welcome to the Land of the Widijabul

Fragments of Forest
Until one hundred and fifty years ago a tall sub-tropical rainforest covered over 75,000 hectares in the area now encompassed by the towns of Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby.
'Discovered' in the 1840's by the cedar getters, the Red Scrub, as it was sometimes known because of the magnificent red colour trees which grew here, was almost entirely cleared by 1900.
Today only 11 major remnants of sub-tropical rainforest survive, a mere 0.1% of its former grandeur! in 1975, a project to double the size of Victoria Park's rainforest commenced which continues to this day.
Over 150 tree species have been recorded in Victoria Park Nature Reserve, including fine examples of trees such as White Booyong, Red Bean, Moreton Bay Fig and Strangler Fig.

Gala Jali Djagi Na Mala Dirrahngan Ba
The trees that are sacred to the Dirrahngan
Within the lands of the Widjabul Bunjalung there are many bean Jali (trees). All bean trees are Djagi Na (sacred) to the Dirrahngan (women of supernatural powers), but there are some special sacred places where the bean tree flourishes best of all. In these places no one must touch the trees or take the beans. The Black Bean was a reliable food for Aboriginal people, but only after extensive preparation to remove the poisons from the bean by soaking, leaching and roasting.

Slow death by strangulation
A Strangler Fig seed, carried by a bird, will drop in the fork of a tree, develop roots, which grow downwards around the host tree in their quest for food and moisture. Unable to compete for sunlight, water and soil, the host tree is eventually 'strangled' and rots away, leaving a hollow within the mature Strangler Fig.
Aboriginal people used the leaves of figs to polish wooden tools and implements to a smooth finish. A milky sap which comes from the leaf stems was used for healing wounds.

Bangalow Palms
the Widjabul people made water bowls from the curved leaf sheath of the palm. There were used in many ways because they were strong. The plant was also used for basket weaving.

On the way back we passed Olivia Newton Johns House!!!

Posted by charlystyles 13:24 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls_rosebank dalwood marom Comments (0)

Crystal Castle - NSW


Crystal Castle is the home to beautiful private botanical gardens filled with extraordinary crystals and sub-tropical plant life.
As 1985 was drawing to a close, Naren King was invited to a New Years Eve part in a unique and magnificent building on a property near Mullumbimby, New south Wales. eccentric architects Edwin Kingsbury has pioneered his concept of 'harmonious architecture', designing a round central building with four radiating wings, no 90 degree angles and a series of magical reflecting ponds. The building was positioned right on the point where the earth's energy lines, or ley lines, intersect. Owner Mal Cooper has demanded the very best materials from around the region for its construction in 1980, and has gone broke as a result.
Captivated by the extraordinary property, Naren set his sights on becoming its new owner. Five knock backs from the banks didn't deter him and his persistence paid off when a Harley-davidson-riding bank manager lover the adventurous nature of the crystal business Naren was envisioning. At that point the land was bare as much of it had been cleared for grazing and banana growing.
Naren has spent over 25 years travelling the world in search of extraordinary crystals.

the entrance
walking past this pond, the path leads to the first set of Amethyst Crystals
although these are huge, there are plenty of smaller ones to buy in the shop, some of them are so pretty.
an all shapes and sizes
and one in particular is almost a cave!
Fairy Magic
This extraordinary amethyst geode cave was discovered in Rio Grande do sul, in the south of Brazil in May 2007. 10 million years old, and hidden deep in the earth in an ancient lava flow. Rare crystals have grown within over these millions of years, white clear quartz crystals, some double terminated (points at both ends) and pink ‘rose quartz’ crystals.

The Mural
‘Journey to Shangrila’ is painted by local artist Peta Laurison, the painting features a grand archway inspired by the famous Ankor Wat temple in Cambodia with a winding stairway leading up to the Tiger’s Nest Monastry, one of the holiest Buddist monasteries in Bhutan. The tiger stands guard at the entranceway, bringing awareness to the plight of this majestic animal which is on the brink of extinction

The Amethyst Geodes
Discovered in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in 2007, they are believe to be the tallest Amethyst geode pair in Australia. They tower over me! They are around 10 million years old and would have begun life as an enormous bubble in a volcanic lava flow, where under intense heat and pressure, crystals were formed. The presence of a tiny amount of iron creates the colour purple. At 3.4m high, this cave weighs 1,121kgs!

Ancient Giant Fossil
This piece of hard desert rock has been cut from the Sahara desert in Morocco. It has recently been polished revealing fossilised ancient orthoceras and other sea creatures.
Unbelievable though it seems, these creatures are around 500 million years old, dating from prehistoric times when the Sahara was under water and these fish were alive and swimming in the ocean.

Dewi Sri
In Bali, Dewi Sri is the goodness of rice. Rice is considered a sacred food given to humankind by the deities to sustain us in a way no other food can. Rice is said to have a soul and to have been created from the merging if Dewi Sri’s body and the earth.

Ganesh is the remover of obstacles. The Hindu religion believes that honouring Ganesh before new ventures and during life changes assures easier trasition and success. He is also revered as the god of education and literature, knowledge, wisdom and wealth.
Ganesh’s broken tusk is a symbol of sacrifice. The rosary in his hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (Indian sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of Braham (the absolute or ultimate reality). His trunk leaning to his left means success in the world. His fan-=like ears convey that he is ‘all ears’ to our prayers. The snake that runs around his body represents energy in all of us.

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of fortune, prosperity, wisdom and fertility. She is also the embodiment of beauty, grace and charm. She is always shown with a lotus, rooted in the mud but blossoming above the water. Completely uncontaminated by the mud, the lotus represents purity and spiritual perfection.
Lakshmi’s found hands symbolise dharma (the path of right living, the root of which is compassion), kama( desires), artha (wealth) and moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).

This Blessing Buddha and his lotus base weigh almost 14 tonnes. He has been hand carved from volcanic rock from a mountain in java called ‘Gunung merapi’ (Mountain of Fire). His raised hand is in Abhaya Mudra, the position for blessing.
Buddha represents peace and freedom from suffering. Siddhartha Gautama was the son of a Nepalese rajah and became the spiritual teacher who founded Buddhism. He sought to overcome old age, illness and death by living the life of an ascetic. He chose to spend his life teaching others how to achieve a state of liberation and freedom from suffering (Nirvana). Believing that neither the extremes of abstinence nor pleasure lead to enlightenment, Buddha taught his followers to pursue a ‘middle was’ of moderation and meditation.
Buddhism is a path of spiritual development and practice that leads the enquirer to insight into the true nature of life. The basic principals are straightforward and practical, nothing is seen as fixed or permanent, actions have consequences (karma) and change is possible. Meditation helps practitioners to develop the qualities of wisdom, kindness and compassion.

The mystic lore of Fuchsire is ‘Rejuvenation’ It is the green variety of Muscovite and gains colour from high concentrations of chromium. Ruchsite is a healer’s stone, used to find the root cause of disease within the body and facilitate deep healing on many levels. It is said to enhance one’s connection and appreciation of the beauty in nature.
This massive piece found in Brazil in 3005 weight 372kgs.

Nandi, the white bull represents joy attained through celebration and also through strength and restraint. IN ancient times, Nandi was the lord of joy and was represented as a man with a bull’s head.

Garuda represent courage and man’s higher spiritual aspirations. Garuda is the bird god and appears in both Hindu and Buddist mythology.
Riding on the shoulders of Garuda
Vishnu preserves and protects. He embodies strength, energy, valour and generosity.
Vishnu is one of the three most important Hindu gods. He supports, sustains and governs the Universe. His role is to return to the earth in troubled times and restore the balance of good and evil whenever order and justice are threatened.

The mystic lore of Sodalite is ‘understanding’. It has been said that the longest distance you will ever travel is the distance from you head to your heart. This is the gift of sodalite. IT is said to clear up mental confusion and re-establish inner opeace. Good for healing rifts in partnerships and relationships, and helps bring and end to arguments or disagreements.
This beautiful rock was discovered in Brazil in 2006 and weighs 863kgs.

An enchanting Bamboo path
leads too...
widely known as Chenrezig, embodies the compassion of all the Buddhas. Chenrezig may be the most popular of all Buddish deities, except for Buddha himself. According to legend, Avalokiteshvara made a vow that he will not rest until he has liberated all beings of suffering. His four arms symbolise the four immeasurable; loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. The Dalai Lama is considered by many Tibetan Buddhists to be the incarnation of

The Fountain of Peace
Crafted by the world’s best fountain makers in Germany, this fountain began life in Bahia, Brazil, where the rose quartz was found and the ball roughly cut. It was then shipped to Germany where it was polished into a perfect sphere, allowing the 310 kgs to spin in the water. The granite base rock was bought from the Maggia river in Switzerland. The mystic lore of rose quartz is love and compassion.

The Labyrinth
The Labyrinth is an archetypal symbol found in spiritual traditions, spanning 4,000 years of human history. The mysterious winding path that takes us into the centre is symbolic of entering the unknown. It becomes a metaphor for our journey of self enquiry. Unlike a maze, which is a puzzle designed to be solved, there is only one way to the centre of a labyrinth, no tricks and no dead ends. At the point of entering, it is suggested to pose a question or intention and invite the answer to reveal itself. By walking the path towards the centre, it is believe that neurological pathways get activated in the brain and we literally begin to unravel our current viewpoint.

The Wizard’s Hat
This enormous Amethyst geode was discovered in Rio Grande do sul, Brazil in 2005. It weighs a massive 1,256kgs. The miners chip away into the bedrock until they hit the distinctive green shell around the geode cave. From there they carefully follow the shape until the cave has been chipped free from the granite.
This geode began life 10 million years ago, as a bubble of lava flow. The mystic lore for Amethyst is peace, protection and intuition.

These Prayer Scrolls leave something to think about...

The Invitation
By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living,
I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a Fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon,
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear or further pain.

I want to know if you can sit without pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true,
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty, even if it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live without failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘yes’.

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what need to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you come to be here,
I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied,
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


Posted by charlystyles 12:24 Archived in Australia Tagged gardens gods deities crystals Comments (0)

(Entries 61 - 75 of 131) « Page 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 »