So this weekend I am in Geraldton, Western Australia exploring the town for things of interest while work keeps me here for a while. Luckily there seems to be plenty on this weekend which means that I’ve had a busy day of coffee, washing, viewing a church, the Valley View Airshow, sunset at the beach and putting together a quick video from some canyons I did recently.
Some photos to corroborate my very brief words (oh and open up the photos).
Amazing laser cut sculpture outside the church.
1850s church built by the early settlers in region.
Halftrack tractor at the Valley View Airshow
Beautiful old Bedfords the like at the Valley View Airshow.
Amazing old planes
Amazing old planes
3rd light horse at the Valley View Airshow near Geraldton.
3rd Light Horse Battalion at the Valley View airshow.
Corellas in trees at Ellendale Pool
And then there was the sunset!
Tonight I have been tidying my room. This means going through boxes of old documents I know long need and receipts from adventures long ago. Finding a folder of bank statements made me thing of some of the more fun things I did in 2007, one of which was the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria. This post will mostly be a few happy snaps, and is totally out of date, but the walk was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.
Back in 2007 I was part of the UNSW Outdoors Club and enjoyed the company of their members of several trips including a rogaining (click this link if you mistakenly think it is a hair treatment), caving and bushwalking. One of the most enjoyable trips was to join a mate Ian, his brother and two utterly novice hikers on a 6 day bush walk along the Great Ocean Walking track. This 100km covers the section of coastline not occupied by the Great Ocean Road, known for being the most scenic coastal drive in Victoria as well as being a whole lot of fun in a gutless corolla.
Starting from Apollo Bay, and ending at the Apostle Bay visitors centre the walk is almost entirely isolated and away from the road, traffic and other people. It is well equipped with shelters and water tanks and the scenery is mind bogglingly good, especially with the luck we had.
I won’t go into the details of the walk because they are probably covered in a better more up to date manner by Parks Vic, however some of the highlights of the trip included:
- The anchors of long wrecked ships washed up on rock platforms
- Long isolated beaches
- Campsites with cooking shelters on wet evenings, and the sort of conversations that can only happen after 5 days straight with the same people
- being absolute shown how hiking should be done by a pair of 70+ Canadian women who were walking substantially faster, and more efficiently than us kids.
- Dunnies with views. Seriously good views.
- The whole walk!
To summarise the trip even further here are a few happy snaps!
The last fortnight has been awesome, truly great and just plan good. Over the past two weeks I have had some great adventures in Alice Springs, Canberra and possibly even around Sydney though I might have to think a bit harder about that one to come up with an example.
Over the long weekend I was lucky enough to be able to go up to Alice Springs for the weekend and hang out with amazing people camping, slack-lining, walking, camp-firing and art auction attending. We had amazing weather (As always for this time of year) and camped under the multitudinous stars that are a feature of deserts every where. Although the whole weekend was amazing I think the two most impressive discoveries were a gorge full of carved aboriginal petroglyphs that have been dated to between six and eight thousand years old, and that crispy campfire bacon, roasted banana and maple syrup go quite well together.
This past weekend I have spent in Canberra in a similarly awesome weekend that involved lots of exciting things like cake, mountain biking at Sparrow Hill, a two year olds birthday party, a Global Wind Day Picnic, markets and lots of coffee! A big thank you to everyone who made it a second great weekend!
Oh, and the awesome thing about Sydney… Family of course. Thanks all!
I was lucky enough to spend last week out at Hill End, a small historic town about an hour out of Bathurst, which is about 2.5hrs out of Sydney, which is about 20 hours out of somewhere else.
The week itself requires very little explanation because it was just a splendid time of awesomeness, chilling, delicious food, and general niceness. So given I don’t intend to say much more than that I’d like to share some photos of places these lovely places. Oh and go there!
Grose Valley from the Mountain Heritage Hotel
The Ruined Castle nestled in between Mt Solitary and Narrowneck
Spot the ECR
My Surly getting a work out. Thanks to Bike Bag Dude for the awesome frame bag which I haven’t taken off the bike since I got it!
Old machinery lying around town
Pretty amazing right?
100+ year old building and the shadow of my ECR
Erosion I believe.
The Golden Archway at Hill End
Pretty amazing landscape
A lovely little snake necked turtle we saved from the road on the way home.
Mt Tomah, go there!
Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens. Go there
Tomorrow is my last day in Alice Springs. As it turns out the world around me wanted to say goodbye on Wednesday by offering an amazing day of rain followed by on of the best sunsets I have ever seen, and living out here that is a big call.
Sitting at the first saddle of the Mt Gillen walk I was treated to rainbows, glowing mountains in the distance, golden valleys and red red rocks at the sunset around me.
Thanks Alice Springs. You’ve been amazing!
One of Broome’s many amazing natural features and experiences is the Staircase to the Moon, where the full moon raises over the mudflats of Roebuck Bay at low tide.
I was lucky enough to be in town for one of the lowest tides, with a rather large moon and can I just say, these photos just don’t do it justice. This spectacle is amazing. It is spectacular.
The Desert Feet Tour at Town Beach in Broome.
Town Beach, in Broome, has an awesome view over Roebuck Bay.
The crowds gather for the natural wonder that is The Staircase to the MKoon.
Full Moon, blood red with desert dust. Just amazing!
Just wow, really, just wow!
Staircase to the Moon in white.
Working hard again. Honestly the road was closed due to bushfires so we just had to stop for a break before turning around and driving 200km back the way we’d come! Oh and I rode a camel this week as well…
So I am in Broome at the moment. Technically it is a work trip, but due to semi-predictable circumstances I haven’t been able to head out bush in the past week. As a consequence, I’ve been making the most of my time here buy going to some of the events that form part of the Broome Shinju Matsuri Festival which opened last night with a whole lot of speeches and a performance by Sammy the Dragon!
Being in Broome I’ve also done a few other essential things, like going to the beach, so life is tough.
Here are some snap shots of my “work trip” so far.
Sammy the Dragon
Sammy the dragon asleep. Wait till he wakes up. He is huge!
Lots of people at the Broome Festival
Oldest outdoor cinema in Australia. Pretty cool I have to say! Watch out for mozzies though!
Sammy the Dragon at the Shinju Festival is huge, and has glowing eyes!
The oldest Broome born chinese man de-masking Sammy the Dragon
Oh and here are some photos of the beach…
Over the weekend some friends and I went camping at Redbank Gorge and climbed Mt Sonder. It was an awesome weekend with lots of swimming, but 35 degrees on the last day of winter is a bit rude really. Anyway, I survived, I didn’t reach the top of Sonder because I couldn’t handle the heat, but I had a great weekend.
Enjoy my happy snaps!
Walking down Redbank Gorge
The sandy floor of redbank gorge is testament to the massive floods. Only River Red Gums survive, and not always.
Mt Sonder at Sunset
Mt Sonder, the goal of our little adventure.
A legless lizard (I think)
The West MacDonnell Ranges Spectacular as always, and we had rain!
84.4km 4h 59min 354m Ascent
61km before lunch at 12:30pm
This really long day covered almost a quarter of the island in one day.
Last night I decided on a plan for the remainder of my trip. Personally I thought it was a very clever plan as it left me time to ride back to Adelaide if need be, or it I can get my bike on a bus, time to get out to the lighthouse at the eastern end of the island.
So at 7am I was up and going. Packing up in the record time of 1hr so that I was on the road at 8am. It was a cold (15 degrees C) and still morning so my early progress was very good, but as I rode a north easterly wind picked up encouraging my belief that the gods don’t like cyclists.
Anyway I pushed on and by 10am had made it to the Cape Borda turnoff where I took a rest stop by the side of the road and stretched a little. 25km in and I knew it was going to be hard to get through the day.
As I rode on I realised just how empty the centre of the island is. I didn’t pass a single cafe all day and it was only near Parndana I saw anything noteworthy. I hadn’t planned on going into Parndana, but the thought of the general store and a hamburger and chips for lunch seemed to justify the 12km extra it would add to the day. The general store was more useful than the one at Vivonne Bay, but I still wouldn’t rely on it for too much beyond the real basics, on and the hamburger was good.
Doubling back towards the Stokes Bay turnoff I could feel my legs complaining, and felt a great sense of relief knowing the road into the Bay had been sealed in the past year, as this was the road that had got the better of Clare and I had 70km in my legs already.
It turns out the road has some seriously steep sections which well and truly required the smallest gear I have. Arriving in Stokes Bay (for anyone who hasn’t been there) i a massive disappointment as you get to a small coastal village with a rocky, bouldery beach that isn’t at all appealing. Don’t despair though because through the tunnel in the headland is an idyllic beach of white sand and crystal clear water that is truly welcome after a long day in the saddle.
To top it all off the cafe by the bay does good coffees and my Swiss friends from the previous night arrived in time for a chat. Now to stretch out the legs and watch the sun go down over the water and enjoy a campsite to myself.
The lovely Stokes Bay on the northern side of Kangaroo Island
Follow this sign! It leads to one of the prettiest beaches I know, not like Stokes bay itself
The beautiful Stokes beach
These Hooder Plovers are very endangered, and very very small.
What a perfect beach really…