Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Australia from 1st Aug, 2014.

This was the sunset just after we arrived in the town of Charters Towers.  We stayed the night parked next to an old mine entrance with curious kangaroos hanging about.

On the way north we stopped in Capella to see their rodeo that they hold once or twice a year.
We were surprised at how much you can feel like you're in central USA cowboy country while in Queensland.  Nice people and great entertainment.  We had a real friendly (older) local approach our motorhome when we first arrived in this town to see if we needed directions.  He really loved to chat!  We bumped into him again the next day at the rodeo and he was as friendly as ever.

There was a team of kiwis who came over especially to compete in this rodeo.  I didn't know we had bull riders in NZ.  They we bloody good actually and gave the aussies a good challenge winning in one or two events.
NZ and Aussie rodeo teams (NZ black, Aus in green)

Nice sunsets in central Queensland too!

A typical roadside view in central Queensland, pretty barren while spectacular with clear blue skies all day most days

After Carnarvon we headed north again through Rolleston where there were good free facilities for motorhomers, a really small free museum, a nice shiny windmill and a state school founded in 1871.

After Moura we headed south west to Carnarvon Gorge.  This is a shot of one mountain that's part of the Carnarvon range, taken when we were about 50km from the start of the gorge walks.

Loads of kangaroos around Carnarvon park and many quite tame

Part of Carnarvon Gorge - this photo is about half way up the 9km gorge track (18km return).
This is a pretty spectacular gorge to see in the flesh.  They reckon it's second only to the Grand Canyon.

Looking NW up part of the gorge

This bit was at the end of a side-route part of the gorge. They call this the amphitheatre as it's basically a very tall room surrounded by limestone walls.  You go through a short tunnel to get into here.

More walls of the gorge

A few hundred metres before the gorge walks there was a short walk into bush to see Aboriginal rock art (stencil-type paintings).  Spencer and Alia found a very large rock with gently soping sides to climb up on this walk.

Aboriginal rock art

Central Queensland Cactus

Moura Country and Coal Festival
Moura (small mining town 200kms west of Gladstone) have an anuual Country and Coal festival

Slap stick comedy show in Moura.  The kids absolutely loved these ladies who did 4 shows over two days, the kids went to all of them.

These Crack Up sisters also did bull whipping shows and instruction lessons (that's Alia giving it a go):

Whip cracking contest for kids.
The Hurricane ride.  A bit scary.  That's Spencer and Alia in the photo (I need to work on how to do manual camera focusing).


Fred Brophy talks Jeremy Pierce into donning the gloves for three rounds in the ring. Picture: Adam Head
Tent boxing at the Moura festival.  A travelling boxing troupe that's a bit of an institution in Oz.
"Fred Brophy runs a unique outback fight club. He leads a troupe that tours rural Australia and invites ordinary people from the crowd to fight professional boxers – for a cash reward. Tent boxing is an unusual form of entertainment that is loved by those living in rural Australia. It brings rural communities together and offers employment to the boxers.
Before television existed tent boxing was a major form of entertainment in Australia, North America and the UK. But today the sport is banned in North America and the UK for safety reasons.
In Australia, where tent boxing is still legal, restrictive legislation has forced the closure of all boxing troupes but one remains: Fred Brophy’s Boxing Tent. Queensland is now the only state where tent boxing still occurs".

The little guy with blue gloves is a Moura local and a crazy man in the ring, went mental.  The tubby Aboriginal bloke with his shirt off was also surprisingly good.  They did a tag-team fight with the result being a draw against two of the professional boxers.

Piggy races.  Our pink pig came 2nd.  

The reptile man

 In Gladstone with Naomi and Ian

Bundaberg Town

Australia Zoo

Glass House Mountains - roughly 100km north of Brisbane.
We made an early morning trek up the mountain to get these pics.
In Aboriginal legend the mountains are a family of mountains (Dad, Mum, several sons) who have had a bit if a bust-up.  In the photo above, Mum-mountain is on the left, Dad is the big one above Alia's head, he's annoyed and looking out eastward to the sea.  The other mountains are the sons.

This is Tibrogargan mountain - In Aboriginal legend he is the father of the mountain family and is angry with his son so he is forever looking eastward to the coast, away from his son.

Gold Coast Beach 3rd Aug, 2014