We had one last holiday with just the two of us before the birth of our first child and it was either head up north to get away from the cold Melbourne winter, or head across to the Flinders Ranges and do a charter flight over Lake Eyre.
After some discussion it was decided that due to the massive rains that occurred in Western Queensland earlier this year, the phenomena of Lake Eyre in flood was just to good an opportunity, and so it was West we were heading.
After a brief stopover in Adelaide to pick up the folks, we travelled North along the back roads through country towns such as Burra and Peterborough.
The scenery was stunning, with rolling green hills and derelict stone huts left over from when the first settlers moved into the area.
Our first three nights were booked into Rawnsley Park Station, a working station that has ventured into tourism, with caravan and camping grounds, self contained huts and eco villas.
Our first day was for exploring the Flinders Ranges as the last time I was there was 24 years ago as a young teenager on a family holiday.
We ventured into Wilpena Pound and went for a nice stroll down to Hills Hut and back, a hut that was built by the first pastoralists that came into Wilpena Pound and has been restored to its former glory.
After some lunch we then drove the Morlana Scenic Drive, a dirt road that runs through the Flinders Ranges from West to East.
The country side was just stunning, and with the sun setting behind us the red rocks just came alive.
The second day was our flight over Lake Eyre and we were down at the bush runway early as we were all anxious to start our journey.
The pilot was running a little late as there was ice covering the plane this morning after an extremely cold evening, but it wasn’t long before we were in the air and flying over the Flinders Ranges.
To see the Ranges from the air was stunning, with the massive Wilpena Pound and the Ranges heading North, with flat open land on either side and Lake Torrens off in the distance, with a layer of water in it from recent rains in the area.
As we left the Ranges and flying over the desert, there was a green tinge covering the land and large waterholes still filled with water from the recent rains.
A couple of hours later we were flying over Lake Eyre, and what an incredible site it was.
While the South Lake did have some water in it, it was the North Lake where the flood waters from Queensland had arrived.
The ever changing colours where the water was lapping at the edge of the salt lake, to the deep reds where the bacteria was forming, to the deeper channels where the water was flowing down from the rivers.
When you looked North there was no distinction in the horizon from where the water and sky merged as one, where from 500 feet the Lake disappeared into the distance.
This incredible sight is the result of rains that occurred months beforehand hundreds of kilometres away, with vast volumes of water bringing life to a region where normally there is very little life.
After flying across the Lake for 25 minutes and only covering half of the area, it was time to fly over to the William Creek Pub for lunch.
If you haven’t been to William Creek, the place is on the Oodnadatta Track and consists of a pub, a caravan park, and a house where a charter flight company operates out of to fly tourists over Lake Eyre who are driving along the Oodnadatta Track.
After lunch the pilot flew us over the South Lake and then back down across the desert and the Flinders Ranges.
Lake Eyre may only get water to the levels we saw 3 or 4 times in ones lifetime, and to see it in its full glory was a sight we are glad we witnessed.
Spotting koalas and kangaroos is one of the main reason people love to visit Australia. The best place to spot Koalas is Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. It is located 12 km from Brisbane city. To reach here you can hire a bus, take a public bus or hop on the river cruise from Southbank.
It is home to 130 koalas many of them born within the sanctuary. Here you can also find more than 100 species of Australian native wildlife such as kangaroos, common wombat, lorikeets, echidna, red-tailed black Cackoota, emu, major Mitchell, bats, barn owl, lace monitor, border collie and many more.
Through their interactive shows and activities, you can not only see the wildlife but also develop a connection with them. Koalas here are friendly as they are regularly handled by humans most of their lives. You can hug them if you wish. Kangaroos are in 5 acres of open area so you can hang out with them, take photographs and feed them. Keep in mind to buy the kangaroo food from the store at the entrance as that is the only food you should be feeding to them. Handfeed lorikeets with their prepared nectar mix at the edge of the river.
There is free outdoor movie screening every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. You can make a picnic out of it. Enjoy the movie with great food available at the food stalls and riverside cafes.
Brisbane botanic garden mount coot-tha
Brisbane Botanic Garden is a part of Brisbane city council’s Mt Coot-tha leisure and adventure precinct. This Queensland’s leading subtropical botanic garden is only 7 km away from the city centre.
They have various sections dedicated to Australian native rainforest trees and natural wildlife. Arid Region Plants showcase the plants from the dry regions of Central America and Africa. 27-hectare area of these gardens is dedicated to the Australian Plant Communities which has native Australian plants mostly from Queensland. National Freedom Wall in honour of 50 years of freedom. Witness Exotic and Australian rainforest.
Here you can explore Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail. Japanese Garden has a Japanese design concept with the plants suitable for the subtropical climate. See 80 different varieties of ferns in Ferns House. Bonsai House has over 100 plants. Fragrant Gardens is all about the fragrance. Wake your sense of smell with its wide range of medicinal herbs, culinary herbs, flowers, aromatic foliage. You can see Tropic plants in Tropical Display Dome.
The temporary art platform (The Platform) is a Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games legacy project. The Platform features temporary artworks, displayed for up to 12 months.
South Bank is Brisbane’s most happening place. It is a place where your whole family will enjoy to the fullest.
South Bank Park-lands is the main attraction of the South Bank. Arbour is made up of the bougainvillaea flowers and creates a beautiful pedestrian walkway. Wheel of Brisbane and Nepal Peace Pagoda are the must visit. Community events mostly take place in an open-air amphitheatre called Courier-Mail Piazza.
You can not miss the streets beach in parkland which is a man-made beach and boat pool. Aquativity is the ideal place for some wet fun. you can also enjoy the CityHopper which is Brisbane’s free ferry service. It departs South Bank from Terminal 3 every 30 minutes runs from 6 am until midnight daily. It stops at several points along the Brisbane river including.
Live music, great food, kids adventure, spectacular sightseeing and scenic strolls make it the most eventful destination of Brisbane.
Ekka is back! The much-loved Royal Queensland Show, affectionately known as the Ekka, will return to Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds from 9-18 August. The show brings together the city and country for a celebration of agriculture.
The Ekka showcases the best of Queensland, from award-winning animals, to live entertainment, carnival rides, showbags and delicious food. We’ve compiled our top favourite things to see and do at this year’s event.
Each night of the Ekka, the Main Arena comes alive with two hours of spectacular entertainment. Prepare to be amazed by this free performance and finish your day with a bang watching the stunning fireworks display. Read more about Ekkanites.
It’s a fact that food just tastes better outdoors.
Now with 101 Camping & Outdoor Recipes, even campers who have never cooked anything more complicated than S’mores can make great meals and snacks over the campfire. You no longer need to sacrifice eating well just because you are not in your home kitchen.
101 Camping & Outdoor Recipes provides you with 101 delicious, and easy-to-prepare recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are sure to make you a hit around the campfire.
Below are some of the tasty recipes you will find inside the 101 Camping & Outdoor Recipes cookbook:
If you love to cook and you love the outdoors, then this is the cookbook for you.
Want a copy of this cookbook?
Get FREE access 101 Camping & Outdoor Recipes
Water from natural resources
The attraction of going off the black surface when camping or caravaning is too much of an attraction for many of us.
It is not hard to understand why … access to beautiful areas where many of the time you have it all to yourself with scenery to die for.
With this comes the need for you to take drinking water with you. If you run out of water, or cannot carry enough water with you for your entire trip, you may decide to source drinking water from natural water sources.
Drinking untreated water such as bore water, river water or spring water (including mineral springs) can lead to illnesses such as gastroenteritis and diarrhoea. Gastrointestinal illnesses can be particularly severe for the very young, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. The following is some simple advice from Better Health Victoria on how to ensure that if you need to use natural water sources for drinking that you minimise the risk of getting sick.
Avoid the danger zones
When selecting natural waters to use as a drinking water source there are a few common-sense rules you should follow:
- Just because the water source looks good is not a guarantee that it is safe to drink, but water that is clear, free of surface scum or debris, and has no odour is more likely be to free of contaminants than cloudy, smelly water that has visible surface scum.
- Choose water that is free flowing rather than water that is stagnant or still.
- Avoid collecting water from sources that are downstream of:
- camping areas
- areas where mining has occurred
- agricultural areas
- unsewered dwellings and towns.
Treat natural water before you drink it
Water from untreated sources is variable in quality and its safety can never be guaranteed. You should use natural water sources for drinking and food preparation with caution and, where possible, treat the water to make it safe to drink.
The most straightforward treatment method is to boil the water before you drink it. Bring the water to a rolling boil, cool it and then use it for drinking.
Boiling is effective against most microbial contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and protozoa.
If boiling the water is not practical other treatment methods can be used. These include chlorine and iodine tablets, handheld ultraviolet (UV) light units, portable micro-filters and purifiers. These treatment options can be purchased from camping and outdoor stores. In all cases, follow the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for use.
Boiling or disinfecting the water may not make the water safe if it is contaminated with harmful chemicals, including natural metals such as arsenic or lead. The only way to reduce the health risk associated with harmful elements and chemicals is to limit your consumption to smaller quantities or occasional use only.
Don’t use natural, untreated water sources, such as bores, rivers and springs (including mineral springs) as regular drinking water supplies.
Collecting rain water is a good option provided it does rain when you need it. Unfortunately this is not a guarantee.
Think before you drink, and treat the water if you are unsure.