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Digger's Profile User Rating: ****-

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My Information

Member Title:
Resident Old Fart
Age:
71 years old
Birthday:
April 5, 1946
Gender:
Male Male
Location:
S.E. Australia
Interests:
Guitar, Fishing, Photography

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E-mail:
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Topics I've Started

  1. And You Think Parking Is Bad There?

    12 May 2017 - 07:40 PM

    Posted Image
  2. Cairns Trip Part 2

    04 May 2017 - 04:58 PM

    Part 2 Kuranda.

    The second organised tour we did was a trip to Kuranda which is in the mountains behind Cairns. We were bussed to a small historic railway station to catch the Kuranda train for the winding journey up into the mountains crossing numerous precipitous bridges and negotiating numerous tunnels. The construction of this railway is an epic in itself, particularly it was created more than 100 years ago using manual labour and some explosives. A number of workers died in the process unfortunately.

    I assumed that we were going on a train pulled by a steam locomotive but after the trip up I can see why it was 2 of these that were needed to get us to the top.

    Posted Image
    Posted Image
    The carriages were in period fashion and had pressed metal ceilings, leather seats and woodwork throughout. Initially we were in a carriage with a mob of Asians and that was fine but once underway a conductor asked us to follow her a few carriages up and relocated us in a carriage with one other couple who were English and very nice. (1st Class? Cream rises to the top doesn't it?)
    Posted Image

    The views as we climbed were breathtaking and you could only wonder how the blokes that built this line managed with pick & shovel in the oppressive heat?

    This fella was playing a rockin' Didge to welcome us as we got off the train at Kuranda.

    Posted Image

    At Kuranda there are many things to do but we started off with another lovely buffet lunch and then a visit to the Butterfly factory where we followed the complete lifestyle of many of the beautiful butterflies that roam this rainforest. It was very interesting!
    Posted Image

    Next we visited a small native animal zoo and yes there were a couple of Dingoes! Lousy photo but they were lovely young animals full of fun and no, they were't eating babies!Posted Image

    They had a Tasmanian Devil, Wombats, Koalas, Roos and Wallabies, birds and of course Crocs. There was one big Saltie but he was in the shade and underwater so too hard to get a shot, but he was sulking! This big fella was monstering fishermen in boats around Darwin so he was caught and transferred to this zoo for a breeding program. Problem was that as soon as they put a female in with him he killed her! He went through 8 prospective partners like that and now he's a confirmed bachelor! I could hear him muttering "Wrong, I should have had sex before I killed them, sex before.....") There were quite a few "Freshies there though and these are the more tourist friendly version!!
    Posted Image
    Posted Image

    Many of these animals we see often living out in the Aussie bush but for visitors it was a nice experience.

    Then it was the rainforest tour which was via a WW11 Duck (DUKW) which negotiated the steep tracks with a guide pointing out wildlife and plants in this dense rainforest. Now I was particularly interested in the forest conditions as Dad was sent there for jungle training after 3 years in the Middle East. They were training there for the Pacific Theatre, mostly to fight against Japan in New Guinea.
    Posted Image

    The last segment for the day was hosted by members of the local Aboriginal tribe and what fun they were!
    Here's me hangin' with the tribe!

    [URL=http://s297.photobucket.com/user/Gumfarm/media/IMG_4508%202_zpscnyjlpd0.jpg.html]Posted Image

    (Sorry can't post more pics as again I've reached my maximum for one post.I may post more in follow ups later)

    Next they had us throwing boomerangs and to my embarrassment my first attempt dug into my ground at my feet! The bloke just looked at me as if to say "What was that?" so I said "there was a snake!" "Didn't you see the snake.....?" (

    My second throw however was stellar and I restrained myself from leaping into the air to catch it flat palmed as I didn't want to embarrass the others who didn't do as well~

    After that it was spear throwing! We watched them throw with and without Woomera and the difference was amazing and boy were they accurate! A Woomera is a stick that notches into the end of the spear effectively making your throwing arm longer and giving more leverage. They we dead accurate at 50 metres or so!

    Last of all was a performance by 5 blokes of traditional song and dance...they were so good! Accompaniment was Didge and percussion was a couple of stones banged together but it was terrific! These guys were the best, great blokes and lots of fun.

    Now as a finale we jumped on the Sky Train" of an aerial cable car set up and "flew" amongst the tops of the tall trees in the rainforest in somewhat spectacular fashion all the way back to the coast. Again I will put up more pics if any are interested.

    What a full day we had and a total different experience from the reef, both things well worth the expense and time.

    We arrived at our home station at 11 pm Tuesday night to wait for a taxi to take us the last bit and were struck with the 20 or more degrees difference we had experienced from that morning in Cairns . 28 C down to 5 C? It was freezing. We travelled from the top of Oz to the bottom in 3 hours and the last 300 kilometres took 5 hours.

    So that was our adventure and we are pleased we did it as Cairns is a great city.
  3. Cairns Trip Part 1

    04 May 2017 - 04:56 PM

    So now we're back home and have a decent internet connection I will attempt a brief description of last week's adventure up the pointy end of Oz!

    Those of you easily bored please please don't read here~

    Last Tuesday we hopped on our lovely country train and headed to Melbourne airport where we stayed the night in anticipation of an earlyish flight to cairns in far North Queensland (FNQ) the next morning.

    It was a case of "Spot the Aussie" when we boarded as 98% of the passengers were Asian, mostly Chinese. It seems that Cairns is on their "must do list". Boy were they noisy!

    After a smooth 3 hour flight we'd travelled from the bottom of Australia to the top and were fortunate to approach along the coast and have a great view of what was ahead.

    Our apartment was about 4 kilometres out of town and was lovely, but the first thing we did was turn on all 3 A/C units!

    Cairns was hot and still a bit humid, but first impressions were certainly that we were in the tropics. Along the waterfront a plethora of marine businesses offered all manner of tours to tempt the cashed-up tourists, one particularly took my fancy...."Jetski Crocodile Photo Tour". Yeah right, we might be new to the area, but we ain't stupid!

    Posted Image

    Cairns is a lovely modern city with a population of 150 k and huge tourist numbers swell that considerably. Once again a case of "spot the Aussie!" First impressions are huge amounts of accomodation available and zillions of cafe's and restaurants, all giving testament to the power of the tourist dollar!

    Wednesday we were picked up by a bus and taken to the marina where we embarked on a big catamaran for the trip out to the reef which was an almost 2 hour journey. It was a smooth trip out and we hooked up with a group from Florida who were nice people but boy was it hard to get a word in! Do all you Yanks talk like that? Anyway I did manage to complete their Aussie education by teaching them one of the most iconic Aussie words....."Chook". I think they were grateful~

    The facility on the reef was a huge floating pontoon to which we tied up and disembarked. Posted Image

    Here mostly included in the original fee you could snorkel, try a beginners SCUBA dive, advanced SCUBA dive, helmet dive, glass bottom boat, semi submersible, or just look at whats below from the underwater room. Fish feeding time was also exciting with some big fish, one big humphead wrasse even got amongst the divers feet in the diving platform...that caused a few to move pretty quickly I can tell you.

    Lunch which was a buffet was high quality and included in the price. There were packs of young slim Asian girls changing into lycra suits preparing to dive and I can tell you that it was not unpleasant being an observer! I would gladly build a shrine to some of those bums I saw that day...Grin~
    (sorry, no pics)

    Before lunch we jumped on the semi submersible which just means you act as ballast in the keel but are rewarded with windows to look out of. Very disappointing as viz was crap!
    It was explained that the tide was still in ebb and that all the mud from the rivers was still affecting the visibility and that it would change in an hour and we should come out again.
    On the way around however we were treated to seeing some nice Drummer a Tealeaf Trevally just outside the viewing glass. Made me twitchy for my fishing rod but I reckon I'd have been keelhauled if I'd tried to catch one!!!

    Posted ImagePosted Image

    We were a bit long in the tooth to hit the water but many did.

    Here we are climbing out ofVairnsPosted Image
    Posted Image

    After lunch we headed out in the glass bottomed boat and fortunately visibility had cleared right up and we had a lovely trip for about 30 minutes sometimes coming within inches of the coral. It was beautiful and certainly the highlight of the whole week! Looking down washes out some of the colour and unfortunately photos are useless in conveying what we saw. If you have never done this then you should consider it!Posted Image

    Prices of everything were expensive in Cairns! A hamburger was $20 + and most main courses were $34 to $40 however we found a few places where we got nice meals for $20 as special offers. I guess when there is a constant flood of new people, you can gouge away as they have got to eat!

    The next day we picked up a hire car (Toyota Corolla Hatch, never again, worst visibility ever) and we drove the hour up to Port Douglas. Cairns is surrounded by mangroves and no sand at all! Port Douglas is the closest good (?) beach to Cairns apparently. Nice place mainly accomodation and dozens of cafe's and restaurants....one big retail opportunity for the beautiful people! Being a rebel I avoided all the wanky trendy joints and had Bangers & Mash at an Irish pub,,..yeah the bloke was really Irish, I could hardly understand him!

    Now I've been threatening Gael that I wanted to buy an Hawaiian shirt, as gaudy as hell! She didn't believe I'd actually do it as i'm as conservative as hell....don't even like logos on my polo shirts, all blue or blacks, nothing bright. Well we spotted some Hawaiian shirts in a shop! So in I went but quickly retreated when I saw they wanted $175 for a bloody shirt, the female version was $275! Yeah in your dreams!

    But they were as bright as all get out and Gael's going, "No way, you wouldn't wear that!" I said "Watch me!" Just too expensive there and after all the most I've ever spent on a shirt was $50 and that was only because we had shipboard credits to use up!

    On the other side of the street was a different prospect though, I found one as bright as hell for $20, all reds. She said you won't buy that, so I did. Now she's saying you'll never wear that, but it was worth the $20 to keep her off balance not knowing if or when I might come out in that shirt! I'm a bit of a bugger sometimes!

    End of Part 1 too many images otherwise
  4. Cairns Trip!

    03 May 2017 - 07:18 PM

    So now we're back home and have a decent internet connection I will attempt a brief description of last week's adventure up the pointy end of Oz!

    Those of you easily bored please please don't read here~

    Last Tuesday we hopped on our lovely country train and headed to Melbourne airport where we stayed the night in anticipation of an earlyish flight to cairns in far North Queensland (FNQ) the next morning.

    It was a case of "Spot the Aussie" when we boarded as 98% of the passengers were Asian, mostly Chinese. It seems that Cairns is on their "must do list". Boy were they noisy!

    After a smooth 3 hour flight we'd travelled from the bottom of Australia to the top and were fortunate to approach along the coast and have a great view of what was ahead.

    Our apartment was about 4 kilometres out of town and was lovely, but the first thing we did was turn on all 3 A/C units!

    Cairns was hot and still a bit humid, but first impressions were certainly that we were in the tropics. Along the waterfront a plethora of marine businesses offered all manner of tours to tempt the cashed-up tourists, one particularly took my fancy...."Jetski Crocodile Photo Tour". Yeah right, we might be new to the area, but we ain't stupid!

    Posted Image

    Cairns is a lovely modern city with a population of 150 k and huge tourist numbers swell that considerably. Once again a case of "spot the Aussie!" First impressions are huge amounts of accomodation available and zillions of cafe's and restaurants, all giving testament to the power of the tourist dollar!

    Wednesday we were picked up by a bus and taken to the marina where we embarked on a big catamaran for the trip out to the reef which was an almost 2 hour journey. It was a smooth trip out and we hooked up with a group from Florida who were nice people but boy was it hard to get a word in! Do all you Yanks talk like that? Anyway I did manage to complete their Aussie education by teaching them one of the most iconic Aussie words....."Chook". I think they were grateful~

    The facility on the reef was a huge floating pontoon to which we tied up and disembarked. Posted Image

    Here mostly included in the original fee you could snorkel, try a beginners SCUBA dive, advanced SCUBA dive, helmet dive, glass bottom boat, semi submersible, or just look at whats below from the underwater room. Fish feeding time was also exciting with some big fish, one big humphead wrasse even got amongst the divers feet in the diving platform...that caused a few to move pretty quickly I can tell you.

    Lunch which was a buffet was high quality and included in the price. There were packs of young slim Asian girls changing into lycra suits preparing to dive and I can tell you that it was not unpleasant being an observer! I would gladly build a shrine to some of those bums I saw that day...Grin~
    (sorry, no pics)

    Before lunch we jumped on the semi submersible which just means you act as ballast in the keel but are rewarded with windows to look out of. Very disappointing as viz was crap!
    It was explained that the tide was still in ebb and that all the mud from the rivers was still affecting the visibility and that it would change in an hour and we should come out again.
    On the way around however we were treated to seeing some nice Drummer a Tealeaf Trevally just outside the viewing glass. Made me twitchy for my fishing rod but I reckon I'd have been keelhauled if I'd tried to catch one!!!

    Posted ImagePosted Image

    We were a bit long in the tooth to hit the water but many did.

    Here we are climbing out ofVairnsPosted Image
    Posted Image

    After lunch we headed out in the glass bottomed boat and fortunately visibility had cleared right up and we had a lovely trip for about 30 minutes sometimes coming within inches of the coral. It was beautiful and certainly the highlight of the whole week! Looking down washes out some of the colour and unfortunately photos are useless in conveying what we saw. If you have never done this then you should consider it!Posted Image

    Prices of everything were expensive in Cairns! A hamburger was $20 + and most main courses were $34 to $40 however we found a few places where we got nice meals for $20 as special offers. I guess when there is a constant flood of new people, you can gouge away as they have got to eat!

    The next day we picked up a hire car (Toyota Corolla Hatch, never again, worst visibility ever) and we drove the hour up to Port Douglas. Cairns is surrounded by mangroves and no sand at all! Port Douglas is the closest good (?) beach to Cairns apparently. Nice place mainly accomodation and dozens of cafe's and restaurants....one big retail opportunity for the beautiful people! Being a rebel I avoided all the wanky trendy joints and had Bangers & Mash at an Irish pub,,..yeah the bloke was really Irish, I could hardly understand him!

    Now I've been threatening Gael that I wanted to buy an Hawaiian shirt, as gaudy as hell! She didn't believe I'd actually do it as i'm as conservative as hell....don't even like logos on my polo shirts, all blue or blacks, nothing bright. Well we spotted some Hawaiian shirts in a shop! So in I went but quickly retreated when I saw they wanted $175 for a bloody shirt, the female version was $275! Yeah in your dreams!

    But they were as bright as all get out and Gael's going, "No way, you wouldn't wear that!" I said "Watch me!" Just too expensive there and after all the most I've ever spent on a shirt was $50 and that was only because we had shipboard credits to use up!

    On the other side of the street was a different prospect though, I found one as bright as hell for $20, all reds. She said you won't buy that, so I did. Now she's saying you'll never wear that, but it was worth the $20 to keep her off balance not knowing if or when I might come out in that shirt! I'm a bit of a bugger sometimes!

    End of Part 1 too many images otherwise.
  5. Cairns Trip! Part 2 (completed)

    03 May 2017 - 07:17 PM

    Part 2 Kuranda.

    The second organised tour we did was a trip to Kuranda which is in the mountains behind Cairns. We were bussed to a small historic railway station to catch the Kuranda train for the winding journey up into the mountains crossing numerous precipitous bridges and negotiating numerous tunnels. The construction of this railway is an epic in itself, particularly it was created more than 100 years ago using manual labour and some explosives. A number of workers died in the process unfortunately.

    I assumed that we were going on a train pulled by a steam locomotive but after the trip up I can see why it was 2 of these that were needed to get us to the top.

    Posted Image
    Posted Image
    The carriages were in period fashion and had pressed metal ceilings, leather seats and woodwork throughout. Initially we were in a carriage with a mob of Asians and that was fine but once underway a conductor asked us to follow her a few carriages up and relocated us in a carriage with one other couple who were English and very nice. (1st Class? Cream rises to the top doesn't it?)
    Posted Image

    The views as we climbed were breathtaking and you could only wonder how the blokes that built this line managed with pick & shovel in the oppressive heat?

    This fella was playing a rockin' Didge to welcome us as we got off the train at Kuranda.

    Posted Image

    At Kuranda there are many things to do but we started off with another lovely buffet lunch and then a visit to the Butterfly factory where we followed the complete lifestyle of many of the beautiful butterflies that roam this rainforest. It was very interesting!
    Posted Image

    Next we visited a small native animal zoo and yes there were a couple of Dingoes! Lousy photo but they were lovely young animals full of fun and no, they were't eating babies!Posted Image

    They had a Tasmanian Devil, Wombats, Koalas, Roos and Wallabies, birds and of course Crocs. There was one big Saltie but he was in the shade and underwater so too hard to get a shot, but he was sulking! This big fella was monstering fishermen in boats around Darwin so he was caught and transferred to this zoo for a breeding program. Problem was that as soon as they put a female in with him he killed her! He went through 8 prospective partners like that and now he's a confirmed bachelor! I could hear him muttering "Wrong, I should have had sex before I killed them, sex before.....") There were quite a few "Freshies there though and these are the more tourist friendly version!!
    Posted Image
    Posted Image

    Many of these animals we see often living out in the Aussie bush but for visitors it was a nice experience.

    Then it was the rainforest tour which was via a WW11 Duck (DUKW) which negotiated the steep tracks with a guide pointing out wildlife and plants in this dense rainforest. Now I was particularly interested in the forest conditions as Dad was sent there for jungle training after 3 years in the Middle East. They were training there for the Pacific Theatre, mostly to fight against Japan in New Guinea.
    Posted Image

    The last segment for the day was hosted by members of the local Aboriginal tribe and what fun they were!
    Here's me hangin' with the tribe!

    [URL=http://s297.photobucket.com/user/Gumfarm/media/IMG_4508%202_zpscnyjlpd0.jpg.html]Posted Image

    (Sorry can't post more pics as again I've reached my maximum for one post.I may post more in follow ups later)

    Next they had us throwing boomerangs and to my embarrassment my first attempt dug into my ground at my feet! The bloke just looked at me as if to say "What was that?" so I said "there was a snake!" "Didn't you see the snake.....?" (

    My second throw however was stellar and I restrained myself from leaping into the air to catch it flat palmed as I didn't want to embarrass the others who didn't do as well~

    After that it was spear throwing! We watched them throw with and without Woomera and the difference was amazing and boy were they accurate! A Woomera is a stick that notches into the end of the spear effectively making your throwing arm longer and giving more leverage. They we dead accurate at 50 metres or so!

    Last of all was a performance by 5 blokes of traditional song and dance...they were so good! Accompaniment was Didge and percussion was a couple of stones banged together but it was terrific! These guys were the best, great blokes and lots of fun.

    Now as a finale we jumped on the Sky Train" of an aerial cable car set up and "flew" amongst the tops of the tall trees in the rainforest in somewhat spectacular fashion all the way back to the coast. Again I will put up more pics if any are interested.

    What a full day we had and a total different experience from the reef, both things well worth the expense and time.

    We arrived at our home station at 11 pm Tuesday night to wait for a taxi to take us the last bit and were struck with the 20 or more degrees difference we had experienced from that morning in Cairns . 28 C down to 5 C? It was freezing. We travelled from the top of Oz to the bottom in 3 hours and the last 300 kilometres took 5 hours.

    So that was our adventure and we are pleased we did it as Cairns is a great city.

Comments

Page 1 of 1
  1. Photo

    Digger 

    27 Jun 2013 - 15:46
    I'm about keeping this place nice and having fun!
  2. Photo

    Resigned 

    16 Jan 2013 - 14:06
    Happy New Year :)
  3. Photo

    Clanky44 

    31 Dec 2012 - 10:01
    Happy New Year Rob!! May the new year bring you health and happiness.
    Frank & Lori
  4. Photo

    D-poland 

    09 Jan 2012 - 21:29
    my favorite aussie has gotta be mick (crocodile) dundee!I think it would be the greatest to be in room full aussies and a bunch of cokney speaking english men and a few beers playin HUMBLE PIE! IT could'nt get any better than that!! good on ya mate!
Page 1 of 1