Monday, August 27, 2012

Sturt National Park

After three days exploring Outback NSW it feels like traveling as backpackers like we did about ten years ago. This time we have more advanced gear and we get paid for it. We could even put our gear to good use when we helped out a British couple who where stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tyre.
Meanwhile we passed Currawinya NP which was very nice. The National Park is located near the NSW/QLD border and we found great camp spots near the Paroo River which was of water and fish as well. Unfortunately I did not have my fishing gear with me... but I am here for work anyway.
Paroo-Darling National Park Camp-ground
Spoken to a few locals in Hungerford and Wanaaring we made sure the roads to Sturt NP are all in good conditions we headed to Tibooburra and spent the first night in NSW at a peaceful camping spot in the Sturt NP. The colours of the Outback are stunning and the wildlife is abundant. We have seen ferral pigs, goats, sheep, a fox, heaps of emus with little baby emus and lots of grey and brown kangaroos. It's just breathtaking to see the kangaroos jumping around everywhere in this beautiful scenery.
Yesterday we discovered a new part of road which turned out a short cut. We even stunned some Aussies as we suddenly appeared in front of them although they overtook us earlier on the usual linking road. We had good fun on that hidden track.
Tomorrow will be loaded with more adventures for sure. So long.

Pierre & Silke

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First day of our Outback New South Wales field trip

Everything is packed
After three days of delay because we had some trouble with the car and also it needed a service to be done beforehand, we finally started our field work trip today. It felt great to be on the road again traveling around the country and camping. This time it is for a reason, tracking data for Hema Maps.
Everything went smooth today we had the plan to go as far as St George which should have been our first stop on our trip. Half way we discovered we did not have all the keys with us. The keys we need to refill our water container of the trailer and also another one to get the shower working. This would especially be great in remote areas where we are heading to. Luckily our field work chief and colleague Al is coming tomorrow morning catching up with us to hand over the precious keys. Although we had a thorough checklist and we could tick off all boxes, we're now delayed again because there wasn't a checkpoint  for keys. Ahh well, we had therefore a relaxing afternoon.
Anyway we will enjoy our first night here in Goondiwindi and looking forward for to the road trip ahead. Cross fingers it won't bucket down too much, because at the moment we are surrounded by thunder and lightning.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fraser Island

On one of those 'get a bargain web pages' we found a special offer for the beautiful Resort on Fraser Island - Kingfisher Bay. Fraser Island is the biggest sand island in the world. about 100km long and 30km to 50km wide. The entire Island is National Park - Great Sandy National Park.

Kingfisher Bay - Fraser Island

Last week did take some days off and went for a short trip to Fraser.Usually we are not that kind of people spending time in a posh hotel or resort but this time we just wanted to indulge a bit. ... and we loved it.
Kingfisher Bay - Fraser Island
It was just great. When we arrived at River Heads south of Hervey Bay we could easily check in all our stuff and a coach picked us up and drove us down to the ferry ... and about 45 minutes later we were on that great sand island.
At the moment there is off peak season so it was not busy at all. That helped a lot ... we did not need to book any restaurants or even had any trouble to find a free spot at the pool area.
We also did a couple of walking tracks near the resort and just relaxed the rest of the time. Unfortunately the time went by too fast and all of the sudden the four days were over. I am sure it was not the last time we visited that beautiful piece of earth. I reckon next time we will hire a 4x4 and going camping or we might end up there  for a field trip again.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Girraween National Park

Bold Rock Creek Camping Area
We took a long weekend off to go to the Girraween National Park. Girraween is part of a huge area called the Granite Belt with a spectacular landscape and massive granite boulders everywhere around. The National Park is about 250km south of Brisbane at the border to New South Wales.

You can easily get access via the New England Highway between north of Tenterfield and south of Stanthorpe. We camped at the Bald Rock Creek camp site the first camping area on the left hand side when you come into the park. We did not need to worry to find a nice camp spot. At this time of the year it was not busy at all so there was plenty of space and just a bunch of people.

The camping area has got facilities, hot showers, tables and fire places, but be prepared and bring your own fire wood. There is also water available but you need to boil it before you can drink it.

Fringe Myrtle
The Girraween National Park offers a couple of good walking tracks and we did two of them. The first walk to the Junction where Ramsay Creek joins Bald Rock Creek was a walk along the creek side. Big rocks and boulders are dominating the landscape. Due to the spring season everything was blossoming. Along the walking tracks where lovely native bush flowers. It was kind of an ocean of yellow, white and red flowers.

The Arch
The second walk we did lead us to the First Pyramid and the Arch. The Arch is a natural rock formation which looks like some giant put them together like a card house forming a natural arch. The walking track to the First Pyramid is quite challenging because its steepness. Unfortunately we did not get to the top of the Pyramid because it was just to steep and we did not feel confident to climb to the top. Besides I am affraid of heights and that did not help either. At least we both passed the chicken rock and we definitely going to attempt that one again next time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Moreton Island

I know this is an old post I started more than a year ago but I just could not find time or the mood to finish it off. This is all I got and some parts I recalled.

Near Ben-Ewa Campground
Moreton Island, this beauty of an island is just a bit more than an hour away with the barge from Brisbane. Before the heavy rain through the entire December 2010 we had some days off and spent five days on Moreton.
We have never been there before and all we knew is that the island is similar to Fraser Island, just a bit smaller and not so busy. You can go there for a nice snorkel trip between the wrecks just off the beach and there are lots of good fishing spots along the beach. Swimming with turtles and dolphins is also possible.
... all that came true.

Luckily a friend of ours made his last stop on his Australia Work and Holiday trip in Brisbane and we all went with his 4x4 to Moreton Island. The island is only accessible with a 4x4.

We pitched our tents for the first three nights a couple of hundred meters north of the Tangalooma Wrecks at Ben-Ewa campground. Fortunately the school holidays had not started at this point so there were plenty of campspots available. Mind you usually you have to book in advance.

Tangalooma Wrecks
The last few days we went to the eastern part of the island. The ocean site is a bit rougher but we found a nice camp spot behind the dunes. We tried our fishing skills there again and cast our rods off the rocks this time where we had a bit more luck than the days before. Self caught fish for dinner is always the best.

After the last day snorkelling between the ship wrecks at Tangalooma and sun bathing we had to go back to the mainland.

One thing is sure we want to come back.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

First Geochache - Pioneer

Finally after several shots and dieing GPS-devices we could find our first Geochache. I must admit it was an easy one for the start, but we still had a lot fun. We found nothing really special. It was a green box some sort of old rugged ammunition metal army box. Lots of little useless things were in it. ;) A couple of little cars, a dinosaur and the log book itself.
You should never expect some real fancy treasure that's for sure. It is all about fun and being out in the nature. We loved it and looking forward to find another one.

This is the location of the Pioneer Geochache.

View Pioneer in a larger map

Saturday, July 31, 2010

4WD Training Course

Driving a 4WD is not easy at all there are a lot of things you have to be aware of if you go 4WDing.
Hema Maps MapPatrol
We had the chance to get a 4WD Traing Course from Hema Maps.
We took one of the Map Patrols for the training which took place near Beaudesert about an hour to drive southwest of Brisbane. The MapPatrol is a little different from most other 4WDs, this is because of the data recording equipment and the complete recovery gear on board. This makes the car pretty heavy and sometimes difficult to handle. It takes a little while to get used to it.
However we drove that 'beast' through lots of obstacles and also had the chance to use the snatch strap if there is the need to get somebody out of a bog. We also were taught how to use the winch in case we need to get out of a bog ourselves.
We had a lot of fun and got more experiences in driving a 4WD and hopefully one day we will also have the chance to get out and do some fieldwork with one of the Hema Maps Map Patrols.