Saturday, December 31, 2011


Because we leave early each year for the south we had our usual family Christmas Party again this year in early December.  We were fortunate that Stuart's daughter Annie, husband Dale and kids Deanna, boyfriend Shaune, Thomas and Kimberley could join us as well as son James, along with my daughters Kylie and Kathy and their husbands Pete and Troy and Joel, Emma (Zac was at a Cadet Course in Townsville and came back a Corporael). as well as Kathy's kids Ricki Lee boyfriend Dean, Corbin and Mikynlee.  I don't know about anyone else but thanks to Kathy, the food was wonderful and I had a great time dispite the catch cry of the afternoon and night of "Mum, sit down" and Mum get off your leg."
Joel and Corbin
Deanna's boyfriend Shaun, Kimberley, Deanna and Annie
Kylie getting into the spitit of things (or getting into the spirit)
Grandma and Corbin
Kylie showing us how it's done
Kathy and Tracy doing all the work
Stuart's gift from Kylie (the wine not me)

Thomas and Dale
Ricki Lee

Kathy, Troy and Mikynlee

I think Emma liked this gift

We started our yearly migration south this year without forgetting anything and I think that is a first.
A quick call into Rocky for lunch with Tracy and Nana and then on the road again.

We camped at a place just north of Gin Gin and then came straight through to the Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park at Ashgrove in Brisbane after a quick detour into the Eumundi Markets and got a great curry base for Kylie and a laksa base for me.

Andrew and Tom came over for dinner on Sunday night and we tried the laksa base with prawns – YUM!!

Tuesday night and Stuart went to the Cricket with Andrew I have my feet up after a great day with Pat and Shelley checking out some divine shops and lunching at the  Newfarm Deli.  In between Shell and Pat dropped me off for my appointment with the eye surgeon following my Corneal Transplant to check after 3 months that everything was going along as planned. A couple of days later I had to see the surgeon for the ok regarding my knee replacement which also was behaving.  Stuart is concerned about all the replacement body parts.

We had a couple of days at the Caravan Park at Amberley and had Christmas lunch with Brett, Katrina, Mia and Eithen and Katrina’s parents Archie and Glenda.  Boxing day was supposed to be spent at Pats with her family and Shell’s but a bout of stomach bug saw us turn around and head back to the caravan park where I laid up all day.
Brett and Eithen putting the Transformer together

I wonder which present is mine

Mia with her Meerkats

Christmas at the Leards
Left Amberley about 9.30am Tuesday headed for NSW and taking a wrong turn we travelled over a bit of dirt road and a lot of very bad bitumen we ended up at Queen Mary Falls that were featured on either “The Great South East” or “Great Outdoors” and stayed there the night. 
Queen Mary Falls

 It is one of south East Queensland’s best kept secrets with a lovely walk to the falls of only about 600 meters and a much longer one down to the base of the falls which Stuart is going to attempt in the morning.  The Caravan Park caters to all requirements from cabins to powered sites, to unpowered grassy ovals with fire pits all around.  The amenities are very basic but clean and the shop caters to all from icecreams to Devonshire teas.
Crimson Rosella

King Parrot

Parrots are fed each day in front of the shop and seed can be purchased for this activity – naturally. 

We moved on and went through Woodenbong which probably doesn’t mean a lot except that we called in for a cup of coffee at the only place in town that sells coffee at Woodenbong and that place belongs to a couple by the name of Mal and Lyn Coad who we know from Gurya as they come there and sing on a regular basis.  Mal sings country gospel music and has quite a few albums out.

We covered the worst patch of bad bitumen I have struck ever going from Legume and Woodenbong but the scenery was spectacular.  Such lovely rolling hills so green and lush and such vast and craggy ranges like this mountain.

We stopped for lunch and listened to the bell birds for about an hour and recorded it for Nana before we moved on to Kiogle and then to Casino where we bought some groceries.
We pulled up for the night only about about 25 kms out of Casino and met up with Shane and Kathy from Brisbane and then on to Grafton and had a coffee at the quaintest ice cream shop called “I Scream Retro Cafe” in Prince Street which had a typical black and white chequered floor, juke box in the corner which played: Monster Mash, Good Golly Miss Molly, Barbara Ann, My Friend the Witch Doctor and Yellow Submarine while we drank our coffee in mugs with large red spots on them and saw posters of the day and even advertising for such things as Bex.  Some of us will remember the catch cry “A BEX A DAY, KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY”  Of course these days we know what they did to the liver.

We drove along the most twisty turny narrow road over the Great Dividing Range and we were just getting to the end of it and met a semi and trailer coming towards us.  With not a lot of room to move either way we missed the vehicle by about 4 inches but didn’t miss the “beware of loose stones” sign which tore off the bracket for the leg of the awning.  No major problem but one we will replace in the next few days, and no other damage to our van – thank goodness.

On arrival in Dorigo, we made our way to the tourist bureau to get directions to a camp site behind a local resort where the owner charges $20 per van per night.
View from our camp site
Tomorrow we make our way into Bellingen to see about selling our Dining Room Suite and look around the quant stores situated around the old butter factory.
Dangar Falls at Dorigo
A Bat Colony at the Information Bureau at Boonah

Newell Falls between Dorrigo and Bellingen

Our arrival in Bellingen this afternoon followed a visit to the Dorigo National Park where we went onto a short but very picturesque sky walk.  The tree ferns were huge. 

The drive through to Bellingen was very turny twisty but very pretty.  Really needed to get the washing done so booked into the show grounds and found for $20 per night that the amenities were pretty good and the grass was mowed and the caretaker was on for a chat.


  1. Hey Mum, don't forget yor other daughter Tracy and her partner Bob happened to be at yor christmas party as well??? :(

  2. Sorry darling, I wouldn't forget u for the world