Photos: Baz – The Landy, Outback Australia
The attraction is the permanent water source of Lawn Hill Creek. During arid times, when other sites where abandoned, this area was like an oasis in the desert for aboriginal people, Australia’s first people, who gathered here to camp, fish, and hunt.
Janet, TomO, and I have explored this region previously, but it has drawn us back like a magnet on many occasions, and being in North Queensland I could not resist the lure of another visit, to walk through the country and swim in Lawn Hill Creek.
In the Dreamtime stories of the Waanyi people, “Boodjamulla” is a spiritual person, the creator of all animals.
In the words of the Waanyi people…
“He made all the animals in the Lawn Hill area, and all the billabongs such as the green swamp, and all the bush tucker. Boodjamulla’s dreamtime travels started in Waanyi country at Cabbage Tree Spring, up above Riversleigh, giving water to O’Shanassy Creek, Lawn Hill Creek, the Gregory River, Louie Creek and Lilydale Springs.
Waanyi believe that Boodjamulla created these rivers as healing waters – known in Waanyi language as Bougli Water”…
Perhaps for the Waanyi people, the “Bougli Waters” has a different interpretation, but I certainly found the cool spring fed water of Lawn Hill Creek soothing after a day of walking in the gorges and climbing the Constance Range.
As a base for this trip I stayed just outside of the national park at Adels Grove, a private campground that we first visited in the early 1990s. Not much has changed over the years, and that is a good thing.
Adels Grove was declared a ’Miner’s Homestead Perpetual Lease’ in 1920, being within the Burketown Mineral Field at that time.
According to the history provided by the current owners, Adels Grove lease was purchased by Albert De Lestang, a French botanist, who experimented with the growing of tropical trees and fruits and had in excess of 1,000 trees and sold the fruit to supplement his income.
Tragically, in the early 1950s the ‘Grove’ and buildings were accidently burnt down. By this time Albert was in his seventies and after loosing everything, including all of his written records, he succumbed to depression and died age 75 at Charters Towers in 1959.
‘The Grove’ has certainly provided shade and comfort from the heat of the winter sun during my stay, with temperatures reaching up to 36 degrees throughout the day and around 15 degrees at night…
Apart from the rugged and rocky outcrops surrounding the gorge, the country has a prolific amount of wildlife. This includes the Johnstone’s crocodile or Freshie as it is usually known, turtles, the olive python, a large variety of birds, and a favourite of ours, the Gilbert Dragon, or Ta-Ta lizard due to the peculiar little wave it gives with its front legs before scampering away.
I managed to photograph some of the wildlife on my walks and at other times, simply sat back and enjoyed the calls of the birds flittering through the trees, and of the birds of prey soaring overhead.
And yes, I did swim with the Freshwater Crocs. Unlike their Saltwater cousins, the Freshie’s are generally timid and will leave you alone, if you stay out of their way…!
Boodjamulla National Park, truly an Oasis in the Desert in Australia’s Gulf Savannah.
Our touring vehicle “The Landy” is booked in for a major service tomorrow having done 100,000 kilometres of touring this great country of ours over the past three-and-a-half years.
At the end of the week I will be heading off to experience another type of sand country – Moreton Island, just off the coast of Brisbane.
Despite having lived in Brisbane for a number of years, Janet and I have never visited, so Janet has suggested I head off and do a “recce” of it so we can spend some time there together in the future.
Perhaps she is planning some “girlie shopping” ahead of our trip to Devon, in the South of England, during June and July and needs some space!
Moreton Island, which is reached by ferry, has around 400-kilomtetres of sand tracks to be “Xplored”, pristine waters and wrecks that you can snorkel around, and a historic Light-house built in the mid 1800’s…and they say the fishing is great – well I’ll put that to the test at some stage, but knowing my track record the fridge in “The Landy” will be stocked with a few steaks, just in case!
And I will be leaving the TVAN, our touring camper-trailer, at home in favour of swagging it – simple and easy.
The camera gear is packed, so hopefully the weather will be kind on Moreton so I can get “Out and About” and experience a different kind of sand country…
Photos: Baz – The Landy
The rattle of machine gun fire ringing out from the bunkers and motorcycle side-cars was deafening as the Germans fought to protect their ground, shrouded for a time behind the white plume of smoke that was by now drifting across the battlefield.
Mind you, some of the soldiers ambushed on “patrol” were a about a quarter-of-a-century too late for the encounter given it was a mock battle between American and German World War 2 forces; the advance party were dressed and kitted out for the jungles of Vietnam…!
But hang-on, what are those Vikings doing on the battlefield?
Didn’t they have their run a few centuries ago marauding and pillaging their way across England?
And aren’t those fancy looking blokes dressed to the “nines” with the feather plumes on their headgear “Frenchies” from the days when Napoleon was barking out orders as he roamed the countryside looking for trouble?
The scene was unfolding at Ironfest 2017 in the Central Tablelands township of Lithgow.
Ironfest is an arts festival that explores the relationship between humans, metal and identity and is held annually at the Lithgow Showground. It brings together artists, designer-makers, blacksmiths, and performers of all kind, musicians, Steampunkers, as well as historical re-enactors and steam-machine enthusiasts from all over Australia…
TomO, the Crown Prince, is a member of Ausreenact, a non-political World War 2 living history organisation made up of members who share a common interest in history and militaria, with a particular focus on the uniforms, equipment and vehicles of the Allied and Axis forces in the period 1939-1945. He re-enacts as a member of the US Forces 2nd Armoured Division and has quite a collection of gear and equipment he has assembled from the era and which he proudly had on display in his “bunker” during the weekend.
Each year Ausreenact, along with a number of other military groups, including those dedicated to Napoleonic re-enactment and Knights from medieval times, are invited to attend and take part in the festival.
No wonder the “battle-ground” was chaotic…
Medieval swords flashed and clashed to the boom of Napoleonic guns that were challenging the armoured vehicles from more modern times.
When the Knights were not swinging their swords in battle they were charging at each other in a medieval jousting match.
And here I was thinking how macho I must look wielding the whipper-snipper with menacing precision each time I trim the moraya hedge at home. Strewth, talk about starting to feel just a tad inadequate.
So I’ll just move on…
Away from the “battlefields” there was the sound of iron striking iron on anvils as blacksmiths demonstrated their craft, beads of sweat rolling down their faces as they forged metal into works of art.
And hey, what about all those Steampunk people…?
Steampunk I hear you ask? I too had to look up the definition of a “Steampunker” and I am still not sure I have it right.
One of the best definitions for a Steampunker I have come across is from Jess Nevins, author of the Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana (it hasn’t come up on my book club read list yet) who said…
“Steampunk is what happens when Goths discover brown.”
The costumes were as varied as the people that dressed in this fashion genre inspired by the Victorian era of steam and industrial machinery. I think it was the default costume for many who attended the festival.
But the Steampunkers seemed a happy bunch even if the women’s corsets appeared three sizes to small and their mode of transport was from another age if not simply strange…
Without doubt this weekend is possibly the two days of the year the various groups can safely come out from behind closed doors and still look normal; safety in numbers, so they say.
The activity was as diverse as it was frenzied, but somehow it all worked and integrated in a way that you would not think possible and I even got to take Janet-Planet on the cruise she has always wanted to do…
On the infamous “Love Boat”…
Photos: Baz – The Landy & Janet-Planet, Lithgow, Australia…