Water Tower Art, Cloncurry

Sitting high upon a high overlooking Cloncurry, the water tower, so large that it is, has been painted to show the spirit of the land. Captured as the sunset sets, the colours have been enhanced and the image is spectacular

Augathella, Silo Art

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With strong colours of the red earth, blue skies and setting suns, the silo art decorating the water storage at Augathella, Queensland wildlife that is abundant around the Warrego River, emus, galahs, herons and whistling kites

A cookup for outback travelling

I don’t usually do a large cookup before we travel. But, as we are travelling out to Broken Hill and up through Central Queensland, and possibly doing a bit of free camping, I didn’t want to be trying to cook a meal after a long day on the road.


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Chicken and Chorizo Paella

I am not sure how well the chicken and chorizo paella will freeze. But as I love this dish, there was only one serving left to freeze. So we won’t die of food poisoning.

However, I have made a double lot of spaghetti bolognese and there is also a chicken curry.

Pork Steaks and Mushroom Sauce

Adapted from a couple of recipes that I have come across. This is a favourite with the family and is special enough to serve to dinner guests. Most of it can be made ahead and put together at the last minute.


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Ingredients

  • 4 Pork Fillet steaks, or pork medallions
  • 1 teas salt
  • 1/2 teas black pepper
  • 3 tabs unsalted butter, if you don’t have unsalted butter, use regular butter and cut out the extra salt
  • 1 tab olive oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tabs plain flour
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine. (I use chardonnay).
  • 3 tab grainy Dijon mustard. (I used 2 tabs regular Dijon mustard and 1 tab grainy Mustard)

METHOD

Salt and Pepper pork 2 hours ahead.

At time to prepare meal. Sear pork in melted butter and olive oil until golden. Set aside covered with foil.

Cook garlic, onion and mushroom gently in pan.

When golden, add flour. Make a rough and cook gently until thick. Gradually add stock, wine, cream, thyme and mustard.

Gradually bring to a simmer and when thickened add pork chops for five minutes.

Serve with small roast potato and sweet potato and greens. Broccolini, fresh beans, broccoli, sugar snap peas or snow peas would all be delicious

Planning and Decisions – Cape York Roadtrip


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The road train

Our friends put out the word a couple of months ago, “We are planning to journey to the top end in June/July. Who is going to come with us?”

Will we go? Will we think about it. What planning do we have to do. Will we need to attach a snorkel to the Ranger. How far can we take the caravan. Or will we borrow/hire a campervan? Will we take the tent or buy a roof top tent.

Things to do

  • Investigate and plan an itinerary
  • Learn to fly the drone
  • Sell the house
  • Pack up the house
  • Find storage somewhere
  • Or choices – find a smaller home, store the possessions there
  • Decisions to make

After joining a couple of Facebook sites with thousands of members, we have lots of information to find and absorb.

Fast forward to end of June and we are making progress.

  • The house has been sold
  • The furniture has been stored
  • The Ranger has had a snorkel fitted.
  • We have decided on a route – Hay, Mildura, Broken Hill and then across Queensland to Cairns.

The next step is to start planning an itinerary and hopefully we are off on a journey of a lifetime

Dive Bombing Pelicans, Tea Gardens, Myall Lakes NSW

We left the pier where we had landed at Tea Gardens, to walk across the bridge and discover Hawkes Nest. The fishermen were cleaning their catch on the edge of the lake. The dreadful racket of the pelicans waiting for a free feed attracted my attention. They were coming in  from all directions, dive bombing into land. Hitting the water and gliding to a stop a few feet away from a free feed.

Myall Lakes is a magnificent body of water on the Central Coast of New South Wales. We caught the ferry, a quaint, old fashioned boat, from Nelson Bay, after missing the first trip by ten minutes, we had to wait for the next schedule. We could hear the chugging before we saw the boat.

We all looked at each other with apprehension, as the boat pulled into the pier, we were a little concerned that we wouldn’t make the trip. It was a fantastic way to view the Lake. It was a nice sunny day and as the boat slowly chugged its way up the lake, we passed a yacht with its sails catching the wind and canoeists enjoying the peace and solitude.

What a story could this old girl tell? Is it home to an old fisherman who can’t leave the water, an intinerant who gathered all his treasures together, or an academic completing his studies in peace????

Tea Gardens panorama taken from the bridge linking Hawkes Nest. Tea Gardens sits on the Myall River flowing into Myall Lake and  surrounded by Myall National Park, the Myall River emptying into Port Stephens.

Pelican in flight

Screeching and squawking as they fought with each other over the scraps from the fishermen cleaning their catch.

As we boarded the boat to leave Tea Gardens later in the afternoon, and made our way under the bridge, we could see the pelicans still squabbling with each other over the fishermens scraps.

Tumeric, baked cauliflower soup, Mock Orange Cafe, Lake Village, Shopping Centre, NSW



What better way to enjoy lunch on a miserable wet winters day, than with turmeric baked cauliflower soup with sourdough toast and croutons.

Yes there is a better way to enjoy a lunch on a yukky day and that is with wonderful girlfriends.



Mock Orange Cafe at Lake Village Shopping Centre in the suburbs of Wagga Wagga, was warm and inviting and we sat in comfort and enjoyed a delicious lunch and great company. The soup was warm, tasty, thick and hearty, with a hint of Indian cuisine.

The staff were attentive and all of us enjoyed our meals.



The only disappointment is that they close at 3pm, so therefore, a coffee and cake for afternoon tea is not an option

I am now testing recipes, so that I can make this delicious soup at home. YUM


Mt Hope Royal Hotel, free camp and Moi the balloon jumping blue heeler dog

Following a fantastic trip, the last stop before home, three and half weeks away and you couldn’t ask for a better free camp than the golf course at the back of the Royal Hotel at Mount Hope, on the Kidman Way New South Wales. North of Finley and west of Lake Cargelligo. Once a profitable  copper mining area with 2000 residents in the town. Now only hopefuls are mining for gold. The population less than 10 and 2 homes and the pub. How times change.


We pull up out the front of the pub, Woolly makes his way into the hotel that was built in 1881 and he meets Wazza, with a dog eared leather hat, a grin that reminds him of Chips Rafferty and a sense of humour to match.

“Park anywhere on the golf course out the back mate, it is fairly level in the middle. You won’t get hit!!! No one plays”

We find a spot that suits us and our van and before long other vanners are pulling in as well.  Jeff from Melbourne, is the same age as us and comes over to introduce himself and he is wearing a Melbourne bulldogs shirt and proudly shows us the bulldogs tattoo that he is sporting after they won their momentous grand final.

Going for a walk before dinner, up into the hills around the pub. there is no evidence of a once prosperous town, no abandoned shacks, or burnt out ruins, apparently the area was cleaned up when the mine closed down, there are however, evidence of extreme damage that feral pigs can do.

It is on our walk that I meet Moi the blue heeler, he is very friendly and wants to walk with me. However, we are on the main road, so to protect him,  I turn around to walk home.  I can hear a pig squealing as only a pig can and we are walking past a home with two young girls out playing.  The pig is locked up, in the chooks yard and he desparately wants to play with the kids.  The children ignore him. So he makes even more noise.

At dinner time we make our way over to the pub and Jeff and Pam, his wife, join us for a wonderful evening.  Moi decides to rest on Woolly’s feet while we are eating, totally relaxed and quite at home. Tilly, Wazza’s partner, has cooked a delicious, homely meal and later came out to talk to us.

After dinner, Wazza starts blowing up a balloon for Moi’s show.  So out on the road we go and Wazza throws the balloon into the air and the dog is jumping a good metre into the air and twisting and flipping the balloon up in the air as the wind blows the balloon down the road.  Wazza tries to call him back but Moi will not give up until finally the balloon bursts.

Lockhart NSW – Silo Art


Keep up to date with additions to our quest to find Silo Art throughout Rural Australia

Travelling through the main street of Lockhart, this magnificent art work on the towns water tower, we just had to stop and admire this masterpiece.

Depicting the fabulous kookaburra and other native birds of galahs and parrots, not to forget the iconic kangaroo, set amidst native flowers and wetlands of the area, a beautiful example of rural silo art