Round the World

28 Reviews

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Date of travel

September, 2015

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Reasons for trip

Brisbane – QLD Coastline and Mountains

The Glass House Mountains

When we headed up into the mountains, like The Glass House Mountains or Maleny, there was much reference to the ‘hinterland’ which I soon discovered is a german word, meaning the land behind a city or port, which, once you’re in it makes sense. Much of the hinterland, thats the forest and mountains of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is either National Park or botanical garden, preserving both wild life and plant species. We drove up to the Glass House Mountains amid stunning scenary and within less than an hour you could feel the temperature drop which I have to say was a relief. One day you can get up and the temperature feels pleasant, then within no time it becomes baking hot. Perhaps I felt a little more sensitive having come from such a cool climate. The mountains were named by Captain Cook in 1770 as the peaks reminded him of the glass furnaces in his home county of Yorkshire. The mountains have been used for many years for bushwalking, climbing and horseriding, although we didn’t actually do any of that. It’s a great place to go to get out of the heat of the city. Charlotte and Brian have had a few short breaks up there and really rate it. We can see why.

For the next couple of weeks we spent ‘quality’ time with Charlotte and Brian and had some lovely days out exploring the sunshine coast of Queensland.

We alternated between eating out and cooking at home. Ray did most of that, because he does it so well. We were impressed with the local supermarket, Woolworths, not the same as our now defunct woolies. Australian shopping is very Americanised. The suburbs, like Charlotte’s have a mini mall where you can do your food shop, like Woolworths, and there are a few small shops within it. A short drive away from their house is a huge shopping mall called North Lakes, where you can buy everything and anything and its all air conditioned, which in QLD come the summer months is an absolute must.

The Pub culture in Australia is a whole different ball game to home. Every town and suburb will have a pub(s), usually called a Tavern and in there you can drink, eat, gamble and watch sport. However, everything is separated. When Charlotte and Brian took us to the local Kallanga Tavern to eat there was a huge restaurant area, with very good reasonably priced food. Everywhere is geared for families. The bar and sports things were in a separate place and then there’s a room for the ‘pokies’ as they are known. This is where you can play on the slot machines (poker I assume is where pokies comes from) this is big business in Australia and gambling is apparently a problem – I wonder why? The first meal I had there, a fish platter, was delicous, including homemade chips and lightly battered kalamari. We did go into a few of these places while in Australia and it’s like they’ve taken the Working Men’s Club model from home and upgraded it x 100.


On one of our days out we went to Redcliffe, in the Moreton Bay area. The sunshine coast is awash with picturesque little towns full of holiday homes and retired people and Redcliffe is no different. The locals, like everywhere, appeared to embrace the outdoor living and were taking full advantage of the fine weather on the day we visited. Redcliffe advertises a Whale Watching expedition and we thought we’d check it out at the Tourist Centre. We were told that he season was coming to an end even thoug the whales were still migrating, usually by October it’s all over. The chatty lady did ask us if we intended to visit the BeeGee Way. Puzzled I asked her ‘what’s that?” We were delighted to discover that when the Bee Gees’s arrived in Australia in the early 60’s with their parents on the £10 pom deal they’d settled in Redcliffe, where they did most of their growing up. The Bee Gee Way was opened by Barry Gibb in 2012 – it’s a 50 metre laneway, showcasing pictures and album covers from over the years. With their music playing and their whole history mapped out, it was really enjoyable and a complete surprise. I knew there was an Australian connection with them but didn’t realise that’s where they came from. Who knew?

We found a tea shop in Redcliffe, run by an English woman. We were tempted in by the notice in the window that she had Melton Mowbury pork pies. Ray had the pork pie salad and said it was okay but a far cry from the ‘real deal.’ The whole place was a bit grubby. Our tea arrived and that was fine but my tuna mayonnaise sandwich was almost inedible. The brown bread was past its best and the filling was warm and sloppy, bursting with cheap mayonnaise; One bite made me gag. We should have complained I suppose but we didn’t. Most places where we’ve eaten along the way Ray has written up a comment on trip advisor, the good along with the bad. The English Tea Shop didn’t get much of a rating Not a very good representation of an ‘English Tea Shop.’

What’s In a Name?

From the day we arrived in Australia I was fascinated with the mix of very english names popping up on every other street sign and then the indiginous aboringinal ones, which I had a bit of trouble pronouncing – initially. Kallanga, Murrumba, Caboolture, Petrie and Caloundra, to name a but a few and that’s just around where Charlotte lives. After a couple of weeks names and places begain to feel more familiar and of course names like Redcliffe, Scarbrough and Moreton Bay blended in seamlessly with the indiginous ones. The Bruce Highway has to be the most ‘in your face’ aussie name imaginable. I love that. The aboriginal names give Australia the dignity and sense of place it needs and they fit… without question.

Story of the Cat in the Night Time

Charlotte was a bit obsessed with little Hank and nervous about his venture into the outside world (the garden). Brian, who grew up with cats, was trying to coax her into allowing him out to do what a cat has to do. He would take him into the garden during the day and play with him and keep an eye out. However, one night he escaped (Hank, not Brian) and Charlotte was upset, worried that he’d run away, get run over (they live in a cul-de-sac) and of course she blamed poor old Brian. It was bed time and it was agreed that we’d all go to bed and Hank would surely return in the morning. But, seeing how upset she was her Dad went out in search of the missing kitty. He found him in next doors garden. This happened again on a couple of ocassions during our visit and as Hank grew bigger and stronger he could easily climb up the high fence and was as crafty as a fox when it came to watching for a crack in the patio door. I’m pleased to say that almost two months on Charlotte reports that Hank the cat is now allowed out and he comes and goes as a cat should, preferring not to stay out all night. Yet!


A Rodeo was in town, not too far away, so we got tickets for the show.

I don’t know if anyone saw the road trip that John Bishop did a year or two back to Australia. He went to a Rodeo and interviewed some of the riders, a good many of them just little boys. He was horrified that the Dads let the kids take part in such a dangerous activity and I’d have to agree with him now that I’ve seen it up close. Again, it was a real family affair and the riders ranged from little kids to adults. The kids were riding calves but it all looked quite scarey and they do get hurt. But, like one of the Dad’s said on the John Bishop documentary ‘it’s in the blood, they want to do it – it’s what we do.’ It’s probably more a case ‘it’s what’s expected’ and surely some of those boys would rather be doing something less painful, like table tennis or knitting. Unfortunately none of my pics turned out.

Another Visitor

My newphew, Alex (my brother Barry’s boy) had been travelling in Australia and once he’d completed his farm work, to enable him to stay a second year, he was dropping in to stay with Charlotte and Brian. It was great to catch up and find out what he’d been up to. He’d been working hard on a flower farm in QLD and was travelling back down to his girlfriend who lives in Sydney. Because we were in the middle of the Rugby World Cup Alex did phone ahead to ask Charlotte did they have Foxtel, (sports channel) which they do. Many matches were watched over that week-end and beer consumed. The live matches were on in the early hours. Sadly, England and Ireland were knocked out and Australia went on to the final to play the All Blacks (NZ) who did in the end win. No big surprise there then.

With Charlotte going back to work we decided to make plans to fly down to Sydney, where we’d stay a few days and then hire a car and drive back up the east coast taking in all the sights. We were looking forward to Sydney and hoped that it lived up to our high expectations.


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