Archive for April, 2017

April 30, 2017

Visit to Canberra Yacht Club

Today after my Sunday afternoon ballet class, I headed off to the southside and Yarralumla to visit Canberra Yacht Club. It was easy to find and just next to Nara Peace Park by Lake Burley Griffin.

I found a carpark easily and headed up the stairs and ramp up to the appropriately blue and white club. I signed in using my licence, ordered a cosmopolitan and wagyu beef burger at the bar and settled myself down with my order number on a stand in a comfortable yellow leather chair with my back to a fireplace with a view towards Nara Park, a bridge, Lake Burley Griffin, birds and a number of yachts.

As I drank my cosmo and ate my burger, I watched the sun in its golden hour, bathing everything in its glow before sinking into the distance and painting pink and purple pastel colours across the sky.

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April 29, 2017

Epic Farmers’ Markets and Canberra Heritage Festival

Today I set my alarm early so I could not miss out on the Epic (Exhibition Park in Canberra) Farmers’ or Capital Region Farmers’ Markets which run from about 7.30AM-11.30AM on Saturdays. I got there at about 9ish and managed to find a car park not too far from the entrance (or one of many entrances.) I walked underneath golden hued trees with leaves crunching under my feet to one of these entrances. I came in at a back corner of the markets which had lots of delicious apples on display, including Golden Delicious apples-my favourite! I promptly bought some of these apples and mulled around the markets, drinking in all the sights and scents around me.

I bought an organic chocolate which was also vegan and milk free-it was delicious! I also bought a bees wax candle, a plum, persimmon, an Italian bread, a tin of Chai tea and a cappuccino and chocolate croissant which I sat down to enjoy at a table. The markets were quite busy. I passed flowers, preserves, fruit, vegies, tea, coffee, dog treats and so on. Finally done with my purchases, I headed back to my car and drove to a little village called Hall.

I had been to Hall since I was little as our doctor had a surgery there at the time and there used to be an old two person seated swing which has since disappeared. I parked at the Hall School Museum and Heritage Centre which I knew was doing special exhibitions for the Heritage Festival weekend. I headed inside (entry is free but donations are welcomed as it is run by volunteers.) I was directed to the Heritage Festival exhibition which was a collection of Aboriginal artifacts from a collector from the 1970s before they were protected and left where they were found. The collection was very large. I looked at lots of different stone tools from blades, to anvils and others.

A very knowledgeable historian guide told me about all of the objects on display, including a number from Black Mountain Peninsula which is where the National Museum of Australia sits today. There were some Aboriginal artefacts found there which were more associated with tribes from South Australia which is quite interesting. I imagined the Aboriginal society which would have existed back then without the need for money. I imagined tribes which lived in the desert, in forests or by the water, their many different dialects and customs. I was told that tribes married outside their tribes so traditions and customs could transcend different tribes. After this I paid my donation and poured myself a cup of tea and helped myself to a couple of biscuits.

Then I meandered around the museum, which I had visited previously but enjoy coming back to. I passed the history of the local area, including a story about a local blacksmith and stories of education here. I passed the section commemorating and telling stories of the Anzacs and bought a home made quince tart. Then I was on my way.

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April 23, 2017

Visit to a Winery

Today I journeyed across the border to Murrumbateman, New South Wales. Canberra suburbs were replaced by green hills springing up out of fields, dotted with black cattle or white fluffy sheep. I also spotted some beautiful horses. Soon I was at my destination-Four Winds Winery. Vines crept up the walls and brightly coloured flowers lined the path leading inside. I crossed over the threshold and tasted some wines-Riesling, Rose’ and Shiraz. They were lovely. Then I ordered a glass of Riesling, bought a bottle of Rose’ with strawberry,  watermelon and peach flavours to take away and ordered a BBQ chicken wood fired pizza.  I ventured outside with my Riesling and was bathed in sunlight which shone gold on the surrounding vineyard.  Green hills surrounded me and soon my wood fired pizza was ready-in fact I had seen

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it being made at the outdoor wood fired pizza oven-yum!

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April 22, 2017

Exploring Namadji National Park

20170422_141142.jpgToday I drove past the south side of Canberra and to Namadji National Park. The visitor centre was easy enough to find, was clearly signposted and had plenty of parking.

The lady there was very friendly and knowledgeable as she told us all about the park and its various walks. I left the visitor centre, map in hand and set off around the woodland walk which was immediately outside the visitor centre. It had lots of useful information and a shelter with window panes built like an old style homestead. Apparently there were a few homesteads around which were built by Europeans; some were intact and others in ruins. I also read about different tyes of wildflowers and gumtrees including snow gums which grow higher up and mountain ash which grow lower down.

I wandered off this track and did the Cypress Pine Lookout walk. It was quite steep but very pretty, especially once you got to the lookout at the top! After that I finished the woodland walk and drove to the Aboriginal rock art walk which was a 40 minute drive away. This walk was open and grassy with markers and a number of curious kangaroos.  It was also only reachable by dirt road but it was a fine journey in a two wheel drive-even through little pools of water! The rock art and views of surrounding mountains were magic!

April 17, 2017

Corin Forest Adventure

Today I drove past the southside of Canberra (a side I rarely visit as I am a proud northsider-once you’ve lived in Canberra a little while you will understand the north/south divide.) I passed Gibraltar Falls which I had visited previously (it is gorgeous and has stunning views) and continued my climb (in my car) upwards. In not much time at all I reached the carpark for Corin Forest which was somewhat hidden on the right-hand side of the road. I parked my car and strolled inside where I picked up a brochure of the place. I walked around the outside grassy area which was near Gibraltar Creek and was dotted with picnic tables and shady trees. I settled myself down at one of the tables and delved into a chapter of the book I was reading.

After being lost in a hilarious chapter I snapped my book shut and walked around the area. I saw a number of steps leading upwards and saw a sign saying to purchase a ticket at reception before ascending. I did just that and bought a ticket to the Alpine Slide-something I have not ridden on since I was about 9 years old (a whole 17 years ago!) There was a bit of a line and I was waiting 30 minutes but after you go to the Palace of Versailles in European summer where you wait 3 hours to go in well a 30 minute wait doesn’t seem so bad! Soon it was my turn and I climbed into the cart, pushed down the lever to go and ascended up a couple of steep hills. Once at the top we queued up in our carts and then went one at a time, leaving a good safety distance between us.

Then I was off! I pushed my lever down to the go position and slid along the tube-like slide-it was fun! There were a few loops and I got a good view of my surroundings. Then I was back at the bottom. I exited the cart and headed back on the path underneath the trees, looking at the pine forest in the distance with its dark green leafy needles.

April 17, 2017

Nostalgic stroll around Mount Rogers Reserve

Ever since I was little, back when we were living in Fraser and I went to the local primary school there and dad rode his bike sometimes to his job in the city, we sometimes grabbed our kelpie cross blue heeler dog, one of us was in the pram or in the baby seat at the back of mum’s bike and we would go for a walk around Mount Rogers. This walk has always and will always be absolutely beautiful. We used to munch on peeled apples and toddle along next to mum or ride our bikes around the circular trail. We would stop at the playgrounds on both sides of the walk-one near Fraser and one nearer Flynn and play on them too. We would scramble up great grey rocks and survey the bushland around us complete with flowering wattle and gumnuts on the gumtrees. You were always sure to see some kind of native wildlife, whether it be a kookaburra, magpie, great Red or Eastern Grey kangaroo peering out at you from behind some trees or quickly hopping across the path. On my walk I saw birds and butterflies-a beautiful Golden Wanderer butterfly included. So I did this beautiful walk and heard the birdsong, saw the little lamp posts among the European types of trees near little paths winding to houses in the surrounding suburbs and drank in the views of the distant blue Brindabella Ranges. It was absolutely beautiful.

April 17, 2017

Raiders vs Warriors Game

On Saturday evening I headed off to watch the Raiders vs Warriors game at GIO Stadium. The Uber dropped me off just outside the stadium. I scanned the ticket I had on my phone on the electronic scanner and the turnstile let me in. I also got my bag checked by security.

Once inside the stadium, I headed around to my bay and seat which was in the silver inner bowl and had a good view of the players. I sat down and watched the game. I thought the game was very exciting. At first it seemed like the Raiders were going to lose as the Warriors seemed very strong and had a good offence. At half time I grabbed a beer and some hot chips with tomato sauce. The sky darkened and I put on my coat, scarf and gloves as a chill crept into the air. The Raiders really picked up their pace and had a stunning victory against the Warriors-20-8! We all filed out of the stadium and I did find the free shuttle bus back to Belconnen-yay!

April 14, 2017

Visit to the National Botanical Gardens and Lake Burley Griffin

Today I visited some of my favourite places in Canberra: The National Botanical Gardens and Lake Burley Griffin. I headed to the gardens first and was pleased to find a car park pretty quickly. I did have to pay for parking though, but that done, I headed up to the entrance to the gardens. First of all I walked inside the Visitor Information Centre and saw there was an art exhibition on. I strolled around and looked at artworks of numerous native plants and flowers adorning the walls-they were so pretty!

Then I collected a map of the gardens as I hadn’t been in a while and headed on the main path track. The path was very smooth and easy to walk on. I passed my favourite walk which is Rainforest Gully. This walk winds through rainforests from Tasmania to Northern Queensland-it is devine! I headed to the Sydney garden area and looked at lots of plants I would recognise from the odd weekend down the coast: banksia trees and so on.

I saw a sign about a Waratah which is such a gorgeous red flower. I’d seen them at markets down the coast before and they are amazing! I walked past the Red Centre Garden which has soil and plants like you might see in a desert-like area of Australia like Uluru. I found the Bee Hotel which was a little wooden house with holes in it for bees to nestle in comfortably.

I gazed at the tranquil waterfall of the Rock Garden and saw a lizard sunning itself on a rock nearby, which someone pointed out to me. Then I walked past gorgeous cornflowers rustling in the wind and headed down through the Rainforest Gully on the lower walk. I heard water trickling over nearby rocks and felt the coolness of the rainforest encasing me in its supreme tranquility. The forest was a sea of green with giant tree ferns waving their branches at me as I walked on by.

 

Lastly I headed through the Tasmanian Woodland section with bridges over pools of water and interesting-looking trees. I saw a Rosella in a tree fern as I crossed a high bridge and skipped across some stepping stones in a pond underneath a waterfall. Then it was on to Lake Burley Griffin!

I jumped in my car and headed for Canberra’s most well-known lake. It’s a great vantage point to spot the numerous landmarks and tourist attractions of Canberra like Telstra Tower, Parliament House, the High Court, National Library, National Museum and Questacon to name a few! Having arrrived, I did need to park a bit further away as many people had the same idea as me to visit the lake today.

However I was glad of this because it meant I could stroll by the lakeside and take in the scenery. I saw the trees at the other side of the lake were turning bright reds and yellows. I spotted a seagull, ducks and black waterbirds with white beaks splashing around in the water or padding along on the grass. Tall poplar trees lined the way and stood majestically above me. Soon I approached Aspen Island with the National Carillion-a great musical instrument with brass bells chiming in the breeze from a tall tower. There is a bridge leading across to the island and a Lake Burley Griffin cruise boat was circling it.

Having brought along my newspaper, I stopped to buy a coffee and a pie and sat down at a table under some poplar trees with a great vantage point of the lake. It was great for people watching as I watched walkers, dogs and cyclists pass on by. Having finished my coffee and pie, I headed across the bridge and around Aspen Island. I spotted a couple of black swans which were eagerly looking for food. They are very friendly animals. I saw the cruise boat travel into the distance and headed back under the branches of some willow trees.

April 9, 2017

An Afternoon Apple Picking in Pialligo

This weekend I decided I fancied some apple picking as I knew the season was right and hadn’t remembered doing it in the past. I had searched a couple of orchards but decided the ones in Pialligo should be the easiest to get to.

I hopped in my car and drove off past Fyshwick and where I would normally go straight to go to the airport or head for the coast, I turned right. Immediately I was transported from city to country as signs proclaiming apples, pears and even peaches sprang up from the roadside. The first orchard I went to sold apples but didn’t let you pick your own. Luckily the owner directed me to an orchard further down the road which would let you pick your own apples: Tanbella Orchard.

I parked my car and saw the lady at reception. She was very friendly and directed me to help myself to a bucket (I chose a purple on of course) and head for the fruit trees which were not too far away, past a vegie patch and gorgeous pale pink giant tea roses. I couldn’t help myself but stop to smell their sweet scent as I went to walk on by.

I walked past the two gates and I was inside the orchard! Row upon row of tree were neatly lined up, shooting out into the distance. The lady had given me a map of which trees were ripe for the picking and I was pleased to see Golden Delicious apples (my favourite) were highlighted on the map as being ready! The rows of trees had a letter and number assigned to them which corresponded to the map that I was holding.

Soon I saw the delicious apples hanging tantalisingly from the tree branches. I plucked a couple off and put them in my bucket. I also picked some Royal Gala apples which looked utterly delicious. Then I headed back, the lady weighed my apples, I paid for them and drove off home.