Results tagged “Kangaroos” from Kazza the Blank One

Club Halloween Night

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Last Saturday night was a halloween night at the club.

In the afternoon some of us went out bird watching.

Bird watching at the club

We heard more birds than we saw, but did see some kangaroos.

Kangaroos

Lots of cool decorations ..

Club halloween night

Club halloween night

Some cool costumes ..

Club halloween night

And some yummy food ..

Club halloween night

Club halloween night

Overcast.  Humid.  Not hot, but oh so humid.

Did pretty much nothing all morning.  Attempted to get some sleep.  Not altogether successfully.  Made up a picnic lunch and headed out.

First stop was Trial Bay Gaol.  The buildings are remarkably well preserved.  Although most of it is solid granite.  It'll probably be there for centuries.

We spent a good hour and a half here.  Well worth the $7.50 entry.

Front entrance
Trial Bay Gaol

Interior courtyard
Trial Bay Gaol

This was the mess hall
Trial Bay Gaol

Cell block A on the left, exterior wall on the right, with a sign saying watch out for swooping magpies on the bottom left
Trial Bay Gaol

The area between the mess hall and the cell blocks
Trial Bay Gaol

The kitchen
Trial Bay Gaol

Remains of the hospital building, with cell block B behind
Trial Bay Gaol

"Silent cells"
Trial Bay Gaol

Stu in one of the silent cells
Trial Bay Gaol

View from the lookout tower.  The prison was built to house prisoners to build this breakwater.  But they never really made very good progress with it, and eventually abandoned the idea and closed the prison.
Trial Bay Gaol

Looking down cell block A
Trial Bay Gaol

During its time as a prison, they housed one prisoner to a cell on hammocks
Trial Bay Gaol

During World War I, they reopened the prison and sent educated German men here to keep them out of the way during the war.  They housed two per cell, which made the gaol quite overcrowded.
Trial Bay Gaol

The kitchen building
Trial Bay Gaol

Looking down cell block B.  This was built later (1900) and is remarkably drab next to the lovely granite.
Trial Bay Gaol

One of the baths in the bath house
Trial Bay Gaol

Kangaroos next to the bath house
Trial Bay Gaol

Looking down to the bath house
Trial Bay Gaol

After the gaol, we ate our picnic lunch in the car and then went on the walk down to Little Bay and the duck pond.

Walking up to the German monument, they've cleared a long tract of bush out, so you can see all the way up to it.  It unfortunately looks slightly rude from a distance..
German monument

The German monument, for the four Germans that died in the gaol during the war.  It was blown up in 1919 by persons unknown, but eventually rebuilt.
German monument

View of Trial Bay Gaol
Trial Bay Gaol

Banksia
Banksia

View across to South West Rocks
South West Rocks

Little Bay
Little Bay

Little Bay
Little Bay

Kangaroo tracks in the sand
Kangaroo tracks on the beach

Big boy kangaroo.  Look at the muscles on him!
Big boy kangaroo

Kangaroo and joey
Kangaroos

Joey having a drink
Kangaroos

Bounce!
Bounce

The duck pond.  Originally built as a water source for the gaol
Duck pond

Duck pond

Scribbly bark
Scribbly bark

One of the powder magazines used to store explosives for the construction of the breakwater
Powder magazine

The other one.  It was supposedly blown up as a test run by the same people that blew up the German monument.
Powder magazine

Wandered back to South West Rocks and went down to the tidal creek

Bridge over the creek

Where kids were jumping off the bridge into the creek..

Kids jumping off the bridge

Kids jumping off the bridge

Came back to the house for a very lovely chicken dinner.  After dinner we watched the King's Speech, which we quite enjoyed, even though a few liberties were taken with the story.

Chicken dinner

Hunter Valley

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Day 1

The day after boxing day we made our exit from Sydney.  Since we had to be back on the 30th for my cousin's wedding, the options were to stay in Sydney, go home, or have a couple of nights somewhere else.  We decided to go to the Hunter Valley.

We let the GPS guide us out of Sydney, and we managed to avoid the most horrible piece of road in Sydney, which is the five kilometres between Gordon and Hornsby, where it's just stop start the whole way.  The GPS took us round the north of all that, and it was much less stressful.

It's amazing the number of L-platers that were out.  I reckon they should either be banned from highways altogether or allowed to do the full speed limit.  Because forcing them to slow down on the freeways just makes everything slow for everyone else.

Learner drivers

We decided not to go up the Sydney-Newcastle freeway, opting to get off at Peat's Ridge and take the back way.  We mostly had the road to ourself, and it was a much prettier and less stressful drive.

Driving

Bucketty!
Bucketty!

Coming down the valley along the Great North Road was very pretty
Driving

Spaceman in a sculpture park north of Wollombi
Alien

Cessnock is very pretty at the moment with all the trees in bloom
Cessnock

As it turned out, we probably should have gone up the freeway, because we decided to go out to Minmi, which is right next to the freeway.  So it was a bit of a detour, but we weren't in any hurry so that was ok.

Crazy big house on Richmond Vale Road
House

Minmi Courthouse
Minmi Courthouse

Caboose in Minmi
Caboose in Minmi

I want a liqour shelf like this!  Pretty!  Popped in here to get a (non-alcoholic) refreshing beverage
Liquor shelf

Then out to the cemetery to find graves of Stu's rellies

Minmi Cemetery
Minmi Cemetery

Stu hunting
Minmi Cemetery

Found one!
Minmi Cemetery

These guys found their own rellies
Minmi Cemetery

Then onto the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.  A little pricey, but very nice.

Crowne Plaza reception
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

We got a hotel style room in the main building.  There's a tonne of self-contained units around the place that hold quite a few people.  They looked lovely, and people were out with deck chairs sipping wine, which totally looked like the life :)  They're a bit further away from the main building, and something like $800/night - ouch!
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

View from our room - not that exciting
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

What I did love about the place was the abundance of power points.  Something like 14 of them around the room, in nice useful places, like right next to the bed. 10 points right there!
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Settled in and got ourselves freshened up, then went for a walk around the place

The huge pool.  A bit emptier at this point, but it was full of people a little earlier.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Giant chess set (there was a checkers set in the main building too)
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Beach volleyball court
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Waiting in the Vista Lounge before dinner
Vista Lounge, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

The Red Salt restaurant (also the breakfast buffet)
Red Salt, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Our view for dinner
Dinner view

We started with this lovely Adina (a local) Pinot Grigio
Pinot grigio

The sweetie enjoys the wine and the view
The sweetie

Stu's entree.  I think this was "Caramelized Tart, of golden shallot and baked locally sourced goat's cheese, witlof salad"
Red Salt Dinner

I had "Warm salad of lobster, kipfler potatoes & frisse endive, poached quail eggs & black truffle dressing"
Red Salt Dinner

For mains Stu had "Coq au vin free range chicken, braised in Hunter Valley pinot, golden eschalots & smoked bacon, roast garlic puree, fried bread crumbs".  This thing was delicious - and look at that huge chunk of bacon!  Yum!
Red Salt Dinner

I had "Confit duck leg with cassoulet of white beans, lovedale smokehouse sausage & bacon, poached quail eggs".  The duck was nice, but too many beans for my taste.
Red Salt Dinner

We also had a side of "Sauteed mixed mushrooms with garlic and sherry vinegar (Swiss Browns, Buttons, King Oysters, Enoki)".  Omigosh this was so delicious!  One of my favourite parts of the meal!
Red Salt Dinner

We also had an amazing Rosehill shiraz - so smooth!  Yumm!
Red Salt shiraz

For dessert we had some Brokenback vintage cheddar (we were too full to eat any more!)
Red Salt Dinner

After dinner I was so full I went for a little walk around the place.

Took this nice HDR shot from the entrance area on my phone
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

 

Day 2

We had breakfast the next morning at the resort.  A pretty decent buffet of food.  Was quite crowded though, even though we were there near the end of service.

Breakfast

At 1pm we piled into a little minbus with a family of Swedish people and headed out on a winery tour (stopping to pick up some other people on the way).

Stu in the minibus

Our first stop was Peacock Hill Winery.  This was quite a small winery, and was much like the tours we did at Yass last year with a very small cellar door and crowds of people.  I found it a bit stressful, but the lady was reasonably well organised, so it wasn't too bad.

They have dinosaurs, which kept the two little Swedish boys amused
Peacock Hill dinosaurs

Peacock Hill dinosaurs

Peacock Hill selection of wines
Peacock Hill wines

Yeah being driven around the Hunter Valley tasting wines is a lovely way to spend an afternoon
Winery tour

The next stop was McGuigan's.  Having heard of this winery it wasn't surprising that they had a much bigger cellar door.  And they have this whole room setup for tour groups that looked pretty amazing.

McGuigan's

Tour group wine tasting room
McGuigan's wine tasting

Us at McGuigan's
Us at McGuigan's

This cork stool looked pretty cool (but $249 and not particularly practical)
Cork stool

McGuigan's also make and sell cheeses.  We might have bought some, but didn't have a cooler bag or a fridge at the hotel.
Stu inspecting cheese

Sunflowers at McGuigan's
Sunflowers

Next stop was the Pokolbin village for chocolate and cheese tasting.  The chocolate tasting was ok (half a dozen nibbles of chocolate), but the cheese tasting wasn't really anything special.  First you had to find the store that was doing it, then you had to ask for the cheeses to taste.  Yeah, not ideal.  

I did buy this cute little chocolate penguin from the chocolate place.
Chocolate penguin

Our last stop was Brokenwood.  This had a medium-sized cellar door and we sat around barrels to do the wine tasting.  We even got to taste a wine which was normally only opened for people paying to taste the wines.  So that was very nice.

Brokenwood

Brokenwood

On the way back we got up close to some kangaroos, which I think all the tourists liked :)

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

So a very nice (although somewhat expensive) afternoon, with half a box of wines and fortified wines acquired :)

For dinner we went to the Grapevine bar for beer and pizza

Beer

The sweetie

This was the "Truffled Mushroom" pizza, which sounded nice on the menu (swiss brown, button and enoki mushrooms, white sauce, confit garlic parmesan, thyme and truffle oil) but was a little bland
Grapevine pizza

This was the "Italian" pizza - pepperoni, capsicum, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, parmesan & chilli, sour cream, thyme and rocket.  This was much nicer (I think the sour cream was a winner!)
Grapevine pizza

After dinner the pool was looking nice so I wanted to go for a swim.  But a change had come through which made it quite cold.  So we didn't stay in long.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley

 

Day 3

So our final day.

First stop (after breakfast at the Scottish Restaurant in Cessnock) was a trip to Morpeth to look for more of Stu's relatives in the cemetery.  We didn't find any.  Just some harness horses trotting by.

Trotting horse

Then to St John's College, only to find the whole place has been turned into a retirement village.  So far the historic buildings remain, but who knows for how much longer.

St John's college

Walking around to the chapel
Chapel

The organ is still there, but the chapel is now a little community hall
St John's chapel

And the garden out the back has a gazebo, and the cross has been removed.  A bit different to last time we were here.
St John's chapel

And instead of a nice view out to the floodplain, all you can see is houses
St John's college - retirement village

So that was all a little sad.

Kept wandering.

This is the bridge at Hinton
Hinton bridge

And we found another probable relative of Stu's in the Hinton Cemetery
Hinton cemetery

Next up the sweetie thought it might be nice to head to Port Stevens, and Nelson Bay and Shoal Bay.

Nelson Bay sign

As apparently did the rest of New South Wales
Nelson Bay

It was so crowded it was painful.  We didn't stop anywhere along the beachside.  Couldn't have anyway - no parking!  Just snapped a pic out the window.
Nelson Bay

We did stop at the lighthouse though (only because a super huge 4WD couldn't fit into a half sized parking spot, so we got it)

Nelson Bay Lighthouse

Nelson Bay Lighthouse

Nelson Head

Carried on.  Shoal Bay was just as crowded.
Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay

Eventually ended up at Fingal Bay where we stopped for lunch a few streets back from the beach, where there was actually parking.  Fish and chips and potato scallops.  Because that's what you do when you go to the beach.  Even though we were nowhere near the beach.
Fish and chips

So left the craziness behind and headed back to Maitland to meet up with Margie at the Fox Bar.  This a nice little wine bar.  We had the whole front area to ourselves, but it was only when I went to the loo that I saw the lovely little garden they have out the back.
Fox Bar, Maitland

And finally headed back to Sydney.  Would have been uneventful except a horse float overturned on the freeway near Kariong killing two horses and completely closing the road.  The GPS saw it coming and we took a detour around it.  No idea if it worked out faster (it probably did) but it was certainly less stressful and no stop-start traffic for us.
Trouble

Finally made it back to my parent's place and crashed into bed

River Island

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So we had new year's night in Canberra, then headed out again on the second to stay with D&Y at River Island.

Had a swim in the spa first up which was lovely and cool.

Then down to Tiny's Crossing for a swim in the Wollondilly River.  Lovely!

Wollondilly swim
David cooked up a storm for dinner.
BBQ
As always, the nicest thing about the place is all the wildlife.  Didn't get to see the wombat, but Kore saw it the day before - and even patted it!

Water dragon

(sorry this was getting dark and random camera can't zoom that much)
Wallaby
Willy Wagtail
Kangaroos
Kangaroos
Kangaroo
Kangaroo
Kangaroo
Bower Bird
Goanna
Goanna

OK so this entry is a little late (only five months!!)

14th March saw us heading down to Yarrangobilly Caves.

First up was a walk down to the thermal pool and then along the river walk.

Gang Gang cockatoos
Thermal pool
Thermal pool
River walk
Skink
Yellow worm
Cute lizard.. a dragon maybe?
Went around to the Glory Cave entrances but decided we wouldn't have time to go through it properly before our tour of Jersey Cave started.

Glory Cave entrances
So went back and did the Jersey Cave tour.  This cave was amazing.  Lots of really pretty formations, and lots of bacon :)

Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Photos can't capture the beauty of this pool and all the crystals of rock around it
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Another pool that was a bit easier to photograph
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Jersey Cave
Then it was back to South Glory Cave, which was a self-guided tour.  This cave was completely different to Jersey Cave - it was all white!

South Glory Cave
The hole in the roof is only relatively recent - Tony remembers going there when there was no hole!
South Glory Cave
My brother could probably explain why streaks of water come out as dots??  Something to do with the camera sensor?  I don't remember there being any fluoro lights around..
South Glory Cave
South Glory Cave
South Glory Cave
South Glory Cave
South Glory Cave
South Glory Cave
Quite a bit of wild life around the buildings, real and, er, stuffed!

Bunny rabbit!
Wedgetailed Eagle
Kangaroo
Honeyeater of some description
Flutterby
And heaps of cunninghams skinks!
Cunninghams skink
Cunninghams skink
Cunninghams skinks
All my cave photos were hand held, the majority without flash.  I did take a tripod, but it was too much like hard work to set it up - especially on the guided tour with lots of other people around.  Sorry, I'm just not dedicated enough ;)

Mostly food

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(and the national emblem, but that's food too ;) )

This is for Chay..  this was dinner I cooked last night.  Bunged some pasta in to boil.  Cut up some big portabella mushrooms and fried them in butter.  Tossed a punnet of mini roma tomatoes (cut in two and mashed a little in the pot) into a saucepan along with a big dollop of garlic and some store-bought pasta sauce. Mix, top with cheese, heat up some garlic bread if desired..

Portabella nom

Portabella nom

Went for a walk this arvo.  Lovely thing about Canberra is having kangaroos on your doorstep..

Mob of kangaroos

Mob of kangaroos

Scott and Kerry and Jake came over tonight.  They brought a mini roast and even their own oven, which looked pretty funky, and was very bright..

Oven

Apart from that didn't do too much today aside from house work, hurrah!

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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