After we left the camp site on Tuesday morning, we drove to Fitzroy Falls in Morton National Park. This mountainous countryside is located in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales and the scenery was breathtaking.
I’ve made a short video in an attempt to capture the expanse of this stunning natural bushland.
If you don’t see the video above, click here to watch directly from YouTube.
I was also impressed by how well maintained Morton National Park was. The main scenic tracks were designed for visitors of all ages and only required average fitness levels. There are guard rails to help you along the steeper climbs and descents, rest areas and well-fenced lookouts for safety. Signs offered clear directions and also interesting information about native flora and fauna.
Morton National Park is a short 2 hour drive from Sydney CBD and for a small park fee of $3 per car, I think I’ll be back here regularly. That was the best $3 I’ve spent in a long time.
In the end, I had a great time those short two days away and
This trip was to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Five of the best years of my life. We didn’t promise each other “forever” when we got married. We promised to stay together for as long as we’re both happy. And we are. Still very much in love like the first time we met.
5 lessons I’ve learned from my first camping trip [Part 1] [Part 2]
This is the second part of ’5 lessons I’ve learned from my first camping trip’. Click here to read from the beginning.
We went on a short 2 day trip to Canberra. It’s a 5 hour drive there with a couple of mandatory breaks in small towns along the way. The scenery was mostly golden – rolling hills of dry, parched grassland in desperate need of rain. A reminder that we are indeed still deep in drought.
Car cricket amused us for hours as we made the rules up as we went along. Utes and trucks were 1 point, SUVs 2 points, hotted up cars were 4, emergency vehicles and luxury cars scored 6 points, and creeks and red or yellow cars got us out. It made the monotonous driving rather exciting for Richard as he strategically sped up and slowed down to get the best score.
The reason why we drove to Canberra brings me to my first lesson.
1. Grab the chance of a lifetime
‘Masterpieces from Paris’ is an extraordinary and rare exhibition as it is the first time that these impressive artworks have ever been displayed outside of Paris’ Musee d’Orsay. There are 112 of some of the best-known works of modern art, including those from Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin, Picasso and Monet. You can view all the works on display here [link].
And it certainly did not disappoint. There were so many moments where we stood there in silence, hand-in-hand, in absolute awe of the beauty that greeted us. “I can’t believe I’m looking at this in person,” we whispered, nodding in agreement.
We have decided to make a return trip to the exhibition in a couple of month’s time before these masterpieces leave for Tokyo and San Francisco. Just one more time to soak it all in again.
Well, after having our minds fully nourished and feeling a little bit more cultured, we head off to our campsite and to my second lesson.
2. Motor village ≠ Holiday park
No, it really does not. They might have the same things like cabins, camp site, swimming pool, tennis court, bbqs and shower amenities. On the surface, it sounds like Canberra Motor Village could be a holiday park but I think we were just naive and too much of an optimist.
Maybe it was because we were in Canberra. The grass isn’t thick and lush due to poor rainfall, and our camp site looks more like a fenced in dirt patch. Whoever wrote the awesome reviews for this place on Google were probably in cahoots with the owners!
On the upside, the amenities were clean, modern and everything looked rather new. Not too bad, if you don’t mind setting up camp on dirt, by the fence, with the endless drone of traffic in the background. Not too bad… I guess.
3. Don’t ignore the warning signs
The reason why we chose a site near the fence was we both listened to our instincts. We were actually designated a powered camp site next to something that looked like this:
Photo from ontheroad.buy.co.uk
The music emitting from within the tent was rather loud and unfriendly. There was a dirt bike parked in front of the tent too. Our two sites were seperated by towels and clothes hanging from a make-shift clothesline between a pair of skinny trees.
There was no way I wanted to spend an entire night next to that. I’m glad we didn’t ignore the signs and moved as far away as possible from them. The events that unfolded through the night will surprise you.
But I will tell you more about that tomorrow and I will share my last 2 lessons from the trip with you too. See you then!
Update: Click here to read Part 2
A view like that never gets old. Location: Warrah Trig to Patonga Beach, Brisbane Water National Park
Not bad for photos taken from a mobile phone and joined in Photoshop. I’m rather proud of it.
I haven’t been knitting much but I’m meeting up with the girls from the Central Coast Knit & Crochet Ravelry group tomorrow and I thought I should warm up. I’ve finally reached the mid-point of the Baktus scarf (pattern).
Anyone recognise the yarn from a previous project?
Our attempt to bake this condensed milk pound cake (recipe). Hmm… not as light and airy as the recipe’s pictures. I’m lousy at baking anything that requires creaming butter and sugar together.
But you know what? It tasted alright despite not tasting nearly sweet enough. I thought it was going to be sickly with the condensed milk so I cut the sugar back a little. Oh well. Most importantly, we both had fun making it together.
I watched the making of the new Qantas ad tonight and I LOVED it! I’m so thrilled to see an Australian indigineous boy leading the song. It’s a small but significant step in recognising the owners of this land.
If you don’t see the video above, CLICK HERE to watch the Qantas ad directly in YouTube.
If you haven’t heard already, graffiti knitting is the most inoffensive graffiti. But instead of tagging in the urban setting, I chose to tag somewhere deep in a national park. I quickly knitted a little something the morning we left and I was finishing it up in the car on the way to Bobbin Head. This it the track we walked. It’s called the Bobbin Head Loop.
I was deciding where to leave my knitted tag and 4 hours of walking (and sometimes climbing) through slippery and rocky terrain, crossing creeks and down into the depths of mangroves and rainforests, had left me feeling beaten. I wanted desperately to see the side track that would take me back up into civilization. The sun was quickly disappearing over the ridge and thoughts of being lost loomed in my mind.
And then it appeared. It was clearly marked and not just a white dot on the tree as described in Wild Walks. Thank god! This is the where I will leave my mark as my spirit felt uplifted again.
Ironic that I embroidered a smile on it cos that’s how we felt at that very moment. Absolutely elated! We were giggling and looking around as if someone was going to come by this way soon, despite not having seen anyone for more than an hour!
The happiness was short lived as we started our climb out of the valley. It was steep. God, it was so steep. We climbed up for a good 30mins and it took us another half hour to get back to the car. You can see the elevation profile of our walk here on Trail Guru.
But here I am, extremely proud of what I’ve achieved that day. I conquered a hard 5 hour, 15km bushwalk and I left a knitted graffiti on a tree, which I hope will bring a smile to other bushwalkers doing that track. I’m planning my next one for this weekend already. *giggles*
For those who play geocaching, the coordinates are latitude 33.683313327 and longtitude 151.138348561. Leave a comment if you find it!
**Edit: The knitted tag is not made of cotton. I’ve used acrylic and wool yarn. But the back of the knitted tag is “open” with a piece of yarn criss-crossing the back to hold it in place loosely. Only half of the trunk is actually covered. I’ve sewn it this way so that the rangers can easily snip it off if they feel it’s damaging the tree in some way.**