Little floppy eared calves

A belated happy New Year to you!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. We spent ours in north Queensland with my parents-in-law and after over 4,500 kilometres on the road, travelling there and back and bits in between, we’re now home.

For a couple of reasons I thought it would be fun to share some of the photos from our country adventure. There are some lovely images of rural life that I thought you might appreciate, plus for me it’s nice to have these pictures in one place where I can look back on them for inspiration.

Enjoy!

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After driving 2,000 kms what does my other half decide to do the following day? Go for another drive, of course, out to Strathmore Station and the Bowen River pub. Great fun. Even a flat tyre didn’t put a dampener on it. But I can say that because it wasn’t me who took care of it!

Brahman cowYoung cattle in the shadeCattle traffic on the Bowen River bridgeCrocodile warning signBowen River HotelBowen River Hotel front barSign instructing trucks to dump their dust Sorting out the flat tyreMy parents-in-law own a livestock transport company. Here’s me tooling around with one of their cattle trucks. They have lots of these. This truck is only a B-double but they run up to triple road trains which are 53 metres long.

Me on a truckThese two pulled up in the drive on Christmas Eve. I was so excited. Thought I was being brought a horse for Christmas!

Horse in the front driveA family friend invited me join him while he dropped hay to his cattle. Naturally I said yes! These are Brahman-Droughtmaster crosses. Aren’t the little ones cute?

Hay for cattleCalves Little floppy eared calvesCow and calf contentedly eatingSpotted this little fellow on a garden tap.

Green frogPlayed a bit of golf while I was away. Things are a bit less formal out in the country…

A spot of country golfingI have a thing for curlews. Their call is wonderfully eerie and sometimes they stand stock-still and use their camouflage to do a Jedi mind trick. We are not the curlews you are looking for

A pair of curlewsSome country humour. The street sign is from the Australian hotel in Townsville. The Brandon Tavern’s “crashed” plane’s tail reads: Fly On In For A Coldie.

Aussie humourWe saw quite a lot of cattle being driven on the stock routes on the way up and back. Although none of my photos show it, there is a shocking drought in parts of Queensland and NSW right now with farmers in terrible straits. In places they haven’t seen rain for more than two years. Some have sent their breeders to graze the stock routes because they have zero feed. Please let it rain for these people soon. The devastation is heartbreaking. (Apologies for the poor quality photos. Our windscreen was a tad bug-splattered!)

Cattle near Rolleston, QueenslandDrover on horsebackWe had a lightning trip to Lightning Ridge on the way up. I wanted to buy myself a black opal. Champagne tastes on beer money, unfortunately… This is the big welcome sign on the Castlereagh Highway. You have to turn off and drive 5kms or so to reach the town. It’s worth doing. Everyone was very friendly and the opals are beautiful.

Me at the big Lightning Ridge signWe experienced a few Dorothea Mackellar moments on the drive home. Hit a dust storm between St George and Dirranbandi only to encounter flogging rain 5 kilometres later.

From one extreme to anotherI really adore it when a country town teams together to create something special. Gulargambone on the Castlereagh River in central NSW (population 500 but “flying ahead”) has played with their name to create a galah theme. There are murals and smile-inducing galah artwork in and outside town. Love it.

Some of the Gulargambone galah art

What did you do over the Christmas-New Year break? Travel or relax at home? Whatever you did, I hope it left you happy and ready for a rip-roaring  2015!

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