Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bonfire and Ferry Park

Last weekend we visited some friends who live on a beautiful property. There was also a birthday involved :-). Now a property needs some maintenance and undergrowth needs to be cleared to decrease fire risk. Which is ironic as once the undergrowth is cleared our friends have a bonfire!! They set up a lounge on the back of a trailer for viewing in comfort. 

This was the yummiest chocolate cake
Today we went to visit our in-laws as it is Father's Day in Australia tomorrow. We had breakfast at Ferry Park Cafe Restaurant and Gallery - I took the opportunity to take some photos of the historic sugar can barge and ferry which apparently will be removed soon and taken to the dump. 

"The old Ashby ferry (commissioned in 1936) and the cane barge (Cane Punt No 6) at Ferry Park, Maclean, which are listed as heritage items under the Clarence Valley Local Environment Plan 2011, will be removed.
Both the ferry and barge are also listed on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.
There have been moves in the past to restore the barge.
In April 2009, the council resolved to allocate $40,000 towards its restoration and the construction of a roof over the barge.
Subsequent to this decision, in March 2010, the council received a $5,000 Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) grant that resulted in the commissioning of a conservation plan to direct the ongoing preservation and restoration of the 64-year old vessel.
Built in 1946, the steel-plated cane barge, which is listed on the ANMM’s register of historic vessels, is thought to be the last surviving example of the barges that transported sugarcane on the Clarence River, according to the ANMM.
The ferry is “one of the few remaining examples of the large number of cable ferries built for river crossings around Australia during the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s”."
A little bit about sugarcane (which is grown and harvested in many places in the Clarence)

Riki checking out the ferry
Is that a water dragon behind me!!
Yep :-)
Sugar cane barge
Eucalyptus tree (Aussies favourite food)
We then drove to the Maclean Bicentennial Memorial Cairn - a tribute to those from Scotland that settled in Maclean

A little bit about Maclean (where my husband lived when he was younger)

"Maclean is very proud of its Scottish Heritage. Every Easter the clans invade the township for the Annual Highland Gathering and the Scottish tradition is highlighted by the fact that the township has the oldest Free Presbyterian Church in Australia. To portray this connection, a number of stones from both Scotland and Australia have created a large Scottish Cairn overlooking the Clarence River.Many street signs also carry the Gaelic translation of the name and at least one local hotel advertises that hagis is available for breakfast.
Maclean is also the gateway to Australia's Sugar Country and celebrates this connection in September with the Cane Harvest Festival.
Maclean also hosts the headquarters for a large prawn trawling fleet that works the Clarence River from Ulmarra to the mouth of the river.
Places to visit whilst in Maclean include the Scottish Cairn, the Maclean Lookout, The Pinnacle and the Bicentennial Museum." 
Scottish Cairn in Maclean

Clan tartan totem poles
Maclean Scottish Memorial
"Visitors can take in the panoramic views of the town,
coast and bushland at Maclean Lookout.
Near the lookout is Pinnacle Rock,
a fascinating rock formation with a network of caves"
Can't see the whole thing as a bit overgrown
First geocache of today - yippee - up at Maclean lookout
The tree that housed the geocache
A termite mound which must have
been attached to a branch of this tree
but it fell off and is now on the ground
Maclean Lookout and trig station - bit hazy today as some controlled burns were happening so we are ready for bush fires this coming summer. 
Memorial seat in memory of local Mayor and councillor 
well known for her environmental work in the region.

Joy Matthews was a former Mayor and councillor 
at Maclean Shire Council for 12.5 years and a member 
of the first  Clarence Valley Council for over a year. 
She was an elected representative from 1991 to 2006.

It is a tiled mosaic representing the 
Clarence River (blue) and all it's islands
Cruisin' pelican on the Clarence River
Can you see the geocache up the tree?
We then went back to the family home and I tried out the zoom on my camera with some flora and fauna :-)
Flora - 'Bird of Paradise'
Rosella (male)
Honey Eater
Cleaning out the nesting box ready
for the next batch of baby rosella's
Kumquat - makes yummy jam.
Look like mini oranges but taste very different.
Tomorrow we will be checking out the CraftAlive show!! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gorgeous weather

We had the most beautiful weather this weekend and decided to take advantage of it. 

First we headed down to the beach near where we live. Found a nano cache and admired the scenery, rockpools, sand and shells. 

Here is the nano cache we found on the headland - soooo tiny!!
Mullaway Headland
Riki hanging out on the bench and my hubby and his nephew on the right
Mmmmm - long black
Yummy scones (from our English heritage) - link to recipe below

Recipe for basic scones - enjoy :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Newby geocachers

Magda and Riki put us onto geocaching - like orienteering only with better technology and surprises!! So I registered on under 'eureka2005', got myself a cool app that makes it easier and Riki helped me make some tokens to swap if we found caches with goodies. Hubby came up with the idea of using domino's as I had a bit of a stash to make altered domino pendants. 

As an aside - here was the sunset on the way home from doing the grocery shopping

Magda sent us some yummy Blueberry and Peanut chocolate :-)
And of course Riki helped us eat it!!
Our geocaching tokens
First day geocaching - having a hearty breakfast of bacon, poached eggs and Turkish bread
These are the beautiful places you get to see when you geocache - Woolgoolga Beach access
Tracking down our first cache
Woot - we found it! Well hubby did - it was a nano cache with a log that we filled in and then placed it back in it's spot. It was near a Pandanus Palm
Woolgoolga Beach - no muggles about!!
Filling in the log
Second day geocaching - first stop Woolgoolga Cemetry - after playing chasey's with the GPS we found it!! I got my first chance to leave a token :-)
Magda and Riki find old cemetaries as interesting as we do so we spent some time finding the oldest graves and reading some of the headstones to get a feel for the people who once lived in the area. This metal headstone was hard to read but we could make out 'Sarah Rose'
The honors for the oldest graves went to Edwin and Sarah Eggins who travelled to Australia from England and settled in Woolgoolga.
Our second cache of the day took us to a place we didn't even know existed. The nano cache with logbook was hidden somewhere near this beautiful spot.

There was another cache hidden in the dunes somewhere behind Buster the shipwreck (much more covered in sand since the last time we saw him) But due to really bad erosion the pathway had been closed and we suspect that was were the cache was hidden - our  first DNF :-(
Third cache - success!! This one was hidden by a family from the United States when on holidays. Beautiful spot
Woolgoolga Creek - there is a lovely picnic area with barbecues about 50 metres away
This weekend we headed off to Coramba - a little township about 20 minutes west of Coffs Harbour - there were 2 caches we had selected. One at the historic Coramba cemetary and one up at the trig station on a very steep mountain!!!
We loved the metalwork on this grave
This cache unfortunately was a DNF for us today. We think we were searching in the right place and hopefully the cache is still in its spot. But it was worth it just to have a look around. As you can see we had the place to ourselves

This was so steep we decided to turn back and go a different way
Second cache of the day - found!! Beautiful views back over the ocean
Spotted a fire!!
We also had some vanilla slice at the Coramba bakery - yummo. Sorry no photo - although it would just make you drool all over your screen :-) Just in case you would like to make something simliar here is a really easy Vanilla Slice recipe from Better Homes and Gardens website


2 x 200g packet Lattice biscuits (light, pastry square biscuits)
½ cup custard powder
½ cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
300ml thickened cream
1-2 tsp boiling water
Passionfruit Icing
2 cups pure icing sugar
2 tsp softened butter
2 passionfruit, halved


1. Line base and sides of a 20 x 30cm (base) slab pan with baking paper, allowing an overhang along each long side. Arrange biscuits, in base of pan, in a single layer. Use a serrated knife to cut to fit.
2. Put custard powder, sugar and ½ cup milk in a large saucepan and whisk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and cream. Put pan over a medium heat, cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until custard comes to the boil.
3. Working quickly (see Cook’s tip, this page), pour warm custard over biscuits, then top with another layer of biscuits, ensuring you align all biscuits. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
4. To make passionfruit icing: Sift icing sugar into a large bowl. Add butter and enough passionfruit pulp to make a thick icing. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of boiling water. Spread icing over biscuits. Refrigerate for 1 hour until icing sets. Cut into squares, using the shape of biscuits as a guide. Serve.