24 January 2011

The holiday.

Our holiday was pretty much overshadowed by the weather and later the heartbreaking floods, but we managed to pack in a fair amount of activity in addition to rather a lot of lazing on various couches.

Normally we fly to Queensland but we drove this time in an attempt to save money see some sights en route, chief among them Dubbo Western Plains Zoo on the way there and The Dish on the way home. It's a long drive from Melbourne to Brisbane; about the length of one Harry Potter audiobook (Order of the Phoenix), or for the knitters out there, one cardigan's worth.


I can highly recommend Dubbo Zoo. It differs from most zoos in that you hire a bike or golf buggy type thing, or drive your own vehicle around the specified route, stopping as often as you like to get up close and personal with the animals, many of whom are out and about in the open and separated from the visitors only by moats or deep crevasses (tigers and cheetahs excepted. They were behind wire).


There were about six different species of rhino but this splendid armoured cartoon character was my favourite.

furry antlers

These reindeer (?) were reaaallly close. I was fascinated by their furry antlers - they remind me of nightmarishly ginormous spider legs. Creepy but faaabulous. I kind of want to stroke them and I kind of don't.

world's tiniest green frog

The photographic record now jumps to northern New South Wales (I knitted furiously between Dubbo and the Tweed Valley and the camera didn't make it out of the bag). Here we have the world's tiniest frog. That's an 11 year old's little fingernail for scale. Isn't it unbelievable?

tweed valley
(That picture is for Jo, if she still reads here. Home!).

We had the annual mowing of the grass ...

annual mowing of the grass

Followed by the feeding of carrots to my uncle's next door neighbour.

meeting the horse next door

And another horse. My uncle's latest magnificent woodwork. (He's hanging out for grandchildren).

the horse that David built

From that point onward it rained a good deal of the time. We headed up to Brisbane where we caught up with more relatives and made our regular pilgrimage to GoMA, two days before it flooded and was closed, like much of Brisbane.


I'm not sure what they were watching up above, but the Lego city interactive installation was a big hit.

lego city interactive installation at GoMA

After a week with my parents we escaped to a nearby island for four days. More rain. More knitting. More reading.

pouring rain
can you see the torrential rain?

Poor Mr Soup had no knitting so he had to swim in the pouring rain,

wild surf at Couran Cove

and gaze wistfully at the wild, raging, man-eating surf.


The wind howled. I knitted on. I was also rather ill by this stage and continued to be unwell for two and a half weeks despite two courses of antibiotics but sickness makes for tedious blogging so there will be no detailed descriptions of my symptoms. (You're welcome).


The sun came out for one hour on the third day and the children had an archery lesson. Raging success. Sport and weaponry combined!


After our island idyll *cough* we returned to my parents ostensibly for one day's stay, which due to the floods closing all routes south, turned into several. In the end we were finally able to access the New England Highway, which meant no Dish, and three full days of driving instead of two, but we gratefully arrived home dry and intact (with not only a completed cardigan but a pair of wrist warmers as well), heartily sick of Stephen Fry's dulcet tones, and in shock at the severity of the floods both in Queensland and now in Victoria.

pretty maids all in a row

Going home the pretty way did mean that the children got to play soccer on the hallowed ground of the Bradman Oval (my god, ten points to anyone normal [ie. non cricket tragics] who makes it through the copy on that link) ...

soccer on the Bradman Oval
(yes there's probably a law against it)

and a motel room with cable tv so they could watch the soccer game that they were missing out on attending in person (we were three days late by now).

evening activities

The menfolk watched the match while I lived it up on the motel's stoneage internet "Free Wifi!" And coughed. Oh sorry.

My personal highlight of the journey home? An introduction to the world's largest concrete sheep.

Goulburn's ram in the morning light

It's a ram. Just take my word for it and be thankful I'm showing you the bow not the stern.


blackbird said...

It looks like a lovely holiday.
I too, have just done two courses of antibiotics - we live in parallel universes, you know. Except it's 3F here.

Your boys are all very handsome. Especially with bows.

Susan said...

great pics - I love the ram... gotta love random 'big' things as tourist attractions. Mr Soup looks very sad swimming in the rain!

Rose Red said...

Great holiday wrap up and photos. Aren't those wind turbine thingys weird looming over the highway, I was amazed the first time I saw them (and I have travelled that road (return) 2 or 3 times a year for my whole life).

Allana said...

Illness and weather aside it looks like an amazing holiday, great photos too! Love the Rhino, he really doesn't look real!! :)

rachel said...

Is that the Giant Merino at Goulburn? If so, I've been there, seen it!! Gave me an excuse to go back and read my blog posts of my fabulous Australia trip March-April 2008, and wish all over again that I could go back.....

Tania said...

I'm not trying to be evil but your holiday made me laugh. Only because I have knit a cardigan (twice), am entirely and utterly sick of the audio version of The Hobbit and The Borrowers (the three year old asked at the end of the fourth CD if the Borrowers really were mice) and I can relate on the perpetually damp front. Not that I know why I'm laughing about our holiday either. Hope you're better quick sticks (as in, quickly from now cos it's been pretty slow so far), Ms Soup.

Jo Windmill said...

It's been one rainy summer, eh!

peppermintpatcher said...

Looks like you managed to do lots of good stuff between the downpours.

Lego city is amazing!

Emma said...

Ahh, your holiday sounds very much like ours! We drove from Brisbane to Cairns, 'just for Christmas' and finally were able to return to Brisbane on the 19th of January. Our accommodation ran out after two weeks, and so we spent two more weeks shuffling around the rellies sleeping on any available flat surface. I had two courses of antibiotics and a nasty case of sunstroke. There was all kinds of drama that should not go on blogs, and I finished my Aeolian shawl, and a pair of socks and cast on a cardigan and another pair of socks.

Let's both hope that the rest of the year goes more smoothly!

Also, your photos are fabulous, as always! Love the rhino :)

shadygrey said...

That so made me laugh (in a commiserating sort of way), but isn't that holidays for you? That will be the holiday the boys will talk about for years, you know... those sort of memories last forever.

fiveandtwo said...

I heartily recommend Western Plains Zoo, as well. I live in Victoria and I've visited WPZ four times but never entered the gates of Melbourne Zoo. Adelaide Zoo: yes, Taronga Zoo Sydney: yes, Western Plains Zoo Dubbo: yes, Yarrawonga Zoo, Darwin: yes. I haven't been too remiss. All the children have been to Melbourne Zoo on school excursions.
We've walked around WPZ, cycled around WPZ and hired a "Tiger Car" around WPZ (family story here: Ally was Run over by the Tiger Car 2002: ok, fortunately).
Great holiday pics. I know what the stern end of that ram entails. Too much information.

Janet said...

I think I need to check that ram out for myself.

Gosh what a holiday, it sounds just a tad exhausting! But good for knitting. Hope you are well and truly better now!

Stomper Girl said...

You know, I've visited that big sheep many times but I have NEVER noticed its rude bits.

I did enjoy your holiday round-up and your pics are fab (as ever), especially loved the ones of your gorgeous boys being archers.

Thimbleanna said...

Wow -- aside from all the rain, it looks like the perfect holiday. Your pictures are gorgeous, as always. I so enjoyed seeing them. Would you care to elaborate on that Ram LOL???

Donyale said...

Bollocks! That's what we would be seeing in the other version of baaaraaamyouuuuu, non?

Top shots as per usual. Lovin' the rhino photo too.

Anonymous said...

hahahahaha!!!! "the bow not the stern"!!! THAT is funny. Absolutely love your holiday wrap. I had a good old giggle! thanks I needed that actually! Sue x

Isabelle said...

Your boys are so beautiful.

Do you know, I don't think a lack of knittig has ever made me swim in the pouring rain?

Fairlie said...

Great pics! Great holiday!

And, wow! You can knit in a car?? I can't do anything but look straight ahead at the horizon.

Stacey said...

Poor Fairlie - can't knit or read in the car!!
What a great holiday it looks like Suse, even with all the rain.
When Ethan (8) and I visited the Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show he spent most of the day examining the rear end of the rams. He was mightily impressed! We shall have to visit the Big Ram one day.

harriet said...

Brilliant photos as always. Love that rhino! And what gorgeous boy you have. Hope you're now well recovered and still knitting!

kt said...

Oh! The textures of the rhino set against the textures of that fence!

And again...Oh! the wee froggie!!

Thrice I say...Oh! The handsome boyz!

Hope you are well-er and thanks for taking us along.

Debbie said...

Love the cardi and your holiday looks great and I love a road trip.
We housesat at Goulburn about 5yrs ago and know what you mean about the ram :0)

teapotrose said...

Does he sell the wooden horses?

Anonymous said...

You are the BEST blogger. Love your work.