We've only sailed down the east coast (from just north of the Russia / Ukraine border down to northern Egypt, in northern hemisphere terms). Having picked up a hire car in Brisbane we were able to revisit some sailing haunts and catch up with good friends before heading inland.
|With Irene and Lionel in Yamba. They have just bought a beautiful house there so, sadly, the wonderful Kiapa is up for sale|
|In Kingscliff, to visit Di's aunt Brenda (seated in front of Di ) - we were introduced to her gang|
|Driving north, we stopped at Byron Bay|
|Another lighthouse moment - this is the most easterly point of mainland Australia|
|The car's boot is loaded with all the important things|
The little inland trip of the past couple of weeks has introduced us to a whole new climate and a complete change of animal life. Luckily this handy species identification chart hasn't been needed too many times:
We spent a night at an Airbnb house up in the hills inland of the coastal town of Mooloolaba (which has such a great name that the spell-checker wants to convert it to Hullabaloo) near Melaney and were delighted to find that Lex and Marie, the owners, are huge wildlife enthusiasts and have three generations of 'pretty face' Wallabies visit them each morning and evening.
|'Ziggy' is very partial to the odd gift of a cracker. The bulge in her belly shows that there's a joey in there, but it has yet to show its face.|
|Marie puts seeds out for the parrots and Rosellas|
Leaving Melaney we stopped for a walk at a national park to marvel at the rain-forest trees that were spared the loggers' saw when much of this area was cleared for farmland - today, Melaney's warm, moist climate makes it one of the best areas for dairy farming in Australia.
|Extraordinary buttress root structures|
|There's always something trying to kill something else in Australia - a huge vine is slowly encircling this tree|
|This is a Booyong, or Brown Tulip Oak|
|Huge bats roosting in the canopy|
|The view across the plains towards the sea. These are the Glasshouse Mountains, so named by Captain Cook.|