02 September, 2006

What? Moved?

Who said I'd moved? What an awful rumour that was!! Well, I'm back (maybe temporarily, maybe not) because I have lots to tell - visually - and I know how to do the photo thing on Blogger - haven't got time (patience, more likely) to deal with photos and Wordpress right now. Anyway.

Today I planned a weekend away - but it was raining and I didn't much fancy camping in the rain, so came back this evening. I took a friend to Ayr, then I kept driving. This weekend the direction was south. To Bowen and beyond.

Incidentally, did you know that Hugh Jackman is filming a movie in Bowen? Not sure if he's been and gone or yet to begin, but he's agreed to do the film (no idea what it's about) and has talked about it. And has said that he thinks Bowen will be the next big tourist destination. Now, because he actually said that, I don't think he has actually visited Bowen. Because, tourist destination? PLEASE! Don't get me wrong, the beaches are stunning, but the town is just awful (apologies to any Bowen-ites, here). I have been to Bowen on at least four occasions now. Every time I go, the place is dead! Stores are closed and there is nobody around. Even on a Saturday morning. The roads are a concrete-bitumen-gravel-weed-glass mosaic, filled with cracks and potholes and lumps and dips. Most of the houses look as though they were built any date up to the 1970s (which is fine) and then left to the elements (which is not fine) so they're rotting, or the paint is peeling, or the roof is caving in, or all of the above. And preparation for cyclones is one thing, but to have windows permanently taped in case of breakage is both ugly and lazy. Yes, Hugh, a fabulous tourist destination.... But the beaches are exceptional (see below). And they are even more exceptional when the sun is shining.

After Bowen I headed to Hydeaway Bay. This was my study site for my Honours project a couple of years ago. I'm glad to say they have now sealed the road (it used to be dirt for a lot of the way) and am sad to say that there are many more houses going up (that was inevitable). I took some pictures of the site, and even noticed that the survey pegs that I had hammered into the dunes were still there, waiting for someone to start another project.

After Hydeaway Bay I headed back north, and came across a paddock of burning cane. I posted a picture of Burdekin snow a few posts back. The fire was spectacular and intense - flames leaping twice as high as the cane. And it was over so quickly - less than half an hour from first firing to smouldering ashes. I took a mountain of photos and video - the crackle of fire in the cane was like nothing else.

Enough ramble - on to the pictures. Be warned - there are many.

The Burdekin delta - lots and lots of cane fields. This is the best time of year in the Burdekin, because the cane is being harvested and you can actually see the scenery as you drive instead of a wall of sugar cane.

Kapok flowers. You'll get sick of these - I took heaps of pictures.

More kapok flowers.



Jonathan Livingstone?

Remember the bottlebrush picture I posted last week? This is very similar - but a lot noisier, thanks to the lorikeets.

Lunch for the lorikeet.


Horseshoe Bay, Bowen.

Bowen beach

More kapok trees

Murray Bay, Bowen

Hydeaway Bay

Rosella at Hydeaway Bay

My study site - Hydeaway Bay

The road to the beach

Guinea fowl (yes, I am fast becoming a bird nerd)

Cane fire

Cane fire again

And again

Can't get enough of those flames!!

All gone


Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Well Tanya...that was certainly a fascinating trip and story. Bowen is beautiful, but I noticed that you didn't include any of the old broken down houses which you described.

Your description of the town of Bowen reminded me of some of the prettiest country around our parts which in itself is very beautiful, but has been trashed by it's inhabitants...They stuff bed pillows in broken window pains, discard their old cars in the front yards, pile trash on their front porches and live in unfinished black tar papered houses.
They have a general disregard for the beauty of this earth and keeping it that way.

I also loved your cane fields on fire. Very nice pictures. I haven't mastered the night shots quite well yet. You did a great job.

The lorikeets are so BEAUTIFUL and COLORFUL...I would think I was living in the garden of eden if I looked out to see such lovely birds in my yard.

12:26 am  
Blogger Tanya said...

Thanks for the great comments, Sandy. The lorikeets sure are beautiful - until you hear them. Their screeches are definitely NOT music.

I didn't get any pictures of the houses - an excuse to go back :)

12:35 am  
Blogger Lee said...

Great pics, Tanya. Again, you've made me sit here and reminisce. I love Bowen. I lived and worked in Collinsville for three years and when I was able, I would go into Bowenm do a big 'shop' at Magee's supermarket (picking up salami, cheese, pate etc., a thick rump steak and the trimmings, visit their liquour store( and then shoot down to Rowe's Bay for the weekend. There used to be a caravan park on the seafront where I would book a cabin, right on the beachfront, looking out to Gloucester Island. I would settle in for the weekend, with my car parked not to be disturbed until it came time for me to leave) The sea was always a glorious turquoise. I would sit on the little deck of the cabin (it was old, but very clean and functional), my portable stereo, candles and a bottle of wine...and drink in the view...all for the cost of $75.00 for the weekend! This was in the '90's. I love the beaches at Bowen. For a short time, a few years later, I managed a resort at Horseshoe Bay. I like the township of Bowen, also with its wide main street and the 'whiteness' of the buildings glimmering under the sun. There's something very 'mediterranean' about Bowen.

6:36 am  
Blogger Emma said...

We were in Bowen on a blazing hot Saturday afternoon looking for lunch at Christmas time. That was not a successful expedition. The beaches were spectacular, the town was not. My DH really dislikes Bowen, a hangover from a bad work experience a couple of years ago. I can see the mediterranean aspect of Bowen. It seemed sunbleached to me.

The cane fires are another childhood memory. We used to visit a cane farming family in Mossman when they were burning the fields. All us kids had to sit in the back of the ute, because snakes would come out of the field to escape the fire. I was a little sad when burning the cane off went out of fashion.


8:11 am  
Blogger Kerri said...

Spectacular photos Tanya. I just love seeing the scenery up around there (well, down from here, but up from NSW, where I use to live :)
The birds are so fascinating...what colors! Don't think I've ever seen a rosella in those colors before...gorgeous! Love that bottlebrush and the lorikeets. So much nostalgia!
And oh, the beaches!!!
That cane fire is really spectacular!
Thanks for sharing these pics. Just great!

9:08 am  
Blogger Val said...

Well Ive got feeds to both sites still, so i will catch you wherever you post! Amazing photos, and so unlike the British seaside. I can get a real flavour of the place though. Just so colourful, and a lovely picture of the delta to get an overall impression. Arent the fires really scary? We have so little space and land over here I would worry about the destruction.

5:20 pm  
Blogger Paige said...

Beautiful. Thanks for taking me on your little walkabout.

1:30 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home