Monday, 17 August 2009

Queensland, you beaut!

Monday 17th
We are now back in Adelaide and definitely back into winter!

Our trip to Brisbane was really great. We had 4 days there and I've already written about our time with Doug and Ruth and our visit to the coast at Moreton Bay (OK. I got the spelling wrong the first time!).
I've already mentioned our visit to Australia Zoo at Beerwah, in the Glasshouse Mountains area of Queensland. If you are in Queensland, this is one not to be missed.

Our friends Rod and Maree took us out to see Ipswich and then on to Toowoomba on Saturday.

Toowoomba lies about 150km west of Brisbane and beyond the Great Dividing Range that runs much of the length of the continent. This now much-eroded mountain range separates Australia from Sydney! According to some, Sydney is Australia and the rest is just the bush....

Toowoomba is a growing town that lies amongst a field of small extinct volcanic cones in an area that is seeing unprecedented growth as people move out from other, crowded (!), areas of Australia.

We were taken to the QTH of Phil, VK4CDI, another 23cm EME op and someone I'd met at the Florence EME conference last year.
John (VK4TJ?), an ex-VE, was also at Phil's QTH and Rod, Phil, John and I spent a good amount of time discussing Phil's EME dish and 2m/70m EME arrays whilst the girls chatted about the wonderful scenery of Toowoomba and the look out from Phil's home.

After a visit to the top of the nearby volcanic hill, with its fantastic views in all directions, we visited another even higher hill (Picnic Hill?) with an outlook south towards Sydney and east towards Brisbane. It was a cool evening and with the Australian flag fluttering from the enormous flag pole, it was quite breathtaking. Time for the drive back to Brisi and some dinner!

We flew out from Brisbane on Sunday evening, but not before we'd spent the day in Brisbane, sailing on the Brisbane River in a fast City Cat catamaran river taxi, travelling on the Brisbane wheel (not quite as big as the London Eye) and just browsing the city centre which was just thronging with people, who were shopping, eating and enjoying the street entertainment in the unseasonably warm weather.

Back in Adelaide and we have come back to winter. Further south they have been experiencing some severe wind storms, chilly weather and rain. There has even been structural damage in some places. But not here!

We are off to (near) Hatherleigh in deepest South Australia on Wednesday, but first I have to do a talk to some amateurs in Adelaide on Tuesday evening. You would think that my talk to the Elizabeth (Adelaide) VHF Radio Club back in 1996 would have cured them!............ But I am looking forward to seeing the guys again.

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