Friday, January 20, 2012

it's not all work on the property

We get away often but being as aware as we can of just burning fuel , we keep most of our stuff as local as we can.  I thought it might be nice to give a idea of what you can do and how much you can enjoy what I call micro travel.


We have a magnificent white water kayaking facility a couple km's down the road, we can even ride to it on our pushbikes with our packrafts ! They're wonderful like that

Packrafts, break down paddle and that's all she said !
You can pack everything down into a back pack and head off !

We'd done a run down the Goolang Ck (overflow through the small hydro station from the Nymboida Rv) and I grabbed the camera and took a few pics of Toni having a go

Hydro outlet in the background

Lovin' it !

Negotiating the rapids !

We live in an area dubbed the "Northern Rivers", it's full of gorgeous unspoiled rivers and waterways everywhere, many of them allowing you to take things a little easier

Takin' it easy on the Nymboida Rv

and having come from North Qld, I can tell you being able to swim and make use of the rivers without fear of Crocodiles is WONDERFUL !


We're not too far from the ocean here as well (yes a veritable outdoor lovers wonderland where we live) , so in Summer we head over from time to time to enjoy the beach, once again coming from North Qld, not having any box jellyfish is WONDERFUL !

We were at Red Rock the other day, the water of the Corindi Rv is a gorgeous turquoise !
Red Rock headland, Corindi Rv (L) meets the Ocean

Toni on her boogie board in the river

You can get in at the township of Red Rock and float down, using the current of the river, to the headland.  Be aware the current is VERY strong, so make sure you feel comfortable and understand what you are doing if you have a go

Shucking Oysters off the rocks

Beach wildlife

There are a plethora of beaches close by, providing us with a cornucopia of choice
Headland at Minnie Waters

Pebble Beach at Station Creek
The above are just two of many

Humpback breaching off Woolgoolga headlands


We're also surrounded by innumerable National Parks with some truly superb hiking and places to see, just a snippet
Atop Cathedral Rock at Cathedral Rock NP
Striding out at Clarence Rv gorge

Rainbow Falls, Clarence Rv
On the trail to Gara Gorge, Oxley Wild Rvs NP

On the Gara Gorge track
One of the many pools at the Gibraltar NP

Dangar Falls

Mountain Biking

The other thing we do a lot of of is mountain biking, because we have the luxury of our own property, we've built an extensive network of trails on our land, here's a pic of a recently completed trail
Part of the "Leg Bone" trail

and we're mindful of the environmental damage, so when building structures, we use recycled timber for the decking (discards from a local mill that makes tongue and groove floor boarding) and coppiced trees for stringers
coppiced logs used as stringers

recycled hardwood t&g flooring used for decking

While their is a sense of satisfaction in building a wonderful facility, the grin factor comes in from riding it.  Us and others love it
Organised group ride

Jaye enjoying the trails

Mastering the tricky log ride !

Dad 'n Daughter on "legbone"

Lara loves it
Toni works nearby so she often rides into work, using part of our trail network to get there.

As you can see, we're in the middle of an outdoor lovers paradise !

bountiful garden

The garden has been going "gangbusters" during Spring and Summer.  We've had enough rain to hardly have to water at all, a little loving attention from Toni and we've been rewarded with a bountiful harvest.  As they say pictures are worth a thousand words, and plenty of previous pictures have shown that but the garden doesn't stop, so here's a few more !

All the fixin's for Gaspaticho !

Tomato Sauce, garden produce and home made bread
Some of the beetroot has been pickled, the prolific tomatoes mean plenty of tomato sauce for pastas and cooking etc  Go pick a couple carrots, a tomatoes, a Golden Dorset apple, a slice of home cooked onion and cheese bread and voila... lunch !

It's not all gardens and flowers, as anyone on a property knows there is nearly always something needing fixing or maintaining.  The tank on the hill (fed from the Dam at the front of the cottage)

Dam at front of cottage

has a system with a full sensor in it, the electric pump (using solar !) turns off when the float is full, we have a petrol pump for backup but who wants to burn petrol unless they really have to (well lots of people apparently, some people just like to go for "a drive" in their car but that's another discussion entirely)  So I wandered up the hill to have a look, which is no chore really, as a walk in the bush is a wonderful curative, just ask Henry David Thoreau (or read even !).  Take the tank sensor from the tank,

Dismantling the tank sensor

which is simply a toilet cistern float with a tilt switch shoved in the end ! and what do I find

Damaged tilt switch and bits on LHS, new tilt switch on RHS
it had simply corroded over the years and "disintegrated" by the looks of it, bit like me actually ! So I soldered the new tilt switch and a couple plugs to replace the joiners and away it went again !  While the concept of the sensor in the tank is quite nifty, the previous owners unfortunately ran the sensor wire in the main pipe, presumably to save costs, unfortunately this means every time there's a need to do pipe repairs, you have to pull the sensor wire out, which can be quite a pain ! ! Luckily this doesn't happen often (only once in two years so far)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

around and about

One of the great things about living in the bush is having so many gorgeous photo opportunities.  With that in mind  I  was out in the frogpond the other day, gumboots, camera and tripod, trying to take a decent picture of a lily flower.



Hopefully with more practice, comes a better photo.

The butterflies are everywhere at this time of the year, the netted orchard is full of Orchard Swallowtails, and Monarchs (an introduced butterfly) are ubiquitous across the property.
Monarch Butterfly
and the olives are coming along nicely

Olive with early morning dewdrop

and the fruits and vegetables are so productive !

Peaches (L) and Beetroots (R)

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I was about to have breakfast this morning when it struck me "this is what it's about"  I looked at my plate, eggs from the chooks yesterday, spring onions from the garden this morning, similarly a side of cherry tomatoes from the garden.  The idea is not to be self sufficient, which is virtually impossible (who grows and mills there own rice, flour, sugar, salt etc etc)  to do in your own garden but to reduce the amount you rely on from Supermarkets and others, reducing your impact on the Planet, cutting back on the amount of stuff that needs to be shipped around the place relying on non renewable fuels for transport etc

The gardens delight !

That's breakfast, making the meal mostly self sufficient, aside from the cheese I grated into the scrambled eggs and the pepper sprinkled over the top .  Satisfying in a way that consuming only our own produce can bring but most of all ... DE-LI-CIOUS :)

As well as providing food, the garden provides beverages!  Here's an example, a tea of Lemon Verbana, Lemon Myrtle and Mint.  While I am not a big fan, Toni loves it and we can just pick the leaves from the garden  !

from L to R: Lemon Verbana, Lemon Myrtle and Mint for Tea !

Christmas is done and dusted, on Christmas day, I went down to feed the chooks, Toni had corralled the guinea pigs, all the ones she thought were females and the babies that were too young to sex, waiting until she coudl sex the babies and divided the males from the females.  A local carpet snake thought this was "heaven on a stick", so in it came and devoured three or four of the mothers !  I quickly relocated the snake.

Python enjoying breakfast !

The guinea pigs are to be used for food and are used to keep the lawn in the orchard down.  The orchard is fully enclosed and is about 20m x 10m, so plenty of room for them to free range.  They're no trouble and no work (don't dig, like rabbits) so the perfect small property meat source.

Here's a Youtube video on that very subject