Wollemi N.P., Nissan 4x4 Trials
The trials were 8 events spread over about 20 acres of the National Park, the part already scared by the crossing of high tension electricity transmission lines.
It was a good day. Lots of people doing really crazy things in 4x4's. Lots of broken parts, dinted body work, and flying mud. Some of the courses these guys managed to finese their trucks over really did boggle the mind.
Apart from the people, trucks, noise and music of this large event, there was still enough quite and solitude here and there to also enjoy being out in a forest.
Canberra, Tallaganda NP, Captains Flat
It then turns into a gravel road for about 40 kilometres as it passes through the Tallaganda National Park. An excellent drive. We took a diverting half and hour down one of the 'fire trails' that headed off into the park. We had a whale of a time. Tight, forested tracks, a few water hazards and some nice crests here and there.
The urge to have the sunroof open on a delightfull summers day in the forest and the water hazards were mutually exclusive. We had to stop and wipe up the 500 litres of water that came in the top after going through a biggish puddle. Doh!.
A great day. It will take me hours to clean the damn thing now...
The Grandis, Seal Rocks
So, A trip up to the Myall Lakes to see if the Grandis, the tallest tree in NSW, has been re-opened.
It HAD finally been re-opened, and the new work and platforms realy do the National Parks service proud. Immeasurably better, the platform stands some 10 metres from the ground and is some 30 metres back from the tree - much less intrusive than the old platform which ran around the base of the tree itself.
As usual, the drive up to the Grandis and back is an absolute hoot - winding and climbing gravel road through the rainforest.
We pushed on and took the turn-off to Seal Rocks - I wanted to show Rowena the most fabulous beach in NSW. We weren't dissapointed, the water was its usual aquamarine, and crystal clear.
We finished with a hike up to the SugarLoaf Point lighthouse, before returning to Sydney.
Townsville to Sydney
We drove from Townsville to nearly Mackay, Airlie Beach, and stayed the night with Jason. Was good to catch up again, if only briefly, and look around his new pad. He sure does know how to pick the spots.
Next morning we headed on to Hervey Bay, but stopped for a couple of hours and had lunch in Rockhampton with Bug and Andrew and crew. Of the entire vista of human experience, limited quality time spent with good frieds demonstrates just how short minutes can appear - in this case each minute felt like 55 microseconds.
We had seafood in Hervey Bay with M&D and got a good nights sleep before the longer haul back to Sydney bypassing Brisbane.
All in all an enjoyable and relaxing trip.
S.S. Yongala and Wheeler Reef
First port of call was Wheeler Reef. Made up of mainly small to medium bommie clusters and meandering sand paths it was very easy to get lost, though with the amazing visibility we didn't do too badly.
Towards the end of the day, we found a large school of fusiliers being mercilessly picked off by a big school of black trevally. Absolutely huge fish, some nearly 2 metres long. White tip reef sharks cruised along underneath the carnage, picking up stunned near misses.
S.S. Yongala was an absolutely amazing dive. 110 metres of wreck, lying on its side in 30 metres of water covered from bow to stern with soft corals, sea fans, spongues and plant life. Green turtles, Qld Grouper and Coral Trout where everywhere. Black Trevally and white tip sharks cruised nearby and shovelnose and huge bull rays glided effortlessly along in the current.
A wreck is a bit difficult to dive, and often we found the current in the shipping channel a bit daunting. Mostly we were mored on the down current side, so you initially swam into the current to the far end of the wreck, turned around, and flew back to the start.
S.S. Yongala is easily the best diving on the GBR I've done so far.
Sydney to Townsville
We drove to Hervey Bay the first day, after having slight car troubles before leaving Sydney - the engine boiled over because the electric fan connnector was left unplugged during a recent service. We got to Hervey Bay about midnight or so, crashed, had breakfast and pushed on early the next morning.
Aiming for a 4pm arrival in Townsville, we completely and utterly failed, but it all worked out in the end, we got on the boat and passed out - no sea sick sleeping for us !!
The drive was mostly uneventfull. It was really good to see the country north of Rockhampton again. Last time I was in Mackay was about 7 years ago, and in Townsville, many years more. Supprisingly I still remembered some bits of it!
Apache 2, Webmail
Apache 2 allows "ProxyPreserveHost" option, which ensures that the website requested by the client is passed to the proxied machine - that way Outlook Web Access knows how to insert correct URL's into the returning data. Works ver nicely now.
I must say I'm very impressed with the modular way Apache 2's configuration works. Heaps neater than one monolithic file, especially if you have multiple sites of configs.
Barrington Tops National Park
Some punishing climbs and turns on this stretch. The pastoral land gradually gives way to more and more dense forest. The rocks become covered with mosses and the forest grew closer, and the temperature outside the car gradually dropped, until it was about 8 degrees.
I stopped at a couple of the camp sites for a look around - these spots were deserted in the middle of winter - but they would be an excellent overnight stay - I'll have to come back.
I also stopped at the Thunderbolt Lookout and enjoyed the magnificent view.
A short way further on I found a couple of unmarked logging roads and explored to the ends of them - usually about 5 or 6km into the forest. Lots of fun driving to be had here.
Continuing on towards Gloucester the road finally becomes sealed again. I returned to Sydney via teh freeway. An enjoyable day trip.
Subaru Rally of Canberra, Day 2
The feel was a bit different, the roar and thunder of an approaching 300 BHP rally car, the crack-crack of the backfire, but no car... Then dust, car, roar, and gone...
A fantastic weekend out in the forest. Note to self, next year, bring a damned heavier coat, we were freezing.