Australia is a bit of a blur now, so this photo selection will likely be minimally annotated.
Cape Byron is the closest point to NZ... just out there.
First stop was a one of the most well regarded of the old north coast communities, Dharmananda. The history of the land was dairy and bananas, and both crops are retained in the present day. This handsome couple, jersey breed cows, are part of the milking herd.
Milking is once a day and part of a bigger work roster, that has been running for decades, seemingly flawlessly.
We get to help make the cheese, which is also a roster task. Twice a week they make a 4kg hard cheese, and a feta. Here the curds are heated gently and sliced.
Then heated some more to toughen teh curds up, and a gentle manual task of reducing the curd size is part of the art.
Into the press for about 2 days, then after about 4-6 months in a cool store, presto.
Our meals were almost 100% home grown most days. The morning kitchen roster person makes bread, yoghurt, and butter.
Star fruit, banana, guava, and hand cracked pecans.
Bananas need a bit of management, and they have it sorted like we saw no where else this trip.
Every morning we would have brekfast on the veranda, and watch the bananas growing below.
Yeilding 20-30kg bunches.
We took an outing to Protester falls national park, the site where locals put an end to the logging of Red Cedar back in the 80s or 90s.
And the falls themselves. The weather has been mild and warm, but it is cold in the shade, the winter sun being fairly low in the sky.
Part of the large vege garden, ginger and turmeric in the foreground. The gardens are managed by community members adopting certain rows, and once weekly garden work morning by the whole community.
The bird sounds are many, loud and interesting, but for the most part they are keeping out of sight. This kookaburra is an exception, as well as the butcher birds.
The old common house, well used with daily common dinners, but modified from the old farm house makes it not entirely ideally shaped. We helped remove a wall one day.
For nostalgia we dropped into visit a community from my 90s visits. Holy Goat Ranch. Its a small community and seems to be tearing itself apart from unresolved internal conflicts, which is a shame.
Our hosts though were spectacularly kind and this is their cool outdoor cafe style kitchen.
Full moon through the australian haze.
After a couple of other short visits, it seems the state of austrlian communities is dominated by the old multiply occupancy theme, and we decide to go see a bit of the outback. These photos were taken on my cell phone, and arent so good. The austrlian dust having worked its way into the TZ81.
As we head west from Brisbane in a rented Jucy camper, the roads get quieter, straighter, and more barran. Its what we came to see. Then we hit Quilpie, our nominal its as far as we can take a rental destination, theres a solitary bump call Baldy Top Lookout.
It makes for a memorable sunet, and sunrise.
Then as we head north towards Longreach the terrain gets more varied as we traverse a vast vast floodplain.
Soometimes very bare. Its been one of the driest seasons the locals can remember.
We pass through several isolated settlments, Windoroh, Jundah, Stonehenge. One pub towns. One has a solar power generator.
From Windorah we take a bit of a detour part way towards Birdsville. We want to see the desert.
We find it the form of these wind blown dunes.
One of which was our campsite that night. The outback is so big and car camping is the great australian past time. Where there isnt wilderness to avail, the local towns usually provide a free place to RVs to pull up, in return for the extra business the campers bring.
I cant remember which this was. But not a whole lot there. Stonehenge i think.
This is filed out of sequence, its from Rockhampton or Mackay, its some kind of urban art, memorial. The last ghost gum / truffulla tree.
On our way back to the coast we stop in a Carnavon Gorge National Park. Its an acient whethered gorge, in an otherwise flat landscape.
Its green, theres actual water in the river, and it also has lots of aborginal rock art.
Thus. Common motives boomerangs, animal hoof prints, nets, vulvas that sort of thing.
Spot the dream time serpent.
From memory i think the hands represented the spirits of those past on.
A nice swimming spot.
And the obligatory kangaroo lawn mower shot. The rest as they say is history.