Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Girraween National Park

After a lovely and very quiet Christmas at home we ventured north on Boxing Day to go camping for a couple of days.

We were going to have Christmas in the tent this year but then I had the thought that if Santa was going to bring the children some hiking related gifts this year it would be nice if the children had them for the whole trip.  Low and behold Santa did bring the children some goodies which included little hiking packs, binoculars and headlamps from Kathmandu which were all well received on the big day.

We decided to head for Girraween National Park in Queensland which I had seen in a Parks Guide and thought looked really good.  We got off to a rocky start when Possum vomited in the car just 30 minutes from home but thankfully it was a one off thing.

Neither child had been out of New South Wales before and Possum asked if they spoke another language in Queensland.  She was glad to get there and discover it was all 'normal' (until State of Origin time anyway).

We had to book a tent site online which made me nervous.  What if it was too hot?  Not great?  Too close to water with the children?  I needn't have worried.  It was less than $35 for two nights for the four of us and it was a great place to camp.  Plenty of great sites all with a bit of bush between them and not too great a walk to the toilets and hot showers.  I would give this a big thumbs up and recommend it to anyone.  We stayed at the Bald Rock Creek camping area.

After pitching our tent we set off on our first hike.  We did 4 kms in 2 hours which is pretty good going with the children I think.  They LOVED having their own packs (great work Santa!) and I was glad to not have to stop every time one of them wanted a drink.

The photo above was taken at the base of the final section of The Pyramid.  The below photo (note the photo bombing child) shows The Pyramid in the distance and we climbed to about were you can see the top of the tree line up the rock on the right hand side.  We didn't go higher as we were mindful of not wearing the children out on the first afternoon and it was very steep and exposed given they only had sneakers on. 

After The Pyramid we walked to The Granite Arch.  A lovely couple offered to take a photo of us which was nice; we don't have many photos with us all in them.  I do think the types of people you run into in National Parks and camping about the place are generally good down to earth types as a rule.  The exception to this is the crazy hikers in thongs on quite an exposed slab of steep granite we ran into earlier in the day...

The granite rocks in this park are nothing short of beautiful.  I know the word 'amazing' can get overused but it really was.

  A shower of rain overnight kept everything lovely and cool and gave both children plenty of rock pools to peer in.  It was a lot of fun.  There was always something to look at and explore.

See Possum out in front?  She is a trail blazer and likes to set the pace.  Our rule is that she has to be able to see us all the time and stay on the track.  I don't want to quash her independence and love of the trail but at times I worry about her being so far in front of us.

On day 2 we did the Bald Rock Creek circuit which was another 4kms but all flat this time which was welcome.  There were plenty of swimming holes and wild flowers and it was lovely after the rain.

There was no shortage of scenery that made me want to snap a quick photo.

 We ended up walking back to this spot which was only about 500 metres from the camp site so we could have an afternoon swim.  It was quiet at this point as we avoided the swimming area near the day use car park that looked very busy the day before.

We are planning another trip back as we only did the walks in The Northern Section and there is plenty left to see.

Monday, December 23, 2013

{Six} Happy Birthday

 I find it very hard to believe that my first baby is now SIX!!  When I consider all her achievements over the past year I am both proud and surprised; school has been wonderful as has watching Possum grow and learn in her extra-curricular activities and at home.  A year makes such a big difference!

We had to buy a new bike to accommodate yet another growth spurt.  We took the training wheels off and while Possum is not always happy about this she is getting the idea and getting better.

We have not had much time for horse riding over the past year but every now and then Peppy gets put through his paces with some pretty handy groundwork given how little practice Possum has had.  They are learning together and of all of us Peppy the Pony has picked his rider as his favourite person.

Two days after her birthday Possum lost her sixth tooth.  Six teeth seems like a lot and I have discovered a love of toothy grins since the first ones fell out last year as shown in the above photo

School this year has been amazing.  Possum was reading before she started and she hit the ground running.  Her teacher has been wonderful and we are grateful for the school we choose.  I have loved that I got to work at the same school all year with her and watch her as she navigated the school environment.

Possum was awarded at the end of school presentation taking out the Kindergarten certificate for 'most consistent achievement'.  It was such a proud parenting moment for us!  All of kindy were given a book at the end of the year and her teacher picked Roald Dahl's The Magic Finger for Possum who read it during the rest of the awards ceremony and then finished it that night at home.  Her head is ALWAYS in a book when she has a quiet moment!

Possum's request for her cake this year was for the Australian Woman's Weekly 'dream time lizard'.  I think it turned out pretty well given we were up to 1am on the morning of her birthday making it!  Possum saw it and said it was just like the one in the book.  Win. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Groundhog day...

...Always busy, always tired, always behind.

Four days of work to go.  Three days of school to go.  Two concerts to go.  Then holidays and welcome unemployment.  Presuming parenting and full time study count as unemployment?  

Whatever it is called I am counting down the days!  More time for me, more time to study, to clean my house, to learn how to sew and knit again (it has been so long I am not sure I remember how!!)...

This year has been wonderful in so many ways but next year I am going to finish my degree and get back on the horse and live rather than exist in a hazy, busy fog.  Who knows, maybe I will even get time to blog?!