On the first weekend of our stay in Sydney earlier this year our daughter in law arranged for tickets to the Sydney Great Steam Train Expo. Apart from being able to look through some very historic carriages our tickets included a 75 minute steam train ride through the suburbs of Sydney. It was a wonderful trip and enjoyed by all the family, especially my 2.5 year old grandson. (He plays almost daily with his own train set.)
Over the coming week or so I will be showing the photos taken that morning. I won’t bore you with my writing; I’ll just let you enjoy the photos.
After leaving Rankins Springs we continued on our journey west heading for home. Driving over the Hay Plains can lonely and there are long stretches of straight road. Most people probably find this section boring, but we are always fascinated by the subtle changes of vegetation as one travels into the drier parts of far south-west New South Wales.
I also enjoy trying to identify the bird species seen along this stretch. While the vegetation may be sparse in places, the bird life is surprisingly varied. Half way between Rankins Springs and Hay we stopped for a mid-morning cuppa and snack. In the twenty minutes we stopped I managed quite a long list of birds.
Our next stop was on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in Balranald (see photo above). We usually carry a picnic lunch with us whenever we travel as we never know exactly where we will be when we stop. It saves finding a place to buy food, too. We also have hot water with us for a cuppa as well.
The river flood plains near Balranald are covered by huge River Red Gums, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, which make a beautiful backdrop for a picnic lunch.
From time to time I feature birds on this travel blog. Birding is one of my major interests and I write about my sightings on Trevor’s Birding blog.
Many people carry a bird identification guide book with them on their travels. I make sure I always have one with me to help work out what I am seeing.
If you are a traveller – and interested in birds – I’d suggest that you find room for a bird field guide too. Most of them are compact enough to fit easily into a day pack or even a handbag.
Today sees the publication of a new field guide of Australian birds. The Simpson and Day field guide has been around since 1984 and has sold over half a million copies. Today the fully revised and updated 8th edition is published.
This blog about my travels is now four years old.
I started this blog exactly four years ago in the dining room of my son in Sydney. He had just set up the domain name and busily went about teaching me how to blog. He was a good teacher for I was soon off and away with blog entries. And I haven’t let up in the intervening years. I try to post every day but during the last two years I have also been trying to complete my Master of Arts in Creative Writing which has impacted on how frequently I have been able to write articles here. I’m also in the last stages of completing the writing of a novel for children as part of those studies. It has all taken a lot of my time.
During the life of this blog I have written about many places, including a visit to Thailand and trekking in Nepal. By far the majority of the nearly 600 articles are as a result of travelling here in Australia, including New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and my home state of South Australia of course.
I’d like to thank all my many regular readers, those who have occasionally dipped into various pages and especially those who have taken the trouble to leave comments. I value you all – you people make this blog a worthwhile endeavour.
A special thanks to my son Sim’ who looks after the background administration of this and my other blogs, keeping them ticking over nicely.
Today is Australia Day, celebrating the day on which the first European settlers arrived in Sydney Cove in 1788.
Australians love a public holiday, and especially this one being in the middle of summer. Many people gather with family and friends and have barbecues, picnics, visits to the beach or attend major sporting events.
With the vast majority of Australians living near the coast, water activities are on the agenda for people. Swimming, sailing, surfing, fishing, canoeing and other water sports are all very popular.