Nundle "Go For Gold" Chinese Easter Festival, NSW, Australia

These Chinese lions were a prominent feature of the festival.
Their tricks brought gasps of amazement from the people watching.

In Chinese culture, the lion is a symbol of stability and superiority. The purpose of the lion dance is to chase away ghosts and evil spirits.

The lions danced for the crowd…

…accompanied by a percussion band

The noise of the drums, gongs, and cymbals is intended to drive away the evil spirits, as the lions dance to their special rhythm.

The lions took to the air in daring performances, each trying to outdo the other

The crowd loved the yellow lion’s antics…

…especially his balancing act

This lion showed great coordination

As the show ended, people put money into red envelopes 
and fed them to the lions for good luck.

Then along came the dragon parade

The Chinese Dragon is greatly respected in Chinese society, unlike its western counterpart that is generally greatly feared. The Chinese associate their dragons with positive traits like goodness, greatness, blessing, boldness, intelligence, abundance and prosperity.

…although this dragon looked pretty fierce to me!

The Nundle Go for Gold Chinese Easter Festival was a very popular event...

There was a carnival atmosphere, with stalls selling all manner of things,
and happy people everywhere.

Lots of people tried their hand at gold panning during the festival.

Gold was the original reason why Chinese flocked to this area in Australia. From the 1850’s to the 1880’s thousands of people from all over joined the gold rush here. Most of them for the gold, but others came to set up stores and gardens to supply the diggers. Although many Chinese left as the gold ran out, choosing to try their luck elsewhere, some stayed and became a permanent part of Nundle’s history.

The notice says "Steam Engine. Built 1872 in Lincoln England, making it 130 years old. 
Built by Ruston Hornsby Ltd." (Their maths is slightly out!)

Two lovely Chinese ladies

That was such a fun day, that we might think of ensuring we are in the area next Easter, so we can do this all over again! Thank you Jane, Suzi and families for an entertaining day out.

Elizabeth Coughlan


Noosaville, Queensland, Australia

The Glass Mountains, Queensland

Our hosts, Jan and Tim drove us to the Sunshine Coast, passing the Glass Mountains, originally named by Captain Cook in 1770 because they reminded him of glass furnaces back in Yorkshire, England

We stayed in Noosaville, a popular holiday destination. Its popularity is not surprising, given its beautiful waterways and picturesque natural environment.

Soon after arriving, we hopped aboard a boat, ready for a sunset cruise.

We passed wonderful waterside retreats, surrounded by lush green vegetation…

…and even though there was cloud, the glorious light of the sun managed to 
penetrate through from time to time

The clouds made a dramatic backdrop to the scene as we sailed along the river

The unmissable Big Pelican, Noosaville

Often referred to as Percy the Pelican, this huge fibreglass structure first made an appearance in 1977 on a float for the Waters Parade, as an emblem of the local council at that time. Having deteriorated and been moved and rebuilt several times, the pelican now stands by the Pelican Boat Hire, in Lion Park, next to the Noosa River.

We were fascinated by the unusual looking Pandanus Tree,
it almost looks as if it could walk away on those stumps!

This tree is found across Northern Australia, and there are 30 different species, of which the above is the most common. Indigenous Australians have traditionally used the leaves for weaving, and the dead branches for constructing didgeridoos. The branches can also carry fire from place to place. When lit, the fibrous inside smoulders, rather like a cigar.

We saw lots of these strange looking native Australian birds, 
the Australian Brush Turkey (Alectura lathami)

We also visited Noosa National Park, recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.

This is a view of one of the many wild beaches found there

We then stopped at Laguna Lookout with its panoramic view of Noosa

There is so much to see in this amazing area, that our short stay only managed to give us a brief overview. We will definitely have to visit again. Thank you so much, Jan and Tim, for our wonderful experience of Queensland!

Elizabeth Coughlan


Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Our first view of Brisbane, from the summit of Mount Coot'tha

On our return to Australia, we headed for Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, to stay with our friends, Jan and Tim, in their wonderful apartment, overlooking the Brisbane River - what a view!

Sunset, as seen from the balcony of Jan and Tim’s apartment

“Look at me when I am talking to you!”
Kookaburras in the gum tree outside Jan and Tim’s apartment

Brisbane is a big, modern, fast growing city, spreading on both sides of the Brisbane River, with high-rise buildings springing up everywhere. 

Brisbane cityscape showing modern high rise buildings

There are older buildings among the new, like this,
the former Queensland Government Treasury Building

Dating from 1893, this building is a heritage-listed public administration building. It fell into disuse, when the government moved their offices in 1971, and it is now the Treasury Casino, owned by Tabcorp. However, this will ensure that this fine old building has been saved for posterity.

Another heritage listed building is City Hall, 
a centre for cultural, social, and civic events

The main auditorium of City Hall

Taking a moment to rest!

Albert Street Uniting Church

Just across from the City Hall is the Albert Street Uniting Church. Dating from 1889, this Gothic-style church has become dwarfed by the towering blocks surrounding it.

Statues are a feature in Brisbane. This one is the Petrie Tableau

The Petrie Tableau was commissioned in 1988 to honour Brisbane’s early families, and to capture the pioneering spirit of the city. It shows Andrew Petrie leaving for an inland expedition in 1842. His wife is handing him a drinking bottle, watched by their daughter Isabella. Young Tom Petrie plays on the river bank with two Aboriginal friends, while John Petrie is holding his father's horse. John became Brisbane's first Mayor. The figure on the left is a convict who was freed by Petrie. The Sculpture is by Stephen Walker.

These statues in the square facing city hall are in what is known as Speakers’ Corner

These bronze statues show, from left to right, Steele Rudd, author and storyteller; Emma Miller, trade union organiser and suffragist; and Sir Charles Lilley, former Premier and Chief Justice of Queensland.

The Shrine of Remembrance monument and the Eternal Flame

This major Brisbane landmark is a war memorial dedicated to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs).  It stands at the top of Anzac Square, and on 25 April, every year, a Dawn Service is held there in commemoration of the many Queenslanders who died in all the wars since WW1

A Boab Tree (Adansonia gregorii)

I was surprised to see this tree in Anzac Square. I am familiar with Baobab trees in Southern Africa, but I didn’t realise that there was a similar tree in Australia.

There were lots of Sacred Ibis birds strutting around the square

I was fascinated by these strange steel balls dotted around the city

This “Street Art” by Donna Marcus, is made from recycled vegetable steamers, welded on to metal plates. The balls were randomly placed on Brisbane square, by the artist, after she threw minature copies on to a map, and that determined where they would be set.

Thank you Tim and Jan for introducing us to your beautiful city. I hope we get the chance to explore it further, in the not-too-distant future!

Elizabeth Coughlan

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I couldn't resist this one!