Saturday, August 31, 2013

Bonfire and Ferry Park

Last weekend we visited some friends who live on a beautiful property. There was also a birthday involved :-). Now a property needs some maintenance and undergrowth needs to be cleared to decrease fire risk. Which is ironic as once the undergrowth is cleared our friends have a bonfire!! They set up a lounge on the back of a trailer for viewing in comfort. 

This was the yummiest chocolate cake
Today we went to visit our in-laws as it is Father's Day in Australia tomorrow. We had breakfast at Ferry Park Cafe Restaurant and Gallery - I took the opportunity to take some photos of the historic sugar can barge and ferry which apparently will be removed soon and taken to the dump. 

"The old Ashby ferry (commissioned in 1936) and the cane barge (Cane Punt No 6) at Ferry Park, Maclean, which are listed as heritage items under the Clarence Valley Local Environment Plan 2011, will be removed.
Both the ferry and barge are also listed on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels.
There have been moves in the past to restore the barge.
In April 2009, the council resolved to allocate $40,000 towards its restoration and the construction of a roof over the barge.
Subsequent to this decision, in March 2010, the council received a $5,000 Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) grant that resulted in the commissioning of a conservation plan to direct the ongoing preservation and restoration of the 64-year old vessel.
Built in 1946, the steel-plated cane barge, which is listed on the ANMM’s register of historic vessels, is thought to be the last surviving example of the barges that transported sugarcane on the Clarence River, according to the ANMM.
The ferry is “one of the few remaining examples of the large number of cable ferries built for river crossings around Australia during the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s”."
A little bit about sugarcane (which is grown and harvested in many places in the Clarence)

Riki checking out the ferry
Is that a water dragon behind me!!
Yep :-)
Sugar cane barge
Eucalyptus tree (Aussies favourite food)
We then drove to the Maclean Bicentennial Memorial Cairn - a tribute to those from Scotland that settled in Maclean

A little bit about Maclean (where my husband lived when he was younger)

"Maclean is very proud of its Scottish Heritage. Every Easter the clans invade the township for the Annual Highland Gathering and the Scottish tradition is highlighted by the fact that the township has the oldest Free Presbyterian Church in Australia. To portray this connection, a number of stones from both Scotland and Australia have created a large Scottish Cairn overlooking the Clarence River.Many street signs also carry the Gaelic translation of the name and at least one local hotel advertises that hagis is available for breakfast.
Maclean is also the gateway to Australia's Sugar Country and celebrates this connection in September with the Cane Harvest Festival.
Maclean also hosts the headquarters for a large prawn trawling fleet that works the Clarence River from Ulmarra to the mouth of the river.
Places to visit whilst in Maclean include the Scottish Cairn, the Maclean Lookout, The Pinnacle and the Bicentennial Museum." 
Scottish Cairn in Maclean

Clan tartan totem poles
Maclean Scottish Memorial
"Visitors can take in the panoramic views of the town,
coast and bushland at Maclean Lookout.
Near the lookout is Pinnacle Rock,
a fascinating rock formation with a network of caves"
Can't see the whole thing as a bit overgrown
First geocache of today - yippee - up at Maclean lookout
The tree that housed the geocache
A termite mound which must have
been attached to a branch of this tree
but it fell off and is now on the ground
Maclean Lookout and trig station - bit hazy today as some controlled burns were happening so we are ready for bush fires this coming summer. 
Memorial seat in memory of local Mayor and councillor 
well known for her environmental work in the region.

Joy Matthews was a former Mayor and councillor 
at Maclean Shire Council for 12.5 years and a member 
of the first  Clarence Valley Council for over a year. 
She was an elected representative from 1991 to 2006.

It is a tiled mosaic representing the 
Clarence River (blue) and all it's islands
Cruisin' pelican on the Clarence River
Can you see the geocache up the tree?
We then went back to the family home and I tried out the zoom on my camera with some flora and fauna :-)
Flora - 'Bird of Paradise'
Rosella (male)
Honey Eater
Cleaning out the nesting box ready
for the next batch of baby rosella's
Kumquat - makes yummy jam.
Look like mini oranges but taste very different.
Tomorrow we will be checking out the CraftAlive show!! 

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