What is Brisbane's best breakfast with a view?

North Queensland journey


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Breakfast with a view

Glorious by name and nature - Way atop Mt Glorious on the edge of Greater Brisbane's Forested wilderness is a small restaurant with a view that spans the suburbs, city, Moreton Bay and distant islands.

It just so happens that this little restaurant also serves a fantastic breakfast to go with the view.

In these cool months of winter we may not see the benefit of heading to the even cooler hills west of the city but with the dry winter air comes a clarity of light not visible in the summer humidity.

For the sooks who use their electric blanket at the first sign of leaf fall, you have the option of indoor dining by the fireplace. There is even a panoramic window from which to view the great outdoors, even if you find them too, well, outdoorsy.

A nice hot coffee gets things started but it doesn't take long for the eggs benedict to appear, twin yellow-sauced mounds atop a split English muffin. An unusual accompaniment of salad greens and tiny tomatoes seems out of place until you try it. It works.

Breakfast doesn't start til fairly late so no need to rush up the hill or you'll be marching time at the front gate until mid-morning.

It is possible to walk off breaky at the nearby Maiala National Park, beloved destination of picnicophiles and barbeque artists. Farther along the road is the Wivenhoe Outlook, a good stop for photos pointed in the westward direction. The road continues from here to either Somerset Dam or Fernberg.

We like to go to Toowoomba or Crows Nest this way. The Somerset Dam wall is worth a look but you practically need a gas mask when the flood gates are opened. What a pong!

Once you've caught your breath head back towards Esk if intending to head up to Toowoomba, otherwise the road continues on around Somerset into Kilcoy.

View from Mt Glorious The Fernberg route allows for a detour to the Wivenhoe Dam wall on the way to Esk.

Esk is where the two ring roads reconnect before ambling up the steep road to Hampton which is between Crows Nest and Toowoomba. Refreshments can be found at Sketches, the curious cafe that boasts a golf course and accommodation cabins set in the hills.

Toowoomba is well endowed with motels and B&Bs so it is possible to rest up and make a weekend of it.

For those of you still huddled by the fire at the Mt Glorious Restaurant you can simply return to your car and head back down the hill through Samford or the Gap via Mt Nebo.

Be well.
Happy travels.

30th June 2009

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the atherton tableland and far north queensland

North Queensland journey
Atherton journey
view forever on highway through Gordonvale

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Breakfast with a view

ATHERTON ADVENTURES - A diary - mostly written as a diversion of the sort required by a lone traveller during the long hours of evening.

The usual view at the start of a journey17th February 2008

Well I'm actually writing this on the 18th so it might be a little disjointed but let's see shall we.

Leaving Brisbane airport I can still see Trev waving goodbye at the observation window. I miss him just thinking about it. At that point I decide we will travel together from now on.

The flight is quite smooth. I see the Hornibrook Bridge from a great height, then the marina at Scarborough, then Bribie and within moments Caloundra.

I think of the concept of the broader self which sees things from a higher vantage point as Mooloolaba and Maroochydore glide by, followed by Noosa, some extraordinary looking murky lakes and Gympie, followed by cloud cover.

At this point I see a rainbow circle on a cloud far below. I take a few photos but I doubt if the rainbow will turn out. How odd that Robbie (my brother) was speaking about just such a phenomena the previous week. In this case there is not the plane's shadow in the midst of the rainbow circle, but it is curious nonetheless.

::read the full diary::

The rest of the story and pics can be accessed via the link above. If you have any questions please fire away and I'll keep an eye on the postings to answer you asap.

Be well all.
Enjoy your travels.

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Cairns and tropical north queensland - a short stop review

Could this be the most beautiful place on earth?

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cairns cairnscairns


Cairns Colonial Club ResortAs promised here is my quick report on our recent trip.

Cairns was surprisingly beautiful seen from the air on the flight in. I had completely forgotten how lush and tropical it is.
It reminds me of the South Pacific tropics which is not surprising I guess given its location.
We stayed out of town first at a place called the Cairns Colonial Resort.
It is about 3 - 4k from the city centre near the foothills and it has acres of lovely gardens with a number of beautiful swimming pools plus a shuttle service to town every hour or so as well as one to and from the airport.
Tour buses pick you up in the morning and drop you off at night. You can easily walk to the Flecker gardens and Tank Art Centre from there.
Then we moved to the Mercure Harbourside. It was in a fantastic location and the views from our top floor balcony were spectacular. We chose the hinterland views because the seaward view is mostly of mudflats but that can have its own charm when the tide is in ;)
Anyway, the mountains reminded me of Tahitian volcanoes and the agricultural show was on during our stay so we got to see the fireworks at night as an added bonus.

Our best day was spent walking the length of the esplanade and enjoying the lovely parks and fountains and then wandering through the marina and checking out the gorgeous boats. We enjoyed a delicious lunch on the grassy edge of a waterfront cafe and a spectacular dinner at the Mercure's restaurant. If you go there have the crispy skinned baked pork. It was so good we went back again the next night and ordered the same thing :)

Cairns harbourThe orchid house at the botanic garden was not overly endowed with orchids but the weird plant house, whatever its called, was quite interesting.
Next time we go we'll hire a car and take a trip up to the Atherton Tableland and go to the orchid house near Tinaroo Dam and check out the butterflies there as well. Plus detour to visit the Barron Gorge, Lake Eacham and Barrine and the Yungaburra curtain fig tree. I've been to these things before and they are great to see.
Well that's about it. If you have any questions please fire away and I'll keep an eye on the postings to answer you asap.

Be well all.
Enjoy your travels.

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tangalooma - snorkellers on the loose

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Intrepid reporter on the job.TANGALOOMA - Dolphins, wobbegongs and sand in the teeth…what more could you ask for?

Living in Brisbane has always meant lazy holidays at superb beaches just a short trip from home. How easy it is to become complacent.

Try Tangalooma. I did. I'm impressed…

Day one. 9am on the passenger ferry. Muscled out a couple of tourists and got a good spot for sea watching. Saw the sea, smelly shipyards, the sea, dolphins!!!, the sea, some more sea and then Moreton Island!!

Good ol' terra firma, the more firma the less terra (Old joke). Went AWOL from the induction tour to sneak off and arrange Scuba diving. Nice try but pre-booked day trippers had snaffled ALL the places. How dare they! Useful advice: Book from home.
Undaunted, we booked for a snorkeling trip and dolphin feeding.

Tangalooma resort is surrounded by old landscaped gardens. I like that - gnarled palm trees and logs on the ground, scented jasmine vines, ship bits tastefully placed among the philodendrons.

There are four places to eat.
1. The licensed restaurant
2. The outdoors bistro
3. The Beach Café
4. Your self-contained apartment

After attending to lunch (bistro), we did the obligatory "walk on the beach", which in this case included "climb the giant sand dune". This was closely followed by "dropping exhausted into the sand with legs like jelly".

Another variant was added "Oh no. My sunglasses are lost on that monstrous sand dune…somewhere…" which was closely followed by "It's time to buy new sunglasses".

Strange how a kilometre walk TO a giant sand dune increases to a ten kilometre walk FROM a giant sand dune.

Dolphin tickets were found under the door to our apartment.
Dolphin feeding:

1. Claim vantage spot on jetty

2. Watch for arrival of wild dolphins

3. Get excited when a large clump of seaweed moves in the floodlight

4. Learn to distinguish between false dolphins and real dolphins when…


6. Go "Ooooh. Aaaah." As the dolphins streak through the water chasing pre-dinner tiddlers and looking much more like exciting dolphins than boring bits of seaweed. Sheesh. Won't fool ME again.

7. Listen to person with microphone rave on about stuff.

8. People with TICKETS who BOOKED smugly gather for a lesson in how to line up in groups of two and wash hands in a bucket of water prior to reaching into second bucket for slimy dead fish.

Day two here we come.9. Line up in groups of two as per lesson.

10. Wash hands in bucket of water.

11. Reach into second bucket for slimy dead fish.

12. Walk in unison with ranger and be amazed as these huge yet gentle creatures feed from your hands with all the agility of a multi-toothed monster who wouldn't hurt a fly.

Day Two - Snorkeling and Sand Tobogganing - The sports of REAL women (and men)

Buffet breakfast which covers for buffet morning tea (and would've worked as buffet lunch if I wasn't such a guts) followed by a look at the "Island Toys" store which is where you go to borrow or hire equipment for sporting activities like tennis racquets, croquet thingos and in our case, pre-snorkeling trainers, complete with fluro pink and green goggles.

Trainee Snorkeling.
Looking like the fish we were hoping to see we launch ourselves into the subtropical waters which were doing an Arctic Ocean impersonation. Gasping from cold I sucked in my first mouthful of seawater from the snorkel. With a burning throat from the coughing I proceeded to be amazed by the spectacle of FISH underwater.

Beneath my floating self I saw lots of small silver fish and a bump in the sand with a spiky bit sticking up. Following the line of the bump I realised there was a large flathead resting very close-by. As I snuck up on it, the flathead realised there was a large floating creature resting above it, me, and as it shot off in a whirl of sand and spiky bits I felt a new appreciation for the way fins on one's feet allow for great speed when furious kicking is suddenly invoked.

Real Snorkeling: Part A
1. Arrive at sports shop as the intrepid group are zipping their final pieces of apparatus.

2. Attempt to squeeze quickly into a full black wetsuit that was designed for an anorexic with extremely short legs.

3. Enlist the help of someone else who knows where all the velcro is supposed to match up.

4. Walk like "Gigantor" the non-bending robot, to the boat which ferries guests to the snorkeling fields.

5. Notice how the false sense of warmth begins to dissipate as the seawater seeps into your wet suit.

Real Snorkeling: Part B
1. After shivering all the way to the snorkeling ground, spit in goggles, trying not to watch as the other members of the group do the same. Eeeeeuuuw!

2. Rub spit around in goggles. Eeeeeuuuw!

3. Rinse and apply goggles over hea

d and nose while simultaneously grappling with the snorkel using hands, tongue and finally teeth.

4. Attach fins and drop into an unknown depth of ocean, recover from hyperventilation and be amazed by the spectacle of FISH underwater.

5. Swim to conveniently located sandbank and FEED FISH WITH BREAD.

6. Follow group leader in exploration of snorkeling grounds. Bump head onto side of fishing boat (don't they know we're SNORKELING here?) Visually follow anchor chain, which disappears into the unknown depths. Suddenly become aware of a giant (and I mean GIANT!!) mass of a sunken ship looming UP from the depths and dominating the view beside me. Freak out. Get really scared and then enjoy the company of the group leader for the rest of the trip as he baby-sits the sook.

7. Be amazed as you float over the sides of the massive hull of a wreck and find yourself in a contained coral reef.

8. Be amazed as you swim between two giant hulls with only enough room for one person at a time to squeeze through.

9. Be amazed as you float over a really big Wobbegong shark and know that it's NOT on the other side of a glass wall.

10. Snorkeling is amazing. It is frightening and exhilarating at the same time. Do it.

Day Two. Main activity - buffet breakfast - followed by, The Desert Safari.
Climb aboard the slightly battered 4WD bus that rocks and bumps it's way over the island tracks while the driver chats on happily about how we are going to crash into various trees as we pass by.
Listen to the stories of the state of the art, high-tech toboggan boards which we will use to slide down the sand dunes at UP TO 60k an hour.

Unload ourselves from the bus to be presented with a state of the art, high tech piece of masonite board. (That's a man made chunk of wood and nothing more, in case you were wondering.)

When doing the demo for how we are to use the board, the volunteer from our group snapped it in half. Hmmm…not a good look. But so funny we nearly wet ourselves.

Faced with climbing the giant sand dune before me, I was pleased to register that it was neither as high nor as steep as the monster that kidnapped my sunglasses on day one. This time I was wearing goggles to keep the grit out. A face mask would've been handy too but I digress…

On reaching the summit and following the advice of the bus driver (resident expert on sand tobogganing) I positioned myself and my not-yet-jellied legs on the board and lifted the front to divert excess sand particles and took off down the sand cliff at a great rate.

Now the lifting of the board does divert some sand particles, however there is a lot of sand on a giant dune. Plenty of it manages to hover high enough off the surface so that it collects in your grinning teeth as you fly past doing speeds UP TO 60k an hour.tangalooma

Undaunted, we trek back up the hill. By the fourth trip the jelly legs were well established. Lungs had been in overdrive since the second climb and I had collected enough sand in my teeth and hair to improve the soil in a fair section of my garden back home.

The fact that we forged on up that hill four times indicates that sand tobogganing is amazing fun.

Do it.

I should mention the "old" guy who did the trip fourteen times... Showoff.

Well, there you have it. I have not been paid to promote Tangalooma. I got no freebies. (ahem…Tangalooma marketing people take note:) I present this article in the interests of my readers.

Tangalooma is amazing. Do it.


Be well all.
Enjoy your travels.

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