I have been struggling with some very poor Internet connectivity in the last week. I think it probably has to do with this being something of a holiday town – there is a huge increase in visitors during the holiday period and there is probably a major strain on the service availability. At times it slows right down and barely moves – with times of inability to connect at all. Hopefully it won’t continue too much longer.
I drove through Boolaroo yesterday, which was the first time in a while. Boolaroo is the town I grew up in. I have many memories of that town and of the school in the main street, which is where I did all of my primary school education – Boolaroo Public School.
ABOVE: A View from the Street – Can’t See a Great Deal
I also had a quick look at the house that I grew up in – it looks nothing like it used to. It was once a well looked after, neat property – not so much anymore.
ABOVE: The House I Grew Up In
ABOVE: View from Silo Hill
Today was the first day of my annual leave allottment (technically it starts Monday) and so I decided to get out and do something. The Stroud International Brick and Rolling Pin Throwing Competition seeemed to be the thing to do today. So I decided I would offer my mother and her husband a seat in the car and head off to Stroud. Turned out only my mother would be coming. Disappointingly the day was wet and miserable – a typical Australian winter’s day I guess. Still, we thought we would go and have a look anyway.
ABOVE: Stroud House
We arrived at Stroud just as the main street was being closed for the parade. So we got our park and headed into the centre of town to gain a reasonable vantage point, with the option of some shelter should the weather turn especially bad. We got our place easy enough. Stroud was fairly packed for the event, but not as much as I thought it may have been – the weather probably kept many away. Still, a pretty good turn out.
So off they went, a whole menagerie of marchers in the big parade. It was an odd bunch, some seemingly out of tune with the country in which they marched and the context of the town. Everyone was having a ball, particularly the kids who seemed to be the targets of the often thrown lollies and sweets that were being hurled from the floats and marching rag tag line of marchers. There were North American Indians, whip crackers, witches and wizards, some rather fat ballerina types (pictured) and many other odd characters. There were also the police (representing 150 years of police work), firemen, SES and other services – even church floats, a debutante ball float, school groups – as it went on and on for some time. There were musical groups, including a couple of groups of Scottish bands and a ukulele group.
ABOVE: The Ballerinas BELOW: Marching Police
ABOVE: Debutante Float
Having attended the march we decided to not stay as the weather was rolling in again. We took a quick trip up to Silo Hill to enjoy the view and headed back to Gloucester.
The ‘Astronomers’ Monument’ is located at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia. It is another of those strange sights to be found in that town. The monument is simply a local’s hobby, being built as a memorial to famous astronomers.
The Astronomers’ Monument can be found on the self-drive ‘Red Car Door Tour’ at Lightning Ridge. Visit the Visitor’s Centre at Lightning Ridge for a brochure.
It has often been said that Newcastle has some of the world’s best beaches. I wouldn’t know about that – I haven’t visited all of them.
What I do know is that having travelled around a lot of Australia, Newcastle is certainly up there with the best that Australia has to offer.
It is hard, in my view, to define just what makes the best beach. I imagine that someone who surfs would have certain criteria that differs from someone like me, who likes the natural beauty of a place more than anything else when it comes to liking a beach.
I think the beaches around the West Australia town of Esperance are simply stunning and I currently rate these as the best beaches in Australia that I have seen. There may well be better beaches, but in my opinion, those of Esperance are better than Newcastle’s beaches. But that opinion includes criteria such as seclusion, natural beauty, etc. For recreational use, access, etc, Newcastle has some brilliant beaches that the locals adore. They are certainly good for a walk along when it isn’t too hot and they aren’t too crowded.
Today’s photo was taken at Hawks Nest, the neighbouring town to Tea Gardens (where I currently live). I went down to the beach and decided to take a few shots of the coastal scenery close to where I live.
As can be seen, the weather was fantastic and the surf pretty small. The scenery however, was still pretty special I think. The water here is of great quality – crystal clear. Not a bad beach.
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