Tag Archives: autumn

Japanese Cultural Gardens

A couple of weeks ago we had another attempt at getting to the Japanese Cultural Gardens that are several hours drive from here at Cowra. We’d tried once before but failed so this was second time lucky. It was a beautiful warm autumn day (so totally the opposite of today!) and we were hoping for some good autumn colours. But it wasn’t too be. It was still a touch too early in the season. However storms were forecast for that week and we knew any autumn colours would soon be blown away so we packed up the car with supplies for a picnic, just incase we couldn’t get lunch there and set off, not knowing what to expect.

The gardens are on a hill so gave both Stuart and I a good workout. It is possible to hire a golf buggy to get around in, but they were all out and about.

We arrived in time for late morning coffee (aka elevenses) and by the time we were done it was so close to lunch that we stayed and had lunch there as well. It was just as well that we did because it was soon to get very busy in the café. Luckily they made up the toasted sandwiches on site, so they were easily made without cheese or marg/butter and I treated myself to the last slice of a dairy free cake (which promptly got served with canned whipped (dairy) cream!

After lunch, we set about having a look around.

It was possible to feed the ducks and fish but given the number of children doing this, we decided to save the fish from too much soggy bread.

Then it was time to walk around, and before long Stuart had me at the top of the only hill for miles around.

On the way up, we stopped off at the Tea House.

The view from the top was surprising given the hill wasn’t that high, but as you can see it’s the only hill for quite a distance in that direction.

Then in order to go down by a different route, Stuart took me down the steep side!

Part way down he spotted movement on one of the rocks and before long had a photo of the culprit.

When I find its identity again, I’ll let you know!

There was some colour in the trees but only a touch.

The yellow trees are Golden Ash. Easy to remember.

There’s a leaflet that’s handed out when you purchase your ticket and everything (almost) had numbers and the ID is on the leaflet. There is the most beautiful wisteria walk or would be when it’s flowering and not just the bare vine.

Virtually everything is watered by an extensive pipe network.

Sadly it didn’t take long to get around. Autumn perhaps isn’t the best time to visit it. But it is a good place to sit down. I won’t say quietly because it was hard to get away from people unless you ventured into the museum area which is off to one side.

Stuart’s Birthday Holiday, Part 5a

The big day had finally arrived. It just wasn’t dawn yet. In fact, it was still pitch dark.

Stuart wanted to see dawn in walking along the beach. And so instead of a lie in, instead of a nice comfortable bed, instead of breakfast in bed etc, his birthday alarm call was before it was even light. By the time we had done our teeth and (very quickly) got clothes on, it was starting to get light and by the time we made it to the beach and down to the water, it was almost light. But the sun wasn’t shining on us yet, it was stuck behind a cloud bank on the horizon, so he did actually get to see it “rise”.

And although it took a very long time, we made it to the far end of the beach.

Birthday boy. He went via a hairbrush when we got back to camp!

I found these two photos on his phone, so included them.

It took even longer to get back to camp.

One the where there, I came across this lovely patterning in the sand.

This image also came off Stuart’s phone but shows the size of our next surprise.

A Superb Lyrebird with its amazingly long tail was walking around the campground add though humans didn’t exist. It wasn’t very bothered about us at all.

Sadly it was still too dark under the canopy to get any really decent photos of it.

And then there was breakfast, watched carefully by that male kangaroo.

Stuart had decided that he wanted sausage and eggs for breakfast, so we had sausage and eggs with bread. We couldn’t quite (easily) manage the toast part. And this is the you’re doing what face!

Now for that roo.

With that, we started to pack up and get ready to move on. We wanted to go to the lighthouse at the very tip (bottom tip) of this bit of land and, well the weather was currently good…

But this campground had one more surprise in store for us before we left. With a final toilet trip, whilst waiting for Stuart, I was reading a noticeboard when I heard and spotted the longer grass and ferns between sites moving. Intrigued, but very wary, I moved closer until I could see what it was. Whatever it was, it was large and quite slow moving. It was between our site and the next one. Finally it showed itself in a small gap. It was a large lizard of some kind which set about climbing up a tree when Stuart arrived. But it disappeared before we could get a camera. We pointed it out to the man on the neighbouring site who was walking back across our site with his camera in hand. There was another one on the otherwise of Serenity on the tree. Getting my camera or of Serenity, we went to have a look.

Stuart went first, looking at the tree high up and down, desperate to spot it. Before he finally stood on it, I pointed out out to him. Apparently the guy had said it was on the tree, so Stuart having just seen one climbing up a tree well above head height, was looking way too high up to actually spot it. Well that’s his story anyway.

This one was huge. It’s a monitor lizard apparently and it was busy sunbathing.

A nice beach with a pleasant sunrise, a good walk and breakfast, along with some different wildlife had changed our impression of this campground overnight literally; it’s just best used out of season and reminded us of the need to check which campgrounds you actually need to book.

Birthday or not, it was also time to leave the campground.