Click on a picture to enlarge The pictures you see after clicking on the small thumbnail pictures, are shrunk to 5% of their original dimensions

If you like to see a picture in full glory, send an email!

For pictures click here Back to Homepage
We ended the trip in Bright and found a shabby caravan park. With one special offer: free wireless internet for guests. Soon the laptop was hooked in the internet and we had all the time to load up files on the internet, do all our bank business and so on. On arrival the owner of the caravan park asked if we were hang glider pilots. The answer was no of course but we saw lots of hang gliders in the air. There was a mountain nearby where the hang gliders launched. So we called a school, with the question to make a trip. It was dependant on the wind and most likely tomorrow morning was possible to make a tandem flight.
In the evening however we saw the first live wombat ever in the last 5 trips to Australia. It is a dog size animal, looking somewhat like a little bear. We got the camera and then the wombat was hiding behind bush and a few seconds later he crawled under a building.

There was a course with a few students hang glider. We went up with a four-wheel drive and after the students got in the air I got a 10 seconds briefing, strapped on the harness and seconds later we ran forward, the parachute raised over us and we were airborne.The world was at our feet First a few pictures , where we could see the landing strip and the caravan park. and the I got control of the hang glider. He was very easy to fly. I made some turns and then it was time for landing. Birgitt had come with Mariska and could make some pictures with the Sea and Sea underwater camera.After a few manoeuvres we flew the finalsover the trees to the flare . Then the landing We folded the parachute and cleared the field. Here a picture of Fred, the instructor and the both of us.
It was a great experience, less then 10 minutes, for 130$ (For the same money you buy a ticket for a 7 hour flight to Hong Kong).

We left for Mount Buffalo, one of the oldest national parks in Australia. It is an isolated mountain, and therefore here grow plants that are unique in the world. We wanted to camp there on an available camp-site on the top of the mountain.
Unfortunately the trip to the top was mostly through burned forests. In 2003 it was completely burned down and this spring, the new sprouts were burned again. This spring there were dry thunderstorms, bringing lightning but no rain. This set fire on numerous locations.

On the top were impressive granite formationson various shapes
We climbed to a rocky formation to enjoy the scenery Mariska enjoyed it as playground and was not afraid at all.
We enjoyed the spectacular view but Mariska tried again to run away

The area was popular with rock climbers . A group was scaling the rocks. On a high, vertical cliff was a small launchpad for para gliders. We could not get enough to see those spectacular rock formations.
Not to far from these rocks was a one hundred years old chalet, renovated and still in use.

We continued our journey high on the mountain and then we saw a big boulder in need of support. Just in time we could prevent the Torpedo Rock fell of the mountain

The sad story of the bush fires continues. The mountain marshes were burned as well. But now tiny orchids had got some room. Beautiful were the blue and white anemones

Out of the burned moors came fresh green again.
We enjoyed these flowers quite a lot and Mariska followed our example to sniff at these flowers.

Everywhere where those brilliant shining yellow paper flower,here one in close up

Over the top was the Cresta Hill alpine ski area, with some modest lifts. The lodge however was burned down and now the asbestos was removed by specialists.

. The sealed road ended here and we had to return. A nice opportunity to take a picture of the Horn, a gigantic granite outcrop.. The mountain was long ago as high as the Mont Blanc, but in million years eroded till under 2000m high.

We stopped at the lake where the camp ground was, to check out if it was suitable. The temperature was pleasant cool on the mountain, but is was a paradise for lovers of wasp and flies, so we decided to cancel the camping adventure and book a place on a normal comfort caravan park, at the foothills of the Mount Buffalo.

Next morning, after a rainy night we left for the south and passed the area hurt by the December forest fires. Tenth of kilometres we passes along back burned forests, for a nature lover quite depressing.

But every aspect has an other side and this as well. We saw everywhere new green sprouting from burned trees and at the foot of the tree trunks new life was emerging. And everywhere the intense fresh smell of eucalyptus. Nature goes on, it simply does not give up. Though it will cost many years until the forest is again at its initial splendour.
We end the trip at Mansfield a middle sized rural township. The area was clearly hurt by the drought and lots of restrictions were in force. They were here at stage four water restrictions, that means that many things are prohibited. Brushing your tooth is allowed. As it is still not stage 5.

Click on a picture to enlarge The pictures you see after clicking on the small thumbnail pictures, are shrunk to 5% of their original dimensions

If you like to see a picture in full glory, send an email!

For pictures click here Back to Homepage