You have all heard of this iconic attraction...but just for the moment hold your horses....we have heard it is to be reopened and maybe return to its former glory....so here's hoping....well in 2012 it is a little bit open.......
The Farmers Market on Saturday just reopened (Nov 2011) so that is a start
Now in 2012 a Sunday Market is in progress as well.......
Someone told me there is more activity ......that the sleeping pineapple awakes
There is even a chance you might pick up a coffee during the week at The Big P but if not keep driving into Nambour for a coffee....Try Husk and Honey or even take the exit to Palmwoods ....there are coffee shops and parking a little easier than Nambour.
2013....Still a long way to go to retain its former glory but helping brighten up the image is Queen Bee Pineapple....Live Art Experiences for Families.
2013...June...a BIG day at The BIG Pineapple......The car parks were full to overflowing....I have never seen such a crowd! What brought them? A display of old and antique cars......as part of a special activities week.
To find out if the sleeping pineapple is waking
Check the website
See also my review under Nambour on Queen Bee Pineapple and Our Sweetest Icon and Just a Little Bit Open
ABOUT QUEENSLAND....The Sunshine State....and of course there is the worn out favourite 'Beautiful one day-Perfect the next" and of course as member tropicrd has reminded me we live in God's Country
To gain an understanding of a country you need to know the people and to me the way we describe ourselves and our cities and towns gives an insight into who we are.
Brisbane, the capital has been called Bris Vegas...a tongue in cheek nick name....
And Blackbutt in the shire of Somerset is known as Timbertown
Bundaberg or "Bundy" seems to have picked up the title of The Rum City....maybe that is because the famous Bundaberg Rum is manufactured there.LOL.
Cairns in The Tropical North is associated with "ask a local" and "croc country"
Gympie the Gold City is about 160 kilometres (100 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane and is famous for its gold field..
Ingham a town of sugar plantations says "Welcome to the Tropics". Ingham is 1,437 kilometers (893 miles) north of Brisbane.
Kenilworth, in the heart of the Mary Valley boasts it is 'The Bush Behind the Beach' (Sunshine Coast Hinterland)
Kilkivan is known as 'The Town of the Great Horse Ride and is located 286 kilometres north-west of Brisbane (or 259km if you take the Burnett Highway from Nanango to Goomeri) and 53 kilometres from Gympie"
Longreach the largest town in the central west is known for the famous Australian Stockmans Hall of Fame and the association with the airline QANTAS
Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane simply says "Come as you are"
Mount Morgan close to Rockhampton says Think Clean. Be Tidy.
Rockhampton or as the locals say "Rocky" is known as the Beef Capital of Australia and as you drive in from the south you will see the famous statues of the bulls greeting you.Rockhampton is situated on the Tropic of Capricorn.
Toowoomba a picturesque mountain city 127km from Brisbane is known as The Garden City and is famous for The Annual Festival of Flowersin September each year
Tara, "The Home of Friendly People" just west of Dalby on the edge of The Darling Downs (south-east Queensland)
Tully and Babinda fight for the title "The wettest place in Queensland
Tumoulin boasts the The Highest Rail Station in Queensland and you can visit on an old steam train to boot. Atherton Tableland in the Tropical North. How high you ask? 964metres,(3165ft)!
Warwick on the western side of the Great Dividing Range and 140km from Brisbane in south east Queensland calls itself The Rose and Rodeo City and has flower shows in spring and autumn and a rodeo in October each year
When driving in the WARWICK district you will see Unusual Road Safety Signs
Driving up north one time in Mango Country I noticed this cute way to describe the loos (toilets/bathrooms) for men and women
"Mangoes" and "No Mangoes"
And to top it all off we are known as BANANA BENDERS
You can follow on with something similar about AUSTRALIA or maybe read about BIG QUEENSLAND THINGS
Coming soon...more on Aboriginal Australia......
Well I think Charlie Drake and later Rolf Harris sang 'My Boomerang Won't Come Back" and any I have thrown are in that category...the boomerangs landed on the grass with a 'plop' with no intention of coming back to me at all.
You can actually find instructions on Boomerang Throwing on the internet but the fun is in buying the genuine article and being taught by an aboriginal person.
One place you can go to see a genuine display is near Cairns at Kuranda Rainforest Station In fact if you are interested in the Aboriginal people this is an amazing place to visit.
Look for boomerangs in genuine Aboriginal outlets....the best ones being in places such as Kakadu, Darwin, Alice Springs, Cairns ....a bit harder to find in the major cities in the south-east.
I just discovered ABORIGINAL FINE ART in Brisbane CBD...4/79 Adelaide street. and yes they have boomerangs and didgeridoos for your special Australian keepsake.
But you must beware of a Boomerang Man.....a man that a woman has stopped being romantically involved with and continues to get in contact with her for unknown reasons.
And I hope your boomerang comes back
So if you are travelling around the countryside away from the maddening crowd you might try cooking in a camp oven. There is nothing like sitting by a camp fire and eating something cooked slowly in a camp oven....a flavour such as you have never experienced anywhere else.
Look at the photos and you will see my utensil tree.....we were set up for about 10 days so all "mod cons" on hand.
So light your fire early so there is time for the coals to form.
And toast made near the coals is magic....and you can wrap vegetables in foil and cook them in the coals as well.
Here is some info on the web on how to do it
and on Lighting a fire
Make sure lighting fires is permitted and that you extinguish your fire before leaving.
Sometimes in Queensland you do not have to 'ask a local' they will wave you down on the road and ask if you are lost....This happened to us yesterday (St Patrick's day 2013). And no we were not even in the outback but travelling on the Darling Downs not too far from Toowoomba,...and we were there because we had been told by the locals in Cambooya to visit a nearby town called Nobby as there was so much to see there...an Art Gallery...a Sister Kenny memorial...a pub of 'Dad and Dave' fame .....
Anyway to cut a long story short I had let David miss a turn (on purpose) and we had to 'back up' on a very quiet road.
As we sped towards our destination we noticed a truck pulled up by the side of the road and a lady with a little boy waving us down.....there were 4 of us so.....we stopped.
"Are you lost " she asked "I saw you stop and back up to come this way"
Well before we knew it she escorted us to Nobby...which was actually a bit tricky as there were few sign posts and a couple of turns and she took us to meet some of the locals....and introduce us to the town
But remember you can always 'Ask a Local"....try the "Driver Reviver " stops...or maybe wait till someone waves you down!
I am enjoying a day out by the seaside. Lunch is over, and it's mid afternoon. Mmm, I feel like something else to eat, but what?
Ah, I here music coming! I now know what I will have, an Ice-cream from the mobile ice-cream van that frequents parks and public places. They play a tune so you know the van is coming, of course all the children know this!
Its....Mum.... Dad,.... can I have some money for an Icecream please?
It is quite a handy service, as sometimes it is quite a walk to buy an Icecream and drink.
They are soft-serve ice-creams that come in the cone, or as a sundae or any other possible way. Often they sell Ice-cream on the stick and they usually sell drinks. They stop in the area for a while, then move onto another park.
Each Van has Council permission to operate in a certain area.
Queensland along with the rest of Australia celebrates Australia Day on 26th January each year
This is our official national day and was formerly known as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day, and ANA Day. This date commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 when British sovereignty over the eastern part of Australia was proclaimed.
In Queensland we are reminded of Captain Cook's earlier voyage as he was the first European to see the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains which he named "Glass Houses" as the configuration reminded him of the glass houses of England.
Unfortunately this celebration of Australia Day is not warmly received by some of the indigenous people who sometimes protest and call this day "Invasion Day". To me this is a shame as though there certainly have been problems for the Aboriginal people they might be wise to ponder what might have happened if another less friendly nation had come first instead of the British.
Australia Day is a popular choice for those who are becoming Australian citizens to pledge their allegiance. The Australian winners of national awards such as "Australian of the Year" are named at the Australia Day ceremony..
There are street parades....and concerts...and family outings...as Queenslanders along with the rest of Australia celebrate every thing that is great about being an Australian..
Australia Day is a public holiday in all states and territories. All schools and post offices are closed. Some public transport services do not operate and others run a reduced service. Stores are often open, but may have reduced opening hours. There may be some congestion on roads, particularly close to major events
Sometimes in Australia, "I love a sunburnt country", the month of January is harsh. In 2013 bushfires ravaged many states and on the heels of the fires came torrential rain from another direction causing the cancellation of some celebrations in Queensland,"her beauty and her terror....this wide brown land for me"
Driver Reviver is a community-based road safety initiative of Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service and is operated by around 2300 volunteers...
These friendly locals are waiting to make you a free coffee to help you stay wakeful and complete your journey safely.
So when travelling on our roads remember you need to take a break every two hours and driver reviver will make that stop very pleasant. You might pick up a local tip as well.
What I notice is a driver can be a bit slow to react to traffic lights in a town after being out on the highway for a long time.
Read about Outback Travel here and more on Driving in Australia here
and do not miss Just mind the Round-a-Bouts
ALL my driving review links are now(2013) listed here
Read next Local Customs Review here
When in Queensland do as the Queenslanders do and eat our beautiful bananas. Now the problem is the supermarkets are full of inexpensive fruit most of the time BUT you can 'bet your bottom dollar' these bananas are artificially ripened imports. Goodness knows where they were grown or what happened when they were brought into Australia to make them 'safe'...heaps of spray. Look for the label.
Now if you buy Queensland bananas they may not always be organic but I bet you they will taste really yummy. No wonder we are called 'banana benders'.....but we sure do not want to be a 'banana republic'
Of course if you buy them from our farm they are like no other banana on earth and you will be spoilt forever.
My favourite banana is the Ladyfinger. Some prefer the Cavendish. There are other varieties such as Plantain but the first two are best known and most popular. Some say the ripe banana is the more healthful. We ripen ours on the tree as much as possible but flying foxes and scrub turkeys like the fruit too much at times.
Look in smaller independent stores or at the local markets for bananas grown in Queensland (or Northern NSW)
Bananas grow from suckers...asexual reproduction which makes them prone to disease...no biological diversity....I read an article a good while back that suggested for this reason bananas may eventually be wiped out. There are strict controls on growing bananas and on the transport of same from place to place.
Here are some fun facts about bananas
Go to next Local Customs Review here
Queensland has a fairly warm/hot, sunny climate, so you will find Queenslanders dress very casually. Loose, casual, lightweight clothes worn with sandals or Thongs [flip-flops] are the go in Summer. Queenslanders dress informally, although a smart casual outfit for going out to a restaurant is needed. Thongs and Singlet tops are usually not allowed in Clubs, but are ok when at the Bar in Hotels.
Comfortable shoes, shorts and jeans for bushwalking, and sneakers are if you intend to reef-walk, as cuts from the reef become infected.
In winter in the southern part of Queensland, temperatures can drop so some warm clothing such as a jacket or sweatshirt should be included, although if you come from a cold country, I doubt if you would call it Winter!
Wear a hat during the day, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect you from the sun.
Swim between the Flags...if we can't see you we can't save you
When you visit or main surfing beaches you should 'thank your lucky stars' we have surf lifesavers. They patrol our beaches....flag safe surf areas....erect warning flags.....conduct surf rescues.....
Sometimes I think that Queensland IS Surf Lifesaving and stands alone and of course that is not so....in surf lifesaving Queensland is part of Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) which is a founding member of International Life Saving Federation and not only is Australia one of the founding members but also is a world leader in lifesaving and coastal safety.
International liaisons include:
- Surf Life Saving New Zealand
- Surf Life Saving Great Britain
- Lifesaving South Africa
- Royal National Lifeboat Institution
- Japan Life Saving Association
- United States Lifesaving Association Singapore Life Saving Society
- Rashtriya Life Saving Society India
- Irish Water Safety
- German Life Saving Society – DLRG
Our surf lifesavers are volunteers so if you get a chance to support them in fund raising activities please do....buy a raffle ticket maybe.
In some ares you will find lifeguards who are paid professionals.
Go to next Local Customs Review here
Coming on to Christmas is Mango Time in Queensland....juicy luscious mangoes. So grab one ....cut....pull back the skin and 'hoe in' maybe even in the bath (see comment below).....Some years the storms knock the flowers off the tree and we wait in vain for the fruit...other times the trees are laden .....and as our trees are not trimmed mangoes fall on the ground and many lie there to rot....UGH!
You can buy local mangoes at the Farmers markets....some will be imports so do check.
You must learn how to peel and cut them properly (explained below below by Cathy) especially if you want to use the fruit for a salad or to put in a smoothie.
Not all mangoes are for eating ...some make great chutney.
Now I add this comment from CatherineReichardt ...Thanks Cathy
"Mango and raspberry pavlova is the standard pud for Christmas Dinner at Schloss Reichardt. My method (learned from an Indian restaurant) is to cut the 'cheeks' off each side of the mango, score them in a diamond pattern and then push the skin side to turn the cheek inside out - voila, mango hedgehogs!
But I still think that the best advice that I ever read about mangoes was that they were best eaten in the bath with a friend! Although I guess that eating them in the surf on a deserted beach (again, with a 'special friend') would also be rather a nice thought to concur with!"
And now from tropicrd
"what a bloody classic!!! Marg your pic is a hoot haha.(picture of me in bubble bath now removed) The best way to eat a mango in my humble opinion and experience is to get them nice and cold,squash them until soft,cut the top off and suck that juice out,not spilling one drop of that liquid gold.Then as you peel off the skin dip the flesh into fresh cream and enjoy,it will be all gone before you realise you have eaten it and you won't get mango juice rash, pure heaven.I also love eating them in the bath too but not with soap bubbles yuk!!!The mango season is upon us and we all go a tad crazy.Much fun Dorrise xx"
Read next Local Customs Review here
Around the Sunshine Coast some really beautiful strawberries are red and lush and just waiting for you....you can pick your own...so watch out for the signs especially along the Chevallum Road area just after you pass by The Ettamogah pub complex on the main Bruce Highway.( Exit 200 )
Another place you might visit is the McMartins farm at Bli Bli where you can also enjoy home made strawberry icecream...and morning tea...and a few gifts.
If you are lucky sometimes a couple guys come roving by from another local strawberry farm selling strawberries and honey to any one who will buy....you could be sitting having a 'cuppa' on Buderim Mountain and there they are with delicious fresh strawberries.
I never buy strawberries at the supermarkets even if they advertise local strawberries as these big conglomerates have driven the prices down and many a farmer is now in dire straights. Cost of labour is more than the farmer is paid. Anyway we grow a few for ourselves or when I see' the man' I mentioned I grab some from him.
Every year in September the Chevallum School have a simply marvellous Strawberry Fest...all sorts of strawberry activities and they would welcome you....it is a very well organized 'do'...and even a 'Strawberry Dance' at ye olde Palmwoods Hall.
Read next Local Customs Review here
It is early November and the jacaranda trees are in bloom in Queensland. What a spectacular show especially in a good year. In 2012 the flowers are a bit sparse...it has been dry. It is quite dramatic if there is a flame tree or a poinciana tree nearby to offst the purple with a beautiful red.
Sometimes there is a carpet of purple on the ground under the jacaranda tree where the blossoms have fallen.
I do have to tell you that in New South Wales the town of Lismore has a wonderful Jacaranda festival at the end of October each year....well that is not far from Queensland
But we do have a festival of our own in Goodna....quite close to Brisbane on the way to Ipswich..
Read next Local Customs Review here
Around the Sunshine Coast we love ice cream and it is a favourite thing to buy an icecream in a cone and eat it as you stroll along the beach or esplanade with the icecream melting and dripping down your chin.. ...
When we are away on holidays we always try what other countries have to offer but even the marvellous ice cream you can but in Paris and in Holland does not compare with our own home brew.
One of my favourite things was to buy a vanilla icecream and pop some roasted cashews in the top...absolutely delicious......and if you are on the Sunshine Coast do try the strawberry home made variety at the Bli Bli strawberry farm.
Read next Local Customs Review here
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