Friday, March 07, 2008

A Friday morning picnic

It was a beautiful day this morning, so Andy and I 'chucked a sicky' and headed down to Alligator Creek. Just 30 kms south of Townsville, and the start of a fairly large national park, Alligator Creek offers hiking, swimming holes, camping, waterfalls, and picnic areas galore. (Click on the pictures for bigger views.)

Since it was mid-morning when we got there, we left the picnic in the car and did some exploring. The main picnic area has bbq's, tables, and an information centre.

A kangaroo was having a picnic of his own...

We looked at the sign and realised the main hike would take us 5 hours--but we had little water, no bug spray, and thongs on our feet. So we took the short boardwalk to the swimming hole, instead. Along the boardwalk are plenty of signs telling you about the local environment, and little glimpses of the creek through the trees.

The path opens onto a beach, which Andy surveyed and deemed not good enough.

So we climbed along the rocks and chose a more secluded place to swim.

The water was icy cold, fed from rain and springs up on Mt. Eliot and the surrounding hills. Despite the cold, we stayed in for a while, but enjoyed the heat of the sun when we got back out onto the rocks. Andy pointed out a dyke, though he's not totally clear since he hasn't taken geology in a few years.

After we had dried off, we took another short walk up to the lookout, where we surveyed the view from up high.



By the time we got back to the car, we had worked up our appetites. We pulled out our little esky bag...

Which was packed with fresh hummus loaded with garlic and parsley, and leftover bean/veggie mix from burritos the night before. We planned on eating them with veggie sticks and some tortilla chips, but we forgot the chips at home, so it was just veggies for us!

While we ate, we were quickly surrounded by a family of 10 or so bush turkeys.

We threw them a few little bits of carrot and capsicum, which they wolfed down.

For dessert, we brought cupcake-sized No-Bake Peanut Butter Silk Pie.

The recipe is from Vegan with a Vengeance, but instead of chocolate cookies I used gingernuts for the base. These are good. Rich, and very unhealthy, but very good.

After we finished eating we headed down an inconspicuous stairway next to the picnic table...

And found a very shallow section of the creek.

On the drive back home, I marvelled at how green the hills are. Usually varying shades of rusty brown, the rain has really greened up Townsville!

Just before getting back to Townsville, we spotted a Giant Brolga, so we stopped to have a photo with her.

Full of good food, refreshed after a swim and some sunshine, it was back to uni for a seminar I have this afternoon--the life of a post-grad is really hard, wouldn't you agree?


Melody Polakow said...

Looks like a fun day!

Liz² said...

that looks so beautiful, I miss days like that. And I was all like, "onoz, a picnic without chips!" and then you brought out the mini pies, and everything was so clearly ok. X)

pleasantly plump vegan said...

what a GREAT day! picnics, water, animals and good food is the best combo.

the little one said...

Wow. Everything is so gorgeous! Glad to hear it was such a wonderful day. Those are the ones when ya feel especially grateful for your life.

DJ said...

That sounds like a perfect day! Those cupcakes look delish too - am glad to see you finally managed a picnic!

Veggie said...

Oh, I love picnic's, can't wait 'till summer. It looks like the perfect day.

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Leng said...

That place is so pretty! I would love to go hiking there. And a KANGAROO!!! I would have loved to see one!! I'm so jealous. I know they're dangerous, but I would just love to cuddle up with one. LOL I know it sounds weird, but I think they're too cute. and I love the calm water. This hike looks really relaxing. take me with you next time.