All posts by Mallee Stanley

I grew up in Australia, but like many Ausies, I wanted to explore the world. After two years travelling around my birth country, I bought a one-way ticket in India and since those early travel days, have never lost the bug. I'm the author two published short stories (in New Beginnings) and several unpublished manuscripts set in various places I've lived. Two are set in East Africa, another set mainly in Sri Lanka and Ireland, a fourth set in New Zealand and Australia, a fifth set in Puducherry. I'm currently researching my next with links to Japan. I now call Canada home. This blog is about my travel experiences. If you visit, you'll find short book reviews of my 5 out of 5 reads and what I've learned about writing.

A ferry ride into the past

I crossed the waters of Moreton Bay from Redland Bay to Russell Island. The journey was once a long haul in a wooden boat. My childhood memories are from an era when I visited my aunt and uncle’s farm. While the island was once full of farms, most of the land was now subdivided. My aunt’s farm still existed, and although its size had dwindled the view across the water to Karragarra Island was unchanged.

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Wellington Point’s hidden trail

Around the other side of Wellington Point’s long spit, was a cement pathway that most people ignored, including me. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve visited this thin strip of land stretching into Moreton Bay. But on my last visit, I wanted to see part of the bay from a different location and noticed a trail.

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Tiny island in the bay

King Island was a small island off Wellington Point that was a popular Moreton Bay tourist destination in the early 1900s. Originally called Yerra-bin by the Aboriginal people of Quandamooka (Moreton Bay), the name was later changed to King. For several years during that era, the Phillips family lived on the island because one of their children was advised to bathe daily in the salt water to ease her polio symptoms. 

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Coastal Cleveland

It was not only Brisbane’s over thirty-degree summers that had everyone reach for a cool drink, but the soaring humidity. That was why Cleveland was another coastal location that my parents flocked to during my childhood summers. Just before entering Cleveland spit, was the Grand View Hotel, perched above the low-lying spit. This was Queensland’s oldest licensed pub built in the 1850s. With a wide veranda upstairs and a cool breeze off the bay, it was tempting to try the bed and breakfast offered.

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Place of the magpie lark

Not far from the ruckus of Brisbane’s Carindale Shopping Centre, there was a hiking trail through Tillack Park lined with paper bark trees. The pathway mirrored Bulimba Creek—an Aboriginal word meaning place of the magpie lark. While this was a common bird with a musical call, I only spotted a pigeon.The trail entered tall gum trees and in spite of its beauty, there were few hikers taking advantage of this peaceful setting.

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Wynnum by the bay

This beachside suburb was a place from my childhood. My parents often drove my sister and I to Wynnum to cool off during Brisbane’s sweltering summers. Salt water from Moreton Bay filled the enclosure at high tide to about sixty centimetres, making it safe for children.

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Among the paper barks 

Indiscapes was located just out of Brisbane in the Redlands area, so named because of the red volcanic soil. The bushland setting housed a restaurant where I  walked through paper barks, trees sometimes used in artwork. I was there to catch up with a work colleague from earlier days and was glad she’d chosen this unique site. Surrounded by swamp and gum trees the setting was magical.

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Hiking above the city

It had been decades since I’d driven up to Mt Cootha for a view of Brisbane and the surrounding region spread out like a map below. Ahead was Brisbane city with its cluster of high rises, further west was a glimpse of the meandering Brisbane River and in the far distance the blue of Moreton Bay. Mt Cootha was also home to Brisbane’s four television towers hidden amongst the eucalyptus forest. That morning was a perfect twenty-five degree winter day and we’d arrived early before the tourist buses and selfie addicts.

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Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens

In the city’s botanic gardens, I wandered under an old banyan fig tree planted in the 1870s savouring the shade. It may have been a native of India, but its expansive foliage was perfect under Brisbane’s heat. The Brolgas by Lindsay Daen, was stationed in the middle of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. It stood before a bamboo grove. The inspiration for the work came from a shipwrecked sailor who once lived with Aborigines for seventeen years. Further into the gardens was a macadamia tree, a Queensland native renowned for its tasty nuts.

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By the Brisbane River

Trams once crossed the Brisbane River to enter the city. But with the old Grey Street Bridge torn down and replaced with a new one, tram lines were excluded, causing the clanking contraptions to fade from Brisbane’s landscape leaving Melbourne the only tram city in Australia.

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