Tree Houses

About a week ago I shared our boys imagination with making an Army Bunker. Today I would like to show you all our Boys imagination with creating Tree Houses. Over the years all five of them have had a go at building one, dreaming of building one, or breaking one up to re-build it differently!

We normally spend Christmas with David’s Parents (in Bundaberg) which means LOTS of places to explore because they are on acreage, have cows and back onto a River. Now that all of our boys can swim I am more relaxed with how far they explore while we are there.

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Travelling From Bundaberg To Sunshine Coast

WOW what a week we have had! We thought the five hour trip from Bundaberg to Sunshine Coast was going to be a breeze, and one that we could take slowly…..guess the universe has other ideas for us.

Travelling from Bundaberg to the Sunshine Coast is a familiar trip for us because we used to live in D’aguilar and then at Glasshouse Mountains. And we used to drive back n forth every Christmas/Easter to David’s Parents. Never ever has it taken so bloody long!

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Saying Hi To Good Friends

While living and travelling in our Motohrome Friends seem to come and go – some stay with us via email/facebook/phone/texting. Others we catch up with when we can! Some I know that I can call anytime we are in Bundaberg and have a coffee/chat with. Those are the best friends ever – cause I know that they are there no matter what!

Saying Hi To Good Friends.

The other day I took Zachery, Cameron and Kyle with me to see Jackie who lives on the other side of Bundaberg from where we are. I know that I can always drop on in, and we are all made to feel at home. Her new home (they purchased this gorgeous old Queenslander late last year) is one that is comfy and inviting. And is going through changes as they are in the process of renovations!

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Boolboonda Tunnel

Yesterday David really needed a break from the Motorhome. He has been pushing himself to get everything done so that we could head out on the road this week. There is so much to do in a Motorhome so that we can live on the road travelling Australia – I am starting to think that its like renovating a house….with always something else that needs doing!

I have been looking at the colour of his face (with the dark circles under his eyes) and had been thinking that he so needs a break! I wasn’t game enough to say anything because last time I said to take a day off, he barked back at me “Yeah Right, there is no time for a day off” !! Well this time both his Mum and I said  “You really need a break, and the boys need a day out” – we also had been putting off visiting the Boolboonda Tunnel! A day out was actually what all of our family needed, and for once David agreed.

So we headed from Bundaberg to the Tunnel.

Boolboonda Tunnel Visit

History Facts about the Boolboonda Tunnel

  • Built in 1883, the tunnel was originally created for the Railway line between Bundaberg and Mount Perry to service the copper mines.
  • Boolboonda Tunnel is now home to a colony of Bentwinged Bats, and used to access residential properties.
  • Located 2km off the Gin Gin Mount Perry Road, Boolboonda Tunnel is approximately 15km before Mount Perry, on the Tourist Drive
  • It passes under the Boolboonda Range through hard granite rock. It took two years to dig and was officially opened on 2 November 1883.  The line was closed in 1960 and tracks removed the following year.
  • Today the tunnel is accessible by vehicular traffic.
  • You can walk through the tunnel, once you have driven through and parked your car near by

Must Have items when Visiting the Boolboonda Tunnel

  • Camera (with batteries that are charged!)
  • Video camera (yep forgot that too!)
  • Torches – at least we had them!
  • Warm clothes – it was colder then down south…the wind goes through the tunnel like ice (not sure what it would be like in Summer time?)
  • Closed in shoes – not only were we walking in Bat droppings, we were also walking in Horse Poo as horses had been through there recently.
  • The ability to stand still, be quiet and feel the bats flying around

When we approached the Tunnel, I asked David to Pull over and was able to take a photo – my camera went flat after we went through the tunnel! We parked the car and was walking back when it died. Luckily I had a few photos!

 Here is the information sign!

Information about the Tunnel

 The Beginning of the Boolboonda Tunnel……

 The Beginning of Boolboonda Tunnel

 The Beginning Of Our Walk into the cave……

Bats in the Cave

Boolboonda tunnel – Drive through to See The Bats

Seeing The Bats Inside Boolboonda Tunnel

That was the last photo I was able to take and then the camera turned off! I am not sure what is going on in the photo above? Its like there was something there that we could not see with our own eyes?

Seeing The Bats, Hearing The Bats

At first we walked for sometime and we were thinking “Oh No there are no bats in here, just black lumps on the walls and ceiling”. So we kept on walking and the black lumps were getting bigger and there was more of them.

 We stopped still, pointed our torches in one spot all at the same time, and realised the black lumps were in fact groups of bats all stuck together!  At first it seemed like a few bats, then half way into the cave we realised that the bats were so tiny that at least 100 bats were all stuck together! They almost looked like little puppies, and they made the most funniest noises we have ever heard.

Standing Still In Time

Almost towards the end of the cave I stopped the boys from talking, and got them all to stand still. There was bats flying around us, we couldn’t see them because we had turned off our torches. But we could feel them circling, could feel the air moving around us, and could hear there little squeaking noises.

They squeak like a small cat or small puppy – they were almost like human, in the way they were talking to each other. What amazed me was they could not see us (without the light from our torches) nor could they hear us (for once my kids were quiet!) yet they never once hit us, or came close to hitting us. The Bats in Boolboonda Tunnel sure are smart!

Have you been to the Boolboonda Tunnel in QLD?

If so – do you have photos? Could I please ask you to add them to our fanpage so that other fans can get to see what the Tunnel looks like, or if you have photos of the bats could you let us know?

I would love to add photos of the Bats to New Life on the Road!

Cheers

Lisa

New Life on the Road

 

Restaurants In Bundaberg

A few times David and I have been out for dinner, without our five boys! Once it was because of our Wedding Anniversary, and another time for my birthday. Its not often we go out as just us two, because usually we like to go out as a family. Both times were a huge disappointment as we have yet to come across any nice Restaurants In Bundaberg – where the food and services are both so good that you could recommend the place to another person!

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Bundaberg Rum Distillery Or Bond Store

I never realised last week when New Life On The Road visited Bundaberg Rum Distillery that they are actually called the Bond Store. But after taking a tour of Bundaberg Rum Distillery or Bond Store it makes sense!

Bond Store

Each Bundaberg Rum is kept in huge VATS on site. And those VATS have to be kept stored with the Rum for two years before it can be bottled and sold. I was stunned when our wonderful tour guide explained how the Rum has to sit there in the Bond Stores VATS for two years, gathering there unique flavour before the Rum can be bottled off and sold. Within those two years each VAT has to have a sample taken out every three months to be tested. Wish I could be on the Sample team!! Those Vats are huge – I mean really big. The VATS are made on site from a team of men that work for two days.

They do not use glue, nails or any staples to bind the wood together. It is all hand held together through a skilled technique that only a few men know how to do – and then tightened on the outside of the Vats with a steel frame that is like a huge circle. Each steel circle is then tighten at the ends by twisting and bolting!  Each VAT is worth $6 Million in Dollars !! Yep you read right  :) The Beauty of the Bond Store is that while the Rum is gathering its unique flavour there is no tax paid on any of the Rum. Actually no tax is charged on any of the Rum until it is bottled and left the premises. The Bond Store is smartly set up !

Bundaberg Rum Distillery Or Bond Store

There are about 15 Bond Stores on the premises and each one holds any where between 10 Vats to 15 Vats (I am not sure what the larger Bond Store can hold) and each Vat can hold 69,000 litres (on average) depending on their size!! The new standard is 75,00o litres and the oldest VAT is 67 years old!

The Vats cost from $75,000 to about $100,00 and should last anywhere up to 85-100 years. Theyhave not tested that theory out yet due to the fire in 1936.  Once the VATS are no longer suitable to hold the Rum (and they have taken a few of them out of service) due to leaking or due to the Rum taste not meeting the standards then the VATS are pulled apart and recycled. Nothing is wasted in the Bundaberg Rum Distillery.

Bundaberg Rum Distillery Recycles

Once a VAT is taken out of service, it is cut down to make keyrings, Bar Signs, Bar Benches, Wooden decorations and anything that can be made as a souvenirs.

The Rum That Is Sitting In The Bond Stores

The making of the Rum Process….. the Molasses is combined with water and yeast where it is fermented and then goes into a “Low Wines Still” where it goes through its first distillation. In that process 44,000 litres is made but only 4,000 litres containing 50%alcohol is suitable for further distillation into Bundaberg Rum. The 40,000 litres that is left is a by product called Dunder and is sold of as a fertilizer back to the farms. Here is how the process of making Bundaberg Rum works – its amazing how it goes from Molasses to the end product of Bundaberg Rum and then sits in the Bond Store for two years! Here are some of the photos that we took from Bundaberg Rum Distillery Or Bond Store !

YouTube Preview Image

There are a lot more photos and even on our Youtube Channel you can see what fun we had at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery or Bond Store! If you are ever in the Bundaberg area or thinking about visiting Bundaberg then make sure you check out the Bundaberg Rum Distillery or Bond Store and have a drink or two thinking about how much fun New Life On The Road had!

Cheers

Lisa Wood

PS:- I almost forgot…..about a dozen people try to break into the Bond Stores every year….they have to get over the high walls which are electric fences, and then break into the Bond Stores which have huge doors that are padlocked. No one has succeed….but what would they do if they passed the fences? How would they get the Bundaberg Rum out of those VATS – remember there is no bottles of rum stored there :)

Bundaberg Rum Distillery

Today New Life on the Road visited the most famous Tourist attraction in Bundaberg…well it is what everyone thinks of when you mention “Bundy” – Bundaberg Rum Distillery. We took three of our boys….Nicholas, Cameron and Kyle. Amazing the older two did not want to go – well after sharing what a great time we all had during the Tour of Bundaberg Rum and learning how the Rum is made; I think they would love me to go again and take them along this time!!

Bundaberg Rum Distillery

Driving up the car park I realised what I had learnt when we went there briefly on the weekend before….that you must be wearing enclosed shoes. I was the only one not wearing shoes that covered all of my feet! David had thongs on but they had the strap at the back so that was fine :) I had ladies slip on shoes…oh OK they are thongs, but they are Dress Thongs! Still not good enough, so I had to hire shoes….which sounds gross but they assured me that the shoes are dry cleaned after each use – gee I sure hope so :) Anyway after paying the shoe deposit and paying the entry fee we set off. I had the camera ready so I was able to take lots and lots of photos (check our our Facebook Fan Page) of Bundaberg Rum Distillery - at least up to the point of where the guide takes us on a tour and explains how the Rum is made.

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The Bundaberg Barrel

Today New Life on the Road took a day out from homeschooling (well the book work at least!). I took four of our five boys to The Bundaberg Barrel – Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.

The Bundaberg Barrel

Upon arriving at The Bundaberg Barrel I was blown away by how friendly all the staff were. They greeted us warmly, and explained how the tour of the Bundaberg Barrel worked. Then they let us explore the store before we decided to take the tour. Each of us was given a black little device that looks like a phone. It had a chain so I was reassured that the younger two boys would not drop them! Each different room has a different number, when we entered the tour we were told to press one (and then each room after had the next number!)

 

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