Our stay at The Block, or as it is now called, Piccabeen Camp

Kay and I purchased a 64 hectare (153 acre) piece of Australia last year with the intention of sharing our time between travelling and residing at the block, six months travel, six months in Australia, at the block and with our family nearby. Previously the property had run cattle and been logged for timber but we just wanted a chunk of land to let nature return, Australian nature, flora and fauna. No permanent structures have ever been built on the block. It is a steep piece of land, a valley, timbered, running from rainforest along the creeks and gullies up to more open wooded hillsides. The rainforest areas have some buttress rooted trees, figs, piccabeen palms and attract a wide variety of bird life. Wallabies, echidna and bandicoot are the main mammals along with a plethora of native rats. Lizards and snakes are often seen and native frogs hop through our camp.

The heavy rainfall of this summer encouraged the breeding of many insects, some attractive, like the butterflies, some noisy, the cicadas, and some biting and particularly annoying, march flies, midgies and mosquitoes. The heavy rainfall to us was also a mixed blessing, washing away our access road, the local bridge and having us isolated for 10 days, but it also cleaned up the creek washing away 10 years of drought debris. We constructed a 3 gazebo open living structure with a tarpaulin roof enclosing a bed, lounge and kitchen. Power came from 4 solar panels and batteries, shower water from the creek, drinking water is collected and sewage disposed of when we visit our nearest town, 14 km's away. Two 3x3 metre garden sheds provided rain protection to our belongings.

When we arrived back in Australia after the last trip we had nothing but our motorcycle luggage, everything, including a motor vehicle, a van, had to be purchased on arrival. The full setting up from cutlery and crockery to a bed and somewhere to live needed to be sought. At this stage we are still maintaining a minimalist lifestyle although our possessions have grown substantially. Most of our time on the block was spent leveling a spot for the gazebo's and sheds, clearing and repairing the road with a spade and wheelbarrow. The property has a light infestation of a woody weed called lantana and that has occupied a couple of hours each day and whilst we will probably never get rid of all the regrowing seedlings the larger plants are now at least 75% dead. This infestation has encouraged us to clamber over the entire property, quite a feat in some places due to the steepness of many of its side gullies and ridges.  

Please enjoy the photos. Captions can be read by hovering the cursor over the photo.

Camped at the front gate for road repairs

Working on our access road

Clearing ground for the gazebo site

Our first temporary gazebo

They grow big worms in Queensland

Wild Red deer live on the block

Road slump after heavy rain

The camp is expanding

Friendly King Parrot

Our small creek in flood

Road finally upgraded to two wheel drive

Granite rocky creek

Fungi growing on a fallen log

Final gazebo structure

The comfortable inside

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