Outdoor Experiences


A slow drive through, remote territory

Seeing new sights, all new to me

Gave it all, a good scrutiny

The outcome we, all did agree

Rough kilometers traveled, more than seventy

Average speed, around twenty three

Took a break, where dam wall would be

Had a pee, behind a large gum tree

The causeway we, erected blue marquee

Ample fire fuel found, from flood debris

Billy boiled, nice cup of tea

Exchanged chat, mixed company

First morning up, enjoying the scenery

A vehicle arrived, John the cow-cockie

Uninvited he, questioned our entry

Heated words exchanged, listened intently

Traditional owner, of Urannah country

Ken made clear, had access authority

John was told, facts explained to thee

Shook each hand, left after apology

Woopee! Woopee!

Unsettling experience, I speak unanimously

We saw first-hand, meant emotionally

Just how long, to sort politically

Parties involved, still all disagree

Irwin’s Turtle, Ken caught to see

Photos taken, for our memory

Future pondered, of uncertainty

Said goodbye, as it was set free

River bank, grew variety

Eucalypt bottlebrush, and tea-tree

Good bird habitat, a large degree

But seeing them, was no guarentee

Homestead visit, once lived carefree

Urannah Creek, great place to be

Cattle spoilt, the serenity

The smell of wee, was an obscenity

No tick or mozzie, sandfly or flea

Shared responsibility, for cooking tea

Watch fire that flared, intermittently

We all got along, that was the key

Another day, peace and tranquility

Landscape setting, geographically

Atmosphere, engulfs you passionately

Slept with the moon, above the tree canopy

© Daryl Barnes 2016 


Our rainforests are diminishing – whilst great treasures they conceal

Many are microscopic – that medical science use to heel

Today the search continues – who knows what’s within

Maybe a helpful cancer cure – or a cream for your skin

Precious trees of the rainforest – ripped apart and were torn

From a cyclone named Yasi – that year is well gone

The cyclone let the sun in – right to the forest floor

Allowing understory growth – to thrive and to grow lots more

So I went to visit this land – with canopy broken overhead

Followed along a worn track – though not sure where it led

When I came across an animal – with links to the dinosaur

A prehistoric relative – that one day soon, could be no more

Yes there amid the undergrowth – a large body, dark and hairy

A flightless bird that has the name – of the Southern Cassowary

Two strong legs each three big toes – of these you must be wary

A weapon claw for self defence – if it attacked, it would be scary

It moved along slow and silent – and rather close-by to me

Not bothered by my being there – little danger could it see

When it crossed the path that I walked – only then did I realise

No wonder it can’t fly – this bird of weight and great size

I was barely breathing standing still – as I watched it slowly disappear

Soon engulfed by trees and leaves – its whereabouts unclear

Then I pondered its food intake – how much to satisfy

It would need a lot of fallen fruit – and fungi to get it by

The environment where it resides – is a restricted habitat

Pressure from man and nature too – could one day end all that

So let us use common sense – and leave what’s left alone

We don’t need to take any more – let’s leave the bird its home

© Daryl Barnes 2016


If you’re up town for wining and dining
Or the clubs and the pubs are the lure
The city heart has a noise that’s defining
And it’s something you’ll have to endure

As each night around dusk, set the time on your clock
The Royal Palms will come alive in the streets
For visitors to town this can be a shock
To witness a performance by our noisy lorikeets

These birds gather together in any old weather
Some people can’t hack it as they call it a racket
They say screeching and squawking, to them it aint talking
They say cut down the trees, but everyone you can’t please

No there’s nought can be done so let the birds have some fun
And then what we must do, each morning is clean off their poo
As the Bush Stone-curlew, hides away and out of view
After spending the night giving strangers a fright
So come hear the sounds of Mackay and surrounds
Like flying fruit bats that are louder than tom cats
Or enjoy cicadas and crickets, without buying concert tickets
Yes, come and drop by and hear the sounds of Mackay

© Daryl Barnes 2016


We built our house, up on the hill

with a view, that for some would kill

No better place, I’d rather be

especially when, the trees were still

Our home had shelter, from the east

thanks to trees, now tall and dense

But facing north, and out the front

we’re adding fill, and a new low fence

The landscapers, this day arrived

were mapping out, from the prepared plan

They took measurements, and marked the grass

with white lines, from in a can

Two loaded trucks, were on their way

one with soil, the other with sand

Large rocks too, were on another load

all this designed to change the land

When I sat down, to take a break

a tiny flash, had caught my eye

Again I saw it, but just a glance

as it whizzed past, about head high

Several times, did I see this

so I followed the path, the one it took

To the other side, of the acre block

so I went closer, for a better look

Soon I could see, in a pile of soil

a small neat hole, that wasn’t there before

So I kept back, and waited a minute

then out it shot, and disappeared next door

It was a bird, called Striated Pardalote

that flew out of sight, high up in a tree

Now that I knew, what was going on

I placed a sign, for all to see

Now each day, we got entertained

although we made, a change of plan

Until the Pardalotes, were done and gone

on one pile of soil, was placed a ban

So we got on, with the job at hand

leaving the birds, to do their thing

We’d see them come, and we’d see them go

we’d hear them call, and hear them sing

© Daryl Barnes 2016


The moon had drained away all the water
The tide goes forever to and fro
Exposing a mixture of mud and sand
Plus a drain with a trickling water flow
Prevention is far better than any cure
For sandflies and rays from the sun that can burn
Precautions are now all applied
As the sunscreen and repellent take a turn
Hooked to my belt is a bottle for water
A hat to protect my face and my head
A bucket and net and then we’re all set
Up the creek we are ready to tread
A White-bellied Sea Eagle soars overhead
Watching what we are up to
It’s casting an eye in search of some prey
Nothing can escape from its panoramic view
A few casts of the net and we’re picking up prawn
Into a bucket they go
After one or two kicks they finally relent
And hope there’s good quality on show
However, not every muddy pool contains prawn
Not every cast has what we’d like
There are other marine creatures too
And some are armed with a spike
The mangrove trees that line the creek banks
Get closer each time we move along
Their roots are now all well exposed
For certain crabs to emerge and feed from
The summer heat starts to have an effect
With a catch sufficient to provide us a snack
The decision got made to call it a day
So we turn and start to make our way back
The timing was right with the tide on the make
We knew it would always return
It’s a place where you play by its rules
Something that we all should learn
Upon our return we divided them up
Enough for us all to get a share
And after you’ve cooked them all up
There is not going to be any left spare
© Daryl Barnes 2016



No more cancellations – no more excuses why

No time for pulling out – now that the day is nigh

There’s been a challenge set – to complete this mountain walk

Let's see if you're fair dinkum – and not just full of talk

There’ll be obstacles a plenty – to test your concentration

There’ll be physical and mental – hurdles to be overtaken

But if you go in prepared – and enjoy the local scene

You will come out the other end – being glad that you have been

‘Tis not the place for careless – nor a place to host the weak

Break down and that’s the end – well “the end” so to speak

A burden on your mates – something you don’t want to put

So use common sense and caution – and watch where you plant each foot

Now to reach the very summit – many steps will need be taken

Sections are steep and rough – so do not be mistaken

It’s no walk in the town park – nor along a flat beach

If the challenge you can accept – then the summit you will reach


My alarm it goes off – I am soon wide awake

Trying not to dawdle – or I’ll be running late

Grab a spot of brekkie – and load up my pack

Take only food – that is easiest to snack

We’ve arrived on the mountain – after driving in the dark

Reaching our destination - the Dalrymple Road car park 

Weather was calm and clear – as we got ourselves set up

With mounting anticipation – we wished each other luck

We set off into the forest – one person at a time

Soon warming to the task – spread out and in a line

Good rhythm easy going – being careful not to slip

Carrying a solid stick – that was comfortable to grip

We avoided fallen branches – as the trail starts to wind

Followed coloured ribbons – tied to saplings and to vine

Paused a moment to just listen – hearing not a sound

Tall trees were all around – in this tranquil surround

Tree trunks were very long – and also very straight

All the way to the canopy – so they’d be a massive weight

Pass big buttress roots – some were hollowed within

Yes aged and majestic – but not yet giving in

From afar was running water – as a currawong sang out

More tree roots were exposed – with palm trees now all about

The first milestone was reached – so rested up a bit

Cupped the cool flowing water – splash your face and took a sip

A chance now to absorb – and enjoy the dense bush setting

We’re alone and we're at one – any worries we’re forgetting

It may seem eerie and too quiet – except for the stream's water flow

Close your eyes a moment – you could be in a dream you know

Steep climb up out of creek – around boulders of great size

Dig your toes in hard – work the muscles in your thighs

Exchange air in your lungs – now big breaths need be taken

The heart pumps around more blood – body heat it’s makin

Need to take another break – wipe sweat from on your brow

You look back with a smile – climb is over just for now

Trek on down the other side – towards creek number two

Past ribbons coloured pink – coloured yellow coloured blue

Tulip Oak and Cedar – huge trunks that do not sway

Strangler Fig on Mountain Ash – it’s a predator on its prey

Stag-horn fungi and orchid – all competing to survive

Creating years of habitat – for creatures to reside

Again we pause awhile – at the second flowing creek

Slippery rocks are dangerous – the stick helps with your technique

Then a scramble once again – to reach the next high peak

And see if everyone’s okay – or maybe getting weak

At the third flowing creek – here the rapids run deep

Maybe take a camera snap – of the scene for you can keep

Whilst we take a longer rest – and have a bite to eat

But don’t sit beside a leech – as it may climb on your feet

After here is another climb – as we forge ahead

Being careful not to slip – an accident you would dread

All muscles working hard – under a little extra strain

This is challenging your fitness – this is challenging terrain

Pass on through a soggy gully – and low cloud has turned to fog

Tree ferns are a feature - moss covered rocks throughout the bog

Like in a scene from the movie – the one called Jurassic Park

No, no dinosaurs to see – but just be glad that it aint dark

Now a sign gives us an option – David’s Lookout take a left here

That’s not the desired outcome – so straight ahead we steer

Onward we trudge – to the ‘last water’ creek

It’s the last chance to fill your bottle – before we reach the peak

Now more boulders and less trees – the higher up we go

After four hours of tree cover – and frequent stops for a blow

We reached the end of the one-way track – on the rock we now all hop

For some it's a relief – now we’re finally at the top

And it’s all out there before us – a clear view to astound

As far as you can see – from the highest point around

Today is calm and sky is blue – taking your breath away

Now you've been here for yourself – it is no longer hearsay

© Daryl Barnes 2016


Autumn leaves – yellow red and brown

Let go the branch – and float to the ground

They form a carpet – as more flutter down

In the cool calm air – without a sound

Autumn leaves – yellow red and brown

Sends a signal to the birds – some with patterns to astound

There’s Red-capped and the Flame – these Robins are now around

And the females of are never far – close by they will be found

Autumn leaves – yellow red and brown

Remind me of the days – when changing weather was renowned

In this country I too once lived – I recall the frosts that did abound

Every season leaves in turn – like the autumn leaves, without a sound

Autumn leaves – yellow red and brown

Build up in your street – in every southern town

Summer has now passed on by – each season here’s profound

The change is subtle where I live – now in a tropical surround

So if I came south to pay a visit – and Autumn was the time

I could reminisce of earlier days – when I was in my prime

But I must confess – as my life has unfold

I really don’t miss – that winter cold

© Daryl Barnes 2016


The Pioneer River is wide and clear – up above Dumbleton Weir

There’s plenty of room for everyone – no powerboats to fear

A short drive on the bitumen – and I am nearly there

So it makes it somewhere I go – when I’ve some time to spare

Occasionally I go on my own – but today I’m not alone

I’ve arranged it with two others – to meet and go from home

So three cars ride the bitumen – before taking a gravel track

With our single-seated kayaks – secured on each roof-rack

A drink and a snack, sunscreen and hat – and a basic first-aid kit

Water proofed and stowed away – leaving just some room to sit

A water bottle between your feet - in case you need a sip

Now ready to make some memories - which are created on every trip

So before too long we’re set to go - kayaks floating on the river

A few gentle strokes to turn around the bow – this river is about to quiver

Soon we find a cruising rhythm – around the first bend no worries

‘Plop’ and back down out of sight – a startled turtle scurries

Our faces feel the warming breeze – that’s cooled by a paddle splash

Tinted glasses to shield our eyes – on which the sun’s rays clash

An Azure Kingfisher flashes past – nearby it comes to rest

With bobbing head surveys the scene – its eye-sight one of the best

Steaming down the pioneer – creating ripples as we glide

A Darter spreads its wings to dry – takes flight when we get up beside

Almost blending with the environment – we marvel at the features

Of a playful platypus or two – and an array of other creatures

When our destination is reached this day – time to stand and stretch our legs

Enjoy a snack under she-oak shade – today I share three hard-boiled eggs

A slice of bread becomes a plate – as we carefully peel each shell

An Eastern Water Dragon comes – attracted by the smell

A quiet moment to sit and think – and absorb the atmosphere

The kayaks swing and bump together – as the breeze picks up a gear

Ever changing weather moulds us all – both animals and plants as one

We’re under mother-natures spell – then she warms us with the sun

Time again to organise – repack all that we brought

Without warning the wind gets up – a rain cloud, now who would have thought

The weather forecast often questioned – today’s attention we did not pay

It is the season for heavy showers – it is the tropical way

No time now to contemplate – it’s now time to bend our back

Rotate that paddle from side to side – it’s now flat out attack

On a tree partly submerged – I spy a sheltering raptor

But wind now rain takes my focus – it’s now a hindering factor

In the cooling rain we push on through – no point stopping to take a blow

But as quickly as it arrived it cleared – up ahead appeared a vivid rainbow

The wind too had disappeared – with the sun about to shine

We took a break and had a drink – we were soaked but we were fine

Then I felt a twinge in my shoulder blade – as we turned the final bend

One solid workout it had been – minor injuries will soon mend

And the day will fade in memory – as we move on down the line

Paddling together with good friends – would do it again at any time

 © Daryl Barnes 2016
We’ve left behind our television – and our telephones
We’ve left behind the cat and dog – left our neighbours moans
So collect some wood and start the burning – create an atmosphere
You can’t bush camp without a fire – and have tradition disappear
Darkness arrives so we settle back – the hot plate scraped and clean
Make a spot to sit the ‘billy’ on – boil water for a dose of caffeine
Find a favourite disc or tape – and turn some music on
Maybe play some country stuff – ones we can all sing along
Songs about this land we live – songs of the characters too
Stories of humour and fun – other stories like ‘true blue’
To me they paint a picture clear – they paint a picture true
Some have a special meaning to you – some are maybe just new
A big back log it holds the heat – the flames they flicker low
Give the coals a poke and prod – it’ll make that fire glow
Up in the sky goes spark and ash – where to we’ll never know
In your eyes smoke follows you – everywhere that you go
Legs out-stretched, we sit way back – engulfed within a chair
While away the time with ease – without so much as a care
Conversation ebbs and flows – there’s time enough to think
From a stubby or a can – there’s always plenty to drink
As a new moon peaks through the trees – the hours they slowly pass
The rubbish bin rattles with a clang of a can – banned are stubbies or glass
Now listen to the sounds of the night – let Slim Dusty get some sleep
The cool night air begins to creep – so we move in closer to the heat
The fire with its hypnotic powers – makes us stare into the coals
We rekindle times of days gone by – as the embers reach to our souls
Whilst overhead the stars arrive – and the clouds they drift away
It will soon be time to hit the hay – and dream of another day
© Daryl Barnes 2016

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