21 April 2008

Museum of Fire & Wildlife World

G'day mates!

Back again!

First things first.... I've been asked to explain "Mupersan". It's really just a fun name that Scott & I came up with a couple of years ago. In South Africa, we owned an audio visual company called Mascotte Solutions. My fantastically talented brother, who is a graphic designer / illustrator/artist (check out his website), designed our logo for us.

As you can see, it resembled the Superman logo. We had this logo printed onto the front of black T-shirts as well as all over Scott's bakkie and my car - a VERY effective marketing tool, I might add. Kids would often call out "Superman" to Scott. We took SuperMan (SM) and swapped it around as our logo was MS and not SM...... and when you say it out loud, you get MuperSan. Scott's also like a super hero when it comes to fixing/building stuff so he is Mupersan... ah, sorry, Superman. LOL! Okay, so it's not a spectacular story, but it's OUR's and WE find it funny. :-)

Saturday, 19 April '08

I really loved my bird feeder in Cape Town - many happy hours spent watching all the different "characters" and checking out the pecking order (absolutely no pun intended, I promise). The bird life here is completely different - Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Rainbow Lorikeets fly wild - it's beautiful. I just don't get the whole bird in a cage thing but I won't go there now.

We'd been told about a really good pet store out in the North West in Kellyville called (surprise surprise!) Kellyville Pets - they tout themselves as Sydney's largest pet store and I can believe it! Anyway, we got ourselves a great bird feeder for the balcony and some food suitable for attracting the cockatoos, parrots and Lorikeets.

Here's the bird feeder on the balcony - because it's been raining non-stop, we haven't had any takers yet. But we're holding thumbs!

After the pet store, we were planning on taking a drive to the Blue Mountains. We got as far as the Penrith turnoff where we saw a sign for The Museum of Fire..... Hmmmm... It sounded interesting so we took a detour and are very happy we did! We found a beautifully maintained little museum. Some of the modern day stuff hadn't been updated since the late 80's though - this was the only disappointment. But each and every exhibit was clean and well maintained. There wasn't a fingerprint to be found on all the highly polished brass work. Check out the pics!

Mupersan with one of the many beautifully maintained fire engines

I took all the pics so Scott's in most of them! :-)

This was just a few of the stacks of fire engines on show - if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say there were probably at least 30 or 40 engines. And most of them in full running condition - a lot of them have got historic car number plates and are taken out for parades

Yip, they even have fires up in the snow! This snowmobile on display from the Perisher Valley down in the Snowy Mountains.

There were some seriously interesting brass branches (the nozzle thingy on the end of the hose). This one must've created a really wide blanket of spray. Considering that their pumps couldn't push out as much pressure as those of today, it's a wonder that they could spray more than a few metres with something like this.

The "Baby" Dennis. This is an approximately 1/3 scale model of the Dennis F.44 fire engine - it is self propelled using two 12v batteries to drive an electric motor. Scott was itching to take it for a spin!!!

Finally, we get onto the Bushfire stuff!

This is known as a "Blitz Truck" Bushfire Tanker. It's a monster! This is Ford F.60 ex RAAF refueling tanker from the 60's which was converted to a water tanker with a capacity of about 3600L. It was given a lick of paint and spruced up & handed over to the museum in '81 by the Medlow Bath Bushfire Brigade.

This is a horse-drawn Furphy Water Cart from 1880 and was used on farms, in the military for taking water to the troops. The driver of the cart would collect & pass on news and gossip at each camp. However, the information couldn't always be trusted. The word Furphy is still synonymous with dodgy info or a rumour and is still around as an Aussie slang word. (haven't come across it yet tho).

Aaaaah..... this one's pretty cool - and BIG. Another bushfire truck - this one from Old Bonaldo.

I haven't seen these in South Africa but they're probably around. This is a BRILLIANT idea for houses on the edge of a bush/mountain area. Basically how it works is that there is a hosepipe and shut off valve attached to your gutters. You turn the tap on and it starts to fill up your gutters from below - once they start overflowing, it creates a curtain of water around your house. Now why didn't I think of that?

The old brass helmets are really stunning - but they must've been hellishly heavy and uncomfortable to wear!

This old Steam Fire Engine is an amazing machine! Commissioned by the city of Sydney in 1891, it was designed to raise steam of 690 kPa in the boiler from cold water in 10 minutes from lighting the fire, to deliver 4100L per minute through a jet 44mm in diameter at 1380 kPa and to throw the jet 58m high and 61m horizontally. They called this one No 18 Steamer or "Big Ben". It put out fires around the Circular Quay area until 1929.

And it's still going strong! This photo was taken at the Centenary of Federation parade in 2001.

We'd seen it all and were starting to get peckish.... Guess what we found....!

It must sound totally insane for us to have eaten (and thoroughly enjoyed!) lunch at the Spur when we have all these new and exciting places to try.... We've seen, smelled, tasted and touched so many new things in the last couple of months. We just wanted something familiar. It was truly a lekker meal!

Sunday, 20 April '08

The weather's been so dreary of late and we just wanted to get out and about so headed off down to Darling Harbour again. When we went to the aquarium a few weeks back, we bought a combined ticket for the Wildlife park next door so this was our main attraction for the day.

Kate Winslet I am definitely NOT! :-) Overlooking Darling Harbour

Scott didn't even try for Leonardo's part - he already is king of the world! LOL! Especially in that hat!

Some freaky nautical architectural thingy.

Ooooooh...... Janke, this is your heaven!!!! The Lindt Cafe.

Lindor Balls - thousands of them!!!! Mint, Cinnamon, Coffee, Orange, Cookies 'n Cream..... Yummie!

The most divine hot chocolate you've EVER tasted - made with Lindt chocolate flakes and full cream milk. Absolutely to die for!!!!

Waiting for my hot chocolate - note the extremely large bag of Lindt chocolate buttons and the Lindt chocolate cook book.....

Scott at the fountain with his hot chocolate.

An enormous solar powered cat. Another gadget for my Dad to explore when he gets here!

Dad, in the meantime, check out their website.... www.solarsailor.com

The combo pass - this is really great. It's like a credit card and you get quite a good discount if you buy it. You get 3 months to visit both attractions. The pet shop we went to yesterday also offered a 20% discount for both these places. There are also quite a few tourist guide books which offer discount coupons on various attractions. You can save a fair amount if you use them all. We got discounts at Taronga too.

Scott drinking his hot choco outside Wildlife World

The entrance area - with our little credit card type tickets, we just scanned the card and walked straight through the turnstile - handy when it's really busy.

Stag Beetles - My Mom is probably the only person who will understand why I've posted this picture! I won't explain - it's a long story. :-)

The famous Red Back - only the females have a potentially dangerous bite. Funny, with the Funnel Web, it's the males that are venomous.

One of those frilly lizard things - it just wouldn't play the game and splay it's fine frills for me!

A couple of Bearded Dragons just hangin' out.

This oke was a REAL poser - can't remember what he was but he had the most beautiful colouring - looked like his skin was made of beads.

I just can't wait to find somewhere where I can actually hold one of these gorgeous furry creatures. They're probably smelly and not as soft as they look but I don't care! :-)

This, is a posssum. They're bigger than I expected and a pretty cute too.

This is a Tawny Frogmouth. It's often confused with an owl but is actually more closely related to the nightjars.

An Agile Wallaby with a little joey in it's pouch.

This little guy was fascinated with the lense of my camera but eventually the branch he was chewing on willed out.

Mupersan the squirrel?

The Southern Cassowary is the second largest bird in the world by weight.

The large, horn-like casque on it's head is believed to help it part the vegetation as it runs head-first through the rainforest undergrowth.

The Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby

A Laughing Kookaburra - these birds are part of the kingfisher family - but they're huge in comparison.

Just for a bit of perpective - and these were relatively small compared to some we've seen. I'll try and record a sound bite of their "call". They sound just like monkeys in the trees. I kid you not!

He just didn't have the energy to climb that tree before falling asleep

I have absolutely no idea how this little guy was keeping his balance! Fast asleep!

And then there were flutterbies.....

The male Varied Eggfly

The female Varied Eggfly

These feeding discs were really cool for getting some decent pics.

The big one at the back with the green wings was stunning when in flight - it's a male Cairns Birdwing. The little orange one is a female Red Lacewing.

And we found the Lindt choo-choo too!

We went to the Meat & Wine Co for lunch - the Cheetah's and the Warratah's had been here earlier this year. They've got a fabulous menu and even have boerewors as a starter dish. There was also Kangaroo fillet - Scott was going to try it but was a bit nervous as we'd been warned that it is very gamey. Didn't really want to spend good money on something that wasn't going to taste good. We'll find a butcher that sells it and then give it a try. Oh, and our waitress was an ex Saffer.

This water feature in front of the Exhibition centre is absolutely stunning!

Here's a little video clip as a still picture doesn't do it justice.

Darling Harbour lights

With our last hot choco of the day just before going home. I also found myself a hat...

Here's the label from my new hat.....

And the little leather Kangaroo that was attached to the label.....

And now you're just going to have to wait until the next post to find out how damn sexy I look in my new hat! LOL!



Anonymous said...

Hi Guys. Thanks for the info and pics of your latest adventures. Love the hat bro but pity about the heli. As the ad says, "life's a journey and you two seem to be loving the ride". Keep it coming dude and dudette. Later Grant

Seabee said...

It's against the law to hold koalas in NSW, but you can touch them - try Featherdale Wildlife Park for that. To actually hold one you'll need to go up to Queensland. And they are as soft and furry as they look!