After staring all week at the small mountain that sits on this rural property, we decided to take the family for a hike and conquer its summit. Mount Mirannie is not a big bush-walk, but it was just right for our family of young children.

Mirannie Mountain, December 2011
We've been looking at this forested peak for over a week now. At 450 metres above sea level, it's not very high, but Mirannie Mountain is just right for a family trek.

We decided to drive part of the way so the walk would be shorter for our girls (and for me!). While staying on this property, we have the use of Lloyd’s Landcruiser to help us navigate the dirt tracks, although we can’t take it into town because it’s unregistered.

Girls in the back of the Landcruiser, December 2011
The girls load themselves into the boot of the Landcruiser for our short drive to the boundary fence.

Lloyd's Landcruiser, December 2011
Lloyd's Landcruiser is a beast. It lacks a starter-motor and a handbrake, so it needs to be parked on a hill in first gear and then roll-started in fifth gear to get it going.

There are a few animals on the property — something that interests our girls. Delaney’s name for a cow is “moo”, so we’ve been trying to help her distinguish between cows and horses. (Although we have also ended up calling cows “moos” too.)

David and Delaney greeting the horses, December 2011
First, we stopped to greet the local residents.

David patting a horse, December 2011
Although the main herd is skittish, this loner allows David to approach and pat him.

David cuddling Delaney and comforting Brioni, December 2011
David comforts Brioni after she is unsuccessful in patting a horse. They all ran away when she approached.

But sharp-eyed Brioni is the one who spots the lone kangaroo in the paddock. When she announces that she sees a black kangaroo, I think she’s teasing me. I’ve never seen a black kangaroo before — until today.

Black kangaroo, December 2011
The Eastern Wallaroo hops away as we approach where it was grazing.

At the fence, we climb carefully through the barbed wire and then head up to what looks like a road. When we get there, I’m thankful that we haven’t been able to find access to this road — I would hate to drive along it because it’s so rough, but 4WD enthusiasts would enjoy the challenge.

Climbing Mount Mirannie, December 2011
We start climbing Mount Mirannie on a disused, steep 4WD track.

David and Delaney walking, December 2011
Delaney is a little trooper — she walked most of way to the top, relying on David's helping hand to encourage her along.

Elijah in the sling, December 2011
I like carrying Elijah in the sling on my front.

Brioni climbing Mount Mirannie, December 2011
Our girls definitely have an advantage when we move off the track and have to bush-bash our way to the top — they can walk under branches while I collect bits and pieces in my dreadlocks when I duck under them.

Calista and Brioni climbing Mount Mirannie, December 2011
When David, Aisha and I reached the summit with Delaney and Elijah, we left behind two stragglers who were out of sight. It was sweet to see Calista and Brioni holding hands when they reached the top together.

Relaxing at the top of Mount Mirannie, December 2011
At the summit, we find an old tree to rest on.

The view from Mount Mirannie, December 2011
The view from Mount Mirannie is lovely and stretches for miles.

The view from Mount Mirannie, December 2011
It is interesting to spy on neighbouring properties. This farmer has a nicely ordered collection of junk cars. I bet each one has an interesting story.

Lloyd's farmhouse, December 2011
And this is the farmhouse where we're currently staying. The creek is hidden by the line of trees and is not very far from the main house.

After making our (much quicker) way down the mountain, we decided to cool off in Glendon Brook. We drove down to the creek crossing near Lloyd’s house where the girls splashed and threw rocks into the water.

Calista and Delaney playing at the creek, December 2011
Calista picks up a rock to toss into the water but soon decides it's too heavy for her.

I decided to wait until we got home again before I got wet. And today I took Elijah into the bath with me — at two weeks old, it’s his first proper bath, and he’ll never smell like a newborn again!

Elijah, 2 weeks old, December 2011
After initially complaining when all his clothes were taken off, Elijah settled very quickly when I submerged his body in the warm water.

We’ve settled into a relaxed way of life here at the house. We managed to get our truck and trailer all the way to the house, so we have access to all our belongings and can use food from our kitchen pantry for meals. It’s a nice change to have hot water from a tap, a flushing toilet and electricity!