Take a walk through the South Bank, Brisbane

One of my favourite things to do in Brisbane (apart from visiting my sister obvs) is to spend the day down at the South Bank Parklands.

Located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River you can find this urban paradise. This vibrant area actually used to be the site of the Brisbane’s ‘88 World Expo. The new site opened in 1992 and has been a popular destination in Brisbane for tourists and locals alike. It’s often referred to as the cultural heart of the city and is the perfect play area within the city for all ages.

If you want to wander along the river, swim, watch a show, take in some art, sunbathe on the golden sand, sit in the park, walk amongst the Bougainvilleas, shop in the markets or just sit in a bar/restaurant and people watch the world away, then this is the place for you. It’s a completely pedestrian area and somehow just magically transforms you away from being in a busy capital city to an oasis.

There is plenty to see and do and something for everyone and all ages. If you want to eat and drink then there’s so many bars and restaurants to choose from with all sorts of cuisines. Being in Queensland and that its usually ‘beautiful one, perfect the next’ they all have outdoor areas to sit and enjoy your lunch in the sun.

If you fancy a bit of shopping you can find the South Bank Markets every weekend and also the night markets on a Friday night. We’ve been there for the weekend markets and found so many amazing items. I’ve always wanted to visit the night markets but we’ve not quite got there yet for those. Defo on the list for next time. There is also a whole host of other events so do check out their website for ideas and dates.

If sitting around and shopping isn’t your thing then you can talk a stroll along the river’s edge overlooking the city or you can do the South Bank Walkway and walk under the 1 km of bougainvillaea. It’s gorgeous colour just illuminates and really is the prettiest of sights. There are lush green parks with tropical plants and to wander around.

You can even get up high in the sky with the Wheel of Brisbane. I think it might be sponsored by 7.Mainly due to the 7 logo right in the centre. I’ve not been on this but I can imagine it would give some amazing views of the South Bank Parklands, the Brisbane River the City skyline.

Being considered the cultural heart of Brisbane It ozzes culture. With The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, The Queensland Performing Art Centre, The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Queensland Maritime Museum and the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre all in the area there is plenty of places to get your cultural fix.

But as with many people, the absolute cherry on the top of this stunning parkland is the swimming facilities! There are three different areas including the Streets Beach, Water Play Park and the Boat Pool. All are free to use, patrolled by lifeguards and open all year round. Whilst they do get pretty busy especially in the summer months you can always find a spot on the sand (yes they even have real sand!) or in the crystal blue water to unwind. I’ve heard that the sand is brought in from the nearby Moreton Bay and that there is enough water to fill FIVE Olympic size pools.

It really is a great place for everyone living and visiting Brisbane and if we haven’t sold you on visiting already then takes a walk through the South Bank below….

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Derby, Tasmania- Rejuvenating a town

We often hear of bloggers rebranding, people reinventing themselves and businesses rejuvenating with a complete change of priorities and/or focus.

So it makes sense that an entire town can also rejuvenate itself by changing direction and coming alive again.

On a recent trip to Tasmania, we experienced a town that did just that. Derby, (pronounced Dur-Bee, not Dar-bee) in North Eastern Tasmania, is just one town that has been revitalised.

And how have they done this?

With mountain bikes!

Derby was once a thriving town. When tin was discovered in the mid-1870s the town was booming with mines, businesses, people and activity. We found it to be a pretty little town, alongside the Ringarooma River but it has obviously seen better days. It’s surrounded by hills, forest and the Blue Tier Forest Reserve. There are accommodation, cafes and bike businesses catering to the influx of visitors and the town is starting to thrive once again.

Derby is just over 100km from Launceston and is now a popular area for mountain bike riders. All of Tasmania is actually getting a name for being a mecca for mountain bike riders. As well as Rail Trails, the provision of mountain bike trails moves the whole island way ahead of other states of Australia.

In 2015 a network of mountain bike trails was opened in the hills around Derby, called Blue Derby. It has reinvigorated the whole town, and region, with property prices doubling and houses becoming a high-end commodity. They now have businesses catering for all levels of riders and vehicles that can take you and your bike to the top of one of the big descents and then it’s up to you to ride down.

The trails are called Atlas, Black Dragon, Big Chook and Blue Tier descent – just to name a few. I’m afraid I’m not very brave but I did enjoy my meander alongside the river.

We took our bikes with us on the car ferry from Melbourne and rode them in most places we visited during our two week holiday. Although not into mountain biking myself I gave one of the beginner trails a go in Derby and was impressed with the work that has gone into the area. The Mathematician, unfortunately, didn’t have his mountain bike with him, but still had a good ride on one of the more difficult tracks and loved it. There were carloads of people stopping and unloading bikes all the time we were there and this was in a non-holiday time and mid-week.

As well as beautiful forests, bush walks and landscapes the area also has some beautiful waterfalls nearby. We visited St Columba Falls, Lilydale Falls and Halls Falls – these are all quite close to the town of Pyengana.

St Columba Falls is 90 metres high with a huge volume of water tumbling down over the granite rocks. The helpful signs told us that 42000 litres of water every minute go over the falls and in winter this increases to over 200000 litres of water. This water then flows into the sea at St Helens in Georges Bay. Most of the falls had easy walking tracks from the car park to viewing areas and the walk was always well worthwhile! The walks through rainforest, passing by ancient trees and under the cool green canopy were just beautiful and a highlight of our trip.

For more information on this lovely area

RideBlueDerby.com.au
DiscoverTasmania.com.au

This post was kindly written by a lovely Wandering Darling- Debbie from Deb’s World   Check out her blog and social media channels with the links below for more great travel, lifestyle and midlife posts.

Author Biography

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Debbie is not only a guest blogger but she is also my Mum! A keen blogger and traveller, she along with my dad have been taking my sisters and I on adventures since we were little girls. She has lived abroad, travelled to too many countries to mention and never once sits still. Always planning and thinking of the next great adventure. From treking in Nepal, hosting Rotarty Exchange Students, Riding rail trails,  Barging and cycling through Croatia, walking the Kokoda Trail or just coming to visit little old me on the otherside of the world they make the most of their life and show that you just need to get out there to explore.

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How to speak Australian- Bloody Oath Shazza don’t you know what we are saying?

Need to decipher what Australians are actually trying to say?

Australia is a funny old place. Most of the animals can seriously injure you, the ripe tides can take you out to sea, it can be stinking hot in one part and then snowing in another and half the time visitors can’t work out what we are trying to say and I’m not even going to mention the drop bears.

You would be mistaken for thinking that Australians speak English and we do but there is A LOT of words that we say that just make no sense to the rest of the world. Its Australian English and in most cases it can be self-explanatory but in others, you will just have no bloody clue. You may have picked up the odd word from Crocodile Dundee or Neighbours but I’m pretty sure there will be a few that will have you going- seriously you say that!?

We have a weird (some might say lazy) way of communicating in that we shorten our words and you will find most Australian slang has an ’o’ or ‘y’ at the end. It just rolls off the tongue a little sweeter. Generally speaking the fewer syllables the better but there is also the odd occasion when we make the word longer.

It’s also not always about what we say but how we say it. The inflection on letters can also change how words are pronounced and it is usually words with the vowel such as water (drawn out a), quarter (same as water), yoghurt (yo-ghurt rather than yog-hurt).paracetamol (para-seat-a-mol). We also go up at the end of our sentences so you’re never really sure if someone is asking you a question or not. It says a lot that our country’s name has 3 ‘a’s in it and all are pronounced differently.

If you are planning to visit Australia or just bump into some Aussies abroad in a bar (that’s where we can be found) then here are 31 words/phrases that should help you communicate. And yes they are all real!!

  1. G’day- Good Morning, hello, hi. People do say this it’s not just in the movies. My favourite thing is when I ring home and dad says straight away ‘G’day Sweetheart’
  2. Straya – Australia. Because saying your full country is just too much. Those two extra syllables really take it out of you
  3. Arvo- Afternoon. I literally say this 10 times a day and it has now become a common phrase in my workplace.
  4. Hooroo – Goodbye. Makes saying goodbye a sound so much nicer
  5. Brekkie- Breakfast. Standard.
  6. Sanga – Sandwich. Most commonly used if your getting a sausage sanga likely at Bunnings on a Sunday.
  7. Maccas– Mcdonalds. I honestly grew up thinking everyone called it Macca’s alas it was only really in Aus.
  8. Bottle O– Bottle shop and yes they are usually drive in. Yep that’s right you drive in and someone comes to you with your booze. AMAZING
  9. Thongs- Flip Flops. No idea why they are called thongs but I quickly changed to saying flip-flops as I got a few odd looks when I first moved here
  10. Swimmers/cossie/togs– Bathing suit. Swimmers cause you swim in them. Cossie and Togs- no idea where those came from
  11. Bloody oath– Similar to Oh my god but not OMG.
  12. Bogan– uncouth or unsophisticated person. It’s always hard to say what makes someone a bogan but when you know you know.
  13. Chuck a sickie– calling in sick when you aren’t really sick. Cause we never do that
  14. Dunny- Toilet
  15. Servo- service station. No need for two words you can sum it up in one.
  16. Esky –cooler. Esky is the make of most coolers in Australia. It’s like vacuums in Britain are called Hoover even if they aren’t a proper hoover.
  17. Crisps/hot chips- chips are potato chips, hot chips are potato fries. Make sure if you’re having hot chips that you ask for chicken salt. You can thank me later
  18. Stubbie- both a bottle size and a style of shorts
  19. Schooner- glass size. Smaller than a pint but bigger than a half
  20. Heaps- lots. Aussie use heaps, heaps!
  21. Chuck a U-ie- do a U-turn. Chucking a u-ie sounds so much more fun than doing a U-turn doesn’t it
  22. Para/smashed- drunk eg paralytic
  23. Spit the dummy- throw a tantrum.
  24. Muffler- Exhaust
  25. Whipper snipper- Strimmer. One of my favourites mainly for when I asked my other half if he was going to whipper snipper the garden he looked at me like I was MENTAL.
  26. Smoko- morning or afternoon break at work. You don’t need to smoke for it to be smoko actually Australia is really anti-smoking
  27. Tradie- Tradesman and apparently tradies get the ladies
  28. Barbie– BBQ and no we don’t throw shrimps on it.
  29. Woop woop- a long way away. It is usually said bloody oast they live way out woop woop. Australia is big and to be fair anywhere more than 4 hours away is considered woop woop
  30. Zucchini/Capsicum/Eggplant- Courgette, Pepper and Aubergine. Fun veggie (vegetable) names to confuse you
  31. Nicknames- just add an a, o, y/ie to any names (even if it makes the name longer)and that’s your Aussie name egg Sharon- Shazza, Steve- Stevo, Shawn- shawny

Have you come across any that we’ve not included? Do leave them below in the comments as I am sure there is heaps we’ve missed.

Hooroo

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Queenie, Murwillumbah – An Airbnb Gem

If you find yourself in Northern NSW and in need of a funky place to stay then I have just the place… Welcome to Queenie.

Queenie is located in the lovely town of Murwillumbah in Northern NSW. Surrounded by sugar cane fields, tropical hinterland and the majestic Mt Warning watching over the town.  It’s close to Byron Bay, Tweed Heads and the Gold Coast and is sat on the banks of the Tweed river so it’s in pretty fabulous company and some of the best landscapes Australia has to offer. It’s always been a key place in my life as my grandparents have lived there for most of my life and my grandfather was born and grew up there. Many holidays and breaks from Uni were spent with family exploring the hinterland, swimming in the Murbah pool, exploring the coastal towns nearby, taking a million photos of Mt Warning and just sitting outside drinking tea and taking in the tropical surroundings.

On a recent visit to Murwillumbah, my family and I discovered the retro paradise Queenie. First, off I was quite surprised there were any Airbnb’s in Murwillumbah (i have since found out there is several) and secondly, I was in awe that it wasn’t just your standard house (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but…  Queenie was bursting with character, it was just like stepping into the pages of an interior design magazine.

The attention to detail, the charm, the style, the colours, the beds. OMG, the beds.  It is hands down one of the best Airbnb I’ve ever stayed in. As a vintage lover, this place was what my dreams are made of and ‘house’ Pinterest board is full of. Light muted tones, tropical vibes, hand picked vintage furniture, art deco styling that all just went so well together and was totally #housegoals.

The beds were like sleeping on a cloud. My jetlagged self just melted between the Tommy Bahamas sheets. There is room for four guests with two bedrooms- one king and one queen. There is a bright open kitchen/diner area with a super cute little retro bar. If you do want to watch a film or Tv there is a small entertainment room with a million DVDs to choose from. If you want to eat your breakfast listening to the birds there is a lovely outside area to sit and take in the sounds…

To get into the town there is a very short walk to the main street which is full of cafes, eateries, boutique and antique shops. There is a pool with waterslide, lots of brilliant walks, the Wollumbin National Park is only a short drive away. I haven’t been myself but I’ve been told the Margaret Olley Exhibition and Tweed Regional Art gallery are well worth a visit. Byron Bay and the Gold Coast are also within a short driving distance. I can thoroughly recommend having fish and chips in Kingscliff and visiting Point Danger where you can stand with one foot in NSW and one in QLD (obviously doesn’t take much to entertain me). Green Point, Currumbin and Kirra are also within a short drive. You won’t run out of things to do and places to explore.  Also If you are a fan of I’m a celebrity get me out of here then its filmed in Murwillumbah as well so you may even catch a glimpse of Ant and Dec!

The only downside for Queenie (and I’m clutching at straws for a downside!) would be there is no wifi which isn’t really that big of a deal but as I was travelling with an international sim card I wanted to the internet without the data roaming charges so wifi would have been a bonus. Thankfully a lot of cafes in town had free wifi.

We loved our stay at Queenie and if you want to explore this beautiful house and area then I thoroughly suggest jumping on Airbnb and booking them up. To see more reviews or to book check out their Facebook and Airbnb pages below. Trust me you won’t regret it!

Facebook

Airbnb

This was not a sponsored stay and this post includes all of our own opinions.

Do check out their reviews on Airbnb and you’ll see it’s not just that are big fans.

Do you have any amazing Airbnb’s that you’ve stayed at? If so share below in the comments.

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Summer- Australia Vs UK

Today it was hot in the UK. Like really hot. The late 20s /early 30s hot. The papers tomorrow will declare it a heat wave and come Monday everyone will be returning to work completely sunburnt. Then by the end of the week, it will be wet and rainy for two weeks because it’s Glastonbury weekend so of course, it’s going to be wet. I would never have known what that meant 10 years ago.

Welcome to a British summer.

As an Aussie living in the UK, I find it hilarious every year how excited/crazy we get when the temperature peaks for several days straight you’d have thought I’d have I come to adapt to it. Nope! Now every year I get just as excited as everyone else. I wrote a similar post last year you can find it here.

The most surprising thing for me today was I got in my car to go to the gym (yes just popping that in there as a big pat on the back to myself) and the steering wheel was too HOT to touch!! Yes, you heard right to hot to touch. This has never happened to me here. Australia yeah sure this is a daily occurrence but never in the UK. I actually almost called my mum to tell her as I was so shocked. Thankfully I didn’t choose to wake her up at 3 am with the news and instead started to think about all the things that are different between my two homes in the summer time …

Heading to the beach in Marbella

Europe
Summer in the UK more often than not means a summer holiday to the continent. Spain, Portugal, Italy, France are all on your doorstep and only 2-3 hours flight away. Some of the deals available make it a more cost effective option than staying in the UK and you are guaranteed sun. In Australia, you pretty much stay in Australia but maybe just venture to another state. If you did want to go abroad Bali or Fiji are only 3-4 hours away.

Respect the sun vs worship the Sun
I have moles on my body and have always been protective of my skin. In Australia, you are brought up respecting the sun. At school, you can’t play outside unless you have a hat and there are always campaigns about Slip, Slop, Slap- Slip on a shirt, Slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. We don’t spend all day everyday sunbathing in the sun and we have Skincare centres everywhere to check on any changes in our skin. This is so different to my friends in England who worship the sun and will sit out all day in to get some colour. Even if that colour is red. Even going on holiday in Europe you always see ‘brits abroad’ who have sunburn on sunburn but still will sit out catching the rays. In Australia, it is rare to buy sunscreen under factor 15 or 30 whereas in the UK you can get factor 4 or factor 8!!

Summer is longer and hotter in Australia
Summer last forever in Australia especially if you live inland or in Northern parts of the country. Every day of summer is almost guaranteed to be warm and if by chance it is cooler it’s still early 20’s. It can also get super hot so you can’t touch your steering wheel, the road looks like it is melting and God forbid if you try to sit on a leather seat.

But…Summer days are longer in the U.K.
Whilst we don’t have as many hot days in the UK we do have more daylight hours. Summer evenings in the UK go up to 9.30/10pm. I love this and found it so confusing when we were on the Gold Coast last year and it was almost pitch black at 6 pm in the middle of summer. Summer days need long summer nights as well.

Surfers Paradise

Beaches

According to Australia.gov.au there over 10,500 beaches in Australia. There is nowhere near that many in the UK. Whilst I love a beach wherever it is I do prefer the beaches of home. The white squeaky sand that burns the soles of your feet, crystal blue ocean and bush that always separates the beach from the rest of the world. They will always hand down beat a pebbled, muddy British beach.

Ice lollies/Ice creams
No ice lollies/ice creams in the UK will ever compare to a Paddle Pop, Zoopa Doopa or a Bubble-o-bill. Not ever..

Santa’s in Darling Harbour

Summer will always feel like Christmas
As soon as it starts heating up I’m waiting for the Christmas carols, the Christmas tv and Santa to be driving round the streets on a fire truck. Summer for me means Christmas no matter how many years I have away from home- this will never change.

Rain

Obviously, rain was going to pop up somewhere in this post. However, it might not be in the way you would expect. In the UK we hate it raining when its supposed to be summer and in Australia, they long for it to rain in summer. Summers in Australia are long and hot. Summer heat on top of a long-standing drought affects crops, farms, bush and the general landscape. We have bushfires every year and part of the reason they spread so quickly is that everything is so dry and crisp. My grandpa always asks me to bring the rain with me when I come home at summer.

The green fields of Somerset

Green vs Beige
Leading on from the above, I have lost count how many times this last month I have said to my other half ‘It’s soo green! It’s never this green at home in the summer’. This is partly due to the rainfall we have. Everything grows so quickly. We didn’t mow our lawn for a month and it looked like a meadow. The countryside in the UK during the summer is beautiful luscious greens, bluebell forests, yellow rapeseed fields and wildflowers on the side of the road. Just beautiful.

Sport
Big on both sides of the equator in the summer. Wimbledon, The Australian Open, Boxing day test the list is endless. Both nations love watching sports and getting out and being active in the sunny days.

Animals
I grew up in the country and going for a walk in summer meant you always needed to keep an eye out for snakes and your back is always covered in flies. Going for a walk in the UK just means midgies and that’s only if you are near water. Its pretty much a snake free zone and is 100% a fly free zone. The UK wins purely for just not having flies!

Shirts off at the pub
I don’t think I have ever seen Aussie men at the pub with their shirts off in the summer. In England, one little slither of sun and half the men are there with their tops off showing off their Adonis bodies. Most places in Aus will have a no shirt no service rule and we love a drink so the shirts stay on. We are more a nation of vest/singlets, baordy and thong (flips flop) wearing men than a rip your top off at the first sign of sun nation.

Procrastinating taking selfies when I was supposed to be writing this today in the garden

Happiness
One thing that remains the same in both places is that summer = happy. Everyone has a spring in their step, more social and just happier. The vitamin D does something magical to us all. We smile, we play, we eat alfresco, we relish the days spent outside.

Summertime is great not matter what side of the world you are on. There will always be good and less good points no matter where you are. You just need to get our and enjoy it.

What is your favourite thing about summer? Have you experienced summer in two countries that are different? I’d love to hear from you so let me know in the comments below.

7 things to do in St Kilda – Melbourne

Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia. Always has been always will be. It feels less touristy than Sydney, buzzier than Canberra, bigger than Brisbane and then I’ve not visited the other capital cities so sadly can’t validate my love for Melbourne against them. But I’m pretty sure Melbourne would always win.

Growing up in a VERY small country town I loved when we would go to Melbourne in the summers. We’d go to the Australian Open and MCG, shop in ‘cool’ shops, eat out in fancy restaurants, wander along the Yarra, travel by tram, shop the at the Queen Vic markets, marvel at the Crown Casino decorations and spend far to much time getting myself lost in the captivating Melbourne side streets. One suburb of Melbourne we would always visit and still always visit is St Kilda. A trip to Melbourne isn’t complete without it.

St Kilda is around 5kms out of the city centre and is easily reached by tram or bus. It’s on the coast so if you are feeling brave you can even go swimming in the crisp Port Philip Bay water. There are key points of interest there as well as the amazing cafe culture that will keep you feed and watered on your adventures around Melbourne. The boutique and vintage shops offer a great shopping experience and the beach and pier just help to slow down the pace of the city life.  With the beach, esplanade and parks there is plenty of places to get active on and off the water. We once stayed just off the esplanade and with my new roller blades I decided that was the only way I was going to get around. This was of course back when roller blades were cool. If you grew up in the 90s in Australia you would also know St Kilda frequented heavily in The Secret Life of Us. I LOVED this show and alway used to wander part the Espie Hotel imagining I was in the show hanging out with Deborah Mailman. Yes 16 year old, rollerblading me was soo cool.

Alas, I digress. I love St Kilda a lot it’s my favourite suburb in my favourite city so here are my 7 favourite things to do in St Kilda

1)St Kilda  Beach &  Sea Baths

This is the most famous beach in Melbourne and whilst Melbourne doesn’t always get the warmest of weather all year round you can swim in the beach year round. But you may freeze. There is also the sea baths located just off the beach which have the history of the area and pier shown through pictures so you can see it back in its heyday. There are lots of activities available both on water and land by the beach from windsurfing to beach volleyball and as you can imagine it’s a hugely popular with locals and tourists alike enjoying the beach lifestyle


2)St Kilda Pier

You can’t to St Kilda and not walk along the historic Edwardian pier. You really can’t. The pier was built in the 1850’s and is cloaked in history.  It also feels very British- the Brits do love a pier and you can tell from the piers of  Britain were a good influence on this build. There is a kiosk at the end of the pier which is a lovely spot for a cuppa and cake. There is also a colony of penguins at the breakwater but they aren’t always out to play so you could be lucky in seeing them. Visiting this pier is just a lovely change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the city.
3)The Melbourne SkyLine

I love a city skyline and standing out on the pier looking back over the city you get a gorgeous panoramic view of the Melbourne Skyline.  I don’t think there is anywhere else in the city you would get views like this. It’s also particularly beautiful at sunset so have an early evening stroll along the pier and look back over this striking city.

4)Luna Park

The big (slightly creepy) smiling face of Luna Park is a firm favourite in St Kilda and Melbourne alike. It’s been there since 1912 and is one of two Luna Parks operating in Australia (the other being in Sydney just under the Harbour Bridge). It doesn’t cost anything to go in and walk around but if you did want to go on any of the rides there is a charge. I’m not one for roller coasters ( I’m a bit of a scardey cat) but I do love walking around the park. It’s all very old world theme park with street performers, funny mirrors and old school games.  https://lunapark.com.au/

5)Acland Street & Fitzroy Street

Food and drink in St Kilda is amazing! From the restaurants with all cuisines covered, bohemian/hipsta bars, trendy cafes and coffee shops to the bakeries stocked with the most lust-worthy cakes and sweet treats. I get about 10 pounds heavier just looking at the menus and shop windows in these streets.

Getting fat just looking at these!!

6) Esplanade Markets

We always try and get to St Kilda on a Sunday to see these iconic markets. They are full of wonderfully creative items and you can always pick up some real gems for presents and souvenirs.  For more details on the stall holders check here http://www.stkildaesplanademarket.com.au/index.htm

7)Palais Theatre

I’ve sadly never been to a concert in this beautiful Art Deco theatre but I do have a huge appreciation for the facade of this grand building. Even if you don’t go in its one of those places where you need to stop and stare. Just off the ESplande and next to Luna Park it’s a beautiful juxtaposition of old world class vs the bright lights of the theme park. We also met Janelle Timmins from Neighbours circa 2007 on our neighbour’s tour there so obviously a very dear place in our hearts. Haha!

Have you been to St Kilda and love it also? Anything I’ve missed off the list? Do let me know in the comments below.

 

Globetrotters- Northern Aussie Mum

This week’s Globetrotters is another from my beloved homeland.  We’ve had lots of Globetrotters but none like Bryony who travels with her whole family, including the dog! Meeting so many different travellers is my favourite part of this series. It shows there is no cookie cutter shape of what a ‘traveller’ is and that it works differently for everyone.

Bryony and her family are planning to head off around Australia in a bus later this year and this just sounds amazing. I am soooo jealous! Imagine the memories they will not only have but also be able to share together.   I their post about why you should pack up and take your kids travelling and sums up all of the benefits both for the children but also for the whole family. You can find it here  My parents took my sisters and I overseas when we were all under 10 years old  (think they were a little crazy to do so!) and that has always had a such a huge positive impact on our lives. Showing your children a different part of the country or the world is an amazing gift to give and one that will last a long time.

You can find a whole host of information on their blog from great places to visit with kids, the planning stages of their trip, tips to travelling with children and other posts on parenting, craft and product reviews.

I can’t wait to keep up to date with their travels around our Island home and see the amazing adventure they are going to have. Blog and social links will be below so make sure you check them out and get following.

Let me hand you over to Bryony from the Northern Aussie Mum…

My name is Bryony and I started blogging when I first became a full-time stay at home mum this was when our youngest son was about 4 months old. Originally it was a creative outlet however it soon transformed into a family travel blog as our plans to escape the daily grind and travel Australia with our 2 boys – now aged 3 and 2, and our kelpie cross dog – Bobby.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

Everything! And something different every time we do it. Sometimes it is marvelling at the wonders of a natural beauty or a manmade structure, sometimes it is the simple feeling of being free – not having to be anywhere, in particular, speaks wonders to the soul! Sometimes the highlight is finding a brand new red wine to taste, or hearing a great story about a region from a local. Mostly it’s just how lucky it makes me feel.

Why do you think travelling is important?

It helps you realise the important things in life. Not work, or bills, or pressure. It’s about spending time outside, in the moment and amongst your thoughts – where you not only get to hang out with your loved ones but you get to meet yourself a bit more and figure out exactly what it means to relax and enjoy. I think it’s also important to define the word ‘travel’. For me it means exploring – if you don’t get a chance to get overseas then go and explore your own backyard – if you scratch the service you’ll find a hundred things to do and see around you that other people are travelling miles to see!

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?


Impossible to choose just one – not because of any emotions attached to my photos but because I take about 200 photos a day so have an incredibly large database of shots on my computer that I still need to sort out! The one I have chosen is from a bushwalk we did in Cairns. I love it because it was travel in our back yard – and we got to enjoy it with our dog Bobby who is a huge part of our travel team. When travelling with pets you are definitely limited but it takes you off the beaten track and makes you find these amazing spots that are even more enjoyable for the extra effort!

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?

Australia! Hopefully all of the above – we have no one ideal that we always head towards – for me the old adage rings true – ‘a change is as good as a rest’.

Who do you usually travel with?

Anyone who is willing! Friends, family, pets, tour groups!

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?

We’re still learning so definitely not sure we’re in a place to give advice just yet – but what I have learned so far is to take only half as much as you think you will need. The kids won’t need toys and you’ll find somewhere to wash clothes along the way so don’t need to pack an outfit for every day.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?

We once missed a flight by 24 hours as we thought that a flight at 00.05 on a Saturday was a flight late on Saturday evening! (yep we forgot that as soon as the clock hit 00.00 it was Sunday already!)

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?

We will always be looking for it!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?

Not found anywhere yet – sounds a bit cheesy but I honestly believe you make your own experiences – you can have as good a time on a local park as in Sydney Harbour.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

I’d love to see the Northern Lights one day and do a canal boat around Europe. (probably not at the same time tho – I’m not sure that’s geographically possible!)

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?

The kids and the dog!

What can readers find on your blog?

A light hearted and informative view on travelling with kids and a dog, plus everyday parenting info – coming soon our guide to healthy family eating on the road.

To find more the Northern Aussie Mum hit them up here

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Globetrotters- Wanderlusting Hippie

Anyone that has a stuffed toy as a travelling buddy gets a big yes from me. Christina is the face behind the Wanderlusting Hippie and was kind enough to share her travel insight for this week’s Globetrotters.

The Wanderlusting Hippie is a blog for young travellers on a budget. As you will read below Christina’s goal is to show people you don’t have to be rich to travel the world and follow your dreams. I recently read this article Heartbreak you’re not a traveller without ithttps://wanderlustinghippie.com/2017/04/05/heartbreak-youre-not-a-traveler-without-it/ and straight away I knew this was a blog I wanted to follow. I could TOTALLY relate. Then reading through Christina;s answers below I could see the passion she has for travelling and for people to see the world I couldn’t wait to share with you all.

The fun part about these Q&A’s is learning more about everyone’s journeys where they have been, their bucket lists, where was good and where wasn’t so good. Whilst it was a little hard to hear my homeland didn’t live up to the hype it just reminds me that the places that didn’t live up to the hype for me could have been the best place for adventures for somewhere else. By connecting with others and hearing stories from other people just keeps opening up the world even further and I think that’s amazing.

I’m sure you are going to love following Wanderlusting Hippie as much as I do and be sure to check her blog for travel tips and inspiration and follow on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date with where she is in the world. I’ve put all the links below so you get there in one easy click.

You are in for a treat. Let me introduce you to Christina,

Originally hailing from Florida, I’m a beach girl at heart, but have been suffering from an incurable case of gypsy fever for the last 5 years. I’ve worked in marketing for many different companies across the US before making the decision to go global. I’m also the author of Wanderlusting Hippie, a travel blog for 20-something solo budget travellers.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

The part I love most about travelling is getting to see and explore new cultures that I was clueless to before. I love learning other customs and traditions and how other communities of people interact. I also love when foreigners get so excited to practice their English with me. It feels amazing to help someone master a skill like learning a new language!

Why do you think travelling is important? 

Travel is SO important because it helps you grow as a person. It teaches you to value what you have and it unlocks a part of yourself that you may not have been able to access if you stayed in the same little hometown you grew up in. If I would have stayed in Niceville, the little Florida town I was raised in, I would probably spend my time complaining about an Uber driver talking to me too much when I didn’t feel like talking. Since I have taken the opportunity to travel and see other cultures, I realise how truly lucky we are to even have something like Uber exist in our everyday lives. Perspective.

What is your favourite photograph from your travels?

This photo was taken at my one of my favourite spots in Bali. I’ve always been a big fan of hookah, and there was an Italian cafe across the street from my guesthouse in Seminyak that had hookah for about $2 US. I lived in that guesthouse for 3 weeks, and I would walk over to get hookah and a coffee every day…and just people watch. They had an outside patio that faced all the action, and I loved taking my laptop there to work. It got to the point that they started to get my favourite hookah flavour ready when they saw me walking up! So this photo brings back amazing memories of the energy of the city that I got to sit and watch every day.

Which is your favourite type of travel/holiday- sun, snow, sea, city, mountains, country?

Being from Florida, I prefer to stick to my mermaid roots and be by the sea. Although I do love getting to experience new terrain with every new adventure! I love city life too, the energy of a city really motivates me…so when there is a destination that has both, you’ll be sure to find me there.

Who do you usually travel with?

Journey. This is my travel buddy! I’ve had him since last year and he’s been everywhere with me!

If you were to give one piece of travel advice what would it be?

Always pack a backup change of clothes in your carry on! At least one pair of undies, clean shirt, pants, and a toothbrush. You never know what issues you might run into.

Tell us the funniest story or a mishap from one of your adventures?

When I was in Italy (inland from Venice) I waited at the bus stop for an hour…in the middle of December! It was about 30 degrees (-1 celsius) and I was shivering like crazy. Finally, a young guy came along and had to explain to me, all in Italian, that the bus was in fact not running that day. He spoke NO English and I knew NO Italian…but we made it work!

Where is your favourite place that you’ve been to?

Although I fell in love with the spirit of Venice, Italy the one place I would love to go back to is Bali. There is something about the sunshine (told you I’m a beach lover) that just brings such a happy energy to the community!

Where was one place that didn’t live up to the hype?

I hate to say it…but Australia was a bit of a letdown for me. I did only get to experience Cairns, so I’m sure other parts of AUS are amazing. When I travel, though, my goal is to experience cultures very unlike what we have in the US. Australia is very similar culturally, so it was not exactly all that I was looking for in my travels. I could, however, see myself living there one day…since it’s not SO wildly different.

Tell us one place/experience on your bucket list?

Portugal has been a recurring theme in my life as of late, so I definitely want to go there. Ibiza is also towards the top of my list.

What is the one thing you wouldn’t travel without?

I try to not become too attached to “things” as I know they can be gone in an instant. But there is a book that I always try to have 2 copies of at any given time. It’s called, “Many Lives, Many Masters” and it’s a book that is very meaningful to me. I’ve met quite a few people along the way who the book could positively impact as well. I love to give away my extra copy when I inevitably run into the person who needs to read it.

What can readers find on your blog?
Wanderlusting Hippie is a blog full of tips and inspiration for 20-something solo travellers on a budget.

Click to find and follow Christina

www.wanderlustinghippie.com
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ANZAC Day & the Kokoda Track

Today is ANZAC Day. For those of you not aware what this is it a significant national occasion in both Australia and New Zealand and is always on the 25th April. ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps and during the war soldiers from Australia and New Zealand were always referred to as the ANZACs. The 25th April marks when the ANZACs landed on Gallipoli for the first major action in the First World War.

It’s a very symbolic day and is just as important if not more than Remembrance Day in both Australia and New Zealand. There is always a public holiday, dawn service (when the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli),  commemorative services, marches through all towns and cities and a day to remember what the ANZACS endured so that we could have the life we have today.

In the small country town where I am from they do something to not only commemorate what the soldiers of the past 100 years did for us but also to show a younger generation just what the soldiers had to go through so that we can grow up in the beautiful country, we call home. The local High School and Rotary club work together to train and prepare year 10 and 11 students to walk the Kokoda Track in the jungles of Papua New Guinea.

The Kokoda Track is another significant part of Australia’s history. In the Second World War, Australian had many battles along the track with the Japanese forces and it was key to hold them out so as to protect Australia.

My dad and his friend Bruce have walked this track 7 times!!  Actually, I think Bruce has walked it around 10 times. Yes, they are crazy! They have been instrumental in driving this in our town through the Dad at the School and Bruce in Rotary. It’s such an amazing thing that they are involved in they spend months (along with other leaders) training the students on walks, getting used to carrying the heavy packs and fundraising to support the trip. Most of the students haven’t been outside of Australia and in some case outside of New South Wales so to go to PNG and walk this track is such an eye opening experience. It’s also a huge sense of accomplishment in completing the track. It’s not easy,  you don’t have a comfy bed, clean clothes, the only food you have is what you can carry and if its rains it is muddy. Really muddy!


My mum went with dad and a group of parents from town and although she is extremely fit she even found it challenging at times. In Spite of all the tough parts of the training and the actual hike, my dad does it time after time. I am immensely proud and in awe of him for this.

Mum and Dad in 2008


The trip is always around ANZAC day and this isn’t by accident. The track has memorials at both the start and end which allow anyone completing the chance to honour those that have fought and fallen both here and in any military campaign.  The bond the trekkers make along the way, the old rusty machines still littering along the track showing glimpses into the past all are huge reminders of the past. When both mum and dad walked the track they experience a dawn service right there in the jungle. It would have been such an emotional experience. My Dad, Bruce and the rest of the trekkers have just returned from their most recent trip and were back in town (washed thankfully) and front row and centre at the local commemorative service heads a little higher, minds wiser and a deeper understanding and respect for the men and women involved in these campaigns.

The 2017 Kokoda Trekkers – Yes my dad is wearing a leaf crown!

I think it is so important as with many of the diggers passing away we need to make sure the younger generation engage, remember and respect the actions of those brave soldiers.

I would love to do this with dad one day. Just need to get training and maybe I’ll be ready by 2019.  Actually maybe more like 2025. Need to stop eating ANZAC biscuits!

Photos courtesy of Bruce Wright and Debbie Harris

Debbie has also blogged about her experiences walking the Kokoda Track and you can find them here

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Forget your year 6 school trip experiences here is 10 reasons to visit Canberra now

My sister has lived in lots of places both in Australia and overseas over her lifetime. She lived in our rural country town,  experienced the bright lights of Sydney, spent a semester in Sweden, lived in the midlands of the UK  and she even lived in the Italian Alps for a year when she didn’t know a word of Italian.  Her husband and she relocated from Birmingham a few years ago (he had never been to Australia and yet moved without hesitation- but that is another story for another day) and after a brief stint staying back with the parents, they made the move to Canberra.  Yes, Canberra. You can probably hear me roll my eyes when I say this.

I seriously don’t mean any disrespect to Canberra or its residents but really my only memories are of  school trips, roundabouts so many roundabouts, stopping for a Macca’s on the way to my grandparents on the way to the coast or a brief end of school girls trip when we weren’t even really old enough to do anything fun so just shopped and visited Telecom tower.  I also slightly resent Canberra as a whole as it’s close to Mum and Dad so they spend a lot of time there visiting my sister.  I know the inner 16-year-old version of myself is coming out.

My sister, however, has been constantly trying to encourage my other half and I to 1)move home and 2) move to Canberra.   I even got a Canberra tea towel from her one birthday as if that could tempt me further.  Nice try Sissy.

In her bid to promote Canberra as a place I could move to I asked her to send over 10 reasons why people should visit Canberra.

If you aren’t familiar with Canberra it is the capital city of Australia and located in the Australian Capital Territory. Australia has only two territories and these are the ACT and the Northern Territory (NT). It’s home to Parliament House, National War Museum and was a purpose built capital city that lies directly equal distances between Sydney and Melbourne.

So here are Canberra’s Best Bits according to my Sissy..

1.     It’s the bush capital


Canberra strikes a great balance between having all the amenities and convenience of cities but a small population and large open spaces.  Within a five minutes drive of her high-density apartment complex,  she can be in the bush with no sign of development.

If you want a true bush experience there is the Canberra Nature Park (30+ separate areas) across Canberra allowing you to walk and hike in the bush.  Plus you can hike up Mount Ainslie, Black Mountain or Red Hill for great views of the city.  And if you’re really keen, there are plenty of bushwalks just outside of Canberra (such as Mount Tennent or Mount Painter). If you’re keen to see Australian wildlife, it is pretty much guaranteed at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

2.     It may not be on the water
Unlike most Australian states and capital territories, Canberra isn’t located on the coast.  However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t any water fun to be had.  In the middle of Canberra is Lake Burley Griffin neatly dividing Canberra into south and north (with a fairly competitive rivalry to accompany it).

There are also smaller lakes in the some of the Canberra districts – Lake Ginninderra (Belconnen), Gungahlin Pond and Yerrabi Pond (Gungahlin) and Lake Tuggeranong.

There’s also plenty of swimming locations.   Casuarina Sands (swimming in the Murrumbidgee River) is highly recommended but there is also Uriarra Crossing, Kambah Pool, Cotter Dam/River, Gibraltar Creek (with some nice waterfalls) and other spots to be discovered.

3.     It encourages an active lifestyle
Due to the large open spaces, Canberra encourages an active lifestyle.  Not only are there cycling tracks all around the lakes, there are plenty of shared off-road paths and on-road bike lanes linking the main areas of Canberra.  And if you get tired, all the buses come equipped with bike carriers so you can just get the bus home!

You can also row, sail, kayak, stand-up paddle board on the water and cycle, walk or Segway on the 40km path surrounding Lake Burley Griffin.

4.Seasonal experiences
It’s a rarity in Australian states and territory capital cities (excluding Melbourne with its four seasons in one day and Tasmania) that all seasons are fully experienced in Canberra. What’s even better are the events that accompany the seasons.  No matter when you travel to Canberra, there is likely to be something on.

Summer events
Summer kicks off with Christmas markets and light displays.
Canberra holds the world record for largest number of Christmas lights on a residential home and also the world record for most Christmas lights on an artificial Christmas tree.
Canberra has a free New Years Eve concert and fireworks (though don’t expect them to be anything like Sydney’s).
Free Australia Day concert
Multicultural festival – three-day event that is massive – sort of like Tumbafest on a bigger scale with daytime drinking encouraged
Ignore Summernats – highly recommend avoiding Canberra on this weekend

Autumn events


Autumn may not be what you expect – in March the days are still warm (often getting up to 30 degrees) with cool nights. From late April (Anzac day onwards) the temperature drops, but the days are generally sunny and bright.
Enlighten and the Night Noodle market in March
Canberra Day – public holiday – second Monday in March
SkyFire – Random Saturday night of fireworks over the lake – in March
Balloon Spectacular – nine days balloon festival near Lake Burley Griffin – in March
Anzac dawn service at Australian War Memorial
Canberra District Wine Harvest

Winter events
Truffle Festival
Sports – rugby union, rugby league, AFL GWS
Corin Forest – skiing, snowboarding, sledging and snow activities 45 minutes from Canberra
Ski fields  – the best ski fields in Australia are less than three hours from Canberra

Spring events
Floriade
Night Fest (part of Floriade – comedy shows, drinks, music, cooking demonstrations and imaginative light display
Canberra Nara Candle Festival – Nara (Japan) is the sister city of Canberra – over 2000 candles with Japanese music and other Japanese-themed events
Oktoberfest

5.     Markets
In addition to your typical shopping centres, Canberra has thriving markets.  You can get your food for the week or crafts and clothing.
*Old Bus Depot (weekly) – has food, clothes, craft, art etc
*Hall markets (monthly)
*Canberra Handmade markets (quarterly) – the very best products from independent designers, artisans, craftspeople and gourmet food makers. Categories include – Art & Photography, Skincare & Grooming, Things for Children, Fashion, Food, Homewares & Textiles, Jewellery & Accessories, Paper & Craft, Furniture, Pets and Christmas.
*EPIC Farmers Markets – every type of produce you could imagine.

6.     Dinner and drinks
When we used to go to Canberra as a teenager, we always ended up eating in  Manuka as that was the “Canberra eating area”.  Thankfully, (and while Manuka still has good restaurants) Canberra is undergoing a transformation and other areas have developed.

*Braddon has led the trend of hip and quirky nightlife.
*The Bentspoke Brewery brew all their beer and cider on the premises – they have up to 18 different beers on tap at any time.
*The Hamlet – Food truck venue and bring your own alcohol (with a bottle shop conveniently across the road)
*Mandalay Bus – Canberra institution
*Frugii Dessert Laboratory – amazing ice cream in a strange variety of flavours
*Grease Monkey – used to be a mechanic shop, now does amazing burgers

In addition to Braddon, Kingston Foreshore, New Acton and Civic are highly recommended spots for great food.

If you’re in the mood for a pub experience, the Old Canberra Inn is the oldest pub in Canberra and predates Canberra itself by over 50 years (although it was a home for a large amount of that time).  It’s an amazing old building that is very cosy and does amazing food.  It only serves craft beers and always has different beers on tap.

Canberra has also joined the trend of concealed, laneway bars.  Molly is an amazing underground (literally) whisky bar, Suke Suke is a Japanese cocktail bar that’s also underground (and down a dodgy looking lane), Highball Express is a Cuban themed bar up a fire escape and unlike most laneway bars is very airy and spacious, Hippo Co is another whisky bar, Bar Rochford has a lovely open fire in the winter.

7. Breakfast
The most important meal of the day and you’re bound to be impressed by the breakfast and coffee available in Canberra.  A Canberran barista has won the Australian Barista Championships for the past two years.

The freakshake trend started in Canberra at Patissez who incidentally do amazing ricotta pancakes.  Another place where you can get a side serve of diabetes with your breakfast is Ricardo’s – their display cabinet is a rainbow coloured delight.  The Cupping Room does great breakfasts and quite often has a queue outside the front door.

8.The iconic Canberra experience

Forget about your year six excursion to Canberra, some of the main tourist spots are fascinating.

The Australian War Memorial is incredible and depressing; Questacon is just as fun as when you were a teenager (and I highly recommend the adult only nights – science and alcohol!?); the National Gallery of Australia currently has Treasures from the Palace of Versailles on display; there is a lot to see in Canberra and you may as well roll down the hill at Parliament House while you can (they’re building a fence).

9. Jervis Bay
Jervis Bay has the most amazing beaches in Australia and the world.  Part of Jervis Bay belongs to the Australian Capital Territory so that the capital has access to the sea.  The Booderee National Park is part of the Jervis Bay Territory has truly incredible beaches and campsites.  Murray’s Beach is probably and all time favourite beach.

10. She lives there and its closer to home than I am currently
Do I need any other reasons??