Townsville & Magnetic Island, Australia

Once upon a time, many countries ago, I set off around the world all bright eyed and bushy tailed, alive with adventure. This week I was reminded of that feeling by the most unexpected of things – traveling with two babies under the age of 2.

The joy in my toddlers face as she eyed up our simple twin room and gasped “We sleep in the hotel” was just gorgeous. Less joyace when she repeated it at 1am, 4am, 6am, but never the less we’re glad she’s a keeno travel lover.

We were only in Townsville for a few hours, between the late night flight and lunchtime ferry. My husband fondly reminisced about the time he lived here over a decade ago, and threw in the intriguing fact that there’s a bar with a round pool table (Flynn’s Irish Bar.) How did I not get to see this! Oh yes, because we’ve swapped Irish Bars for crack of dawn walks to kids parks instead.

The Strand was perfect for this with beautiful Gothic trees to hide-and seek around. Sadly we missed the (free!) water park and instead grabbed a lazy breakfast at a foreshore cafe with killer views over to Magnetic Island.

‘Maggie’ is delightful. We were here for a family wedding on Picnic Bay beach but easily filled 8 days here. I’m grateful for 3 new discoveries; 1) Winning a jug of beer at Trivia night at local backpackers – ah the good old days! 2) Adding the new word ‘Moke‘ to my vocabulary. And…

3) The unique experience of riding bareback and barefoot on a beautiful early morning trail ride of the aptly named Horseshoe Bay.  It was a fitting send off to remember my recently deceased childhood pony, and an achievement in itself squeezing into a stinger suit and galloping through the Australian bush 12 weeks after giving birth.

Where we stayed:

The Ville Resort Townsville – http://www.the-ville.com.au/

Bluehaven Holiday House, Horseshoe Bay

Horse riding – http://www.horseshoebayranch.com.au/

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve, Phillip Island…

After a sorcher of a Christmas Day in Melbourne (36c!) we took off in search of sea-breeze for a mini-break on Phillip Island. Here are our top 5 discoveries… (without even a mention of its famous tourist hotspot; the Penguin Parade)

1) Orange, almond & ricotta gelato from Pino’s Trattoria, Cowes
2) Old fashioned milkshakes in the retro Silverleaves General Store & Cafe
3) Cape Woolamai Pinnacles walk
4) Tasty Greek food at The Goat in the Boat 
5) Discovering how relaxing life is when you holiday with extended family. Namely having grandma, aunties, uncles & cousins on tap to entertain your toddler! It was one of our tamer New Year’s Eves (in bed by the stroke of midnight) but just as well with baby #2 due any day now…

 

Farewell St Kilda. Hello Eltham.

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In two years I’ve moved from the the bright city lights of Singapore, to beach-side boho St Kilda, and now to a new family home in leafy suburb of Eltham, Victoria. Change is good! Here are 5 things I’m looking forward to in our new Australia neighborhood;

1) Having an open log fire

2) Being barefoot in the grass in our own garden

3) St Andrew’s bohemian local hippy market

4) Living across the road from Edendale community farm

5) Starting a veggie patch.

 

 

 

 

A long weekend in Launceston….

Since Launceston is home to our daughter’s Grandma, it was the perfect location for an Anzac weekend family trip. As i’ve blogged before, Launceston is a great fix for any faint homesickness, since, as one of the first settlements, it’s architecture reminds me so much of England. It’s also one of the rare cities in Australia where the distances are nice enough to walk, as long as you can brave a few San Francisco-esq steep hills.

img_20160424_151622.jpgFresh off the 50 min Saturday morning flight from Melbourne, we headed straight to Harvest Community Farmer’s Market in the centre of town, where we stock up on Kombucha, organic sourdough and quite possible the best salted caramel brownies in the world. This was followed by Evendale Sunday market. Here I picked up classic 80’s toys in mint condition for under $5 and a Nepalese yak bell, whose sound will forever fondly remind me of my Everest Base Camp adventures.

Amazingly (for parents of a 13 month old) we managed to time our weekend (and our baby’s afternoon nap) to coincide with the Fresh Hop Beer Festival. The rest of the time was spent visiting the fantastic Launceston Aquatic Centre, with it’s awesome toddler pool and water slides. Finally, a must do for anyone visiting Launy with kids; the macaque monkey enclosure at City Park. Again, coincidentally, next to the lovely Victoria Cafe where we sampled Tasmanian white wines and lounged on comfy beanbags in the Autumn sunshine.

 

Tolmie and Mansfield, Victorian High Country

For xmas 2015 the husband rather mysteriously presented me with a USB drive featuring the film;’The Man From Snowy River.’ For the unacquainted, it’s an Australian 1982 classic set in the Victorian High Country around Mansfield (3 hours drive from Melbourne.) Flash-forward to the Easter long weekend and we booked a quiet AirBnB hidden way off the grid, 15 mins down a dirt road, near to the tiny town of Tolmie. Think birdsong, log fires & scrabble. Bliss.

For those fitter than I (or for those without a cheeky 11 month baby glued to their hip) you can do 7 day rides deep into the bush, taking in Craig’s Hut & many of the film’s locations. I was happy with an energetic 2 hour trail ride run by the fantastic company Hidden Trails. For those really keen, there’s an 1988 sequel; The Man From Snowy River 2. Yes, we watched both.

Previous Older Entries

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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