Monthly Archives: September 2009

If you go down to the woods today…

Katoomba is a great base from which to explore the Blue Mountains. We’re staying just a street or two from the starting point of some fantastic walks. Before you ask, they are called the Blue Mountains because of a blueish haze formed by the oil evaporating from the eucalyptus trees that cover them. Naturally when [...]

Blue Mountains

A drive from Nelson Bay took us along the banks, and high above, the stunning Hawkesbury River. Australia has quite a few vast rivers, but none has views from above quite like the Hawkesbury. Only from such a height can the scale of this body of water be appreciated. And now we have a few [...]

The Dolphins of Nelson Bay

Everywhere in Australia seems to be the ‘capital’ of something. Koalas, crocs, sugar cane, avocados, surfing. If they’ve got it in Australia then somewhere in the country there is a ‘capital’ of it. Nelson Bay is the Dolphin capital of Australia. So we took a boat trip out into the bay to take a look. [...]

Happy Seventh Birthday Max

When you’re celebrating your seventh birthday, proceedings begin early. So a birthday breakfast for Max just after 6AM should hardly have come as a surprise, but was nonetheless a challenge for us ageing parents. But we’ve had fun today, with candles and renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ at every meal. Naturally, Jem had a chance with [...]

Port Macquarie

You can never have enough cute. Port Macquarie is the self-titled Koala Capital of Australia, and home of the nation’s largest (if not only) Koala Hospital, where these little beauties are nursed back to good health before being returned to the wild. Since we’ve collected quite a few koalas of our own, we took the [...]

On the road

As East as East can be

A short climb up the hill that overlooks Byron Bay takes you to the Cape Byron lighthouse (1901) and the most easterly point on the Australian mainland. You know, if you swim due east from here, for about ten thousand kilometres, you hit Easter Island. Another four thousand kilometres east and you’ll get to Chile. [...]

Byron Bay

Top three things that Ayesha needs for her perfect place to live: 1. Hippy Shops and Cafes. Byron Bay ? Got it. 2. A beautiful beach. Byron Bay ? Got it. 3. Second-hand bookshops. Byron Bay ? Got it. Well, that’s that sorted then. Frazer and the boys have left Ayesha in Byron Bay and [...]


Nimbin is a village near the border of New South Wales and Queensland. We stopped by for an ice cream. In 1973 Nimbin was host to the Aquarius Festival – a gathering of academics, hippies and students. I don’t think they ever left. But they sell good ice cream, and Frazer was offered ‘smoke’ on [...]

Another state bites the dust…

We left Lillydale today – in a cloud of pinkish dust. Our assumption had been that the dust in the air was perhaps quite a frequent occurrence. But when the third local complained to us about the dust, we realised it must be something special. The national, and international, news told all. In sleepy Kyogle, [...]