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Mission Beach Australia

So about 6 years ago we were travelling home to Victoria from our first Big Lap. We were driving along the Bruce highway when we saw a sign to Mission Beach. I commented to the Bloke “It sounds like something from a James Bond movie.” We had a chuckle and then l asked him “Have you been there?” It’s one of a few places he hadn’t been to. So we decided to take a detour and go for lunch!

Somehow we took a wrong turn and ended up in South Mission Beach.

As we drove down the twisty road heavily fringed both sides with tropical rainforest – who knew there were THAT many shades of green??

l was already excited but as we came over the last hill and turned down towards the water.. such an awesome shade of turquoise we, all three of us went “Oh wow!”

My Bloke said “Lets stay here a night and explore!” And we all agreed.

So we found the local caravan park and booked a cabin for the night no sense setting up the whole tent and stuff for one night. We asked for sure directions to the local supermarket and headed out to buy some supplies. We had a two bedroom unit with a full kitchen after tenting for so long it was nice to be able to cook again.

Back at the Caravan park we swam in the pool and then decided to walk along the most beautiful beach l’ve ever seen! I still love South Mission Beach! I told my husband “One day I’ll retire here!” We stayed two nights, visited real estate agents and decided we’d be back!

Fast forward 6 years. The Bloke asks me “What do l want for my birthday?” It’s the first anniversary of my 50th! So l said “Lets go away!” He thought l was going to say Bali or somewhere l suggested Mission Beach! Because l’ve had some extra work this year l booked it and paid for it.. he just needed to organise the time off work!

So Wednesday morning the 10th of October we boarded the plane at 6.00am. He hates flying but he does it for me!

Don’t we look perky? Considering I’d been awake since 2.00am! The alarm went off at 4.00am, taxi collected us at 4.30am.

We arrived in Cairns at 8.05am their time an hour behind us back in Melbourne. It was already 27C and l was already a happy gal. All winter I’ve been waiting for Mission Beach weather. It’s not let me down!!

More tomorrow….

All Winter l’d waited for this weather!

First stop Innisfail!

Our zippy little hire car!

3.54 am!

The alarm will go off at 4:00am. The taxi will be here at 4:30am and our flight leaves at 6:30am! We’re off to Far North Queensland to a sleepy resort town called Mission Beach. Remind me to tell you about the time we accidentally discovered Mission Beach and how we all left our hearts there.

So on the first Anniversary of my 50th Birthday and planning a mini getaway, of course I would choose Mission! Today we leave for five glorious days and apparently the weather is going to be superb!

I’ll be back later! With photos and updates!

Art and travel.

Two of my most favourite things. Art speaks to me, when I see art that moves me it makes my heart skip a beat and I wish with a deep desire to be able to creat art that would let me get “stuff off my mind” I remember the first time art moved me in such a way, it was when I stumbled upon an art exhibition of the Dutch artist Johanne Vermeer. I had never heard of him, we, my husband and I were on a “date day” and it had been years since I’d been to the Victorian Art Gallery. My God Mother took me whn I was a little girl and I remember I was fascinated becuse the front of the gallery is a glass wall of water. Aunty Kath let me put my hand in the glass wall of water and we laughed and laughed as we got splashed with water, as an adult there was no telling me off for “being naughty” or for getting my sleeves wet, we had laughed together, I remember her laughing and the sound of the musical water.

So on this “date day” we went in, past the wall of glass and water which still attracts people becuase its different. And this day there was a special exhibition of Dutch Master Johanne Vermeer’s art, so we paid the extra and went in. I remember thinking of one of his paintings- a floral piece, that I could pick the flower from the vase and smell it, it looked so life like! And then there was probably his most famous painting “The Girl with the pearl earring”

His art made me feel emotional, it made me want to step inside his world and stand in the light of the window that he painted so many times. He painted every day scenes, some simple things like women writing letters, and it made me want to paint too.

Many years later, I did! My cousin and I did a painting class, it was a “date day” with my cousin, just the two of us, I brought her a painting lesson for her birthday and we spent the whole day away from our Blokes and our children and we learnt to paint a landscape, looking back it wasn’t that great and I can see how far I’ve since come, BUT it was a start, the start I needed because as I sat there I realised that the rest of the world had disappeared and I was in this heavenly little bubble, me and the paint 🎨 and when I walked away that afternoon with a painting that I had done, with mountains and skies and a Tuscany Villa, I DID THAT! Then a little voice deep within asked “What else can you do?” By applying the steps I’d learnt in that class off I went exploring!

“Date days” with my husband now often include trips to the Art Gallery, we took his Mum on one of our “Date days” to see Monet’s exhibition, and we went last year to see Vincent, oh my gosh! He made me so emotional and he also showed me that by painting half a sheep, the viewer (me) still recognised it as a sheep, although up close ot was not even finished! I was hard pressed not to look at some of his art works and keep myself from crying! Those sun flowers! Wow! I recreated his “starry night” in an art journal as a lesson once and I so wanted to rip it out and frame it, it looks so lovely!

Last year I did NO ART, none at all, I had set myself a crochet challenge and I spent the entire year crocheting, one granny square a day and a temperature blanket and a few baby blankets for various people, I fooled myself that I was “still being creative” but I would catch a glimpse of my easel and my paints and realise I missed that! So I decided that 2018 is the year of art! All art will be explored.

In October 2017 I turned 50! I have wanted to be 50 since I turned 21, this has been my milestone, for my birthday my Husband asked me “What special gift can I buy you?” I asked for a painting course and so he brought me “Lets Face it” with Kara Bullock, a year long class to learn to paint people, faces, positions etc, different artists and different styles.

Which brings us to the reason for this post, I have just discovered another painting course I would also like to do, its about Art and Travel, it has various artists and they will teach about their countries. Lucy Chen, with whom I painted “The Girl with the pearl earring” Oh my gosh! Seeing Lucy was teaching people how to paint THAT painting the one that moved me by THAT artist whom I LOVE! I had to do that, so a few years back, I painted my first oil painting of “The Girl with the pearl earring” and she hangs very proudly in my entry hall. This time Lucy is part of “Around the world through art” Lucy is of course doing China, but today I discovered Katrina Koltes is giving away a spot on her blog ( Click on her name) to this class! So I would like to travel to Italy with her (online, I wish in real life but online is just fine, I can wear my pj’s!) and win a place.

Lucy is doing China, yesterday Annie was taking us to Russia and I think tomorrow is Ireland!

if Art and Travel sound like fun you might want to sign up for this course, follow the links and lets go travel!

Home again Home again…

Jiggety jig.. Isn’t that how the childrens nursery rhyme goes? Well I’m not “jiggerty jigging” to be back home, I wish we were able to stay away or go further away for longer. Especially now we have Ursula Ultimate and the pack up is so easy, it makes my feet itch to travel more. The trouble is Australia is so big and lets face it we will probably never get to see it all… So each day at home is a day I wish I was travelling.

So lets have a look at the negatives..

The weather- its gotta be said it was miserable. God, or Jehovah or Yewah or Wankan Tankan whatever you chose to call our Creator, HE is the only one who can control the weather, so its no use whining about it, yes! I am a whiner, I try not to, but I really don’t do cold very well. Spring in Australia is typically our rainiest season, so we should probably have expected it, but my rose coloured glasses were firmly in place and denial had set in. 

The first 48 hours of Ursula’s exsistence were drenched, but like a professional she is, she kept us dry and while in NSW warm… Coming into Victoria on the final stretch home however was a different thing. It rained all the way to Lakes Entrance, and it continued to rain while we set up, miserable, I was almost tempted to tell The Bloke to keep driving 400 kilometers to home. Except, my Bestie was setting up with her family and they were already there and already wet, so we had to do it.

It was cold that first night, we all retired early just to keep warm. The next day was still fairly rainy, so we took a day trip to Buchan and went on the cave tours.

This is my bestie! Deanne and I have been friends for almost 28 years. We always have the best fun when we are camping!


Luckily for Deanne and I, our Blokes, Steve and Rob, get on well too, makes life so much easier! Photography credit to Star Son for this ripper pic! 

Saturday we had some nicer kind of weather so we spent the day exploring the streets of Lakes Entrance and then back at camp we did our usual things Deanne and I crocheted and the boys all went fishing! Jordan caught a salmon which was bbq’ed later! Oh and Deanne and I ventured to the beach briefly but in time to see a seal surfing the waves near the shore.

Then Sunday it was pack up time, we just made the pack up before the rain started and then it rained on and off most of the way home.

So the weather was a negative but for sure hands down, the positive of this trip was spending quality time with my bestie and her family. 

Now it’s only approximately 81 days until our Christmas break and we’re off for a month into outback New South Wales up to Queensland and then across to Cameron’s corner which is where NSW and QLD meet SA. Being that it will be early summer hopefully we will travel minus the rain! 

Introducing our newest girl… 

Today we became proud parents of Ursula Ultimate. The whole reason for our trip was to pick up our girl and we had a great day. 

This  morning  we had to book out of our cabin by 10am so while we were waiting for someone from Ultimate to collect us (Priscilla was over the road at 9.00am at the auto electrician getting wired) we decided to go for a walk into town. 


Looking over the bridge at the fish below we found some stingray!

Once in town we wandered around went to the “poke stops” and had a look at the jetty. 

Finally it was time to be collected and taken to the Ultimate factory. 

We were handed over to John who showed us how to set up and dismantle the Ultimate, ours was out the back getting her finishing touches. Once we had learnt the fine art of setting up and dismantling, and Star Son had been given a task to set up the stabiliser legs and make sure we’re     all level. 

John then had us don safety vests and safety glasses and we were given a guided tour of the factory where Ursula was built. So John walked us through all the different steps and we discovered that it takes 300 man hours to build each camper and it’s all done by hand, no robotics used here! 

The Bloke is into metal and quality and so he was very interested in the bit where all the welding and metal stuff happened. And also he was very impressed with what he saw. 

So back in the show room we were given lunch. A lovely selection of mixed sandwiches and the yummiest ever wedges! John joined us for lunch. Then it was time to go and collect Priscilla and finally get our hands on Ursula.

Some of the staff had been quietly over in the corner setting Ursula up and giving her the final once over, so John walked us through everything again and then we all got to help with the dismantle. Then she was pushed out to the front entrance and we were able attach her to Priscilla. 

John and all of us drove around the block so that he could calibrate the break controller. Then it was time to sayFarewell, not before we brought ourselves Ultimate sweaters and got a bunch of paper work to read through. Star Sin got a drink bottle and some cups and l got a lovely bottle of sparkling pink blush wine with an Ultimate lable. 

John took some group pics of us with the girls! And it was time to leave. We felt like we made a bunch of new friends and loved the time we spent at Ultimate. 

Back at the caravan park Riverbreeze, we had to try and remember how to set her all up again! Surprisingly it was as easy as we remembered and 20 minutes or so later we had our camper all set. Of course as we do it a few more times it’ll get faster. 

We went out to dinner at the bowling club to celebrate! 

 

We have arrived!

Last night we drove to Albury New South Wales, about 4 hours from home, its just over the Victorian border. We stayed in a motel for the night, by the time we had unpacked and had dinner, showers and unwound it was bedtime, I’d totally forgotten to write my blog. Yesterday was a long day I was awake at 4:00am, trying to mentally pack everything. Needless to say there are things I’ve forgotten but things that I can buy locally so no dramas.

This morning was another early morning… Up at 7:15am, car packed, dressed and down for breakfast at 7:35am and then back on the road by 8:00am.. On a Sunday morning too!!

Today’s first stop was at the Iconic “Dog on the tuckerbox” its been made famous through a song, we didn’t see the Dog today because it was really crowded with tourists at 9:15am.. Crazy!  We stopped to stretch the legs, use the bathroom and catch a snack, boys are ALWAYS hungry. 


So here is the dog, this is NOT MY PHOTO this I borrowed from Google. 

“Tucker box” is an Aussie thing, “Tucker” meaning food and the box was usually a metal type box, which kept the drovers food safe from weather and insects. There have even been songs written about the dog, Dog sits on the tuckerbox.

After leaving the dog wet and soggy, we drove on, watching as the rain swept across the landscape, there were moments when the sun tried really hard to come through and there were long stretches where it stopped raining, but, like we always say “You can’t control the weather and you can’t wait for the weather to be perfect or you’d never get anything done”  Next stop for us was Braidwood.


**AGAIN NOT MY PHOTO** taken from Google.

Braidwood had a sign which tempted us “World Famous pies” now we’ve been to lots of places in Australia and everytime we see that claim we stop and put it to the test. There was one pie shop in South Australia that claimed it and in my humble opinion they owned it.. Their lamb and rosemary pie was sooo good! Today we decided to put NSW to the test. StarSon had chunky chicken, he didnt really want a pie, but he went along with us. The Bloke had a curried pie and I had Chicken Satay, it was delish! The flaky pastry and the chunks of real chicken, yum! 

Onwards- about 2 hours to go, we were running ahead of schedule. On the way to Bateman’s Bay we went over Clyde Mountain, it was beautiful scenery and a very steep descent, at one point on a hair pin bend, we and all the long line of cars following a truck were down to 10 kilometers an hour, l thought about taking photos but I was crocheting so… Its all about priorities!

All that lovely forest!

Steep descent 


Hair pin bends!

Bateman’s Bay, where we turned from inland to costal, and for me it was love at first sight, I have ear marked that to come back and explore at a later date! 


We were supposed to turn back inland at a specific point, but decided to stay on the coastal route and enjoy the scenery.


Like this tributary that runs from the sea along the road, it was so pretty! No waves,just peaceful and calm. 

At last- 2.00pm we arrived in Moruya and found the caravan park where we are spending the next two nights in a spa cabin, its really beautiful and the best bit is its river front! So I can sit on the verandah and watch the river flow by. Of course fairly soon after we arrived so too did the rain, but at least its not cold.

Look at my view! And the a little while later, these two cruised into sight…


Some of the locals dropped by to say hello.I love pelicans! We had gone for a drive to see the factory that is building our camper trailer, just so we knew where to go on Tuesday, and Star son has seen a stork or Heron, I’ll need to see it to confirm that. 


Somewhere within this building is our new “baby” Ursula, and we are scheduled to meet her 10:30am on Tuesday. We are all excited and can’t wait! 

On Tuesday after we pick up Ursula, we are coming back here to Riverbreeze Caravan Park and we will stay in Ursula for another two nights. We are doing that to make sure we have the “hang” on setting up and dismatling before we leave the area! This is only a short trip for us, but a very important one and we are squeezing in as much as we can!

We went for a quick drive around the afternoon and did some basic grocery shopping, but on a Sunday afternoon most of the shops were closed, so tomorrow, weather allowing, we will walk across the bridge into town to do some shopping and get the important things, like stamps and postcards and presents for the Grand babies!  

Now its evening, and we have cooked a couple of frozen pizzas in the oven and cleaned up and will have a nice relaxing night, I’ve got Amber’s crochet blanket to finish! 

I’ll be back tomorrow with more photos and news!

Hump Day..

Yes its Wednesday, which means we are in the downward slope of the week tomorrow!

One step closer to the weekend.. We have Football presentation on Saturday for Star Son, and then after that we are leaving! Yes another “Road trip”! 

This time we are off to New South Wales to a small coastal town called Moruya. I had never heard if it until recently when we ordered our camper trailer from a company called “Ultimate Campers” we have been stalking this company for almost three years, wishing and hoping, buying lottery tickets to try and fund our camper, anyways finally the time has come, we ordered it and its being made as I write this, pick up date is Tuesday 20th September.

As you might know from reading any of my past posts, my Bloke names our things! Our tent is Tamara, our trailer which carried our camping gear is Matilda “We go waltzing around Australia with Matilda” things that we spend a lot of money on we name, the camp fridge is “Goldie” and the camp kitchen is “Donna Drifta” people think we’re wacky! Our Volkswagen Passat Highline was called “Heidi Highline” and she has now been replaced with a Toyota Prado 4 Wheel drive, we want to start going off road, she’s called “Priscilla” as in the movie “Priscilla Queen of the desert” trouble is so far she hasn’t been to the desert ( Thats our Christmas holiday this year!) so for now she’s just “Princess Priscilla” so naming our camper trailer was super easy, immediately her name came to me as I stepped out of the X-Plore GT display model I told the sales man “We’ll be back to buy this one her name is Ursula” he laughed and I said “Don’t laugh, you know the rule don’t you? If you name something you have to keep it” all the way along she’s been “Ursula Ultimate” and soon we will go to collect her.

So on Saturday afternoon, we will leave, drive about 4 hours to the border of Victoria and New South Wales, stay over night in a Motel and then on Sunday drive the other five or so hours to the little town Moruya. Sunday night and Monday night we are staying in a cabin. We are spending a few extra days there because Priscilla also has to visit the Auto Electrician to have some final wiring done, which will allow us to have a duel battery kit installed, that will allow us to use the solar panels to supply power when we are “off the grid” to charge, phones, lap tops, camera batteries etc. 

On Tuesday the 20th September, we have an appointment with the Ultimate company at 10 am, where we will spend a great deal of the day learning every little intimate detail about our new “baby” We will learn to set up, pack up and stock up our camper and then we will spend two more nights in Moruya in a caravan park where we will set up and dismantle our camp site on our own to make sure we have no dramas, while we are in reach of the company in case we need help, I’m sure we won’t need help, but better safe than sorry! 

Thursday we will be on the road again, this time headed South and towards home, we will spend that night in Lakes entrance back on the Victorian side of the border where we are meeting up with my Bestie Deanne and her husband and one son. I get to spend a few days catching up on our girly chats and crochet andjust spending some quality time with my bestie.

Tuesday we have an appountment to register Ursula for use on Victorian roads, we will have a special permit to bring her home, but its only good for five days.

I love me a good road trip, espcially when its to places that we havent been. I think the Bloke has planned the route to go on new roads, so I’ll have plenty of time to take photos and blog about our trip! For me thats all part of the joy of Road trips! In the scheme of things this is a “short” trip but I will manage to pack as much in as I can!

Tomorrow I’ll share with you some interesting history I learnt about Moruya, because whenever I am going somewhere new I like to research!