Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

The Normanton Bush Races

On 24th September 2011, we managed to be in Normanton at the same time as the annual Stingers Bush Races (third time lucky, right?). The Stingers are the Normanton football team, and it is a massive fundraising day for them.

This humungus event sees everyone frocking up and heading into Normanton from all over the place – other towns & states, the Sunshine Coast :), and surrounding stations.

We didn’t pay too much attention to the actual horse races (which were 200m sprints down the track), as we were too busy socialising…and winning the prettiest hat award! Yes, you read correctly – I won the prettiest hat award. My prize was a $100 voucher, a purple sash that I almost wore pig shooting the next day, and some beautiful flowers. I ended up being happy that hubby bullied me into going up on the platform to be judged.

After the final horse race, most people change into something more comfortable (I’m talking jeans, boots and a shirt here!) and walk over to the arena for barrel racin’ and bull ridin’ events. We drove the 4WD up to the arena fence and watched the action from the comfort of our car, like a true local.

Hubby was asked to be the official photographer for the day, which he enjoyed. He even almost got knocked off his perched position on the fence by a wayward bull. The things he’ll do for the perfect shot. The locals only laughed. His photos will go in the paper and on the official website for the bush races. Here is a glimpse of his work –

A Brand New Invention!

I am so proud of my hubby – he has come up with a brand new invention!

While my sister-in-law and I were lying in our hammocks during a recent camping trip to Adel’s Grove, I started to whinge about the sun being hot and getting in my eyes. I whinge about the sun a lot. Anyway, hubby to the rescue with a bit of rope, a towel and some bush pegs (sticks broken into a Y shape). Look what he set up for both of us over our hammocks!

It was so handy when the wind picked up cause it caught all the sticks and berry-thingos. The sun stayed out of my face the whole time I was in the hammock (which was quite some time!).

Disclaimer: The bright light on my face is the flash – not the sun in case you think I am lying.

I came up with a name of the new invention too: ‘Hammock Shader’ but it is lame, so any other suggestions?

Bursting at the Peas

We got back from two weeks of holiday time to find our Honeypod Peas were bursting at the seams with sweet goodness. I had never seen them so swollen before.

Harvesting some swollen Honeypod Peas from our veggie patch.

I was scared they were overdone so I harvested the big ones straight away and left some of the smaller ones (even though they are nice and round too) and ate these biggens for breakfast!  They were so crisp, crunchy and sweet that I couldn’t leave them for lunch.

I still can’t believe how much better food tastes when it is grown by yourself, picked and eaten straight away. It really doesn’t get much better than this and there is no comparison in flavour to the shop variety.

The inside of these peas are awesome.

In other news, I think I need to pull out the entire broccoli plants. When we got home the broccoli heads had all flowered and spread out quite straggly so I had to chop them off completely and throw the top part away for the chooks to devour. Hopefully we don’t end up with broccoli flavoured eggs tomorrow morning – that would be gross. Maybe I will do a little experiment and leave the broccoli in just to see if they will grow some normal heads again…or is it too late?

Any ideas? Do you grow anything in your garden?

Shiny Sparkly Things?

Let me retell a little experience I had with shiny sparkly things –

Adel's Grove location

So, we have finally arrived at our camping destination – Adel’s Grove, in Far North Queensland. It has taken us a whopping five hours of driving from Normanton and most of the way it was on red dust, but we have now arrived in the night.  My hubby, his sister and I are spending three nights in this paradise just because we can.

The camping area is very bushy and beautiful with large shady trees and leaf litter on the ground. Seeing as it is night-time, we have no other choice but to set up camp in the dark. We collectively decide to go and look for some wood to light ourselves a toasty fire so we can see stuff around us and get ready for bed.

My hubby and sister-in-law head over to some bushes to my right with their torches, and I go in the other direction searching around for our fire-needs. While I am busy foraging something catches my eye. I spot the most beautiful, shiny beads of light flickering all over the fallen leaves on the ground. They looked just like mini twinkling fairy lights, and I presume they are just broken glass shining in my head torch. I make my way over to them curiously and bend down to have a closer look at this sparkling beauty of mystery, and what do I discover…. they are bloody spider eyes twinkling in my torchlight!  

I absolutely have the most unbelievably, ridiculous fear of spiders thanks to watching the gross movie ‘Arachnophobia’ when I was younger at a friend’s place. Since then, whenever I see a spider of any proportion I can imagine it crawling all over my skin.  So you can see how I am feeling at this moment in discovering that my shiny sparkly things are actually beady spider eyes – I am feeling the opposite of delight – I squeal, run and try to climb hubby’s back to get off the ground where all the sparkles are.  Both hubby and sister are having a bit of a giggle as hubby tells me that he saw me stop my search for wood and meander over to some leaves and he immediately thought, uh oh, here we go, knowing what I was about to discover.  He quickly asked me for my head torch. Of course, I refused because I was using it, but he was adamant that he have my head torch now. Little did I know that his insistence was actually for my own good…he was trying to protect me from the awful sight. He ended up leaving me alone while I went on to uncover this surprise while he just waited for my reaction.

I must admit though, I did get quite accustomed to the spiders after three nights when I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had indeed survived the first night without being attacked by a spider. I have a wonderful imagination.

I was also very thankful that I was not one of the two sleeping on the ground in swags.

What could these pretty, shiny, sparkly things be?

Here are some more! So beautiful.....

Those shiny sparkly things are spider eyeballs!!

Camping Etiquette

We have just spent the last four days camping at the gorgeous Adel’s Grove in Far North Queensland (near Lawn Hill National Park).

Our camping set up was simple – 3 chairs, cast iron plate to cook our bacon and eggs on, 2 swags on the ground, 2 hammocks, & 1 mattress in the back of our car.

While I was lazing about in my hammock soaking up some shade, I started to recall some of our previous camping trips and why this one was up there with some of the best. I think it has a lot to do with camping etiquette. Everyone at Adel’s Grove seemed to have some.

There are unwritten rules when it comes to camping. We all know that selfish and rude people can be selfish and rude when outside their house boundaries and mixing it up with society. I have listed my top four camping etiquette rules below, and I believe that by following these all the pretty places in the world can be enjoyed by everyone (and we’d be a step closer to world peace).


*don’t bring your stereo, radio and tv camping. Are you seriously telling me you cannot go without? Why must your DOOF DOOF bassy music drown out the quiet serenity around you and the rest of us? The majority of people go camping to escape the noise and get some peace and quiet…not so they can listen to your noise-mess all day and night, no matter how good you think your taste in music is. One word for you: headphones.


*walk AROUND people’s camp sites (aka their home away from home) not through them. Just because you think you can walk wherever you like cause it is a public place only means you are rude and a stickybeak. Hello stranger, why are you randomly here brushing against my elbow as I eat my Weetbix under my tarp, sitting at my table, outside my tent? That is just weird.


*if you are at a camp ground with lots of free space, never ever set up your camp smack bang next to someone else (unless they are family or friends, in which case you can feel free to ask them to shift their tent so yours is the one in the morning shade). It makes me wonder, are you afraid of the dark? Do you love reality TV and need your fix (cause of course you left the TV at home) and by camping on top of us you can monitor our every move? Pick another spot out of the 120 available that is not next to us. It is unnatural for our possessions to touch.


* on the flip side, if you do happen upon a camp ground that is chockers with people (school holiday season), don’t spread all your gear out to hog a few of the last remaining spaces. Again, you are being rude. Hopefully, by being nice and taking only the space you require, you will end up with a camp-neighbour who respects all these rules and everyone will be happy campers together. There is nothing worse than forcing people home from their anticipated getaway because there is no room and you have taken up a massive chunk of the camp ground.


So there you have my top four camp etiquette rules. Add yours to the comment section too! I know there are plenty more out there 🙂

Holding Crocodiles

This is my second post (first one here) from our adventures in the Australian outback while visiting my SIL, Deb.

Today we went with Deb’s housemate fishing in a tinny (tin boat) out on the Norman River.

The plan was to catch some fish, preferably Barramundi, and maybe spot a croc or two if we were lucky. The tide was high so we didn’t like our chances as crocs need somewhere to rest their bellies on the sand. The actual outcome was no fish biting while we were out but we saw some crocodiles – we even got to hold a wild one! Yes, a wild crocodile!

We went up a little off-shoot part of the Norman River and there on the bank was this Freshwater beauty:

As we got closer, it scooted into the murky brown water and just disappeared….eerie…..

Then just up a little further our guide found two baby crocs – a Freshwater crocodile and a Saltwater crocodile hanging out together with their mini-heads sticky out of the water.

Then our guide grabbed his net so we could have a MUCH closer look –

Once all this was over, we started back to the boat ramp and on the way I spotted a Saltwater crocodile on the edge of the bank. He had a white patch on his back, which I thought was a leaf, but as we got closer we noticed that the white patch was in fact a rather big gash in it’s side. Croc flesh is white (and yes, if you have ever tasted cooked crocodile meat it does in fact taste just like chicken).

And for a final shot – here is my very own Crocodile Dundee:

Outback Adventure

Hubby and I are on a two week stint out in the Australian outback visiting our beautiful sister (my SIL). She lives in an amazing part of Australia called Normanton. This will be the third trip to visit her and each time we have had a hard time leaving!


The first year, we were novices and decided to fly to Cairns and then fly onwards to Normanton. This year, and the last, we decided to tackle the two and a half day drive…and loved it! The ever-changing scenery, the people you meet in dusty isolated towns, the incredible wildlife, and the quality time we get to spend together. Oh, the conversations and laughs!

We like to drive the inland way, up through Emerald, Winton, Longreach, Clonclurry, etc and we stop off many times to take pics (I’ll post these pics in an upcoming post).

It is really nice to stop and enjoy the surroundings instead of just whizzing past in our car. We like to get out and struggle up craggy rock formations in plastic bright-blue crocs (so hard…and yes, I did think of going barefoot but too many negatives for that option to happen). We love to sit somewhere where there is no human-made noise and just appreciate our breathtaking landscape.

We saw our Australian coat of arms, in the wild, right next to eachother. A massive dead red kangaroo (hit by a truck) and an alive emu pecking its way around the bushes looking for whatever emus like to eat.

Ahh, Australia.

Sexy Hotness

Tonight I had a massive urge to be camping in the uninhabited bush under the stars with my favourite person in the whole world, so I started to Google some pics of camping to fulfill that urge, and look what I came across….

The website for Sexy Hotness says: Despite its 20° rating, our Sexy Hotness sleeping bag gets extra toasty when you add body heat. Zip two or more together and get snuggling, spooning, or sporking! Bonus alert: when you’re chillin’ solo, you can easily walk around, take a leak, and free your arms. Sexy!

Interesting, and did you know the word ‘sporking’ is not recognised by WordPress? Who’d have thunk!

Now where was I? Back to camping. Oh that’s right, I was here………

The perfect view to wake up to...cosy stillness.

The best way to eat marshmallows - burnt.

There is nothing imperfect about this picture. Sums up all the feelings of camping for me.

The BEST camping dessert - two ingredients.

Me: sitting in my camp chair with a glass of red (and insect repellent).

Girls at the Goldie

Sometimes a girls weekend away is due! There was no particular reason for our ‘escape’ – we came up with the idea, talked about it forever, finally booked it and enjoyed every second. My beautiful friend Jodes and I took off for two nights and giggled our way through a very relaxing and decadent stay on the Gold Coast.

What a beautiful place! We stayed at the Crowne Plaza at Surfers Paradise and filled our days with coffee, buffet breakfasts, beach night markets, eating, dinner in a revolving restaurant, eating, girly movies, cocktails, eating, exploring the coast, coffee, shopping at old bookstores, massages and facials at Tweed Heads, eating, and a fun trip to IKEA to finish us off. What a blast!

The view from our balcony

The Crowne Plaza pool - from our balcony. See the stretch hummer down there!

Metermaids - donate some $$ for a photo of the girls and the money goes towards breast cancer research.

Slurpees - our teenage water

Beautiful lights at the beach night markets in Surfers Paradise

Getting our fake tatts.

Surfers Paradise wanna-be queen!

A cool kombi we came across when we went exploring.

The start of our spa treatment.

After my 1 hour massage and Jodi

The border between New South Wales and Queensland

Sunset over Surfers Paradise. It really is paradise!

Gorgeous Jodi and a magnificent sunset!

Dessert at the revolving (not revolting!) restaurant on top of our hotel - Crowne Plaza

The seafood was FRESH!

Our view of Surfers Paradise from our table at the revolving restaurant during breakfast.

Jodi at breakfast.

Now that the restaurant has revolved around, we can see the beach now!

Brisbane Day 4: Are Goodbyes Always This Hard?

Our final day in Brisbane.  My husband decided to break with tradition and get up before me to get our coffee and breakfast. We are going to miss this place.  The hotel we stayed at, iStay River City, is so perfect.  Very central, coffee shops and restaurants spotted all along the street.  Very close to the beautiful and relaxing Botanical Gardens, and then less than a minutes walk to the Queen Street Mall (which I mentioned here and here and here).  We originally planned to stay for just two nights thinking that would be enough, but we extended our stay an extra night.  So glad we did.

Here are some shots we took of our apartment before we took it over with all our stuff.

Our balcony looking towards Kangaroo Point and the Botanical Gardens.

The Living Room and Kitchen Bench.

The bedroom

The kitchen

It’s a positive thing when you leave somewhere and wish you could stay longer.  Much better than getting sick of the place and hanging out to get home.  It really was a holiday and we will definitely be back for more.