Tag Archives: #travels

Bunbury – Western Australia

On our way to our stop in the south west for a party, we stopped for lunch at The Rose Hotel. A lovely old building with Art Deco touches and wrought iron lace around the outside of the well maintained structure.

We had lovely, generous serves of food.

Vegetarian and vegan options were on a separate menu as opposed to the usual way of just one or two options on the bottom of the menu. Good to see.

The interior of the hotel is Art Deco and charming. The staff are quick and strong and wear really short black mini skirts. The food is delicious and very filling.

A great day was had.. Recommended.

Rottnest Island – Western Australia

Day 3

Up relatively early today. Went outside and took some black and white pictures of the wonderful cottages which epitomise the accommodation which has been on the island for decades.

They are not flash but have everything you need. It is a very relaxing and an easy place to stay.

Vincent Way looking South

Vincent Way looking North

Looking out towards Perth – early morning

Looking South towards Stark Jetty and main jetty beyond

Before I headed out to the salt lakes I went north to see the lovely lighthouse. It’s not particularly special, it just looks nice. It looks well built and solid. The white walls contrast beautifully against the blue, blue sky. It never gets old for me, this classic shot.

Bathurst Lighthouse

The view looking North

The view over Pinky’s Beach

Later in the morning, I ventured out, on the chariot, towards the salt lakes to photograph birds and habitats around there.

A salt lake with ‘Rottnest Snow ‘

I found a small group of Pied Oystercatchers,

There are Bridled Terns and Welcome Swallows, zooming around so fast, I can’t photograph them. Some Welcome Swallows roost in our eaves in our accomodation here on Rottnest Island.

I also saw a Rock Parrot near the settlement.


There are also Ravens and Seagulls throughout the settled areas.



They are great scavengers and the seagulls, are ruthless. They ‘take no prisoners’.

A family of Mountain Ducks, and Fairy Terns.

Three Ruddy Turnstones visiting the Fairy Terns in the ‘Rottnest Snow’

For lunch we decided to go to Geordie’s. Cycled to the settlement and parked my bike in a rack near the general store. We caught the bus to the north side of the island to Geordie Bay. We ate lunch at Geordie Bay Cafe and Gallery. I shared fish and chips, and marinated Fremantle octopus.

Marinated Fremantle Octopus with crusty herb bread and lemon

Very yummy and the other dish was a sweet potato salad with grilled chicken – there were three eating!

‘Rottnest Snow’ – salt froth from the lakes after wind


Weather beaten tree

Salt lake

Our cottage is the one sticking out next to the vacant lot.

Colours of the bush.

Rottnest Island; off the coast of Western Australia

Day 1 & 2

This place has many fond memories for me. I have not been as often as the rest of my family but the times I come, have created gentle, happy memories which bring a smile to my face to remember.

The little furry marsupials which inhabit the island and for which it is famous, are lovely, quiet little creatures, who attract all comers.


Quokka: Marsupials – stand about 20cms high.

Rottnest island is not large – Rottnest Island (known as Wadjemup to the local Noongar people, and otherwise colloquially known as Rotto) is an island off the coast of Western Australia, located 18 kilometres (11 mi) west of Fremantle. A sandy, low-lying island formed on a base of aeolianite limestone, Rottnest is an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land. Together with Garden Island, Rottnest Island is a remnant of Pleistocene dune ridges.

The life here is slow and peaceful. There are plenty of places to eat and a day trip really doesn’t cut it. You should stay for a few days and really enjoy the peace and quiet. You cannot drive cars or other vehicles here. The only vehicles here are those used for work or the bus transport – The Explorer – around the island. You can get a hop on and hop off  bus pass which does a continual loop all day from 8:30am until the last route @ 3:00pm returning at 4:00pm. There is a Shuttle that goes to and from accommodation on the other side of the island and to the Airport, and Kingston Barracks. You can drive ‘gophers’ and segways on tours. However, most enjoy the bicycles available for hire. Or if you’re a local you can bring your own bike to the island. Bikes for hire come in a range of styles. Electric. Manual. All are solid well made bikes which can handle the use they get. It’s a very slick and easy system to hire your bike from #pedal&flipper.

There is a plethora of birdlife on the island and due to the 15,000 visitors who come each year, they are not flighty and can be observed or photographed easily.

Pied Oystercatcher

Life on the island is wonderful, mostly. During the day when the ‘day trippers ‘ arrive there is a growth in the population and it is not all good. Some of the population is uneducated when it comes to a Class A Reserve. The animals here need to be left alone and observed. There is an on the spot fine of $150 fine for feeding the quokka. I would love to see that enforced.

There are a lot of different species of birds here and I will add some photos when I have taken them.

There is a ‘settlement’ with a bakery, pizza shop, subway and clothing. There are historic buildings, some built by prisoners held here and a museum housing the historic records of the island.

The #Rottnest_Bakery is renowned and is often the first place people go on arrival.

There are several eateries, like Dome, and the Rottnest Hotel or pub is affectionately called the #Quokka’s_Arms.

The outdoor eating area of the Quokka’s Arms, – photo effect – painting

We ate at Rottnest Hotel yesterday and I had a pumpkin and beetroot salad with goat curd and pepitas. It really was lovely. There was a lot of spinach and rocket but the rest with quinoa on the pumpkin was very nice. Also a Lime and Soda – very refreshing.

Pumpkin and beetroot salad with goat curd.

One word of warning for those eating outside at the pub, Seagulls! They will go for your food at the most unexpected moments. It seems they love it when you look at your phone – they swoop and steal any food they can. Chips are a favourite. Also its a good idea to tell the wait staff when you are leaving, because the birds attack as you leave. We covered our leftovers with napkins and put a couple of glasses down on top – so they weren’t knocked over. Oops, left a glass standing up and it crashed to the ground when the birds arrived – we kept walking. There was nothing we could do.

My suggestion to management are buttons, blue tooth, battery operated – whatever – on the tables with corresponding numbered lights on a display board, where the staff are, and when you are leaving you push the button – light comes on – staff come to your table and collect plates etc to avoid bird breakages.

The local Pizza joint is Frankie’s on Rotto. Haven’t been there but it is well presented and looks spacious and inviting.

The pizza place, Frankie’s on Rotto

There are all sorts of choices, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options at The Lane Cafe.

Another is Geordies Cafe and Art Gallery, I’m hoping we can go there for breakfast tomorrow. It is rated 3rd on Trip Advisor for restaurants on Rotto.

The weather has been great so far. Predicted rain today, it came and went very quickly. Yesterday was 21C and sunny. Gorgeous.

The Ferry ride over was with Rottnest Express – excellent – no dramas – 30mins. Amazing.

Rotto Express Ferries passing.

They deliver your luggage to your door too. We arrived before the cottages were available so went straight to the pub for lunch. I collected a very cool electric bike and rode down to the accommodation centre to collect the keys.

View from our balcony – looking south towards the Thompson Bay Jetty

Our home- front door and courtyard.

The view from the kitchen window looking south

Once we had moved into our accommodation – we realised we were short two towels. So I jumped on my bike and rode back to get some. It is so quick with the ‘assisted’ control.

My magnificent chariot

As I was about to return with towels in a bag, I moved the gear lever on my bike and the chain dropped off – it may have been on the way down but the pedal just went round and it had come adrift. So I slowly backed it back to release the chain. That did not happen so I parked, and fiddled and eventually released the stuck chain and refitted it onto the large front sprocket from whence it had come. But, as a result of my being so capable, my hands and fingers were covered in grease. So I returned to the accommodation centre (Rottnest Island Accommodation) and as I walked into the reception area I raised my hands, asking for tissues or something to use to wipe off the excess oil.

Out came the paper towels and later some hand sanitiser which cleans quite efficiently. The lovely staff at the RIA were brilliant. None thought it was strange that a woman my age would be replacing a chain on a bike.They must meet a lot of very capable women on this island.

Went for a few walks yesterday with camera in hand and found some amazing scenes of tranquility and feverish foraging.

Thompson Bay at dusk

Thompson Bay looking north east

One of the interesting visitors, out for a free feed.

Black ducks on water’s edge, Thompson Bay

Spinifex growing on the beach

Paths to follow

Quokka – foraging in the early evening, near the beach

Beautiful spinifex – love the texture and the patterns

Thompson Bay, late afternoon

A view from the road

Another view from the same road

A place to enjoy the companionable silence

Sydney, Australia and surrounds 2018

Central Coast and Return.

Took a drive to Umina Beach and Woy Woy and back today. The motorways are fast and efficient when not crowded, but the trucks can be very intimidating! And the engineering involved in creating the motorways, is awe inspiring.

The M1 – Central Coast. The sheer rock faces you drive between are amazing, and beautiful.

Once I arrived in Umina Beach I went to visit my 93 year old Aunt, who is astounded that I bother to see her. As I assured her, a trip to Sydney must have a visit to her, or it would not be a trip to Sydney.  I have a cousin of my mother’s who also turned 93 this year who lives in Sydney who will have a visit on Friday. So looking forward to seeing him too.

Near Fisherman’s Wharf Woy Woy, New South Wales

“Fishermates” in retro effect style. Brisbane Waters, Woy Woy. Reflections

The American black duck is prolific on the central coast areas. These ones are well fed by humans and as a result are very likely to wander over to look at you, looking at them. Beautiful plumage.

The Indian Myna Bird. Wonderful trill and a neatly, well ‘painted’ little fellow.

Mallard duck. One of the most dramatically coloured of the ducks.

Fisherman’s Wharf at Woy Woy, Central Coast, New South Wales


Today I have driven east to the coast and will meet up with my cousins for lunch. It is a beautiful day at the moment but by 1pm there are forecasts for thunderstorms- I hope they are wrong – make it 4pm – I’ll be safe at my digs by then.

I was early, as usual, so proceeded to the beach to see the surf at Freshwater Beach.


It really does look inviting. Lots of grommets out and about and older surfers. It is a moving tide of black rubber covered humans with long wet hair – in some cases -and a board under their arms. Not a bad way to spend your time.

Bella Vista Farm




Today we visited one of the first farming properties in Australia. In 1799 Joseph Foveaux was granted 980 acres which, in addition to other purchases, he sold to John Macarthur in 1801. John Macarthur enlarged this through additional purchases until it comprised around 2,000 acres. John and Elizabeth Macarthur farmed sheep on this property in addition to their properties at Camden and Parramatta. For much of the time that the Macarthur’s owned this farm John was overseas and it fell to Elizabeth to manage the various Macarthur properties and flocks.

The farm is being restored and maintained and it is used for a range of activities and community happenings.


We left our first home of three days and drove east towards the north shore.

Well now we are on the north shore of the city in a leafy suburb called Chatswood. It has huge numbers of retail outlets in the streets and in the malls. Westfield, Chatswood Chase and stores all around them. Eateries are everywhere. Very Asian influence around here with heavy emphasis on Korean. This morning we wandered down to #Crazy_Uncle_Frankie’s where we had a lovely breakfast between us with the addition of an orange juice, tea and coffee. lrg_dsc09621

It was a birthday breakfast – did you see the candle?? We ate at Crazy Uncle Frankie’s 1/405-419 Victoria Ave, Chatswood. Terrific service and food. We were welcomed warmly and we ate at an outdoor table.

After breakfast we watched children chase bubbles on the expanse of green outside the Chatswood Library under the only tree in the vicinity, but a good one.

We then ventured off into retail land through the doors of the Westfield shopping complex.There are some great stores and some great décor.

After the walk through and a couple of useful purchases, we returned to our apartment and readied ourselves for a 20 min drive to see one of my cousins who is 93 and thoroughly warm and amazing man, who continues to live life to the full, working 3 days a week at the office of the firm, established by his father Edward (Ted) way back 1929 with his brother Hector (Bob). My cousin joined the Law firm with his brother in the 1950s.

Great to see him. Great Man oh and an MBE too.

That’s it for now – end of post for now.

Breakfast at Tropico – North Beach, Perth, Western Australia

Poached Eggs with bacon and hash browns.  The presentation was magnificent.  The attention to detail was marvellous. The Hash browns were the best I have had, and inside in the soft mashed potato, I happened upon mustard seeds’throughout the soft white deliciousness.  The sprouts on the eggs were a nice touch, and the bacon was beautifully crispy. The meal wasn’t the hottest, in fact the eggs were a little cool, but the yolks were golden and the food was scrumptious.  I really enjoyed the meal, completely.

The restaurant was not very full when we arrived at about 7:40am. It filled quickly and the sun shone through the large windows on the north side. The seating was good, right height for the tables and the noise was abated with clever wood and fabric around the large room.  It was cosy in our area without being cramped. There were different height tables which added interest and the casual nature of the venue lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere.  The staff were very good and attentive, but I did notice a pair beside us went and got their own menus.

Overall we had a terrific time and stayed almost two hours.  A beautiful morning, great food, terrific service and a nice vibe.  We will be back.


Bruny Island and surrounds.

We left home nice and early today to get to the 10 o’clock ferry to Bruny Island.  It took almost an hour to drive there but the journey was not difficult. We drove through beautiful country and enjoyed every minute of it.  We got to Kettering about 15 minutes early , so bought a coffee each and a tea for me from the cafe at the ferry entry.  Waiting in line we did get to see Norman Coburn – “Donald Fisher” from Home and Away fame, who currently lives on Bruny Island with his wife Tina.

‘Donald Fisher’

Waiting for the ferry

Once we had arrived on Bruny Island we went on a lovely drive along the main route around Bruny Island and we made our way to Adventure Bay on the south west  coast and we stopped at Penguin Cafe which faced the coast. It was here that we had morning tea, in a very cosy and comfortable coffee shop.


Path to the beach at Adventure Bay

Adventure Bay

Adventure Bay

Beautiful sand at Adventure Bay

After our morning tea and a decent wander on the beach, the sand is pristine and it is hard and wet underfoot.  Birds’ footprints, shells and wave prints covered the surface of the sand.  We walked for some time with me taking photos of water, birds and landscapes. It was then time to return to the car parked at the #Penguin_Cafe to drive through the Mt Mangana Forest Reserve. The road was designated 4WD but it looked OK and we decided we could turn back if it got’ iffy’. It was 9 kms at about 40kms an hour or less, through magnificent forest. It was just beautiful, fresh and tropical in parts with tree ferns along the edge of the road.  The straight eucalypts towered above us as we drove. Sun was filtered onto the road and flashed in our eyes as we rounded the corners. The clay under the tyres crunched but was moist and sticky. It was sheer good fortune that there were no cars coming the other way.  It was a tense drive with all six eyes on the road for the entire drive.  When we finally popped out at the other end we were just a few minutes from our lunch venue.


The road through Mt Mangana Forest Reserve

The road through Mt Mangana Forest Reserve

The road through Mt Mangana Forest Reserve

Next stop was the winery for lunch and our waitress recommended the day’s special, braised lamb leg with Polenta with cauliflower, beans, cherry tomatoes, with a red wine jus.  It really was beautiful.






Tasmania, wineries, scenery.

Today was great fun. It started early, by western time standards, we left around 7:00wst/9:00. Headed straight to Richmond.  We had been there before and it was again, lovely.  The weather was crisp but not unpleasant. I have better and warmer clothes and so was able to meander around without worrying about finding somewhere warm to hide.  First stop was the wonderful bridge. imageThe oldest in Australia.

We wandered around the main street and found our way to the The Bakery, Bridge Street, Richmond. There was a beautiful tree in the courtyard and we decided to sit in the sun out the front, to have our vanilla slice, and date scone with jam and cream. After that we separated and I wandered off to take photos around the town.

As I perambulated along Bridge Street, I happened upon a place where a model of Old Hobart Town, depicting life in  Hobart in the 1820’s, is situated. It was fantastic to see. I have always enjoyed model anythings, really, and this one has running water and bonsai trees growing next to realistic model buildings. Very cool.

The next stop was lunch just down the road at the Frogmore Winery. Indoors was warm and interesting. Lots of kitchen knick knacks and produce in jars. The restaurant sat beside a bocce pitch with vines behind, and in the background, hills and fluffy clouds.


Lunch was lovely, with pulled pork slider, Cappaccio beef with aioli and salt and flowers,     A Tempura squid with honey and a garlic aioli.

Lunch as Frogmore Wines
Lunch as Frogmore Wines
After lunch we went hunting for a cheese factory we had seen on the way past called the Wicked Cheese Factory. Saw some of the workers in the maturing room and the packing room.

image image

After the cheese, we went for a drive around the Derwent River, to Glenorchy and found a shopping centre.  Bought some pyjama pants because I forgot to pack any!!!

New Jarmies!!
New Jarmies!!


More tea cosies!

Caught the train to Ormond via Flinders Street Station.  I was met at Ormond station by my lovely friend L, who then took me to the farmer’s market and we bought some veggies.  The next stop was the cafe pictured above, where we had poached eggs with dhukka on toast and I added bacon and tomato. After brunch we returned to her home in Ormond.  Its a lovely area, well established and plenty of trees.image

The day was very mellow, and after cups of tea and chats, we hung out the washing and toddled off to the shops to check out the sale at Myer.  Nothing interesting in the manchester department, however we needed a Christmas tree and some deccies. After the shopping, home again, washing folded and inside, then home.

Louise drove me to the Caulfield train station and I caught the train to Southern Cross station, changed platforms and caught the train to Moreland station.

The return journey was interesting.  I must have a trustworthy face.  I was asked by 3 people if they were on the right platform.  Turns out two were not.  I had the PTV app on my phone and was able to help each of the people who asked.  I then got into a long convo with a Chinese girl from mainland China about her Masters in Finance exam which lasted 6 hours!!! Her parents chose the major for her and she said she had no idea, so it seemed ok. But after a while she started to find it interesting and now thinks it was a good idea after all. Nice kid.

Another good day. 🙂

Bendigo and back

My mate’s wife and daughter are riding in this race and are doing really well. It was pretty warm yesterday for their rest day but was welcomed by the sore riders.


We drove to Bendigo and met with the our two riders and went shopping with their friend. The city is a lovely place with beautiful architecture.  The cathedral is huge.

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sandhurst and seat of the Bishop of Sandhurst. The cathedral is located in the provincial city of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

The large pipe organ, built by Bishop & Son of London, was installed late in 1905. Second tallest in Victoria.image



Passed some wonderful bushland and bridges on the Calder Highway.






Got paranoid about my one and a half hour drive from Tascott to the airport so even though I considered 6am kickoff as being adequate – I did not sleep as well as I have so was awake several times during the night.  I had set my alarm for 5:30 but woke around 4:15am.  I decided it was better to be there hours early than to arrive too late or to hit peak hour traffic. Local reports are that there are people who commute everyday from the same areas so leaving at 6am would be a good idea.

The house in Tascott

I started out at around 5:15 and drove towards the M1 Motorway.  The speed on the motorway is 110 for most of it and it drops to 90 and 80 in parts.  The cars act as if there is a race on and they thunder down the four lanes with speed and conviction. I tried setting my cruise control but it didn’t last long.  Cars in front were slower or trucks and I was continually adjusting and going around vehicles in an attempt to stay at the constant speed.

Arrived at the airport around 7am after having filled up the car and returning it.  Did the bag drop and went through security – got bomb residue tested and then went to the Qantas Club to relax.  Had a bowl of toasted muesli and a couple of cups of tea.  Decided the cups are too small, so I always make two now, with the one teabag.  Then I stack them to take them to where I am sitting. I was in the lounge for about 3 hours so was able to do all that I needed to using the wifi there.  Got to check my email and blogs and then I blogged more and ate more and just vegged.

Flew to Melbourne – hilariously short flight – one hour and five minutes.  Had a wonderful spinach and cheese Pide – so hot, so yummy.  Very tasty and just enough. I managed to get one movie in and this time it was Anne Hathaway and quite a light movie but interesting and it was gentle and easy and heartwarming. image

M collected me from the airport and I did not have to collect a car and it was lovely having someone at the gate.  I dont mind when there isn’t but I enjoyed having the meet and greet.

Weather here is cooler than I have experienced for the last two weeks but its not horrible.  Feeling pretty tired now after all the relly seeing.  It really has been good though catching up with so many.  I really think my family is well worth spending time with.

Drove around Melbourne to do some errands today and took a few shots of buildings and places we passed. Here they are.

Villier St North Melbourne

Villier St North Melbourne

Victoria Street, Richmond

This bridge has been used to cross the Yarra since before WWII at Chandler Highway

Bridge Road Hawthorn