Monthly Archives: March 2014

Noosa

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Last weekend we went camping for the first time since we have been in Australia. I must confess that I was a bit apprehensive because of the native bugs and venomous spiders but it was actually good fun and we surely expect to repeat it soon.

The invite came from some friends and we ended up being a group of 19 adults and 6 kids in total! We got together for meals at the camping kitchen and some of us ended up meeting at the beach or around Noosa Heads.

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Main Beach, Noosa Heads

We had not yet been to Noosa so it was a great opportunity for some sight-seeing and driving around. Noosa beaches, though great for swimming, are also great for longboard surfing. The town has a great atmosphere and definitely walking around you get the feeling that this is the kind of place that makes you feel that you´re on holidays everyday.
DSC_3267From the town you can walk to Noosa National Park with the sea and the beach at your side. The views are breathtaking!

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DSC_3283We did spent some happy moments simply observing the talented surfers while we sat beneath a shady tree 🙂

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DSC_3299Once you get to the National Park there are plenty of trails that you can choose from. Keep looking up because, if you´re lucky, you might spot some wild koalas up on the eucalyptus trees.

If you are in Noosa on a Saturday morning be sure to check out the Eumundi Markets. They´re really worth the 20 minute drive! Also, on the way back home you should stop at the Nutworks, in Yandina, and have one their magnificent macadamia ice-creams 😉

 

 

Nitrogenie

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DSC_3268I think Heston Blumenthal has brought the magic back to food. His alchemistic approach is not only impressive but it plays tricks with your senses. I believe that he was the first person that I have seen use liquid nitrogen in cooking.

But this new trend of blending science and cooking is definitely increasing everywhere you look. So it was with great amazement that we discovered Nitrogenie.

DSC_3271How magical is it to see the smoke coming out of the mixing bowl? I felt like a little kid fascinated by the coloured lights and trying to grab hold of the mist 😉

DSC_3273The ice-cream itself is amazingly smooth and creamy. The flavour combinations are also innovative and delicious. So far I have tried the Nutella Ella Ella, the Salted Caramel Popcorn and the Lemon Meringue Pie and I can honestly recommend them all!

Tree Top Walk

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Our friends suggested that we try the O’Reilly’s tree top walk  and since we had never been down to Lamington National Park we immediately jumped at the opportunity! The drive up to the Green Mountains is tricky and the road is somewhat dangerous but beautiful nonetheless. As you get closer to the top you enter the forest and the road has been carefully constructed around the trees. It is quite breathtaking :-

DSC_2867Once you reach the retreat you can walk through the rainforest and gardens until you reach the tree top bridges that allow you to experience the canopy of the fruit and flowering trees up close.

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DSC_2886This strangling fig tree is quite impressive and is over 150 years old. You can actually look inside the bottom of the trunk and see how hollow it is inside.  One can literally fit in there!

DSC_2916The bridges are a bit bouncy and they are quite high so people who are afraid of heights might struggle a bit. Hubbie doesn’t enjoy heights and he did not let go of the rails during the first round. As he got more confident he started to enjoy it more so I do recommend that you do complete the circuit more than once.

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DSC_2924As you are so high you get to see details of trees that you would never be able to any other way and these magnificent!

DSC_2930You can literally climb up a tree but this type of ladder did not appeal to me so I did not go up. I do not regret it but the view from there is very beautiful (I saw photos from those courageous souls that climbed all the way!).

DSC_2936Before you leave be sure to visit the gift shop and the cafe. We tried the pies and they were very good. Much better that you would expect to find in a touristic spot 😉 Also, the view from the cafe balcony is not to be missed!

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Airports and visits from far away

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When you live abroad the airport becomes the place where you have to say goodbye to your loved ones but it also the place where you get to greet them at each arrival. Therefore, getting to the airport is always an anxious and exciting time for me.

On Saturday morning we woke up earlier than usual to pick up some good friends at the airport 🙂 On the way there we could not hide the big smiles on our faces, we found it nerve wrecking when it took forever to find a parking spot, and couldn´t believe our eyes when we read in the arrivals´ screen that the plane had landed earlier.

Walking into the terminal the phone rang and we knew that the good times had begun. A couple of minutes later we were hugging each other and trying to say everything that we had bottled up for whatever many months into the first 5 minutes of conversation 😉

It is awesome to have visits that bring us a bit of home (or what we once called home!). You get to catch up on whatever is going on in each other´s lives, reminisce about old times, make plans and create new memories that will have to last until next time!

Also, when you have people visiting, you get to see your city with a different set of eyes and even discover new places that you had no idea were there.  Equally, it is a great opportunity to do some activities that you had thought about but did not get around to yet.

I love having friends staying with us and it makes me feel immensely happy when people feel welcome in our home!

Nice beef roll at the butcher´s

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The Indooroopilly Shopping Centre is undergoing a redevelopment and some new and exciting stores have opened up recently. My favourite part is definitely the Gourmet Fresh precinct on level 1. There you can find several new stores which include an amazing fruit and vegetable store, a butcher, a fish monger, an Asian grocer, specialty coffee shops and more.

The butchery Cabassi &Co, Artisans apart from selling gorgeous produce also cooks the meat and serves up some amazing rolls. You can get hamburgers, pork, lamb and beef rolls as well as breakfast options. The other day, after shopping for groceries, we decided to have a Wagyu Beef Roll and it was delicious 😀 The meat was tender and juicy, the roll was fresh and the gravy was rich and full of flavour. I really recommend it to anyone visiting the shopping mall.

 

Moreton Island

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Just a 75 minutes boat ride away from Brisbane you will find the third biggest sand island: Moreton. It is a beautiful and peaceful place for a relaxing getaway.

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We stayed at the Tangalooma Island Resort, the only resort in the island, but there are plenty of camping options for the more adventurous. The resort has lots of free activities, two pools, BBQ areas, restaurants, a shop and all you will need to make your stay as comfortable as possible. There are also plenty of paid activities that you can choose from, anything from helicopter rides, snorkeling, quad bikes and parasailing, etc.

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We decided to do an island tour on a 4WD. As Moreton is a sand island only 4WD vehicles are allowed on the island. It was the first time that I was in a jeep driving at 60 km/h down a breathtaking sandy beach. The experience was amazing and you don´t want to blink for a second as you want to take it all in.

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The Blue Lagoon is one of the “must visit” spots in the island and it is easy to see why. This peaceful stretch of water is a perfect place to take a dip and just enjoy nature. The lagoon is surrounded by tea trees so the water has great rejuvenating qualities and it is perfect to clean your silver jewellery.

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At Cape Moreton you have an amazing view of the island, the surrounding sea and the land nearby, like the Glass House Mountains, and Bribie Island. It is quite windy on top so you better hang on to your hats and cameras tightly 😉

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The north  side of the island offers great spots, such as the Champagne Pools and Honeymoon Bay, but the sea is a bit more treacherous and you should always be careful. Also, when driving to these areas it is imperative that you understand the tides as you might get stuck there for a couple of hours if you don´t plan your trip correctly.

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Well, I love animals and therefore wildlife will always make any trip immensely more interesting. This time we got to watch and participate in many feeding sessions, which I really enjoyed!

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One of the great attractions to Tangalooma is this family of wild dolphins that comes to shore every evening to be hand fed. The story of these animals and the way they came to visit the beach is quite amazing. I felt extremely blessed to be able to get into the water and feed these amazing creatures!

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The sunset on the island was also a special time. Its colours were imprinted in our eyes and mind and we can´t wait to get back there 😀