April 24, 2012 § Leave a Comment
If we haven’t gotten around to planning anything but just want to get some air, Bunyip National Park is always our default day trip. It is perfectly picturesque, the landscapes are varied and roads are well maintained. There are 4WD tracks for every skill set and we can usually spend a whole day up there without seeing anyone. It’s under an hour from inner city Melbourne, and just right for those days when the only company you need is that of native birds and ghost gums, their branches scratching at the sky.
April 23, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I have always struggled with the concept of ‘home’. It’s nothing Freudian- I grew up in a great one. But once I got a little older, a little itchier, I thought that home was something romantic that needed to be found. I thought it would be somewhere that clicked into place when you arrived. Some place settled and safe, where sleep would come easily.
I have completely changed the criteria. I now suspect that home is something that becomes your default even when you never intended to have one. It is the origin of your inescapable habits, and a collection of small things that you never realised you would miss.
For me, it’s letting a few hours slide past talking about books and tea and the cat’s freshest neuroses. It’s being woken up by rainforest birds and the broken purr of the aforementioned lunatic cat. It can be garden scents amplified by tropical humidity, or the smell of hose water evaporating on a baking hot driveway. It’s barbecues every evening in every season, waiting for the spitting meat to cook, and sitting on patio tiles as they leak daytime heat still trapped in the terracotta.
It’s definitely family. A place where your jokes make sense and nobody has to ask how you take your tea. Cats that choose your lap over everyone and dogs that get out of bed when they hear your car coming up the driveway.
Itchy feet are useful for getting us out of ruts. Homesickness keeps us humble.
April 6, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I have a first world problem that I’m not willing to release. I miss traveling. I miss exploration, disorientation, plane food and the meditative peace of lonely voyage. And I say lonely with absolute volition because as much as I enjoy the company of friends, family or my love when I actually explore somewhere, when I am in transit I want to be alone.
It’s the sort of isolated task that instils a little bit of faith in myself when I’m feeling completely dislocated, yet I surprise myself with how useful I can be. And it’s not that hard, really, to get on a plane and be fed for 22 hours, but it is mine.
March 31, 2012 § Leave a Comment
For the first two decades of my life, I lived ten minutes away from some of Australia’s favourite beaches. Being a spoiled brat, I only bothered to make the trip and get my feet wet about once a year. Of course, since moving to Melbourne I suddenly have an itch for vigorous morning swims in the ocean, but I have turned my (spoiled brat) nose up to Victoria’s offer of practically Antarctic waters. Now I live two states away, I plan on visiting Queensland’s glorious beaches at every opportunity. My top 3 on the Sunshine Coast are:
1. Mooloolaba (top) for a wander along the esplanade, swimming all day and fish & chips for an early dinner.
2. Happy Valley, Caloundra (bottom) for lazy swimming in calm waters, rock pool explorations and a barbecue in the park.
3. Cotton Tree, Maroochydore for a coffee or breakfast on King Street (my favourite is Nude Deli), or long quiet walks on a balmy evening, pictured here, along with some other Queensland eye candy.
March 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
March is low season in Victoria’s Alpine National Park, but it’s a perfect time to avoid the snow-season crowds and drive freely on the mountain roads that climb and twist through magnificent alpine forests. We took every opportunity to stop and wade in the many lakes that are so cool and clear you can count the pebbles on the bottom, and drink the water from your cupped hands. This is surely some of Australia’s finest, not to mention most easily accessible scenery.
November 10, 2011 § 4 Comments
One of the best parts of living in Melbourne is how easy it is to get out. A 45 minute drive from the inner city took us into the cool green forest paths of Bunyip State Park, abundant with 4WD tracks, peacefully empty picnic grounds and mineral rich streams under colonnades of native trees. I won’t be coy, once I saw the glittery sediment in the water I had strong hopes for finding a nice wedge of gold, but I was no less excited to find a rock with an edge of pyrite- fool’s gold! I’ll take it!
August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
We have a regular battle of wills with the navigation system we bought for our car. It used to work a charm, but since bringing it to Melbourne it has been a tempestuous little bastard, sending us on wild goose chases through a city riddled with tolls. Sometimes I don’t mind being lost though. Yesterday’s plan for a late-afternoon wander on St Kilda beach turned into an evening exploration of a secret jetty overlooking the city. I recommend a visit but I’m very sorry, I’m not sure where we were.