Like clockwork, the 1st of September turned up the sunshine in Brisbane. It couldn’t have come sooner, I love warm weather! Already it’s so much easier to eat well, exercise and get outdoors. To be honest, Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate means we enjoy pretty beautiful weather all year round but the start of the warmer seasons puts a huge smile on my dial.
I’ve had a relatively quiet winter, travel-wise. I did get to go on a great day trip through Southern Queensland Country and the Sunshine Coast Hinerland though, which has got me really excited for my extended trips back to these regions later this spring. The benefit of having a quiet winter is that I’ve been able to save money into my Travel Fund, giving me a headstart on savings for my Spring adventures!
The last few months have been busy with work, but the pace is ramping up for the end of the year. I have lots of travel plans, events and general goodies so I’m already feeling grateful for spring and everything that it’s going to bring. Bring on the sunshine, more travel and more time in outside!
The Ekka (slang for Exhibition) is Brisbane’s Royal Show, David and I went on the last day, which was a brilliant plan (fluke) because it wasn’t too crowded. We ate way too many of the Ekka’s legendary strawberry ice creams and delicious lemonades. Everything tasted better this year, even a bite of David’s Dagwood Dog didn’t make me want to hurl as they usually do.
We skipped the rides (phew) and instead spent a couple of hours wandering around Sideshow Alley and watching the entertainment in the main arena. Country boys were riding bulls for most of the time we were there, which was nerve wracking, but a good distraction from my throbbing leg after I fell down the metal-capped stairs. Painful and embarrassing. Three weeks later, I still have the bruise. Lucky it was winter and I’ve been able to keep my ugly black bruise covered with jeans!
I’ll have to be much more coordinated now that it’s shorts season.
Moving to Melbourne
For the first time in my life, I’m moving! It’s a little while away but I’ll move to Melbourne in early 2015. It was a huge decision, as I love living in Brisbane and will miss my family and friends incredibly. However, if I can’t suck it up and move to the most liveable city in the world, only a few hours from home, then I don’t have much chance of moving overseas! I’m really excited to have a new city to explore and new regions for weekends away – especially the Great Ocean Road and the Yarra Valley!
I’m moving with my boyfriend and we’ll be living in the heart of the city which will be an exciting change. Melbourne is super flat, which I find a little unsettling coming from hilly Brisbane, but living in such a prime position I’ll hopefully be kept very busy in my lunch breaks next year exploring the city by foot. I work from home, so the more often I get outside the better!
I’ll also be much closer to Tasmania and South Australia, two Australian states I’ve never visited before. I look forward to touring Adelaide’s wine country with a friend from Adelaide next year and seeing Hobart and Freycinent National Park in Tassie.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland
I’m spending a weekend with my boyfriend in a gorgeous little B&B halfway between Montville & Maleny in the stunning Sunshine Coast Hinterland. I’m really looking forward to a relaxing weekend away in the mountains!
Southern Queensland Country & Northern NSW
I went on a day trip to Southern Queensland Country a month or two ago and loved it! I’m going again for three nights and we will travel through country towns in Queensland and New South Wales on the way down and drive the coastal route on the way back. We’ll spend one night near Tenterfield, a NSW country town, and two nights near Dorrigo National Park which is part of the Gondwana Rainforests. On the way, we’ll get to drive down Waterfall Way which is said to be the most beautiful drive in New South Wales!
The Whitsundays, Townsville & Tropical North Queensland
We’re still in the planning stages, but in November my best friend and I will be spending a week in the Whitsundays, Townsville & Cairns. I’m really excited to see more of Queensland, especially the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest & Magnetic Island. This trip is yet another perfect example of why being flexible with your plans can lead to better adventures, especially when you’re on a budget. We’ve added in Townsville, which is between the Whitsundays and Cairns, because there are no direct flights. We’ve saved money by booking a Greyhound Bus and we’ll see Townsville & the stunning Magnetic Island as result. Win, win, win .
This plan is only in its earliest stages, but a childhood friend has recently moved to Sydney to do her PhD in archaeology. Another friend and I are going to visit her soon, which will be exciting because I usually only travel to Sydney for work. It will be great to do another fun weekend in Sydney! I haven’t been there since a friend’s 21st in 2012. Last time I went I felt a bit lost most of the time, so I think I’ll get much more out of my trip this time.
Beaches, beaches, beaches
I can’t wait to visit Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches more this spring and summer. More details soon, but I have to soak them up as much as I can before I move to Melbourne! Victoria has picturesque seaside towns, but the beaches are prettier and the water is warmer up in Queensland.
Sometimes you can’t get away. Armchair travel is the next best thing when life has you locked down in one place, so I’ve been looking for new books and authors to whisk me away to exotic locations.
On the Noodle Road, Jen Lin-Liu
Perfect for foodie travellers! Jen owns a cooking school in Beijing and is a journalist who travels overland from Beijing to Rome, studying how the food changes on her journey.
Coast to Coast, Jan Morris
One of the UK’s most loved travel writers, Jan Morris has quickly become my favourite travel writer too! She has an amazing way with words and I devoured her collection of essays from her travels across America in a few days.
Blue Highways, William Least Heat-Moon
Heat-Moon travels across the backroads of America after his relationship falls apart. I’ve only downloaded the free sample so far on my iPad, but will purchase the full version in the next couple of weeks. Unlike a lot of travel writers, his writing isn’t full of ego – he writes beautifully and with a quiet confidence.
Far Flung & Well Fed, R.W. Apple Jr
Another foodie travel book! The late R.W. Apple Jr was the food critic for The Times and is one of the only writers I’ve come across who makes food reviews worth reading. He imbues each mini essay with so much cultural context and character that it’s a pleasure to read and you feel like you’re actually there. It’s still about the food, but fits into the travel category because he uses food writing to explore culture.
I’m SO excited that The Minimalists are coming to Brisbane as part of their Everything Remains Tour, I can’t wait to hear them live. I’m also heading to the Good Food Show with Mum and participating in a wine masterclass with The Wine Experience – we’ll be exploring Italian wines! Yum!
Have you got any travel plans for Spring/ Autumn? Let me know below in the comments. Also, if you have any tips for any of the places I’ve listed above, please let me know!