Sep 12 2013

Venturing north – of the Bridge that is

Lighthouse Cremorne PointOne thing about travel is that it challenges all your assumptions.

As a born and bred Sydneysider I know a lot about the place. And despite what you may have heard about Australia being a classless society, Sydney has very distinct social divides.

These are decided by where you live – north / south / east / west.

The northside is old money, conservative and boring. The eastern suburbs & eastern beaches is where the ‘beautiful people’ live, westies are bogans, and the south … well, have you seen The Shire or Sylvania Waters???

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Sep 10 2013

Botany Bay

Crystal clear waterOne of the great things about La Perouse is the beaches. Regardless of which way the wind is blowing, you can find a sheltered beach. And they’re perfect for families, with white sand and no surf. And there’s a barbecue and picnic area at Frenchman’s with a children’s playground.

Even on a Thursday there were people there having a barbecue, and lots of mums and toddlers on Frenchman’s Beach. Kids were running around everywhere while their mothers sat on the sand and watched. It’s only the beginning of spring but that didn’t stop them jumping in the water and having a great time.

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Sep 09 2013

From the harbour to the bay – and Anglo-French relations

Big Congwong & Little CongwongThis tour of Sydney is quickly turning into a trip down memory lane. Not deliberately, but because I really have seen lots of Sydney – and have family connections to it.

Even though I haven’t been through the Opera House yet, I decided to leave the city and travel to Botany Bay. Another major landmark in Sydney’s past (Cook’s landing place), but one that’s not visited by anywhere near as many tourists.

And it has Sydney’s best kept secret beach.

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Sep 05 2013

Sydney’s No 1 tourist attractions

Suannah Place Terraces, the RocksIf you’re going to experience Sydney you might as well start at the beginning , a very good place to start so they say. And for modern Sydney the beginning is The Rocks.

I’ve always loved Australian history, but even in primary school was a bit disquieted about the glossing over of any reference to the 10s of thousands of years of Aboriginal history and culture well before the British settled here. One thing we are starting to do well is to acknowledge that history – and that we wouldn’t be who we are as a people without it.

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Sep 05 2013

Lesson No 1 – Public transport ticketing in Sydney is a nightmare

Ferry across Sydney HarbourI love outback Australia. I’ve done a few trips to various places and am planning my next, but in the meantime I figured if I can’t get out and travel, then how about I bring travel to me? So I’m sightseeing in my home city.

As with many tourists, I decided to take in some of the major icons in the city. I downloaded two self-guided walking tours  – Sydney Harbour Bridge, and The Rocks – which went together quite nicely to make one long walk, and this morning caught the bus to Circular Quay and the ferry across to Milsons Point.

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Sep 02 2013

Tourism at home

Sydney Harbour, south headI’m travelling while still staying at home.

When I was younger, my mother always said that when you live somewhere you never bother to really see it. She was right (but don’t ever tell her I said that). Really seeing your own city is not something we often do, probably figuring that we can do that anytime.

But unless we make it happen, anytime doesn’t always eventuate, so now I’m doing the tourist thing at home.

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Aug 29 2013

Who is really getting all that social security?

facebook_logo-webThis is a decidedly political blog.

My new year’s wish this year was for a kinder, gentler facebook. I was sick of posts that just fed hatred for particular groups or even individuals.

Unfortunately, during the Australian election it seems to be getting worse.

So I’m going to go out on a limb here – no I don’t think the unemployed are to blame for all the ills of the world and saying “just get a job” or “drug test all welfare recipients” is not only hateful, it’s intellectually lazy.

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Aug 23 2013

Featured photo – Storm coming

Storm-comingThe dramatic backdrop of the gathering stormclouds provides a sense of impending doom to the silhouetted tree branches.

Be quick to take advantage of this exclusive offer to buy one of only 300 prints of this photo – framed, signed, numbered and with a certificate of authenticity – for only $375.00

Measuring 64cm x 86 cm (photo 48 x 72) it is a truly beautiful artwork for anybody’s wall.

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Aug 22 2013

What to pack when camping

Still room for shoes A question I often get asked – perhaps most often – is what do I pack for camping and travelling.

Well, that depends on where I’m going and for how long, but the short answer is as little as possible.

In essence – pack light, and layer.

My last trip was for 8 weeks, and I will admit that I broke my general rule of taking only one small, soft bag for that one, but not by much. I had 2 small, soft bags and neither was packed full.

The key is comfort and versatility.

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Aug 13 2013

Farm life – a weekend in the country, with mud and wattle

The farm - August 2013 (21)We went to the farm this weekend, and even though we made a conscious decision that we weren’t going to do anything except relax, it started off very rushed.

Doc didn’t get home from work until late Friday, so by the time we were packed up (and I got disentangled from the ratchet strap that attacked me and tied itself around my ankles), it was 8.30pm before we left.

We were planning on stopping along the way for some dinner, but after a phone call from our friends who arrived before us we decided we’d better get there as quickly as possible. There had been a lot of rain out that way, and the track in was very muddy. They almost got bogged in a few places. Having been bogged there on more than one occasion Doc didn’t fancy having to spend an hour digging us out in the middle of the night.

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