Category: Travel

Melbourne Mini-Break

There is nothing better than stepping out of your busy routine to escape to the ‘big smoke’ for two days of bliss with your bestie!  That’s exactly what Melissa and I did last Monday and Tuesday for our Spring Melbourne mini-break.

Our trip was perfectly timed with ‘The House of Dior – Seventy Years of Haute Couture‘ exhibition at the NGV.  Even though I grew up as ‘farm-girl-practical’ my Mum trained and worked as a Milliner and is a talented seamstress, so from a young age I was surrounded by beautiful fabrics, haberdashery and sewing.  Walking into the Dior exhibition was a heaven unto itself.

We ate beautiful food, shopped, enjoyed uninterrupted conversations and didn’t have to worry about what to cook for dinner.  I savoured the chance to wander with a friend and to be totally in the present moment.

I am so grateful for my supportive husband for this sacred time away, but I have now come down with the dreaded flu and have been in bed for three days!  Hmmmmpppphhhh!











Rafting – The Franklin River

I’m taking a little trip down memory lane, as it is exactly 10 years ago to the day (Hobart Show Day) that I embarked on a 9 day trip down the famous Franklin River.

It was 2006 and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to raft the river with my work at TasTAFE (or Drysdale Institute back then).  This was the last trip for the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students for the year and there was a spare seat!  As an added bonus, I got to experience this majestic place with my teaching colleague’s – Marcus Morse, Tanky (Shaun Clement) and his wife Anna Fealy.  All very experienced guides who had spent countless commercial trips on ‘The Ditch‘!

I have had many bushwalking adventures in the Tasmanian wilderness over the years, but after experiencing this rafting trip, I gained a new found love and appreciation for our wild places in Tasmania.

The below quote from commercial operator – World Expeditions, sums this trip up beautifully:

There are few great frontiers left in the world – the Franklin is one of them. Free of pasture and any human habitation, it is a veritable feast for the intrepid explorer. Rafting down this superb river is the only way to truly appreciate its wild beauty. It is acknowledged as one of the most spectacular and challenging river trips around, attracting adventurers from all over the world. The opportunity of an expedition-style trip, rather than merely “thrills and spills” makes this the ultimate wilderness experience. At times on the trip, like all great expeditions, there will be times when patience is required. However, you will be one of the privileged few to have experienced this relatively untouched wilderness area – one of Australia’s most scenic and prized destinations.

I was so inspired by this majestic place, I even wrote a poem whilst on the river:

The Journey

An impending adventure

Surrounded by mystique and intrigue

A true wildness

A fight to save

A beauty beyond words

Forest like no other

Fluid, churning, meandering.

Rapids with descriptive names such as The Corkscrew, The Churn and Thunderush

Conjuring up anticipation and in some cases – fear.

Relaxing, drifting rafts

Bright red, contrasting with forest green

Camaraderie and team work

Loading, unloading

Lining and portaging.

Sleeping under snowy tarps,

Stars and a silver moon.

This journey down the mighty Franklin

Evoking emotions, challenges and wonder.

Rationed tea bags

Sandy bivvy pads

Cameras clicking

Smiles widening.

This journey of ours … down the mighty Franklin!

I will get back down there again one day – hopefully before another ten years pass!  Xx

Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River Franlin River

Anna Fealy


Matilda ♥

Last Thursday, Poppy and I went to Melbourne for three days with her cousin Maggie and my sister-in-law, Tup.  It was such fun travelling with two little girls, who were so excited about all the little things you tend to take for granted … such as checking in our bags, holding their boarding passes and the ultimate … taking off!

We had some city time before going to Matilda The Musical at the Princess Theatre on Thursday night.  The girls were beside themselves in their pretty dresses, marvelling at the beauty of the theatre, their Dress Circle seats, the amazing set, but mostly their Choc Tops!

The show was absolutely amazing – I recommend anyone to go and see it before it finishes in November.  I even shed a little tear at the end!  The girls were exhausted as they climbed into their beds at their big cousin’s home in Hawthorn.

I really valued spending time with Poppy just on her own – chatting away with her as we wandered through Chadstone on a mission to find her a new pair of Runners (that weren’t too pink)!

The three little cousins had a movie and a ‘midnight feast’ on Friday night, whilst the big sister-in-laws shared a beautiful home cooked meal and a bottle of red!

We had an amazing time away, but we missed our boys at home and it was lovely to see them on our return on Saturday night.  Xx

Hobart Airport Hobart Airport Sky Bus Sky Bus Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Melbourne Melbourne Matilda Matilda Matilda Matilda Princess Theatre Princess Theatre Cousins Poppy's new shoes Bassike Pops Poppy & Ruby Poppy and Ruby Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne


Tasmanian Guide Agency

TGASometimes in life opportunities present themselves that you have to embrace … and recently I took a leap of faith and launched the Tasmanian Guide Agency with two of my industry colleagues.

During my role with Tourism Tasmania, it became evident that many Inbound Tour Operators struggled to find and secure professional Tour Guides for their guests whilst in Tasmania.  I was also offered additional guiding jobs but due to my existing demands, I was never able to assist.

I pondered the idea for 6 months or so and in May I casually mentioned it to my trusted colleague Alex, where we work in the Adventure Tour Guiding team at TasTAFE.  We share an office and have many conversations about the industry, tour guiding and of course our hopes and dreams.  This was an idea that I didn’t want to go alone and Alex expressed interest.

Unbeknownst to me, his best buddy – Rob Knight, rang Alex two days later with excitement in his voice!  Rob had a business idea that he wanted to chat with Alex about and arranged a catch up on the weekend.  It turns out that Rob also came to Alex with exactly the same idea – as he too works for Tourism Tasmania and had also heard of the challenges of securing professional guides on a freelance basis in the State.  The worlds had aligned!

Early the next week we all met up and talked about the concept further.  It has been a flurry of business meetings, development of a website, Facebook page, interviews and applying for all our necessary licenses, before we truly ‘go to market’.  We are holding on for the ride!

Today is a momentous day as we had our first ‘official trip’ with a mother and daughter travelling from New York and San Francisco in search of our unique fauna in Tasmania.  They are in good hands with our experienced guide who has a passion for nature, wildlife and most importantly … sharing that with visitors from far off shores.

We look forward to evolving and learning on this new found journey!



Melbourne Moments

Larni & Cherida

I have just spent the weekend in Melbourne on my biannual trip with my dear friend Cherida.  We both converge on the Victorian capital from Adelaide and Hobart, for a weekend of bliss.

A weekend where we bid farewell to our little families for three days of freedom and friendship.  These trips represent a little full stop … punctuating our lives for a few days to enable us to catch our breath and to truly reflect and recharge.  Where we enjoy long conversations over cups of tea and exquisite pastries.

My eyes are continually averted to the shiny bright lights of a big city, where we wander with no time limits.  An urban beauty that is such a contrast to my ‘normal’ at home where beautiful beaches, forests and natural scenery are dominant features.  I love the contrast of the glitzy shops, designed spaces, considered lighting, fashion forward thinking and skyscrapers reaching up to the blue, blue sky. xx

Melbourne Melbourne Virgin Lounge The Journal The Journal Zomp Shoes Zomp Shoes Top 3 By Design Jac + Jack Jac + Jack Camilla & Marc Marimekko Marimekko Marimekko Oter Oter Oter Oter Oter Oter Oter Oter The European Pellegrinis Bar Pellegrinis Bar Hill of Content H&M Bassike Bassike Bassike Bassike The Emporium Melbourne Melbourne Acne Studios Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Florist Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Higher Ground Cumulus Inc. Cumulus Inc. Cumulus Inc. Melbourne Parliament Street Station ACDC Lane Hopetun Tea Rooms Haighs Chocolates Haighs Chocolates Haighs Chocolates Haighs Chocolates Hunt Leather Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne Prada Prada Melbourne


50 ♥


Last weekend, my sister Cath and I flew to Melbourne to celebrate our older sister’s 50th birthday in Castlemaine.  We were literally only there for 24 hours, but despite the quick trip, it was wonderful to celebrate Rob’s special day.

Rob has always lived a very healthy life and as a result she is beaming with vitality and youth, despite her half century milestone!

Surrounded by all her special friends in a cosy bar in Castlemaine, we celebrated into the wee hours.  The next morning, Rob’s husband Paul cooked up a storm and we enjoyed opening presents together and drinking cups of tea before dragging ourselves back to Tullamarine.

Rob and I Sisters Birthday Cake Birthday Cake Party details Rob, Fran and Tan Present time Present time Rob cuddling 'pebble'. Grey & Felt CushionBreakfast Rob, Cath and I

Whilst I was away, Nick took Poppy and James to Ben Lomond for a few snowy adventures.  James loved ‘sloping’ down the hill on a sled with Poppy, in his big baggy pants.  Bless.  Xx

James at Ben Lomond


Australian Traveller

Australian Traveller Magazine

I am so pleased to see the new issue of Australian Traveller magazine hit the stands this week, after working on the shoot with Tourism Tasmania in the summer.

So now that the magazine is published I can disclose that the star of the show was … Megan Gale.  A true beauty showcasing a stunning part of Tasmania.  Grab yourself a copy this weekend.  Xx


Crazy : Busy

I thought this time of year was supposed to be a quieter time of year, a time to retreat indoors with the fires blazing, Ugg boots on whilst the soup is bubbling on the stove?  There has been no soup bubbling on my stove, as I have had an unprecedented busy schedule for the past month.

I love being busy but I have definitely been burning the candle at both ends at the moment.  I have been working my normal three-days per week, plus guiding trips with Tourism Tasmania hosting International buyers to the state prior to the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) that is happening in the Gold Coast this week.  ATE is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event.

Last weekend I hosted Emily who hadn’t been to Tasmania before but fell instantly in love with our beautiful food, wine and scenery.  She promotes Tasmania as a destination in the luxury Chinese market.

We spent an afternoon at Josef Chromy with a private tour of the winery followed by a delicious lunch and wine tasting.  The highlight of her trip was actually meeting Josef himself, who joined us at our table for a chat.

We still had room to eat more beautiful food at Geronimo Aperitivo Bar & Restaurant on a rainy Launceston evening.  The next morning we drove to Hobart where Emily spent the afternoon at MONA, before dining together at Peacock and Jones.  A delightful experience to complete her Tasmanian journey.  Xx


Tasmania on Show

The Apple Shed

It is that time of year again when Tasmania hosts a travel forum called TasBound.  Inbound Tour Operators are invited to Tasmania on several familiarisation tours before meeting operators at an ATEC event at MONA last Saturday.

TasBound 2016 logo

As part of my role with Tourism Tasmania, I hosted a group of seven Inbound Tour Operators from Sydney and Melbourne last week on the TasBound South Famil:

Discover Tasmania’s capital city of Hobart and learn more about the enriching experiences which are just on it’s door step.  This is a place where old meets new and there’s so much to discover including a visit to Bruny Island, where eco cruises will exhilarate you and culinary pleasures will delight you. Explore Tasmania’s last frontier as you fly over the Southwest National Park where you will see untouched wilderness in one of the world’s last remaining temperate rainforests.

Our visit incorporated visits to The Apple Shed, Huon Jet Boat, Grandvewe Cheese, Villa Howden, Bruny Island Cruises, Bruny Island Cheese and the Wrest Point Casino to name a few.  Unfortunately their flight with Par Avion into the Southwest was cancelled due to bad weather, but they experienced a helicopter ride to Bangor Wine & Oyster Shed and Pooley Wines instead.

It was a wonderful three days, spent with a group of lovely people experiencing the wonders of Tasmanian tourism.

The Apple Shed The Apple Shed The Apple Shed The Apple Shed The Apple Shed The Apple Shed The Apple Shed The Apple Shed The Apple Shed Huon Jet Boat Huon Jet Boat Huon Jet Boat Grandvewe Grandvewe Villa Howden Villa Howden Villa Howden Villa Howden Villa Howden Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cruise Bruny Island Cheese Bruny Island Cheese Par Avion Par Avion


Icena Farm Stay


My extended family all met at Icena Farm Accommodation for the ANZAC Day Long Weekend.  A farming family going on holidays to a another farm … classic!

Nick and I broke up our journey and stayed in Launceston on Friday night – where the Autumn leaves and light were amazing, before venturing out to Icena the next morning.

Chalmers ChurchThe Cateract GorgeThe Cateract GorgeThe Cateract GorgePaterson StreetAutumn LeavesChalmers ChurchChalmers ChurchSt. John Street

Icena is located on the far north-eastern tip of Tasmania – a special place for me as an amazing camping spot when I was younger, and later where I was a guide on the Bay of Fires Walk for several years.  Nick also had a family farm in the district when he was growing up and my brother spent many years harvesting on the Rushy Lagoon property.

In my opinion the region has it all – beautiful beaches, rolling green hills, bushwalks and even a wind farm!  The weather was absolutely glorious and we really did have an amazing time.

Mussleroe Bay Wind Farm

We had a cooking roster where you were allocated a meal and a sibling or brother/sister-in-law to cook with.  As a result, it was a very relaxing weekend apart from when you were in the kitchen cooking your assigned meal.

Janelle and Paul on the job

We had some fun and games on our last night, pulling out some hilarious masks that I bought years ago at The Louvre in Paris.  Masks that always add a little bit of humour in any situation.  Xx

Julius Caesar

James an PoppyBridportIcenaScrabbleChatting sistersWind FarmWind FarmWind FarmWind FarmWind FarmWind FarmLittle Mussleroe BayLittle Mussleroe BayLittle Mussleroe BayIcenaIcenaStumpys BayDolphinsStumpys BayStumpys BayStumpys BayStumpys BayStumpys BayStumpys BayWallabyMy MumMasksNinaRob & PaulMy DadIcenaIcenaThe CousinsThe GibsonsMy FamilyThe CousinsShells at Mariposa BeachShells at Mariposa BeachPoppy

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