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Showing blog posts tagged: #mylegendarydrive

Beachside bliss in Lake Macquarie

December 5, 2014 - Lake Macquarie

It’s never fun saying goodbye but this morning we must farewell Rafferty’s Resort and the kids are none too thrilled. They insist on a stroll along the beach and a paddle in the pool before dragging their heels over the buffet breakfast. Their frowns turned upside down when we are joined by a rather cheeky …

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Water, land, food and Fun

December 5, 2014 - Lake Macquarie

At four and a half times the size of Sydney Harbour, Lake Mac (as it is affectionately known by the locals) has a range of experiences, from lake cruising, golden beaches, wilderness walks and quaint waterfront towns. Linking the lake, beaches and mountains are more than 90 villages, offering great surfing spots and heritage-listed towns …

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Love the Lake

December 3, 2014 - Lake Macquarie

When it comes to Lake Macquarie you might say I’m a little biased. You see, my pioneering ancestors have been living in the area since 1841. But regardless of the family connections Lake Macquarie, one of the largest lakes in the Southern Hemisphere and an aquatic playground that’s just perfect for a young family like …

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It’s the final countdown…

December 3, 2014 - Hunter Valley

We decided to spend our last night at Château Élan. Whenever I mentioned Chateau Elan to anybody local, they’d have this look of awe on their face. When we arrived it was easy to see why! This resort recently won the award for best luxury accommodation for the second year in a row. We experienced the attentive, …

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Welcome to Sydney’s playground

December 2, 2014 - Hunter Valley

Most of you would associate the  Hunter Valley with wine, wine and more wine. Heck, before we came here today, we thought the same thing. So it was surprising to learn that those who aren’t big drinkers are guaranteed a pretty good time too. Take those who like adventure, for example. Hunter Valley Resort, currently …

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At one with the Locals

December 1, 2014 - Newcastle

Having breakfast with the birds at the Hunter Wetland Centre was supposed to set the tone of the day – relaxed, taking it easy, enjoying the fresh air.  It surely did. We began the day with breakfast at the Wetland’s Spoonbill Cafe before enjoying a guided bird life tour on a perfect late Spring day. …

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Nestled in native Newcastle

November 30, 2014 - Newcastle

Before I gained ‘turncoat’ status, I used to visit Newcastle on a regular basis for Knights games. I use the term ‘visit’ very loosely here, as I would literally drive up for the game, then head home – and boy was I missing out on a good thing! How could I not have known that …

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Music and Mullumbimby Magic

November 28, 2014 - Byron & Brunswick Heads

The Byron Shire is a big place serving up some drop dead beautiful countryside, colourful characters and a barrage of holiday experiences often centred on spirituality and creativity. One of the regions great creative focuses is the Mullum Music Festival now in its 7th year and growing steadily to serve up a diverse program beautifully …

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Lost phones, kayaks and Bangalow

November 27, 2014 - Byron & Brunswick Heads

My Legendary Drive around the Bryon Shire: Day 3 First of all, I must explain why I have been a little late posting my adventures on Day 3 around the Byron Shire. As it happens, I was photographing some kayak surfing with my guide from Cape Byron Kayaks and we inadvertently got dumped and my …

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Humble haven by the sea

November 26, 2014 - Central Coast

Today, on this, our last day spent exploring the sunny Central Coast, we do what is the done thing in Terrigal and scuttle up to the top of Broken Head and its iconic feature, The Skillion. The view from the top of the narrow headland offers dramatic views of sun, sand, surf and sky from First Point to the …

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Central Coast: the fun starts here

November 25, 2014 - Central Coast

Day two of our Legendary Pacific Coast road trip around the Central Coast and my two tween-age sons come good on their pinky-swear promise, made yesterday, to come for a walk along Umina Beach in the buttery light of dawn. They need zero convincing, keenly clambering on the rocks in a nook of the beach the locals dub …

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A Gourmet Tour – Wollumbin Mt Warning Tourist Drive

November 23, 2014 - The Tweed

From Byron through to the Tweed and beyond, whenever you look west Mt Warning is in the distance. Mt Warning was named by Captain Cook as a reference point which warned of the treacherous coast line in the area. Today we’re starting in Murwillumbah and taking the Wollumbin Mt Warning Tourist drive to have a …

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From Coast to Country on the Tweed River

November 22, 2014 - Southern Gold Coast

It’s another beautiful day on the Tweed Coast! We are standing on the NSW Queensland border and watching the surfers on the most Northern beach in NSW. Can you guess where we are? We’re at the Point Danger lookout. The surfers below are riding a famous surf break known as D’bah. (pronounced Dee-bah) I’m sure …

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Back to Nature on the Tweed

November 21, 2014 - The Tweed

There is nothing more Australian than taking a driving holiday with the family. It’s an opportunity to spend a little time exploring unspoiled beaches, national parks and small coastal towns. The legendary Pacific Coast takes in so many picturesque locations and today we are exploring the roads less travelled along the Tweed Coast. Our staring …

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It’s a Brand New Day over Byron Bay

November 19, 2014 - Byron & Brunswick Heads

My Legendary Drive in the Byron Shire: Day 2 Today starts very early at 4.45 am at Byron Bay Ballooning’s headquarters just five kilometres up the highway towards Tweed Heads. A dozen of us bundle into their 4WDs to head to a field in Mullumbimby where Thomas, Louis and Laure unfold the huge balloon, fire …

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Rediscovering Byron Bay

November 18, 2014 - Byron & Brunswick Heads

My Legendary Drive around Byron Shire: Day 1 Today I enjoy private tour of the Cape Byron Lighthouse with park ranger Lee Middleton. It is located on the easternmost tip of Australia and is still fully operational. Built in 1901, it used to require three lighthouse operators, but now everything is automated. To me it …

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Tourist Drives to dreamland

November 17, 2014 - Ballina Coast & Hinterland

I read once that everyone has travelled some part of America’s Route 66 – “if only in their dreams”. In a way, the same goes for the Tourist Drives linking attractions on the beautiful Ballina Coast and Hinterland of Northern NSW. Besides acting as a convenient guidebook, these drives can also show visitors the countryside …

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Ballina Coast and Hinterland is the complete package

November 15, 2014 - Ballina Coast & Hinterland

If the latest holiday trend is to go retro and revisit places we went as children, then the Ballina Coast and Hinterland is surely top-of-mind. This picturesque area figures prominently in a generation of memories about the rite of passage known as the beach holiday. These memories, in many ways, are part of the Australian …

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Ballina Bird Girl takes to The Bush

November 13, 2014 - Richmond Valley & Kyogle

Last night I had the pleasure of staying at Feathers Home Stay on the Wiangaree Back Rd to Kyogle. Linda and Peter are wonderful hosts who welcomed me into their renovated farm house and within a few minutes, I felt like I had known them for years. Linda’s cooking was the best food I think …

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Country roads and community values

November 11, 2014 - Lismore & Nimbin

Lismore/Nimbin: Day 3 The Northern Rivers hinterland seems like a tiny pocket when you look at a map, but once you’re behind the wheel and start exploring, you’re amazed at how many winding streets and back roads there are. I used to think I knew the region well, as I have friends living at Possum Creek …

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Hippy, happy holiday

November 10, 2014 - Lismore & Nimbin

I was up bright and early at Amanda Fruze’s Eternity Springs Art Farm as I wanted to see “Heaven” by day. With a brilliant blue sky as background, this really is a wonderful place and space. Try as you may you can’t lose your way in Amanda’s amazing garden as the path to this pavilion is …

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A little magic in Maclean

November 6, 2014 - The Clarence Valley

Day 2: The Clarence Valley It was a wrench to drag ourselves away from the arty Kings Studio Creative Stays B&B and our hosts Malcolm King and Julie McKenzie. Not only are they hard-working and prolific artists (Julie’s works adorn almost every space of every room and her paint-speckled studio was just off my bedroom) …

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Grafton dressed in Purple

November 6, 2014 - The Clarence Valley

Clarence Valley Day 1: Welcome to the Clarence Valley. We were greeted in Grafton with a blaze of colour. They don’t call this city of 19,000 people the Jacaranda Capital for nothing. Hundreds of these trees line the streets and it’s a joy to cruise randomly along, turning down whatever street takes your fancy and …

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Okay so they went bananas

November 6, 2014 - Coffs Coast & Bellingen

In the Gumbaynggirr dreaming the giant goanna formed Macauleys Headland and it is in the lee of this headland that acclaimed local water photographer Tom Woods from ST Surf Images swims out into the line up. Sophie, Nick and Lucy revel in the small conditions as local surfers go about their early morning ritual and …

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On the other side of fear is freedom…apparently

November 5, 2014 - Coffs Coast & Bellingen

In case you have already forgotten, I’ll give you a hint. In hushed voice and dulcet tones, ‘last horse moving into the barrier… almost set…three thousand two hundred or two miles the journey…green light… racing… good luck punters!’ And remember where you were on the fabulous Coffs Coast … the day that stops a nation. …

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Climbing out of our comfort zone

November 4, 2014 - Coffs Coast & Bellingen

It takes a lot to get a teenager’s head out of an electrical device. Sometimes eyes scroll up, only to quickly scroll down and glaze over. When we pulled off the Pacific Highway just north of Coffs Harbour and drove into the Opal Cove Resort we had an OMG moment followed by a lot of …

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The coast of endless promise

November 3, 2014 - Coffs Coast & Bellingen

Jamie Callister is the grandson of the man who invented Vegemite. He recently wrote a book also titled The Man Who Invented Vegemite which was shortlisted for the Queensland Book of the Year. He is travelling with his wife Libby and their three teenage children, Sophie, Nick and Lucy. The children are all keen surfers …

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Where the mountains meet the sky in Dorrigo

November 1, 2014 - Coffs Coast & Bellingen

Ok, there are some advantages to being woken at sparrows by little ones too excited to sleep. A comforting cuppa while watching the pre-dawn sky transition from tangerine to lilac to muted blue. The tiny duckling grazing on the lawn, the mist rolling low and slow under the bridge, and jumping fish breaking the mirrored …

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Uncovering the secrets of tranquil Urunga

October 31, 2014 - Coffs Coast & Bellingen

Day 21: The Newman family road trip has begun. Master Four has been counting down the sleeps as though he’s waiting for Christmas. As we loaded up the wagon with all the regular family road trip paraphernalia we chose to leave the car DVD player behind. This trip is about getting back to basics, enjoying …

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Adieu Macleay Valley

October 30, 2014 - Macleay Valley Coast

We loved the Bemurrah Homestead. For us city slickers it was a communion with nature we rarely get to experience. Lying awake and listening the sounds of the bush was a highlight, involving the mysterious calls and tweets and songs of our fellow residents, and along with sunrise, the sound of cattle lowing. Peering though …

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The travelling sister’s last day in paradise

October 30, 2014 - The Nambucca Valley

The thought that keeps coming back to tickle me, shimmering underneath all my cognitive whirrings throughout the past couple of days in the Nambucca Valley, is how much our backyard is and should be our destination. I’ve lived in the UK for the past two years, travelling extensively throughout Europe, loving every minute (some seconds …

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By the sea, all your worries wash away…

October 29, 2014 - The Nambucca Valley

It is the colours that I can’t get over. Turquoise overlaps soft sea green, the water rippling gently, undulating over the sandy bottom. It is entirely clear, as translucent as glass, so much that the occasional large blue jellyfish that floats past is as observable as if it quivered in your cupped hands. Jai and …

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“The Smart Ones Move to Nambucca”

October 28, 2014 - The Nambucca Valley

Here we were. Two sisters, Em and Jai, embark on a pilgrimage to saltier climes, leaving the dry plains of the North West Tablelands behind as we made our way to Nambucca, ready to experience the delights promised us. We were ready to rock and roadie. Having just returned from travelling in Europe, where we had …

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From Coast to Country – Macleay has it all!

October 27, 2014 - Macleay Valley Coast

You could have cracked the silence at the Bellbrook Hotel with a blunt butter knife. Commandeering the microphone from Anne Kirkpatrick (Slim’s Dusty’s singing daughter), ‘Cookie’, in front of a packed capacity house, had just proposed to Brenda. Ominous silence followed as the crowd waited with baited breath. “Come on”, cajoled the potential groom, “what …

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Australia’s Most Scenic Gaol? Trial Bay.

October 25, 2014 - Macleay Valley Coast

It was hard to tear ourselves away from Netherby B & B. Yes, it was the most comfy sleep ever. And being almost 8 months regnant that’s saying a lot. And the owners Jasmine and Brendan are fascinating – and leaving soon for Switzerland . After bringing Netherby back into glory they’re selling it. Now …

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The Perfect Day

October 25, 2014 - Macleay Valley Coast

The first thing you need to know about Crescent Head is they really, really like visitors. So much we counted no less than five “Welcome to Crescent” signs in the lead up to the beach itself. An officious looking council sign, a retro surf one, another tacked onto the side of Food Works… you get …

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Local adventures in Camden Haven

October 23, 2014 - The Camden Haven

It’s our last full day on the #mylegendarydrive trail and we decide to make the most of our fantastic accommodation by sleeping in. Kerry and Peter, owners of Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, have made us feel so comfortable and relaxed we can’t help but zen out. We wake up and shuffle out of bed, I …

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Lucky day 13

October 23, 2014 - Port Macquarie

It’s day 13 of #MyLegendaryDrive and both Claire and I feel like we’re just starting to settle into Port Macquarie life. We could definitely get used to the friendly smiles and conversations with locals, not to mention all the good food we’ve been eating. We enjoy our last breakfast at The Corner restaurant, drink our …

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Strawberries, tomatoes, koalas and more!

October 22, 2014 - Port Macquarie

The sun rises on another beautiful, crisp Port Macquarie day and Claire and I are up, dressed and ready to hit the road. But first, we stop into The Corner Restaurant to fuel up on coffee and breakfast for the day. We’re served sweetcorn fritters, a fantastic eggs Benedict with grilled asparagus and delicious Campos …

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Welcome to Port Macquarie

October 20, 2014 - Port Macquarie

It only takes a few short minutes to drive to Port Macquarie from the airport. Finding the town centre is as easy as following the bright blue signs and before we know it, Claire and I arrive at the Macquarie Waters Boutique Apartment Hotel. We are greeted with good old fashioned Port Macquarie hospitality; big …

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Gigs, glamping, teepees and taste in Gloucester and The Manning Valley

October 19, 2014 - Manning Valley

On the surface, Gloucester is a fairly typical NSW country town. But scratch that surface and you will find people who want to live here, cafes that serve killer coffee, parks that honour the indigenous history and farmers’ markets that celebrate produce plucked straight from the Earth. To get a feel for the town, we …

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A river runs through it

October 18, 2014 - Gloucester & Barrington Tops

Gloucester is akin to base camp for the World Heritage-listed Barrington Tops. It’s the first stop on My Legendary Pacific Drive through the Gloucester Shire, where the country meets the coast. Just three hours’ drive north of Sydney, we arrive at the Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre where we meet manager Tristan Lever, who will be …

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A Change Is As Good As A Holiday….

October 17, 2014 - Great Lakes

Change. Some love it, others do all they can to avoid it but ultimately, it’s what life is all about. And while travelling through the Great Lakes these past few days, with my young family in tow, I’m constantly reminded of the changing role of the holiday-style parent. Regular rules relax, bed times become very negotiable, meals …

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Straight for the Local’s Mouth #2

October 16, 2014 - Great Lakes

For another glimpse into what life is like living the Great Lakes region, meet Jenny Evans – British ex-pat, 20 year local to Bluey’s Beach, lover of coffee and cakes and collector of quirky bits and pieces from across the globe. People know me as… Jen Most days you can find me… at home which …

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A Family Adventure in The Great Lakes

October 15, 2014 - Great Lakes

Taking a holiday is often about slowing down, relaxing, letting the days gently unfold as you meander around a new town, city, country… but with three little kiddies under the age of four and half in tow, the days of accidentally nodding off whilst reading the paper are long gone (falling asleep at 7pm squashed into …

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The Great Lakes: Straight From The Local’s Mouth!

October 15, 2014 - Great Lakes

Hello from the beautiful Great Lakes, where the water surrounds you, the people stop and say hello and the food and fun is never ending! To give you a taste of why this place is so special, we’ll be asking the local’s themselves for the tips and tricks for enjoying all the area has to …

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Thank You Rob Woodburn

October 14, 2014 - Port Stephens

Leading travel writer, Rob Woodburn has spent the past four days discovering some of the special places and people throughout Port Stephens. Sydney-based Rob is a seasoned global traveller, writer, photographer and blogger producing a variety of travel and food-related content for both print and digital publication. “Years of fascinating travel around the world,” he …

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Dune warriors

October 13, 2014 - Port Stephens

This is most definitely not my normal Saturday morning! Astride a racy-looking 400cc four-wheeled beast painted Ferrari red I’m perched on the lip of a sand mountain about to commit myself to plunging over the edge. Give it just a touch of throttle, I’m told. Speeding down this awesome slope is the last thing on …

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A big fishy tale

October 13, 2014 - Port Stephens

B is for big. B is also for Barry, a really big barramundi who gives me a fright when his jaws snap-pop! right in my face as I peer into his tank. I jump backwards and barramudi breeder Nick Arena has a big chuckle. He keeps big Barry at the rear of the Cookabarra Restaurant …

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A mouth on the bay

October 13, 2014 - Port Stephens

Wherever I roam one thing remains constant. I must eat. So I always keep my nose in the air to catch any waft of good news about dining locally. In the few days of #mylegendarydrive, while discovering all the fun there is to have in Port Stephens, I’ve been impressed by the quality of meals …

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Escape from the city

October 11, 2014 - Port Stephens

I only need steer my car a fraction of a distance off the hot tarmac of the busy Pacific Highway to reconnect with the land. Within minutes of taking the Nelson Bay turnoff I’m surrounded by green, fertile pastures in which animals graze peacefully and the roadside signs attached to the low wooden palings beside …

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Halifax Holiday Park

October 11, 2014 - Port Stephens

Early risers are always rewarded with stunning vistas on land and sea and this morning was no exception as we made our way from our Halifax Holiday Park cabin to Little Beach, Port Stephens. The park backs onto the beach so it is only a very short stroll. Quiet, clean, crisp and beautiful Shoal Bay …

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