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Showing blog posts from October 2014

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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Sweet life in the Manning Valley

October 20, 2014 - Manning Valley

Just a few hours from the neon of Sydney, and it feels like we’re in the Land That Time Forgot. Being out of range and miles from care is really crucial when it comes to getting a feel for the King’s Creek Retreat. It’s easy for this place to get under your skin. It’s where …

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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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The Great Lakes: Straight from the Local’s Mouth! #3

October 17, 2014 - Great Lakes

An easy detour off the Pacific Highway, Bulahdelah is full of surprises and worth time re-discovering! People know me as… Wayne Barry Most days you can find me… making our delicious award winning sausages at our family butcher shop, Barry Bros Butchery. The butchers has been in the family since 1901 and we make all …

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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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Memories In The Making

October 16, 2014 - Great Lakes

Taking a holiday with young children can be a bit like putting flat-pack furniture together… At first it feels a little overwhelming just where to start, then everyone has an opinion on what to do next and during the process, there are plenty of times when you could quite easily throw in the towel. But …

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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 Port Stephens for No 1 #mylegendarydrive

October 14, 2014 - Port Stephens

Back in my home town further north on The Legendary Pacific Coast and reflecting on a fine weekend in Port Stephens as rain and hail thunder on the tin roof of our country home. Such a contrast to the blue, blue, shiny blue of beautiful Port Stephens last weekend when PS shone putting its best …

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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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Angus & Julia: The way they used to be

October 2, 2014 - Byron & Brunswick Heads

Angus and Julia – two artists so renowned that they now lack all need for a last name. That is, until they went solo. The brother and sister Stone entered the Australian music scene with fanfares, applause and an instant following in 2007 and since then have inspired a generation or two with their emotion-saturated, …

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