A few days in Queanbeyan to reconnect with my homeland

It’s nice sometimes to be sent to a place in your home country that you wouldn’t often get to visit. I travel all over the world and see some amazing things, but you know it’s nice to just explore your own homeland and see the beauty that is so nearby. I may not have chosen to go to Queanbeyan in NSW, a town outside of Canberra our Nation’s Capital, but I’m glad I got to go! It’s a  lovely little town and it was nice to spend just a few days there reconnecting and gaining some new experiences from those who’ve travelled many steps before me.

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Travelling down on the train from Sydney, it was gorgeous to see the countryside and actually to realise my phone wasn’t working. I sat next to a charming old man. 93 and travelling back to Goulburn from his daughters house. He told me about enlisting in the army at age 18 for World War II. He shared his stories, he told me about his families history in the area and about how Australia had changed over time. I learnt so much in a few hours. I actually only sat next to him to charge my laptop. I then didn’t use it once! It was really nice just to hear the stories of someone who has lived so much.

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Look let’s be honest, there isn’t heaps to do in Queanbeyan! But as I had some time to kill in the evenings and mornings, I wanted to make the most of it, so off I went on my walks! I strolled around town and loved coming across the natives… insert cows!

 

 

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The Mill House Cafe sits next to the old Byrne’s Mill and is a charming spot right near the river. Lovely food and definitely a hot spot for Sunday brunches. Throw in a gorgeous autumn morning and you have the perfect way to start your day.

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If there’s one thing Queanbeyan isn’t short of, it’s pubs! We had a  wide variety of choice when it came to a beverage and a meal on the weekend evenings. We opted for a walk across the river and to grab some very exotic, Zambreros. I can’t in this post, express how much I love Zambreros. I didn’t have time to take a photo of my meal cos I scoffed it – maybe that explains it. Mexican on the go! Delicious!

Another  day I sat in the food court at the local shopping centre for lunch. I had a salad and was all set to pull out my laptop and get some work done.I was making a mess and the old man who had sat across from me kindly handed me a napkin. I’m such a grub. We shared a few smiles and glances, I could sense that he wanted to talk. We just chatted a little at first about my i-phone and my computer and all the equipment I had on the table. He went on to tell me in his thick accent that he was a passionate photographer and travelled all around Australia. His accent was from Finland. A place I had actually been which surprised him and we shared some of our favourite points of the Scandinavian wonder. He explained he was a taxidermist all his life. He loves fishing, and now photography. He had such a sweet smile and such enthusiasm for his hobbies and experiences in life. He loves camping and now spends majority of the year exploring Australia, hoping to cover every inch of land he can. What a joy.

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My final morning was spent strolling around the town. I walked past cows, rivers, streams, parks and a market. Everywhere I went I got a nod, hello or smile. There were friendly puppies and the air was fresh. What a beautiful image to leave this little country town on.

 

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I headed back to the charming train station which looked straight out of the early 1900’s. I waited for the one train to roll into town to take me back home to Sydney. I felt refreshed and ready to head home to the city. Looking forward to the time and space on the train to be with my thoughts and to catch up on some writing, perhaps to even write this blog.

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But again, the universe had other plans in mind. This was not a week for writing. This was a week for making new connections and reconnecting, with my home and myself. I sat next to an elderly lady. She asked if I’d taken the train before. I told her yes, on the way down. I mentioned how nice the view is and how wonderful it is to look out the window and just take in this beautiful country. I mentioned the chat with the lovely old man and how nice it was to hear his stories.

We then spent the entire four hour train ride chatting away. We told stories of our travels and exchanged hot tips on destinations. She was in awe of what I had down with my business and travels and that I was 28 years old. She had been a teacher and she shared with me her experiences in schools and watching young people learn. We talked about our families, films and our plans for the future. It was amazing. The time passed quickly and when we arrived at Central Station we exchanged business cards, we hugged as if we were old friends and said farewell.

It reminded me of the beauty of storytelling. It’s a shared experience. We don’t just make stories, having the adventure is only one part. It’s getting to share that with someone and relive it as you tell the tale. It’s also listening and learning. How nice it is to sit back and listen to someone as they share the special moments of their life and you watch their eyes light up as the memories unfold.

Stop. Look. Listen. Learn. Enjoy. and…. Share.

“No matter how far I go, I still call Australia home.”

NORTHERN TERRITORY WITH WAYOUTBACK: ADVENTURE SAFARIS OF AUSTRALIA!

Very excited to be off to the Red Centre, the great outback, the heart of Australia – Northern Territory, this weekend!

 

I’m an Australian and I’ve never been to our most famous landmark – ULURU! But now I will.

 

Flying in on Tiger Airways this Saturday 6th July (fingers crossed for me, this is another first and I’m terrified!) and then staying at Chifley Alice Springs Resort.  We have one night there and then we join our little tour to head into the desert for 2  nights and 3 days.

3 Day Goanna Dreaming
Vehicle: 16 or 20 seat 4WD vehicle (get to do some off-roading)
Campsite: Permanent capsites (permanently erected tents with beds, pillows and sleeping bags, option for swags, toilets and hot showers)
Other inclusions: Nibbles and sparkling wine when watching sunset at Uluru, slight better quality food
 ”Experiencing the wonders of Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Watarrka (Kings Canyon), we’ll give you the opportunity to really experience the desert – driving on dirt roads, private bush camps, eating quality food cooked over a campfire and sleeping under the clearest southern stars you can imagine.”
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We then head back to Alice Springs for 1 more night before I fly back to Melbourne! I really can’t wait to see more of this beautiful Country. After a weekend on the incredible Great Ocean Road, I just can’t wait to explore!

Have you seen Australia?

Check out the latest Advertising Campaign from the NT and you can head off and plan your very own trip!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y27TynhCp1M&feature=youtu.be 

NT logo

For more information, visit the Travel NT website:

www.travelnt.com 

To book your own great holiday, visit:

www.territorydiscoveries.com 

Watch this space for many more posts about the Northern Territory, Australia!

Conquering my last territory in Australia, Northern Territory!

After years of travelling to far away lands and foreign places,I felt it was time I started to explore my own backyard. Australia is an incredible travel destination and I’m proud to say that I’m now just 1 state/ territory away from visiting all 7 of Australia’s territories. Northern Territory is the last one I’m yet to have stepped foot in and I’m so excited to say that in 2 short weeks I’ll be doing the most Aussie trip you can get -Uluru by 4WD in the outback!

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More than half of Australians have identified the Northern Territory as a bucket list destination. However with cheap international airfares making Bali, Thailand and Japan super accessible, we are favouring foreign destinations over our home soil.

This year I’ve been to Sydney 3 times, Adelaide twice and now off to Northern Territy. Last year I got to Tassie for the first time and got up to visit friends and family in Queensland 3 times when I hadn’t been for 5 years! I’m loving living in Melbourne, my adopted city of 2 years and exploring Victoria whenever I get the chance.

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So now – The Red Centre! The desert, the outback, the heart of Australia! I can’t wait. I’m off on 6th July on a tour with 2 American friends. We’re doing the luxury package with 4WD tour, fixed camping, Olga’s visits and Uluru. I must add – I will do a post specifically with the itinerary for our trip – I just haven’t even had a chance to focus on it – and to be honest, sometimes I like the surprise!

After years of recommending the Northern Territory to overseas family and friends, even myself working on 2 promotional campaigns for NT, I’m finally going. You never never know, if you never never go! That stuck with me since I was a kid – the old tag line from Darryl Somers.

Check out the latest Advertising Campaign from the NT. These are always my favourite promotions in Australia as they really embrace the Australian spirit. Now at least I’ll be able to say “Yes, I’ve been there”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y27TynhCp1M&feature=youtu.be 

NT logo

For more information, visit the Travel NT website:

www.travelnt.com 

To book your own great holiday, visit:

www.territorydiscoveries.com 

Watch this space for many more posts about the Northern Territory, Australia!

Y Travel? Ask Caz MakePeace – Traveller Profile

Caz and Craig Makepeace are true travellers and lovely people! With 12 years of travel under their belt and so many amazing experiences, they are certainly the go to people for Travel advice. I met the great team through blogging and have really enjoyed getting to know them, in person and through their writing.

Learn more about Y they travel and Y they love Australia!!

At a beautiful Aussie beach - The lovely family

  1. Name Caz Makepeace
  1. Occupation formerly a teacher, now a blogger/ publisher/editor
  1. Country of Residence currently Australia
  1. Country of Origin Australia
  1. email/contact/ website

http://ytravelblog.com

East Coast beach

  1. Why do you love Travel?

Travel gives me the freedom to live my life the way in which I choose. It gives me the opportunity to explore this beautiful and diverse world of ours and to learn so much about it and myself. When I travel I feel as if I am truly alive and doing what I was born to do.

  1. Favourite place in your home country and why?

I think Broome, Western Australia would have to be high up on the list. It is a small country outback town on the beach. I think it is a really unique town to Australia. Cable beach is consistently rated as one of the world’s best and Broome is the entry to the spectacular Kimberly region.

  1. Best place for tourists to visit in your country?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are so many different areas. The East Coast is the most popular area as this is where the majority of tourist places are. I like to recommend Western Australia to tourists though as it is so untouched and very beautiful. It is not heavily populated with tourists so your experiences may be a little more unique.

  1. What other country would you live in if you had to leave your country?

Thailand or the USA, but there are many more countries I could live in for a short while. We wrote a post on it called 11 places we could live around the world

Our pearl farm in WA

  1. Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?

Craig and I lived and worked on a pearl farm in the Kimberly region, Western Australia for 4 months. It was a fantastic experience to live in a remote area in the outback region. We would fly in and out of work on a sea plane and our camp was surrounded by dingos, snakes, wallabies and plenty of underwater life.

On our weeks off we would fly to Broome and explore more of the beautiful gorges and waterfalls of the Kimberly region.

  1. Favourite activity when around your city?

We love to walk around around Sydney Harbour, it is just so beautiful and there are plenty of walking paths. We might stop for lunch and a pint at one of the pubs in the Rocks area and catch a ferry around to Darling Harbour. We recently went to Taronga Zoo which we felt was a great Sydney day out

  1. Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?

Australia is so big and diverse, I feel that I haven’t even touched the surface. We definitely need to explore more of Australia and would love to travel around it in a motorhome for at least a year.

  1. Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?

Bring plenty of cash! Australia is expensive so be prepared for it and look for ways you can reduce the cost.

Also wear sunscreen. Many tourists coming here don’t understand just how harsh our sun is until they go out in it for ten minutes on a hot summers day and they turn into a nice shade of vibrant red. The sun in Australia is brutal.

Sydney harbour

  1. Must see movie featuring your country and Why?

Priscella Queen of the Desert- it is fun, flamboyant and hilarious- showing a different side of Australian life and the country as well.

  1. The best book to read before visiting your country?

I love anything by Bryce Courtney that is set in Australia as he predicts our culture and history very well.

Bill Bryson’s ‘In a Sunburned Country” is also good.

  1. The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?

Vegemite. Its our most famous spread and much loved by Aussies. You also must try a meat pie, a lamington and some pavlova.

  1. The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier? E.g. How much? Too expensive or Hello.

G’day mate- is for hello

The dunny is what we call the toilet

Fair dinkum- aussies use it all the time so its best for you to know what it means. It can mean “truly” or in asking if you “are being serious” or can be used in replacement of a swear word.

  1. Best time of year to visit?

I think from November to Easter is the best time. The weather is warm and sunny and there are so many festivals and events on to enjoy.

  1. The 4 words that best describe your country:

Outdoorsy, laid-back, diverse, exotic