I do escape London now and again, these are photos of my recent holiday to visit friends in Australia, judging by them, you’d believe the hype that the weather is always amazing, well not so, in a month there about 50% of the time it was atrocious, at one point being house bound for a week it was so bad, of course, it was the time of the floods in Queensland which was devastating, we were lucky to be far enough away from that.  These are some highlights

Byron Bay


Byron Bay was a favourite, it had avoided the influx of chain fast food joints and stores, I think they might even be barred from town, it has kept a hippy vibe, and felt quite isolated from the rest of the world.   If I could cope with that for too long is debatable, but a welcome release especially as it was New Year’s Eve and whilst getting busy in the lead up to the evening, never felt troubled or manic like many other places.  You could tell people really appreciated being there and living there and were proud and appreciative that they have kept it the way it is.

The Natural Arch

The Natural Arch is a rainforest walk, to reach this was an hours drive inland from the Gold Coast, up a steep mountain, twisting and turning with no idea what is lurking round the next bend, and to the side of my window a sheer drop, no photos of that, my eyes were closed most of the whole time.

Cedar Creek Falls

Cedar Creek Falls was the only respite we found from the heat in 5 days.  We took my friends away from their Gold Coats home to the Whitsunday Islands to see the Great Barrier Reef, unfortunately what the guidebooks often don;t tell you, nor any of their friends who have lived in Australia their whole lives is that from October-May you cannot swim in the ocean, the seas are heating up to such a degree that deadly jellyfish are rife.   This means no one was even on the beaches, just in manmade lagoons completely separate from the ocean, but these would be so warm it would be like taking a hot bath, not what you need in sticky heat.   We cancelled our boat trip to see the islands, I say that but the weather cancelled it for us as it was heavily raining all day, as you could go in the sea and the beach but you had to wear an all in one lycra suit with only your face peeking out, this wasn’t how I wanted to enjoy these beautiful islands looking like a giant sausage, blistering in the heat.  We even heard stories about people who still wore these and got stung in the face what with it being the only exposed part.   We heard about these waterfalls so drove out here, we checked if any crocodiles were there and were assured there weren’t, but this was an amazing place to go, this picture were the top-tier of waterfalls, you could swim easily in the bottom pool.

The Best lookout

Another mountain drive, this time to seek a lookout spot.  I don’t know if this was its correct name, but they like to call things what they are in Oz, so it was either called the best lookout, the greatest lookout, something along those lines.

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh heads was located in the heart of The Gold Coast, but just south of the hideous highrise and party town of Surfers Paradise, this is where it chilled out and encapsulated Ozzie beach life.  This was taken on a rainforest walk between two beaches.

Rainbow Lorikeets

Another highlight was the wildlife, so different to what we see in the UK, and most of this came from my friends garden.  They were located ona  huge lake, it was surrounded by residences, I think the town was only about 15 years old, so all purpose built on waterways, a fantastic idea.  These colourful fellows would pop by everyday demanding food, they look small and timid but they have a loud squawk, but they quietly chirp away when they are feeding.   Our record was attracting about 12 at once, that got a bit much though, I was just thinking of Hitchcock’s The Birds.


These lizards would also come up to the house when we were feeding the birds, but they were not after the birds, they had developed a taste for wholemeal bread themselves and couldn’t get enough!


One afternoon in Airlie Beach I was enjoying the fading sun and having a smoke on my cigarette when from the corner of my eye this huge shape came swooping in, I freaked out but by then it had settled and looked a lot smaller, there would be packs of them living in the rainforest nearby and every night at dusk they would come to life swooping around, and making a beeline for our apartment.  I think many guests must feed them though they do advise not too, but we couldn’t resist, they were charming and one was definitely a repeat visitor, recognising him from his filthy belly as if he had been rolling in dirt.

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