Mt Ngungun, I’ll Summit Up Nicely.

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Magician’s Nephew

14 April 2018

I climbed a mountain! It may seem like that isn’t a huge deal, so is it more impressive if I say I climbed a mountain at 4am? A little better? Okay. I will work on that.

After our amazing insta-meet in Brisbane and spending an incredible day getting to know each other, each other’s photography style and celebrating the end of the day at Eat Street markets, Cat and I made our way back home. Several ciders and three hours later and it was time for our 3am wake-up call. We left Brisbane and drove up to the Glasshouse Mountains, Wild Bean coffee in hand – excited for what the dawn was going to bring us.

IMG_9518

The Glasshouse Mountains were unbelievably popular and that even though it was 4am there would be a bevy of igers and fitness groups tackling the mountain. It is quite early showing up to a carpark at 4am, in the middle of the bush and the carpark being half-way full?! Being the seasoned professional, Cat took off with her amazing backpack and headlamp and I followed with my iPhone light (amateur) and my bag which to be honest, was mostly filled with snacks.

Mount Ngungun (seriously, it is pronounced ‘noo noo’) is incredibly popular, though I am not sure I agree with it being so due to its relative ease (not sure I agree with that statement considering my level of fitness) and its fantastic views.The track itself is very well guided and there are a few steep sections but if you are taking care with your walk, you will be fine.

As we slowly neared the summit, we could see the sunrise slowly kissing the coastline and rising rapidly. It was a bit of a sprint towards the end – not only to make it in time for sunrise, but to secure a decent spot.

Once we were at the top, it was show time. There isn’t too much which I could possibly say or put into writing the beauty of sunrise here, so I will use pictures instead.

IMG_9621IMG_9569

Being able to travel, walk, see, smell and experience such a beautiful sunrise in such an amazing setting is not something which is lost on me. During the climb, I was struggling and I thought I had basic fitness, but when the same people lapped me after running up, down and up again – I realised that I was not fit at all.

Making it to the top was incredible, there were so many people up there and most were enjoying the sunrise. Just experiencing the quiet and dawn of a new day, a new week. Each of us thinking about our days, lives, wants and loves. There was one group of people who were talking and carrying on as though they were out the back of a grotty pub so we did share our sunrise with that but once the shock factor of their language and attitude faded away it became quite funny. It is the classic Instagram v. Reality vibe.

Having the pleasure of experiencing such an amazing sunrise with a new friend was special. I have included the above two photographs which we took of one another. Two people can have totally different perceptions of the same place, same spot and same thing. Two photographs and completely different. Either of us could have moved the camera and had the same shot, yet we both sought something completely different. I think both are incredibly beautiful.

The trail itself is a graded path and it starts from the sign post and information board (I always make time to read the information board as it will set you up with a nice history of where you are walking. There is a path and some light scramble but once you get to the top, it is well worth every second.

My snacks came in handy as well :).

Are you a fan of sunrise or sunset? Where is your favourite hike?

IMG_0190

  • Mt Ngungun has a maximum of 225m elevation and the climb itself will take you up 196m.
  • To get there either from any direction, get yourself to the Gl
  • asshouse Mountains Township and follow the road to the west over the railway lines and turn left into Coonowrin Road at the T junction. Follow this onto Fullertons Road just after the State School and along this road to the car park at the base of the mountain.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

x C x

Glass House Mountains, Queensland

When saving for a holiday, it can be tricky to think of things to do which don’t break the bank but which also get you to leave the house. Welcome to the humble road-trip! We are fortunate enough to live on the river in Brisbane, so it is relatively easy to head North or South, especially with the Motorway so close to our home.IMG_9731Saturday involved a flip of the coin and the choice to head north. A girlfriend of mine had suggested Mount Mee as a daytrip, so that’s where we took off. My GPS has died, so I decided to use trustee Siri on my phone. ‘Trustee’ Siri absolutly fails to take you the easiest route, despite what you are lead to believe! We couldn’t quite hunt down the attractions of Mount Mee and so we drove straight through to the Glasshouse mountains for a well-needed bushwalk.

After a failed negotiation to only complete the 3km route (me), we headed off on our 6km round-trip (G’s choice). Unfortunately for G we had forgotten to leave our backpack in the car and he carted this thing around the entire walk. Also, there is nothing in this world which will remind you of how unfit you are like a) walking past the fittest most attraative couple you have ever seen at the end of their walk without a likc of sweat on them and b) sweating so profusely you consider taking your shirt off only 5 minutes into your walk.

The walk itself was really nice, muggy but nice. The lookout is really pretty and as we made it to the top it started to rain which was a nice break in the heat. G said it would help from being judged too harshly, because most people would (surely) figure it was rain. I was not convinced, mine looked suspiciosly like sweat and the look of death going along with it was a bit of a give-away!

After our walk, which took about an hour and a half we were excited to go and have our picnic and G has now decided he wants to go back and climb the east face of Mt Tibrogargan like a goat sometime in the future. I think seing an elderly gentleman returning from the hike, kitted out in his climbing anchors and harnesses may have given him false confidence there.

IMG_9739

We travelled further up the road and visited the Glass House Mountains Lookout. I have great memories of visiting this place when I was a kid – my family and I used to head up here a few times a year as we lived in Caloundra.

Th Glass House Mountains, named by Captain Cook during his voyage along the east coast are beautiful, they are the remnants of volcanic activity that occured between 25 -27 million years ago. These beautiful volcanic mountains are the iconic landmarks of the Sunshine Coast.

The Glass House Mountains lookout is along Glass House Woodford Road and are open 24 hours, the Glasshouse Mountains Lookout Cafe is just down the road and if you have your own packed lunch (like we did), then there are bbq facilities and picnic tables at the lookout as well.

From Brisbane, follow the Bruce Highway north, take the Glass House Mountains tourist drive turn-off and follow the signs to the Glass House Mountains.

Have you been to the Glass House Mountains? I would love to hear about it!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

x C x

My tips for eco-Friendly travel in 2018

In 2018, it would be near-impossible to act as though you were unawares of the environmental damage we all cause from not only every day life, but in travel. Travel has so many wonderful rewards not only for yourself, but for the world. It increased tourism, throws money into the economy and teaches us the important of awareness and social action around the world.

pexels-photo-346885.jpegOn the other hands, we are all leaving our carbon footprint, the cost of planes, hotels, plastics and packaging, and the equivalent of human wear + tear, wherever we go. We have a lot to be responsible for. There are some people out there who have decided to no longer travel by plane, unfortunately this just is not an option for those of us in Australia. We are simply too far away from anything to not use planes.

Thankfully there are eco-friendly travel practices in place, some of which we can use in everyday life. TripAdvisor conducted a survey where it was found that nearly tw-thirds of travellers do intent to make more environmentally sound choices moving forward.

There are the more simple items, which (hopefully) we have all been practicing for some time. You can turn lights/fans/air conditioners off whenever you are not using them. Re-use your linen and towels, recycle where you can etc., What else can we do? How can we make a bigger impact? Here are my best tips.IMG_9876

Strap on those walking shoes. 

Where possible, explore your destination on foot. Not only will you discover other places, but you will be keeping yourself fit and helping the environment. Rather than taking taxis’, try the public transport system to get around. Every little bit helps, seriously.

Plastics & Papers

Did you know that there is not a single piece of plastic which has ever been made (ever, n history) which has decomposed as yet? Rather than buying and using several bottles a day – buy a reusable water and refill it where you can. Not all countries have drinkable water, so this is not always an option, but where you can, give it a shot!

pexels-photo-580871.jpegDon’t be a litter-bug

Look, I am sure you don’t litter. However, some people do and we can’t really change the minds of people who already disrespect our beautiful earth. We can however, make sure that we take nothing which was there before we got there, and leave nothing which came with us. If you can’t find a bin – that doesn’t mean Mother Earth should have tp cop your garbage. Take it with you until you can find a bin. While you’re at it – pick up any rubbish you see lying around. Every little thing you do for the environment helps!

Low-carbon activities

My favourite travel activity is photography, thankfully it leaves very little of an environmental impact. Activities set in nature and wich are low-carbon are not only good for you,  but good for the Earth!

IMG_4659Be Culturally aware

It is so important to just throw yourself into the social norms and customs of where you go. Live like the locals do and enjoy every minute!

Choosing places to stay

You can research places which are environmentally conscious. Pick a place which is locally owned, hires local people, have a recycling program? Does it encourage the reuse of towels and sheets? Are there energy efficient lighting or alternative energy sources? Make sure you play your part in conserving energy. Treat it like your own home. I know sometimes it is easy to get swept up in the “it’s not my place, so I am not paying for it” with “it” being air conditioning and electricity. Well, no – technically you are not paying for it, but our environment is!

If we all play our part and try to be as green as we can, we can all positively impact our  the environment around us.

IMG_6037If you would like to see how ‘green’ you are, Go Green and Travel Green .com have a quiz here Shades of Green Travel. (I was a Greener/Kelly Green traveler!).

Do you have any travel tips?

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

x C x

 

Finding my Zen – Part 4 (tea, candles and colouring-in)…

I woke up nice and early this morning, I have been sleeping with the blinds open and waking with the sun, which is quite nice. Mum’s dog has become my new best friend since I got here on Saturday, our family dog passed away last year and it has left a gigantic hole in all of our hearts, so it is nice to bond with Greta. Typically our dogs have always slept in our laundry, so Greta was beyond excited to be sleeping in my room with me.

When I did get up, I found myself automatically reaching for my phone – to (as per usual), start my day by looking through my social media account son my phone. This is toxic, I am convinced that this habit is one of the worst ones our generation has. So I deleted FaceBook and Instagram from my phone. I haven’t deleted my accounts but I have taken them off of my phone. I don’t want to be obsessed with my phone and this is not the first time I have had to do it. At first it builds out of habit, then boredom and then before you know it, it is as automatic as breathing and that is not healthy.

IMG_9736

Guess how many times I automatically went to my phone throughout the morning to check? I lost count, how sad is that? Once lunch had passed, I knew not to check and I felt good – felt as though I was not a slave to my phone. Which is always nice! I also turned off all of the notifications which were coming through to my phone, so I could actually enjoy a proper break.

I spent the morning out in the garden, playing with my camera and trying to work out all of the new settings, I had no idea how markedly different my 80D was going to be to the 550D and I really want to be able to master it, before our big trip this year!

I also managed to force myself to go to the gym and get my blood moving, try to get some movement. It just felt like the same old routine though, so was not at all relaxing. I really need to learn yoga or pilates or something.

I have started reading more about where we are traveling this year, looking up fun activities we can do while we are away. It is the equivalent of daydreaming and I love every second of it. I am really glad I have taken some time just to relax, to stand on the grass and be in the sun and have cuddles wth a tiny sweet dog. As well as be able to say goodnight to my Mum in person and go to sleep in our home together. It is definitely the thing you miss the most when you move out!

IMG_9316Mum and I had dinner together, we watched some t.v and then I decided to finally have a go at the therapy colouring-in book. I have tried to do this in the past but have become bored within 5 minutes, so never finished one. Last night however, with my relaxation music playing in the background, I spent around an hour on one picture and it worked, I felt relaxed. It calmed me, I could almost feel myself taking deeper breaths. Amazing!

As much as I am loving being here, I am also really missing my Husband. I am going to try to do something lovely tomorrow, before I head back up to Brisbane. Not too sure what that is just yet, but sure I can put something together.

Happy Tuesday!

x C x

 

Finding my Zen – Part 3 (storms and sprinkles)

Day 3, of my initial 5-day ‘reset’ plan moved much slower and more peacefully than day 2 and that gives me hope! I woke up relatively early and decided to do a jail-break with my Niece and head out of a look at the beach and get a coffee. My Niece has just turned four and she is one of my favourite humans.

 

It has been raining pretty intensely here in Queensland, so the weather was not the best heading out, but in saying that – have you ever seen the coastline after there has been a storm? It is absolutely beautiful!

There is something so calming about watching the surf roll in, especially when there is such power behind the waves, we took our picnic blanket and an umbrella and sat by the water and just enjoyed the view for a while.

IMG_9676On our way back my Niece ‘shouted’ us a drink (Mum had given her some money, adorable) – we stopped into the local coffee shop near Mum’s house and I watched little L ask the server ‘Hello, can I please have a baby-chino with one white marshmallow and one pink marshmallow….and a toffee for my Bunty’  (toffee = coffee & Bunty = Aunty). It was so sweet and when she found sprinkles on her baby-chino there was a perfectly delivered ‘I didn’t see that coming!’. So cute.

My Niece also held me hostage into the ‘when are you having a baby’ conversation. We don’t really discuss that in our family, we get that it just is not anyone else’s business to pry or harass each other. My Husband and I have been together for nearly five years now and I would say people have been asking us for four of those (people outside of my family). In saying that though, a four year old asking is cute, not invasive. I feel like at the end of the chat she was semi-satisfied with my vague responses.

I had a really nice and calm dinner with my parents, watched some lazy t.v with them and also just listened to music and did…nothing. It was nice.

IMG_9686Then I realised I had not really challenged myself for the day, I had been comfortable and had a real sense of peace after such a nice day, but I had not done anything to challenge myself or push my limits. So (and don’t laugh because this was big for me),  jumped on AirTasker, decided to push myself – tried to get a couple of jobs. Came close but ultimately no cigar. The extra cash would have been nice, as well as doing something outside of my comfort circle, but it was not meant to be. Which was okay.

IMG_9723

I was a tradie for the evening when all the power went out, it was raining and everyone was asleep. I would like to say I did it all on my own, but really I had to ring my sister and asked her where the fuse box was. Anyway, somehow I managed to solve that at midnight and I was pleased as punch in myself. My Husband has asked me to refrain from calling myself a tradie for this one heroic act though.

I guess the best part of Sunday evening, was knowing I was not working on Monday and realising that taking some time off just to relax and spend some time with my family was the best choice I could have made.\

x C x