Be a sunflower, stand strong and follow the sun!

A post dedicated to my beautiful little sister, CG <3.

IMG_9206South-East Queensland has had some super cheeky weather of late. Typically February is the hottest, muggiest and most unpleasant month of the year for me. However, I actually wore a cardiagan last week which is unheard of!

So here we have bee, gloriously skipping along thinking for some reason or another Australia has decided NOT too cook us all alive. It turns out we have been lied to. Australia has been tricking us!

On Saturday I finally decided to head out West and go on the famed ‘Sunflower Trail’. I have left it much too late in the season but I just have not been able to go out west before this weekend.

Southern Queensland country = sunflowers. I have long wanted to visit them myself. When I lived in Central Queensland, we would often drive from Dysart out to Emerald and the sunflowers would face us on the way there and by the time we made the drive home in the afternoon, their beautiful yellow faces would be looking at us again on the way home. It is one of my favourite memories!

The most ideal time to go sunflower hunting in South East/West Queensland is December to February – BUT – I would say Feb is just a smidge too late. If you follow the ‘gram, you would have seen Jan as peak season for 🌻🌻.

Our trip started in South Brisbane and we drove our towards Toowoomba, with a couple of stops for coffee/loos/cuddles with my little (nearly) four year old Niece 😊.

Once we hit Toowoomba after a couple of hours we grabbed some lunch / picnic food and continued our drive out to Nobby, QLD. This took us another forty or so minutes. It was HOT!

IMG_9160We had our picnic in Nobby and had a lovely older gentleman come up and explain the towns history and he pointed out all of his favourite buildings. I think one of the sweetest things in the world is the pride locals take in their smaller communities. We had he pleasure of growing up out West and it’s there that you truly appreciate the saying “salt of the Earth” people. Have a chat with someone if you can, you will always walk away more knowledgeable and with a friendly smile and a wave.

After our lunch and playground evacuation negotiation skills with little L, we drove another five or so minutes out of town to the sunflower fields. Unfortunately we were far too late. They had dropped their last petals and were no longer beaming up at the sun.

IMG_9286At first we were disappointed but really, we had had an amazing day together and we knew we were pushing our luck given it was mid-Feb.

We jumped back in the car (which was no longer red and was more a unique dusty-brown shade) and as we were about to turn around we thought we would maybe just dive a little further.

Another five mins down the toad and we found some sunflowers! Not too many but more than we thought we would! One last little field. We walked up and down the edge of the field, took some pics, watched the cute bees and imagined the hardships our Aussie farmers face each season.

If I could mention something though (and I’m going to), it’s for travellers, grammers and visitors to be respectful. These are not wild sunflowers. These are farms. There are wonderful, hard-working people behind these crops. Don’t just stomp your way through the fields, grabbing the flowers and forgetting that this is someone’s crop. Be respectful. This is private property. If we could explain this to a four year old – then I think your group of ten stomping all over the field with drones and selfie sticks can also work that one out?

IMG_9260Ideally we would so this trip again in January. We would leave earlier in the morning and not pick the middle of the day. However in saying that, for a last minute spontaneous trip out west – I think it went pretty well!

See you next season Sunflowers 🌻.

x C x

For more info on our beautiful Southern Queensland Country click here.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post.

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

To follow me on Instagram click here – redhead_novaturient

 

Mt Tamborine – Australia Day bushwalks <3

♥ And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul – Anon

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Is there anything more magical than surrounding yourself with clean, crisp air, the sounds of the rainforest and spending time with one of your most cherished friends for the day? I don’t think so. These are the days which give me a happy heart and fill my appreciation-cup up for another week.

In my late teens & early to mid twenties, I spent many Australia Days the ‘traditional-Aussie’ way. Drinking in pools/at the beach/near any body of water – or in the back of a ute tray filled with a tarp and a hose. Listening to the hottest 100, eating BBQ, getting sunburnt and basically preparing for a 2-day hangover.

Rather than participate in any cockroach or cane-toad racing, thong throwing, XXXX boat-racing activities, at the advanced and mature-age of 31 (going on 32) – I decided that a bush-walk was on the cards. Not just for health reasons, but also to explore my own ‘backyard’, which I am quite passionate about and really want to promote as much as I can. I am also trying to stay alcohol-free for a couple of months (Christmas was a little too festive, if you know what I mean!); and I figured that going up a mountain and escaping into the forest was a pretty good way to avoid the typical Australia-day celebrations!!!

DSC09121Petey & I have been the very best of girlfriends for many, many years now and we try to make our time together about quality and experience, rather than ‘going out’. We run in different circles for the most part and we both live the hectic corporate life – so we like to hang out make-up free, either doing something #fitspo (look, we try...) OR eating snacks and watching reality TV. Is that not what friends are for? ♥

We decided on whether we would head north or south, decided on south and within an hour of our early morning FaceTime chat, we were on the road and heading towards Mt Tamborine – a place which I personally think is one of Mother-Earth’s tropical gifts to South-East Queensland. Whilst not technically a mountain and more of a volcanic peak, it is known asTamborine Mountain / Mount Tamborine / Mt Tamborine.

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It is a beautiful escape from the city, sits at 560m above sea level and has a population of around 7,000. Located along the Scenic Rim, Tamborine is a result of the Mount Warning volcanic eruption 22 million years ago. For tens of thousands of years it was the home of the Wangerriburra Aborigines and is also known as Wonglepong (which is believed to mean ‘forgotten sound’ – isn’t that beautiful?).

Sadly it’s beautiful sub-tropical rainforest would have began to be rapidly cleared for the purpose of agriculture and timber production from 1875 onwards, once the are was settled by the colonists (land clearing in Australian history since European colonisation has been reckless and incredibly sad). Thankfully, in 1908 movements were made to protect the natural beauty of the area and it became Queensland’s very first National Park.

DSC09161We made our way to Witches Falls National Park walking circuit and started our descent. The Witches Falls Section of the Tamborine National Park was first proclaimed as part of the National Parks of Queensland on 28 March 1908. The circuit itself is 3.1km and is of moderate grade so it takes around an hour to walk. We took around an hour and a half to stop for photos and just breathe in and experience the area.

Our climb down the mountain was a fun adventure through medium density rainforest, walked over rocks, explored little streams and also made it to the Witches Falls lookout

Tamborine has some really amazing fauna & flora, it is the home of the giant earthworm (can grow up to 1m – eep!), carpet pythons, lyrebirds, scrub turkeys, brilliant parrots and lorikeets, tawny frog mouth, whip birds, bowerbirds, platypuses etc., There are glow worm caves, butterflies, possums, koalas and frogs.

DSC09148We zigzagged down the mountain, through medium density rainforest, hopped over boulders, walked over little streams and also were able to peer off of the look out. There is something so calming, about peering off of a lookout and hearing that dense sound – the wind slowly crawling up the mountain, the sound of nature and the waterfall. It’s just so beautiful. Also I am sure the smell of the rainforest is my favourite smell on earth.

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Our walk back up to the carpark was way, way, way less fun and with the amount of suncream + sweat which was pouring off me I was silently cursing my decision to go bushwalking. Also, have you ever tried to hide how unfit you are and not breathe like a warthog going up a hill and then nearly passed out because you aren’t getting enough oxygen? No? Just me, good.

Once we made it back to the car, we started our trip back down the mountain. Driving around the town you can stop at several little stalls out the front of people’s properties and pick up avocados, kiwi fruit, macadamia nuts and rhubarb – which all flourish in the area thanks to the volcanic soil and high rainfall. I managed to grab a gigantic bunch of fresh rhubarb from an honesty stand/box for $2.50 which smells so good sitting in my kitchen as I write this (I am decided what I will make with it tomorrow).

I had the most amazing day, it was a wonderful and inexpensive way to spend the day with a good friend. All we really needed to pay for were some snacks, some fuel and of course the large brown bag of goodies we took home from Yatala Pies (a landmark pie shop along the highway which has been around for 130 years!). I am really trying to promote things I love and of course discover what I have around me. So, if you do get to Mt Tamborine – here are my following recommendations:

  • My favourite inland viewpoint is Rotary Lookout (Main Western Road).
  • I highly recommend the Witches Falls Circuit – pick your time of day well though to avoid high crowds + heat
  • If you feel like spoiling yourself, then I cannot recommend staying at the Escarpment Retreat & Day Spa (123 Alpine Terrace). It is romantic, secluded, beautiful and the memory of staying here will last a long while!
  • If you have a spare $20 and want to check out the Tamborine Skywalk, it is absolutely gorgeous, however there are many free walks to experience around the area.
  • Eat: Bavarian Grill Haus (160 Main Western Road) – I love the Jaeger Schnitzel & the Weizen.
  • Oh and don’t forget to grab some fudge from Fudge Heaven and/or Granny Mac’s fudge store before you leave the mountain!

Have you been to Mt Tamborine? If you haven’t and you are in the area I highly recommend it! It is such a short trip, a beautiful destination with so much to do. There are wonderful places to stay, delicious restaurants, coffee shops, a giant cuckoo clock collection and fudge shops. If you get there, let me know what you think!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post.

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

To follow me on Instagram click here – redhead_novaturient

x C x

 

 

#SnapBrisbane – Brisbane’s 24 Hours of (increased) Insta-Fame <3

It’s no surprise to anyone how much I love Brisbane. I love, love, LOVE Brisbane. This is my home, I live here, wild-horses could not drag me to a new place to live. Ever. So when I remembered #snapbrisbane was coming up again – I knew I had to get out there and pound the pavement and get some new photos of the city I love so much!

My Insta: https://www.instagram.com/redhead_novaturient/

I started with about 18 pictures from the weekend (down from about 40), but that seemed a little excessive. I try not to post too many pictures on IG in any one day, but when there is a 24 hour IG event, I can’t help myself? Let’s showcase our girl! So, I settled on 9, G helped me cull (*crying because I had to say no to several of them*).

So here they are, the selected 9 – I hope you enjoy!

jacarandas again

Jacaranda Trees- ‘purple rain’ all through Brisbane from late September through to late November ❤

Courtney Gaye Kookaburra Queen Flowers

A sweet little view of the Kookaburra Queen, behind Mr and Mrs G bar down at Eagle Street/Riverside 🙂

the mansions

The Mansions, up on George Street in the CBD. Built in 1889, in gorgeous Victorian architecture style.

brick wall

This gorgeous brick wall, is located up the top of Beatrice Lane (off of Margaret Street) – the Former Watsons Brothers building was built in 1887 – the original stables are now used as a city Wilson’s carpark!

red door

Margaret Street has a sassy little red-door which commands attention! This is she….say hello!

william street

As we venture along the ‘Reflections on the River’ heritage walk, there was a road shut, so we couldn’t get to Queens Wharf Road, so as we kept along George Street – we then popped up this alleyway….look how cute it is!

Jacaranda 3

Jacaranda Trees will always be my favourite and they have been in Brisbane since 1864!

southbank

South Bank in Brisbane is one of my favourite places and has been since I was a little girl – you cannot beat the beautiful archways with their buganvilia flowers :).

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The cutest little bee in some flowers, in a Coles car parking lot I took this morning (armed with shopping bags of course!!).

Well there you go, 9 pictures of my beloved Brisbane which I submitted as part of the #snapbrisbane event.

If you would like to see more – follow the below link! I heard today that one of my pictures is going to be published in the newspaper (my Kookaburra Queen picture!) – so I am unbelievably excited!

http://www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/snapbrisbane

Thank for reading, have a fantastic end of your week!

x C x

Moreton Island Magic

Living in South-East Queensland puts us in the most amazing position to access the gateway to many magical places. Moreton Island is one of these, it is a beautiful 37km long sand island located in Moreton Bay – off the coast off of SE Queensland. It is 95^ National Park, declared as such in 1986 (my birth year – yay!).

The Cape Moreton Conservation Park was declared in 2000 and it protects unique vegetation, wildlife, freshwater lakes and streams and the famous sand dunes along the coast. It has a wonderful history – with early aboriginal history and tragically it was also Queensland’s only whaling station from 1952 to 1962 (devastating fact).

The Cape Moreton Lighthouse was the very first lighthouse to be built off the Queensland Coast in 1857. It was built by tradesmen and convicts and was built to cope with the shipping movements along the northern coast of Australia. There is one of Queensland’s oldest grave sites up at the lighthouse as well.

Moreton Island is famous for its beaches, the Bulwer Beaches have clear and calm blue waters, sandy beaches and decent fishing near the Bulwer Wrecks. There are three wrecks which were placed along the beach in the 1930’s by a guy named Robert Alexander Gow, who had them placed there to shelter an area for him to unload/load his boat. They’ve all bust rusted away now – so you have a great place to explore – just be careful of the sharp edges!

Tangalooma Beach is very well known in this area, with a very popular tourist resort with dolphin feeding and access to the Tangalooma wrecks. These beautiful shipwrecks were placed in the area on purpose in order to create a wreck dive and snorkelling site. They are a result of 1963 lobbying by local boat owners for safe anchorage.

Moreton Island was also one of Australia’s major coastal defence bases during the world wars and there are some pretty amazing remains of military buildings, forts, gun placements and a naval base with jetty.

We spent Father’s Day over on Moreton Island, Mum had made a stack of food, I went in my little brother’s 4WD with my best mate and my parents went in their 4WD. Moreton Island is not able to be visited without a 4WD (if you want to venture beyond the resort itself). It was raining on and off but to be honest it made for the most beautiful scenery and the photos show the moodiness of the day.

Unfortunately my little brother refused to pose for a photo (kind of his thing…) but there were hundreds of starfish along the beach as we drove back to the ferry :).

An amazing day out if you have a 4WD, if you are on foot (visit the resort) or join a tour – for somewhere which is so close to Brisbane – it really is an excellent day out and one to mark off your SE QLD Bucket-List!

IMG_0100For more info on Moreton Island: http://www.visitmoretonisland.com/comeonover/gettinghere

Moreton Island is only 40km from Brisbane and you can get there by ferry, barge or boat. The ferries run daily and you don’t need a car to use the ferry. There are several different ferry companies, we caught the Micat with our vehicles and it cost around $100 for each vehicle and one person and it costs $18-$28 per passenger.

I hope you enjoy Moreton if you get there, have you travelled to any of the islands in Moreton Bay?

Enjoy your day and thanks for reading!

x C x

Luxury Rainforest Getaway – The Mouses House

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We live in a concrete jungle, well – that’s probably a little over-dramatic. It’s hardly New York, Beijing or Sydney….we do live 9km away from the CBD in a pretty densely populated (but very beautiful!) suburb in the inner-east Brisbane area.

We both have pretty demanding full-time jobs, with G working over and above his typical working hours as well, given the nature of his job. We work hard and save hard and with work, the gym, usual every-day life commitments, sometimes we don’t get a lot of alone time together.

IMG_7571SO! When we do, we like to make it special! We first went to the Mouses House Rainforest Retreat after our six week absence from one another whilst I was running around South America and G was working and studying up in Northern Queensland.

The Mouses House is only an hour and a half from Brisbane and it has won so many tourism awards, the most recent being the 2017 Recognition of Excellence by Hotels Combined, with a score of 9.9. I am not at all surprised by this rating, the place is gorgeous and it really is not that far away from the highway.It is also set in the Springbrook National Park and is designed to be environmentally sustainable.

The next time we went was when we really needed a break and quiet weekend ahead of our Wedding. We took the weekend to work on our wedding music playlist, eat all of the cheese and whiskey and wine our way through a beautifully rainy and romantic weekend <3.

Both times we have arrived, we have actually felt peace fall over us as we have driven into the driveway. There are 14 chalets on-site, birds, running water, a shed to collect your firewood, trees galore and complete privacy – even though you have neighbours near by.

The chalets have all been so beautifully designed, it is honestly like staying in a Fairy Tale, which is quite apt given the adorable names of the original eight chalet’s, take from Walt Disney’s Snow White and the seven dwarfs. There is also the Wicked Witch, Sleeping Beauty, Belle and King Louie chalet’s.

Mouses House

If you are after a quiet place to spend sometime with your loved one, Wi-Fi, movies on demand, fireplaces, spa baths, a comfortable bed, high ceilings and the option to order breakfast/lunch/dinner baskets – then give the Mouses House a try – you will not be disappointed :).

You can stop at the Shopping Centre about half an hour away to stock up on food for the weekend (…and alcohol 😉 ) – failing that – you don’t even need to buy food! You can order amazingly thoughtful, generous and delicious gift baskets. G made us an amazing breakfast each morning on the Weber Q on the front porch and the BBQ dinner was amazing!

If you have been or do go, let me know! All I know, is that after we have stayed at Mouses House, experiencing the amazing hospitality of the owners – we are on Cloud-9, driving back down that mountain – ready for a new week!

The Mouses House  (*This is not a sponsored post, I just absolutely adore the Mouses House and could not recommend it more highly to you all to try out!)

x C x