We had roughly 24 hours in Newcastle, timed so that we could attend the 90th birthday of a much loved family member, my husband’s Poppy and still make the most of one of the city’s popular locations: Nobby’s beach. The 90th birthday was an extended affair beginning at a local club for a long lunch and continuing into the evening at Nan and Pop’s home, most of the family was there and stories of WWII, cheeky children and spoiled grandchildren were shared over pizza and glasses of wine. It was a lovely day, the tears of joy were many as it had been several years since the family had been together for a celebration.
With the aim of getting some exercise and seeing the sun rise over the water, we awoke early and put on a few layers of clothing before braving the cold weather of an early winter’s morning by the ocean. Nobby’s Beach is a favourite among the locals for walking, jogging, exercising the dogs and surfing, not to mention the occasional backdrop for wedding photos. The only cameras we had were iPhones and I was madly snapping away as we walked towards the end of the break-wall, stopping so often that I had to jog most of the way just to keep up. My hands were icy and a beanie kept my head warm, but being by the ocean and witnessing one of most beautiful, natural events made it worth having ice cold fingers. All of us stood in awe, basking in the golden glow as the sun rose above the horizon, trying not to get wet as the waves crashed against the rocks and concrete blocks stacked on the break-wall.
Invigorated by the walk and the fresh air it was now time for coffee and a bite to eat, breakfast at a local cafe called Estabar consisted of Espresso and toasted sourdough smothered in Avocado with garlic, feta and sea salt – delicious! Before too long we were back on the plane and heading home, Newcastle is a city that is close to my heart, I went to University there and it was where I met my future husband, it was great to be back even though it was only a quick visit.
Recently I had to do alot of driving, about 4000km and thankfully I was able to spread it out over several weeks and call on a couple of friends for help. A good chunk of kilometres had to be done during the last few days of March so a girl friend and I went on a road trip to visit our families and then we took the long way home. Why so many kilometres? I have a lease vehicle and for tax purposes I have to do a set amount of kilometres each year, this year wasn’t looking good and rather than pay a hefty tax bill I decided to take a couple of days off to do some driving.
My friend and I grew up in the same, small country town about 500km from where we currently live and we were looking forward to seeing family again but with limited time available it meant a very short stay. The drive south went quickly, we talked most of the way and I am hoping that I didn’t miss any hidden speed cameras. Before we knew it, the trip was over and we were talking about the drives we could do around the area, not to mention the little food stalls and cafes we could stop at to purchase and/or taste fresh local produce. Alas, we didn’t even have much time for that, my Mum had booked me in for yoga and a facial and my Dad was celebrating a birthday so it really didn’t leave time for socialising with friends or going for long, scenic drives.
My camera goes everywhere with me, I thought that this trip would be a great opportunity to take photographs of the local area and some of the small towns we would travel through on the way home. Little did I know that I had left all my memory cards at home, a discovery I would make when the opportunity to take photos of Kangaroos and Wallabies came up, it was dusk and these gorgeous animals were happily feeding on the land surrounding the home of a family friend.
So, even though the photography plan didn’t work out I have included a variety of photos that I have taken in the past when visiting the Mid-North Coast region of New South Wales. I am very happy to say that I did manage to do the required kilometres and see some amazing parts of New South Wales and Queensland that I hadn’t seen before. Both of us were really surprised at how pretty the towns were and we loved rummaging through the little shops that were open, the tourist information centre in Tenterfield sells local art, craft and wines which impressed us greatly although we didn’t purchase any souvenirs to take home. Towns such as Tenterfield, Stanthorpe (home of the most delicious apples) and Warwick are now on our ‘bucket list’ for a girls weekend away in order to explore the areas more thoroughly (including the antique shops and boutiques) and take lots of photos to share with you.