Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. Wait, make that Tasmania

The beautiful orange granite of Binalong Bay
Handmade craypots in St. Helens
Binalong Bay, Tasmania

A perfect Bay of Fires parking spot

Bundled up for Summer in Tassie

Tasmania is one of those places in the world with perfect sandy beaches galore.  The only problem is that the water is too cold to swim and it's blowing a gale most days of the year.  After Bicheno we headed north to St. Helens, the gateway to the Bay of Fires.  We spent the next few days exploring the lovely beaches and getting our fill of local and very fresh seafood.  It was definitely refreshing to be away from the oppressive humidity of Queensland but 7 degrees Celsius is pretty cold to wake up to in the middle of summer.  Next post, off to Hobart.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tasmania, East Coast

A gorgeous sunny afternoon landing in Hobart, Tasmania
Mark settling into our little cabin in Bicheno on the East Coast
Lunch on the windy beach in Wineglass Bay

Overlooking Wineglass Bay on the Freycinet Penninsula
Tasmanian Pademelon
A place we have both always wanted to visit, Tasmania did not disappoint.  A few days before Christmas we packed our hiking boots, sunscreen and woolies and headed down to see the beautiful landscapes and unique wildlife. We arrived in Hobart one sunny afternoon and hopped in the rental car to head out to the East Coast.  Home to the picturesque Freycinet Peninsula this area is billed as home to some of the prettiest beaches in the world.   I would have to agree, and at this point we have seen a lot of beaches!!  After some provisioning for the holidays we checked in to a cabin by the sea and fell asleep the first night listening to the cooing of Fairy Penguins.  The next day we were out the door first thing to hike the 14 kilometer Freycinet day loop.  A sunny but crisp day, were were awarded with amazing views and very sore feet.   That night after a signature Mark Haley antipasto platter, we put on all our layers and headed out at 9pm (sunset as it's summer here) on Christmas eve.  We were off to the fairy penguin rookery where thousands a tiny penguin make their homes.  A tour that is safe for these little birds let us watch as they tumbled out of the icy cold ocean and headed home for the night. 

East Coast Tasmania Photos

Bicheno, Tasmania

Elephant kelp and beach at Bicheno
My favorite photo from our drive through the country

Beautiful old stone homes
Bicheno Bird Life
Lunch at Freycinet

Hazards Beach

Hazards Beach

View of Freycinet Peninsula

Mark spotted this Fairy Penguin out one afternoon

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stradbroke Island

Back in August we hopped a car ferry to local Stradbroke Island to see the whales migrating north for the season.  A gorgeous little getaway, Straddie is full of log cabin, biking trails, white sand beaches and lots of fresh seafood.  Since it was only early spring here down under, the water was piercingly cold but that didn't stop all those intrepid Aussie surfers.  We spent a weekend there watching the whales from the highest bluff and of course taking lots of photos.  Below are Mark's huge prawns, yum!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mark's sister Brenda was our first visitor since our arrival in Australia.  Until recently she had been teaching in Malaysia.  Since she was between jobs, (she has accepted a job on the Ivory Coast in Africa) she decided it was time for an adventure and some dental work. Yes family receives a significant discount!  Brenda spent two weeks with us and in that time we managed to show her a bit of Queensland, as well as a trip to the northern part of New South Wales.  We hiked the National Park at Noosa to find a koala bear in the wild.  Then the following weekend we stayed in Byron Bay, a bustling surf town with a hippie vibe.  We even managed to take in some culture at the local Queensland Performing Arts Center.  Below are a few pictures from our time together.  You will notice Brenda in a  fancy jumpsuit.  It seems she is working on her "bucket list" as one Sunday morning Mark and I watched her fall from the sky. Check!

Beautiful Byron Bay

Cape Byron

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Melbourne is one of my favorite cities in the world.  To celebrate my birthday we flew south and left our sunny Queensland weather behind.  It was a refreshing change to bundle up and enjoy the moody Melbourne sky.  We spend three glorious days wandering and enjoying this lovely city.  We even met up with our friend John, whom we had met several years ago in a hut in Patagonia.  You never know when we may be coming to city near you!