Cairns

$100 Day : Cairns by Kate Richards (aka AdventureMumma)

$100 Day

 

We’d like to introduce a local blogger in Cairns – Kate Richards.  She is a mum to 2 very active kids, prefers the great outdoors to crafting or cooking any day. She is also an adventure and social media junkie, photographer & videographer. A true local of Tropical North Queensland and love sharing family adventures.

 

Cairns

 

We asked her, if she has $100 and a day to spend in Cairns with a friend, what would she do?  Here are her suggestions…

 

1. Start down on the Cairns Esplanade & take advantage of the free activities on offer – Aqua Aerobics at 8.30am or join the 5km Park Run from 7am.

Free

2. Check out the Esplanade Markets that run Saturday from 8am-4pm right next to the Lagoon.  If you need to have a shower after your workout, there are facilities next to the lagoon.

Free

3. Catch the 131 bus from the Cairns City bus station on Lake Street to the Botanic Gardens.  Single paper tickets are $4.80 per person and are valid for two hours. On Saturdays, the 131 bus leaves the Cairns City bus station every hour on the hour and takes 15 mins to get too the Botanic Gardens.

$9.60

4. Explore the Botanic Gardens, climb Red Arrow for views of Cairns and the Northern Beaches, then check out the Tanks Art Centre for local Art Exhibitions (10-2pm).

Free

5.Catch the bus back to the Cairns City bus station and head to Rusty’s Fruit Market for lunch at one of the Rusty’s Food Trucks on the Sheridan St side.

approx. $20

 

 

From here there are two options – the relaxing option and the adventurous option.

 

The Relaxing Option

 

6. While you’re at Rusty’s, grab some fresh fruit & vegetables (for a BBQ later) from the market stalls.

approx. $10.00

7. Walk back to the Cairns Esplanade Lagoon & take a dip in the lagoon. Listen to some live music on the lawns (2-5pm).

Free

8. Visit Prawn Star at the Cairns Marina for some Fresh Local Seafood for dinner.  Purchase a kilo of Banana Prawns for $25 with lemon.  Ask for a tub of their special Prawn Star Sauce.

$25

9. Cook dinner on the BBQs on the Cairns Esplanade.

Free

10. Use your leftover to enjoy a cocktail and schooner of Little Creatures at the Salthouse.

$23

TOTAL SPEND

approx $87.60

 

 

The Wildlife Option

 

6. After lunch, head to the Cairns Wildlife Dome for an interactive experience with some native animals.

$48.00

7. Share a large pizza from Oasis Kebab for dinner.

$15

8. Head to the Salthouse for a pair of Great Northern schooners to wrap up the day.

$14

TOTAL SPEND

approx $106.60

 

 

You can find Adventure Mumma at: www.adventuremumma.com

twitter.com/AdventureMumma

instagram.com/adventuremumma/

facebook.com/adventuremummaoz

 

Stoneography

How to Celebrate Australia Day

Stoneography

Australia Day is a day of celebration, to embrace all the things that makes Australia unique – our beautiful landscapes, our kooky wildlife, our love of sports, live music, gorgeous beaches, and the great Australian spirit.  The awesome thing about Australia Day is that it’s a public holiday so you score a day off work or a long weekend!

 

Back in Melbourne, we celebrated Australia Day in a variety of ways, but whatever we did, it was with mates and with the Triple J Hottest 100 was always playing.  Below are some pictures of our previous celebrations (BBQ kiddy pool party, picnic in the park & winery camping weekend).

 

 

Since we’ve been on the road, we’ve celebrated two Australia Days.

The first was in Whyalla SA, and we got involved in the town’s community celebrations down at the foreshore – sandcastle building, dummy spitting, market stalls, and some goon before bed. Dave even came second in the thong throwing competition!

 

Dave accepts his trophy at the Australia Day presentations

 

The second was in Darwin NT.  Juz was sick unfortunately but we still managed to do as much as possible.  Toad races, the Annual Australia Day Ute Run, a pool party and chicken parmas at the pub.

 

Australia Day

 

Here are our favourite ways to celebrate Australia Day…

 

Listen To Triple J’s Hottest 100 On The Radio

For us and a lot of other Aussies, this is the ultimate playlist for your Australia Day celebrations.  Trying to pick which songs will make it into the top 10 always makes for great conversation and debate!  You can also listen to the Hottest 100 countdown whilst doing any of the other activities listed below.

 

Have A BBQ With Your Mates

You can’t get much more Australian than putting on your best pair of thongs, getting together with your mates, firing up the barbie and knocking back a few cold beers from the esky.  The humble sausage in bread is a BBQ standard, as well as caramelised onions cooked with that secret ingredient (beer), but Dave’s favourite has to be lamb chops.

 

Don’t forget to BYO camping chair and esky.  Inflatable kiddie pools are optional, but they’re a great way to keep the kids entertained or your feet cool.

 

Hang out at the beach or Inflatable playtime in the pool

Australia Day is right in the middle of summer so staying cool is not only important but super fun.  Load up your car with a full esky, towels, umbrellas, chairs and various sporting equipment, and drive to the beach.  Once you find a semi-shady parking spot 500m away, gather up everything you crammed into the car and awkwardly carry it all to the closest available patch of sand.

 

If you’re not a huge fan of sand in your bum crack, there always seems to be at least one mate having a pool party at their place.  Expect giant inflatable thongs, pool noodle fights, backyard cricket and plenty of beer.  Fair chance they’ll be having a BBQ too, so remember to bring some snags along.

 

Check out all the awesome inflatables you can get on eBay.

 

Picnic in the park

Fill one esky with food and another esky with beer, grab a picnic blanket and a portable radio and head to the park.  For those who like being active, take a footy, soccer ball or Frisbee, or even a humble hacky-sack.  One time we brought our volleyball set along, formed teams and got really competitive – lots of laughs.

 

Community Events

Wherever you are in Australia, there will be a community event happening on Australia.  Activities can range from citizenship ceremonies, sausage sizzles and fun runs to thong throwing competitions, dunny races and parades.   Many events also hold fancy dress or best hat competitions!  Find a winner on eBay…

 

Look for an event near you at http://www.australiaday.org.au/

 

Camping

If Australia Day in the city isn’t your style, load up the car with your camping gear and go bush.  If you don’t have reception to listen to Triple J, you might have to sort out your own tunes, but all the other staples are there – mates, eskies full of beer, fun games, a campfire for snags and marshmallows and a tent closeby to welcome you after an awesome Australia Day.

 

RW15_eBay_AussieDay_vCOLOR_v4

 

HAVE A SAFE AND FUN AUSTRALIA DAY!

 

* Drink responsibly and don’t be a tosser on Australia Day… or any day for that matter.

 

Hellfire Bay

Experience : Cape Le Grand National Park

Frenchman Peak

Cape Le Grand is truly an amazing place.  Only 50km east of Esperance on sealed road is a sand plain covered in heath lands, swamps and freshwater pools that is framed along the coast by picturesque beaches with the whitest sand you have ever seen and crystal clear water of the most radiant turquoise.

 

Throughout the park are outcrops of granite and gneiss rock that make a chain of mountains – Mt Le Grand (345m), Frenchman Peak (262m) and Mississippi Hill (180m).  The granite mountains were caused by movement of the Earth’s crust over 600 million years ago and the peaks were islands during the late Eocene period.

 

Beaches

Hellfire Bay hides the most fantastic beach we have ever seen, with the whitest sand and the bluest waters.  We chose to stay here for lunch and cooked up some lamb chops on the free BBQ.  We also met a great family who were holidaying from Bunbury.

 

 

While we didn’t get to check it out, Lucky Bay is a favourite for many because of the kangaroos lazing on the beach.  This unspoilt beach was voted the Whitest Beach and also has nearby camp grounds.

 

Le Grand Beach was gorgeous and the white sand went on and on and on.  We did the 22km drive to Wylie Bay along the beach.

 

Hiking

There are several bushwalking trails throughout the park that take anywhere from one to three hours to complete.  We did the Frenchman Peak hike to the summit and got some amazing views over the park and coastline.  The climb is up steep granite slopes, so make sure you have appropriate footware and once you get to the top, there is a magnificent arched cave to give you some cool shade.  If you keep following the markers, you can get to the utmost peak and feel like you’re on top of the world!

 

 

It said to allow 2 hours for the steep climb but we nailed it in an hour.

 

 

Camping

Camping is allowed at two campgrounds – Lucky Bay and Le Grand Beach.  Facilities include showers, flushing toilets and a camp kitchen.  Fires are not allowed.

 

 

If you’re just visiting for the day, gas BBQs and picnic areas are located at Lucky Bay, Hellfire and Le Grand Beach.   Fishing and boating is also allowed and the species that can be caught include Australian salmon, whiting and black bream.

 

4WDing

We took the scenic route back to town and drove along the beach from Le Grand to Wylie Bay. It’s a 22km drive along the sand and gives you great coastal views of the ocean.  Make sure you check tide times and beach conditions before attempting the drive.

 

 

Entry to Cape Le Grand National Park is $11 per vehicle, and if you want to camp, it’s an additional $9 per person.  Parks Passes are also available but they only cover the entry to WA’s national parks, not camping.

 

A pretty flower at Cape Le Grand National Park
 

Meat biscuits in a laco with sweet potato

Recipe : Meat Biscuits

If you want that meaty protein hit without spending $20 a kilo on tinned tuna or chicken, try meat biscuits!  Mince meat at the supermarket costs between $6 and $12 a kilo, with the regular, fatty meats being cheaper than the heart smart stuff, and if you can score mince on special, then you’re winning.

 

Each meat biscuit has about 10g of protein and sits between 90-130 calories, depending on which meat you use (poultry biscuits contain less fat).  They’re delicious, store easily in a container in the fridge and they last for a few days.  Versatility is through the roof – put them into sandwiches and wraps, crumble them into a salad, or make a meat biscuit burger by putting cheese, cucumber and sauce between two biscuits.  Eating them on their own is a great snack too.

 

 

The recipe is too easy… are you ready for this?  One batch makes 20 meat biscuits and they are easily prepared on an electric BBQ or pan over the stove.

 

BASE

  • 1kg minced meat – lamb, beef, chicken, pork, your choice
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

FLAVOURS

Morroccan

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon

 

Asian

  • Spring onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Soy sauce
  • Cumin
  • Coriander

 

Italian

  • Herb mix
  • Onion
  • Tomato paste
  • Parmesan cheese

 

Herb & Garlic

  • A mixture of herbs, fresh or dried.  Thyme or rosemary work well, or Italian herb mix
  • 1-2 tsp minced garlic

 

Breakfast

  • Bacon
  • Extra egg
  • Tomato paste (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)

 

All you gotta do is portion them out on the BBQ and cook away. DELISH!

 

Dave finding pipi shells at the Nelson Estuary

Town Profile : Nelson

After being pummelled by the elements at Cape Bridgewater, we arrived in Nelson at lunchtime.  We stopped at the information centre, chatted with the lovely lady inside and learnt that most of the campsites in Lower Glenelg National Forest were taken and if we wanted to stay there, we’d need to pay $21 a night and backtrack about 20km.  We decided that the only direction we wanted to go in was forward so she suggested Dry Creek rest area, which was just over the South Australian border.

 

After getting the local goss, we wandered over to Bridge Park with our picnic bag full of fruit that we needed to eat before crossing the border due to quarantine laws.  There were five banana and three peaches and thus the peanut butter fruit wrap was invented!  Some travellers came over to our food preparation area to use the onsite BBQs and we got chattin’.  A real nice bunch of people from Hamilton who were taking their big Fat Lab for a walk on the beach.

 

Nelson is the last town on the South West coast of Victoria and is an honorary member of the SA Limestone Coast.  It was established in 1851 and is named after the Lady Nelson, the ship of Lieutenant James Grant.

Points of Interest

Bridge Park

Located right next door to the information centre, Bridge Park has everything you need for a quick pit stop.  Public toilets, a tap, sheltered BBQs and picnic tables with a view of the Glenelg River.

 

The Estuary

Located at the mouth of the Glenelg River, the estuary is a wide, flat area of shallow waters, perfect for fishing.  You can troll the beach for pippies and check out the coastal walks.

 

Piccaninnie Ponds

About 8km west of Nelson over the South Australian border is Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park.  The ponds were formed by water filtering through the limestone over thousands of years to create clear blue ponds that are perfect for snorkelling or cave diving.  For safety’s sake, if you want to dive into the caves, you need to have a diving certification at sinkhole level and be a member of the Cave Diving Association of Australia.

 

The view from the beach is great too, and looking back over the landscape revealed the remnants of a fire, with one side of the road lush and green while the other side is black and twisted.  There was a coastal walk to a viewing platform but it was overgrown.  When Juz found remains of a tiger snake, we decided that if we got bitten, we were going to have a bad time, so we went back to the car.