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Visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney NSW

Greetings and salutations, My Beautiful Botanic Hobos.

In my 41 years on this earth, I have wandered through my fair share of botanic gardens and parks.  There is something so relaxing and grounding to find a little pocket of nature tucked in amongst the high rises and highways.

Until I moved east for love (what better reason to pick up and move halfway across the country than a fabulous human that makes your heart sing?), my absolute favourite botanic garden was the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens in the Adelaide Hills.  Since moving here eight years ago, I have been delighted to discover two stunning gardens.  The Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens is a seriously worthwhile day trip from Sydney, however, you can find natural beauty without needing to escape the city.

Situated at the foot of the Sydney Opera House, nestled between the Harbour and the historic CBD, the Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens is an oasis of calm amongst the throngs of tourists and busy locals jostling for position in Australia’s largest city.

Huh. That sounded like a proper travel writer or someone trying to sell the gardens on Craigslist. Not bad for a woman in a onesie who may or may not have already cracked open her first cider for the night. But my love of Somersby Cider and age-inappropriate attire aside, the Botanic Gardens in Sydney are a gorgeous sight to behold. Any time I have a little time to kill while I’m in at The Rocks, I take a wander through the lush greenery of the gardens and enjoy the harbour views.





If, like me, you are looking to live mindfully and bring the sense of being on vacation to your everyday life, there are several reasons you will love the parklands if you have not yet taken full advantage of them. Aside from the obvious natural beauty of the place, there are a myriad of things to do in the parklands.

 

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Terrigal, NSW. Walking Tracks, Beachside Bliss and My Assault on The Skillion.

 

Terrigal. One of the most overrated spots on the Central Coast in my opinion.  Now that’s not to say there isn’t a good reason that tourists and locals alike flock to the beachside town at the merest hint of sunshine. And it isn’t to say that I don’t venture out to see what all the fuss is about on the odd occasion.

My 17-year-old daughter was starting work early, so to save her an extra hour travelling on a bus, I offered to drive her to work.  Figuring I may as well pick a picturesque track I haven’t set foot on for quite some time for my morning walk while I was out, I settled on going the long way home via Terrigal.

I parked well away from the beach near the Marine Discovery Centre on Terrigal Drive and set out towards Terrigal Beach.  My aim for the day was not so much to walk as far as I could, but to enjoy the journey getting to The Skillion.  In my memory, The Skillion was a considerable amount of huffing and puffing up a short but steep slope, followed by a view that made each huff and puff worth it.

Destination: Skillion

I wandered through the beautifully maintained Terrigal Lagoon Reserve, to the banks of the Lagoon.  Ripples abounded on the surface of the water as fish darted away on my approach.  It struck me just how beautifully the local Lion’s Club keep this area, it would be a lovely spot for a picnic or barbeque on a sunny day.  The barbeques were spotless and there are public toilets just across the road next to a well-fenced playground.

Continuing on along Terrigal Drive, my walk treated me to an unspoilt view of the beach over twisting floral vines winding their way through trees and fencing without regard to which side they belonged on.  In the distance surfers and paddle boarders enjoyed the calm of the morning.

The barrier between road and footpath was decorated with ‘dot paintings’ by talented artists from the local schools. (And I don’t mean that in the indulgent manner of a parent proud talking to neighbours about their four-year-old’s finger painting, these are actually lovely works of art.)


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Thirteen Free Things to Do on Any Cruise Holiday

Welcome to Tightarse Tuesday, on a Thursday (or whatever day you’re reading this on) my Lovelies,

Cruising is not only fun and relaxing, but a very affordable way to see the world. What makes it affordable is the plethora of free activities available to you at every turn.

No one wants to be constantly shelling out to stay entertained either out at sea or on shore days.  With a little forethought and planning, you can enjoy your holiday at no extra cost after paying your cruise fare.  At sea and on land, you will never be stuck for something to do that won’t have you swiping your card.

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Sculpture by the Sea @ Bondi

(or how I sat in a tangle of tentacles and made fun of a white man’s winkie.)

sculpture_by_the_sea_bondi

Warm and sunny greetings to you, my Beach Loving Vagabonds

For the past year my daughter has been talking about wanting to revisit Sculptures by the Sea @ Bondi one day. And a slight miscalculation in how early we needed to get up in order to make it to the Opera House in time to see a screening of Neil Gaiman short films, coupled with all the road closures in the city afforded us the opportunity to turn the day into an unplanned adventure.

We arrived starving and parched having left the house without breakfast and quickly found a cafe to please us all amongst the myriad of eateries along Campbell Parade. It was a blustery day, however the chance to eat in the sunshine and fresh air won out over nature’s plans to keep me indoors.

Ash: “It’s hard to believe we’re so close to the beach”
Me: “Yeah, it’s quite busy and touristy.”
Ash: “No. It doesn’t smell right.”
…and you know what? She was right. The smell of salt and seaweed was curiously absent from the air. It was almost unsettling once we noticed its absence.

Fed and watered we headed towards the iconic Bondi Icebergs Club to begin our arty adventure. I had never done this particular coastal walk before, but I could soon see that this walk would be stunning at any time. While I think that beaches like Bondi, Surfers and Manly are overrated due to the sheer volume of people trying their best to find personal space in an outdoor sardine tin, I have to admit that the small town South Australian girl in me was thinking ‘how cool is it that I live so close to somewhere so iconically Australian’ as I walked towards the Bondi Icebergs Club. I still get excited by the sight of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge as we drive into the city.

Flanked by craggy rock formations and jaw-dropping ocean views, the two-kilometre cliff-side walking trail played host to over a hundred public artworks. Scattered throughout grassy parklands, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches between Bondi and Tamarama Beaches, artists displayed their talents in one of Australia’s largest free public sculpture displays.

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