Thursday, April 25

home of udder

If you've ever had the dream of renovating an old Queenslander in a small hinterland town, with the bush in your backyard, chooks and three kids running free, then you are envisaging the life of the husband and wife team behind children's wear label Udder.  Throw in a busy schedule that boggles my mind, boundless creativity, a honed eye for style, and a wicked sense of humour, and you're getting to know Fliss and Hal.  

We shared a beautiful lunch on their deck while on the Sunshine Coast, drank too much coffee, and sadly had to leave too soon.  I wish they lived around the corner. 

Check out their range online here.  Coming soon is their winter collection, shot by yours truly in a secret location in Noosa. 

autumn in the bay

Before my posts turn to more tropical adventures and languid days on a palm fringed lagoon, I have a few more Aussie moments I want to share. I love to time our stay down south until the mornings air develops a cool edge and we get at least one decent rain. Otherwise the endless summer thing can get a bit tedious - yes, it is possible. Autumn days in Geographe Bay are a brilliant clear blue, and you can be outside without burning to a crisp in ten minutes. One of our last wanders was to Meelup Beach, with a walk along the coast track to Castle Rock. Five minutes from top class coffee, and yet all alone with nature. Who would want to leave?  

Thursday, April 4

noosa waves

Noosa is a classic longboarder paradise; where gentle, long sand bottom point waves wrap around the National Park headland, and you can ride all the way into Mainbeach for a coffee and eggs benedict.    The walk to T-Tree offers world class coastal views, and you share the path with the healthy and active sector of retirees, holiday makers and locals, all quick with a hello and smile.  Noosa makes you feel good about the world. 

Our visit coincided with the the Festival of Surfing, a convivial event for watermen, women and their dogs. The professional style masters put on a show performing to traditional longboard criteria on old-style single fins, stand-up paddleboarders got a look in, and the expression sessions demonstrated the skill of riding a finless Alaia. Despite all the entertainment, Tom was more interested in looking upwards to spot his first koala. 

Sunday, March 24

eumundi markets

The small town of Eumundi, ten minutes inland from Noosa, comes alive every Wednesday and Saturday morning with their famous markets for artisans, growers, healers, designers and creators.  The original vision of "make it, bake it, sew it, grow it" has been diluted over the last couple of years as imported and mass produced goods have been allowed entry, however there remains many excellent handmade items and delicious, cheap food. We went back a second time just to have lunch - authentic Tibetan momos, gluten free vegan patties and local bananas. 

Keeping with our funnymoon themes, we explored the stacked shelves of Berkelouw Books, refuelled at the Bohemian Bungalow and picked up a few second hand treasures for the kitchen.

Saturday, March 23

hip, hippy & hippest

A $35 flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast was too good to resist, and so our funnymoon migrated north, co-inciding with the first day of the Quicksilver Pro at Snapper Rocks.  We briefly checked in with the scene in Mullumbimby and Byron, confirmed there are still 300 surfers in the line up, and that tie-dye never goes out of style in some corners of the globe.

The Conscious Cafe (raw, organic, vegan), Byron Bay
Rock & Roll Coffee Company, Mullumbimby

Wednesday, March 20

the next two days

The scenic coast road from Ulladulla to Sydney. 

berry & the southern highlands

We continued the waterfall route in the Morton National Park, and the soggy path to the Fairy Bower Falls was alive with leeches that made a feast of Tom's bare feet. We spent the night at the Bundanoon YHA, a former Edwardian guest house, then travelled through Kangaroo Valley and Fitzroy Falls to a charming B&B in Berry.  

For a small town, Berry has retail and cafe therapy covered, as long as you don't want to start before 10am. Artist Lisa Madigan has a gallery, store and cafe that had me swooning with lifestyle envy,   nearby the Berry Tea Shop infuses leaf loveliness, and the Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery draws crowds from afar for their artisan loafs and pastries. 

Tuesday, March 19

mount wilson

Our accommodation in the Blue Mountains was the palatial home of Tom's Uncle and Aunty. Long time antique dealers and art collectors, they have an impressive collection of Australian and European pieces, each with a lively story - no Ikea wall units here. The house stands among twelve acres of exotic garden, mature gums and fruit trees. Sculptures and giant pottery urns create points of interest among the flowers and ferns. The property borders the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, with views to the lights of Sydney on a clear night. We were hoping to see wombat, but they were hiding away from the soggy weather. 

blue mountains

Leaving Sydney in our compact hire car, to the tune of toll roads direct debiting money from our credit card, we arrived in the misty Blue Mountains. Western Australia doesn't do a very good line in cascades or ferns - it is more likely to walk through grey green bush to a two metre high drop that is dry.  It seems when waterfalls were being handed out, New South Wales got all the love. 

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