From Sydney to Straddie

On Friday afternoon I headed to the opening night of Vernon’s new exhibition Not An Animal Or a Plant at the National Art School in Sydney.

It was a lovely evening with a really wonderful speech by the Sydney Festival’s Artistic Director and one of our oldest friends Wesley Enoch. It was made even more special Vernon’s show was the first opening event of the 2017 Sydney Festival and it was opened by its first ever Aboriginal Artistic Director.

Saturday morning I left Sydney early for the plane trip back to Brisbane.

From the airport, LisaB and I headed straight to Cleveland to catch the Straddie Ferry for our friend Mel’s 50th birthday.

A quick change of wardrobe in the carpark and we’re ready for a weekend at the beach.
On the Straddy Ferry.

I haven’t been to Stradbroke for years. I think the last time I was there was for a funeral of a dear friend Glenis. It’s such an incredible place. We were ‘walk ons’ so the fare across was $10 each return. Unfortunately,
I parked illegally so we had a $48 parking fine upon our return. Not good, but it was still cheaper than taking our car on the vehicle ferry.

We arrived in Dunwich just in time for everyone to be allocated a bed for the night, change into our togs and head to the jetty. In celebration of Mel’s 50th we all jumped off the jetty together holding hands. Diving into that clean and cool salty water was invigorating.

Back to the house for cake and a quick cuppa, and then we headed off to the beach for a walk and to see if any dolphins were coming in to say hello.

I saw my first Koala ‘in the wild’.

A little fulla is hiding in the tree somewhere …
… and there he is …


We spotted dolphins coming in and looking for food.

We also found ourselves a little hiding spot to imagine another life in …

Brown Lake was as I remember it – clear fresh water stained from the tannin of the tea trees that surround it. It was the perfect temperature for a swim. I had work convincing MsA that there were no crocodiles in the water.

At Brown Lake

A fantastic weekend. Am a little bit sore from the walking in thongs – I really need to remind myself how much they hurt my feet before I put them on again for an extended period of time.

On the back of the ute …

Minjerribah (aka Stradbroke Island) is a wonderful place. The house we stayed at was holiday let and quite affordable if we had a number of families joining in together. It even had room for a camper in the back yard. I might have a chat with the family about booking it for a week in 2017 or 2018.

The coolest roomies …

Stradbroke is only an hour from Brisbane. There are three main ‘villages’  – Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout. And there’s something for everyone to do on the island – freshwater and saltwater swimming, fishing, walking tracks. With a large family and some good planning, I think it could easily become our destination of choice.

Happy Birthday Mel. Cheers to turning 50.

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