Straddie Sunset

Last rays of sunshine, originally uploaded by Chrstopher.

On our first night on North Stradbroke Island we were treated to a fantastic sunset. Not only was it colourful, but it seemed to change in colour and character from minute to minute. Not sure if this was unusual, but the second night’s sunset was certainly not worth blogging about.

Despite the appearance, it has actually been rather chilly over the last few days and the day after this sunset was very wet. But this didn’t dampen our enthusiasm as you can tell from Louisa’s post below!


How ya goin’ buddy?

While we’ve been in Australia we’ve been listening to some of the interesting phrases people use that we’re not familiar with. One of these is “how ya goin” which is used as a general greeting at least here in S Queensland. As we got on the ferry to go to Straddie the woman who docked the boat was saying it to everyone as they boarded. Anna turned to Beth and said “why’s she asking us how we’re going when she can see we’re getting on the ferry?”

Generally it’s not a problem understanding Aussies. The only difficulty I’ve had was when a woman at a coffee shop asked me if I wanted a “Muggle Cap” for my drinks. I asked her to repeat it and it was only when her colleague asked me did I realise she was asking if I wanted a mug or cup….

Straddie Sightings

Having been in Brisbane 5 days we thought we should take a side trip and try out somewhere else. Stradbroke island, being a relaxing location for a holiday was our choice. For a beach lover (like myself!) Straddie is a perfect area just to chill in paradise! On our first few hours on the island we attempted a long walk to the point were you can spot humpback whales. Though exhausted we managed it to the aparent town (around four shops.) where we picked up a maginum. YUM! On the walk back we saw a phenomenal sunset which included orange sky, scarlet clouds and amazingly beautiful silhoettes of plants and bats stretching out over the bay. The next day (though rainy!) was the day we decided to go to the point and at least TRY to spot some whales, dolphins, turtles and loads more marine wildlife. The biggest of a whale seen was one breaching (jumping) in the distance. Unfortunately, being taken with some dolphins in a group below i missed this one off chance. BOOOO! We mainly saw blows, backs and fins as notice of the whales themselves. On our leaving date we checked out of our youth hostel, left our bags in their hopefully capable hands and made our way down to the point to see some more. This is when we got a very close up whale’s fin. It was interesting to see people doing a survey about humpbacks (a species of whale) and had seen a whopping 872 humpbacks since the 1st of June!!!! 🙂 Pretty good I’d say. It was an unforgetable experience and i hope Straddie is on our list of into-the-future smallish holidays!!!!:-)


We have now been in Australia for 5 days and are happily settling in to the relaxed Aussie way of life. We are very lucky in that we are staying with Chris’ parents in their house swap in the Brisbane suburbs. It is winter here so the weather is cool by local standards (20-25C by day and down to around 12C at night). It suits us better than the intense heat and humidity in Hong Kong.

On Saturday we went on a trip to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast with Vicki and Eddy our Brisbane friends. It was a lovely day – sunny and warm enough for the sea. We had great fish and chips, a walk along the headland and topped things off with icecream. The girls were in heaven!

We’ve also been twice to the artificial beach at South Bank. Its perfect for children – safe and clean – and with great amenities close at hand.

Tonight has been busy and fun. Chris’ cousin Will came over for dinner which was lovely.

The girls had a very exciting time skyping their classes at school. They had been really looking forward to it and were thrilled to see all their friends.

On the food front, we’ve tried some new things – Papaya – which everyone liked and custard apple – which got more of a mixed response. I thought it was delicious.

Tomorrow we are off on a little side trip to Straddie ( North Stradbroke Island ) for some more beaches and possibly some wildlife watching.

Australia in the winter

We are now in Australia after an overnight flight from Hong Kong. It’s winter here, although since we are in Brisbane it is quite pleasant. Chilly in the morning and evenings but usually sunny and in the twenties during the day. Makes a nice change from the stickiness of Hong Kong.