From Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast

At the end of the week, we moved into the second leg of our Australia trip 2018! After a week of enjoying the chilly winter weather in Melbourne and catching up with friends, it was time to go our separate ways. We said our farewells as a family at Tullamarine airport my hubby flew back to the Bay and I headed up to Brisbane to spend a week with my sister and nephew at the Sunshine Coast.

For one of our first outings at the coast, the children enjoyed Wildlife HQ interacting with Australian native animals, they especially loved the free range kangas, emus and wallabies. My new point and shoot came in handy and I managed to get some beautiful pics and I found this super cool pic of a mama and baby koala – sweet!

DSCN1297

Wildlife HQ was the perfect size to take little kids with each area marked out neatly to allow an easy trek through the animals. The South-American area was super cool with the tamarin monkeys going nutzo in their enclosures – these cotton top tamarins were chilling in the afternoon sun.

DSCN1277

Like a bunch of old gentlemen, these emperor tamarins were sitting in their enclosure chatting away.

DSCN1288

There were two friendly mini horses and we all loved this guys hairdo!

DSCN1271

The rooster was hilarious with his constant crowing all day and indeed he was certainly a very handsome guy!

DSCN1268

Other friends we were allowed to pet were the Wallabies and pademelons, super soft and cute.

DSCN1244

Ash really enjoyed patting the emus, I had no idea how huge they were and at least these guys were very friendly.

DSCN1230

At Wildlife HQ there are animal encounters and for the kids, we decided to do a group koala pic as our sitter just loved koalas. Missy was the holder of the koala and she said it was the weight of a baby.

DSCN1209

Ash’s fave animal the meerkat in action.

DSCN1203

An animal I had never seen before from South East Asia reminded me of a cat lazing out there in the sunshine.

DSCN1181DSCN1180

Koalas were definitely our highlight even though they only stay awake 2 hours of the day and the rest of the time they are sleeping after they enjoy their feast of eucalyptus leaves.

DSCN1170

On entry you have the option to feed the animals and buy a bag of feed for around $1, the animals know and they know the sound of the bag and will happily come to you for a small fest of hay.

DSCN1157DSCN1149DSCN1135

For our first day in Queensland, we enjoyed a beautiful sunny day with the kids at the ocean and where the kids loved wave jumping between the flags.

DSCN1116DSCN1111

We travelled to Chambers island for lunch and enjoyed low tide on the Maroochydore river, catching a glimpse of some wildlife – the amazing pelican.

DSCN1095DSCN1062

We were sad to say our farewell to Melbourne on Saturday after all the fun we had with friends and food. This beauty was the on the ceiling of our Air BnB.

DSCN1041

Our wanderings around Albert Park in the chilly weather I took my camera out to capture the wildlife around the place and found this rainbow lorikeet with its buddy in a tree hole nest.

DSCN1014

I love the magpies but I think it was a bit of a close call to be near them as they can attack if they are nesting, whew lucky for me check out that pointy beak!

DSCN0995

These lovelies are corellas and were digging about in the grass looking for their lunch.

DSCN0983

I always love to find the Moreton Bay fig trees as they are perfect photography specimens and the best trees to climb.

DSCN0975DSCN0960

On our walk we spied a flock of cockatoos and ended up finding them enjoying a feast by the golf course – this was shot across the road from where these birds were feasting.

DSCN0942DSCN0941

The wind was relentless the day we went for a walk around the lake the swan was battling the waves.

DSCN0924

The kids were all rugged up and thank goodness for my pussy hat to save the day.

DSCN0905

On taco Tuesday my friends came over so we went for a walk down to the beach and stayed until sunset and it was brilliant. Melbourne beaches in winter are stunning and completely empty except for the dog walkers.

DSCN0890DSCN0861DSCN0772

The girls enjoyed their time in the cold making a sandcastle on the deserted beach. All in all our time in Melbourne was so much fun and we now have a projected timeline for our house plan with the next stage of advertising to the neighbours and then the design finishes of the interiors and then to tender out to a builder! Proposed start of the project will be February 2019 with an estimated 8-month build. So I am feeling good and will be getting ready to leave to the USA mid-year 2019 and I am so happy to be getting out of there. Being home in Australia I am so grounded really feel it is time to come back home!

DSCN0759DSCN0747

Everybody walk the dinosaur

IMG_4476 (1)

We made our trek down south to Melbourne and we were greeted with a coolness only Melbourne can offer. The winter down here can be quite brutal so I always carry a coat, lucky I found this great vintage lambskin leather coat to keep me warm. Of course it does not snow here like the East Coast of the USA but coming from sunny Queensland to Victoria it was a bit of a shock!

We have an perfectly sized Air BnB house – 2o mins by tram to the city. Our first couple of days we were getting organised and enjoying the local shopping precinct before we decided to head on into the city for an afternoon adventure. We enjoyed a tram ride into the city and walked over to Federation Square so that I could show the kids the place where my husband and I met volunteering over 10 years ago! It was so cool to see how the space had changed since it first opened – there’s a cinema, cafe and bar upstairs, free exhibits for the public on the ground floor and the gallery below currently hosting a Scorsese exhibition. I will have to take the kids for a peek this week to check out the videos and games in the free gallery space.

IMG_4489 (1)

Saturday we met up with some friends outside the Melbourne Museum before we met up with our family here. We enjoyed a coffee from Ciuccio (Donkey in Italian) Cafe down Gertrude Street and the kids played together on these Roman ruins outside the museum. Even the take away coffee does not fail to disappoint here in Melbourne!

We were checking out the museum exhibits and the cousins were warming up to each other before we headed in for the highlight of the day the Jurassic World exhibit. It was $90 for a family to enter and we did not know what to expect when we went through. Once we went in it was such a treat as the dinosaurs looked so real! At times the kids were holding onto to us, as they were a bit scared of the gigantic realistic dinosaurs.

The lighting was dark and it was an adventure for all, like you would experience in a film and presented in a way that has some excitement – though I won’t give away any surprises!

IMG_4524

After the exhibit we had a look at other exhibits in the museum including The Melbourne Story and we found a 3D model of the Australian Coat of Arms with a taxidermy Kanga and Emu. It is so funny how when you are travelling you learn so much about your country when you visit. I had never really taken any notice of the shield and how each pictures represents one of the six states.

IMG_4527

Later on we enjoyed some wine and a delicious risotto fresh from the Thermomix followed by a mango sorbet ready in 6 minutes – amazing. Thank you to my sister in law for the incredible Thermomix demonstration and food! Her hubby found this super cool wine ‘Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch’ – I just love the label!

Last Sunday I had booked in ages ago with my good friend who I have not seen in 5 years! So we travelled down to Port Melbourne to visit and enjoyed wine and some lunch with them before we took the kids on a Pokemon Go adventure down to the beach. See those black specks on the beach, they were a gang of Pokemon hunters!

IMG_4542

While we were there we met this super cute fur baby named Neville Furbottom going for a spin in a bike basket belonging to his human. This little cutie just loved pats and the kids!

IMG_4551

Soon the Melbourne weather started to get a wee bit chilly and we headed back home – we had a lovely relaxed afternoon with our friends and the kids made some new friends! It is so good to see old friends like it was just yesterday when we last caught up, the major difference is when we see the kids and they are all growing like weeds!