Sunday, January 31, 2010

A pinch and a punch . . .

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month  . . . and a perfect palindromic date it is today – 01/02/2010! Just returned from an amazing destination – Maria Island off the east coast of Tasmania. I went with Maria Island Walk company, a professional, and seamless organisation that takes you to the island for four days, for a journey through history, an introduction to rare and beautiful scenery, encounters with wildlife (two snakes, four wombats! Cape Barren geese), comfy bush lodgings and gourmet food that seems to appear from out of nowhere. The guides are fab. and in my case the company exemplary. This picture is the walking group's last lunch before departing the island. A chicken salad with some champagne sealed the deal on a what was voted by all an outstanding trip. Tired but happy little campers!
More about the trip in a future issue of Get Up & Go.
Check out the website to subscribe to the magazine ( with the opportunity to win a trip to England worth $8000 and a holiday in China worth $3500.
Ahhh, Maria, Maria, Maria, I can't get you out of my head!
For more information and beautiful pictures, visit:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Australia Day 2010

Tomorrow is Australia Day, and all over the country there will be a variety of celebrations, parties, ceremonies and I dare say a few million barbecues. It comes back to food doesn't it? It is a great day for friends to get together and throw the odd lamington on the barbie, see how many kilos of prawns you can eat before the second course at dinner and perhaps wash it all down with a glass of something cold.
And on Australia Day, the 'Australian of the Year' award is announced. Scientists, men and women of medicine, philanthropy, sport, the arts and of heroic deeds are all in the running. But my vote this year is for a classic Australian - Nola Turnbull. Nola owns Fredo's Pies on the holiday coast, northern NSW about 5km from Kempsey in the tiny village of Frederickson. Thumbs up for serving amazing pies and cakes to hungry visitors since 1993. My Order of Australia vote is for Nola - the lady, the legend. Visit:
and for more information on this stunning part of Australia go to

Monday, January 18, 2010

Crab cakes

How about these little fellas? Not quite crab cakes, more like crab rolls! These were on display in an unusual place in Vietnam. A couple of hours drive out of Hanoi took us to the Ha Tay province and we were rowed up the Yen river to Ben Duc Harbour. This is a sleepy outpost but that day it was crazy with pilgrims attending an annual festival.

Nothing like the local food! Tasty little crabs indeed.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Guinea monotones

These two pictures were captured at the foot of Tavurvur volcanic crater in Rabaul, New Guinea. One looks like a few old bones (they are twigs, settled into the ash), the other is what remains of a once flourishing landscape. 
Walking around the ash-blanketed beachfront and seeing the remains of foliage still standing in its petrified state is weird – life has lost all its colour.
After coming from the mainland of New Guinea with its brilliant, tropical colours surrounding me at every turn, this black and white world feels apocalyptic. There is still smoke curling into the air and, since the last almighty eruption in 1994, the look of the immediate area beneath and around the volcano feels like it happened a week ago. An eerie experience but an up close and personal look at what nature is capable of.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Summer Get Up and Go Go!

Hot off the presses, a sizzling summer issue of Get Up and Go is now out and about. Thailand, Romania, England, South Africa, Brunei, Sweden and India are featured. We've got tips for tipping, streets for walking, goodies to buy, and two amazing competitions to enter - want to go to China? North East England? Enter now via - and while you're there, sign up for the FREE newsletter - out every month with hot deals and great bargains.
Every state in Oz get a guernsey too: experience Victoria's High Country, WA's Broome; Poachers Way ACT, SA's reinvigorated port, tropical North Qld, the Red Centre, Mudgee NSW and the top end of Tassie. Life in the fab lane is yours for the reading.
P.S. Followers have asked where the pictures were taken that I took on top of the blog page: one is on Vava'u, Tonga; one at a railway station on top of a mountain in Norway (snow on the bicycles and it was sunny at sea level), one of a pond at a resort in Thailand and the dear little building is in Omeo, a tiny town in Victoria's High Country (read all about it in the summer issue of the magazine).