Spring blooms

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Spring is here! You wouldn’t have thought it, given the uncharacteristically dreary and rainy weather in Perth recently (highest September rainfall for more than 90 years apparently!). Last weekend Jinn and I took advantage of a sunny break in the wet weather to make our way to Kings Park and enjoy the wildflowers currently in bloom for the annual Kings Park Festival. It was still rather chilly though, hence the cardie and tights! What an amazing assortment of flowers there were to see – I didn’t know native flowers could look so pretty, I’ve been inspired to plant some in our own wee garden! It was great to be able to get out of the house and soak in some of that warm sun. The Kings Park festival runs until 30th of September – find yourself a patch of sunlight amongst the rain and get there! You’ll be handsomely rewarded. ūüôā

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Archipelago

horizontal-tour-14This idyllic destination nestled amongst the Buccaneer Archipelago is so secluded that it is virtually only accessible via seaplane. We were flown here from One Arm Point by the amazing crew from Horizontal Falls Adventures and were treated to incredible, once-in-a-lifetime views over the hundreds of rocky islands that form this archipelago.

Quietly floating down one of the pristine creeks in the area, beautifully coloured rock formations reveal the layers of time. We stayed silent, hoping to catch a glimpse of a sun-baking saltwater crocodile. The waters were rich with wildlife, multitudes of fish, and who could fail to spot the sharks that seemed to knowingly circle the houseboat.

The last photo is proof that I, Little Miss Phobia herself, swam with the sharks. Yes, I was in a shark cage, and yes I did shoot very rapidly out of the water involuntarily yelling “Woah!” the first time I popped my head under the water. But – I did it! So to all you people who said I wouldn’t – I dedicate a big ol’ raspberry to y’all!

Photos by me

Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventures / Tours from Broome or Derby / bookings@horizontalfallsadventures.com.au / (08) 9192 1172
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Hovercrafts, dinosaurs and cheeky parents

hovercraft-4hovercraft-1 hovercraft-2 hovercraft-3 hovercraft-5 hovercraft-6hovercraft-10hovercraft-12 hovercraft-13 hovercraft-14 hovercraft-15 hovercraft-16 hovercraft-17My awesome Mumsy and Papsy came up to visit me a few weekends ago, and amongst taking in the Broome markets and feasting on barramundi wings and Kimberley mud crabs, we also went on this cool hovercraft tour. At first I was like, hovercrafts are¬†real?!?!? I thought they only existed in sci-fi novels and movies! What a doofus…And to top that off, part of the tour included a look at some actual dinosaur footprints (see the photo above!). Admittedly, they’re not that easy to spot, but once they’re pointed out to you and you see just how regularly they’re positioned, you recognise how those holes could not have been made by some random act of nature or weather.

My mum always tells me stories about how she used to pelt boys she didn’t like with slugs and snails, but I never believed her as these days she is the definition of clean-freak. However, when the hovercraft landed and the low tide revealed a treasure trove of sealife I practically had to run and hide to avoid being splattered with bright red sea cucumbers and sea snails of assorted sizes. My dad, well he was not so lucky. I may or may not have used him as a human shield.

This was one of the most spectacular sunsets I’d experienced yet. The way the colours were reflected in those tiny pools made by the tidal flats. The lingering pinks and purples of the dying light. With only six weeks left up here in the Kimberley, I’m coming to realise just how much I’m going to miss this place.

Photos by me

Sunrise at Kooljaman

breakfast-kooljaman-1breakfast-kooljaman-2breakfast-kooljaman-3breakfast-kooljaman-4breakfast-kooljaman-5breakfast-kooljaman-6breakfast-kooljaman-7breakfast-kooljaman-8breakfast-kooljaman-9breakfast-kooljaman-10breakfast-kooljaman-11breakfast-kooljaman-12breakfast-kooljaman-13There is definitely something energising and invigorating about the air in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Not only did my niggling foot injury miraculously improve whilst being there, but all four of us suddenly became morning people! Waking up before sunrise in order to catch those first orange rays on our faces is something most of us would never even contemplate doing in the city. Yet there we were, awake as anything, eager to watch the spectacular show of natural beauty as the sun made its glorious arrival for the day.

We topped off the sunrise with a beautiful breakfast, prepared on the balcony overlooking the ocean and the trees. Sarah had brought along lots of supplies, so this morning it was to be a scrumptious feast of French toast doused with honey, strawberries and mint. What a treat to be able to spend time with family and friends in the most beautiful of places Рthe wilderness, the sounds of the ocean, the laughter of great company.

Do come explore this corner of the earth ‚Äď its raw beauty will change you, I guarantee it.

Kooljaman at Cape Leveque / Accommodation / (08) 9192 4970 / reservations@kooljaman.com.au

Photos by Jinn

Cape Leveque

cape-leveque-day1-2Is this the Broome edition or what?! I suppose I’ve been up here for about three months now, but to be honest it’s been more about work and settling in, but now that’s well and truly done let me show you what we’ve been up to.

The Kimberley is absolutely nothing like the southern half of Western Australia, coming up here you really feel like you’re in a completely different country. It’s so much better than I expected it to be, and for a professed city-girl I have found myself totally falling for the sheer wildness of the land and just how alive it feels. The rich soil, the roiling waves, the calls of the wildlife, the trees reaching for the skies, the scintillating sunsets that show you colours you never knew existed.

One place that must be seen to be believed is Cape Leveque, 220km north of Broome, right on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula. Jinn, Jeff, Rach and I hopped into the four-wheel drive and at first I was like, “You call¬†this a road?” but very quickly threw fear and trepidation out the window and embraced the joy and freedom of driving over those crazy bumpy trails, feeling almost indestructible. I must have had a a wild look in my eyes and a¬†wickedly wide grin on my face for much of the drive which possibly got even wider on our arrival¬†when I realised we’d reached a coastal paradise.

Leave Broome behind, hire a four-wheel drive (or find yourself a friend with one), and get up that bumpy-as-hell dirt road to Cape Leveque, also known as Kooljaman in the local Bardi language. Bring a fishing rod, your bathers, some Matso’s mango beer, plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent, and most of all throw your worries and preoccupations into that blue water and breathe in your fill of the freshest air on the planet.

Photos by Jinn
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The green green grass

brittany-countryside-1The beauty of the Breton countryside completely took my breath away during our drive from Pointe Saint-Mathieu to Paimpol. The allure of the lush greenery and meandering hills were such a vast contrast to the sunbaked ochre desert plains my eyes are currently accustomed to. Once we’d stopped freaking out about driving on the “wrong side of the road” we really began to enjoy the peaceful scenery. Occasional golden canola fields punctuated the endless green with their surprising pops of happy yellow, and tiny towns whizzed by on the way to our destination.

I have to mention that our experience with our GPS was very hit-and-miss. We were on more than one occasion led down a lane that was clearly through someone’s private albeit very pretty farm and also had to very scarily reverse out an unbelievably narrow street when we directed straight into a dead end. Good one GPS. I wasn’t aware there was a “scenic route” option!

That aside, I would highly recommend staying at Pondervann, a lovely family-owned bread-&-breakfast in Paimpol. The hotel is situated on a large plot of land with its own stream, vegie patch, and friendly dog! Make sure you have a good set of muscles if you’re staying on the top floor as, like many French hotels, there is no elevator! (Thanks Jinn, my muscle man!) Interestingly we found a tiny piece of home in the B&B’s garden – a gum tree! See if you can spot it in the pictures…

Photos by Jinn
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Pointe Saint-Mathieu

pointe-st-mathieu-15Wearing – Karen Walker t-shirt (on sale at Anthropologie!), ASOS overalls, Madewell sunglasses, Fossil bangle (similar), Donelli shoes (similar)

What he’s wearing – Urban Outfitters jumper¬†and jeans

Our first destination in France was the incredibly picturesque and tiny little village, Pointe Saint-Mathieu, perched right atop part of the spectacular coastline of Brittany. It gets its name from an old abbey in the centre of the village (sixth century according to legend) which was said to have housed the skull of the apostle Matthew until it was lost in the ocean off the point. After the icy cold of Glasgow it was nice to get out into some sunshine. Look! No coat!pointe-st-mathieu-23pointe-st-mathieu-24pointe-st-mathieu-21pointe-st-mathieu-22pointe-st-mathieu-1pointe-st-mathieu-4pointe-st-mathieu-14pointe-st-mathieu-5pointe-st-mathieu-9pointe-st-mathieu-8pointe-st-mathieu-13pointe-st-mathieu-18pointe-st-mathieu-25pointe-st-mathieu-27

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