Summer is starting to appear which means… camping season is here!!!
We have already dusted off the tent and went away the long weekend at the end of September.
Having left it last minute we really struggled to find a campsite…FYI long weekends in Australia book up so fast don’t do what we did. Luckily our friends who are also tent warriors went camping to Kiama and let us know about a site they stayed on and it so happened to have a few spots left on the long weekend.
The campsite Killalea is in a national park which is home to two Surf reserves. It’s only a hour and a half drive out of Sydney. Perfect for a weekend escape out of the city. There is a locked gate if you arrive late at night and your access code is in the confirmation email ( we did not figure this out and tailgated someone in) don’t tail gate as you can get a fine. The sites are all marked out with logs and have a fire burner on each site. The reception sells fire wood. There is also a kitchen and a bathroom block. We didn’t use the kitchen apart from the kettle and the sinks to wash up. But the grills were always busy so must be in good working conditions.
You can walk to both beaches. We walked to Mystic beach and then drove down to “The Farm” beach. The beaches are beautiful long stretches and obviously the sea is full of waves and surfers. It is not a swimming beach but its great to go and lay out and watch the surfers. You are provided a map and there are also signs to the footpath for the beach. You are a 10 minute drive into Kiama which is the nearest town.
Kiama is well known for the blow hole (also Kiama is aboriginal for blow hole). It is a small coastal town very pretty and has old style shops. There are lots of places to eat. We ate at the Hungry Monkey for breakfast – great food and great service. Ritzy Gritz for dinner – the food was okay nothing special but we did have good service. Thai @ Kiama – we had our last dinner there which was really good Thai and good service. You just need to book on a weekend in this town. We didn’t on the first night and struggled to get in anywhere.
We spent the day on the beach at the campsite on one of the days. Sunday we explored the area. We walked over to Cathedral Rocks which are a jagged rock formation on the coast. There were lots of fisherman on the rocks so watch out for there catch of fish in the rock pools. To get to the rocks we walked through Boneyard Beach. We tried Bombo Beach but again it was rough seas for surfing not made for a dip. We decided to head back to Boneyard beach as the water was calm and we could lay on the grass. Added bonus there were loads of dogs around. MK was brave enough for a dip and did a but of snorkeling. He said there were a few fish but it was to cold to stay in there for to long. The shops in Kiama are full of vintage treasures, home made food, English treats (yes there is a English shop), candles, dream catchers and many more well being hippie type of shops….which we love!
We will be back down in Kiama in November with the surf board and hopefully warmer water 🙂
I had been gifted a voucher for Sydney Cooking School from my dad. He had in fact got my sister, her boyfriend, my boyfriend and myself a voucher for Christmas. We have just got around to using it!
We all decided on the Middle Eastern course. Last Saturday we headed to Neutral Bay to the school. Parking is a bit of a nightmare round there. We parked in the shopping centre opposite the school. The first two hours are free and we used three so it cost $8 in total.
Paul was our instructor for the morning. Once the aprons where on he began explaining what we would be cooking. All the ingredients is prepped only a little bit of chopping to be done. The tips we received from Paul about salt, oil, BBQ and cooking fish were very useful and stuff you would use at home.
I am no cook and I don’t enjoy cooking as I find it stressful. I really did enjoy the morning because it was all laid out in front of you and minimal knowledge was required. If you are into cooking then you learn a new dish and also can ask any questions to your instructor you may have.
After we had our main dish cooking we went through to the back which was a outside area covered by a wooden terrace. There was a huge table and a beer from the fridge for us. Paul finished off our food on the BBQ. After enjoying the amazing food…and it was mouth watering we were all given the recipe. Paul also mentioned if you attempted any dish and it didn’t work…simply email the school and within a week they would contact you and help you work out where you went wrong.
What I did learn which is key to my issues cooking …’time and temperature’. I always try to do everything at top heat and as fast as possible. Last nights tea was a lot better then normal, everything was cooked slowly and on a medium heat.
I would never have done this unless I was gifted it…I would recommend this as a gift for anyone. It’s a different start to your Saturday morning and you get lunch and dinner for the day!
Click here for the Sydney Cooking School website
Due to certain events in my adult life I am currently having to fork out most of my wage and with a holiday coming up fast in December I am having to pull those purse strings in. It doesn’t matter what has happened but I am having to pay a lot out at the minuet. I am trying very hard to view it all in a positive light…but for anyone that lives in a city its hard to stay in and save. Every weekend there is something fun happening or someone turning another year older.
For the next two pay checks my funds are very tight in my fun money fund…
Which means no nights out as you can not do these on a budget with the drinks, the food and Ubers home also the hang over food binge the next day… its just a big no no for me. There is the optimistic side of me which sees this time as the time to loose weight and become the health guru I have always wanted to be…doubtful I know.
I also have this thing where I can not stay in on weekends so I am going to have to fill them with lots of things which cost me next to nothing. First things first time to cash in all the gift vouchers you can find. I found two from last Christmas one is a spa day which I will save and the other is cooking lessons with my boyfriend, sister and her boyfriend. We are doing them today at Sydney’s Cooking School. Today is sorted...check it out on my Instagram story.
Below is a list of as many things I can do for a free or very small cost…I am going to drag my friends and boy friend on as many as I can do over the next 6 weeks and I’ll let you know how they go! (I will see if Groupon has any good deals as well)
** If anyone has any more suggestions please leave a comment and Ill add it to the list**
- Dog Walking at a Shelter
- Coastal Walk
- Manly-Split Walk
- Sydney’s free walking tour
- Picnic in Vacluse
- Snorkeling at the beach
- Walking in the national park
- Walking in Blue Mountains
- Cheap Tuesday Cinema Tickets
- Royal Botanical Park
- The Federation Cliff Walk
- North Head Sanctuary
- Sydney Art Gallery
- The Rocks Discovery Museum
- Paddington Markets
- Murray Rose Pool
- Beach at Sun Rise and a Coffee
- Sydney Fish Market
- Carriage Works Farmer Markets
I feel after this weekend it is safe to say winter is on its way out!
The weather was beautiful this weekend and perfect to get outside. Friday night was very relaxing with just having a quick bite to eat at The Ritz in Marrickville. The food is basic but good pub food and they also had live music on a Friday. The rest of the night was spent watching the Olympics…I just can not get enough of it all.
**Go Team GB**
Saturday I was at my partners house with his roommates and we just went to get a Vietnamese Roll from their local shop. Personally I am not a massive fan but they are obsessed with them. It is also ranked the number 2 place to eat in Marrickville, so I’ll put the link in this post. Once I was back home in Randwick it was usual weekend chores then a quick change for my friends Birthday. Disaster struck at 4PM when the restaurant we had booked all 20 of us into had a fire and had to remain shut this weekend. We did manage to get a booking at a Indian restaurant in Coogee called The Clove. Now back home Indian food is amazing and I have never really found anything as good here in Australia. The Clove though came very close it was great food and service to say they had to deal with 20 individual orders.The food was delicious and after way to much of it and wine we tackled a homemade Birthday cake before heading to Coogee Pavilion. I am honestly not the biggest fan of Coogee Pavilion…its just not usually my scene. But this Saturday I really enjoyed it having a few nice cocktails and playing table tennis and giant Jenga with friends was a great way to celebrate our friends Birthday.
The sun was out Sunday so it was straight to the beach in the morning with a coffee. A few brave swimmers ventures in but I was very content on the sand. The afternoon was spent in the Coogee Bay Hotel to watch the Conor McGregor fight. I am not a massive fan of UFC fighting at all but having a few Irish friends and a Irish boyfriend makes the fight a fun day out. I did miss the fight by a few seconds but the atmosphere doesn’t fade. The sun was out and so were the Sunday drinkers. Having to get up at the crack of dawn it was a early exit from the festive’s for some dinner and sleep. I have a suspicion a few of my friends did carry on and enjoyed Sunday night to the fullest.
Trying to save money and live in a city is close to impossible but sometimes the time comes when you really think….’shit I need some savings’. This month I am not spending money I am saving. I’m going to write how I go and cope missing out on a few social events. My Opal is topped up for work and I have done my food shop at Aldi and the butchers, ready to be a budget babe for a month!
***Side note I do not cook, I am 28 and I can not cook at all. I don’t enjoy it, maybe cos I am bad at it who knows…but I am going to have to cook as eating out is not a option this month***
The plan is easy…don’t spend. I have all my food supplies at home I just need to become organized. The weekend plan is not to stay in and binge on movies and series but to go out and do something with a packed lunch so I don’t go stir crazy.
I survived the first weekend not venturing out to any bars or lovely breakfasts. Instead Saturday I filled my day with a full food shop which took forever as I have not really done one before. I did my laundry for the week and then had a nice bath before watching a movie. I did miss out on a friends Birthday but I got filled in by my flatmate when she returned from Newtown. Sunday I went and did a coastal walk as the weather improved greatly. That afternoon I prepared for work as I get up at 5AM for my lengthy commute I need to have my stuff ready.
Ill write later on how I got on today and what I manged to create in the kitchen. Any easy recipes or tips let me know!
P.S I have given myself a $20 spend for the week on a treat!