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 🙂
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
My Mum and Dad have now been living their own lives for many years. It has come with its struggles which isn’t important right now cos everyone is working on the future not the past. My Mum married her Fiancé when we went home on the 15th July.
My sister and I came home for it along with our boyfriends. All the wedding chaos was under control when we arrived and Mum had survived her hen do to the York races. My boyfriend is from Ireland so he flew in from there to experience Yorkshire for the first time.
The wedding was in the Yorkshire Dales near the village Grassington. Mum wanted a small intimate wedding with all the important people in her and her partners life. Most guests where staying in the village in lovely country cottages. We didn’t have much time to relax in the cottages, just a place to rest and get ready.
The night before the wedding Mum had arranged dinner at a local pub. It was a very relaxed setting for all the guests to mingle. My sister and I met my mums partners daughter and her husband along with there new born daughter. We also met more of his family and caught up with ours. After a evening of good pub food and chats everyone retired to get some rest for the big day.
My sister and I were up early to get hair and make up done with mum and a few others in her cottage. Our hair was done by my sisters friend and our make up was by my friend Emma. Once everyone was ready we went up to the country house where the ceremony was being held. It was a lovey house which a couple rented out for weddings. We waited in a room helped mum get into her dress and settle nerves. When my mum put her dress on I think it hit home she’s actually getting married. She looked fantastic it was a very emotional moment. The bag piper started to play and my sister and I walked our mum into the room to her fiance. The ceremony was lovely and not a dry eye in the room as they exchanged vows. I don’t usually put photos up on my blog of people but I have to show Mum off.
The mini bus picked all of us up and took us to the venue for the evening. It was a barn in the back of a small country pub. Fairy lights all over the barn and one long table so everyone was eating together. The food was beautiful and after the food and speeches we were ushered out of the barn as they transformed it into the dance floor. The rest of night was spent dancing and celebrating the new couple. At midnight we were all taken back to our cottages and the next morning we had breakfast in a cafe with everyone before we all parted to go home.
I always struggle with wedding presents….for my mums wedding I bought a Polaroid Camera and lots of film. I took loads of photo at the evening do and put them in a photo album. Mum loved this especially as their photographer left after the first dance. It has actually come in very handy has the camera and it is extremely cheap to run…unlike my retro Polaroid camera. Click here to view the camera we used at the wedding.
The day was such a emotionally day seeing your Mum get married is slightly weird but just so special as well. Not many people get to see their parents marry and it was a very special moment having everyone there from all over the world to watch them become husband and wife. My mum is a fantastic role model shes is fabulous, strong and started a whole new life at 57 years old. She taught my sister and I that no matter the age your life is never over, to always be strong and happiness will follow.
Coming out of Christmas me and my friend had decided to move out of our house shares and find a apartment for just the two of us. I had not idea how hard it would actually be to secure one.
We spent many weekends trailing around the area going to open houses with about 50 other people as well. Both of us are on a working holiday visa and that always seemed to be a disadvantage when speaking to the real estate agent. After 3 failed applications I decided to look on gum tree and rent through a private landlord. We showed up to the viewing with all our paper work ready and spoke to the land lord for a while. We both fell in love with the small unit. After a anxious week of waiting it was confirmed that we had been offered the rental agreement.
A few things I learnt from the whole experience;
- Contact the landlord before the viewing to see if you can get the paperwork early
- Fill in the paperwork.
- Have all your ID proof copied.
- At the viewing you can then present all your application complete making a good impression.
- Keep in contact with the landlord to show you are keen and ready to move as soon as possible.
- If you are on a holiday working visa you will probably have more success through a private landlord then a real estate agent.
It was very much worth the wait though to have our own two bedroom unit. Filling it with furniture has been hard but we have got there through some very good friends lending us their muscle and Ute’s.
The building has a roof terrace with a view of the city and I am obsessed with the view at sunset!