Our last day in Broome was slow and leisurely. Just the way Beach holidays should be.
I started with an early massage in the beautiful spa.
Then it was coffee and a trip to the beach. The last day called for a beach chair and umbrella. We loved it!
We made ourselves comfortable and enjoyed the ocean breeze and the passing parade of swimmers. Beaches are wonderful people watching places.
We went to Divers Tavern for lunch I swear that is my last chip for the holidays. Why, oh why, does everything come with chips?
Chip Tactics…….1. I try not to eat them at all or 2. try to just have six, or 3. ask to have salad on the side instead……. Today I tried this tactic but my unsmiling service man said ‘ no changes to the menu’. So I went to tactic 2 ! Also, why are chips so yummy?
Our last afternoon was spent pottering around our hotel, a last swim, packing and our last sunset drink. Apparently it’s cold and rainy in Perth where we fly tomorrow.
Steve set out at 7am for a swim with some of the other keen swimmers.
They swam to the pontoon about a 1.5 km along the lagoon – and back! I had a walk following them along.
Back in time for breakfast we had to be ready for pickup by Peter from Chase n’ Thyme tours. I. booked a few weeks ago. It is about 2-3 hrs and Peter has a 12 seater van and takes you to as much of the island as possible.
It was a perfect orientation to the island. The history and geography. Peter is married to a 5th generation local and he’s lived here for 30 years.
He took us to the south of the island and pointed out the features including the two Norfolk Island pinetrees that act as a navigational guide to boats entering the lagoon.
There are pine trees all over the island and are really regarded, by the head gardener at Pinetrees, as a pest. Their needles drop and leach the soil. They don’t break down easily and also germinate causing more trees to grow! But they are here to stay and certainly look attractive.
We drove up to Neds Beach where there is a good coral reef close in – so is a must for snorkeling.
Then to the top of a hill and saw the solar farm. It and the Tesla batteries were provided at a huge cost by the NSW Govt. The power source is proving very valuable and has improved the cost of power to the island.
We saw the jetty where once a fortnight the supply shop arrives with the order for the resorts, restaurants and locals. It is a very popular day in LHI and occasionally due to very bad weather it is held up and everyone suffers. It’s also the reason why everything on the island is very expensive and planning for goods has to be thoroughly done.
Peter dropped us off at the pontoon area. This is the Main Street where they are a few shops and a restaurant, PO, local hall, a small bar called The Crooked Post and a general store. All on short hours! You must plan your visits to be between 10-12 and 2-4. Or miss out. Mind you the Crooked Post opens at 3ish or so the sign says!
Pinetrees has delivered us a bbq. This is part of their lunch options. A picnic , a bbq, or lunch on the deck.
Today we chose a bbq and after getting the woodfire going enjoyed our sausages. Next time I’m opting for fish! It comes with vegetables to grill, salad. All the trimmings. Even a beer or wine!
We packed up and left the picnic basket under a tree for pick up by Pinetrees later. We walked back via the coastal walk and enjoyed an hour rest before another swim.
The dinner was once again delicious. A Japanese style eggplant entree then fish for me and pork belly for Steve.
Steve had met Damon from Sydney. He’s here with the family for his mother in laws 70th. They have the Banyan Cottage. It looks great for a family celebration getaway.
Check out the Pinetrees website and see the Banyan Cottage. Just lovely.
We started the day with a great breakfast on the deck at Pinetrees. The staff here are lovely. They remember your name and help plan your day. You can choose a picnic or BBQ lunch or stay and have lunch on the deck.
So what is there to do on LHI? It’s mostly about walking, swimming , snorkeling, golfing, bike riding and generally getting out into nature and making the most of it. Fortunately our weather is looking good. Apparently it’s been rainy and windy the last few weeks.
We’re a bit limited with some activities but I’m able to walk and Steve can swim so between us we are getting some activity.
After breakfast we walked to the little museum. It’s run by volunteers and has a lovely deck and cafe. It’s also one of only two places on the island with public wifi. I resisted!
The museum gives an overview of the history of LHI. This island is a unique place on earth. It is world heritage listed. More on the history later.
We passed the hospital- one doctor and two nurses. They are kept very busy with locals and then the visitors who seem to fall off bikes, or slip on walking tracks, or fall on Mt Gower. Let’s hope we don’t need medical attention.
We checked out Joy’s general store. It has a huge range of things. From fresh and frozen produce to gifts, toys, useful items and alcohol.
Government House has very low security! The islands administrator lives there. It S just lovely.
Our picnic lunch was ready for us and we found a shady spot near the lagoon and enjoyed our ham, cheese, beetroot and feta salad followed by cheese and crackers.
A perfect lazy picnic.
The sun was shining and the water blue so I had my first swim. It’s beautifully clear water. It’s easy to swim out to where the coral starts. You start to see coloured fish or if you’re lucky a turtle or some rays. Steve did when he swam out a lot further.
The water temperature was just perfect. It’s around 23 in the water so very comfortable. Apparently, it’s best swim weather over the summer months. February in particular.
The afternoon was spent reading and dozing in the afternoon sun and suddenly it was G & T time.
Dinner was once again delicious. A few lightly spiced prawns followed by swordfish for me and beef cheek for Steve. Dessert was a small cinnamon donut with poached pear. It was Valentines Day so we enjoyed a few bubbles.
We packed up and headed towards Ginetta & Stephen’s holiday house at Bicheno.
It’s on the east coast of Tasmania and a popular summer holiday place.
It takes about 2.5 hrs to drive there normally! But took us more like 6. We had numerous stops as our friends know the area very well and stopped at local landmarks.
The day was sunny but typical for Tasmania it decided to have another season and turned cloudy. and cool.
We drove to Sorell for coffee then on through green farm land for another stop at Buckland. The Anglican Church, St John the Baptist had a pair of carved wooden statues out the front.
Next stop the Lisdillion salt works. Established in the 1830’s they were producing salt only until the 1840’s and the stone work in the photo are the remains of the salt stores.
We drove onto Swansea and passed the Spikey Bridge which was built by the convicts for a purpose not entirely clear. Perhaps to stop people jumping off!
Then time for lunch. The Freycinet Marine Farm was the perfect spot. We had plump sweet oysters and the most delicious seafood chowder I have ever had! Along with a Rose we sat in the garden covered with rugs to keep out the chill.
We put off visiting Coles Bay and headed onto Bicheno as time was getting on!
Not without another stop at the Pondering Frog. Ginetta & Stephen promised it was the most gorgeous berry ice cream ever. Served by Lester and wife Camille we enjoyed our ice cream as we heard Lesters story of his move from Qld to Tasmania. I think he has made his fortune in selling ice cream and giving advice. One of life’s great characters.
We finally arrived at Bicheno. Ginetta & Stephen’s house is the perfect beach shack. By 5pm it was very cool so we lit the fire poured the Aperol and explored the house and the view.
This is the view looking back towards the beach house. It’s on the Sandy beach on the left. A two minute walk from the town. Perfect!
There’s a beach where you can pull up and jump out onto the sand. The minute you arrive it feels like a holiday.
There is a restaurant with indoor and outdoor tables. all very casual resort style.
We made ourselves comfortable in the shade, waiting for our lunch to be delivered and were entertained by a watching a large lizard roaming around.
Ollie watched from the safety of Didi’s arms.
Our lovely lunch came – nice salads, sandwiches and fish & chips. Ollie liked his kids serve contained in a pirate ship!
After lunch along came a wallaby! So much entertainment.
Following the wallaby show we played in the sand and the shallows until time to go.
El and I walked along the path to find the camping ground. It’s really lovely. There’s a few tent structures for hire if you don’t want to bring your own. lots of bbqs , picnic table and access to the beach. We decided we’d like to come here to stay.
Back on board the breeze had dropped and we cruised back via Couran Cove. There are some great looking houses. Again we decided it would be good to rent a house when we want a family getaway.
We cruised around the canals of the Coomera area. Then back to the boat ramp.
Ollie was having a great time and loved running up and down the ramp! With me in hot pursuit.
He wore himself out and slept on the way home.
Why not consider a Queensland holiday? Right in our own backyard we have a wealth of great beaches, rivers parks. Plan a visit soon. You’ll love it.
Breakfast with a view is always a good idea. It sets you up for the day.
We picked up a car and headed off – south past the airport.
Down towards Cronulla , an area referred to as ‘The Shire’. It’s a beach area with comfortable bungalow style houses and access to the beach via a long Boulevard.
Onto the road through the National Park and then we wound down towards the Sea Bridge Cliff drive. This road is an engineering feat. It’s about 700mt long and goes out over the water. It’s not attached at the bottom of the steep rock cliffs as there are the dangerous boulders will break loose and roll onto the road.
It’s a cameramans delight! The clouds in the sky made it more dramatic.
We had to stop at the Scarborough Hotel for a reviving coffee and were tempted to share the gorgeous home baked carrot cake. Definitely no lunch needed.
Then the trip took us past little seaside places of our childhood. My parents had their honeymoon at Kiama and our family had holidays at Gerringong, Steve’s family at Austinmer, Erowal Bay and Huskinson. So we had a little trip down memory lane.
We continued south past Berry, Molleymook, Batemans Bay. Then into Moruya, took a left turn and onto Bingi. There’s no town there. It’s a National Park with some acreage land with home. Built in secluded spots. Jan & Stuart live there in a house designed by Stuart.
The floor of the outdoor terrace is actually the top of an enormous water tank. The mosaic floor has been designed as a map of the area with their house shown as the white pebble circle in the photo above. Quite stunning.
There are big kangaroos grazing just outside and if you ignore them they’ll ignore you. You don’t want them coming over and boxing you!
We walked through the trees to the beach. It’s secluded and very special.
Home to many birds, you have to respect their habitat. We climbed up the hill to the side and spotted The Pinnacles sitting in isolation on a small beach.
Dinner was prepared by Stuart a man of many talents. He’s an architect but paints wonderful scenes of the area and designed built and ran The Rivers at Moruya, a great restaurant- the first to get one hat on the South Coast.
The night was dark, the frogs croaked the kangaroos stood on hind legs boxing and we slept in peace.
Living within a resort complex protects you from the big noisy outside world. Each time we leave Peppers Resort the senses are assaulted!
Last night we walked to the beach area. Up and down the broken foot paths, dodging motor bikes and scooters , waving a ‘No’ to taxi drivers, admiring the little altars set up along the paths and greeting the smiling Balinese people as we walked. They don’t harass you to ‘come in and look look’ like in China!
We had a really lovely early dinner with the children who were well looked after by the wait staff at La Lucciola.
It’s by the beach in a very pretty setting- if you avoided the smells from the creek we crossed arriving at the restaurant.
The cocktails were great and the food delicious.
After dinner Sam took the children back to the villa and Clare, her mother in law Denise, my sister Catherine and I continued around the streets to watch and explore and do a little shopping.
I had forgotten my hat! So I bought a new one quickly at the markets in the afternoon.
We found a lovely dress shop called Misty. The girl in the shop knew she’d would have a good sale when we all walked in! We all had a little try on and I bought two new dresses and Catherine one . Perfect for Brisbane’s sunny weather.
We continued walking – up and down avoiding the holes and broken concrete and made our way back to our villa.
This morning another lovely breakfast to celebrate Denise’s birthday. The charming staff came out with a little cake with a self lighting candle that just couldn’t blow out. The kids loved it!
We checked out the Spa next door planning our massages and facials and Catherine and I decided to walk back to the beach to check out the beach scene in the day light.
Just a little disappointed- the sand is a black colour and the surf a little rough. But we had a walk as the clouds gathered.
The entrance to the beach was impressive as was the lifesaving tower!
There were boats and deck chairs but it was probably too early for most people as the beach seemed quiet. Perhaps everyone sits by their resort pool?
We stopped by a modern looking cafe run by a German man. If you’re looking for some fresh, clean, healthy food this place would suit. Check out Clean Canteen on Petitenget. Delicious salads.
We walked along the quieter lane leading back to our resort. There are some great looking places to stay here away from the crowds.
So our afternoons are spent on deck chairs by the pool. It’s a lovely way to relax.
Yesterday I repacked my bag after returning from Vanuatu and flew out of Brisbane into Sydney, then onto Bali!
Yes another lovely holiday coming up. This one will be a more relaxing holiday – no long distance swimming.
Coming out of the arrival hall I was greeted by a smiling Arys a lovely local man.
I’m staying at the Peppers resort in Seminyak with my niece and her family, their mothers ( my sister Catherine) and now me!
The resort at 11.30 was very quiet – unlike the streets around Seminyak which were awash with bikes , cars and groups of people wandering around.
I crept into the Villa and into the pavilion bedroom I’m sharing with my sister Catherine.
The villa is made up of 3 separate pavilions around a pool and lovely shaded cabana. And an outdoor bathroom! Bliss.
Breakfast this morning was in the central resort area by the pool and was served by the smiling Balinese. Fruits, eggs, pancakes ( not for gluten free me!) Now we are sitting by the pool chatting and playing with Jack and Zali.
Our celebration – end of Swimtrekking dinner was held at the Waterfront restaurant. This time the atmosphere was right, the staff friendly and everyone was in a great mood. Naturally the fish curry was terrific.
Yves gave us a great farewell message followed by Lizzie giving out the awards.
There was Coral Colleen who seemed so attracted to coral cuts; pocket rockets Jenny & Wendy; no complaint Shean despite his shoulder injury; calm caring yoga Carmel; action-woman Kathy and action-man John with calm eyebrow raising Margaret !
Our youngest swimmer Bec for her fun approach- the comedian who is happy to write any letters of comments of complaint!
Tarzan Frankie for her spectacular rope swing into the lagoon and Pavarotti Ralph; kickboard Steve kicking ass everyday; a swim converted Greg who surprised himself with his strong swimming and maybe even enjoying it! Native dancer Maryanne; nurse Monique (a true Vanuatu local of the Watt family) for cheerfully dabbing all our coral cuts, and smiley Soosi for her never give up attitude soldiering on after injury, and Janice – most improved swimmer, who was awarded half price if she returned on another swim holiday.! I was awarded the best group organiser with a ‘joie de vivre.’ Thank you Lizzie for a wonderfully delivered awards ceremony.
We reciprocated with our group thanks and gift to the guide team especially Yves who put the trip together. To Lizzie the friendliest most helpful guide around and to Matthew the local who added so much local knowledge to each day and kept us safe.
Then the group had a huge surprise for Steve and I. He was named King Neptune and me, Amphitrite – his wife.
They had made crowns of thanks for us for pulling them together for this wonderful adventure.
As much as we loved our crowns we can’t take them home to Australia so gave them to Matthew and his wife for safe-keeping on the island Vanuatu for our return.
Definitely a swimtrekking success. One we’ll never forget.