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The Nullarbor Plain, Australia {Photo Junket}

By on Jul 11, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

The Nullarbor Plain appears at first to be an open wasteland, a shrine to a dead sea that once flooded this part of the world. A place of isolation where thoughts of solitude intimately dances with the notions of going walk-about. For this week’s photo junket I thought I’d take you on a road-trip across the Nullarbor, and for me, a trip down memory lane. We encountered the fascinating treeless landscape of The Nullarbor Plain on a road trip from Melbourne to Perth. This adventure would see us relocate over 3500kms from one side of our vast country to the other all whilst driving a twenty year old Ford Fiesta. Needless to say our adventure across the Australian Outback was an action packed and unforgettable experience. The drive takes you along the Eyre Highway (A1) which stretches from Port Augusta to Norseman via some of the most remote towns in Australia before passing by the desolate Great Australian Bight. This almost endless stretch of straight road  can seem lonely at times and it is truly one of the most magnificent landscapes in the world!      ...

Photo of the Week: Fishing in Carnarvon

By on Jun 8, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

I recently spent a couple of days up in the banana capital of Carnarvon, located in the Gasgoyne Pilbara region of Western Australia. I was staying in this coastal town to get in touch with my inner Bear Grylls and to get involved in a bit of fishing which somewhere along the line of growing up, I had forgot to embrace this primal hunter instinct in me. So joined by my grandfather and my partner in crime Niki, we ventured out to Babbage island before sunrise to cast a line. This photo was taken out to sea at the end of the mile long jetty looking back as the rustic town of Carnarvon. I found it fascinating to watch the colours of the sky change as the sun rose up to reflect the scorched earth that make this part of the world so harsh. Carnarvon has plenty to offer if you’re travelling north and is approximately twelve hours driving from Perth, making it a great stop over on your way to Exmouth and Ningaloo. By the way, in case you wanted to know how many fish Niki caught? A nice half dozen. Want to know how many I caught in my Bear Grylls Action Man stance? Zero….I’ve never lived it down!...

The Best Coffee in Perth

By on Jun 1, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

“It’s a big call I know, but as a serious coffee connoisseur I can say the search is over. The best brown drop in Perth may have been found…”     It belongs to that of Oxford 130, a funky little cafe that has long been established among locals and Perth’s die-hard coffee devotee’s alike. Located on Oxford Street in Leederville this cafe and its staff are dedicated to blending the perfect brew. Forget the recent trend of polished cafes with menu’s so long they confuse, this place is all about ‘the coffee’. They do however offer a small menu of simple but great breakfasts and yummy handmade cakes. The thick sourdough toast is a must! This small but comfortable cafe lines its walls with both old and new gig posters, providing a interesting aesthetic but also offering an education on the headline acts that have passed through and entertained Perth over the years. You could spend the whole day lost in the walls of this place. It’s a great cafe to spend a morning losing time with a coffee in hand. Nestled amongst the gig posters you’ll find the cafe’s motto on coffee proudly painted next to the Barista’s, which really proves their passion for their craft: “Few beverages are are as intoxicating, heartwarming and utterly satisfying as a steaming cup of hot freshly made coffee. There is the flavour, the stimulation and the colour. There is the body and point, sharpness and above all the aroma. Preserving the fragrance and the fleeting aroma is what good coffee is all about, and the secret as all the pundits often repeat, lies in the word ‘fresh’ = freshly roasted, freshly ground, freshly made” Oxford 130. So impressed with Soy Lattes at Oxford 130 I refer to them as ‘magic coffee’. But even great coffee aside, this cafe is a great place to sit and ponder, work on your novel or grab a window seat and people watch as the ‘cool kids’ of Leederville wander by…    ...

The Ultimate Perth Bucket List

By on Apr 12, 2011 in Western Australia | 2 comments

  Bucket List (vb) : A list of activities, attractions or experiences that a person  would like to complete before they kick the bucket. Now I realise Perth isn’t exactly known for it raging social calendar and world class attractions, however I really do believe that Perth has such a dynamic range of activities and experiences to offer everyone – sometimes you just have to look a little harder though. With that in mind here in my Ultimate Bucket List of things to do in Perth or within a day’s trip…. 1. Moonlighting at the outdoor cinema during summer at Kings Park. 2. Enjoy the magnificent architecture at St Mary’s Cathedral. 3. Catch a play or ballet at the stunning His Majesty Theatre. 4. Enjoy great coffee  in Tiger Tiger’s courtyard. 5. Wander through the funky stores and groovy bars along Shafto Lane. 6. Max out the credit cards on King street. 7. Watch an Eagles or Dockers AFL game at Subiaco during the footy season. 8. Eat and Drink yourself silly on Beaufort Street. 9. Zig Zag your way down the Zig Zag in Kalamunda. 10. Eat the best Indian in town at Chutney Mary’s Subiaco. 11. If your into your tennis, you can’t miss the Hopman Cup in January at Burswood Dome. 12. Visit PICA for some inspiring and creative contemporary artwork. 13. Check if your boots were made for walking on a Two Feet and Heartbeat Walking Tour. 14. Learn and get involved in local Noongar traditions at the Indigenous Heritage Tour King Park. 15. Party hard at one of the many clubs in Northbridge. 16. Find out who Megamouth is at the Western Australian History Museum. 17. A must for crazy people – run yourself silly up Jacob’s Ladder, Kings Park. 18. Spin, Swing, Bump, Rock, Shop and Eat yourself silly at the Perth Royal Show in September. 19. Check out the classics at the Perth Art Gallery. 20. Play with Trish the elephant at the Perth Zoo. 21. Blow up stuff at SciTech. 22. Get you frocks on Ladies for the Perth Cup – the most enjoyable racing day of the year. 23. Ramble through the city malls on  Hay and Murray streets. 24. Enjoy a picnic at Kings Park. 25. Remember what it was like to a be a kid at Adventure World. 26. Sniff yourself silly at the Perth wildflower festival, Kings Park. 27. Swim between the flags at Cottesloe or City Beach. 28. Go gaga over Quokkas on Rottnest Island. 29. Check out this awesome market dedicated to local handmade designs, Perth Upmarket. 30. Check out the largest Pelican colony in Perth as well as our other fury friends at Penguin Island (Please take the ferry). 31. See one of the many performances at the Perth International Festival of the Arts. 32. Eat the best Indonesian in Perth at Sparrows Restaurant, Northbridge. 33. Go antiquing in the historic town of Guildford. 34. Try some of the best wines in the world in the Swan Valley. Particular highlights include Houghton’s and Sandlford. 35. Snorkel the underwater trail at Little Island off Hillarys. 36. Check out the canvas exhibits at Holmes Court Gallery. 37. Swim with sharks at AQWA. 38. Enjoy a great coffee at the Fremantle Arts Centre before critiquing seasonal exhibits. 39. Not for the claustrophobic, however kayaking underneath Fremantle through the old colonial tunnels is a once in a lifetime experience. 40. Enjoy a tipple at the excellent Sail and Anchor or Little Creature Breweries. 41. Get involved in the Blessing of the Fleet festival. 42.Take a trip in the horrors of the Fremantle Prison or get married here… 43. Try to sit in a corner in the Round house, Fremantle. 44. Find some rum and put on your favourite eye patch for the Maritime Museum. 45. Treat yourself to some local produce and souvenirs at the Fremantle Markets. 46. Get all hot under your collar at the Fremantle Chilli Festival. 47. An Western Australian institute, Simmo’s Ice cream will leave you wanting. 48. Enjoy spoonfuls of FREE chocolate buttons before purchasing all the truffles you could eat at Margaret River Chocolate Factory. 49. Could one tempt you in a tasty cheese at Margaret River Cheese Factory? 50. Drive around the Pinnacles whilst playing “born to be wild”! 51. Enjoy a drive out to New Norcia before breaking the bread at the beautifully built historic monastery. 52. Visit the historic town of York and chase haunted ghosts while visiting the superb selection of colonial buildings in the area. Penny-farthing Lolly Shop is the best. 53. Recommended by our readers and Niki and I totally agree – “The Perth Mint tour is a MUST see!” 54. Another reader recommendation and one of Niki’s favorites too, The Perth Fashion Festival is a great place to celebrity spot and check out the best looks for next season.   Has anyone got anymore suggestions, drop me a comment below?...

Tiger Tiger Cafe

By on Apr 4, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

My husband and I have a bit of a ritual going on. Every week, (usually Tuesdays because we both have the day off) we head down to a cafe for a coffee meeting. It’s a time to discuss our week gone, organise our week ahead and to just generally chat and engage with each other over coffee. Sure we chat and engage at home every other day of the week, but setting aside a designated time for a ‘meeting’ ensures we make time to sit down and talk (and more importantly listen) to each other.     This Tuesday saw us head into Perth to Tiger Tiger Coffee Bar for our weekly coffee meeting. Tiger Tiger is located down a cobbled laneway off Murray Street (near the corner of King Street). After a short walk down the alley we entered the cafe and found friendly staff asking to take our order. “Two  Latte’s, a bowl of Cinnamon porridge with fruit compote and warm soy milk on the side and 2 slices of Fruit toast thank you”. “Coming right up!”. The coffee’s were made then and there and all in the time it took me to pay. We grabbed a table outside in the lane way for our alfresco breakfast and opened our meeting. The coffee was excellent (as was the conversation)! Some of the  best Coffee I’ve found in Perth so far. ‘Magic’ even. Smooth, perfect strength, great flavour, perfect temperature and importantly good quality soy milk used. Yummy! And then the breakfasts arrived! The Fruit toast looked and smelled amazing – thick fruit and nut toast with melting butter, but the clear winner of menu envy was the Cinnamon Porridge – a winter warmer nourishing for the soul (not exactly winter weather yet here in Perth)!     I noticed on glancing at their business card that they serve Champagne from 7am. I rather fancy a champagne breakfast in a cobbled laneway, don’t you? The Barista and owner says via the website “tiger, tiger is about consistently great coffee. What I love about the world of coffee is there is soooo much to always learn and there’s a few ways you can choose to do it when you have your own venue. It’s definitely part art, part technology with a huge dose of passion. That’s why having Jackson on the team is such a blessing because like me, he’s really passionate about making coffee. I still get as excited today as I did ten years ago when I get on the machine. Every cup is a challenge and there always has to be a measure of concentration (even after all this time) that engages you. I think you build your business on consistency and it is our aim that you enjoy all aspects of the tiger experience…coffee, food and atmosphere.“   Overall it was a very pleasurable coffee experience with a great character and ambiance that took me back to my some of my favourite Cafe’s in Melbourne. I hear the wine list there is non too shabby either. Note to self: must head back to Tiger Tiger for Friday night...

Flying with Strategic Airlines

By on Mar 19, 2011 in Western Australia | 0 comments

Last week I had the opportunity to fly to Bali with Strategic Airlines, a new airline on the travel scene operating from Australia to Bali and Phuket. I was keen to explore what Strategic Airlines could offer to a route that is crammed full of budget airlines. To start off with Strategic Airlines offers an all-inclusive package and I know what you’re thinking – all-inclusive means higher fare prices right? Well with National carriers that may be the case, however a recent study indicated that once you add in all your taxes and all your incidentals on budget carriers (not including Sale fares) your actually paying more than an all inclusive fare and not to mention the stress of  booking your extra add-ons, so perhaps we should be looking for inclusive fares? In fact, when I compared a flight between  Strategic Airlines and Air Asia on the 13th of March from Perth to Bali, Strategic Airlines was cheaper with everything included!* I think the biggest selling point for Strategic Airlines is that they are putting comfort and relaxation back into flying whilst maintaining an affordable price. More and more often I’m sitting on a crowded flight with my legs up around my neck prodding something that resembles food that had been slopped down in front me and questioning why I didn’t pay a few extra dollars and enjoyed my flight instead of opting for the cheapest price I could find? With all of this in mind, my experience of personally flying with all the carriers servicing Bali, as well my past experience working for an airline flying to Bali, I’m going to go out on a limb here and  suggest that Strategic Airlines is one of the best airlines I’ve ever flown with from Perth to Bali!  Their on-time performance was great, arriving thirty minutes early on both flights. The food was enjoyable and when was the last time you said that sentence in relation to airline food?  The Australian cabin crew were friendly and professional, a certain other Australian airline could take note of this and the spacious seats didn’t make you feel like a tiger crammed into a sardine tin. And best of all is that everything is included and I didn’t need to worry about purchasing my seat and the chaotic push to get onto the plane to find a seat. I didn’t have to worry about purchasing the right to bring luggage and if I had purchased enough kilos. I didn’t have to worry about having money on me to buy drinks on board and I didn’t have to worry about how I would keep myself entertained on the flight – thank you Mega-Mind. I just didn’t need to worry and isn’t that what going on holiday is all about?   Update 16/11/2011: Strategic Airlines have re-branded and are now known as Air Australia. They have also changed their service structure and are no longer providing inclusive...