Friday, February 5, 2016

Wet Side Water Park - Hervey Bay

We sure packed a lot into our 11 days of holiday.  Writing these posts has reminded me of so many cool moments (and some pretty average ones too #nevermind). Wet Side Water Park was probably the absolute highlight for our kiddos.  They loved it so much we actually dropped a couple of activities so that we could visit more than once. 

The park itself is free, and the activities are graduated so that there's something fun for kids of most ages.  Quite a few adults were making the most of it too!  We arrived in QLD from a cold Spring season, smack bang into their first little pre-Summer heatwave.  It was sweaty hot, a little overwhelming after our scarves and tights weather.  We were thus primed to enjoy Wet Side to the max.  And, we did.

For Eleanor and Garly, this meant spending the entire day in the sprinklers, breaking only for a quick bite of lunch.  For the rest of us it was all about the shade and the smoothies.  There are two little eateries to choose from, and plenty of outdoor seating, for picnics and such.  You don't need to set aside your comfort, and you can order a flat white to sip while you watch the kids.  Perfect!

Cost: Free!
Highlights: Watching my bubbas spontaneously cuddle in the middle of the sprinklers, so overjoyed by it all.
Lowlights: I can't think of any.
Expectation vs. Reality:  So much better.  I saw a few pics and thought it would be a fun picnic spot.  We ended up staying two days and had the best time!
Worth repeating: Definitely.
What we'd do differently:  Pack a bigger picnic.

Mooloolaba Drive-by

If I could have one do-over of our trip to Queensland, it would be to spend more time in Mooloolaba.  We stayed several nights, but only managed one drive-by. In the replay version of our trip, I push through the evening weariness and we head down to the beach for fish and chips...

I'm glad we got to see a little of the place, sliding past our car windows.  I was struck by how low-key Mooloolaba felt, having expected something more like GC. It was quiet and there were plenty of quirky Queenslanders (the house kind, fyi).  I don't know what gems are hidden there, but I'm hoping we'll get a chance to find out sometime.  

Have you visited?  Which places are we not allowed to miss, next time?

Sunday, January 31, 2016


Tomorrow is the start of our homeschooling year with Eleanor.  We're homeschooling newbies, but we're using the Oak Meadow curriculum (we bought ours on ebay) and I feel like we're in safe hands.  I'm in the process of setting up a classroom space for Eleanor, hoping it'll turn out cute as well as functional.

I'll share a little of our journey, from time to time.  I'd also love to hear tips from homeschooling parents, too.  Especially links to cool websites, or useful resources.  We're teaching from a Steiner/Waldorf influenced perspective, so any resources that would complement that - perf!

The fact that I'll be starting the year with a new fixed-term contract has changed up our schedule a little.  But the bonus of homeschooling and self-employment is that there's already a high level of flexibility! With two parents (and a nana!) teaching, I'm hoping we've got it all covered :-)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Eumundi Markets

Perhaps Australia Zoo was a little less fun than we'd hoped for, partly because we'd already spent the morning scouring the Eumundi Markets.  Between the market (huge!) and the zoo (huger!), that's a fair bit of walking in one day.  In the middle of a mini heatwave.  

I really enjoyed the Eumundi Markets, though was a little disappointed to see fewer handmade artisans, and more commercial stalls than expected.  It was one of those feel-good late Spring days; flowers blooming, the scent of warm bread and fresh coffee, a trickle of sweat down your neck as you scamper into the shade... that kind of thing.

The food was amazing.  Heaps of crazy good options.  It was pretty difficult deciding what to go with, but I'll always be a crepes girl!

I also loved Eumundi itself, or what we saw of it.  Such a quirky little town, tumble-down buildings, weeds growing with abandon, sunny and green and friendly.  I really wanted to stop and wander around a bit, but we were on a tight schedule.  Dang!

We would definitely like to visit again.  We didn't spend a lot (which was ace!), but we were happy enough just to wander aimlessly, looking.  Perfect morning.

Cost: Free!
Highlights: Definitely those crepes.
Lowlights: The heat was getting up there.
Expectation vs. Reality:  Handmade items were scarce.  Also, the market was far bigger than we'd expected.
Worth repeating: For sure!
What we'd do differently:  Stop in the township for a bit, and explore.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo wasn't my all-time favourite part of our recent(ish) QLD trip.  It was hot.  We were tired.  I was ready to get home.  I was struck by how simple, and often small the enclosures were, and yet it still felt like an I-Spy game trying to spot the animals.  And that one time, when we spotted a sleeping koala in the centre of the food court.  That depressed me.

We did hit our stride in Roo Heaven, which really was.  The zoo was lush and green, too, which was pretty pleasant.  I think though, I won't visit again.  As zoos go, it wasn't my favourite.

Have you visited?  What did you think?  Perhaps I was just having a bad day...

Cost: Expensive.
Highlights: The cute, cute roos!  Petting koalas and taking home macaw feathers - also ace.
Lowlights: Australia Zoo covers quite a bit of ground.  It was therefor disappointing to find after walking all that way, nothing much to see on Bindi's Island.  Lemurs could *just* be viewed through a telescope.  There was a lone turtle in an absolutely tiny aquarium.  And a macaw (which was actually cool!).  The croc show was pretty terrifyingly fun.  Perhaps the Zoo is worth it, just to see that.
Expectation vs. Reality:  I thought it made Auckland Zoo look pretty darn good.
Worth repeating: Maybe not.
What we'd do differently:  We wouldn't bother with Bindi's Island or Africa.  Not worth the walk.