PINK LAKE // Melbourne, Australia

Finally, a post not heavy with photos! These are just some quick snaps I wanted to share of a little Melbournian adventure Chris and I took a couple of weekends ago. Since moving to the southside of the city, we have been trying to get out on our bikes more, so after seeing yet another photo of Melbourne’s Pink Lake I decided this was the perfect afternoon mission.

Our bike ride took us along the Bay Trail towards Williamstown, but we stopped at Sandridge Beach in order to detour to a look out I chanced upon on Google maps. Turns out it was a good find, providing perfect views looking back over the CBD.

The bay was also full of sail boats, so it was great to sit down for a pit stop and take in the surrounds.

The famed ‘Pink Lake’ is located at Westgate Park, a strange little nature reserve under the Westgate Bridge that I am fairly sure had only gained fame due to this lake. One of the lakes in the park turns bright pink during the summer, one of the few lakes in the world to do so. The exact cause of this colouration remains unknown, but it is thought to be a result of sunlight and algae. Either way, it looks pretty spectacular and certainly draws a crowd of people desperate to take a selfie with it.

 

The lake was slightly less pink than I anticipated, but I guess that is to be expected when we were visiting at the end of summer! It was still pretty amazing, and it certainly made me appreciate how strange and beautiful nature can be sometimes.

– Reanna

WINE & WHIMSY // Yanakie & Fish Creek, Australia

Summer is technically over in Australia, but the days are still long and the weather is still warm. But sometimes Mother Nature likes to keep us guessing, so when we woke up on the second day of our long weekend in Yanakie we found that the skies had opened and torrential storms had set in! Not to be perturbed, we all ventured out the Foster Market, but once the thunder and rain began rolling over we quickly packed up and headed to an early lunch at Fish Creek Pub. By the time we had finished with our meal, the skies were like this!

With the sun set to stay, we made our own small wine tour for the afternoon. Despite growing up in South Gippsland, I haven’t been to many wineries in the region! I suppose my appreciation for wine didn’t really set in until I moved to Melbourne.

Our first stop was Waratah Hills, a quite modern looking establishment that was packed with visitors for the long weekend. We skipped the indoor area and settled down outside with a few local wines to try.

Half our group headed back to Yanakie after the first winery, while the rest of us persevered on to our second stop, Basia Mille. It involved driving along an unassuming dirt road for several kilometres, but it was totally worth it. The views over the nearby Shallow Inlet were stunning, and the vibe was a lot more chilled out.

The following morning we were set to head back to Melbourne, but Chris and I squeezed in one last walk along the beach. The tide was out, so the beach wasn’t as beautiful as the previous evening due to a plethora of sea grass, but it was still worth a few snaps.

We stupidly wore bare feet, and attempted to cut across the sea grass on our way back. However, we ended up knee deep in sludge and sand, and I was quick to request we head back to higher ground!

South Gippsland is such a wonderful part of the world, and I am glad I still get the opportunity to return there to visit family. Sure, I don’t think I could ever return to living in the area, but it is nice to visit as an adult and appreciate a different side of the beautiful landscape.

– Reanna

IS IT THE WEEKEND? // Wilsons Promontory & Yanakie, Australia

Routine still feels elusive to me some days, but I feel like I am finally falling into the swing of things during the week. I feel pretty lucky that I get to work nine to five, Monday and Friday, as I can finally enjoy the luxury of weekends, and when they arise, long weekends.

This past weekend coincided with a Victorian public holiday on a Monday, so we were treated to what feels like yet another long weekend this year, not that I am complaining! The weekend further coincided with a family event, so Chris and I found ourselves in the countryside with his family for a perfectly chilled out weekend down near Wilsons Promontory.

Well, perhaps the ‘chilled out’ part started after a stunning hike up Mount Bishop. The views were absolutely 10 out of 10.

The hike itself was easier than Mount Oberon, the main mountain hike in Wilsons Promontory. We did the whole walk in less than two hours return, despite the information booklet advising a two and a half hour return trip. I guess it depends how long you stop at the summit to take in the views!

I spent a bit of time at Wilsons Promontory as a child, however it is still probably one of my favourite national parks. The scenery gets me every time, and there are so many hikes that I haven’t even done yet. I really want to get back for some overnight hiking one day, as I haven’t done one since I was in high school!

After our hike we headed back to our accommodation at Yanakie Caravan Park. Admittedly I had never stayed in Yanakie before, but it turned out to be a beautiful caravan park only a five minute drive from the gate to Wilsons Promontory. The park was booked out for the long weekend, and the beaches were full of holiday makers taking in the early Autumn sun. It was like Summer never left!

The beach extended around the corner from the main beach, so we clambered over some rocks and enjoyed a private little cove for a few hours. I was taking these photos from the shade of the overhanging trees, yet I still managed to score myself some painful sunburn!

We could even admire the distant mountains of Wilsons Promontory from the beach, providing a perfect backdrop to the already amazing beaches. I can’t believe places like this were so close to home for me when growing up, and I am only truly beginning to appreciate them all now as an adult!

– Reanna

A VERY FOGGY ADVENTURE // Katoomba, Australia

I have a continually developing list of places I want to visit in Australia, and the Blue Mountains is definitely near the top of it. As soon as I discovered that the mountains could easily be accessed from Sydney by train, I squeezed it into our itinerary for our recent trip. Coincidentally the day we planned to go coincided with my birthday, so I spent weeks dreaming of celebrating my birthday in front of the epic views of the Blue Mountains.

Our day had a rocky start from the beginning, with rain setting in over Sydney. When we arrived at Central Station we were informed that the Blue Mountains line was undergoing track works, so we would spend the second half of our trip on a bus. I was determined to remain optimistic, but as our bus drove into Katoomba substantially later than it was scheduled to arrive, our doubts were confirmed.

Katoomba was covered in the thickest layer of fog I have ever seen! We could hardly see more than a few metres down the road. The above photo was at the Echo Point look out, and instead of panoramic views all we could see was white!

I’m sure the Three Sisters are out there somewhere…

Despite the disappointment of it all, Chris and I kept in good humour about the whole experience. We were hysterically laughing by the time we arrived at the viewing platform, as were some of the hundreds of other poor tourists who had made the trek from Sydney with us!

We managed a bit of a hike from Echo Point to the falls, before throwing in the towel and heading back in to town for a well deserved beer. We were thoroughly drenched when we reached the pub, so much so that we made a last minute dash to a Rivers outlet to buy new shoes!

Our original plans were to stay in Katoomba all day and head back into the city after dinner, however we caught an early train back and treated ourselves to momos and wine instead. At least Sydney put it on at night!

While it was disappointing to not be able to see anything in Katoomba, it was still a fun, although very damp, day. As someone commented on a photo I put on facebook, it was a ‘very authentic’ Blue Mountains experience. What we could see looked beautiful, so I am all the more excited to go back another time, and maybe spend a few days hiking in the area. As Chris and I were discussing on the plane home, at least we weren’t visiting Katoomba from overseas with a slim likelihood of return – Sydney isn’t far away!

– Reanna

NOT QUITE YOUR REGULAR PROGRAM // Sydney, Australia

Life has been particularly chaotic these past few weeks, and with good reason – Chris and I have moved from our beloved North Melbourne to South Melbourne! It has been almost a month since we moved, and whilst it was no great feat (two people living in a small apartment thankfully only meant a small truckload of belongings), settling into a new house, new area, and going to Ikea far too often has made for weekends doing nothing almost being unheard of.

Additionally, February coincides with Chris’ birthday, my birthday, and our anniversary all being within one week. We usually try and go away around this time, and so last weekend we shipped ourselves off to Sydney for a quick long weekend trip!

We flew in Thursday evening, which we planned in order to have a stress free start to a trip. However after a horrible plane ride (for me), congestion at Sydney airport, and me leaving my bag in our Uber (I got it back!), we were utterly spent by the time we arrived at our Airbnb in Surrey Hills!

Thankfully we started fresh on Friday morning with a walk to the Botanical Gardens.

We walked out to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair for some great views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the city.

Despite the gloomy looking weather, it was actually quite muggy and warm!

As we had been to Sydney before, we were happy to take a slower pace for the day. We essentially just wandered through the city, talking and occasionally stopping for snacks and coffee.

It certainly seems a lot gloomier than I remember now that I look back at these photos!

One thing I like about Sydney is all the old buildings in the CBD. Sure, Melbourne has its fair share as well, but it is certainly a different look.

Eventually we made our way over to the Sydney Fish Market. We had a great time eating there last time, and we managed to get there early enough to avoid the throngs of tourists that arrive at lunch time. It is a beautiful spot to eat and drink wine! Beware of the birds, though.

Full of wine and food, and feelings a bit lazy, we caught an Uber back to our Airbnb for a rest. Turns out our apartment had some pretty killer views!

Eventually we regained some energy and walked back down to Circular Quay to catch the ferry to Manly. This was one of the Sydney ‘must do’ attractions we missed out on last time, and the views certainly did not disappoint. My camera skills, on the other hand, were terrible, so please enjoy the one half decent photo out of the fifty odd that I took!

Despite still being cloudy, it was definitely warm enough for the beach. I was skeptical at first, but it ended up being a lovely afternoon to play around in the water for awhile.

That evening we stayed in Manly for dinner and some drinks at the 4 Pines Brewery, before catching the ferry back to the city.

There was a pretty stunning sunset on the way back, and the views were just as good a second time around.

Being the party animals we are, I think we ended up in bed at a reasonable hour, despite our incredibly chilled out day. But it was exactly what we needed!

– Reanna