RESTLESS // Organ Pipes National Park, Australia

Tonight is one of those wonderful those wonderful nights when you knock off work knowing you have an exciting few days ahead – and even more so tonight as I am heading on my first holiday since starting full time work! Although we are only venturing overseas for ten days, the novelty of getting paid whilst I relax on a beach somewhere has not worn off on me yet.

Working full time these past six months has also motivated me to indulge in far more ‘treat yourself moments’, and last week such a mindset blew out into my spontaneous purchasing of a DSLR camera. Sure, I had been dreaming about the prospect of owning a half decent camera one day. But for some reason two weeks before going on holidays seemed like the perfect time to blow my savings.

However, I have approximately zero idea how to operate such a camera, so in an effort to learn I announced a spontaneous trip on the weekend to Organ Pipes National Park on the weekend. We had been here a few years ago, and I remembered it as being a beautiful piece of nature a stones throw from the city – it was about a half an hour drive from our place in South Melbourne.

The park itself is a small valley nestled beside a busy freeway and underneath one of the flight paths for Melbourne airport. However silence ensues once you descend into the small valley of the park. A small 1km track runs around the valley floor, taking you past three main features, all of which arose from volcanic activity in the area many a millennia ago.

The main feature, surprising enough, are the ‘organ pipes’. The pipes are hexagonal basalt columns, that have formed over thousands and thousands of year as the creek at the base has slowly worn away at the basalt lava.

The ‘Rosette Rock’ is a spectacular formation, with a similar history. I won’t attempt to pretend I know anything about volcanic rock formations here, because I really have no clue!

The final stop was the ‘Tessellated Pavement’, again of similar origins. Chris is obviously in deep thought about the construction of volcanic baltic rock formations. Or merely enjoying the serenity…

Climbing out of the valley after our small circuit of the park had me feeling like I had merely walked around the block. But on the other hand, the simple act of being outside and stretching my legs in the outdoors provided as much to me as going for a 10km hike. Sometimes, being outside is all you need.

And with that, I am signing off the technological world (well, not really, I love instagram too much) for our ten day holiday!

– Reanna

THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES // Bendigo, Australia

Groovin’ the Moo – a day of excellent music, food vans, questionable fashion sense, and all around good times. But posting these measly few photos from a couple of weekends ago has spontaneously gotten me thinking of far deeper themes then a carefree day at a music festival!

The fact that Chris and I were able to have a weekend away (albeit, camping in a caravan park with numerous other festival goers) to attend such a festival is one of those memories that makes me so appreciative of where my life is at right now. Chris and I both work full time in respectable jobs that we managed to get straight out of university. We live in an adorable cottage in a wonderful city. In three weeks we are going off overseas for a short holiday, and we have so many wonderful memories from other trips. Our families are supportive. I feel really quite content.

I am fully aware of our privilege within society, and I am truly appreciative and grateful for all the support and opportunities I have had. I have been working on expressing my gratitude more, and writing it down seems to make it more solid – even if it is on the internet on my little blog!

So apologies for the random *feelings* contrasted with photos of a music festival.

But exciting news – Chris and I are off to Singapore and Indonesia in two weeks for a short trip AND I just bought myself a new camera. Expect an overload of photos after the trip. Stay tuned!

– Reanna

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE // Melbourne, Australia

Despite living in Melbourne for well over four years now, I still find myself playing tourist on a regular basis. Sure, Chris might roll his eyes when I stop to take photos of something novel in the city, but it is refreshing to see the place where you live through a new light.

Last weekend we ventured down to the strange, yet beautiful, Docklands precinct, to indulge in a dinner cruise. We received a voucher for Christmas, and we were 99% sure we were the only Melbourne locals on the boat.

The dinner and drinks on the cruise were as expected, but the highlight was definitely seeing Melbourne from the water – something we had never done before. The boat left Docklands and went under both the Bolte and West Gate Bridge, before emerging into Port Phillip Bay and heading towards St Kilda.

The views from the Bay were absolutely stunning, even the clouds that were hanging overhead didn’t impact the beauty of it.

Not featured – the dance floor directly behind our table.

Turns out my phone takes a pretty average night time photo – you will just have to imagine how wonderful the city looked at night.

One of the unexpectedly interesting parts of the cruise was going through the sea ports. There were a few container ships pulled up, and they are just as big in person as you would imagine.

Melbourne, I love you.

– Reanna

NOSTALGIA 101 // Cape Otway, Australia

About five years ago, around Valentines Day, Chris and I packed up Chris’ 20-odd year old Saab convertible and drove from Leongatha to the Great Ocean Road. I think this was our first proper holiday together (other than the odd night in Melbourne or a family holiday), and it was full of so many fun and spontaneous memories. Every night we picked a random town and decided to stay there, hoping a cabin or room would be available. We put the roof down on the car every time we drove, even though we were stopping every 10 minutes to look at a beach or explore a walking track.

They seem like such distant memories now, and we always laugh when we think back to how young, innocent and naive we were as 18 year olds.

Driving along the Great Ocean Road from Torquay to Cape Otway the other weekend had us reminiscing about the trip once again. It really is such a spectacular part of Australia, let alone the world.

I was lucky enough to have Chris driving during this section of the road, and subsequently spent most of my time trying to capture photos of the landscape. Not easy when you are a terrible photographer in a car on a winding road!

Inspired by our original trip all those years ago, we booked into Bimbi Park, a caravan park on Cape Otway that we stayed at on a whim last time. The park seemed to have updated slightly in the previous five years (a mini golf course?), but it definitely still looked exactly as we remembered it.

One of our absolute favourite memories from our first trip down the Great Ocean Road was staying at this caravan park on Cape Otway and befriending the resident dog, Jak. Having nothing to do (Cape Otway is about half an hour from any towns), we innocently began to follow the dog along a track leading out of the caravan park. We had no idea where we were going, but Jak the dog continued to lead us along to track for half an hour or so, and eventually we arrived at the most amazing beach, which was empty as far as we could see. From memory, we played fetch with Jak for awhile and eventually followed the dog back to the caravan park. It was such a random, beautiful adventure and we always bring it up when talk about the trip.

Since we had returned to the same caravan park, Chris and I were determined to find the same beach. Sadly, there was no sign of Jak, but we eventually managed to find the track and found that it now included some modern looking signs (turns out the beach has a name – Station Beach).

The beach was just as amazing and empty as we remembered. This time we came prepared with a picnic dinner, and spent a few hours relishing having this stunning corner of the world to ourselves.

The next morning was far less eventful, featuring a short hike to the Cape Otway light station. Again, we found ourselves alone.

The walk also included a somewhat creepy detour to a small graveyard, mostly featuring the final resting place of the young children of former lighthouse keepers.

As amazing as it would have been to keep driving down the Great Ocean Road, we packed up our car again and hit the road back the Melbourne.

I cannot recommend the Great Ocean Road enough as a roadtrip to have from Melbourne. There is so much to see and do, and is the perfect weekend getaway. I’m sure there will be further trips there on our horizon!

– Reanna

SALT WATER // Torquay, Australia

I can’t quite come to grips with the fact that it will be Easter next week, and it is somehow April already. How has this year flown by so fast already? It feels like it was only the other day that I was finishing university and settling into full time work, but the days are flying by. Working full time certainly seems to make time slip through my fingers, with weekends being treasured and passing by all too fast.

A couple of weekends ago Chris and I packed up our little car Friday morning and hit the road as soon as the work week ended, driving out West towards the famed Great Ocean Road. My brother recently moved to Torquay, so we took that as an excuse to hit up this beautiful part of the country.

We pitched a tent at the Torquay Caravan Park, and found our campsite literally metres from the main surf beach. Chris took it upon himself to take an evening swim, whilst I kept warm and dry on the sand.

We spent our night hanging out at Blackman’s Brewery, a decent establishment we stumbled upon within 30 seconds of walking down the street. The next morning we were up early, and walked along the Esplanade.

It was a cloudy weekend, but the sun did occasionally come out. No complaints from this easily sunburnt gal.

For coffee, we checked out Cup of Love Coffee, a cute little shipping container set up nestled next to the brewery from the night before.

Chris insisted on another swim before we packed up camp – so the above photos are from the main surf beach again, but in the morning light.

We met up with my brother and checked out his new share house, before hitting up the beach at nearby Jan Juc. The boys somehow managed to convince me to join them for a dip (I am mildly terrified of the ocean, among other things), so I splashed pathetically in the shallows for awhile. Nevermind the 12 year old girls smashing out a surf comp right next to us!

I admittedly haven’t spent much time down along this area of the coast, despite its proximity to Melbourne. Having my brother living in Torquay will certainly be an incentive to head down this way a bit more frequently! Not to mention it is near the beginning of the fantastic Great Ocean Road, which we ventured down later that day… but that is enough beach photos for one post!

– Reanna

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