Australia – The Great Outdoors

It’s been another glorious Australian weekend.

It is difficult to describe how much of an impact moving to Australia can really have on your lifestyle. But I will try.

This weekend is a great example. Please bear in mind as you read this that we are now in the depths of winter. The weekend got off to a great start, as we had been invited to a party on the Saturday.

The party started at around 4 p.m. which seems to be the norm for an Australian party. Well, it is in the circles I mix in, being a family man. The children are always invited as these parties are as much for them as they are for us adults.

I think there were about eight couples there and probably about 15 or so kids aged between two and 16 years old. We ate, we drank and we got merry while the kids ran around playing. Us adults sat outside on the patio and around the purpose built outside bar. The kids were running both inside and out.

It did get a little chilly after the sun went down, but nothing that couldn’t be cured by wearing a jumper. Although some did question my decision to wear shorts.

We managed to stay until gone 11 o’clock before bringing a worn out five-year-old little girl home to her bed. We only live a short distance around the corner, but many of those who had travelled farther stayed the night.

And then there was Sunday.

We decided to go for a picnic and chose Newstead House on the Brisbane River for the location. Built in 1846, it is one of Brisbane’s oldest surviving residencies. And what a great pad it was too. Great views and lovely gardens. And it was free to park and free to picnic.

View of Hamilton, Brisbane

View of Hamilton, Brisbane

If you look on the other side of the river, you will see the hillside residences of Hamilton. If you have a couple of million dollars to spare, you may be able to afford a house there. Stunning views of the river and ten minutes drive from the city centre.

Newstead House Gardens
Newstead House Gardens

These are the gardens of Newstead House, not too busy for a Sunday afternoon was it? Just us really. We noticed a very strange tree in these gardens, so I decided to take a closer look.

Strange Tree

Strange Tree

I recognized it as Kigelia Africana, more commonly known as an African Sausage Tree, mainly because of the plaque attached to its trunk. We wondered whether the sausages would taste good barbecued.

Some sausages

Some sausages

The river was busy all the while we were there with folk passing by at great speed attached to the back of boats whilst balancing on skis or by sitting on jet skis. Some passed by more safely sitting inside the speedboat. Others went by much more slowly in a larger boats or small ones………

Passing canoes

Passing canoes

I started by saying it’s difficult to explain the impact on your lifestyle when you move to Australia. What would I do in England, on a Sunday, in the depths of winter that would cost little or no money?

Walking around a shopping mall or staying in, more probably.newstead-picnic-plaque1

But here, in Australia, we are always out doing something, as a family. It’s always just too sunny to stay in.

No wonder they call Australia – The Great Outdoors

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Matthew Phelps February 22, 2014, 7:32 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    the more I read the more I want my emigration process to be finished already..

    we emigrated as a family to South Africa from London 22 years ago and now we are packing our bags and coming to Oz.

    bye for now

    Matthew

    • BobinOz February 24, 2014, 12:58 pm | Link

      Ha ha, I remember feeling like that as well. Good luck, Bob

  • BobinOz July 21, 2009, 9:21 pm | Link

    Hi Carolyn
    My wifes skill was marketing specialist and she too found it quite daunting. She put a lot of work into her presentation folder, it’s a bit like taking an exam. But so much more important to pass than a normal exam.
    Unless you have an accepted qualification, like a degree in civil engineering or whatever, you just have to convince them you can do what you say you can do.
    It’s worth doing well, there’s a lifetime of picnics and barbeques at stake.
    Cheers
    Bob

  • Carolyn Cooper July 21, 2009, 9:01 pm | Link

    Thanks for replying so quickly… you mentioned that you got your visa with your wife being main member. What is her occupation? What skill did she have? I’m busy preparing docs for my skilled assessment and it is such a daunting task!

    Sorry for all the questions but I am such a newby to all this and i would love to know all i can. 😉

    Can’t wait to see what you get up to next weekend.

    Great work.

  • Carolyn July 21, 2009, 7:18 pm | Link

    Hi Bob… lovely post. Very strange tree indeed! Wow, what a lovely weekend. Love the pics. Wish i could be there… the Gardens look lovely.

    Best, Carolyn

    • BobinOz July 21, 2009, 8:49 pm | Link

      Hi Carolyn
      This country is full of places like this. I’ve had more picnics and barbeques in the last couple of years than probably all the rest of my life. And it’s great. Hope you make it out here soon.
      Cheers
      Bob

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