17 January 2017

Our family roadtrip - part 4

This is the fourth part of the Our family roadtrip series, about our visit to the beautiful and rugged Kangaroo Island.

Kangaroo Island (KI) is a small island that lies off South Australian's scenic Fleurieu Peninsula. KI as referred to by the locals, has an abundance of wildlife, breathtaking scenery, pristine beaches and postcard views that peek out while driving on the long, winding dirt tracks in and around the island. 

At Remarkable Rocks

To get over to KI, we drove from Adelaide down to Cape Jervis (it's about a 2 hour drive) to catch the 45 minute SeaLink car ferry to Penneshaw.

The girls were amazed at how many native animals could be spotted on this one island, and were eager to find all the animals listed on the tourist information's checklist. Popette had already spotted a dolphin on the ferry, so was able to tick off her first item. She was a little upset at the end of our stay, not to have found a snake sunning itself. Me on the other hand, I was actually quite relieved. I didn't want to come face-to-face with any brown snakes...my motto during the holiday was "A good snake, is a dead snake"...like the one Hubby drove over!

L to R: The girls boarding the ferry, spotting the ferry arriving at Cape Jervis, our ferry, Hubby in the car waiting to board.
We had booked two nights at a tourist park on the western side of KI, which is in close proximity to Flinders Chase National park, and popular tourist attractions; Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch, Seal Bay, and Cape du Couedic. While we Hubby and I setup the tent, the girls rode their scooters around the dirt track while looking out for wallabies and kangaroos.

Our camping site backing onto a beautiful bushland with eucalyptus, home to a couple Koalas and wallabies
The tourist park is home to a hundreds of birds, koalas, kangaroos, tammar wallabies, echidnas, and cape barren geese just to name a few. After we sat up our tent, we took the girls on the "Koala walk" that is within the wildlife reserve. We spotted an echidna wandering around the grounds, which we were all quite excited to see, then we started to find Koala's having a snooze high up in the trees. We came across a large male Koala walking around the track. We followed him around for a little while, watching him climb up and down trees. It was only when he started growling at us, that we thought we better move on. So we stood back and watched him climb up a tree to his mate and baby. We also spotted some tammar wallabies (which are local to SA), and kangaroos bouncing through the track.

L to R: An echidna and koala spotted in the wildlife reserve where we were staying, Hansons Bay (a secluded bay
with beautiful aqua coloured water)
Native animals roam the island early morning and at sunset, so if you are driving at this time of day you need to take care, so you don't accidentally "nudge" a Kangaroo...ahem Hubby!

 We found this fella sitting on the side of the road watching the cars go by
Some of our favourite places on Kangaroo Island

Seal Bay - is home to Australian sea lions, long-nose fur seals and NZ fur seals. It is the 3rd largest colony of sea lions in the world. We wandered down the 800 metre boardwalk, checking for snakes on the way (see above note re snakes!) to a platform overlooking the white sandy beach of Seal Bay. We found pups playing in the water, and a lot of adults snoozing on the beach or in the sand dunes., having a well earned rest after the big swim and fishing. It was so wonderful to see them in their natural environment.

Watching the seals from the platform at Seal Bay
Remarkable Rocks - Inside Flinders Chase National park are the suitably named rocks. A natural formation eroded by the elements over 500 million years standing high on the cliff side. They are an amazing sight, especially when the orange lichen glows when touched by the sun. The weather was extremely windy, so I was a little anxious climbing up the rocks and walking around the clifftops (the "beware of high cliffs"signs didn't help me either) I am afraid of heights, and with the freezing wind, I was glad to return to the boardwalk. Hubby and the girls loved it, and were more adventurous then me, walking around the rocks and looking down at the turbulent sea below.

Admirals Arch - another rock formation that frames the ocean, and is a nursery to both Australian and New Zealand fur seals. We walked down the boardwalk to the arch nearly getting blown away by the wind, and watched the seals lazing in the sun and playing with each other. Before leaving we had a close look at Cape du Coudic lighthouse before heading back to the tent.

Admirals Arch

It's not cheap to travel to KI, so we did most things on a budget. Things like groceries, meat, dining out, petrol, travel tours and experiences can be quite expensive due to the remoteness of the island. If you are planning a visit there, it's a good idea to do a bit of research before going on your holiday so you can find the best deals.

There was not a lot of options on the western side of KI at night. So we headed to a pub, the Parndana Hotel, the only place opened after 8pm on a Saturday night on our side of the island. It was only 60kms from our tent!! The meal was expensive (like most things on the island) but was the best steak we had eaten all holiday.

If you have missed my earlier posts on Our family roadtrip, you can find them here:
part 1, part 2, part 3 (Our 20th wedding anniversary)

10 January 2017

3 weeks time

In three weeks time we have the return of school here in NSW. I have both my girls Popette and Cherub at "big school" together this year.

Popette (who has just turned 8...I'm not dealing well with 8, I could handle 7, but 8 is so much closer to 10!), will be moving into Primary as 3rd grader! How on earth did that happen? I remember feeling just as nervous and anxious about her starting big school, now I am in the same boat with Cherub (my cheeky 5 year old) who is to starting Kindergarten in February.

With the girls on our recent holiday to SA
I am trying not to stress too much...which is hard for a natural worrier like me! Her preschool teachers both reassured me that I had nothing to worry about and that Cherub was definitely ready to start school. She's definitely a little smarty and knows so much already, thanks to her big sis being at school.

I guess with the issues we had with Cherubs speech delay, and gross motor development I was worried that she might not be able to keep up with her peers.

I will miss hanging out with my cheeky little monkey

Of course I shouldn't be worried at all, Cherub certainly isn't, and is very excited about starting "big school" and often tells me which of her friends from preschool will be going to school with her.

All I can hope for is that both my girls are happy, enjoy going to school and have a great year making friends.

Have you got any littlies starting school this year? Are you feeling anxious? Does it get any easier with your children getting older? 

I am linking up to IBOT at Kylie Purtell.

02 January 2017

New Year, New Word

Hi! Happy New Year! We have had a nice relaxing break thus far. Hubby and I celebrated our birthdays in style, watching Sydney's NYE fireworks from Hubby's work with the girls and my brother & his family, the fireworks were amazing!

I thought I'd write a quick post on my new guiding word for 2017 and recap how I went with last year's word. 

For the past few years I have chosen a word to guide me throughout the year. Last year I chose CREATE

I chose CREATE as I wanted a word that allowed me to have a little fun in creating; ie. more art, memories/experiences, joy, love & laughter, friendships, moments of gratitude, opportunities & possibilities, fitness routine, balance, and a new chapter.

As a creative person, I think it captured my art quite well, but I found that I had jotted down a bit too much to cover off with this little word, resulting in me not ticking all the little boxes I had setup for myself in the beginning of the year. So I didn't focus on areas like balance, fitness routines, gratitude, a new chapter as much as I would have liked.

After a tough 2016, I am choosing this year to look after myself, so have been thinking of an appropriate word. The word NOURISH came to me!

I have both girls at school this year, Cherub will be starting Kindy (sob sob), and Popette will be going into Primary. Once Cherub is settled into Kindy, I need to start looking (seriously) for work. While I have been on a "career break" I have been using my free time to write here, as well as create art and upskill myself. Ideally writing or selling my art is an area I'd like to pursue, but I have been hesitant as I'm not qualified, or a professional artist/writer.

I also need to get my health and fitness back on track, take control of my emotions and mindset better so toxic people don't bother me quite so much, take the time in being grateful, take up meditation or yoga to help me relax, and find a balance with housework vs time for myself.

I know it sounds like a lot, but I am hoping that I can find something that works, and makes me a calmer, happier Mumma to my girls.

Have you chosen a guiding word for 2017? Or have you selected a New Year's resolution? What are your hopes for 2017?

May 2017 be an amazing year for you and bring you much joy, happiness and nourishment!