Luka is starting her first day of school in the Netherlands today. After having lived in Australia for the last three years we moved back to the Netherlands last month. With it still being summer holiday, the new school year did not start until today.
We moved to a new city and Luka is starting at a brand new school. Although she has lived in the Netherlands for 7 years and speaks Dutch, English is now as her native language. At the moment it is easier for her than Dutch. When she speaks Dutch it takes a bit longer, as she translates from English.
No more ‘mama-taxi’ to bring the kids to school. The Netherlands is a bicycle country, where a bicycle is a mode of transport. With separate bike paths almost everywhere and bicycles having many rights on the roads. Most kids know how to ride a bike before they can even walk.
As all kids ride bicycles this means that car drivers have bicycle experience as well and know how to pass a bicycle with care. This was not always the case in Australia, where Oliver once got hit by the rear view mirror of a car when riding his bike.
Her school starts at 8.30 am and ends at 2 pm. The difference being that the breaks are A LOT shorter than in Australia.This came as a big shocker to Luka.
Recess: 15 vs 30 min
Lunch: 30 vs 60 min
Another big difference is that there is no school uniform in the Netherlands.
Rather than giving any material gifts to the kids for their birthdays, my father decided he would give them experiences instead – specifically tours he had done on previous visits to Australia and which he found exceptional. One of these was a boat cruise on the Mary River.
The Mary River is famous for the large amount of crocs – both “sweeties” and “salties” – lining its banks and inhabiting its waters. However, the floodplains are impossible to navigate by land, which leaves the water the only way to get close to these primal beasts. Continue reading “Cruising the Mary River”→
One of the unique activities you can do on Heron Island is a reef walk. During low tide a large part of the reef gets exposed and you can walk around the little streams looking at the coral from close up. You can join one of the guided reef walk tours, which are included in a stay here. A definite must as well, as it gives you a lot of insight into the reef life and the guides can pick up things and you can touch it. Continue reading “Walking on the Great Barrier Reef”→
Weeks before our trip, I was browsing on Google Maps searching for campsites between Airlie Beach and Gladstone, when I came across Alkoomi Adventure Farm. A farm stay in the outback and it turned out to be one of those places that you should not miss. A farm stay that also offers activities. Continue reading “Farm stay in the Outback”→
As we wrote in one of our earlier posts, diving the Great Barrier Reef was one of the items that were on my Things-To-Do-In-Australia list. And, over the past three days, I have been able to do just that.
The one luxury accommodation we had booked on our Good-Bye-Australia trip was a 5-night stay on Heron Island. Sitting towards the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, it houses a luxury resort and a research station, as well as being home to a lot of coral, mantas, rays, sharks, turtles and a huge variety of other marine and avian life.
While traveling through Australia you can easily find your budget going faster than your travels. Yes, it is not cheap to travel around in this beautiful country, but there are also a lot of things you can enjoy for free. Continue reading “The best things in life are free”→
Never thought I would use this phrase, as Gorden Ramsey used it in almost all of his Hell’s Kitchen episodes and that got annoying pretty quickly. But now we have been to the best natural pool I have ever been to. The one in Iceland was pretty impressive, swimming in hot water in the snow, but I have to admit this Australian place truly is a little piece of paradise.
Imagine a slow streaming flow of 30 degrees Celsius, with bright and crystal clear water in a natural surrounding. Yes, that is what we came across in Bitter Springs up in the top end of Australia, as the Northern Territory is called here. Continue reading “Swimming in the Best Natural Pool – EVER”→
“This is to confirm that our moving team is scheduled to arrive at your address on Monday between 8-10am to collect your belongings for shipping.”. This message popped up on my phone this morning.
Oops, that is an sms with impact. Not that we did not expect it, I did book it after all. But it does make it sound very final. Are we ready yet is a question we hear a lot lately. What, mentally, physically? Continue reading “Ready for shipment”→
With our departure from Australia coming closer and since we gathered so many things in the past three years that we lived here, we figured it would be time for a new typical Australian experience. A garage sale!