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”→
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!
With a weather forecast of 42 degrees today it was promising to become a hot Melbourne Day today. Not the ideal circumstances for a tennis tournament, but Kai signed up so there was no way out. How did he/we survive a day on the tennis court? Continue reading “Surviving a Hot Melbourne Tennis Day”→
When I was driving Kai to school this morning I realised that this is the last time I will be driving him to Primary school. Ever.
After six years of primary school (and a year of prep) the time comes for a new chapter. Moving on to secondary school. Primary school in Australia closes off with graduation. I knew graduation from high school in America, which is a big happening, but I did not expect a big event for primary school. How wrong was I? Continue reading “Very last day of Primary School”→
With our one way ticket to Europe in our pocket, we have entered the ‘last time to…’ stage. Since we have two children in an Australian Primary School, this has played a big part in our daily life. Without a doubt one of the most memorable school experience is Showcase.
Showcase is the biggest event for Essex Heights Primary School and it is quite impressive. It is a very professionally run show, with all the children singing and playing instruments on a large stage. We are talking ages 5 to 12 year here. If you close your eyes, that is sometimes easy to forget. Don’t believe me? Close your eyes and listen to the performance of the Year 3-4 choir, roughly 160 eight to nine year olds:
Next to the regular curriculum that all schools have to follow, each Australian school has a focus on special area – whether that is in sport, arts and/or culture. This is what makes each school unique and different from the other. I guess this is what has impressed me most here.
Singing lessons are part of the curriculum and you can choose to learn how to play an instrument. In Year 4 they play the Marimba, so everyone gets to learn how to play an instrument.
Luka is in Year 4 and started flute lessons at the start of last year. She has lessons during school time and band practice before school. Because of this she ended up being on stage five times: Combined Bands, Marimba Ensemble, Year 3-6 Choir, Year 3 &4 Choir and the school song. So no doubt that in the run up before Showcase a lot of time went into the preparation. Quite an experience to be involved in such a large production, but since they do this from the start of school it is something that becomes natural to them, at least that is how it looks.
We will try to make a short movie with an impression of the whole night. So stay tuned.