Monthly Recap – January and February 2020
A recap of my adventures in the months of January and February 2020
Happy Summer! I started the year in Mooloolaba, Queensland before driving home, with a two night stay at NSW coastal town, Yamba. Read on for my monthly recap.
We started the year in Mooloolaba! We are really beginning to love our home away from home at Mantra Sirocco. It’s always a great way to recharge the batteries with swimming, walking, sunbaking by the pool, sunrises, sunsets and a little shopping and dining out.
SUNSHINE COAST, QUEENSLAND
While staying at Mooloolaba we often drive up the coast to check out some of the other beaches and National Parks. We love the boardwalk at Coolum.
HASTINGS POINT, NSW
After leaving Queensland and Mooloolaba we drove back across the border into NSW and stopped at Hastings Point for a swim. It’s always a challenge finding the perfect swim spot, The Artist likes bigs waves and I like small ones! The first thing we noticed was how much colder the water was, three hours south of the Sunshine Coast where we had been swimming the previous days.
I ended up swimming in the little cove right at the end of the beach. Just stay away from the rocks!
YAMBA and JAMES CREEK, NSW
We arrived at our farmstay for two nights at James Creek, just inland from Yamba. We stayed in an amazing AirBnB property on a working Teatree Farm. We had this cute little cabin with views across the fields and kangaroos jumping by.
The Artist and I enjoy staying in peaceful, quiet secluded places outside of the hustle and bustle of main streets and tourists. This place was perfect. It was a 10-15 minute drive to Yamba to the amazing beaches and to visit some of my family.
Ten minutes down the road from Yamba is the sleepy little beach village of Angourie. A popular spot with surfers, it sits tucked away beside the ocean and Yuraygir National Park. It also happens to be where my cousin and her boyfriend run the super cute cafe “YumYum Angourie Cafe and General Store”.
Angourie is also known for the Blue Pool and Green Pool, local swimming spots right next to the ocean. We walked through the bush to Spooky’s beach and then down to the swimming spots. Lots of locals were ignoring the algae signs and having a dip.
I was so excited to finally visit my cousin’s gorgeous little cafe. Check it out if you are in Yamba, worth the ten minute drive to Angourie!
After our ten days away we also decided to start the year with a new addition to the family. We welcomed a new rescue cat “Blade”, aged six. He was super happy at our house right away, and certainly has a lot of personality!
GLASSHOUSE BAR, MANLY
For one of my best friend’s birthdays, we headed to the Glasshouse Gin Bar, at the Steyne Hotel, Manly. It had been years since I went to the Hotel Steyne, a multi-storey pub and bar complex right on Manly beach. The Glasshouse was the perfect, classy venue to sit and swig fancy cocktails and enjoy share plates.
DAY TRIP TO MORPETH, NSW
The Artist and I took a Saturday day trip to Morpeth, in the Hunter Vally region of NSW, about 2 hours north of Sydney. This cute little heritage town sits on the banks of the Hunter River and boasts a main street full of interesting dining and shopping options. We visited the Morpeth Gallery complex, complete with sweets, honey made from local bees, amazing realist artworks and a lovely gift shop.
WHALE BEACH SWIMS
I had the best swim at nearby Whale Beach at the end of my Summer Holidays. Just lolling about in the shallows, away from the big ways but less crowded and cleaner than the pool. Plus I also found parking without payment and a cute little park and lookout spot. Lovely!
CATMOSPHERE CAT CAFE, SURRY HILLS
For my birthday last year I got a voucher for the Catmosphere Cat Cafe in Surrey Hills. I finally used it with one of my best friends, the one who got me the voucher. We did the kitten experience and loved it! It was much more interactive than the cat cafe I visited in Japan.
EL LOCO AT THE EXCELSIOR
Next door to the Cat Cafe we wandered into The Excelsior Pub to find an amazing and popular Mexican Cantina, El Loco. Cats and Tacos, what a great outing!
THE BASIN, MONA VALE
Where to swim? I ask this question a lot. I am always searching for the perfect, protected ocean spot to have a dip. I finally found a great location right at the Northern end of The Basin Beach, Mona Vale. Popular with families, across bay swimmers and snorkelers, it had the perfect size waves for me!
BREAKFAST AT BALMAIN EAST
A group of friends and I headed to East Balmain to have breakfast at “The Fenwick”. Set in a heritage tug boat store, this cute restaurant and cafe is right on the water, with views across to the city.
The only thing we couldn’t quite figure out was why this amazing venue doesn’t utilise the outdoor space for outdoor dining?! It seems like the perfect venue for it.
So that was the beginning of 2020… On reflection, I was glad to get in some outings and a trip away before lockdown would begin in March. Stay tuned for my March and April Recap, also known as ‘The Months at Home’..