Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wild Horses at Rainbow Beach

What could be more romantic than the idea of wild horses? My childhood fantasy has come true. There are wild horses at Rainbow Beach.

There are signs in my new home I never tire of seeing - warning signs for Kangaroos are everywhere. A particular favorite warns motorists to watch for echidnas, but now...the best sign ever encountered - a yellow road sign with a picture of a galloping riderless horse. A warning sign to watch out for wild horses? No! Driving north of Noosa en route to Rainbow Beach, I could not quite believe my eyes, but there it was.

The rest of the drive my mind raced at this astounding discovery and my eyes scanned the countryside for a sight of a herd of wild horses running through the hills...

So I told you there are Deer, but how about wild horses? Talk about dreams come true.

For the locals of Rainbow Beach, they may not all share my enthusiasm. The horses have been known to wander the main street, have even nearly galloped into bike riding children and there is of course no owner cleaning up their..well you know what I mean. But people..seriously? Does anyone else remember The Man From Snowy River? What signifies anyones ideas of freedom more than a magnificent wild horse? Who doesn't love the idea of taming a wild stallion or just the gorgeousness of seeing wild free horses roam on a beautiful beach?

There are currently two herds visiting Rainbow Beach, but how many are there in the countryside around? Two mares spotted are pregnant and some locals are worried the numbers will continue to escalate but the tourists and backpackers love these four legged visitors and me...well I have a new dream...

What could be more romantic or crazy than adopting a wild horse or two or a wild horse in foal? I have always wanted to break in a horse..but a wild horse, well, that's an adventure on its own and then to raise and train it's foal..

Now I find out there are thousands of wild horses in Australia and the most humane way of controlling their number is through adoption. Save the Brumbies is an organisation that rescues wild horses from possible culling by authorities This organisation operates a sanctuary and enables people to adopt these magnificent wild horses.

If you have the land available, adopt a herd and have them run free in your own hills. What a beautiful idea..solo horses can't be adopted. They must have a mate and yes, you can adopt a mare in foal..


Monday, July 18, 2011

Lessons from a New Country Lifestyle

Take yourself out of your comfort zone and you’re surrounded by things you have never seen before….

A freight train full of cattle. Stopping the car to give way to a mighty python on the way to pick strawberries in a farmers field. A flower on the roadside that looks like a white powder puff pompom just waiting to be picked.

This is living. Life is unexpected and alive.

I am a romantic..I fall in love with people, places, moments and words. Truth is I have considered living permanently in a number of places that stole my heart on my many wanderings…..Bali, Prague, the Islands of Greece..I even had a brief love affair with Berlin. Frances Mayes stole my heart with her Tuscany and I had to go find my own…but children come and life’s desires change and suddenly you can really shape in your mind your own forever dream.

So the adventure continues, the world turns and on this merry go round of life – we follow the breadcrumbs of inspiration, puzzle out our path and if you go with your instincts...fall on to your feet – in a whole new world. Hopefully one in which you will fall even deeper in love, that special place in the world to call your home.

My new home teaches me about life, myself and even how I want to raise my children.

I’ve realised I don’t want them to be shocked at the idea of an honesty box at a farm stall selling just picked fruit or have them feel surprise a strawberry field doesn’t have high fences to stop people stealing.

I want them to know the wildness, not just the civilisation of life. I want them to be free to trust and marvel at the simple pleasures – the wide open spaces and beauty of this charmed life.

So here is a list of things my new life has shown me

The joy of winter should include picking strawberries fresh from the patch

Giving up television is absolutely liberating and reclaims so much time

Wide open spaces

Not having to rush

A world without traffic lights is a beautiful place

Echidna’s can wander into your garden

My children can now explain to me the workings of a worm farm

It is more satisfying, beautiful and makes much more sense to grow food as well as flowers in your garden. Why have we all just decided to mainly grow grass when you could turn some into your own edible patch?

I can actually grow food – no one is a gardener until they actually try

People can be openly passionate and deeply in love with their surroundings

The satisfaction of buying fresh goats cheese from a market from goats that live up the road

Wild horses aren’t just a myth or childhood fantasy

Fruit comes from flowers (I told you I was from the city!)

The delight of wandering each morning to find freshly fallen golden passionfruit laying on the grass

Some of the friendliest and most creative people live in the countryside

All this and we are 6 months out of the city. I wonder what we can learn in a lifetime?

I am starting to believe life begins again at 35…

“She was waiting unconsciously, for that revolution which often comes in the life of a woman no longer young and directs the future course of her existence.”…..Nancy Mitford

Viva La Revolution!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Red Canyon - Noosa North Shore

We have been exploring this great Southern Land. Truth is we didn’t have to go far but it looks like we went all the way to Ayers Rock. This devastatingly beautiful place is part of the wildness and beauty of Noosa’s North Shore.

A small trip on the car ferry across the mangrove and tea-tree lined Noosa River and you enter a whole different world from Hasting Streets cosmopolitan lifestyle. This is the gateway to Noosa’s North Shore, the Great Sandy National Park and a world which is wild, untamed and free. A short drive along and you can forget about roads, here is where you can drive at low tide on the sand known to the locals as the much loved favourite 40 Mile Beach Road.

The freedom to drive along the wild coastline next to the pounding surf of the Coral Sea is pure magic. This wide open space of beach links the gorgeous Noosa with the World Heritage Listed Fraser Island. Get the tide right and you can drive all the way to Rainbow Beach where the ferry to the island departs.

Along this magnificent wide open beach look out for the intriguing sign Red Canyon and see the gash of red carved into the cliffs. This gorgeous place is a whole another world. Suddenly you are thrown into a different landscape which could be straight from out of space. The stunning coloured sands suddenly transport you to the red desert centre of Australia and that mystical giant Uluru. This is the closest spot you will find in Australia similar to that natural wonder and it is just here on the stretch known as Teewah Beach.

The coloured sands are a gorgeous, rusty, vivid red not formed of rock but coloured sand and clay and the colour is so vibrant and sudden that it stops you in your tracks. This place is breathtaking - a photographers dream.

The canyon is awesome, creating a gorge that you can explore. There are crevices to hide in. Views of the azure sea from climbing up high and best of all for my tribe of adventurers, there is fun to be had sliding down the immense sandy walls.

For my Boy Scout this is a magical place and could this adventure have got any better after driving on outstretched freedom, over the beach. He lead his little troop up mountains to explore. They popped up all over the place – to him it’s a landscape straight out of Star Wars and they giggled and shrieked sliding down the canyon walls. Ruby Two Shoes followed the clan digging her hands into the amazing red earth to follow them. Climbing the walls they explored their own personal outback or far off planet - wherever their imagination took them.

This landscape is straight out of the heart of Australia. This vivid canyon a secret along a stretch of coastline of light coloured sand, grasses and sea. It is moments like these, finding places, like this, you think sometimes the nature of this gorgeous world just has to be seen to be believed.

So now whenever I feel like a wilder escape I am going to head with my little 4wd and go for a drive on my new favourite local road…

Cooloola National Park is just across the water at Noosa North Shore. The Ferry crosses at Tewantin and costs just $6. Then just a short drive and you are off on your own beach safari. This stretch of beach links Noosa with the World Heritage Listed Fraser Island. Get the tide right and this is the fastest and most rewarding way to get to the top of the Sunshine Coast – Rainbow Beach, where ferries depart to the Island. This sandy straight should be explored at Low Tide.....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Winter in Noosa means Strawberry Picking..

Ever since I was a child I can’t think of a more heavenly thing than endless strawberries. So what could be more wonderful than waking up to go strawberry picking? Rows and rows of dangling berries just teasing to be picked.

Winter in Noosa means Strawberry Season. Fields of gorgeous strawberries just waiting for us! How perfect to take my own little Strawberry Shortcake home to the Strawberry Farm for a heartwarming ritual of picking new berries in a field of green.

The day we set off on this magical adventure was a beautiful winters day, the sky an endless blue, warming the berries in the sunshine. The way to the farm is down a wild rambling country lane. In the car on the way a large diamond python crossed our path. A small bird on the road teased it along and we sat enthralled and wide-eyed at this unexpected safari.

Now strawberry picking has to create a much loved childhood memory but top it off with a python encounter – priceless tour guiding to say the least. A python eating a small bird? To my 10 year old Boy Scout, a golden moment but Strawberry Shortcake or Ruby Two Shoes..a different scarring kind of memory altogether. But this is a Strawberry Shortcake world of happy endings and ripe red berries so nothing would go wrong for us and luckily also for that little bird. "Look they are friends" I said – "just going for a stroll." The snake slithered away and the children bouncing in the front seat, settled back to arrive at the happiest destination in the world - The Strawberry Farm!

The happiness you feel when you first see those gorgeous fields of strawberries is overwhelming. It’s definitely a valuable commodity having a 10 year old scientist in the crew who realised statistically the area of patch less travelled and less picked! Trying to explain the concept of not eating as you go to Miss Ruby Two Shoes was a little tricky. Patience is hard for under two's! These fields haven’t been opened long and we felt like it was all just for us. We practically had the field to ourselves and it’s such a gorgeous open space.

Ruby Two shoes resembled a strawberry running joyously along lanes of strawberries. It was such a beautiful sight seeing them giggle and hunt – like the most gorgeous freshest hunt on Easter day but with the joy of knowing its nature's gorgeous fruit they will be gorging on and they will be giddy with joy not chocolate. Given a chance Ruby would roam devouring strawberries all day and then pass out happily in this patch a very happy baby!

The farm shop sells chocolate dipping sauce. Oh? I said no chocolate. Well who could say no on the happiest day in the world. For those in the mood they also sell their own award winning ice cream and a local favourite is strawberries served with fresh cream…

This weather and strawberry season – for the first time I can truthfully say - I love Winter. Strawberries & Winter Sunshine – it’s something to be looking forward to again next year!

We are going back next week and this week Eumundi Strawberry Fields are open for the picking!

We visited McMartin's Strawberry Farm. Find it at Lot 7 Sports Rd. Bli Bli

Eumundi Strawberry Farm can be found at Strawberry Lane, Eumundi

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