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Tulips on Enoshima Island

Blooming great tulips in Enoshima

The sight of 20,000 tulips in perfect bloom is extraordinary at any time but in the middle of winter, on top of Enoshima Island, and after having been dusted with flakes of snow several times that morning it was quite unexpected. Enoshima Island is on…

Swell festival

Have you been to the Swell Sculpture Festival?

As someone who loves the beach and outdoor art displays I look forward to the Swell Sculpture Festival  each year at Currumbin Beach on Australia’s Gold Coast.  Festival dates for 2018 are set for the 14th to 23rd September so mark your diary.  The festival includes a display of…

Bonsai Botanika

Brisbane Cafes – Bonsai Botanika

When your preference is tea over coffee it can be difficult to find a really good cuppa in the Brisbane CBD.  Especially if you factor in a preference for modern or slightly quirky surroundings.  Bonsai Botanika may just be my new favourite cafe. What makes…

Metroplex

The Metroplex on Gateway in Brisbane

We were directed to the Metroplex in Brisbane by some local birders, to be honest the idea of heading into a light commercial area to see birds  and other wildlife didn’t sound overly promising but I was impressed. The Metroplex on Gateway is a master-planned…

City cycle

City Cycle around the Brisbane river

When I’m on holiday I look for the opportunity to cycle, whether that’s a ride around a small pacific island like Rarotonga on a mountain bike or along the edge of rice paddies on a mamachari in Japan.  Even around Australia I’ll often take to…

Bargara cycleway

The Turtle Trail Coastal Cycle Path

While we were in Bundaberg recently we cycled the Turtle Trail bike and walking path that runs from Kelly Beach south of Bargara up the coast to the Burnett Heads harbour area in the north.  You can extend it further with a very short and…

Bonbai in Nagahama

Bonbai blooms again in Nagahama

If you love bonsai (the Japanese art of miniature trees) or ume (the beautiful flowering plum trees) then Nagahama bonbai is for you! Held in an historic villa in the friendly town of Nagahama this quick detour on our way to Hikone turned out to be an absolute highlight of the trip.

Bush Stone Curlew

Bush Stone Curlew in suburban Brisbane

The bush stone curlew is relatively common in Queensland but has become less common further south particularly in Victoria and NSW where it is now listed as endangered.  If the pair spotted this year nesting in an Airport car-park are anything to go on it’s not surprising…

Benten-Kutsu cave at Hasedera

This small shrine within Hasedera temple is an example of the blending and co-existence of Buddhism and Shinto in Japan.  I’m really interested in Japanese and Buddhist history so I was excited to find this spot at our first stop in Kamakura. We visited on…

Heian Shrine

A visit to Heian Shrine in Kyoto

Kyoto is one of my favorite cities to wander and get lost in, it’s flat, relatively compact and packed full of interesting things to see.  Heian Shrine is located centrally and easy to incorporate into either a walking tour or access via the public transport…

Yasaka Shrine

How to visit a Shinto Shrine in Japan

Visiting a Shinto shrine is tightly woven into the daily life, culture and history of Japan.  As a tourist you will probably want to visit at least one during your stay.  I had a list of shrines and shrine festivals I wanted to see but…

Obi Obi gorge

A walk in Obi Obi Gorge at Maleny

The Obi Obi Gorge is an easily accessed section of the Sunshine Coast hinterland just down from Maleny.  There’s a carpark near Baroon Pocket Dam on Narrows Road and from there its only a short walk down to the picturesque Obi Obi gorge. These photos…