Category Archives: Holidays

Weekend trip to Cape Tribulation & the Daintree rainforest

Here are the photos from our weekend trip to Cape Tribulation & the Daintree rainforest in the far north of Queensland on the last weekend of August. This is where it is for everyone overseas.

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I’ll start by saying, click this panoramic photo to see the lovely detail of the tropical reef.



This area is called Mossman George and a lot of Aboriginals live around here.






Sanna swimming in a waterhole with waterfall, no croc’s in this one we were assured.







What a strange looking tree, we don’t get these in the Sydney area.



Look out dragons!


Look out for the signs tourists!


4wd’ing in the tropical rainforest





Local Daintree Tea and Lamingtons


This is the heart shaped leaf that has tiny hollow hairs on it, if you touch it the hairs will go into your skin causing severe pain. The pain can last up to 6 months in the area that gets in contact. The Aboriginals call it the ‘stinging leaf’ you can see why. They used to use it as punishment. There’s a bit of  a myth I’ve heard about a girl backpacker used it to wipe her bum once wit this leaf! ouch!!


Sanna with a Giant poo!


My hot looking wife Smile


North Queensland visit for the weekend

Hey, Sanna and me visited North Queensland for the weekend to get away from the changing weather here in Sydney from warm to cooler as we get into Autumn. We visited Palm Cove where Sanna had a work conference and I flew up on the Friday after work to join her. 3 hrs flight from Sydney where it was 25 degrees and when I arrived it was 32 degrees with a clammy 95% humidity, its never that humid in Sydney, but North Queensland is in the tropics.

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Palm Cove, Queensland

We were too busy (or not busy) relaxing and generally doing nothing much to remember to take a photo of the cove itself so here is a professional photo courtesy of We walked along the length of this beach twice over the weekend, very pretty and tropical feeling.

Palm Cove Beach and Double Island


Strolling along the beachside footpath in the summer heat

I didn’t know and went for a paddle in the sea which in the summer is full of deadly jellyfish and crocs, when I came out and wandered up the beach a bit I saw this sign, oops.


Queensland seas are not swimmer friendly!

Sanna slept by the pool one afternoon, its such a slow life in Queensland , so peaceful and quiet compared to Sydney, same country but worlds apart in speed of lifestyles. Queensland is lovely to visit and unwind for a few days.


My princess asleep in the tropics

Kangaroo valley kayaking Autumn 2011

Our camp site for Friday night

Our camp site for Friday night

We just got back from my 4th visit to the Kangaroo valley to kayak along the river all the way to the huge dam. Ian and Yeemun and Yeemans sister and partner from England Heloise and Fry joined us so there were 6 of us together.

We left just after 5pm on the Friday and got down to the camp site on the Friday evening and camped on the grass next to the car for the first night. In the morning we got our 3 double sea kayaks, one for each couple. We filled the watertight bags with the important stuff like anything electrical and clothes and the other stuff that can get wet and float like plastic bags of food on top all strapped down, see the photos and you’ll see how we pack.

We then kayaked down river at a slow pace for the day until we found the camp site of our choice in the late afternoon, stopping for lunch on the bank of course. Well that was the plan but we got hit by a sudden thunderstorm of biblical proportions. We were out on the water and seeing the dark storm clouds coming towards us. We wanted to find and get setting up a camp site ASAP because of the thunder and lighting fast approaching.

We ran out of luck and it came down so hard, the rain was so heavy it was bouncing back up off the water and into our eyes. Visibility was so bad at one stage I could only just see the banks. Ian and me were afraid of being out in the centre of the water with all the lighting going on, so we ushered the kayaks over to the banks without telling the girls why so not to scare them.

Then we setup camp out in the wilderness by the river, a very wet camp. It was very hard to get the fire going as all the fire material was absolutely soaked, it took us at least half an hour to get a fire going, I didn’t think we were going to get it going but Ian had confidence. We did start toasting some marshmallows as soon as the fire was going Smile

Sunday morning we got up when we wanted and after a morning swim and wash, kayaked to the end of the river to the big dam.  It was all downstream so very easy, where a mini-bus picked us up and took us back to our cars. A lovely trip again, enjoy the photos.

The Audi RS4, perfect high-performance camping vehicle

The Audi RS4, perfect high-performance camping vehicle

Ian cooking up some bacon sandwiches

Ian cooking up some bacon sandwiches

Picking up the double sea kayaks from the hire company

Picking up the double sea kayaks from the hire company

Ian and Yeemun on the river

Ian and Yeemun on the river

Landed for the 1st days lunch

Landed for the 1st days lunch

Camp just setup on Saturday night after the thunderstorm

Camp just setup on Saturday night after the thunderstorm

Getting the fire started with soaking fire starting material

Getting the fire started with soaking fire starting material

Fry on Fire! and we have warmth

Fry on Fire! and we have warmth

Me playing with fire

Me playing with fire

Ian and me having a bit of a chat in front of the fire

Ian and me having a bit of a chat in front of the fire
with some Johnny Walker Gold label Whisky

The mornings beautiful view from our camp

The mornings beautiful view from our camp

Venturing into the water for a morning bath

Venturing into the water for a morning bath

All of us having a freshening morning wash

All of us having a freshening morning wash

Possibly one of the most beautiful views to brush your teeth too

Possibly one of the most beautiful views to brush your teeth too

The fly's and ants decided they loved the top of our Yellow

The fly’s and ants decided they loved the top of our Yellow
tent and it was their new home by the thousands

A Goanna spotted looking for food

A Goanna spotted looking for food

Just a few hundred metres to the end - we made it

Just a few hundred metres to the end – we made it

Buying a Audi RS4 – Melbourne to Sydney Road Trip with Brendon

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I did something sensible with cars for a change, I actually had a hard think about what I’m going to need to do in the coming years with the business and my cars. I realised that I need a practical car to shift stock and other items around in case of an emergency when suppliers cant deliver and I’m sure all other kinds of reasons.

Its for this reason an estate car or station wagon or ‘wagon’ for short in the Australian dictionary was invented. Now when you think along the lines of wagons (estates) for the petrol head there’s some good Subaru’s, some really good VW’s especially the R36 and then for the real petrol head there’s the BWM M3/M5 touring and in the other stable the Audi RS4 & RS6.

Now the RS6 is as rare as hens teeth and costs around $300,000 on the road for a used one in Australia, so its in the kind of ‘don’t go there’ territory of just the filthy rich. The RS4 though, much more affordable on the used car market at just under half the cost and is still rare enough but it is one if those ‘sleeper’ cars where only people who seem to watch Top Gear know what a monster of a car it is. It also has the added bonus of whenever a BMW M3 owner pulls up next to you, they realise the other person bought the ‘cooler’ car out of the 2.

So, living in the city I don’t have the space for 3 cars and so my lovely Exige S which I only just bought 5 months ago has to go to a new home. I hope to return to a Lotus again one day in the future, they have to be the most fun cars I’ve ever had the pleasure to own.

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Yay Mark you made the right choice!

Back to the RS4. I found this Sprint Blue RS4 ‘Avant’ as the wagon (estate) is called after having my eye out for one in the classifieds for over a year. One didn’t come up in Sprint Blue for all that time in watching, so as soon as this one came up for sale in Melbourne I jumped on it and had to negotiate between me and another person bidding for it in a day.

The price was agreed and we booked the flight to Melbourne, we, yes Brendon came with me on the trip just like he did with the Exige 6 months earlier.

The thought process of buying the RS4 was very different from buying the Exige. With the Exige I was agonising over trying to find the right spec, year, condition and options and I was never really 100% happy with Black. With the RS4, I knew I wanted a Blue Avant and as soon as I saw one available on the market and knowing how rare they are I just went for it, it somehow felt so right to buy the car, no second thoughts through any of it, it just felt right from beginning to end.

We arrived in Melbourne and did the usual quick test drive and money transfers at the bank and by lunchtime we were North of Melbourne and heading into the beautiful countryside of Northern Victoria.


A view at one of Northern Victorias large lakes for a quick rest stop


The RS4 looks great from its side profile with its big 19” alloy
wheels all round hiding the massive brakes.

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Brendon seeing if the car will float in the lake


The interior of the RS4 is a premium leather glad techno
persons heaven with all its gadgets

We drove though the afternoon through really damp weather but it did prove how well the car can drive quick though slippery road conditions thanks to the clever Audi Quattro 4wd. We made it up through the snaking twisty mountain roads higher and higher until a ‘check engine oil level’ warning message came on the screen, better get oil in the morning!

Just before Thredbo our destination in the snowy mountains, we came across snow on the road and the car started to slide, I panicked and nudged the brakes a bit and the stability control fixed us all up and brought us bad to grip again, excellent.

We stayed the night at the Red Bank lodge again like last time in the Exige. In the morning we had a quick walk on the slopes to remind ourselves what snow is like again as we haven’t seen it in ages it felt. Brendon hadn’t seen snow in 10 years he reckoned, that’s going to seem really strange if your reading this from a cold country somewhere in the world.

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Snow in in an Australian ski resort

In the morning we put in just over a litre of the good Black stuff and the ‘low
engine oil’ warning went away and the car was happy again.

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My first bit of maintenance for the car on route to the snowy mountains

Back on the road we crossed  the border into NSW and the weather started getting warmer as we headed North towards Sydney. We pulled over for a short break and to look at the big wind turbines in the distance, Brendon got a bit excited and started doing star jumps:

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Where we pulled over it was a bit muddy and it turned into a test of the 4WD system to see how it copes with muddy terrain. Well it passed with flying colours and gave the car a new paint style too:


New flicked mud paint style


The car looks great from the front,
especially with the new flicked mud paint style

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Topping up the Audi with some Mother energy drink, its a secret
but this is where the RS4 gets all its extra power from Winking smile

Most impressive thing from driving the car some distance are the carbon ceramic brakes followed by ‘that’ engine from the R8. Even from cold the brakes bite so hard, a run down Macquarie pass (a local steep downhill road) proves that when hot they don’t alter their performance, they are much lighter and last 4 times longer than the steel items, amazing technology.

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Audi’s carbon ceramic brakes as found as an option on the
RS4, the R8 & the Lamborghini Gallardo & Murcielago

After a long drive of just over 1100km’s we had done the Melbourne to Sydney via the snowy mountains trip again. One thing is for sure, in a Audi with cruise control it goes  a lot quicker than in a Exige S with a engine buzzing away right up behind your head. It was time to give the car a wash after the long 2 day drive and the tuck it up in its new home in Sydney.

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The car has already proved to be more useful than the Exige in a few ways, one example was at one of Sanna’s touch series games, I did a bit of video editing and DVD burning in the boot making my own  little portable video editing suite, very geeky but cool.


Here is the full video story of the trip on YouTube:

Buying a Audi RS4 – Melbourne to Sydney Road Trip with Brendon

Around the world holiday 2009

Here are the photos and stories of mine and Sanna’s around the world holiday trip in 2009. Remember you can click on any photo to open it up full size.

Bangkok, Thailand

First stop was Bangkok in Thailand. First time for me in Thailand so this was good for me to visit a new country and to experience it. Wow Thailand is cheap!

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Here Sanna is relaxing by the lovely pool in the 5 star Marriott resort of Bangkok which by Western levels was very cheap.


We found some very strange food from what we are used to but we were game to try it. This was a cool snack that was made of ice and coconut juice and different jellies. Some of the jellies had the texture of what I’d imagine an eyeball to be like to chew, ewe.


Sanna was game to try it and it was actually very very nice, cool and refreshing with a mix of ice and the lovely refreshing coconut juice combined, great in the hot humid Bangkok weather.


Here we are off on one of the canal boats with the big engine on the back zooming along to the famous Bangkok floating markets. I always remember seeing these boats in one of the old James Bond films, where James Bond uses the propeller to chop through someone else’s boat.


On the boat to the floating markets.


The Bangkok floating markets, it was very interesting and lots of cheap cheap tourist ‘tat’ and cheap fresh fruit.


Posing for a photo on the central bridge of the markets.


Back at the Marriott resort and while we were relaxing by the pool I spotted this small bird who seemed to be very sleepy and would hardly open his eyes. I could stroke it and it didn’t even try to move away, it seemed very weak.


I nicknamed him ‘little birdie’ and felt a bit sorry for the little thing. Tried feeding it some scraps of bread but it didn’t want to know. After watching it on and off over the afternoon I felt it might have been on its way out, poor little thing.



Next stop after a long flight was hot summery Europe! We flew into Rome, a busy, hot and slightly crazy city. So much history everywhere, lots of crazy drivers on the tiny cobbled roads and so many tourists everywhere.

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Here we are approaching Vatican city, the hope of the Pope from our city bus tour.


Inside one of the passageways of the Vatican city.


Once of the most famous landmarks of the world, Rome’s Colosseum


Inside the Colosseum and we took a audio guided tour who explained about the role of the Gladiators fighting the beasts in the arena.


One of the passageways to the central arena of the Colosseum.


Another famous Rome landmark the Trevi fountain, our hotel was just 200 meters from here so we visited the fountain several times.


We met up with a Sanna’s friends brother Aaron, who’s an Australian working in Rome having a go at running his own tour company of Vatican city. He gave us some insight into living and working in central Rome.


We spent 2 days in Rome and then it felt good to leave the very hot and busy capital behind. Next we drove north to the famous city of Pisa to of course see the leaning tower, the most famous construction mistake in the world.

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Here we met up with one of Sanna’s old friends from Southampton university Lara and her boyfriend. They were locals living just East of Pisa and over dinner and some lovely Italian Red wine they told us what it was like to be Italian. The country, Italian politics, food, culture and all about the mafia.


The famous cheesy photo of pushing the leaning tower of Pisa


and here’s me being super cheesy doing it too.


Next day we were joined by our old friends Mad and Loic who flew into Pisa airport from where they currently live in Paris. They had come to join us for 4 days to explore the beautiful Italian Tuscan region with us together.

This is Florence and in particular the river that flows centrally through the city.


A photo from a lookout overlooking Florence


A strange lion wrapped in barbed wire sculpture we found in one of the Tuscan towns.


Me gazing out over the beautiful Tuscan countryside.


A beautiful photo Mad took of Sanna and I in a local sunflower field.


Loic trying to steal a new Red Fiat 500. There were lots of Fiat 500’s in Italy, it looks to be their next national car, the car for the people of Italy just like the old Fiat 500 was in the 1960’s 70’s.


I love Nutella! in fact I deliberately don’t buy it when we go food shopping as I know I’ll eat it all the time. This has to the be biggest jar ever 4.5kg’s!! Nutella heaven!


we stayed on the converted farm they had bikes you could take out free of charge. We took the bikes out for a ride 2 days in a row to ride between villages. Both girls were complaining of sore bums on day 2, wimps 🙂

We said our goodbyes to Mad and Loic and they departed on the train from Florence station where we dropped them off.


On we went and we drove to the Modena city area, what is known as the spiritual home of the Italian supercar. We stopped at the factory’s of Lamborghini, Ferrari and the little known but my favourite car in the world the Pagani.

Here I’m checking out the new Lamborghini Murcielago SV, hot off the production line as Lamborghinis flagship car, they have only just started making this model and none had left the country so far.


Another stop at the tiny Pagani showroom/factory, they only make around 5 cars a year and easily are the most prestigious, unique and most celebrated Italian supercar maker in modern history. This car I was lucky to find is the new Pagani Zonda Cinque and costs 1.5 million Euros + taxes, they are only making 5 cars.


After a long drive and a short train ride through some mountain tunnels we arrived to Cinque Terre (translates to 5 villages) on the coast.

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A view of one of the villages looking down from a coastal walking track. I believe this was either Vernazza or Corniglia.


The same village but closer up, picture postcard perfect.


An aussie girl not used to having stones on her beach. “where’s the sand!” she said


As viewed from the sea, the village of Riomaggiore where we stayed for 2 days.


After the lovely stay on the coast at Cinque Terre we headed North via hire car past lake Como and towards the mountain passes. Their was one mountain pass in particular I was keen to find which was the shown on a Top Gear episode as what they though was the best driving road in the world, it is called the Stelvio pass.

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The Stelvio pass is the highest paved road in Europe at 2800 meters high and is made up of a series of the steepest roads you would ever see. We had the crapest Ford I’ve have ever had the miss-pleasure to drive with a 1.4 litre engine and it struggled to get up and down the pass, getting in 2nd gear whilst climbing the pass was a luxury that only occurred a few times.

Here we are approaching the pass from the South.


At the top and looking down, this is the famous angle to view the pass from you’ll see in magazines and TV  programs. You could smell the brakes overheating on our crappy car when we were driving near the bottom. They used to do a rally stage driving up the pass, they may still do.


It was freezing at the top and there was permanent snow.


Travelling down the other side the roads and views were beautiful.




We dropped the car off on the Italian – Austrian border and caught a train to Salzburg, Austria where the Mosburgers wedding was. Here all the big family is together after dinner on the 1st night, the Bedfords and the Mosburgers, the ‘Bedburgers’.


Alex and Doro’s wedding in a small church in Salzburg. The local shooting club came and fired lots of old muskets off into the air for the wedding, you can see the smoke from the muskets in the distance.


Having a drink outside the church just after the wedding.


Here is the balcony from the guesthouse we stayed in, a very traditional Austrian looking building.


A partly dry riverbed on a short walk from our guesthouse I thought provided a lovely photo of Green living plants and dry rock.


New York, USA

After the wedding in Austria it was time to hop on a plane and fly over the ocean to the united states and New York City. It was the first time Sanna and I had both been to New York so this was exciting for both of us.

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This is taken the day we arrived as we explored Times Square which is where our hotel was located. Its like Piccadilly circus in London but gone mad! It proved to be even more spectacular at night when the Neon’s become even brighter.


This is the view from the top of the Rockefeller building, one of the tallest buildings in New York and gives a great view of the Empire State Building as you can see here.

Did you know originally the spire on the top of the Empire State Building was designed to allow trans-Atlantic airships to dock for passengers to embark and disembark. After the Hindenburg disaster in Germany 1937, airships poplarity dropped and the spire was never used for its purpose.


Transformers, Robots in Disguise!!


Ah the famous Statue of liberty, the biggest tourist trap I’ve ever been to and the tightest security for any tourist attraction I’ve ever been to also. It took over half an hour just to be security screened before you could get on the ferry to the island.


An interesting bumper sticker on the back of a Police car I thought. Would never see that in Australia on a police car.


We visited a trendy roof top bar which had great views of the city and the Empire State Building as the sun went down.


We caught up with Sanna’s Aussie friend Rumania who has lived in New York City for just over a year now. She loves living there and says its the best place to be to have fun as a young single girl. Cheesecake is famous in New York, the portions are large and the Cherry one I had was the best I’ve ever had.


Times square at night time, a buzzing place to be day or night.


Whilst Sanna was off shopping for some designer brands I went to a recommended museum by Rumania the USS Intrepid, one of the US Navy’s most famous Aircraft carriers used in the 2nd world war and several wars and engagements afterwards. It floats in the water just West off of Manhattan island.

The main hanger deck is fitted out with lots of war planes and helicopters from the 2nd world war to present day.


Two Sidewinder Missiles hanging from the ceiling of the hanger deck. Growing up playing so many military flight simulators on the PC I knew these missiles well, short range air-to-air, it was amazing to see real life ones.


My favourite war plane from the days of playing all the military flight simulators, the F16 Fighting Falcon. It was so technically advanced for it’s time and is still in service with some country’s even today.


A photo mix of the United States and the British concord of British Airways, a cool combination I thought.


Wall St and the New York Stock Exchange, the single place that has caused so many PROBLEMS affecting the whole world.


Wall St and all the security gates in place around the stock exchange, presumably to stop all the people who have lost all their money from attacking in spite.


Brooklyn bridge, a famous landmark of New York but not that much to look at really. Doesn’t really compare to our Sydney harbour bridge does it.


Ground zero where the twin towers used to sit. Recently as enough years have passed they have started building and the massive site is one huge construction zone now, it was hot and dusty.


Cooling off in one of the city’s parks I made a couple of friends who seemed to like me splashing loads of water all over them.


then they chased me around with water to get me back, they were funny to play with.


Well that’s New York over with and the end to our 3 and a half trip away around the world for 2009.

20 hours later we were back in good old Sydney and it felt nice to be back. There is nowhere in the world that combines the good career prospects and outdoors lifestyle like Sydney can. Home sweet home.

The Great Ocean Road video with the Audi R8

Here’s a short 3 minute video I put together of Sanna and I experiencing Audi’s first entry into the world of the supercar, the Audi R8 4.2 FSI. It turned into 4 days of driving some of the best country costal twisty roads I have found yet, and the R8 proved to be the perfect tool for carving the roads up.

Great car, great engine, a heap of fun to drive and with a smidgen over 400hp, really as much power as you would ever need to have some serious fun.

I edited the video together again using Adobe Premiere Pro, after many hours of exploring around the interface I’m getting much better on the app now . Its an excellent video editing tool, very clever in what it can do, looking at the manuals for it, I’ve only just scratched the surface of its features.

Back to England for Christmas & long stopover in Dubai

For this Christmas Sanna and I returned to home (well old home for me) to England to have a more traditional Christmas with the family. Although Australia is the place I want to live for now, for a couple weeks of the year I miss good old England for all the traditional parts I miss from home. Cold ‘Christmassy’ weather, Christmas dinner with the family and having hot Christmas mulled wine down the pub catching up with friends.


We arrived in England on the 23rd of December to a cold 5 degree’s and bit of a shock to the body from the 30 degree’s we had when we left summertime in Australia just the day before.

Here is Sanna sitting in dad’s new car his Morgan V6 Roadster in lovely British Racing Green, it turned out lovely although I’m not sure it’s Sanna’s style but she looks comfy.


It’s very cold in England in the winter so if your driving in an open topped sports car you need a good hat, I’m not sure this one suited me so much though.


Everyone helping to set the table for Christmas day dinner. Dad has a tablecloth for every occasion! he told us.


After Christmas day we visited London for 2 days to see the sights and visit Sanna’s old Southampton University friend Cor and my old best mate Dom who’s now living in London.


This picture must of have been taken 1000’s of times, its the stereotypical view of the old London guard for the Queen. I told Cor it takes them years to grow their hair like that.


Sanna in front of the old London bridge during a walk along the river Thames.


We met up with my old best mate Dom to catch up on how he’s been doing.



Trip to Wales

Time for some adventure and even colder temperatures. We visited the Snowdonia region in North Wales and visited the old town of Betws-y–Coed which we have visited many times before. Here we are in Betws-y–Coed on the old bridge braving the cold.


Sanna and I did a day trip climbing mount Snowdon which is just over 1000 metres tall. This was my third time climbing mount Snowdon but the first time for Sanna. I love climbing it and this time I chose a much harder steeper track for a bit more fun. Here’s the warning sign at the bottom saying there are no supplies or shelter from this point onwards.


Near the top there was snow laying in places cold enough to resist the little warmth the sun provides near the summit.


In the same day after getting back from our mount Snowdon climb we went to old Trafford to watch Manchester United play. Here is Dad in his element.


Stopover in Dubai

After 2 weeks in England we jumped on the plane to Dubai for a 6 day extended stopover. It was the middle of the winter there but it was a warm 25 degree’s in the day and around 17-18 degree’s at night. Here is Sanna greeting one of the locals.


The famous Dubai indoor ski slope containing real snow and was really large inside. The whole building is in the middle of the desert and is kept freezing cold all year round.


When in Dubai we met up with an old friend of Sanna’s family Abdullah who is pretty much a Dubai local living there for many years and who showed us around the sights of his amazing city in the desert.


Inside one of the lavish Dubai 5 star hotels. This was the newly opened Atlantis hotel which is built on the tip of the palm which is built on sand reclaimed from the sea.


The inside of the Atlantis hotel was built around the ‘Lost city of Atlantis under the sea’ theme showing some 85,000 different species of fish in its windows.


Once again inside Atlantis, I was quite happy with how this photo came out, the lighting and reflections came out great with the menacing silhouette figure in the background.


A warm Arabic night in front of the Burj Al Arab in the distance, the worlds most expensive hotel and gaining a world first, 7 stars.


Inside the 7 star Burj Al Arab hotel, many walls and pillars were gold plated and the common areas featuring very clever water fountains that played music with the sound of the water colliding all computer controlled.


We had a buffet lunch at the Burj Al Arab as part of our tour, god knows how much it would of cost but the food was top quality the best we’ve had. We bought a 1 litre bottle of still water and it cost $20 or around £10.


Lastly after 6 days in Dubai and a few days of horrible food poisoning for me, we flew back to Sydney. It was nice to be home and the weather on our return was a lovely 30 degree’s again.

Northern Queensland – Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation holiday

Sanna and I were long overdue for a break from inner Sydney city life, needing to de-stress from work (mostly for me that bit) and get away from the coldness of Sydney in the winter time (it gets as low as 10 degree’s !).

From all my credit card points that were saved up we booked a 3 day trip to Northern Queensland to the pretty remote area of Port Douglas and the even more remoteness of Cape Tribulation where nowhere has mobile signal, TV reception is not to be found and the luxuries of mains power, mains water and gas does not extend that far North.

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The plane flight from Sydney is only 3 hours flight North and then there was a 1 hour coach ride further North to our first stop of Port Douglas. We checked into our hotel, which were some lovely apartments called the La Rochelle apartments or something like that, which had a lovely Moroccan feel about the place and two small swimming pools. Here’s Sanna relaxing on the apartments balcony.


After settling in we spent Friday afternoon exploring the tiny town that is Port Douglas and its main long beach called 4-mile long beach, and it was quite obvious why it was called that. The main street in the town was very quiet and it was apparent that from the 37 degree heat everyone was on the beach.


Look Sanna did a coconut poo on the beach!


We walked along 4-mile beach and sneaked into the Sheraton resort to have a look around its grounds and inside the resorts main hotel. I’ve never seen so many swimming pools and tropical gardens at a hotel resort before it was very nice and would be a lovely place to stay.


Back to the lookout of Port Douglas looking down 4-mile beach to the South.


That evening we went to a restaurant/bar called ‘rust bar’ the place was all made of rusting corrugated metal sheeting in an outback Aussie style. The food was really great and with all the heat and sun it felt easy to become drunk and sleepy very quickly with bedtime calling early.



Today was Sanna’s pick of activities for the day and she chose to go snorkelling on the great barrier reef. The boat ride out to the reef takes a good hour and a half to get there, even travelling at a high speed. Sun-bathing all the way there made the trip go quickly and it felt so good to just forget about the worries of work and just chill out so much.


Switching the digital camera to underwater mode and it was good fun experimenting taking photos of the divers and fish of all sizes, big and small that come looking for food from us.


Here’s me looking like a pillock


and Sanna thinks she’s a mermaid, a bit more graceful under water than me by the looks.


Lunchtime was a help yourself buffet on board with different meats, salad e.t.c which all tasted really fresh and after a lot of snorkelling we had a big appetite.




On Sunday it was my pick of things to suggest to do and so we hired a convertible which turned out to be a Saab and headed out early to the North to explore the more remote parts of the area and headed North up towards Cape tribulation.


After crossing the Daintree river by a short ferry ride we are stopped by this large warning sign that explains that we are deep within croc country and not to get too close to the waters edge, so especially no fishing unless you want to be dragged into the water to join the fish’s – in bits.


The road ahead narrowed, we saw another car every 10-15 minutes and all the people that live North of the Daintree river have to create their own electricity via solar power and diesel generators.


WE found some very secluded and remote feeling beaches but I was keeping my eye out all the time as there were freshwater AND seawater crocs that lived in the area.


This was my protection in case something came running out of the bushes.


This interesting shape of a tree is formed by some vines growing around an existing tree and suffocating it. Then the original tree in the middle dies and you get this strange hole up the middle formation, really clever but weird.


The weather was again 37 degree’s with 80% humidity and taking a rest and a stretch in the shade felt good.


Some of the beaches fringed with tropical tree’s and mangroves were picture perfect.


Tennis girl model posing with the convertible Saab. After a days driving it became apparent that the Saab handled pretty well on all the twisty roads but looked ugly (to all but Northern Europeans) and had an annoying turbo lag when accelerating. Still, always good to try out another car experience.


This is pretty much the furthest point North myself and Sanna have ever been to in Australia which was the Cape Tribulation Beach house backpackers resort. We had a good look around and it must be the nicest backpackers I’ve ever seen. Tropical villa’s set in the rainforest, with a big swimming pool, and all right on the beach front, I would love to go back.


So that was the trip over with, 3 days away from the big smoke of Sydney but as always, it was nice to be back in the city. I never tire of seeing the big city after a trip away which always feels like home.

Kangaroo Valley kayakin’ trip

Ok yes its all in Canoes strictly, the kayack’s with rudders for steering will be next time but here are the photos from our very COLD but fun Autumn weekend away to Kangaroo Valley with Michelle and Jase.


P4050309.JPG Saturday morning and a thick fog was all around as we woke up.





We’ve taken to the water in our 2 man canoes and were off.





Exploring the river as we paddled downstream there was never a single person in sight.





A stop on the river bank as we found a patch of grass for lunch.




 Michele and Jase were a lot faster than us at most time mostly as me and Sanna argued over which paddleing technique to use.





Me and Sanna went down a side river to see if we could find an old campsite I knew but it was the path to the sunken valley of dead tree’s









Aussie Elise’s Trip to the Victoria alpine region

Well the title says it all really, this was a long time planned trip to the beutuful alpine regeion in the state of Victoria which in the winter time is Victorias main skiing area. The trip was organised a good 3-4 months beofre it happened and was planned ot be one of th elarget trips the Aussie Elises group had ever arranged before. A total of 17 cars, 14 couples some of the best alpine driving roads in Austrlai and a round trip of some 3000km’s so this was a REAL trip and was goinf to be some REAL fun 🙂

A comeritive psoter and car stricker was made up for the trip by group member Zed which he obvuildy spent some time on, it looked great!


































The plan of events was to drive from Sydney early morning to Bright on the Friday, all couples to take part in a treasure hunt on the Saturday and then to take a leasurely drive back home on Sunday at your own speed.

Friday – The drive to the Alps

9 of us had arranged to drive from sydeny togther and we met up at 5am down at the Sydney Opera house, im not used ot being up that early at all so hence I look pretty tired in the photo.


I was glad to report we had started and the odomete had been reset to 0km’s 🙂





Our 2nd meetup location was a service station up the motorway where a few more members joined us, the weather started to improve so a lot took their roofs off their cars too.





My Elise and my friends Banzi’s Elise parked together, he has made a few extra modifications to his and it looks almost like its a Lotus Exige if you look quickly at it.





The guys still debating roofs on or roofs off





A few hours of drviing in and we reach the Murray river which seperates as the border between New South Wales and Victoria. We in Victoria the state of smoother better looked after roads, which is sports cars drivers love. Here we are following a older Lotus 7/Caterham 



 Our poor friend Zed had a bit of a crash and we stopped ot come to the rescue. What happened was he stopped to take photos of us all aand hundreds of ants manged to crawl into hs car. He started driving again and they were all over him and he paniced and came off the road going pretty fast! You can see how far he came off the road in this photo!



It was all a bit of teamwork to get his poor Lotus off the rough stuff and back onto the tarmac. His low car struggled to get through the long grass acting as a lawn mower. It took quite a few of us and some smooth throttle control to just about get him out! It was hot and we were sweating and all brething in exhaust fumes but we all laughed. Zed’s poor car under the skin was pretty badly damed though 🙁 All from having ants in his pants 🙂




 627 km’s in to the drive to Bright and we were only three quarters of the way.





Sanna did some of the driving too and she stayed up to speed with the guys well. I am very happy with my new union jacks under the indicators which Zed gave to me as a present.





A fellow Aussie Elise’er, Morris as we were having a chat driving side by side through one of the country towns’ 




 We arrived in bright after around a 800 km drive and driving all day. It was arranged that we took over the Bright Brewery for a ‘Beer Apreciation course’. We were so tired form the drive and had a real fun for beer and having a relaly good time. Everyone was so friendly and great fun. The girls had their own seperate area stocked with wine’s to keep them happy.



Saturday – The Treasure hunt

Saturday was the main day and and a large teasure hunt with clue’s and objects you had to find and people you had to speak to. It was very well organised by my firiend Ashton he has put a lot of homework into making it a great day in a 150km by 150km playing area.



We all stayed in seperate lodges/B&B’s as there wasent anywhere big enough to take 20 lotus’s and their owners. We stayed in the Arcadia motor lodge and here we are warming up the engines before we meet for breakfast.





Breakfast was in a lovely cafe right out the back of the Bright Brewery where we were all until late the night before. Over breakfast the rulkes for the teasure hunt were explained, the clue packs were given out and some hints at the prizes.






 This was Sanna’s breakfast, pancakes and icecream and fresh berries, her favourite.






All the cars lined up at breakfast, just before we jumpe din them and the treasure hunt started. All the locals had never seen so many Lotus’s in such a normally quiet village.






We didnt have time to take many photos during the tresure hunt as it was so franic trying to work out the clue’s and driving to where we could find the answers. This photo was taken driving up one of the mountains, Mt Hotham which in the winter is a ski resort. The fog made for some amazing views during the drive on top of the mountains but in the valleys it was beautiful and clear.



 We decided after looking at the map to go a back way via a short dirt track to save some time and get ahead of the others. It turned out the drirt track was infact 38km’s long!! and the map we were given wasent to scale! It took us an hour and quarter to do 38km’s and the car was sliding all over the place not being desinged to go on muddy soggy mud.




After the dirt road the car was filthy on the outside, the new union jacks made it throgh alright though 🙂





There was a prize for the best photo of the day so I did this to my car in the dirt and I came 2nd for it and made a lot of people laugh 🙂




The dinner after the treasure hunt, everyone had a LOT of fun and it was one of the best things i’ve done. For making the mistake of driving on the dirt road for 38km’s for an hour and a quarter I was voted the w#$ker of the day award and received a wrist support band 🙂





 The grand prize for the Teasure hunt with 600 odd points was my friend Peter who we worked closely with throughout the day. Sanna and me came 2nd out of 15 teams, thats not bad!



Sunday- The drive home

On sunday we all made our way home in seperate groups, me and Sanna went back with Banzi and Doc who were really good drivers and we had a amzing drive back through the scenic mt kosciusko national park. It was I tink the best drive i’d had in my life it was truely amaing all the way, like a 3 hour long rally stage, jsut amazing roads that felt were buitl for a sports cars.


The final time most of the cars were together before we left to return to Sydney.






The final photo, a brief stop next to this beautiful tree blossoming, the colours looked amazing next to Banzi’s car.