One of the basic fundamentals of a modern society is the relationship between the country and its own citizens. Most importantly – Duty of Care. A government that doesn’t protect its own citizens, is absolutely unworthy, as it is neglecting the most crucial aspects of leadership and democracy – taking care of your own people.
Shain is a Sydney-based blogger and writer who believes there is much more to life than surviving the mad rat race. A father, a husband, a tennis fan, an IT professional. Looking back at fond memories, looking ahead with big dreams, looking around and trying to focus on the present moment, the positives, the glass-half-full. While still confused, a bit lost sometimes, trying to figure out what is the meaning of all of this, what are we meant to be doing around here, swinging between inspiration and desperation, between hope and despair, constantly Looking For Meaning.
When President-elect Joe Biden made his winning speech last November, he highlighted some of the major problems he intends to focus on once he gets into office. The US is due to lead the world once again in taking action on coronavirus, equality, economy and climate change. However, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to bow to pressure from the US.
Bruny Island is located off the south-eastern coast of Tasmania, Australia. To get to the island we had to take a 20-minute ferry to discover a unique and isolated landmark with very few locals, many more tourists, and stunning views.
It was an early autumn evening. The trees started to shed their leaves, signaling the end of summer. That was the worst time of year for Jono, who simply hated it when daylight-saving ends and all of a sudden it’s getting dark much earlier. Jono was sitting in his car, driving back home from another hectic day at work. “I have to do something” Jono thought to himself.
Hobart is the lovely capital of Tasmania, and it truly is lovely. We arrived to the city late afternoon and went straight to the Waterfront Piers to walk by the water and have an early dinner in one of the many restaurants. The following day, Saturday, is market day at the famous Salamanca Market. There’s lots to see and do.
Heading south to one of Tasmania’s oldest national parks and also one of its most diverse – Mount Field National Park. After an interesting encounter with a friendly echidna, and a glimpse of a sneaky platypus, we took a leisurely walk through the towering tree ferns and giant eucalypts to Russell Falls and Horseshoe Falls. Both are stunning and the whole walk is kids-friendly, meeting plenty of pademelons along the way.
After an eventful day at Franklin-Gordon National Park, we arrived to Lake St Clair Park for a late afternoon stroll by the lake, skimming rocks on the still water, and taking an endless amount of photos. Black and furry possums greeted us on the way back to the caravan.
Cutting through the heart of Tasmania, we’re crossing from the wild West Coast inland through national parks and new adventures. First stop in Queenstown, a nice town surrounded by dramatic hills and mountains, which was once the world’s richest mining town. Next, we make a few stops at Franklin-Gordon National Park, which appears to be very special.
As the whole family gathered around the table, Luke was scanning the room, feeling the tension. He knew people were whispering behind his back. He knew he needed to prove himself all over again. Then, while the entrée was served, an unexpected visitor showed up at the door.
Our next stop is Strahan, a historic and very touristic town, considered to be one of the highlights of a visit to Tasmania. It offers plenty of “Award-Winning Wilderness Experiences” though we found it completely overrated. Thankfully, we climbed up Henty Dunes for a real slice of adventure and fun-filled Sandboarding.
Standing in the rain, waiting. Joey didn’t mind the rain, although it was pouring quite hard for the last thirty minutes or so. But he didn’t care. The sound of big drops pounding on the concrete, on top of cars moving along the road, on Joey’s half-broken umbrella. That noise was overshadowed by the voice inside his head. She will turn up. She will. She has to.
Heading inland, we finally arrive to one of Tasmania’s best known highlights – Cradle Mountain National Park – known for a range of features, including wild landscape, beautiful rainforest and alpine heathlands, glacial lakes and a wide variety of wildlife. The unique mountain range and Dove Lake at the foot of Cradle Mountain is one of the best sceneries you will ever see.
The pub was busy as it always is on a Friday night. A group of men were standing right at the centre, dressed in gold-and-green jerseys, cheering in front of the big screens as the Wallabies scored their first Try of the match, knowing this might be the highlight of the evening. A few couples gathered on the other end around a bottle of champagne, celebrating something which seemed to be rather special. Ben stepped in with a couple of mates from work, and with no hesitation walked straight to the bar.
One unique thing about Australians is that we don’t like talking about politics. The conversations at meetups and barbeques mostly evolve around real estate and sports. But it’s not a hot topic to speak about our politicians, their policies or anything evolving in our capital Canberra. But that has to change.
Stanley is a little town in North-West Tasmania. The main attraction is a natural wonder – The Nut. The unusual hill above the ocean is a result of volcanic activity millions of years ago. From the top we get stunning views of the bay, white beaches and turquoise water – one of those places that wherever you look it is absolutely breathtaking and you have to take just one more photo, and then another one.
As the clouds disappeared and the sun came out, we arrived at a stunningly beautiful beach with white sand and turquoise water. With clouds coming and going, we experienced this special place in different shades and colours. Boat Harbour Beach.
Apparently in Tasmania you’re allowed to park overnight pretty much anywhere, unless it specifically says you’re not welcome. Free overnight camping is very popular – with no power or water supply, in the middle of nowhere, close to the beach and next to other caravans and motorhomes, so you’re never really alone.
Traveling around Australia is great fun, no doubt about it. One of the best sides of it is traveling on remote roads, experiencing nature and enjoying the space while you are out there. It all changes dramatically once you get to the big city. Melbourne is one of them.
Phillip Island is known to be the home of the little penguins. With idyllic beaches, captivating coastlines, and family fun activities, there is so much to see. Just after sunset, tens of little penguins, cute as can be, are marching out of the water and slowly making their way up the hill and back to their burrows where their chicks are waiting, starving for food.
The most southern point in mainland Australia is a very special one. Wilsons Prom. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s most definitely worth it. While we weren’t sure what to expect, we definitely did not expect such a WOW feeling. The scenery is absolutely stunning, the beaches are gorgeous with massive boulders decorating the coastline and creating such a unique view.
Can someone please tell me what is going on? Why are we celebrating the immortal heroes of sports overall, and tennis in particular, amazed by the longevity and complete dominance of the older generation, who keep winning grand slams. The real question to ask is where the hack is men’s tennis next generation?
We got to a nearly deserted camping area at Cape Conran and immediately fell in love in this place. So much that we decided to make this our first real camping stop for the night – no water, no power, self contained. We made our first camp fire and clearly the kids were super excited and pulled out a bag of marshmallows from the pantry.
Moving on to the town with the glorious name of “Eden”. We were looking forward to get to Eden, obviously, to discover whether it is as mystic as its name applies. It is also the most southern point and our last stop in New South Wales, as we get closer to the border with the neighbouring state – Victoria.
We’ve already travelled 500 kilometers since we started the trip, and arrived to a little haven called Batemans Bay on the far south coast of New South Wales. Our caravan is parking at one of the relatively upmarket caravan parks – with a pool, tennis courts, mini golf, a jumping pillow and renovated showers. Not something we are planning to do a lot during the trip.
In January 2021, Australian Prime Minister announced a change to the national anthem, following growing criticism and a push for change. We, Australians, will no longer sing “For we are young and free”, indicating a young and free nation, just under 250 years old, completely ignoring the people of the First Nation, the Aboriginal people, who have lived here on this land for over 60,000 years.
I heard strange stories from people who traveled around the land down under, without seeing not even a single kangaroo. That’s impossible, there are so many of them all across the country. What could be more challenging would be to see them close to the water. This is where Pebbly Beach comes in handy.
Heading further south to the South Coast and the amazing Jervis Bay. We parked at a lovely caravan park in Huskisson right on the beachfront, surrounded by many boomers. What striked me was the way they looked at our young children, with so much love, kindness and longing for the old days.
A hundred and fifty kilometers south of Sydney is the beautiful town of Kiama, our first stop. Shops, cafes, beaches, lighthouse (oh, there are many of them around Australia) and the don’t-miss Blowhole. The weather is nice, white clouds paint the sky, the swell gently approaches from the big open-wide ocean and as it hits the coastal rocks of Kiama.
Road trip around Australia – sounds good right? Absolutely. But before we can actually head off, we’re on a mission to shrink the content of the caravan by 50%. At least! Clearly, we should have made ourselves familiar with the concept of Becoming a Minimalist, way before we started packing.
After months of preparations, planning and fantasizing, our journey around Australia is about to begin. Well, our caravan is not ready yet, in fact it’s quite unorganized, as we’re learning the meaning of Minimalism. Final preparations before we head off for a trip around Australia.
I’m rubbing my eyes, tilting my head from side to side, pinching my cheeks right and left. Is this really happening? It’s one of those things you plan in your head for a long time, and when the time comes you just cannot believe it’s actually happening. We are about to leave our ordinary lives behind and hit the road, the great Land Down Under is awaiting, Australia here we come!
Every Writer-to-Be tends to have these doubts at some point of their journey. Am I good enough? Will anyone ever be interested in reading my creative work? Or is it all going to waste… Another obstacle we face is how to get our stories out there. Do we have to find a proper publisher like in the old days, given the chances are low to ever get published? Or are there other options in the digital world to put our words out there and give them the life they deserve?