Since we spent the 3 weeks over Christmas and the new year away from each other, Mrs Romance and I decided to take a bit of time out to reconnect this week just gone. Her sister has a little holiday house up the coast, and we managed to wriggle in a booking between other guests.
We set off on Monday evening and high-tailed it up to Port Stephens – a little coastal region about 3 hours north of Sydney. This was going to be so good…
Our first morning in Port Stephens and it’s an absolute corker. It’s also Australia Day today, so it’s definitely time to get some good beach time in!
We’ve walked the full length of Bagnalls Beach on our way to the main Australia Day fair in Nelson Bay. We take a break in the shade for a minute and Mrs Romance snaps this amazing shot. Love this one!
Looking back down where we’ve just walked – there’s a great walking/cycling track all the way along the coast here. Still, it’s so hot today we’re really getting a good workout! Such a great way to spend our Australia Day!
The rest of Australia Day was so good. We explored the town, had a beer in the local pub the Seabreeze Hotel (which has had an impressive makeover since I was last here), checked out Fly Point Park, then walked back home.
Today, Port Stephens is like a different place. The visitors have all gone, kids have all gone back to school and everything’s much quieter. We’ve gone for another walk along the beach. This pelican’s so tame, didn’t move when we walked past it. It’s only flying away now because it’s spotted a school of fish to hunt.
It’s been a bit rainy the last couple of days after Australia Day. But now the sun’s come back out and Port Stephens is back to its glorious self.
It’s been the best time here in Port Stephens. But now we’ve got to zoom back to Sydney, repack our bags and get to the airport. We’re flying to Brisbane today to surprise my brother for his birthday.
*We managed to surprise my brother brilliantly by the way. My sister-in-law picked us up from the airport and took us to the pub she’d organised to meet him in. He had no idea and when he saw us, he was absolutely speechless, a rare event indeed. Even his hands were shaking!*
And we’re off. It’s so strange to think that this morning we woke up in Port Stephens, by lunchtime we were back in Sydney and by this evening we’ll be having a drink with my brother in Brisbane.
Mrs Romance has done an amazing job getting this shot of Sydney from our plane as we left. We’ve had no luck recently choosing the right side of the plane to get a good view of the city. So this time, we’ve booked seats on either side of the plane! It supports our motto ‘if at first you don’t succeed, take extreme action!’
For my brother’s birthday, my sister-in-law has hired a couple of boats to take out on the water in Noosa. It’s so good to be able to explore the waterways here. The waterfront houses are amazing and the beaches that are only accessible by boat are so beautiful.
We’ve moored up here for lunch and a swim. It’s set to be the best day!
It’s so lovely here on the water, Mrs Romance has even moved into Hair Romance mode for a braid on the beach!
Little do we know at this point that, in about half an hour, the clouds that are forming off to the west will descend upon us. Even with all the plastic screens down, the boat will be completely awash, visibility will be down to about 10 metres and there will be enormous lightning bolts firing directly overhead. The thunder crashing so hard that the boat will literally shake.
My brother is having the time of his life!
This morning, back in Brisbane, the weather is much drier. The humidity is a but much to take though, even for us Sydneysiders. Our sunglasses keep steaming up every time we get out of the air conditioned car.
But humidity or no, we’re still keen to eat! My brother has taken us to Sea Salt and Vine in Scarborough. It’s a great spot with views out over the lagoon back towards the city and the mountains. But this trumps the view by miles.
Potato rosti with bacon, poached eggs, smashed avocado, corn and housemade hollandaise. All of us – my brother, Mrs Romance and me, we all order it for fear of very likely food envy. It’s an excellent idea because this is bloody delicious!
It was sad to say goodbye to my family in Queensland and get back on the plane, but getting back to Sydney today has been a real treat. It’s almost 30°C outside but only feels like about 24 and there’s only about 20% humidity.
It’s a real rare one for Sydney – especially as it seems the city’s seen some horrible weather this week (makes me love Port Stephens even more!). It’s such a nice day, Mrs Romance and I have decided to get the ferry home – especially as there’s a Gelatissimo at Circular Quay! It’s the perfect way to end an awesome week and weekend.
How was your week? How did you celebrate Australia Day? When was the last time you had an ice cream (it’s been ages for me!)? Tell us in the comments.