Happy New Year!

Fresh from a week’s trekking on the Overland Track and a gorgeous beach day in the Freycinet National Park in Tasmania, I’m refreshed and ready to take on the new year.

We’ve got big plans for the blog this year, including more foodie posts and more content from our travels including Archer’s recent adventures stylishly treading the streets of Italy.

Stay tuned for a full recap of my Overland Track journey coming shortly.

In the meantime may January bring you lots of sun, surf & sea, excellent tennis watching and summer reading.

My summer reading pick – Mary Higgins Clark’s new one written in collaboration with Alafair Burke ‘Every Breath you Take’.  It features a murder at the Met Gala and a crime solving TV producer who wears excellent pant suits. I promise you’ll love it.

Beth xx

OXFAM TRAILWALKER BRISBANE

I’m writing this deliriously happy but with quite sore feet. That’s because last weekend we walked 55km in Oxfam’s Trailwalker challenge, raising funds to help fight global poverty.

We walked from Lake Manchester all the way to Mt Cootha. We tackled creek crossings, some very muddy tracks and lots and lots of hills, finishing just after 1-30am!

It was an incredible experience – so many highs and good times shared with some of my oldest friends.

And I’m so proud of our team. Of all the 55km participants only 65% finished with all 4 walkers.

Here’s my picture re-cap of our day –

After our 5am taxi ride to the start line, here we are bright and early at Lake Manchester, ready to go.

I even got a short black at the start line, thanks to the amazing coffee vendors who came all the way to Lake Manchester.

This was our no one gets left behind pact moment.

The one-minute to walking countdown!

And we’re off…

The teams were quite bunched up for the first 10kms. There was a lot of positive energy around!

We’d had quite a rainy week in Brisbane the previous week, so there was lots of very sticky clay-like mud. It was fun sliding around this part of the track.

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BONDI TO COOGEE WALK

You know my feelings about a good coastal walk: enthusiastic. Very.

Sydney is, of course, an amazing city. Lots of people. Lots of energy. And lots of traffic.

Maybe that’s why spending some time stretching your legs and breathing in the salty air on this walk feels really good and refreshing.

We hit the track nice and early one recent Sunday morning and made it to Coogee, about 6km down the track, before needing to be back in town.

Here are some snaps from this beauty of a walk –

Early morning in Bondi, nice and peaceful, before the crowds

You’ll pass the iconic Bondi Icebergs Club as you weave around the headland. It’s pretty impressive in the morning light.

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THE BEACH

It’s no secret that the beach is my preferred location.

Sun, surf and and cool clear water. Salty hair, sand everywhere. I’ll take it all.

So before we get into our Italy recap, I thought I’d share some snaps from what was a particularly good beach weekend.

North Burleigh proved a great spot for a relaxing Australia Day.

Not a bad backdrop to listen to the hottest 100.

Did the Burleigh rainforest walk on Saturday, starting at the main Burleigh beach and winding around the headland.

At 2.3km return, it’s an easy walk with some stunning scenery.

You’ll see plenty of pandanus and eucalypts trees and pretty rainforest.

You know my feelings on a good beach-though-the-trees shot.

Make sure you head all the way up to Tumgun Lookout for this spectacular view –

Look at that water. Perfection isn’t it?

Tallebudgera creek continued to turn on the magic Sunday morning.

Honestly, you’re just showing off now

Sunday afternoon with the girls meant it was time to try out this frose recipe from Vogue Living.

Watermelon + sparkling rose + ice + lemon = delicious

Archer made us this amazing Oh She Glows vegan chilli to cover our pool-snacking-needs. No photos though because we were starving from the surf. It happens. 

Some people are a bit anti-Surfers Paradise. I’m not one of them.

I simply can’t dislike a stretch of sand that allows for such good beach walks.

This was my sunrise walk before back to work on Monday –

Just quietly, I’m thinking battling the M1 traffic might be an OK trade-off if I can wake up to this every morning?

And as all good long weekends should, we ended things with an early morning breakfast at Elk before our drive back.

I hope your year is off to a great start!

X

 

BETH LOVES

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1- Had a good look at Jardan furniture over the weekend. They have some beautiful pieces, all made to order in Melbourne by hand. Spotted this fantastic Aquabumps print called Mediterranean Melt. It’d look fantastic in my office, or just about anywhere really.

2- I think I’ll have to get my hands on the Zimmermann Winsome Flutter Playsuit in black before the summer is out. It also comes in pastel pink and blue, but I love the simplicity of the black. It’s perfect party dressing for the holidays. Sure it’s pricey, but cost per wear, right? 

3- Would someone please get me this gorgeous Fossil backpack for Christmas. Yes it’s designed for men, but it’s everything I want in a hiking bag.

4 – Had a lovely long walk by the river under the supermoon last night. NASA says the full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until 2034. The true full moon actually happened early this morning, so it should be pretty spectacular tonight also.

GORGEOUS MOSSMAN GORGE

Can you believe it’s November already?

Melboune Cup has come and gone (nice work Archer for backing Almandin, keeping her extraordinary Spring Carnival record on track) and for us down under, summer is now just around the corner.

You can certainly feel the heat in Queensland.  Each day the midday sun seems to burn a fraction hotter.  And the humidity.  So much humidity.

Which means a nice refreshing dip is in order. Only sensible thing to do really. And I can’t think of many places better for a swim than beautiful Mossman Gorge.

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LONG WEEKEND PERFECTION – PORT DOUGLAS

A beach weekend is always a good idea. But if you combine that with the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, it moves out of good idea territory and into get your togs and book it to the airport right now territory.

Port Douglas. A truly incredible town, so stunning and so fun and the only place on earth where two World Heritage Sites actually meet.

So when the question pops up – should we long weekend in Port Douglas? The answer is an easy one (You Already Know feat. Port Douglas, bethandarcher.com).

First up, it’s super easy to get to. Carins is just a two hour flight from Brisbane (three hours from Sydney) and just like that, you’ll feel the tropical north the second you get off the plane.

The drive to Port Douglas takes about an hour and is super picturesque.   You’ll also love the fact that it’s super straightforward – just follow the main road leading from Cairns up the Coast for an hour and you’re there.

Make a quick detour to Palm Cove (about 20 minutes into the drive) for amazing brunch spots and views like this.

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QUEENSTOWN – SPRING SKIING GUIDE

It’s September. The Remarkables just had 65cm of fresh, glorious snow.

There’s only one thing to do. Get yourself to Queenstown  – it’s spring skiing time.

Queenstown is a place of stunning natural beauty all year round. In snow season, it feels like a little European ski village.

But instead of a long-haul flight to Europe, it’s only a hop, skip & jump across the ditch from Australia’s east coast.

Spring skiing means long sunny days, less crowds and more value for your $$$.

It’s our second year skiing in QT  – here are our tips for the best spring-skiing getaway.

Flights 

Get a direct flight if you can, it makes the trip a breeze at around 3 hours from Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne.  

Try to get a window seat for snow-capped mountain views that will blow your mind.

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This is your view for about 15 minutes before the plane lands

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THE BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BYRON BAY

Today’s question – where to stay in Byron Bay?

For a relatively small town, Byron sure packs a punch. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches, bars and restaurants.

And there are almost as many accom options as there are cars trying to get a park at Wategos.

So where to stay when you’re lucky enough to be in this extra-gorgeous part of the world?

Here are our 2 favourite options, both set in stunning natural surrounds. One – high end, the other fantastically budget friendly.

We’ve been staying at both of these places for years now and we always have great experiences at both.

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THE BYRON BAY LIGHTHOUSE WALK

Sometimes in life you’ve got to follow the lead of the Hemsworth brothers and get yourself to Byron Bay. 

Really, for your own wellbeing you should drop what you’re doing right now and go if that’s at all possible. In fact, I hereby volunteer to drive. Archer can DJ the trip with her typical uplifting and predominately hip-hop based playlist.

Byron has all the things we love – great beaches (and plenty of them), amazing natural surrounds for hiking and exploring, great cafes and bars and some pretty incredible places to stay.

And it’s also home to one of the most beautiful walks in Australia – the Cape Byron Lighthouse Walk.

Here’s our how-to guide for one of our all-time-favourite walks.

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