This post is about a trip taken by just Andy. Well that’s not strictly true – he was accompanied by a mate. For the purposes of the blog we’ll call him Steve (as that is his name) and their collection of teens. We don’t talk about our children too much in these posts. We could argue that its to protect their anonymity but in reality, we figure that if they want to feature in a blog they can write their own. They do pop up every now and again when they tag along with us – but they’re of an age now where they mostly want to be doing their own thing.
We were heading to see AC/DC on their Rock or Bust tour. I’d seen AC/DC before and on their last outing – Black Ice in 2009/10 I thought they were getting a bit past their sell by date. I wasn’t therefore too fussed about seeing them again. However, the teens hadn’t seen them and they’re one of those bucket list acts so I was persuaded. I was glad I did when a few weeks before, the support bands were announced; Kingswood and The Hives. Kingswood are a Melbourne indie rock band whose music I really like and I’ve seen them a couple of times before. I’d not seen quirky Swedish rockers The Hives, but had heard that they were also a great live act so the gig began to look a lot more appealing. Carry on reading to find out how we combined an Asian experience with watching an AC/DC show.
As the title says, we love Australian Hip Hop, and have been to see quite a few artists play. A standout experience was at ‘Beat The Drum’, the 40th Birthday Concert of the ABC Radio Station Triple J. South Australian rappers, The Hilltop Hoods were joined on stage by a who’s who of Australian Hip Hop for their track Cosby Sweater – have a look at the video above – its fantastic.
This post, however, is nothing to do with that. Nope, it’s about Bargara Brewing Co, who have developed a range of craft beers including one called Hip Hop, as well as Thirsty Turtle and Drunk Fish. Carry on reading to find out more about the beers and their newly opened BrewHouse in Bundaberg CBD.
It goes without saying that after nearly twenty years of marriage we still have a red hot crush on each other. However, our blog isn’t one of those travel cum relationship cum spiritual cum wellbeing cum hippy nonsense epistles. No ours is much more frivolous than that.
The Crush we’re referring to here is the annual Bundaberg Crush festival. It’s a celebration of the region’s arts over a few weeks in October. The name comes from the crushing of the sugar cane which also happens at this time of year. So once again, I’ve raised your expectations of finding something a little bit saucy only to cruelly dash them before we’ve even got going. Carry on reading though – you might find you like it.
If you’ve read a few posts on this site you might be forgiven for thinking my music tastes are fixed firmly in the seventies. That isn’t the case, honest. In fact I get into arguments with friends who haven’t moved on since the 70s and 80s. I love new music, I even like hiphop. Why then, you may legitimately ask does the post begin with another reference from nearly forty years ago. Well its all to do with Hot Rods – you’ll find out why later in the post. Deciding on my post titles is always a toss up between a bad joke and a music reference. Unfortunately when you start exploring the humour associated with Hot Rods you’re into dangerous territory. So to keep things above board, I went with the music ref. If you’d rather think of a joke for yourself – what can I say other than ‘Do anything you wanna do’.
For some time we’d been wanting to splurge on a stay at The Palazzo Versace Hotel. We’d first come across it as the start and end point of the very naff UK TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. Z list celebrities are dumped in the ‘jungle’ for a few weeks – really the Gold Coast Hinterland, and required to debase themselves whilst progressively being voted off until only the King or Queen of the Jungle are left. Its one of those programs that you don’t want to admit you watch but get dragged in – the cheeky wit of the hosts Ant and Dec always made us laugh as well. Since we’ve been in Australia, the show has made its way over here, with Z list Aussies being dumped in the African jungle – no doubt in a place just as ‘remote’ as the location used in Australia.
Yes you’ve got me. The title is just another cheesy excuse to use a song title. But at least it provides something more entertaining for you to do than read my drivel. The title should probably be more accurately, do go chasing waterfalls, as we find it to be a pretty satisfying occupation.
We’ve written before about making unexpected stops on our travels and the value of serendipity. Our drive from Armidale to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales was no exception. I guess the fact that we driving along Waterfall way should have given some indication that there were sights to be seen along the way.
In Australia, its often suggested that Melbourne is the centre of all that is hipster. We now know this to be false and the movement was in fact launched in the New England area across the towns of Glenn Innes and Armidale way back in the mid 19th Century. How do we know this you may ask? Well, two of the original settlers in the area who assisted other squatters to lay title to land were John Duval and William Chandler. They weren’t referred to by their true names. No, because of the impressiveness of their beards they were simply referred to as The Beardies. This name lives on in the main drag of Armidale and the History Museum in Glen Innes dedicated to The Land of the beardies. Apparently, after founding Armidale, the first thing they did was to open a Barista coffee shop, another Australian first. (I may have made that last bit up but the rest is all true).
Ok, I give you that the title might be a bit hyperbolic but I think you can safely assume we were pretty impressed with Alure boutique resort in Stanthorpe. We like camping and we like 5 star luxury and to be fair we’re not so keen on the bit inbetween. As a combination of the two, Alure could have been made for us. However, we were a little apprehensive as we’ve tried so called glamping before and been disappointed by damp tents with mediocre facilities. We needn’t have worried, Alure was everything we could have asked for and more.
For those of you looking for something a little bit racy, you’re going to have to read to the end of the post. Anticipation is half the fun after all.
Following an impressive breakfast on the veranda outside our room at Vacy Hall, our second day in Toowoomba was spent mostly nosing around other people’s back yards, as you do. Fortunately, it was entirely above board, and part of the Carnival of Flowers. A number of private gardens are opened as exhibition gardens during the length of the festival and you can pay a nominal fee to have a look round. There’s a number of ways to do this including a hop on hop off bus but we chose to drive around ourselves. The gardens were beautiful but did make us feel a bit inferior given the current state of our lawn. Nonetheless it was really interesting to see how amateur gardeners planned their spaces and put a lot of love and effort into creating a beautiful display for them to enjoy all year round and for visitors to enjoy during the Festival.
You may recall that during the title sequence for the 1970s BBC comedy Fawlty Towers, the sign at the end of the guest house drive was mis-spelt in every episode. My favourite anagram was ‘Flowery Twats’, and visiting Toowomba’s carnival of flowers whilst staying in a guest house gives me a perfect excuse to use it as a title to this post. Not that you need an excuse to use a golden phrase like flowery twats. Indeed, I shall resolve to use it more often in the future. To be fair though, Vacy Hall Historic Guest House couldn’t be further from Fawlty Towers, and Graham, the owner, didn’t strike us as a Basil Fawlty. Indeed, he was most hospitable and also very generous with his advice on granite belt wineries that were next on our itinerary after Toowoomba.