Please scroll down to see examples of my published work completed while undertaking internships at several media organisations over the past few years.
The Urban List:
December 6 2016
If you’ve just about had it with the arduous task that is preparing Christmas lunch—or you just can’t cook to save your life, no judgement here—there’s nothing better than sitting down to an already (expertly) prepared Christmas lunch that’s, let’s be real, probably going to taste about ten million times better than yours. And there’s no washing up. Sounds pretty bloody great, right? Of course it does!
Here are the 10 Best Brisbane restaurants open for lunch on Christmas Day in Brisbane.
Eagle Street Pier
Get a full belly of award winning Japanese cuisine while soaking up the sights of the Brisbane River from the Sake Restaurant & Bar at Eagle Street Pier. Gather with the company of friends and family at the traditional sunken tatami tables, or book out a private dining room and enjoy your Japanese Christmas feast.
For something a little bit special with a hint of European influence, meet up with the fam at The Euro for a delicious bistro dining experience this Christmas Day in Brisbane. Indulge in a five-course degustation menu, or order from the a la carte menu. The organic Dutch cream potato gnocchi sounds freaking amazing, and who could pass up trying The Euro’s infamous chocolate and beetroot brownie, served with raspberry ganache and dirty chai ice cream! Drool…
Get the gang organised and book now for a festive Christmas Day lunch at lab restaurant + bar at Treasury Casino! Prepare yourself for a gorgeous four-course modern Australian lunch served with the added bonus of a three-hour beverage package—Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a little festive ‘cheer’.Food, wine, and fun? Sounds perfect.
Asana By Pete Evans
Want to have a hearty Christmas Day lunch, but not keen on packing on the dreaded kgs this Christmas? Asana is the Christmas miracle you’ve been wishing for. Once again hosting their crazy-popular paleo Christmas lunch, your family can enjoy a seafood buffet perfected by non other than Pete Evans himself and his talented head chef John Harris. Get in quick to reserve your spot!
Be greeted by carollers in the lobby, then find yourself seated before a huge Christmas buffet lunch at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane. Sounds pretty good, right? Book in now to enjoy traditional roasts and endless amounts of seafood, plus an impressive selection of decadent desserts. You’ll be guaranteed over three hours of beverages as part of the package, ensuring your Christmas Day lunch in Brisbane is very merry indeed!
Try something a little different from your usual ham and prawns this Christmas, and indulge in a traditional French feast at C’est Bon. Each dish will be served with artistic flair and the flavours are amazing! Book ahead—you don’t want to miss out. Magnifique!
Take in the flavours of France this Christmas Day lunch in Brisbane, with an indulgent buffet dining experience at Thyme2, Sofitel. Sit back with a full belly and a glass of champers in hand, and enjoy live entertainment courtesy of Nicole Skye Duo. The kids should keep an eye out for an appearance from the big man himself, because even Santa doesn’t want to miss this Christmas feast!
Bavarian Bier Café
Eagle Street Pier
Make your way to Eagle Street Pier this Christmas for a frothy Bavarian beer and delicious lunch at Bavarian Bier Cafe. The much-loved a la carte menu will be available, so choose from any of their signature dishes, hotdogs or mouth-watering burgers. Best Christmas ever!
Cha Cha Char
Enjoy the company of friends, family, and of course amazing food with a long lunch at Cha Cha Char. Kings of steak, these guys are serving up a delicious Christmas Day banquet. The special a lar carte service will be available for two sessions, so get in quick and avoid cooking those prawns on the barbie at home.
This Christmas leave the dishes to Gambaro Hotel, who will host you and your family for a three-course feast featuring award-winning food, wine and stunner table service. Enjoy entertainment from some merry Christmas carollers and a visit from Santa. All in all it sounds like a pretty great time, so be quick to reserve your seat!
November 24 2016
With the holiday season all up in our grill it’s the perfect time to start planning your social calendar, whether its catching up with friends, taking in a show, or dining out with the fam. This weekend in Brisbane, we’ve got film festivals kicking off, spectacular circus performances, Christmas tree light shows and some festivities to ease you gently into the festive season.
So get off the couch, here’s what’s on in Brisbane this weekend.
Friday November 25th
INFINITY FASHION RUNWAY
Get set to experience exceptional style and fashion at Infinity Fashion Runway this weekend! Dress up with the gals, it’s a black tie affair. Get glam, pop some champagne, and enjoy some amazing food while supporting local designers and raising funds for victims of domestic violence.
LIGHTING OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Head to King George Square at sunset this Friday to celebrate the beginning of the festive season in Brisbane, with the lighting of the giant Christmas tree. There will be carollers, free entertainment and special guests to kick off festivities. So get in the Christmas spirit and be there in time to see the officials flick the switch at 6.30pm.
BRISBANE GERMAN FILM FESTIVAL
If you don’t mind reading subtitles, check out the highly acclaimed German Film Festival coming to Brisbane this weekend. Catch classics like The Diary of Anne Frank and enjoy learning about German culture, and taking in some breathtaking cinematic gold.
Saturday November 26th
CHRISTMAS DESIGN MARKET
This weekend in Brisbane local designers and artisans are giving you the best opportunity to get some unique Christmas presents for your loved ones. Head on down to QAGOMA to shop some beautiful homemade jewellery, pick out some funky stationery, or get a unique ceramic piece for the home. Your friends will thank you!
BLACKMILK SAMPLE SALE
Crack open the piggy bank and make your way down to City Hall for an epic sample sale of all things BlackMilk. Once you’ve finished rummaging, grab a $30 ticket to kick on to the afterparty at Oh, Hello! from 5pm where you and friends can hang, have a drink, and tuck in to some tasty food too.
KOOZA BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
The incredible talents of Cirque Du Soleil are coming back to Brisbane for a stack of entertaining shows from now until January! Cirque Du Soleil’s new show, Kooza is a combination of acrobatic performance and an ode to the traditional circus acts of old that will be a night to remember. Get set to be taken on a creative journey of showmanship and traditional circus antics, that will bring out the kid in you!
HOUSE OF MIRRORS
Make your way to the Brisbane Powerhouse this weekend to experience a strange and unusual show. Originally showcased at Dark MOFO, House Of Mirrors is essentially a mirrored maze that will take you on a journey that is equally as unsetling as it is thrilling. Gather the gang and make an evening of it, and make sure to have a post-exhibition galss of vino by the river.
Sunday November 27th
BRISBANE ASIA PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL
Film buffs listen up; Brisbane’s fave film festival BAPFF is back, to showcase the best of Asia Pacific cinema. In its third year, the festival will celebrate cinematic excellence with more than 80 films to be screened from 70 countries. Stock up on the popcorn and get into it!
Tuesday November 29th
BAKERY LANE STYLE MARKETS
Get down to Bakery Lane for a cheeky mid-week market! Bakery Lane’s Style Markets are popping up just in time for the christmas present rush, showcasing local talents from the ACID styling students. Pick up unique one-off finds and pre-loved vintage goodies, browse gorgeous plants and homewares from The Botanist, get some expert styling advice from the creative students and the team at Kyra & Kendra, and tuck in to some delicious eats, courtsey of Nom Nom Korean. A pretty great Tuesday if you ask us!
Don’t Miss Out
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl’s iconic story, Matilda? For us Brisbanites, fantasy becomes a beautiful reality as Matilda The musical finally lands at QPAC! With the likes of Tim Minchen behind the screen adaptation of a much-loved childhood classic, prepare yourself for a colourful and hilarious treat for young and old!
November 3 2016
Until you own a pooch, you’ll never really understand the saying “dog is a man’s best friend”. Well, as the owner of a super cute and loving puppy, I get the meaning of dog and human friendship, and I like to take my furry friend everywhere.
The problem with living in the city is trying to find places you can hang with your pup and your friends too. There’s the great outdoors of course, dog parks, and your local café, but what about a Brisbane bar where you can have a decent brew as well?
With that in mind, we’ve made it our mission to round up the best dog-friendly bars in Brisbane. Your canine pal will never be left out again!
The Hope & Anchor
Brisbane’s best nautical theme-come-British-style pub, The Hope & Anchor is a great spot to hang with your beloved pup. Giving off good community vibes in Paddington, you can enjoy some moreish scamorza and basil arancini with a crisp pint of your favourite brew, and of course your pooch chilling at your feet.
Fitz + Potts
It’s time to venture out of your stuffy apartment and treat your dog to a day out on the sunny astroturfed balcony at Fitz + Potts in Nundah. This is the perfect spot to sit back and enjoy some bagel crisps with a refreshing Aussie craft beer.
Head out the back of Sassafras to their leafy escape in the beer garden and find the perfect spot for you and your fur baby to hang. Sassafras offers up an Amber Ale braised pork belly burger with sweet potato chips, which is bound to top off your afternoon. Maybe you could spare a chip for the pooch as well?
This place is BYO food and BYO dog. Winner! The Scratch are experts when it comes to beer, constantly changing their taps to give you the finest flavours in the land. You and your pup can pull up a seat in the chill outdoor setting, and you’ll love their farmhouse cheese board.
You can’t go past the great pub food and bevs at The Wickham, especially if their street dining invites your ‘fur-ever’ friend along as well. You’ll love their mad cocktail skills and drool-worthy cheeseburger, all while enjoying the company of your four-legged friend.
October 27 2016
Breathe a sigh of relief that the working week is finally over! With the weekend upon us, we realise everyone needs a game plan for all of the fun to be had in the coming days. Prepare yourselves, we’ve got some good ones this week: foodie festivals, a sweet treat street fair, and a tonne of live music! Check out our round up of things to do in Brisbane this weekend.
Friday October 28th
BRISBANE GOOD FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
Calling all foodies! The best of Australian food and drinks are here to tantalise your taste buds this weekend. Whether you are hunting for some amazing samples, or a few helpful tips from professional chefs, the Good Food and Wine Show is the place to be!
VALLEY FIESTA 2016
Get set to experience the vibrant culture of Fortitude Valley at the 20th Valley Fiesta celebration! Hear sounds from great Aussie talents like The Vines and Hey Geronimo, enjoy a beverage at one of the many pop-up bars, watch busking auditions, check out a laneway event, see the multicultural celebrations in Chinatown, or buy something unique and handmade from the markets. The Live & Local gig will see up to eight local bands and DJ’s in the running to perform at the Brunswick Street Mall ‘Pod’. So with so much going on, the Valley seems like a pretty cool place to be this weekend.
PARTY DAY OF THE DEAD STYLE
Throw on your Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) party pants and make your way to the Shafston Hotel this Friday night for Mexican good times. There’ll be Espolón Tequila margaritas available, as well as live art inspired by Espolon’s artistic bottle labels. Arriba!
Saturday October 29th
THE SUGAR MARKET
It’s time to gather your squad, people. Brisbane’s first dessert festival is coming to douse our sugar cravings. You better whip out those stretchy pants form the back of the cupboard and prepare to fill up on macarons, brownies, cupcakes, meringues, ice cream sandwiches, and Russian fudge. Holy sweet! Treat yo’ self…
OUTLAND DENIM POP-UP
Ethically sourced designer demin brand, Outland Denim is popping up for the first time in Paddington! Not only does this cult Aussie label cut a great pair of jeans using only ethically made materials (we’re obsessed with their classic black skinnies!), $50 from every pair sold goes to charities to help stop huamn trafficking. A very worthy cause, plus a new addition to the wardrobe? Money well spent we’d say.
If you’re willing to travel a little outside of Brisbane this weekend, we have found a cracking music festival featuring local artists. For only $2 you can listen to original live music, and shop in market stalls selling unique handmade trinkets and delicious homegrown goods. So for a new and refreshing scene this weekend, pack up the car and make the day trip to Homespun Bazaar.
Sunday October 30th
JAPANESE FILM FESTIVAL
If you haven’t made time to view the latest releases in Japanese cinema yet, this is your last chance to catch one of these great films at the final day of the Japanese Film Festival! Be sure to book your spot to see heart-warming family films, action-filled thrillers, and stunning anime this weekend. So for something a little different than your usual Netflix binge, gather the gang and watch the best of Japanese cinema right here in Brisbane.
Don’t Miss Out
MELBOURNE CUP 2016
Time to dust off your fascinators and press those suits in preparation for the most-loved race in Australia; welcome back Melbourne Cup, we’ve missed you! Whether you’re trackside, or taking a much-needed break from work to watch the race, there’s nothing like the Melbourne Cup. Still undecided on where to go to watch the race? Check our round up of the best Melbourne Cup parties here.
RECREATE TWILIGHT MARKET AND PAPER FASHION SHOW 2016
Feel like celebrating National Recycling Week in style? Brisbane City Council presents the Recreate Twilight Market and Paper Fashion Show. Enjoy the masterful creations of local fashion designers who use paper to make runway pieces. You’ll be amazed by the Doughnut Time dress; who knew you could wear food packaging and look good doing it? The market will also feature all your food truck favourites, live entertainment, and free paper-craft workshops.
AUSTRALAIN BRANDENBURG ORCHESTRA: AVI AVITAL
The world-renowned mandolin artist, Avi Avital, is coming to Brisbane for one must-see show. His musical talent will blow you away and wow those of us who really don’t know much about the mandolin (let-a-lone what that instrument even looks like). So if you feel like being serenaded by one of the best in the business, be sure to book ASAP!
JEWISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Celebrate the opening night of the Jewish International Film Festival at the premiere screening of the much-anticipated drama, Denial, featuring a stellar performance from Academy-award winner Rachel Weisz. If you miss opening night there’s no need to worry, because you can view more amazing Jewish films this November as part of the festival!
WONDERLAND POWERHOUSE 2016
Prepare to experience the best comedy, carnival, music, magic, theatre, and burlesque! Head down to the Powerhouse to catch a show as part of the Wonderland festival. Whether you want to see The Chaser’s pay out Aussie icon Karl Stefanovic, or watch a theatrical parody of Game of Thrones, there is something to entertain anyone and everyone.
CELEBRATE DAY OF THE DEAD IN TRUE MEXICAN STYLE
Throw on your Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) party pants and make your way to The Caxton Hotel between now and 10 November for Mexican fun times! There’ll be Espolón Tequila margaritas available, as well as fun Mexican theming. Arriba!
A full weekend of events mean you’ll need to refuel. Here’s 50 restaurants in Brisbane—one’s sure to strike your fancy!
September 21 2016
You may not automatically think of Auchenflower as your coffee and cake destination—you probably jump to Paddington, West End, or the city. But you’d be making a big mistake and missing out on some great little Auchenflower cafes well worth your hard earned.
Save that fuel money and use it to upsize your coffee order. These are the Auchenflower cafes the locals love.
#1 Café Auchenflower
We love breakfast anytime of the day and thankfully Café Auchenflower serves up all the delights of the first meal of the day all day long! Blackstar coffee beans will beat your caffeine cravings, and there’s nothing like a steaming Cup ‘o Joe to go with a delicious meal. Their house made waffles with passion fruit curd, fresh blueberries, strawberries and cream are to die for. And the pea and feta croquets sound equally delicious. As an added bonus, if you’re feeling like some lunch you can’t go past a drool-worthy cheeseburger with thick cut chips from this beaut’ Auchenflower café.
#2 Cheveux Design and Espresso
This boutique offering is brought to you by sisters Carla and Nadine, who have used their expertise to blend a professional hair salon with an espresso bar. The baristas will serve up Allpress Espresso coffee to enjoy alongside their all day menu. A local baker ensures Cheveux is always supplied with melting moments and chocolate brownies to meet your cravings. So have a coffee and get your hair blow-dried. What an awesome combo.
#3 Ugly Mug Coffee
The Ugly Mug may be small, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get delicious coffee and great service. You can enjoy a coffee brewed from The Coffee Roaster blends while basking in the sunshine on their little deck out the back. Locals love to pop in for a coffee on the go, and why not grab a yummy butter sponge muffin? And just to make things a bit more homely, they invite you to bring along your own “ugly mug” for your morning brew to get a discount—it’s BYOM at this Auchenflower cafe (bring your own mug).
#4 Frog N’ Toad
This family run business is a blend of café and convenience store in Auchenflower. Their spacious alfresco dining can be enjoyed in a group with a tasty burger or the classic bacon and eggs for breakfast. If you are in a rush the staff at Frog N’ Toad are known to get your coffee and takeaway food ready in no time, all with a friendly smile!
#5 Chillin Beans Café & Restaurant
At Chillin Beans you can have your usual breakfast favourites in the morning, and come lunch and dinner they transform the menu into the best of Thai cuisine. This cute little venue delivers quality nosh at an affordable price, so that means you can enjoy your freshly made waffles topped with caramelised banana and not feel too guilty. Living up to classic café style, their coffee menu is expansive, but be sure to try a matcha latte for something a little different.
#6 Coffee & Tea House Artemis
This newly opened venue is bringing something new to Auchenflower. Not only could this be your next one-stop-shop for all things coffee and tea, but you will also be surrounded by beautiful artworks. This gallery turned coffee shop has an extensive loose-leaf tea selection, with your classics like Earl Grey, all the way to Dragonwell Long Jing. Obviously we have no idea what that is, but it sounds awesome. The most exciting thing on the menu has to be the blooming tea though. A bulb made up of dried tea leaves wrapped around dried flowers will be dropped into hot water, and before you know it you’ll see a blooming flower before your eyes!
September 13 2016
If you live in Brisbane you probably think you know everything you can do like the back of your hand. We’ve got news for you though, pal. There’s a whole heap of stuff to do in Brisbane that you haven’t even thought about. If you’re bored in Brisbane, boy do we have the list for you.
Here are 9 things you didn’t know you could do in Brisbane.
#1 Solve A Murder At An Escape Room
If you’re looking for a challenge that is completely unique and a bit different to your usual weekend activities, we have found just the thing. The Escape Hunt Experience is in West End and you need to try this ASAP! Playing the part of a keen detective, you’ll be locked in a room for 60 minutes with your friends, searching for clues to solve one of three mysteries depending on your skill level: Murder in the Barber Shop, Treachery at the Racetrack, or Bomb at Government House. Escape Hunt is the real-life version of the popular ‘escape the room’ online games, so it’s bound to be even more fun.
#2 Abseil The Story Bridge
As Brisbane locals we often forget this city can be a quite the looker, so why not strap on your sandshoes and tackle the climb up the Story Bridge where you will see some of the best panoramic views there are! And if you’re still not fully satisfied with the adventure level of that, don’t worry because you can abseil—that’s right, we said abseil—down the bridge to your safe landing in the park below. This is one of only three bridge climbs in the world and right on our doorstep, so if you’re looking for new things to do in Brisbane, this should be top of your list!
#3 Join A Book Club
Sometimes we all need someone who understands just how riveting our latest novel was, how much we love that dreamy character, and why we hate but love Professor Snape. Thankfully, you can join a book club filled with other book lovers. Avid Reader at West End has a variety of different book clubs you can become a member of. They even have a cute café and courtyard at Avid where you can sit and enjoy your latest read! It’s a nerd’s paradise.
#4 Cuddle A Koala
We bet you are kicking yourself that you haven’t visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket yet! There are over 130 cute koalas living peacefully in the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, as recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records, right here in Brisbane. Koalas aren’t the only cute animals at Lone Pine though. If you’re lucky enough you could feed a kangaroo, be entertained by two adorable platypus, and cuddle a koala all in one day.
#5 Go Ghost Hunting
If you’re brave enough, there are some knowledgeable people with a passion for all things horror who are willing to go out into the night and teach you about some of Brisbane’s scariest haunted sites. Brisbane Ghost Tours has an ‘eerie tour guide’ who will show you some of the creepiest places in the city, including after-hours access to some very haunted graveyards. At least going in a group might give you a bit more courage to go out into the dark with nothing but a torch light for protection!
#6 Become An Acrobat
It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and let Circa teach you a thing or two about circus acrobatics. Located in the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, this team of award-winning circus artists can teach you the wonder of circus movements meshed with dance and acrobatics. If you are a little hesitant they hold trial classes to test ability and strength, so you can figure out if you’ll be swinging from a trapeze anytime soon!
#7 Have A Free Laugh At Knockoffs
The Brisbane Powerhouse hosts a free comedy show every Friday night called Knockoffs. Bet you didn’t know that. Having a few drinks and good laughs with friends has to be one of the best ways to end your week on a high and kick off the weekend. Knockoffs brings you a variety of local and Australian comedians every week to deliver some of the best one-liners and stories to give you the giggles. And the best part? It’s all free!
#8 Make Friends With A Whale
Head out to Redcliffe and hop on the Eye Spy vessel at Brisbane Whale Watching to get up close with our whale friends. You can sit back in the luxury of the air-conditioned boat, or head out on the deck to get a close up view of a humpback whale. You might even be lucky enough to spot a dolphin! And to make sure the experience is all worthwhile, you can rest assured knowing that a portion of your ticket price will be donated to on-going whale research, so we can enjoy these beautiful creatures for years to come.
#9 Scale A Cliff Face
Every Brisbanite should take in beautiful views of the river and city by stepping off the edge of a 20 metre high cliff at Kangaroo Point. Sounds crazy, right? But you will be guided the whole way by an expert and will be provided with the safest abseiling equipment around. They will ensure you can push through your adrenaline rush to be calm and amazed by this awesome experience.
September 9 2016
The sun is out and it’s starting to warm up in Brisbane, so it’s time to get outdoors and experience the world. Why not try camping? It can be a lot of fun and an awesome adventure with your closest friends. But if you’re anything like us, you might be a camping newbie, worrying about your ability to survive in the bush with nothing but a tarpaulin hanging overhead and those big questions like, what’s it like out there without wifi and a fridge packed full of Jocelyn’s cheese cake? Fear not, for we have found the best camping spots near Brisbane that can cater to the most inexperienced campers! Plus, they’re might even be wifi.
The Scenic Rim
Located about an hour and a half from Brisbane, Bigriggen lives up to its name as a whopping 100-acre park with hilltops, bush, and gentle river flats for you and your friends to explore. The parking sites are level and grassy, so you won’t have any trouble pitching a tent or parking safely. And there’s no need to worry about somehow surviving the weekend without your straightener or phone charger, because Bigriggen has just installed 30 new powered sites! So Netflix and camping is a very real possibility. They’ve also got hot showers available, so it’s basically outdoor living at its finest—surrounded by all the natural wonders the Scenic Rim has to offer. BYO Aesop. Camping newbies will love Bigriggen, and your furry friends can enjoy all the fun too because this place is pet friendly.
Ballina and Lennox Heads
If you haven’t experienced the epic beaches and scenery around Ballina and Lennox Heads, you’re missing out! But don’t worry, this picturesque spot is only a two-hour drive from Brisbane and has numerous parks where you can pitch a tent and get one with mother nature. From here you can take a scenic headland walk to the beach in just 15 minutes and spend the day lazing in the sand. If you’re not quite the adventure type, there’s a solar heated pool and spa, a game room with a big TV, and a beach volleyball court! This kind of comfort is perfect for first-time campers who aren’t keen to commit to a windy night alone on the beach.
If you’re looking for an activity-filled getaway, there are plenty of fun things to do at Wivenhoe Dam. Dams are cool, alright. If you’re a newbie to camping, but a fan of water sports, a visit to Captain Logan Campground would be a great place is going to make your dat. You can relax and enjoy the basic necessities of life after a day of kayaking on the dam, with powered camping sites and hot showers available. You also have the added bonus of going with a big group of friends (up to 10 people per site) so you can endure the struggle of first-time camping together! Power in numbers, right? Located only an hour’s drive away, you can easily jump in the car and enjoy your first weekend of camping not far from home—that way it’s easier to call it quits. Just kidding.
The Sunshine Coast boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and weather in Queensland, and lucky for us it’s just a quick drive up the highway to (outdoor, wifi-free) luxury! Rainbow Beach Ultimate Camping has to be the best option for a Brisbane resident’s first camping expedition, because they do all the work for you. There’s no need to delve into your savings to buy expensive camping equipment; simply rock up and you will find your campsite fully set up – whether you want a basic camp or ‘glamp’ (glam camp). All you need to do is enjoy beachfront views while they take care of everything from camping permits to cooking necessities. Sounds like the type of camping we’re all about it. You’ll find this eco-friendly gem at Inskip Peninsula, just 10 minutes from the stunning Rainbow Beach.
Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk
The challenging and breath-taking walks on an ancient volcano through the World Heritage listed Gondwana Rainforests are only a two hour drive south of Brisbane—so you’d be a fool not to make the trip out there. Close to local shops for supplies, The Settlement is a great place to set up camp before enjoying a walk up to the points that look over the Gold Coast (great Insta moment, FYI). Newbies will welcome access to toilets, water, shelter and even free electric barbeques to make cooking in the bush a bit easier. Be warned there are no showers at this site, so be sure to pack a few wet wipes and embrace your ‘true self’! It’s all about the experience though, right?
Business Listing in The Directory: 2 Birds
Business Listing in The Directory: Little Red Dumpling
Sunshine Coast Daily:
January 28 2017
JONO Hooper is fascinated by frogs, and he’s made it his professional mission to learn more about these diverse amphibians.
Some people may just see them as the noisy, slimy-looking creatures that pop up in our toilets – but to this University of the Sunshine Coast graduate, they are far more diverse and each have their own role to play in the environment.
His fascination began just after high school.
“We put a frog pond in our front yard and that attracted a few frogs,” he said.
“They started breeding there and that’s when I began paying much more attention to the different species in my area.”
Since then, his university study allowed him to undertake research on frogs, particularly during his Bachelor of Science (Honours) program.
He also attended Queensland Frog Society workshops, and assisted with frog-monitoring programs run by local catchment care groups and State Government ecologists at Bribie Island and Conondale.
Jono now works as an environmental scientist at Future-Plus Environmental on the Sunshine Coast, and is Queensland Frog Society president.
He estimates 35 species of frogs live in the Sunshine Coast region, but warns that if we keep clearing the vegetation our local frogs call home, their populations will decrease, particularly in coastal areas.
“The backyard variety of frog species that inhabit your toilets, showers and backyard ponds can cope with some disturbance,” he said.
“But the species that only occur in specific environments are facing increasing pressure to survive in an altered and fragmented landscape (such as the frogs Jono studied during his Honours project).
“Mooloolah River National Park is a safe haven of the Wallum frog species, thanks to its protection.”
The Wallum Sedgefrog, Wallum Froglet and Wallum Rocketfrog are unique as they live and breed in and around an acidic environment, where the water pH is as low as 3.5-6.0.
Such environments occur along the coastline and are frequently cleared to allow for roads and houses.
“This has caused wallum frog populations to decrease as their available habitat deceases,” Jono said.
Some other species under threat occur in the hinterland, such as the Giant Barred Frog and Fleay’s Barred Frog. These species occur along forested creeks and streams.
Both are nationally endangered species, with threats of urban development and chytrid fungus an ongoing concern.
Jono said the Sunshine Coast Council was aware of and concerned about the environmental impacts of new infrastructure plans.
“They’ve purchased quite a few nature reserves in the Sunshine Coast and we (Future-Plus Environmental) do a lot of fauna surveys at those locations for council,” he said.
As an environmental scientist, Jono has a renewed understanding of the unique role that the humble frog plays in our eco system.
“They serve as an environmental indicator,” he said.
“If a species once lived somewhere but no longer does, it may indicate the water quality has changed or some other disturbance has occurred at that location or further upstream.
“We need to undertake environmental monitoring in the area to try and understand what the problem is, and then how we can improve the situation.
“Frogs are not the only creatures at risk: humans also rely on a healthy environment … We need to think about what the long-term health and financial consequences may mean for us if we treat our unique planet with little regard.”
His work serving with the Queensland Frog Society, which holds workshops and frog surveys with the public, has reaffirmed the importance of educating people and raising awareness.
“Many people in the community tell us how they love frogs, but if we can provide them with some help in creating a frog-friendly garden, or identify a species they’ve seen, then they can appreciate these animals far more,” Jono said.
“We need to think about what chemicals we use to spray our plants with, the proximity this is used to water, why we can’t release our aquarium fish into waterways and know what a cane toad looks like so we’re not accidentally killing frogs and tadpoles.
“There are a lot of frog species here commonly mistaken for toads. If in doubt, don’t kill it. Cane toads cause less of a problem than exotic fish, stray cats and feral pigs”
The Queensland Frog Society has about 200 members involved in raising awareness of local frogs and involved in helping others better understand how they can protect the most threatened vertebrate species on Earth.
July 1 2016
THE east coast of Australia is about to witness another spectacular display by some of the world’s largest mammals, as humpback whales begin their seasonal migration north from chilly polar waters.
Starting in June, whales are moving up from their krill feeding grounds in Antarctica to mate and give birth to calves in safer waters.
You can be lucky enough to catch sight of these protected species at several viewpoints up the coast, from the Gold Coast to Tropical North Queensland.
One of the most iconic whale watching spots is Hervey Bay, where whales congregate in the calm conditions for several months each year.
Jill and Brian Perry are now in their 30th season of whale watching at Hervey Bay WhaleWatch.
Their award-winning Quick Cat II vessel attracts 12,000 tourists to the region each year with the guarantee of seeing humpback whales.
“The last couple of years, particularly last year, have been some of the best seasons because there’s more whales around,” Mrs Perry said.
They are expecting to see up to 8000 humpbacks from the start of their official season this Sunday.
Commercial whale watching was born in the Hervey Bay region in 1987 after Mr Perrywas out fishing and spotted what appeared to be two drifting logs, which on closer inspection turned out to be whales.
A few weeks later the Perrys organised a whale watching expedition on their old fishing vessel, the Tasman Venture, which enabled many people to see whales up close for the first time.
“That was the very first day I ever went out, and I didn’t realise how huge they’d be and how close to the boat they get,” Mrs Perry said.
“They did a breach out of the water – humpbacks are the most active whales.”
DrWally Franklin, co-founder of research and marine conservation organisation The Oceania Project, specialises in population and migration of humpback whales in Hervey Bay.
He said the animals’ congregation near Hervey Bay was “an important social gathering”.
As the whales return from feeding in Antarctica to the lagoon of the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Franklin says the best time to see the whales interact from the whale-watching vessels is in August.
“In late August you get the mothers with their new calves who keep them there for a few months,” he said.
“They come into Hervey Bay and spend time with their calves, teaching them to do manoeuvres like breaching and feeding, and also resting.”
This year Dr Franklin and his research team expect a steady flow of close to 25,000 humpbacks travelling along the east coast.
With such large numbers, he warns they will want to travel quickly with many heavily pregnant mother humpbacks.
“It’s really important that people familiarise themselves with how to approach whales this season,” he said.
“Don’t get in front of them and impede their flow of migration.”
This is particularly sage advice in areas such as the Sunshine Coast where whales don’t stop.
June 20 2016
A BAND of brothers who have travelled the world – from outback Queensland to Morocco – are set to share their experiences with the art-loving public.
As four of Queensland’s most senior and successful painters, Rex Backhaus-Smith, Rick Everingham, Tom McAulay and Michael Nicholas have become good mates through their shared passion.
Art On Cairncross owners, Tony Gill and Jane Caraffi, have brought the artists back together for the Mutual Respect exhibition in Maleny.
“They have enormous mutual respect and professional respect and hold each others’ artwork in high esteem,” Ms Caraffi said.
“Here are four artists who represent the cream of Australian art.
“We can’t believe our luck to get them together.”
Rex Backhaus-Smith, who grew up in Western Queensland and has travelled immensely, has called the Sunshine Coast home for nearly 10 years.
His main influences are drawn from a love of the outback, however, he has also ventured overseas for fresh inspiration.
“It’s something I’ve enjoyed all my life – to get out there, seek subject matter and paint,” he said.
Billy goat, the subject of one of Mr Backhaus-Smith’s new paintings, is a clear favourite of his to be featured in the exhibition.
“I sketched the billy goat in the outback on a recent trip to Lake Mungo and the Paroo River,” he said.
“It was in a mob of wild goats who came down to drink at the waterhole and we were camped right opposite them.
“It was fun painting it and it was such a character.”
Mr Backhaus-Smith remembers giving up his role as an art teacher at Aspley State High School in 1972 to pursue painting full-time.
After that he went on some adventures with Tom McAulay where they would travel and paint together as friends.
Mr McAulay’s early rural life in Innisfail, as well as his travels around Australia, has inspired his artwork.
He grew up in a family of eight children who were all encouraged to draw from a young age by their parents, with his mother singing in the local choral society.
The artistic talent flows through the McAuley family, from his younger brother who has also become a professional artist, to his eldest brother who is a well-established author.
Being a bit different from the other artists in the Mutual Respect exhibition, who mostly focus on landscape and wildlife, Mr McAuley coins himself a figurative painter.
“I paint the Australian character more than anything,” he said.
The artist will go to a race meeting and study bush jockeys and horsemen, but has found the “real Aussie character” in the outback pubs.
“It’s like they were in the old days, in the ’60s and ’70s, when you would go to the pub and get a beer,” he said.
Noticing his talents, former prime minister Bob Hawke commissioned Mr McAulay in 1990 to do a series of paintings on Australian sports.
Describing the experience as quite thrilling, he remembers the former prime minister viewing and buying some of his Kakadu paintings displayed in Cairns.
“He asked if I could do a few on Australian sport, so we did the race meeting, outback cricket, Aboriginal boys playing football, and Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Tent,” he said.
“At Innisfail when we were kids we would go watch all the fights in the boxing tent – it’s part of our Australian history.
“Bob was very pleased with the results because we had painted history and sport mixed into one.”
Mr McAulay has also done several artworks about the Anzacs and personally connects to their story through family members who went to war.
“Anzac Day was a big thing for us when we were young,” he said.
“We’d march in the parade and the old diggers would give a talk at the shire hall.”
Some of his Anzac paintings are based on those diggers who inspired him.
Between them, the four men have countless awards for their talent, so be sure not to miss the opportunity to see them all together for the first time.
June 12 2016
RICHARD Branson might be a high-profile animal conservationist setting up a new koala sanctuary and research base on Makepeace Island at Noosa, but the Sunshine Coast has plenty more animal rescuers doing great work.
Here are five of those local legends:
Twinnies Pelican and Seabird Rescue
Owners Paula and Bridgette Powers have a sanctuary in Landsborough for any sick or injured seabirds. Twinnies is the only facility in south-east Queensland that specialises in seabirds. The organisation has introduced an adoption program for birds in permanent care where you can assist with medications, food and enclosure maintenance. Call 5439 9995.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital
Inspired by the memory of Steve Irwin’s mother Lyn Irwin, the wildlife hospital has been dedicated to saving native wildlife since 2004. The rescue unit operates as a wildlife ambulance to injured or threatened species. The veterinary facility can cater to all types of animals with an intensive-care room and laboratory. The zoo hospital (phone 5436 2097 and emergencies 1300 369 652) is supported by Wildlife Warriors around the world who act as ambassadors to raise awareness of the need to care for and protect animals, as well as make donations towards those aims.
WILVOs (Wildlife Volunteers’ Association Inc)
This volunteer organisation has provided rescue and rehabilitation services to injured and orphaned animals of the Sunshine Coast since 1995. WILVOs works together with local vets and rescuers to achieve the best care for the native wildlife. The emergency hotline (5441 6200) operates 24/7.
Koala Rescue Queensland
Brothers Murray and Ray Chambers, based at Moffat Beach, run the not-for-profit volunteer rescue service for sick, injured or orphaned koalas throughout Queensland. The operation runs 24 hours a day (call Ray 0423 618740 and Murray 0431 300729). The brothers also work with schools and communities to promote habitat protection in an effort to arrest the decline in koala numbers.
Located in World Heritage-Listed rainforest at The Big Pineapple complex at Woombye, the zoo houses more than 200 native and exotic animals – many of which were transferred there following the closure of Alma Park Zoo outside Brisbane in 2014. Owner Julie Seabrook is committed to caring for the animals and educating visitors about conservation and the environment. Members of the piblic can support Wildlife HQ’s mission to providing lifetime care of animals by financially “adopting” a creature or volunteering at the complex. Call 0428 660 671.
This article was published online and in print (see below).
June 10 2016
A ROOM full of women weren’t just salivating over lunch when Lincoln Lewis led a small contingent of famous faces at a charity event yesterday.
The former Home and Away TV star and son of rugby league legend Wally Lewis made an appearance at Wishlist and MixFM’s Give Me Five for Kids Ladies’ Lunch at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.
He was joined by room favourites including Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery, former MasterChef contestant Nathaniel, Nelly and PJ from My Kitchen Rules, and Olympic silver medallist Raelene Boyle.
While Lewis has focused most of his charity work on supporting animal, ocean and wildlife conservation, he loved the chance to come back and support the Sunshine Coast community.
“It’s helping kids in my home state and I love to get involved with anything local,” he said.
“I love the vibe (and) the people here.”
The “ladies who lunch” created a raucous event early as each table excitedly speculated about which hunk or personality they would dine with.
Bottomless glasses of wine, elegant dresses, prizes and auction items were the order of the day.
The Give Me Five For Kids Ladies’ Lunch began in 2011 and has raised more than $85,000 for children using the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.
Among those in attendance yesterday was Ema Pyke, owner of InVogue Photobooth, whose stall at the event was fitted out with dozens of funny photo props.
“When I was younger, I was in Nambour hospital and they really looked after me,” she said.
“Now I’ve come back to sponsor with my own business because I believe this is a meaningful thing MixFM is doing.”
Modern treasure hunt
This article was published online and in print (see below).
May 27 2016
AUSSIE band Taxiride is steering itself towards a national comeback tour, which leaves the curb right here on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow night.
Playing songs that stand the test of time, the pop rockers have booked the stage at Villa Noosa Hotel, Noosaville.
Lead singer Jason Singh says they will play their hit songs but also some album tracks that never made it to the former set lists.
“We really loved our album tracks and I think as we look back with more maturity, these songs are sounding like some of our best music,” he said.
The band had huge success in Australia and internationally in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the original line-up of Dan Hall, Tim Wild, Tim Watson and Singh.
A breakdown in relationships saw the band on a hiatus until recently, when the members reconnected.
“I decided to pick up the phone and hound Tim Watson to get the band back together,” Singh said.
“We found out that we still really like each other and want to play music together.
“The things that tore us apart are what make us special.”
Singh says the pressures of the band’s fast rise to fame – from performing in bars to big stages in the United States – made it hard to hang on to the idea of Taxiride.
But over the years, the differences they had have been resolved.
“The time apart made me especially want to hear the sound of us singing together again,” he said.
While the band is keen to play some of the biggest records on this tour, Singh hopes they will talk about making new music over the next few months.
He said the Sunshine Coast had been an important gig choice for the first revisit of those hit songs.
“Queensland always had the biggest crowds and most loyal fans, plus the sun is a nice change for us from gloomy Melbourne,” Singh said.
Taxiride is looking forward to catching up with all the people who supported them in the past.
“Maybe they’ll be with their kids this time,” the lead singer said.
Joining the band on this tour around Australia is the Badloves, who are also returning from a long break.
Hooked on rock fishing
This article was published online and in print (see below).
May 20 2016
CHASING a change of scenery and better weather, emerging local talent Soula Giannitis moved all the way from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast to kick-start her musical career.
Known better by her stage name, Solar, the artist picked up a guitar at age six and hasn’t stopped playing since.
“My parents just bought me a cheap guitar and that’s where it all started,” she said.
Even though her family doesn’t play, Solar chose to keep her heritage alive through her music, drawing from Greek tunes and her own blend of the blues.
The coastal vibe caught her attention and has kept her here, performing for the local crowds.
“I wasn’t planning on staying, but I fell in love with the place,” she said.
While she plays some covers of popular songs, Solar writes and performs much of her own music.
One place you can catch a glimpse of her talent is at Mykies by the Bay on Kawana Island tonight from 6 to 9pm.
Solar has regularly performed at this booming live entertainment venue since it opened last year.
“What I like about it is that it’s a friendly reception and the atmosphere is beautiful, being right on the lake,” she said.
“It’s definitely one of my favourite places to play on the Coast.”
Solar is looking forward to a new open-mic night at Mykies once a month, where musicians can showcase their work and guests can meet some of their favourite acts.
“It will be open not just to musicians, but people who want to share poetry or any talent,” she said.
Solar hopes the event will attract artistic beginners to a really welcoming space where they can get up and have a go.
Keep an eye out for Solar’s performances in the next few months, as her career branches out to Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
But don’t worry: she says the Coast will be her home for a while yet.
Hitting a beaten track
The Red Republic
This blog post was written as part of Lulu & Lipstick brand promotion on their blog page.
June 11 2015
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The Sunday Mail:
Festival makes a splash
Look out for these city slinkers
Barely worth wearing
The Courier Mail:
Deadlier snakes coming out to play as suburbs grow
The Morning Bulletin:
November 18 2011
WITH the weather heating up, David Flack, a Rockhampton snake catcher, says that it’s the time of year for Rockhampton residents to be wary of snakes.
David said he was receiving up to three calls a day from distressed home owners asking for assistance after discovering unwanted visitors in their backyards and bedrooms.
These figures are similar to other years, but David said that the calls will only rise as the hot weather continues.
The warning follows after a 42-year-old South East Queensland woman died three weeks ago from a snake bite while gardening in her yard.
This season David has seen, most commonly, snakes such as carpet pythons, green tree snakes (both of which are relatively harmless), browns (which are highly toxic) and keelbacks (other- wise known as fresh- water snakes).
The notorious snake catcher suggests that if people do find a snake the door is not only closed but completely sealed off by jamming a towel underneath the door,” David said.
“If a snake is found in your backyard, it is important to keep an eye on it and remain at a safe distance from the snake.”
He also advised people that they should not approach the snake at any time as this will only agitate the reptile and could make the situation dangerous.
Residents of Rockhampton should also be aware that there are ways to keep the snakes away, David said.
“Home owners should keep their lawns short, yards tidy and clean up seed from places such as bird aviaries that attract mice, which are a prime source of food for snakes,” he said.
November 18 2011
IT’S approaching midnight and Breaking Dawn; the North Rockhampton cinema is packed with squealing girls, many with boy- friends they dragged along for the ride.
More than 600 eager members from Team Edward and Team Jacob turned up late on Wednesday night for the Rockhampton premiere of the latest Twilight film – Breaking Dawn.
With the movie at Birch, Carroll and Coyle set to start at midnight, crowds began lining up for popcorn and lollies before 10.30 pm.
As keen fans chewed finger nails in anticipation of the second last time that Edward and Jacob would fight for Bella, cinema staff organised games and competitions to keep the crowd entertained.
With the help of a large group of friends cheering her on, Sophie Gedda won a prize after her friend Nicola dressed her in toilet paper to make what was thought to be the best version of “Bella’s wedding gown”.
One girl, perhaps the biggest Twilight fan on the night, scarcely needed to wrap herself in toilet paper as she already looked stunning in a royal blue gown she had worn that night to her school formal – obviously a dedicated fan.
Four cinemas were soon full to the brim, with a spare seat being dubbed a miracle.
Twilight fans were on the edge of their seats throughout the movie and obviously enjoyed the opportunity to be among the first to see Breaking Dawn.
With an outstanding atmosphere and crowd, it was definitely worth the sleepless night for eager fans to see this premiere.
This was a simple question and answer section in the newspaper each week.
With Rory who just completed Year 12 at Rockhampton Grammar School.
My name is: Rory Harman
My current occupation and employer is: Recently completed twelfth grade at Grammar
Away from my job I relax by: Reading, going to the cinema, watching films
Five people I’d invite to dinner, living or dead: Marlon Brando, Bob Dylan, Hunter S. Thompson, Stanley Kubrick, Louis C.K.
If I won lotto I would: Make a really pretentious black and white art-house film
If I was stranded on an island, the three things I would want would be: A sharpened object, bleach and the entire cast of Jersey Shore z The first LP/CD/Tape I bought was: All That You Can’t Leave Behind – U2
My favourite novel: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
My favourite song: I Know It’s Over (Jeff Buckley cover)
My favourite movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind z My idols are: Orson Welles and Lenny Bruce
My most embarrassing moment: Began at 7.23am on 13/04/93 and has only continued. It’s a never-ending moment
My first job was: An usher at Mackay cinemas
My best travel moment: Melbourne 2008 with my parents
The last time I won something was: My school’s senior oratory competition
I can’t live without: Laughter
If I was down to my last $10 I would spend it on: A cinema ticket on a Tuesday
Something most people don’t know about me is: I don’t have Facebook
My secret, guilty pleasure is: Easy-listening music from the 60s and 70s
When I grew up I wanted to be an: Actor and all-around Renaissance Man