Townsville and Cairns

Yesterday we got back from a 10 day holiday trip to North Queensland. First stop was Townsville. I’d pre-booked long term parking for our car which was $109 for up to 15 days. We drove to the long term carpark near the airport and then loaded our bags onto the shuttle bus. Baby Emma was in the front carrier which meant I could still move bags. At the airport we checked in, made our way through security, and then to the parents room for a quick nappy change before going to the gate to get on our plane. This was Emma’s first flight so I was a bit worried. We gave her a bottle of milk as the plane was taking off. Once the milk was finished she fell asleep and slept for the entire flight.

Emmas first flight

Plane view

My mother picked us up from the airport, using the baby seat in her car that we’d rented from the Queensland Ambulance Service. While in Townsville Emma got to meet family and friends and got lots of cuddles.

Cuddles from Grandma
Grandma cuddles

Cuddles from Aunty Jeannie
Aunty Jeannie

Julia keeping an eye on Emma

While in Townsville we went to a family dinner at Uncle Merv and Aunty Vi’s. My Uncle had a few garden ornaments which were cars and planes. I thought Emma might like to drive one of the cars.

First Drive

On Thursday we picked up a rental car to drive to Cairns. The drive is normally 3.5 hours. There were some roadworks which slowed down the trip. Stopping to feed and change the baby slowed the trip down even more. It took a painfully slow 6 hours to get to Cairns. Once we arrived we checked into our accommodation at the Cairns Colonial. Our room was right near a tropical pool which I used a couple of times. Although I had to purchase swimmers because I’d forgotten to pack any.

The family in Cairns
At Cairns

Our family

Nappy on Grandma
Napping on Grandma

On Saturday was Brett and Jo’s wedding. It had been raining heavy on Friday and then again on Saturday morning. But by mid morning the rain stopped and it was wonderful weather. The couple looked lovely, as did I 🙂 Was a wonderful wedding ceremony and I’m so happy for my two friends.

Brett and Jos wedding

At the Cairns Colonial they had provided us with a baby cot for Emma to sleep in. For a bath though she got to go for a swim in the sink.

Bath in hotel sink

We got back from our trip yesterday afternoon. Emma slept again the entire flight home.

Port Stephens

Yesterday was a public holiday in NSW so we decided to take advantage of the long weekend and go away for a trip. On Friday evening we drove north for 2.5hours to get to Port Stephens. The drive took use through the Newcastle area and the big loading docks all lit up looked like some sort of mechanical Christmas trees.
We arrived at the Peppers Anchorage hotel around 9.30pm on Friday night.

On Saturday morning we woke to blue skies but it was a bit windy and cool. Directly opposite our hotel was a marina so we went for a walk along the marina rock wall.
Looking back at the hotel. Our room was in the building on the left, ground floor.

Little crabs on the rocks.

This bird spent half its time underwater. It would fly about a metre above the water, then dive, resurfacing 30 seconds later a few metres away.

The beach near the hotel

There were also plenty of pretty flowers along the beach

While in Port Stephens we went to a local markets in the park. And went to a bonsai tree exhibit at a local community call. The one thing I didn’t like about the bonsai exhibit is that they didn’t say how old each of the trees was.

Port Stephens is home to some dolphins so we decided to take a cruise to see if we could spot some.

The cruise was 1.5 hours long. I had brought along my trusty binoculars so kept a keen eye out for dolphins. But my eyesight wasn’t seen enough. However the captain of the boat spotted some about 50 minutes into the trip. They were swimming near the front of the boat. I saw them just long enough to say ‘hey those ARE dolphins’ and they disappeared. That was the extent of our sightings for the cruise.

The next day we went to Shoal Bay for a walk along the beach. We passed some pelicans who were waiting for someone to clean some fish so they could get the left overs.

We walked about 5 minutes down the beach to a semi-isolated location. I was taking photos of the area when Julia said ‘there’s a dolphin!’. I thought she was joking at first, but when I turned around there was a dolphin swimming on the top of the water. I tried to take a photo but I just wasn’t quick enough. All I got was the wave it made.

I returned the next morning at 7.00am to see if I could spot any other dolphins but none paid me a visit.
Shoal Bay

I really liked Port Stephens. Its not that far from Sydney to drive. The beaches are clean and the water is clear. A great place for a short break. If only the dolphins stuck around a bit longer.