We live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Brisbane is an absolutely awesome place to live and an even more awesome place to raise kids! We have wonderful weather, a great outdoor lifestyle, beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, loads of cool things happening and brilliant facilities and services for residents.
We also love to take holidays and have adventures around Australia and the Pacific, day trips around Brisbane, including the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.
We love Art, Sunday Drives, Tropical destinations, The Beach, BBQ’s, Spending time together and with friends and having a good laugh.
We Love Living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Flying Out Of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Destination: Cairns, Northern Queensland, Australia
Cairns, Queensland, Australia – December 2016
Cairns is Australia’s gateway to northern Queensland. From here you can visit the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree rainforest, the Atherton tablelands, Cape Tribulation, and much more. Cairns is a pretty typical tropical city, and life here focuses on taking the time to smell the roses. With so much to see, the city deserves a longer stay than most people give it. I would stay 3-4 days, which will give you enough time to explore the area, plus spend some time lounging by the pool. This Australian town may be small, but it will leave you wanting more.
I have been flying up there for around 28yrs now. I was addicted to the place from my first visit and now have taken 3 out of my 4 children up there 3 times and now it is there favourite place.
Cairns, Queensland, Australia – May and August 2017
Flying out of Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Destination: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
I have had 3 trips up to Cairns in just 12mths. I love it that much!
On one trip, I had my first visit to Kurunda Markets.
Kuranda is known as The Village in a Rainforest, made famous by the Kuranda Markets many years ago. The original market section is still there as well as the Heritage Markets and the New Markets. Really the whole village is a big market. We found the original section to be more alternate, tied died clothing, dreadlocks, incense etc. The new markets are really lots of souvenir shops and the Heritage more modern type of markets. It gets busy when the Kuranda train from Cairns comse in. Overall it’s a very pleasant place.
Kuranda Heritage Markets includes hand made products, natural organic produce, stallholder information, online market stalls, art and craft.
At Kuranda Heritage Markets there is a distinct tropical theme amongst products and of course the setting is the perfect backdrop to set the ambient mood. Here you will find a large variety of local artists selling hand painted plates, blown glass, pottery, sculpture, hand painted fabrics and other such tropical fauna and flora styled crafts.
You will also be surprised to discover several products unique to Kuranda Heritage Markets such as 100% pure emu oil said to be excellent for relief of arthritis, muscle pain, skin problems and burns, plus hand-painted emu eggs, Australian gemstones, fresh-water pearl jewellery, sun catchers and locally made woodwork, handcrafts, toys and delicious locally grown organic coffee.
My girls would swim in the Esplanade Lagoon all day in the centre of Cairns if they could!
A day spent at the Cairns Esplanade Swimming Lagoon is the perfect way to soak up some sun, enjoy some safe swimming, meet some other tourists to catch up with your friends and take in the views of the stunning Trinity Inlet and mountains that line the horizon of Cairns city in Queensland Australia.
While there are plenty of nearby restaurants and coffee shops at and near the swimming lagoon, locals like to lay out a picnic at one of the many tables located in the surrounding park grounds under the huge Banyan Trees. Dotted along the boardwalk of the Cairns Esplanade right by the Swimming Lagoon are 12 BBQ facilities that are cleaned daily and are available for use throughout the day.
The Cairns Swimming Lagoon on the Esplanade is a magnet for backpackers from around the world as a sunbaking and social gathering place, a place for locals to get fit on all the exercise equipment dotted thru the parks and the esplanade boardwalk, a place for little children and family to have fun on the play equipment and to learn to swim
A short walk north along the beachfront boardwalk you will discover a world of fun for families at Muddy’s Playground, along with a Skatepark, Beach Volleyball, Healing Garden playground and at the northern end the Funship Playground.
OUR FIRST CRUISE ON PACIFIC DAWN!
PORTS – Brisbane, Noumea, Lifou, Port Vila, Brisbane
A list of things you might get up to during a P&O Pacific Island Hopper Cruise includes snorkelling in Lifou, strolling on tropical beaches in New Caledonia, and staying
in luxury onboard the ship throughout, but it’s really the unique combination of everything this week-long getaway provides that makes it so spectacular.
The sense of relaxation and adventure begins the second you step aboard the Pacific Dawn , as this return trip from Brisbane takes you to a handful of the most glorious island locations the Pacific has to offer.
When the ship is so comfortable, activities on board so numerous, shore excursions so appealing, and the destinations themselves so tropical and dreamlike, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular trip. Plus, the 7-night timeframe makes it relatively easy to schedule a break from work and real life, but it’s still long enough to truly unwind.
The Pacific Dawn offers room for 1,546 guests, which in cruise ship terms is definitely on the small side, so you’ll enjoy a more intimate experience on board. If you’ve ever felt worn out with your daily life or have yearned for an exciting new adventure, this one’s for you.
Pacific Island Hopper itinerary
Day one: Depart Brisbane
Day two: At sea
Day three: Arrive Noumea, New Caledonia
Day four: Arrive Lifou, New Caledonia
Day five: Arrive Vila, Vanuatu
Day six: At sea
Day seven: At sea
Day eight: Arrive Brisbane
Activities and amenities on board the Pacific Dawn
The Dawn has recently undergone a refurbishment that revamped the nightclub, added two new dining rooms and an incredible waterpark, giving cruisers more to love about this crowd favourite.
The P&O Edge Adventure Park is one of the most noticeable features of the ship. This is where you can easily spend your days at sea swimming, flying down the zipline, attempting the slack line, or hurtling down the waterslides. It’s Australia’s largest park at sea and one that promises plenty of fun in between shore excursions.
You can easily keep yourself entertained with shopping, wine tasting, both fine cuisine and buffet-style dining, fitness classes, spa treatments, gambling at the casino, or checking out the live music every night. The Pacific Dawn features so many activities and amenities on board that you could easily enjoy a fulfilling and exciting holiday without ever leaving the ship.
My children and I are currently planning for cruise number 5 on this beautiful ship.
Port Vila, Vanuatu
In this nation of tiny islands and indigenous villages, Port Vila is the exception: a bustling port town with hotels, restaurants and markets to delight visitors and cruise ship passengers. The 150-foot-high Mele Cascades waterfall is the ideal place to refresh yourself in the South Pacific heat. For a glimpse of real Vanuatu culture and traditions, travelers say a trip to Ekasup Village is a must.
We personally love the Cascade Waterfalls and Mele Bay Tavern.
Cascade Waterfalls, Port Vila, Vanuatu