Lake Macquarie

Is that a pineapple?

We visited Catherine Hill Bay (here on in known as ‘Catho’) yesterday afternoon after work.

And while there’s nothing particularly new about visiting Catho and the surrounding beaches (I would call us weekend regulars), it was certainly unusual for me to get down there ‘on a school night’.

So, in keeping with the vague theme of this blog (i.e. making the most of where we live though new experiences) I think the thing to take away from this is simply how good it was to be doing anything after work that’s not just going home and collapsing on the couch!


Late afternoon sea mist – atmospheric!

The second thing was the puffer fish! Tons of them were washed up in the northern corner of the beach. From a distance (and perhaps due to my notoriously bad eyesight!) the first and biggest one I saw appeared very pineapple-esque until I took a closer look. Having never seen anything like it, I eagerly informed my boyfriend once he was out of the water. But being the local, surfed-before-he-walked kinda boy he is, he didn’t even bat an eyelid.

Aside from the pineapple/fish mix-up, it was great just to be blown about by the cool ocean breeze and catch the last few rays of sunshine. It was invigorating and it certainly helped to put the day’s goings-on into perspective. I will definitely be making more and more after-work visits to the beach as the summer goes on…

– Ellie

Lake Macquarie

RIP, my blue Havaianas

Island hopping? Sounds more like Thailand or The Philippines than something you can do in good old Lake Macquarie!

Living right across the road from this gorgeous body of water was something I definitely took for granted last time we lived here. So, determined not to make this mistake again, last Friday I suggested to my boyfriend we take the boat out – a little tinnie purchased for an absolute steal by my bf, his brother and another mate a couple of weeks back.


We launched at Marks Point. Not only are the boat ramps here close to home, they’re also one of the easiest places from which to access the lake’s sand islands – tiny bush islets made bigger and more tropical (think bucketloads of white sand!) thanks to the effects of dredging.


Because it was a spontaneous adventure, we cruised around, stopping at the little beaches just long enough for a quick dip and to catch a few rays on the shore. With a bit more planning, next time I want to pack an esky, bring my girlfriends and some shade protection and really make a day of it!

So now you’re probably wondering, what the hell is the title of this post all about?

I left my precious Havaianas on one of the islands!!! So if you’re inspired to explore them like I was, look out, and you might just score yourself a new pair of thongs while you’re at it. Hope you fit a size 4!

– Ellie


Water colour reminiscent of places I’ve visited in Thailand and The Philippines




You’ve somehow stumbled across my new blog, The Backyard Traveller, and are probably wondering what it’s all about…

I’ve always toyed with the idea of writing a travel blog. Lots of people have suggested it to me, and I myself have thought so whilst writing out lengthy emails full of travel tips and advice for friends.

Self-admittedly though, none of these thoughts ever translated into any action, and so for now, that time has passed.

Now, finding myself back home in Newcastle, Australia after 3 years abroad, unemployed and a little bit uninspired, I’ve decided it’s time to do something to celebrate the gorgeous place I call home, and how much it’s grown and changed in the time I’ve been gone.


Our first sunset back home, Blacksmiths Beach

So if you’re massively behind the times like I am, follow my ‘adventures’ as I explore the new, and not so new in Newcastle; rediscovering my favourite local gems, and finally visiting all the places I’ve never been to that I probably should have.

– Ellie