I asked some of my fellow Aussie bloggers to tell me about their Home Towns last year and as a result I added several more spots to our ‘must visit’ list. So I thought I would get a few more to tell me all about their Home Towns. To me, your home town can be where you were born, where you currently live or somewhere you used to live.
by Jennifer Johnston from Travel Bug Within
I’m a Brisbane gal, but Caloundra is a quick 90 minute drive north on the Bruce Highway. A popular destination for families, couples, young and old, Caloundra has something for everyone. The main street offers an assortment of shops and markets are held there every Sunday. But I visit Caloundra for their beaches.
Bulcock Beach is popular with fisherman and kids. The tidal flow allows you to jump in the water and float gently upstream 200m, get out, run back and do it all again.
King’s Beach – also has a salt water ocean pool. Kids love running through the water park at the beach entrance. And the Caloundra Music Festival, held annually on the October long weekend each year is not to be missed!
Moffatt Beach – is not a patrolled beach but is popular with surfers and families.
Shelly Beach – a quiet beach to retreat to with the dog and the kids but it’s un-patrolled.
Dicky Beach – always brings a snigger from my young sons whenever we drive past. Named after the shipwreck the S.S. Dicky which ran aground in in 1893, there’s little ship left but it makes for an interesting photo!
Another favourite activity is the walking paths of the coastal walkway, meandering from Bell’s Creek in the South to Point Cartwright in the north. I never tire of the view nor the beaches. Nor will you!
by Jan Robinson from Budget Travel Talk
My Husband and I were both born and bred in Townsville, the unofficial Capital of North Queensland. The commerce hub for the north, Townsville distributes through it’s port and is the meeting place for South, North and West. It is home to the NRL’s Cowboys team and a departure point for cheap flights to Bali.
Only a 20 minute fast catamaran ride from Townsville is Magnetic, an island that locals like to think of as their own getaway place. This island suburb is my favourite place in Townsville. Islanders commute to the mainland for work and mainlanders to the island for a holiday break. It is tantalisingly visible from Townsville’s Strand, the 2.2 km beachfront landscaped promenade and iconic Castle Hill.
The Island’s National Park is a great place to check out koalas in the wild on the Forts Walk. Bays are bordered by giant round boulders and hoop pines and the beaches by She Oaks and snorkelling spots.
You can see a coral reef on land at Townsville’s Reef HQ, the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. Reef HQ is a great place to while away a few hours and get educated about the reef in air-conditioned comfort.
GRAFTON, NEW SOUTH WALES
by Lyndall Guinery-Smith from Seize The Day Project
I was fortunate to grow up in Grafton, a beautiful country town, in northern New South Wales. Actually, it’s technically a city, but you won’t find any traffic lights, high-rise buildings or big crowds. McDonalds only arrived about 10 years ago!
Set on the mighty, majestic Clarence River, Grafton offers wide, tree-lined streets, historic buildings and friendly people. As the commercial hub of the Clarence Valley, there are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants and services available here.
Known as “The Jacaranda City”, Grafton is world-famous for its Jacaranda Festival, the longest running floral festival in Australia. In the last week of October/first week of November, the entire town turns purple – from the trees to ice cream, cakes, hairdos, decorations and animals!
There are 25 historic sites throughout the town. History buffs will enjoy the Heritage Trail which meanders around the centre of town. Grafton Regional Art Gallery is definitely worth a visit, and is set in a beautiful old home. Just out of town, there are a host of stunning National Parks with dozens of nature walks to enjoy, and a range of unspoilt North Coast beaches are only around 40 minutes’ drive away.
by Kathy Marris from 50 Shades of Age
Part of my childhood was spent on a dairy farm on the Murray River near Echuca in Victoria. My memories of this historical river port town are that it is where two rivers merge – the mighty Murray and the Campaspe Rivers. It is also the place where you can embark on a houseboat holiday along the Murray River. Or you can take a cruise on a vintage Paddle steamer and explore the recreated Port of Echuca and remnants of the old River Gum Wharf.
You can easily spend a day exploring the river port recreation area that also features a museum, historic buildings, equipment displays and demonstrations. Otherwise you can find a shady spot on the banks of the Murray, watching the old Paddle steamer’s big wheels turning down the river and imagine the old days gone by.
With so much of my childhood invested in the Murray River I sometimes feel that the murky green waters run through my veins and the sight of the river elicits many happy memories.
Echuca is located in Northern Victoria on the border to NSW and across the river from the town of Moama.
by Stacey Hibberd from Love Your Travels
When I’m asked about my home town, the most common response is ‘Where’s Donald?” my reply is “It’s a small country town half way between Melbourne and Mildura in Victoria”
Yes, I grew up in a country town that has passion for people and the community. For me, I am very grateful I grew up here and even though I moved away for a few years, I still came back.
Donald is a progressive community and we have long standing businesses in the township. You can’t come to Donald without visiting and purchasing our well known Kookas Country Cookies. Or for any vegetarians, Australian Eatwell is well known for its production of vegetarian foods.
For tourists some of our town’s highlights are our refurbished caravan park that is on the banks of Folletti Lake. Bullocks Head lookout is a popular spot to take a break overlooking the Richardson River and we have an excellent Train Park with a Railway Museum to explore.
Our popular events are the Donald Show, Cuisine in the Crop and the Esoteric Festival which will launch in its first year during March Labour Day long weekend.
There is always something happening in Donald, a place that is always going to be known as home.
ROCKINGHAM, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
by Michele Legge from Legging It
Rockingham Western Australia is situated on the coast 60 kilometres south of Perth or about one hour by train. We have called this area home since 1992 when we moved with work and fell in love with it.
It is the perfect place to raise children. It has beautiful safe swimming beaches, a wonderful foreshore area with playgrounds for all ages and abilities and abundant wildlife. With 16 kilometres of walking and bicycle trails along the coast, it is wonderful to take the children exploring.
Locally we have dolphins that come and swim almost daily, there is also a commercial operation where you can pay to go out and swim with them. There is also Penguin Island, home to Fairy Penguins, a ferry goes many times a day (except for breeding season) for you to go across and enjoy spotting them in their burrows. Kangaroos can also be spotted in many of the local golf courses and on Lake Rockingham.
Of course being on the West Coast we also have amazing sunsets so it is the perfect place to sit in one of the many cafes or restaurants with a glass of wine and enjoy the view…heaven on earth (but we may be a bit biased)