A Rainy Day Roadtrip… and A Mini Guide to Mt Tamborine

You may have gathered by now that for Ramai and I, a fulfilling weekend means jumping in the car and seeing where we end up. Sometimes we choose our final destination ahead of time, and other times we don’t and just see where the open road takes us. 

Last Saturday, though, we planned. After spending quite a lot of time lately down south (the last time was the Bangalow/ Broken Head roadtrip I posted on) we thought it was high time we gave some love to our neighbours to the west – so despite dreary, drizzly weather and dense fog, we hit the road early bound for Tamborine Mountain.

*** I’ll just digress a moment and share a fun little fact here: most people (including me) refer to Tamborine Mountain as Mt Tamborine – but Mt Tamborine is actually a village of Tamborine Mountain, along with North Tamborine and Eagle Heights. Anyway, for ease, I’ll just refer to it as Mt Tamborine, ok!

Anyway, we didn’t get a great deal of photos because every time I jumped out of the car to capture something, the camera and I would both end up covered in water, but here’s a few shots from our day out:

Rain, fog, zero visibility. This was our view as we made our way up the steep incline of the mountain. Ramai’s face pretty much says it all.

There’s some amazing produce grown around Mt Tamborine (the region is particularly known for avocados and macadamia nuts) and on the way up, we found a market stall selling organic fruit and vegetables so we stocked up.

I’m going to wait until Wednesday to show you my other op shop purchase, but managed to nab this cute leather bag (all the way from Pareeee!) for $8. Bargain!

By noon, our stomachs were rumbling so we stopped off at Spice of Life cafe for a quick bite. Ramai had the Indonesian curry (top) and I had a chicken tagine. The meals were probably about a 6 out of 10 (hate saying that, but want to be as transparent as possible!) and considering there are some great spots to eat on Tamborine, we’ll probably go elsewhere next time. In saying that, their selection of wraps and sandwiches looked awesome – lots of salad and rye bread options too.

After lunch, we moseyed around a bit and went to Witches Chase Cheese/ MT Brewery (details below). Tamembert is the mountain’s version of camembert – geddit, ‘tam’ for Tamborine? – but my favourite is their Triple Cream Brie, which is to-DIE-for and also wins them lots of awards. Definitely try it if you’re up that way!

On our way out, we dropped into the lovely – but expensive – antique shop next door (they had a ‘no photo’ policy unfortunately) and then drove down Gallery Walk to pick up some of Tamborine’s world-renowned, totally delicious, calorie-free (ha, I wish) fudge from Granny Mac’s. Somehow we ended up with three 50 gram slices – caramel vanilla, cookies and cream and plain old vanilla. Y.U.M! And yes, I shared. Reluctantly.

This is what happens when you eat the mountain fudge. Crazyface. Hello!

Honesty boxes line the roadside up and down the mountain and we found a fabulous little one on our way home.

Picked up some homemade rhubarb jam for $4 (they also had chutney and some strange jam concoctions like green pepper and passionfruit that we weren’t game enough to try), four limes for $1 and a gorgeous bunch of bright flowers for $3. These reason I don’t have a photo of the flowers is because I accidentally left them in the back of the car overnight and they were kinda wilted by the time we remembered to get them out. Not so purrrtty anymore.

And finally, to finish the day off, a big cheesy smile for Ramai. Probably still high on sugar at this point.

So that was our day! But that’s not all… read on below for a few of my favourite haunts on the mountain.

My Totally Quick, but Totally Useful Mini-Guide to Mt Tamborine


If your wallet’s on the fat side: you must, must, must go to Songbirds in the Forest. Amazing restaurant set in the rainforest, incredibly good food, and a worthy wine list. Go for a lazy long lunch or a romantic dinner. If you’re feeling particularly spendy, stay the night in one of their six luxurious mountain villas which are perfect for special occasions. Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a mountain villa, people. Take me there now!

If your wallet’s dieting and looking a little skinny: grab a cheese platter and finger food (as well as a preservative-free beer) from MT Brewery. The brewery is located on the same premises as Witches Chase Cheese, mentioned above, and next to the beautiful Liquid Amber restaurant. Head into the cheese factory part first up to do a tasting, and then chill out in the bar part with a beer. They also have live music on Sunday afternoons. Rancho relaxo.

For decadent fudge: my pick is Granny Mac’s. They have every sweet under the sun in this place too as well as ice-cream, coffee and so on.  


For op-shopping: I found my treasures at the RSPCA store located at 45 Main St, North Tamborine. The lady that runs the place is so lovely! And by the way, if you need it, here’s a list of all the thrift stores on the Gold Coast.

For a laugh: visit the very quaint Tamborine Mountain Distillery. I won’t ruin it for you, but the guy that runs the place, Michael Ward, is as lovably eccentric as they come. He’ll have you trying every liquer under the sun. I’ve had absinthe thrust upon me at 10am before! Cool little story with this place too – Michael and his wife moved north from Tasmania after she fell ill, and started wondering what they could do with the abundance of fruit that was falling from trees all over their property. With no experience in distilling whatsoever, they bought a few pieces of equipment, and started making their naturally produced, chemical-free liquers using a variety of fruits and native plants like lemon myrtle. They’re now the most awarded distillery in Australia and have won a whole bunch of international awards! Love a great little success story like that.  

For wine-tasting: Witches Falls Winery would be my pick of the bunch.

If you have kids: check out Thunderbird Park. I remember LOVING that place as a child because the whole idea is to go fossicking for “thunder eggs” (rocks with crystal geodes inside – I had a small obsession with crystals growing up that I’ve never really gotten over!) There’s also the Adventure Parc high ropes course and lots of other cool activities.

Getting amongst nature: plently of different tracks to explore on Mt Tamborine. Check them out here.

+ Hope you enjoyed the pics and my mini-guide and if you have any questions, feel free to ask away!  x


Last weekend: The day started with a surf check at Tallebudgera. The conclusion: no surf. Me: hooray! Ramai: sad trombone.

And so the road trip adventure began, but before we got our adventure boots on, there was a quick stop at the new Miami farmers markets to drool over organic goodies and to pick up a few bits and pieces.


It was literally an in ‘n’out mission, so once the shopping was done, we hit the road for our day down south. Next stop: Bangalow (then Broken Head!)

We left our phones at home which was the smartest thing we’ve done in a long time, and with all the extra time that wasn’t being taking up checking Twitter/ Facebook/ AFL scores (me, not Ramai – obviously) (haha… AS IF!) we had the funniest conversations, talked about our big dreams for the next year and rocked out some major air guitar epicness.

My favourite moments with my fiance are when we are both in fits of laughter. It might sound funny, but I love looking at him when he’s laughing those deep, belly laughs – that sparkle in his eye gets me everytime!

Of course, like pretty much everyday, when I glanced at the clock it was 11:11. It haunts me! In a good way. I use it as a reminder to make a wish or focus on something positive in my day. 11 is also my lucky number so, to me, seeing 11:11 means “The rest of the day will be amazing.” And it was.

I snapped these shots at an amazing antiques shop in Station St, Bangalow (I believe it’s called Vintage, Retro, Antique & Collectables). The wares are a little on the expensive side, especially if you are a hardcore op shopper and you’re used to picking up your treasures for next to nothing, but there was definitely some cool stuff in there that I’m going to go back and look at for our wedding. Also, the guy that runs the place obviously has great taste, or knows a woman who does – would you look at those Manolo’s perched upon that leopard print chair!

Handy resource: If you live on the Gold Coast or Northern NSW and you love secondhand/ antique/ vintage collectables, add this Local Trail guide to your Favourites. I know I’ll definitely be using it for our next visit down that way!

Heath’s Old Wares is overflowing (literally) with trinkets, collectables and recycled bits and bobs – everything from tools to typewriters to glass bottles. It’s fair to say my eyeballs were popping out of my head when I saw this place. Actually, I can’t quite believe I’d never stumbled across it before (it’s tucked away up a lane off Station St if you’re looking for it).

Little known Rach fact: I have a small obsession with animals doing funny things. Seriously. It’s become almost a hobby of mine to email Ramai a silly picture of a dog pulling a face or a cat with a mohawk. Or dressed in superhero costumes. Captions or commentary? Even better.

Anyway, I spotted these cheeky girls on the drive from Bangalow to Broken Head (where all the pics below were taken) and I couldn’t resist getting a few happy snaps. How funny is the last one… she’s like ‘Excuuuuuse me, girlfriend, but what the HELL do you think you’re doing?!’ If she could wave her hand/ wag her finger, she so would.

The last series were all shot at the beach at Broken Head. You might remember me saying that we were going to go camping last weekend at Broken Head? Well, although we didn’t camp we still made it down there… the pull was too strong obviously! We read magazines and chilled out on the sand, then went for a wander around the headland to snap some beachy shots. How cute is the natural archway along the track!

All in all, the day was perfection – and just what we both needed. There’s something so rejuvenating about getting outside and embarking on a creative mission. Grabbing a camera (or notepad), letting go of to-do lists and just rolling with the rhythm of the day is an amazingly freeing experience. It might sound simple, but it unlocks the parts of us that get pushed down and ignored when we’re caught up in (supposedly) more important day-to-day tasks. I know I always come home from days like this feeling like any feelings of overwhelm have instead been replaced with clarity and a healthy dose of motivation. It’s the best!

+ I hope you enjoyed seeing a little insight into our day, we had a ball!
+ I’d love to know: what’s your favourite way to ‘get creative’?
+ Tell me in the comments below about how you unleash a bit of your creative spirit onto the world!

Mini-break in Melbourne

As I spoke about here, we went to Melbourne for four days last week for a mini-getaway. The aim was to catch up with our special friends that live in our second favourite city in the world (New York is our first… I’m sure that doesn’t surprise anyone!) and to eat, shop, relax (well, that one didn’t really happen) and just have a good time. And that we did. In fact, we had a bloody awesome time!

Despite our best intentions to get completely snap-crazy, we found that we were too busy enjoying the moments to pull the camera out, adjust the settings and document the whole trip in pictures. It’s also quite hard to wangle an SLR with arms full of shopping bags as we found… but anyway, we managed to get quite a few shots, as you’ll see below.

“Hurro Melbourne, is that chu? We enjoy you. Immensely.”

Ramai breaking in his new shades… and declaring his love for the city.

Melbourne is known for it’s cool alleyways and awesome street art. Gorgeous colours to brighten even the dreariest winter’s day.

Veggie burgers and fries were pretty much my staples over the weekend (yep, eating was clearly the theme) but Ramai and I got the best of both worlds for breakfast each day – I’d order muesli or porridge and he’d order some delicious hot breakfast and we’d do half/ half. Sweet and savoury. That’s what it’s all about! Devoured this muesli at Caffe Sienna on Chapel St, South Yarra. Great food and toasty warm inside = yes!

This was to-die-for! The best baked eggs ever, mixed with a delicious spicy tomato sauce, basil, spinach and mushrooms. Quite coincidentally, I saw this recipe online yesterday as well. The universe is telling me something: BUY RAMMIKENS. Got it!


My girl Jess and her man Dave live in Fitzroy and we spotted this cute house (among many others) as we headed to catch the tram one morning. So quaint, I love the red accents.

This is Wilco, the coolest cat dog on the block…

 …Except for when he mauls the vintage fur jacket I scored in New York! This is him licking his lips in anticipation, no doubt.

“Jacket, just wait til they leave to go shopping. YOU’RE DEEEEEAD! (evil voice).” 

Trying to look coy?


Ramai propping himself up on coffee after a few late nights in a row.

Morning dew.

And afternoon sun.

Streets of Fitzroy.

Up close. Love the blue!

Camilla, Jess and I at The Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood, enjoying drinks, good food and lots of laughs. Cool spot for a relaxed night out. Oh and I’m also wearing the lace kimono I told you about yesterday!


Cocktail jugs at the Carlton Club in the city. Soooo good! I could have quite easily continued on here way into the night.

Excuse the dodgy “joined” photo, but this is what 75,000 people at the MCG looks like. We went to see Ramai’s football team (Essendon) play Carlton, and although they lost, it was heaps of fun to pop our friends “AFL cherry” — they’d never seen a live game before and were in awe!

Willy being staunch (and adorable) on the couch.

Willy’s mama and papa – aren’t they sweet?! Love you guys xx

Lots of Bloody Mary’s for Ramai on this trip (can anyone say obsessed?) Look at that dollop of mustard!

Captain Deer Head keeping an eye on the proceedings at the The Napier Hotel.

Jess and I. Not to totally draw attention to my grill or anything, but I’m wearing my Invisalign braces in this picture – pretty discreet, right?

As I said, veggie burgers and fries… healthy, yeah?

 We didn’t order this pumpkin pie but I had major food envy when it arrived. Nom, nom, nom.

And that’s it folks, hope you liked this little look at our weekend away. Travelling is seriously the best!

New York: Round Two // Part 2

The wonderful thing about travel is that it stirs in you a desire to do things that you wouldn’t normally do – or think to do – while you’re at home. Our unspoken motto for travelling is to be open to surprise and serendipity and to look for inspiration (or even better, let inspiration find us) in unexpected places. Magic always trickles in that way!

On our trip to New York earlier this year, we became seriously enamoured with our Canon SLR, which I think was in equal parts due to us finally having the free time to play around with it, and most importantly, because we were buzzing on an NYC high and wanted to suck it all up through the lens to take home with us. We were ready for encounter, champing at the bit to unleash some creative energy on the world! I know that goes against everything a holiday stands for – doing nothing, sleeping in, eating yourself into a food coma – but I kinda get off on filling that glorious “free space” in my head with creative stuff when I don’t have to worry about to-do lists, journalists and copywriting (I work in digital PR).

It all feels very… expansive.

So that’s how we ended up at the Bronx Zoo.

Random? Perhaps. But also one of the most inspiring, memorable days of our trip. Because it was spontaneous, and different, and we had so much fun getting all paparazzi-like on the poor, unsuspecting animals. Inspiration from an unexpected place, for sure! We were also happy to venture out of Manhattan and see the differences in everything from architecture to lifestyle and culture in another borough. Eye-opening.

Hope you like (just a small part) of our photo collection from the day. Be sure not to miss Pouty McPout – giraffe diva extraordinaire! Oh and speaking of diva’s… you’ll see.

New York: Round Two // Part 1

We recently got back from an amazing trip to New York and San Francisco. It was our second visit to New York and it well and truly cemented our love for that big, beautiful, bustling city where anything feels possible. New York expands me like nowhere else, and when I’m there, I truly do feel like I’m home. Like I’m meant to be there. I love the pace, the frenetic-ness of it all, the bright lights, the inspiration and the adventure that lies around every corner. Apart from my actual home (which, truth be told, couldn’t be further from the insane pace of New York life), I’ve never felt more comfortable than when I’m strolling the streets of the Big A.

We took over 2000 photos on this trip to the U.S (RIDICULOUS, I know!) and I’ll be sharing my favourites over a few separate posts. Here are the first bunch for your viewing pleasure!

Well… what can I say, one of my finest looks, no? Ha! I always take these incredible cloth face masks with me when I travel (they are about $10 for 3 and are pretty much the same as the SKII version without the hefty price tag). A girl’s skin must be hydrated after a 16 hour flight. right?!

Bright lights, big city. The view from our balcony at the Gotham Hotel where we stayed for the first half of our NYC visit. The Gotham was a cool boutique hotel with massive rooms by New York standard’s and supermodel-like receptionists/ doormen. Nice.

Hanging on the steps in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We didn’t actually do a great deal in Brooklyn except take photos (of ourselves, haha!), as you’ll see coming up in the next few shots.

Empire state of mind.

Bridge hanging in Brooklyn. It was mid-week when we went and deadly quiet around the streets so we played up with some silly poses.

My fiance Ramai looking very serious.

How awesome is this wall art, spotted in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Was too good not to snap a quick pic!

These boots were made for walkin.’ And that’s just what they did. A whoooole lotta walkin.’ If I walked even half as much as I did in New York when I’m at home (rather than driving to and from work and sitting in front of a computer all day) I’d be one fit woman!

Chilling against a wall in Soho. We spent A LOT of time around Soho/ Nolita strolling the streets, shielding ourselves from the cold at Cafe Gitane on Mott St and Aussie cafe Ruby’s Cafe on Mulberry St, shopping up a storm (well, let’s be honest, that was mostly me) at Topshop/ Urban Outfitters/ Victoria’s Secret and a million others. Even spotted Marc Jacobs crossing the road looking freaking cool, as expected!

Chelsea Market. Cupcakes and NYC go together like Carrie and Manolo. It would be criminal not to sample at least one while you’re there… and look, if you’re like me and you feel the need to sample (ahem) more than one, well that is quite alright as well. Encouraged, even. Go forth and devour.

Vanilla is my favourite but red velvet is definitely up there. YUM.

East Village, warming up with a coffee on a particularly chilly day. Straight after this we gorged ourselves on THE MOST delicious fries with satay sauce (don’t knock it ’til you try it!) at Pomme Frites. We normally eat pretty healthily, I swear!

Silliness at the Mondrian Hotel, Soho where we stayed for the second half of the trip. Absolutely stunning hotel (if you love the colour blue you’ll be in heaven) in the BEST location! The bar/ restaurant alone is worth the visit – gorgeous apothecary jars, lots of plants, chandeliers. Modern decadence at its finest.

No holiday is complete without a spot of bed-jumping. I’m clearly very excited.

Loved these gorgeous big windows, looking down at the buildings of Soho.

In Australia we are spoilt with a huge selection of fruit available year-round. The fruit in the U.S was also amazing, and containers of watermelon, pineapple and rockmelon came to the rescue when we needed a little pick me up after long days of shopping, photo snapping and exploring.

We didn’t do many ‘touristy’ things on our trip but we did go up to the ‘Top of the Rock’ (at the Rockefeller Centre) to try and get some good photos of Central Park. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy and we couldn’t capture the view in a way that did it justice, but it didn’t matter because photo inspiration really does lurk everywhere.

Graffiti and stickers haphazardly decorate doors and walls around the city.

The glorious NYC never disappoints and it certainly won’t be our last trip to our favourite place on Earth!