going all the places, running all the races, eating all the things

Category Archives: The Green Places

The Kalmthoutse Heide is a park about half an hour drive from Antwerp and which straddles the Belgium/Holland border. It’s theoretically possible to go on a short wall which crosses over – though we chose another route this time.

The walking is on sand which makes it a bit harder work at times. This bring Belgium however it is also so flat that it’s almost hard to believe. Apparently there is also a herd of sheep that live here and some shaggy little cows too.

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There is also a Suske and Wiske walk with sculptures all the way.

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It’s really pretty terrain, and quite varied – definitely strange for an Australian.

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And here the walk home..

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We drove up from Hobart specifically to see Wineglass Bay. It really is rather lovely. This little Hazard Beach circuit walk was also lovely. Took us about 4 hours all up – good news since I’d heard walking in Tasmania was really rough, and this walk really wasn’t!

Don’t look up how Wineglass Bay got its name.

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On one of our jogs around Hobart we saw the signs at the gates of the Botanic Gardens for the Spring Community Festival.  Gardening and cooking demos in a lovely garden sounded too good to miss, so we headed along. It was cancelled on the Saturday due to intense winds, but Sunday went ahead as planned.

Festival food in Tassie is different, there was not a gozleme to be seen. There were however root vegetable french fries. What a great idea! Beetroot, carrot, parsnip and potato for $5.

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And there’s your serves of vegies for pretty much a whole day – awesome!

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There were lots of great plant and gardening stalls even for quite a small festival, this one selling fig scions was pretty cool. Haven’t seen them sold like this before.

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There were also quite a few sections with info about Tasmanian heritage breed chooks. These Barnevelders were enormous and very pretty.

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Hey there cluckies!

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In the gardens proper there were these beautiful white Telopias. Lovely.

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Tulips were also poking their heads through, adding to the spring feel.

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The garden itself has a sweet little old cottage which now has historical displays in it. This seems to be where they got the recipe for the Cabbage Soup diet non?

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There was also music and more food and apple cider and the like. All in all rather a lovely way to spend an afternoon if you’re around Hobart.


The Leura to Katoomba hike is probably the first one I ever did in the Blue Mountains and for a quite short walk it provides a wonderful variety of scenery. It is also a very public transport friendly hike, so leave your car in town and chill out on the train instead – I find reading on the train very relaxing, like your weekend starts the second you board.

In Leura you should stop at the Wayzgoose Cafe for a flower pot scone. Leura has some other nice looking cafes but this is a family tradition so I can’t pass it up. $6.50 for one giant scone and a mound of cream.

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The walk goes from Leura Cascades to the top of the Three Sisters in Katoomba. It is basically this walk, but instead of taking the scenic railway you take the stairs. It’s a pretty walk from the train station through Leura and to the start of the walk – basically walk down Leura Mall and then follow the signs to Leura Cascades.

It’s not a long walk – maybe 2 hours at a proper speed, 3 hours if you stop and photograph every lyrebird…  The path is well signposted, just make sure you go via Dardanelles Pass and Leura Forest rather than the Cliff Walk.

The 900+ stairs up the 3 Sisters are good for getting the blood pumping, but ultimately going up is so much nicer on the legs than going down!

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The waterfalls are lovely and all, but the middle earth feel of Leura Forest gets me every time. Just magic.

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One of 4 lyrebirds we spotted poking around looking for bugs.

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And the proof that Summer is here – first cicadas climbing up out of the ground.


On Saturday we did something I think there should be far more of – we went on a long walk with nowhere particular in mind. Across the Harbour Bridge, round and about Blues Point eventually arriving totally by accident at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability.

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I can’t believe I grew up on the north side and had no idea this place existed. It is totally rad. Amazing views in a hodge podge of old buildings and with the tunnel of the coal loader open to wander through.

Until the end of this weekend it will be showing the North Sydney Art Prize. You should go, lots of fun art outside and inside in a lovely setting. We also scored free wine but that might not permanently be on offer – there is however a cute cafe.

Walking through the spooky coal loader tunnel was the highlight.

But the art was pretty great too, love these little worms.

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These brass seedlings in pomegranate pots were quite sweet too.

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And what’s not to love about this!?

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If you have spare time this weekend I would definitely recommend this. If you don’t then add it to the diary for next year?


Running cities other than your own can be an unnerving experience where your internal compass is out of action after a few turns. Luckily my fruit phone can lead me back to home base but I often favour an out and back to avoid getting too lost.

Early morning Melbourne is perfect for a run, the city is slow to wake on weekend so you have the streets to yourself a fair bit. If you’re like me you will also have gorged on delicious cheeses & things and will really feel like a run.

I ran from Collingwood to the Yarra River Trail and then backtracked – ended up being about a 12km out and back, perfectly flat and gorgeously crisp.

Hot air balloons in the distance were a lovely surprise.

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Running by the Yarra – not pictured are the rowers gliding along the water looking very cold. This trail is quite windy so easy to get decent distances without ending too far from home.

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Gorgeous little bridge.

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Incidental benefit is seeing some of these great painted traffic signal boxes that reminded me of the ones we have over here in Paddington/Woollahra.

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One of the last remaining places I know that do a proper Australian salad sandwich – with grated carrot, beetroot & the rest is the takeaway in Leura in the Blue Mountains.

$3 for a trip down memory lane to the taste of being a kid. They also do great sweet potato scallops.

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It’s a gorgeous part of the world, the national parks always & the suburban gardens particularly in Autumn for the changing leaves.

20130616-231726.jpg Before or after a hike I like to pop by for a quandong icecream – The Conservation Hut at Wentworth Falls has a gorgeous view. Cafe looks ok but icecream gets my money every time. They do some bush tucker type flavours & some more traditional ones.

20130616-231705.jpg This is a good entry point to Wentworth Falls but best accessed by a car. Otherwise take the train to Leura & start your hike from there. Check out WildWalks for a great listing of hikes in the Blue Mountains & the rest of NSW.



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