You Yangs Regional Park

One area that I have been wanting to explore for a while now is the You Yangs Regional Park in Victoria. My brother moved to Geelong just over a year ago and I went down to visit him around this time last year. In preparation for my trip I had done a bit of research about places near Geelong to visit and the You Yangs were highly recommended. The You Yangs are located between Melbourne and Geelong, you will likely have seen them off in the distance if you have driven between the two.

I was looking forward to visiting the You Yangs in my trip a year ago, but ultimately I was unable to, thanks to one of their infamous snap lockdowns. Instead I ended up getting to spend much more quality time with my brother and his wife, along with my mum who was also visiting. But then a few weeks ago I visited my brother in Geelong again, this time with my sister as well. We were both hoping to visit the You Yangs and we were able to find a day where the three of us were all free.

There are a number of options for walks to do, so we had a look at them the night before and settled on one that was not too long, but not just a short stroll. The walk that we chose in the end was the Flinders Peak Walk. This walk is 3.2km long and is moderate difficulty. One of the noteworthy things about the walk is that it has a number of stairs (about 450 one way!) along with the fact that the summit provides 360 degree views over the surrounding areas.

The walk starts from the Turntable car park, and it is not long before you start gaining elevation. Although the walk has a lot of stairs, it also has a nice mix of less steep areas where you can catch your breath in between. I still found the need for a number of stops along the way, but it was well worth it as there were a number of places to enjoy the view as you gain elevation. Although it was fairly busy (we picked a lovely sunny day!) we were able to enjoy a few moments to ourselves at the summit before heading back down. I found the return hike much easier and was half running it at points (or towards the very end running full speed) and it wasn’t long before we were back in the car park. We did run into another group on our way back down that had their pet cat on a harness and were taking it for a hike – definitely a new sight for me!

When we reached the car park we took a minute to sit down and enjoy a snack before heading back home. It was a lovely morning and we were definitely glad that we decided to go. If I have another opportunity I would love to go back and explore some of the other ones – I would love to tackle some of the longer ones. But whether you have just a couple of hours or a whole day, I would say that it is well-worth a visit!

Autumn colours at the Valley of Liquid Ambers

In Australia, we are back into autumn! Growing up I was always adamant that winter was my favourite season. I much prefer the cooler weather and I enjoy hiking, which is really nice when it isn’t stinking hot. But in the last few years I have come to appreciate autumn much more to the point that I think autumn is now my favourite season.

The Valley of Liquid Ambers

I love everything about it, from the weather (which is still cooler than summer, but not the sometimes-freezing temperatures of winter) to the autumn colour palette. Not only do I love autumn colours in fashion (I look pretty good in them if I do say so myself), but the incredible array of trees. For some reason I never really paid much attention to autumn colours growing up. I never lived in areas that were noteworthy for their colours and was just never really aware of them and it has only been in the last few years that I have been drawn to them.

Last year I started to notice a few trees near where I live that changed colour. It was at this point that I decided to do a bit of research to try and find towns nearby with more concentrated amounts of autumn trees. And thankfully, I live not too far from Bowral in New South Wales, which is quite well-known for its spectacular autumn colours. I took a solo trip down there one weekend and really enjoyed just driving around the streets and taking in the sights. And then I ended up going down again the following weekend with some friends, which was just as much fun the second time around.

This year I was very keen to check out some more incredible autumn colours and I found the perfect time for it over Easter when I had some time off. I planned a trip down to Victoria to visit my siblings and we planned to spend Easter weekend camping on a friend’s property in Heathcote, Victoria. When we arrived, we found out that there is actually a whole section of parkland in the town dedicated to autumn trees. It is called the Valley of Liquid Ambers and it is stunning!

On Good Friday afternoon we stopped in at Gaffney’s Bakery in town for some pies before wandering over to the park, which included traversing a pretty cool suspension bridge. The Valley of Liquid Ambers certainly didn’t disappoint, it was actually much bigger than I expected and filled with trees that were covered in leaves of various shades. There were a number of people walking among the trees and stopping to take photos, which we unashamedly joined in with as soon as we finished our pies. We took turns posing in front of the camera while the others in the group threw piles of leaves into the air.

We ended up coming back again the next day and spent a relaxing afternoon sitting amongst the trees, taking even more photos (with a required outfit change of course) and racing around amidst the trees. It was probably my favourite part of the whole weekend, such a special opportunity for quality time with my siblings that I don’t often get to see.

If you are ever near Heathcote during autumn, I would highly recommend you stop by – it is incredibly beautiful and large enough that even if there are a number of others there, there is still plenty of space for you to find your own little section to take photos. It really filled me with joy to see so many beautiful colours and to be able to just soak it in for so long without having somewhere else that I had to rush off to.

Emerald Creek Falls

Today I want to tell you about a favourite place of mine to visit. Emerald Creek is about a 30-minute drive from Mareeba in Far North Queensland. It is probably one of the places that my family have revisited the most since moving up there.

Even getting to the carpark is an adventure involving red dirt roads and lots of bumps and hills. (I wouldn’t try to tackle it with a caravan or trailer, but most cars should be able to get there without too much difficulty, although lots of rain may make it a bit difficult.) The carpark is right next to the river and you can stop there and enjoy the water, but we tend to prefer to go toward the top of the falls. There is a walk that goes to a lookout at the top of the falls that is about 15 – 20 minutes to the top. There are a few flights of stairs, but nothing too difficult. The view from the lookout at the top is lovely, but my favourite place to swim (and the go-to place for many locals and tourists) is at the foot of the falls.

Since we first visited almost 10 years ago the track to the base of the falls has become even more popular. What I first remember as a small path that was mostly used by locals to reach the falls has become more and more travelled over the years, to the point that a few footbridges have been added in areas to make it safer and more accessible. From the carpark you follow the track about two-thirds of the way and then you turn off to the left. If you are looking out for it you should be able to see signs that indicate the path, along with arrows painted on the rock to confirm that you are going the right way. It is a probably a 5-minute walk once you turn off the main track to actually get to the base of the falls.

As I mentioned, there have been a few footbridges installed once you reach the rocks because it can get quite slippery. If you decide to tackle this adventure, I would advise you to be very careful with your foot placement, particularly if it is raining as it is very easy to lose your footing. But it is well-worth the trek.

The waterfall descends into a large pool that is great for swimming. There is a nice mixture of shallow and deep water, with a few rocks in the middle of the pool to sit on. There is even a rope swing and you can go swim (or scramble) behind the waterfall. For those that don’t want to swim there are plenty of rocks to stretch out on and enjoy the sun, or for those like myself that enjoy rock scrambling, there is plenty to explore.  

One of the things that I love about Far North Queensland is that you can swim year-round! Even though the water in winter can be quite chilly, I still enjoy a refreshing dip occasionally. Of course, it may be too cold for some people, but even for those that don’t want to swim it is still such a beautiful area to walk in and there is plenty to see!

Canyoning in the Blue Mountains

Ever since I discovered that canyoning was a thing it has been high on my list of things that I wanted to do. (I don’t have a bucket list as such, but if I did it would be close to the top.) It has been a few years since I first found out about it and last year I decided that I was finally going to book a canyoning tour – but then another lockdown hit and I wasn’t able to. So going into 2022 I was determined to book a tour before the year got away from me. This was multiplied when I was walking in the Blue Mountains with some of my family and came across a group that was finishing up their canyoning tour at Empress Falls. The last part involved abseiling down the waterfall into the water below.

This was the last inspiration that I needed and I booked the tour shortly after – booking a spot for my sister as well. When she found out that I wanted to do it she was really excited to join me, so we were able to book a tour while she was visiting. We drove up the day before the tour and we got to Katoomba on the in the early evening you couldn’t see a thing, there was thick fog everywhere. We visited Echo Point to see the Three Sisters but we couldn’t even see an outline of them because the fog was that thick.

The next morning when we arrived at the meeting point we were told by our guides that there had been a landslide in the canyon that we were planning on doing. This meant that we weren’t able to do that particular canyon (which I was a bit sad about because it was the one that involved jumping into and swimming through the water and then finishing with the waterfall abseil), but we could still do a different canyon. We got geared up in our wetsuits and headed off (again, through very thick fog) to Juggler Canyon. It was a bit of a walk to get to the start of the canyon and then we dove straight in with our first abseil!

The first abseil was a fairly easy one to get us used to the techniques involved – and I’m glad it was a small one, because it didn’t stop me from slipping a bit and getting a pretty solid bump on my elbow. (I don’t usually bruise easily but I got a bit of a battle scar in this instance)

We had about 10 of us in the tour and only one person could go at a time down each abseil, so a lot of time was spent waiting at the top or the bottom for people to take their turn, but this was a great opportunity to get to know some of the others a bit better.

Apologies for tbe blurry photos – they were all taken on a go pro

As we continued through the canyon there was a mixture of abseiling, climbing on and around rocks and even a zipline! My favourite abseil was definitely the last one. My sister and I were the last ones to do this one, so we spent a lot of time watching people disappear over this ledge and hearing the guides tell them to ‘jump’. I was definitely a little bit nervous and didn’t really know what to expect, but when it was my turn, I just decided to go for it. I slowly made my way down and then jumped and found myself hanging 20 metres or so above the ground. It was really fun and then I got to watch from the bottom as my sister took the leap.

When we finished our final abseil we joined the rest of the group that had already got lunch out and were enjoying a bit of a break. We joined them and then before long the first group started the trek back up to the car. A few of us waited a bit longer and then headed off as well. I was a little bit nervous about this part because I am not the fastest person when walking uphill and I was grateful to be with the second group that seemed happy to go a bit slower. The track soon joined the Grand Canyon track – which is a stunning walk that I have done a few times. We made our way along this track for a while (stopping to take some photos and our guide pointed out some interesting animals and plants) and then broke away from the Grand Canyon track to make our way back to the car. It was pretty steep uphill for a while and then eventually evened out for a bit. It was a relief to get back to the car and sit down. We drove back to Katoomba, which was still completely foggy – my poor sister didn’t actually get to see much of the Blue Mountains apart from the small part that we saw on the tour.

Walking along the Grand Canyon Track

I really enjoyed the canyoning experience and I’m so grateful that I got to do it. I would love to do it again when the canyon that we were initially going to do is open – I love the idea of getting to swim/rock scramble through a more narrow canyon. I would highly recommend canyoning to anyone that gets the opportunity but be warned – it does involve some amount of climbing and rock scrambling. In my opinion it is totally worth the potential cuts and bruises as it provides a unique perspective of the Blue Mountains (or whatever location you are doing it in) that you don’t get to see when you are doing the other usual tourist activities or hikes.

Sunset Photoshoots

I am very blessed to have a sister that is an incredibly talented photographer. Growing up she was always taking photos of our family and our adventures, and this has continued as we have all grown up and become adults. She has taken wedding and engagement photos for my brothers as they have gotten married and when we went away for a sisters adventure weekend recently, we came out of it with many photos. We also found time for a late afternoon sunset photoshoot.

It took us a few tries to actually catch the sunset – the first few days we just missed seeing it, so we left plenty of time the third time around. To get to the photo location we had to walk about 1km that was pretty much straight uphill, so we left with lots of time to spare so that we didn’t have to rush up the hill. We picked the right time of the year to go, as the wildflowers were out in full force. I had done this walk a few times previously, but never had I seen it covered in yellow flowers – it was spectacular.

Once we reached the top we took a minute to have a bit of a rest and enjoy the view and then we got out the camera! My sister was looking for some updated photos of herself (something that can sometimes be lacking when you are always the one behind the camera!) and we also wanted to just have fun and see what photos we could get. We both brought a few dresses with us to change into and it was the perfect afternoon for it. We got plenty of photos of each of us and then right as we were finishing up there was a really beautiful sunset. We were able to sit and enjoy it for a bit before heading back down the hill while we still had some daylight left.

One of my favourite parts of doing a photoshoot is looking at the photos afterward. The excitement of how they turned out and seeing the end result. There were some really lovely photos of both my sister and I and the scenery really was the perfect backdrop.

I am always excited to take photos (although sometimes I struggle to know how to pose, I tend to be a lot more comfortable when I am facing away from the camera) and to capture many different landscapes of nature – there is so much beauty out there!

Stony Creek, Byfield National Park

One discovery that I have made in the last few years as I have started exploring more of Australia is that apparently we are very unoriginal when it comes to naming things, particularly rivers and creeks. I can’t count the number of times that I have driven past a creek with a sign declaring its name as ‘Mosquito Creek’ or ‘Shady River’ – creative right? People just name it the first thing they see – ‘Rocky Creek’ or ‘Sandy River’.

One such creek name that I have seen over and over is ‘Stony Creek’. There is one in Cairns that I have visited multiple times and then as I was driving from Cairns to Sydney in January, we visited another one near Yeppoon in Queensland. We were looking for somewhere that we could stop for a swim and after some online research we discovered Stony Creek in the Byfield National Park. It was a bit of a drive to get there and we were very grateful for the directions provided online by people that had been there before us. It was very helpful knowing when to turn off the main road and to expect bumpy driving on a dirt road. They were doing road works on the dirt road as we arrived and at one point we weren’t even sure if we would be able to reach the creek. But we got through and it wasn’t long before we arrived.

There were plenty of people in the camping area and many others just enjoying the creek for the day. Instead of staying at the creek area next to the parking lot (which was bigger and probably deeper than many of the accessible swimming spots), we decided to walk along the Venusta Circuit, which is a short 1km walk along the creek. There are various swimming spots along the way that are smaller than the main one, but they are also much quieter, or at least that was our experience. We kept walking to the end of the track and went for a dip in the creek there – the water was actually much warmer than I was expecting and it was a very beautiful in the late afternoon light. We didn’t encounter anyone the whole time from the start of the walk to when we returned – we had the whole place to ourselves! We enjoyed swimming for a while and then made our way back to the car to continue driving.

I would love to go back and spend some time camping there, it is such a beautiful area that is far enough from civilisation that it feels like a retreat. It would be a great place for a weekend away, where you can just unplug and enjoy a bit of a break. But even if you don’t have a full weekend, it is well worth a visit even just for an afternoon.


There’s nothing quite like lying down and looking up at the stars. Every time I do it, it is such an incredible experience, whether I am hanging out with a group of friends or just out by myself.

I love that stargazing is something that you can do pretty much anywhere – although some places are clearly better than others. But as long as you are not in the middle of the city, usually you can see at least some stars. I also love that you don’t have to dress up. You can wear pyjamas or track pants (I have definitely gone stargazing in a onesie before!) and be completely comfortable, lying under blankets to keep you warm.

For me, going stargazing is a great way to connect with people. I have gone with some groups where we have made a trip out of it – we would pack picnic blankets and other blankets and would stop at the shops to get snacks on our way. We would also bring a speaker and listen to music and spend time just enjoying hanging out. The place where we tend to go is a lookout with a view over Wollongong, a fairly big coastal town, which means that we have a great view of the city at night as well. Often we would switch between enjoying the city views and lying down and looking up at the stars.

When I am looking at the stars, I am reminded at just how incredible this world is. The stars are so far away and yet they look so beautiful (maybe even more beautiful than they would be up close). I believe that God created the earth and the stars and they remind me of the promises that He has made to me. The fact that the God of the universe, that put the stars in the sky, wants to have a personal relationship with me. I feel so small, when looking at the stars, but I am reminded that even though I am small, I am not insignificant.

Regardless of your beliefs and whether stars carry any meaning to you or not, I would encourage you to go out and have a look at the stars when you get the opportunity to. They are so incredibly beautiful, and you never know – maybe you will see a shooting star!

Walking Amidst the Clouds

I have probably mentioned before that one of my favourite things when I am out in nature is when you see a mountain, covered in trees, and then you see some clouds just floating amongst the trees. When I lived in Papua New Guinea, we would fly on a small plane to get to where we lived and this meant that we saw clouds amongst the hills from an aerial view many times. Although this was a beautiful view and I always loved getting to see it, I definitely prefer to be closer to the action.

I had an experience recently where I went on a hike that involved walking down into a valley to see a waterfall and then walking back up the other side and crossing over the top of it. When we started the walk it was slightly cloudy but definitely didn’t look like it was about to storm. But just as we got to the bottom it started to rain and before we were even halfway up we were soaking wet. Not only was it much cooler walking uphill in the rain, but it made for a beautiful scene when we emerged from the forest and arrived at the lookout on top of the waterfall. It was a very different scene from the one that we left when we walked down into the valley, and in my opinion, a more beautiful one. The hills that had previously had a brief spot of sun shining on them were now partially obscured with clouds. It was such an incredible contrast from what we had seen earlier.

Another memory that I have was a lot more immersive, where I was on a walk in Far North Queensland with my family. We were on an adventure trying to reach a waterfall that we had seen – we were following multiple trails and were somewhat guessing as to how to get there. We didn’t quite make it to the point we were hoping to, but we still had a lot of fun trying. The walk was on the Atherton Tablelands and there were some hills that we climbed. At one point as we were making our way back to the car it started to rain and we found ourselves walking among the clouds. It was an amazing experience as the mist floated by us through the forest, all we could see what a mix of the brown and green of trees obscured by the white mist. It was definitely my favourite part of the walk.

Whether I am walking through the clouds, flying above them, or enjoying them from a car window, they always bring me joy.

Yarrangobilly Caves and Thermal Pool

Apologies for missing my post last week, but I was out adventuring with my sister! We went down to the Snowy Mountains for the weekend and had a great time exploring the area. When we drove back up toward Sydney, we took a different route, one that passed by Yarrangobilly Caves. The drive from Jindabyne to Yarrangobilly is just under 2 hours and it is a beautiful drive. We even saw some wild horses near the side of the road.

Once you turn off the highway you start heading down hill on a gravel road – it is a bit of an adventure to avoid the potholes, but worth the trip once you get the bottom. Once at the Visitor Centre you can purchase self-tour tickets for some of the caves along with your park day pass. We elected not to purchase the self-tour tickets, but to just visit the entrance to one of the caves and then do a short walk along the river to the thermal pool.

The cave that we visited the entrance to is the South Glory Cave, which starts inside the Glory Arch. As you come around the side of a hill and catch your first glimpse of the entrance, it is a spectacular sight. The walk continues on past the front of the entrance, but we stopped to appreciate it for a bit before turning around and joining the River Walk. The walk quickly makes its way downhill and joins the Yarrangobilly River. My favourite part of the whole visit would probably have to be the walk along the river. The water was so blue and set in the green rocky hillsides just brought me so much joy!

It was a short walk to the thermal pool, which was very beautiful (although they were doing work on the track at the time, so it probably wasn’t as picturesque as it usually is). But the pool itself had the most incredible shades of green (thanks to the algae all over the bottom and sides) and turquoise. Because it is a thermal pool for some reason I was expecting it to be really warm (it is always 27 degrees, year round), but it was actually refreshingly cool after the warm walk down. In winter, I know that 27 degrees would be nice and toasty, but in summer it is just a slightly warm pool.

I would love to visit in winter when there is snow around, but for now, I am glad that I got to visit. We only had a short dip before retracing our steps and making our way back up to the car. We then made our way back up the winding, bumpy gravel road to the main highway and continued on our way.

It was well worth a stop and I would love to spend more time exploring caves on another trip.

Davies Creek Infinity Pool

This hidden gem is close to my home away from home in Far North Queensland, but it is one that I only visited for the first time earlier this year. When we first moved to the area almost 10 years ago, we visited Davies Creek, but we didn’t venture up to the falls – I didn’t even know that they existed. We had a good time, but we found other swimming areas that we enjoyed more and tended to keep going back to.

But recently I heard about the Davies Creek Infinity Pool and it was immediately added to my list of places to visit. So when I was visiting home recently we added the pool to our itinerary and found an afternoon to head out there.

As you drive out, there is a point where you turn off the highway onto a side road, which fairly quickly becomes dirt road. Just as we hit the dirt it started pouring rain, not just drizzling a little, but really coming down. That might deter most people, but we decided to stick it out and hoped that the rain would ease up by the time we got there. And to our joy, it did!

The road to the infinity pool wound its way up the side of a hill and before we knew it we were at the carpark. The walk to the pool from the carpark is quite short and fairly easy, although it is slightly downhill and to actually get to the pool itself it involves some rock hopping. There are a few lookouts along the way that provide beautiful views of the area, and an aerial view of the infinity pool itself. When we got there I noticed that there were ropes strung across the top of the pool and it took a minute for me to realise that there was actually someone abseiling down the waterfall. While we were there they also started to make their way back up the waterfall and I got to watch them climb the last little bit to the top.

Although the water was pretty cold (even in the middle of summer!) I loved the opportunity to go for a dip in the pool. It was not very deep – I was able to fully go under, but you couldn’t swim from one side to the other without running the risk of hitting the rocks underneath. I was surprised though at how safe the edge of the infinity pool was. I was thinking that I would have to be very careful as I approached the edge, and although I still was, there was actually a place that you could stand where you were right behind the rocks and look out over the edge. Although it wasn’t the sunniest day, the view was still quite beautiful and I enjoyed laying there and taking in the view for a while.

Eventually we hopped out of the pool and headed back to the car. We weren’t in a huge hurry to get back home so we decided to keep exploring and drove further down the road. As we drove, we discovered some great potential camping spots for the future and some walks that I would love to do at some point.

Davies Creek Infinity Pool is definitely worth a visit (and a cliché Instagram photo) if you get the opportunity, it is a very beautiful area!