Blog Dog – Home and away

I would have to be the luckiest dog in Australia!

I arrived home from a magnificent month in Queensland and then I was off again. This time to our state capital and a spectacular dinner cruise on the harbour.

The following morning I had time to stop and smell the roses, well gazanias actually. Can you guess this mystery location? It is the northern most suburb of Sydney and where all of the outdoor filming for ‘Home and Away‘ takes place.

After a stroll around the peninsula and through Governor Phillip park we met friends for lunch.

We took in the sights from the lookout before travelling home.
What a super weekend!

I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends at Tenambit public school next week.
I wonder who will be first to take me home in 2017?

Blog Dog – From the bush to the beach

I’m still in the Sunshine State. Can you use the clues to discover the two places I visited today? If you look very closely at one of the photos it contains a huge clue to where I am.

Location 1: The bush

  • This small town is located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, 118 km north of Brisbane.
  • The population is 1,924 according to 2011 census data.
  • Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd grew up on a dairy farm here until the age of 11. Following the death of his father the family were forced to move for financial reasons.
  • Australian tennis champion Pat Rafter also went to primary school here.

The first place we visited was a HUGE book shop called the Berkelouw Book Barn. Mrs Riding discovered this bookshop by accident in 2015 and she couldn’t wait for the opportunity to visit again.

She bought Anthony a book called How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you. It’s pretty funny. I don’t think he has anything to worry about with Hercules though.

After spending what seemed like hours in the bookshop it was time for some fun in the park. The second ride was a bit wobbly and I fell off twice.

Location 2: The beach

  • This beachside town is a really popular tourist destination.
  • It is located 136km north of Brisbane.
  • The population is 3,999 according to 2011 census data.
  • It has one of Australia’s only east coast north facing beaches so it’s protected from onshore winds and storms.
  • The headland is a National Park with an amazing walking track that hugs the coast and passes places with names like Boiling Pot, Dolphin Point, Hell’s Gate and the Devil’s Kitchen.

The first thing we did was cool off in the river.

I went exploring in the park while Mrs Riding relaxed under a shady tree with a book.

After a tasty lunch in Hasting street it was off to Main Beach.

I kept Anthony company while Mrs Riding went for a swim.

It was another fun day out. Can you use the clues to discover the two places we went today?

Blog Dog – Off to the mountain

Well not really a mountain, more like a plateau.
Are you up for another challenge? Can you guess where I am today? Here are the clues.

  • The village is called Mt something.
  • It’s part of the Gold Coast hinterland.
  • Elevation is 525m.
  • Population around 7000 according to 2011 census figures.
  • The name has a musical instrument in it but it has nothing to do with that. It comes from the Anglicised version of the Aboriginal word ‘Jambreen‘ from the Yugambeh language.

I’m on top of the world! Well on top of a sculpture called Visiting Earth Angel by Antoine Bruinsma. Isn’t she beautiful!

We were deciding where to have lunch and we stopped here at what was called The Polish Place. I say was, because it burnt down the day after we visited. There was a fire in the kitchen during the night and the fireman couldn’t save it. Such a shame!

After lunch we went to a place called the Rainforest SkyWalk. The walk was a combination of forest floor trails, 300 metres of high-tech steel bridges through the highest points of the rainforests upper canopy, and a 40 metre cantilever bridge that soared a breathtaking 30 metres above Cedar creek and the rainforest below. The cantilever bridge was pretty scary as we were very high up and it was wobbling around like a bowl of jelly. Lucky I was tucked into my backpack very securely.

Gold coast hinterland, The Polish Place, Rainforest SkyWalk… Have I given you enough clues to solve the mystery of where I spent the day?

Blog Dog – Beautiful one day, perfect the next!

Do you know where I went today? I’ll give you some clues.

  • I visited an island north of Brisbane.
  • It’s the smallest of three islands in Moreton Bay.
  • Most of the island is a National Park but the southern end has 4 suburbs with a population of around 16000 according to 2006 census data.

It was very hot and I needed to cool off so we went to Woorim on the surf side of the island for a swim but I wasn’t allowed on the beach.
I hung out in the shade with Anthony while Mrs Riding had a swim.

Then Mrs Riding took me to Banksia beach on the lee side of the island for a dip. So refreshing!

There were hundreds of these strange blue-blubber jellyfish (catostylus mosaicus) washed up on the beach. I felt a bit sorry for them.


Morton Bay, Woorim, Banksia beach… have you discovered where I went?

Blog Dog – My SURREAL visit to the art gallery

Dear Diary,

Today I visited the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) at South Bank in Brisbane. It’s always on Mrs Ridings list of to-dos when she visits Brisbane. It was unreal, or should I say surreal. Check out the photos below and you’ll see what I mean.

This amazing crystal encrusted reindeer was created by the Japanese artist Kohei Nawa. I could see myself reflected in the crystal balls.

This was called In bed and was created by Ron Mueck. I had a strange feeling I was on the island of Lilliput and had discovered a friend of Gullivers.

This alien looking structure was by Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno and was called Biosphere cluster. It was a bit surreal walking among the huge suspended bubbles that had Tillandsia (air plants) living inside them. They were connected by elasticised nylon ropes to more bubbles on the floor that were half full of water. If you touched any of the ropes it caused the whole structure to move. Pretty cool!

I had fun watching Mrs Riding getting creative with Lego. There was a really long table with lots of amazing building all created from 400,000 white Lego blocks. The artist behind this idea was Olafur Eliasson who called it The cubic structural evolution project.

More of the crazy art that we saw.

I even got to hitch a ride on some horses.

Outside the gallery in the garden overlooking the Brisbane river we came across the strangest thing, an elephant standing on his head. The World Turns, was by New Zealand artist Michael Parekowhai. When I looked closer there was a small native water rat not far away. Maybe that’s what scared the elephant and made his world turn upside down.

Mrs Riding said if you want to have some fun creating your own surreal art you should look for this book in our library. It was published by the Queensland Art Gallery and she bought it here on one of her many visits.

It’s been a fun day! Til next time, BD.

Reflections and resolutions

The rush and excitement that accompanies the Christmas and New Year celebrations are behind us and this, the first week of January sees a slowing of pace and for me heralds a time of reflection and resolutions. This is fitting as January is named after the Roman god Janus who according to legend was given the ability to see into the past and the future by the God Saturn. This is why we see Janus depicted with two heads facing in opposite directions, one looking to the year that’s past and one looking to the future. As important as it is to acknowledge, value and learn from the past I think it’s vital to set realistic goals and face the new year with gratitude and optimism. Bring on a healthy and happy 2017.