hot air balloon

Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs Reginald J. Dunkley

Website: Available books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Wallis the Woman I Love, Letters of a Travelling Lady” available on Amazon, Xlibris.

Facebook: Patricia Newell-Dunkley Artist/Writer

Google: Patricia Newell-Dunkley or Shelly Beach Snippets and read past events.

Greetings from down-under and a Happy New Year as we surge toward February, it seems to have gone very quickly. Here in Oz we are in the middle of a heatwave with temperatures in the 40s in most states. Adelaide in South Australia, and Melbourne seem to be having continued heat, this is causing problems with the Australian Open Tennis Competition and the Cricket.

The culprit is a high pressure system sliding across the continent into the Tasman Sea, with the Northerly wind dragging heat from the outback toward the South East.

Tuggerah lake surfer

However, nothing stops Australia’s largest Music Festival and all roads lead to Tamworth, New South Wales, in January for The Annual Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth, and rated in the top 10 in the world.

Each year the Festival attracts around 50,000 visitors per day, with 700 artist’s featured in 2,800 free and ticketed scheduled events across 120 venues for ten days from the 19th to 28th January. The variety of music is endless and there are over 600 buskers in Peel Street, alone, providing a diverse range of entertainment each day. The pinnacle event of the Festival is The Golden Guitars – The Country Music Awards of Australia when the Who’s Who of Australian Country Music gathers with fans to see who will win. The awards are held on the second Saturday of the Festival

Tamworth is a town in the New England region of New South Wales, and is located between Brisbane and Sydney. It is known as the “First Town of Lights” being the first place in Australia to use electric street lights in 1888. It is also recognised as the “National Equine capital of Australia” because of the high number of equine events held yearly. In 1831 the first sheep stations and cattle stations were formed. The town is named after Tamworth in Staffordshire, England.

This lively, lovely town has much to offer, with spectacular Botanical Gardens, Regional Art Galleries, Railway Museum, Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum, a fantastic Marsupial Park, full of Koala’s in their native habitat, Kangaroos and masses of birds, to mention but a few of its surprises.


Perfect warm weather all year round, excellent accommodation, fine food and wine at wineries, Restaurants and cafes.  Enjoy Bush walking, Fishing, and Fossicking for gems plus Aerial Adventures. Tamworth is well worth a visit.

Australia is a huge country, huge, in this case means 7.692 million square kilometres. There are plenty of awesome spots to visit within this enormous island, staying with New South Wales which only makes up 10% of Australia but home to some incredible scenery.

At the top of N.S.W. is Byron Bay, this little magic town has become extremely popular, with spectacular beaches, lush rain forest, great surf and a delicious bohemian atmosphere. Australia’s easternmost town is the perfect place to unwind, with plenty of Yoga and Meditation Classes, and delicious food on offer.

Relax on fine sands or go kayaking with dolphins, turtles and whales, ballooning above the spectacular coast, surfing, or diving on reefs. Popular beaches include the year-round patrolled Main Beach, and Clarkes and Wategos beaches. Little Wategos is accessible on foot. This easy-going seaside town has plenty of accommodation options, delicious cafes and restaurants and vibrant markets.

Whether a romantic get away or a fun-filled family holiday, Byron Bay will not disappoint you and at Easter it is home to “Bluefest” with an unbelievable line up of stars to feast on.  Enjoy!


Here at Shelly Beach we are still extremely busy with holiday makers from all over the world. The weather is hot and all of the surrounding beaches are well and truly in use. The birds in the garden are flying in for their food and water and the beautiful white cockatoos are still around before they fly north.  Princess Pixie is staying inside keeping cool with the air conditioner, as am I. No longer driving I have decided to turn my garage into an art gallery. The builder is here and a glorious timber floor has been laid, and this week it should all be completed.  It is very exciting and I cannot wait to have more space for my art.

Cheers.    Patricia.