Bird Lorikeet close up

Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J.Dunkley.


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Books available: “Letters of a Travelling Lady, The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Wallis the Woman I Love, Flower Power.”

Greetings once again from down under where it is officially now Autumn, having just had the hottest summer for twenty years. This is my favourite time of year with bright days and cool breezes. Here on the coast it is perfect.

Western Australia is usually the hottest State; however South Australia and Melbourne are leading at the moment.  Perfect weather for visiting W.A. and Fremantle is always an exciting experience.

This lively port city is thirty minutes to the gateway of Perth, where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean. Fremantle has something to offer visitors of all ages at any time of the year; it is a wonderful backdrop to unforgettable memories, and a truly magical destination!

Bird Currawong Close up

A pedestrian-friendly city with unique winding streets offers a glimpse of a colonial and Gold Rush past in balance with a modern and vibrant present. Environmentally friendly it is alive with mystique and charm and overflowing with creativity. The locals love to celebrate so there is always a festival, an art show, a new restaurant, a busker, a theatrical performance or something even more surprising in store for you.

On the edge of the Indian Ocean Fremantle has great ocean and river beaches to enjoy and the Ocean sunsets are spectacular! The bustling centrally located, Cappuccino Strip with al fresco dining and coffee round the clock makes Fremantle a social hub.

This is a bustling sea-side city where everyone seems to be happy and in love with life, a truly friendly holiday destination! After sun-down Fremantle transforms into a lively and vibrant nightlife. With a great selection of pubs, clubs, dancing venues, restaurants, bars, late-night markets, cinemas, coffee shops and more there is plenty to enjoy and experience.

There is any amount of accommodation to suit all pockets. Fremantle is a surprising and exciting city.

Easter is a perfect time to visit the Hunter Valley which is only a two hour drive from Sydney and one hour from Shelly Beach. Tour the vineyards and sample local wines at cellar doors, including Tyrrell’s Brokenwood, Briar Ridge, De luliis and McGuigan. Savour wines and local produce at top class restaurants. Learn more about wine at the Hunter Valley Wine School.

Vines in the Valley produce some of the world’s best wines. Australia’s oldest wine region and renowned for its acclaimed Semillon, family owned wineries and innovative young winemakers. With more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia, there are plenty of tour options. Tours depart from Sydney and will also pick you up from your accommodation in the valley.

You can pamper yourself at a day spa, enjoy a round of golf at a championship-level course such as the Greg Norman-designed The Vintage, or one of many picturesque local courses. Among the vineyards and wineries is the beautiful Hunter Valley Gardens, stroll on the paths and explore the manicured grounds, with ten themed gardens including the children’s favourite storybook garden with Humpty Dumpty and many other well known tales.

This is a popular destination for weddings, with enchanting fragrances and multi coloured gardens including Australia’s finest rose garden. The gardens also include The Italian Grotto, Indian Mosaic, and Oriental Gardens.

For those that like a little adventure Hot Air Ballooning over the picturesque scenery is a must. It is especially magical seeing the landscape dappled in the light of the early morning sun, a photographer’s delight.

When you have had your fill of wine, drop into the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory, here you will find a fantastic selection of handmade cow and goat milk cheese, available to taste and buy. Order a cheese tasting board to try five cheeses, or book a private cheese appreciation class to learn about varieties and the art of wine matching.

There are multi Festivals throughout the year, and music buffs should visit for Jazz in The Vines which hosts all the big names in Jazz, Soul, Blues and Rock.

The Hunter Valley is well worth a visit with plenty of accommodation and much to see and experience.

Here at Shelly Beach all is well with perfect weather for the beach and lots of tourists enjoying the Easter break.  On Monday Princess Pixie the Pomeranian had a huge nasty lump removed from her tummy and is now recovering from the operation.  The Lorikeets, Wattle birds, Currawongs, are flying in for their morning food and the beautiful white Cockatoos are still around.

Cheers.  Patricia.

Broken Back Range

Broken Back Range forms an impressive backdrop to this most picturesque of Australian wine regions.