Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs by Reginald J. Dunkley



Greetings from down under where spring has sprung and the Magpies are swooping on folks as they walk past their nests. September is known as “Magpie Swooping Season” there is a Facebook page for areas to email details of attacks and locations all over Australia and it makes for humorous reading. Wide brimmed hats and umbrellas seem to be useful or making changes to your usual route is a good idea, better safe than sorry. Magpies are protected birds and one of Australia’s most accomplished songbirds.

Continuing our Pacific Island adventures Bora Bora, French Polynesia is a relatively small island but one that is packed with activity, offering visitors the chance to experience a 4 x 4 safari, sunbathing and swimming at white sandy beaches. You can go diving in a Natural Underwater Park among fish and corals, experience thrilling shark feedings, or circle the turquoise lagoon by boat.

Bora Bora is a superlative romantic spot, you will fall in love with this lush gem of a Polynesian Island, share intimate midnight dinners on the beach, visit The Lagoonarium, The Diving Centre, The Coral Gardens, The Leopard Rays Trench, or visit the lofty heights of 2,300 foot Mount Oremanu.



Bora Bora is not known as ‘The Romantic Island’ for nothing. This idyllic tropical paradise is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world, and nothing is out of the realm of possibility here. Consider breakfast on your over-the-water-bungalows balcony, delivered by an outrigger canoe, a picnic lunch on a private island, or even get married in a chapel that sits over the lagoon. Whether you are planning your honeymoon or just a romantic escape, you won’t have to look very hard to find romance.

This beautiful location is also ideal for families, with some resorts offering free dining or special children’s menus. Air Tahitinui often runs specials on airfares for families that may include free children’s tickets. Matira Beach is the main public beach in Bora Bora and one of the most spectacular in the world. It is ideal for families as the water is very shallow and there are only very gentle waves. The shallow lagoon is great for snorkelling and children will enjoy exploring the colourful corals and hundreds of tropical fish that abound. Matira Beach also offers several restaurants and other eateries to snack food, making it an ideal spot for an all-day relaxing getaway.

Bora Bora is the most famous of French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands and was recently awarded the title “The Best Island in the World” by U.S. News. The unique guest bungalows perched over the water on stilts with glass floors that supply a window to the lagoon below are sensational and once seen never forgotten. Shopping is exciting with Tahitian Pearls, French Perfumes and oils and precious Wood handcrafts, Paintings and Sculptures. For those fortunate enough to visit this exotic island they will never forget the pink glow of the sunsets, or the extravagant way in which the sea changes colour from sapphire blue to turquoise green, and back again. Or the heady perfume of the island’s fragrant flowers, gardenias, frangipani, hibiscus, orchids, heliconia, ginger, and jasmine, leaving rich memories indeed. It is recognised as one of the favourite places on earth to relax and do nothing, other than sip fruity cocktails lounge by the lagoon and feast on the fantastic scenery. Enjoy!

History has been made in Birdsville the heart of Australia’s outback, with a female duo taking out Australia’s biggest outback thoroughbred race. The Birdsville Cup, known as the Melbourne Cup of the outback, each year raises funds for The Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Darwin based jockey Kayla Cross stormed home to a victory on the Heather Lehmann-trained ‘More Alpha’ ahead of nine other horses in the race. It is the first time in the event’s 134 year history that the race has been won by a female duo.

The 11-race programme normally held on a Saturday was delayed one day due to heavy rainfall. The deluge turned Birdsville’s iconic red racetrack to sludge and forced closure of all roads to and from the township. About 45 millimetres fell on the remote south-west Queensland town in 24 hours. An impromptu Phantom Race Day was held with Fashions on the Field, and Novelty events The Beer Can Regatta and Brophy’s Boxing troupe taking place. The name Birdsville was adopted on account of the prolific birdlife in the district, and the first races were run in the town in 1882 and are still going strong.

bluepolesThe National Gallery’s ‘Blue Poles’ painting by Jackson Pollock bought by Gough Whitlam in 1973 for $1 million and now valued between $20 – 100 million has been loaned to the U.K. Royal Academy of Arts to feature in a major exhibition ‘Abstract Expressionism’ on loan until February 2017.

Here at Shelly Beach the weather is glorious, beautiful sunny days and cool evenings, the birds are flocking in for their food early in the morning. Lorikeets, Currawongs, Butcher birds, Crested Pigeons, and my hand fed Yellow crested Thrush. Drama when Princess Pixie the Pomeranian went walkabout for the very first time and hopefully the last, she was found on Facebook and had walked over a mile away.

My books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, Wallis the Woman I Love, and Letters of a Travelling Lady,” are available on Amazon Xlibris and my website To view all of the past Shelly Beach Snippets in order tap up Patricia Newell-Dunkley.

Cheers. Patricia.