Australia · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

Beautiful Boonah, a place of warmth and simplicity.

“They want me. I want them. I want this place. I want everything to be simple and beautiful and warm.” Jackson Pearce (Cold Spell)

I live surprisingly close to the city, which is pretty affordable and means I can get in and out of the city within an hour for the total trip. I love my proximity to the city and the heart of Brisbane, as much as I love living near the river and having pretty much anything I need right on my doorstep.

Day in, day out I start to feel just a little too claustrophobic. I work in the CBD as well and seriously, by the time the weekend rolls around I just feel trapped and want to hibernate in my bedroom and hide away from the world.

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Given the chance to escape the city and get out into the country, I grabbed it with both hands and ran with it. So excited was I to be hitting the M7 and heading far, far away from my house, I barely remembered to pack a jumper or even stop for a coffee on the way. Coffee is my morning elixir, so this provided to be a costly mistake. I had no idea where I was going, how far I would travel or where (even more troubling, when?) I would get my coffee. I drove from Brisbane out through Ipswich and it was not until I reached the very gorgeous Boonah (over an hour south-west), that I stopped, got out of the car, and realised I had no time frame. There was no reason to rush…*SIGHHHH*.

After a bacon & egg roll and a coffee the size of my head, I decided I would make my way out to the Kooroomba Vineyard & Lavender Farm, a place which I have wanted to check out for quite a while. Given it was not open until 10am, and I was up with the birds and had finished my breakfast by 9am, I decided to get back into Scarlett and just drive (Scarlett is my incredibly cute 2010 Mazda 3).

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There is something about the country that calms my mind, gives my heart butterfly kisses and makes me feel at home. For a girl who had no real home and was moving every 2-3 years, I don’t have a ‘home-town’, I do however have a connection to the land. Where the skies are long and blue and the ground is brown – I am at my happiest. I don’t know why, it just is. I feel at home. I feel like I can breathe and I am more than happy to spend some time on my own.

I made my way out to Maroon Lake, set my tripod up and thought I would do some exploring. As I had my tripod in its place and not another soul insight (seriously, it was 9.30am on a Wednesday!), two cars rolled in and in a completely empty area – parked exactly in front of the tripod and stared at the camera. It was, strange? Let’s go with strange. So I hauled my gear to the other side of the lake but didn’t get the shots I was after. Not to worry, it was passed 10 and it was Lavender Farm time!

Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm is a little over an hour from Brisbane and has a spectacular view across the Great Dividing Range. I arrived far too early for a meal or a wine, I did however try the lavender tea and some lavender scones and they were absolutely delicious! There is a stunning chapel where I daydreamed having our vowel renewals one day (a girl can dream, right?) and I spent a healthy amount of time weaving in and out of the beautiful rows of lavender and just enjoying the beautiful spot I was in.

Kooroomba has many award winning wines and host a five-star restaurant on site. It certainly is a location I am keen to return to soon. Once the lunchtime crowd started to roll in, I knew it was time to head home.

For under three hours of travel in total, I felt renewed by the time I got back home to Brisbane. The fresh air, the incredibly friendly people, amazing views and large blue skies and deep straw-coloured fields. It just feels like home, every time.

For more information on Kooromba Vineyard and Lavender Farm click here.

Queensland’s very own Scenic Rim is something really special, to see all of the wonderful things you can see and do, click here.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

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x C x

 

 

Australia

Mt Ngungun, I’ll Summit Up Nicely.

“What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” 
― C.S. LewisThe Magician’s Nephew

14 April 2018

I climbed a mountain! It may seem like that isn’t a huge deal, so is it more impressive if I say I climbed a mountain at 4am? A little better? Okay. I will work on that.

After our amazing insta-meet in Brisbane and spending an incredible day getting to know each other, each other’s photography style and celebrating the end of the day at Eat Street markets, Cat and I made our way back home. Several ciders and three hours later and it was time for our 3am wake-up call. We left Brisbane and drove up to the Glasshouse Mountains, Wild Bean coffee in hand – excited for what the dawn was going to bring us.

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The Glasshouse Mountains were unbelievably popular and that even though it was 4am there would be a bevy of igers and fitness groups tackling the mountain. It is quite early showing up to a carpark at 4am, in the middle of the bush and the carpark being half-way full?! Being the seasoned professional, Cat took off with her amazing backpack and headlamp and I followed with my iPhone light (amateur) and my bag which to be honest, was mostly filled with snacks.

Mount Ngungun (seriously, it is pronounced ‘noo noo’) is incredibly popular, though I am not sure I agree with it being so due to its relative ease (not sure I agree with that statement considering my level of fitness) and its fantastic views.The track itself is very well guided and there are a few steep sections but if you are taking care with your walk, you will be fine.

As we slowly neared the summit, we could see the sunrise slowly kissing the coastline and rising rapidly. It was a bit of a sprint towards the end – not only to make it in time for sunrise, but to secure a decent spot.

Once we were at the top, it was show time. There isn’t too much which I could possibly say or put into writing the beauty of sunrise here, so I will use pictures instead.

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Being able to travel, walk, see, smell and experience such a beautiful sunrise in such an amazing setting is not something which is lost on me. During the climb, I was struggling and I thought I had basic fitness, but when the same people lapped me after running up, down and up again – I realised that I was not fit at all.

Making it to the top was incredible, there were so many people up there and most were enjoying the sunrise. Just experiencing the quiet and dawn of a new day, a new week. Each of us thinking about our days, lives, wants and loves. There was one group of people who were talking and carrying on as though they were out the back of a grotty pub so we did share our sunrise with that but once the shock factor of their language and attitude faded away it became quite funny. It is the classic Instagram v. Reality vibe.

Having the pleasure of experiencing such an amazing sunrise with a new friend was special. I have included the above two photographs which we took of one another. Two people can have totally different perceptions of the same place, same spot and same thing. Two photographs and completely different. Either of us could have moved the camera and had the same shot, yet we both sought something completely different. I think both are incredibly beautiful.

The trail itself is a graded path and it starts from the sign post and information board (I always make time to read the information board as it will set you up with a nice history of where you are walking. There is a path and some light scramble but once you get to the top, it is well worth every second.

My snacks came in handy as well :).

Are you a fan of sunrise or sunset? Where is your favourite hike?

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  • Mt Ngungun has a maximum of 225m elevation and the climb itself will take you up 196m.
  • To get there either from any direction, get yourself to the Gl
  • asshouse Mountains Township and follow the road to the west over the railway lines and turn left into Coonowrin Road at the T junction. Follow this onto Fullertons Road just after the State School and along this road to the car park at the base of the mountain.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

x C x