Polaroids from The Pass

Okay, so these are technically Instax Mini photos, not Polaroids, but how else am I supposed to incorporate some alliteration into the post title? I took these photos on a trip to Byron Bay a few weeks ago and it was so nice to just chill out and enjoy the lazy beach days. It’s taken me some time to upload these photos as scanning them has been the biggest pain. For some reason or another I couldn’t get the colours right or there was too much glare or dust/scratches/other gunk from my scanner would show up on the photos. I also tried a few photo scanning apps on my iPhone but wasn’t too impressed with them either. After playing around with a few settings on my scanner these were the best I could manage. If anyone has any tips for scanning/digitising Instax photos (apart from “clean your scanner Soph”) please help a sister out!

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A Weekend in Coolum

Long weekends provide the perfect opportunity for a getaway but I’m usually slack at planning trips to coincide with them. I pay no attention to my calendar and then next thing I know I’ve got three days to fill and nowhere to go. Luckily the other weekend my friends and I got our butts into gear and booked a trip to Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. Now, I haven’t been to Coolum since Year 6 school camp and all I really remember from that trip is a candle making class where we kept dipping our hands into the hot wax while the teacher wasn’t looking. I’m usually impatient whenever I head up to the coast and take the first exits to Caloundra and Mooloolooba because GET ME TO A BEACH ASAP. However, if you spend a little bit of extra time on the road towards Coolum, Peregian and Noosa you’re rewarded with some pretty stunning coastline. I’d forgotten how beautiful this neck of the woods (coastline) is. If you hate blue skies and crystal clear turquoise waters, look away now.







STAY
We stayed in a self-contained apartment at Element on Coolum which was centrally located and clean, spacious, and fairly modern.
EAT/DRINK
There are plenty of dining and takeaway options along the main strip of David Low Way, adjacent to Coolum Beach. There’s also a shopping complex a few streets back with a supermarket and various other shops. While we were there we alternated between making meals in our apartment and dining out. 
During our stay we ate at the Coolum Surf Club which provided the best beach-front setting as well as Canteen Kitchen + Bar for lunch and afternoon cocktails. 
Other places that we didn’t get to try out included Compound Secondhand Surf & Espresso (it was closed on the Sunday) and Raw Energy (it was packed out on the public holiday Monday so we headed to Stellarossa instead where I waited way too long for my breakfast and the waitress couldn’t tell the difference between a latte/cappucino/flat white).
DO
Spend all your time at the beach, duh (but also, be sun safe). If you can, however, manage to peel yourself away from the sand and surf these are some other things you could do:
The coastal walk from Coolum Beach to Point Arkwright is pretty worthwhile. It’s a leisurely walk and takes about half an hour each way. Unless, of course, you’re like me and stop at various points along the way to gawp at the scenery and take photos. It’s on this walk that you’ll also find your way to little coves like First Bay and Second Bay
If you’re lucky (we were) and it’s the right time of year you might be able to spot some whales splashing off the coastline. Point Perry is a pretty good vantage point but any spot high on the coastline will do.
If you’re feeling particularly active, hike up Mt Coolum for an even better view of the coastline.
Staying at Coolum also puts you in a pretty good position to make the quick trip up to Noosa. While we had initially planned one such outing, once we got to Coolum we decided it was too good to leave.

What’s your favourite local getaway spot?


Sydney Film Photo Diary

Bronte Beach
Remember when I went to Sydney earlier in the year? Yeah, well I finally got the roll of film I took down developed. Some six months later. This is turning into a real bad habit of mine. This was the first time I’d ever used Lomography film and while I was initially underwhelmed with the results, they’ve slowly but surely grown on me. I didn’t take as many photos as I thought I had (isn’t that always the case with film photos?) and the ones I did take were pretty typically ‘Sydney’. Anyway, scroll down for photos of Bondi, The Grounds of Alexandria, the Opera House, and a bit of a light installation.

Hi From Bondi
Bondi Beach
BONDI TO BRONTE – A trip to Sydney isn’t complete without making your way to iconic Bondi beach. My friends and I started our weekend doing all of the Bondi things – the Bondi to Bronte walk (well, technically it was Bronte to Bondi), brunch at Bondi Wholefoods, and then a stroll through the Bondi markets. So. Much. Bondi. Spending a morning in activewear doing brunch things and market things is something that I’ve NEVER done back home but felt it was decidedly appropriate for Bondi.



The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
The Grounds of Alexandria
THE GROUNDS OF ALEXANDRIA – This place is one of the most Instagrammed spots in Australia. For real. It’s no surprise though because this place is chock full of eye/Instagram candy. We made the rookie error of turning up mid-morning on a Sunday (hungover, no less) and by this time it was VERY busy and we were left waiting an hour and a half for a table at the cafe. So by the time we were seated we had to order off the lunch menu which was a bit of a blow to us breakfast lovers. There’s plenty to do while you’re waiting though and there are food vendors and seating scattered throughout the grounds so it’s easy enough to grab a coffee and a quick bite if that’s all you’re after. My tip to avoid crowds: come early or come on a weekday.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
CIRCULAR QUAY – The last time I had been in Sydney was as a child so I don’t *really* have any memories of seeing the Harbour Bridge or Opera House. So one afternoon I headed down to Circular Quay to take in all the touristy vibes and squeeze in a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art because I am a gallery junkie.


Magnetic Island Photo Diary

A trip to Townsville isn’t complete without making your way over to Magnetic Island. Magnetic Island is right on Townsville’s doorstep and is a short boat ride away – so convenient! A return trip on the ferry is around $30 and there are trips to and from the island almost hourly. Once you arrive you can explore the island by bus ($7 for an all day ticket) or hire a car if you’d prefer to go at your own pace. There’s also the option to take your own car over on the barge but you have to book early to secure a spot. There are so many coves and walking tracks to explore that you really need a whole weekend or more to explore Magnetic Island thoroughly. I only ended up visiting Horseshoe Bay which is the main tourist/business strip, and Alma Bay in Arcadia which was a nice semi-secluded spot for an afternoon dip. I also got to finally test out my Lifeproof iPhone case, and after briefly losing my phone in the waters of Horseshoe Bay (oops) I can 100% confirm that they are in fact waterproof and protect your phone.




^ From where I float.

^ Because sometimes you’ve just got to interrupt a relaxing afternoon with some high-speed silliness.



^ How cute are these cars? They remind me of Barbie cars.

Townsville Photo Diary

This past weekend I visited friends in Townsville in north Queensland. This was my first trip to Townsville and I was pleasantly surprised by the place. It probably helped that I had locals to guide me but it’s not too hard to find the main attractions around town. Now, we’re pretty spoilt here in south east Queensland with our mild winters so when you head further up north it’s like walking into the best bits of summer – the nights were cool but the days were sunny and clear without being too hot and humid. One of the best things about visiting Townsville in winter is that you don’t have to worry about the stingers that are usually present during the summer months, so you can swim to your heart’s content. While I was mainly there to visit friends I still managed to pack a lot into two days. The following is just an example of what I got up to.


How I Spent My Weekend In Townsville
– Started the day by grabbing a green smoothie and pretzel-shaped doughnut from Otto’s Fresh Food Market (inside the complex next to the ice skating rink and cinema pictured below – of course the very first photo I take isn’t of palm trees or beaches but the back of a dilapidated ice skating rink.)
– Had lunch at The Courtyard in City Lane. Nothing grabs the youth market quite like a laneway establishment.
– Caught the last weekend of The Strand Ephemera which saw different artworks and sculptures scattered along the length of Townsville’s famous esplanade. The shiny lifeguard stand was probably my favourite. Even without the artworks, it’s a relaxing walk and I’d recommend taking the steps up to Kissing Point for uninterrupted views out to Magnetic Island.
– Went out for drinks at Rambutan which is one of the nicest rooftop bars/backpackers hostels I’ve ever been to.
– Headed over to Magnetic Island, which I did on the second day of my trip and will post about very soon.











^ That up there is Castle Hill which dominates the skyline. If you’re feeling fit you can hike up to the top, which I would have liked to have done but just didn’t have the time. You can also drive up but when we tried the road was closed for an event.