No, no, it’s NORTH Warrandyte

After my meetings ended Friday, I got to spend a magical day in the Yarra Valley with my friends Paul and Amanda. They’ve recently moved to a fantabulous property about an hour outside Melbourne. North Warrandyte is the right side of the tracks, and their place is amazing.

You can just make out the cockatoos at the feeder beyond the deck.

We had a great dinner at the Grand on Friday, taking advantage of the shuttle service. Then, Saturday morning we all got our 10,000 steps in by walking around Warrandyte State Park.

This was gold panning country back in the day, and as you can see from the map the river takes a few turns. Somebody got the bright idea to blast a tunnel across that narrow oxbow so they could undermine their upstream competition.

Good engineering, bad business plan. They went bust shortly after completing the tunnel.

We saw massive numbers of parrots, rosellas, cockatoos , and other birds, maybe a dozen species I’d never seen.

This kookaburra let us get pretty close, but he didn’t laugh. There are YouTube videos if you’ve never heard one.

There was a big mob of kangaroos, including the mom with joey that you can barely make out in this picture.

But the closest encounter I had with the ‘roos was, shall we say, more grounded…

Then lunch and and pool time, and back on the plane. In flight bonus: made it through most of Game of Thrones Season 7, finally.

All in all, a great visit and a great little break!!!

Melbourne or bust

Air New Zealand got bonus points for personalised service on my quick work-related hop over to Melbourne this week.

Another city, another hotel room view, ho-hum. But there were compensations…

I arrived on Ladies Day, part of the big Melbourne Cup horse racing week, and everyone from debutantes to the more matronly gets all dolled up with special hats and makes a day of it.

Brisbane or bust


A dozen years ago, we thought seriously about a situation in Brisbane, and much of the daydreaming involved a high-rise apartment on the waterfront. 

Now I’ve finally gotten to see the place. It’s pretty great. Maybe not quite as great as Auckland, but pretty great.