Tag Archives: Sydney

Walking the Bridge to Brisbane

12 Sep

Me and my team after the Bridge to Brisbane race.

The Bridge to Brisbane race was a simple way to enjoy a sunny day and contributed to a good cause. Every entry helped to raise funds for Legacy Queensland which is an organisation that cares for the spouses and dependants of Australian veterans through pension advocacy, safety and security, financial security and social and medical care.

There are a number of other fitness and fundraising events held across Australia throughout the year, including the long running Cancer Council Relay for Life at several locations, the extreme Simpson Desert Multimarathon and, one of my favourite ideas, the Pub2Pub Charity Fun Run and Walk which is an annual Sydney event that starts at Dee Why Surf Club and ends at The Newport Arms Hotel.

By Marissa Toohey


Giving and receiving "last looks"

31 May

GIVING AND RECEIVING “LAST LOOKS”  The “last look” is something you receive when you say goodbye to someone and know there’s a chance you won’t see each other for a long time, or never again. During the weekend I received a dozen last looks as I caught up with old friends at my hometown and shared the news about my impending move to Vietnam and intention to continue traveling. I expected the last looks to feel awkward and sad, but my friends looked at me with such warmth and excitement that I really, really enjoyed it.

Image from sydneycityvisits.com

Because I am moving away for a new and exciting job, people are joining me in celebration. Compared to sombre and disappointing seperations in the past, when friends and colleagues have moved away for other reasons, my depart appears to be refreshing and exciting for others to hear. And after many hard effects of the GFC last year, it’s nice to share some positive news.

At the end of this week I will finish working with my current company and experience a whole new round of last looks, this time from colleagues. Now I’m looking forward to receiving the looks and, as I walk out the doors of the office and leave the city I have lived in for all of my life, I’ll be looking back very fondly as well, thinking there’s a chance it might be for the last time.

By Marissa Toohey

Which road trip character are you?

26 May

WHICH ROAD TRIP CHARACTER ARE YOU?  The greatest thing about the vast Australian landscape is the variety of road trips it offers, but the quality of the journey often depends on the characters you travel with.

I conquered one of the most well-travelled routes, from Sydney to Brisbane, in a single day over the recent weekend, rushing because I had to move furniture to a new apartment in Brisbane in time to fly back to Sydney for work on Monday (click here to read why). The journey stretches over 900km along the east coast and boasts sights such as South West Rocks and The Big Banana. But unfortunately I never had time to see the sights during my rushed ride and, because I slept for around half of the journey, I barely even saw the road.

What I realised is that I fall into one of the typical road trip character categories: the sleeper.

You can identify sleepers by their inability to maintain consciousness during sessions longer than an hour in the car, by their constant yawning, failure to sit upright, tendency to casually nod and say “uh huh” rather than to continue conversations, and for their inability to carry out tasks for up to ten minutes after arriving at the destination.

I have always been a sleeper and suspect it’s in my genes because my dad is infamous for falling asleep mid-sentence and while standing up. I know being a sleeper is a pain in the neck for others, especially when travelling in pairs, but alternative road trip characters aren’t much better.

There’s the gamesperson who badgers others to play Eye Spy and The Numberplate Game. The DJ-roadie who hogs the car stereo. The attention-seeker that commands the spotlight and talks about them self for the entire journey (I really hate that one). But the worst of all is the doo-doo guy or girl that requires a rest stop every half hour.

After considering other possible personas to adopt for my next road trip, I decided I should be the driver. Because no matter what your character is, everyone needs to put up with you in order to get from A to B.

By Marissa Toohey

See Sydney's dragon in real life

19 Apr

SEE SYDNEY’S DRAGON IN REAL LIFE  You don’t need to drive 500 kilometres out of the city or spend one thousands bucks to experience something unique and Australian. You just need to look around Sydney a little more closely.

Many locals don’t realise Sydney is home to a special species that is closely related to the sea horse, known as weedy sea dragons. They are only found in south and south-east Australia and are one of the most elaborately camouflaged creatures in the world. Weedy sea dragons, or “weedies”, grow up to around 45 centimetres long, they have long, thin snouts, slim tails and tiny transparent fins that are used for steering. They are sometimes difficult to find because, unlike their sea horse relative that wraps its tail around nets and easy-to-find objects, weedies slowly drift along with the current just like seaweed. However, if you scan the ocean bed closely with a torch, they reflect stunning crimson and sapphire colours.

I found three weedies during the weekend at Inscription Point dive site (also known as The Steps) at Kurnell in south Sydney. With a maximum depth of only 15 metres, it’s easy even for beginners to explore. The dive takes you on a journey through a field of large boulders and sponge gardens with blue gropers, bullseyes and shrimp hiding in the shadows. Around 20 metres directly off shore, the boulders and sponge gardens give way to a sandy ocean bed, and that is exactly where weedies are found; along the edge of the reef, often floating between kelp and boulders.

Sydney diving enthusiast, Michael McFadyen, provides detailed instructions for diving Inscription Point at the following website: http://www.michaelmcfadyenscuba.info/news.php

Learn to dive

Shiprock Dive is only ten minutes drive from Kurnell and offers the PADI Open Water Diver course from $359 (April 2010). The course fees include resources for theory (book or CD-ROM), one pool session and four open water dives (on weekends or during the week). Shiprock Dive also offers competitively priced gear hire for casual divers. Visit the Shiprock Dive website, at http://www.shiprockdive.com.au/

Additional dive centres in the south Sydney region include: Pro Dive Cronulla and Aquatic Explorers.

By Marissa Toohey

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