Our New Getaway – Great Keppel Island

November 20-21, 2015

We couldn’t believe we didn’t do this sooner – what an amazing place!

Less than an hour drive from Rockhampton to Keppel Bay Marina followed by a 30 minute ferry ride over – Great Keppel Island offers beautiful views and gorgeous beaches with soft white sand and calm, crystal clear waters.

IMG_6144

There are 2 main ferry operators: Larger ferry with Freedom Fast Cats ($55 return) and a smaller ride through Keppel Konnections ($45 return). Both ferries will drop you off on Fisherman’s Beach – the main beach and hub where accommodation and restaurants are located.

IMG_6184

There are two main accommodations: Great Keppel Island Hideaway and Great Keppel Island Holiday Village. Prices are extremely reasonable, especially during off season. Both offer a number of options for a variety of group sizes, including: camping sites, cabins, decked tents, bunk houses, and houses. Depends on your mood obviously, but check all the options available!

For our first visit, Michael and I decided to camp – so we packed up all our gear booked a plot at Holiday Village. Toilet and kitchen facilities provided, along with use of snorkel gear and paddle boards, which is great!

IMG_0075

Here is something we always do and highly recommend 😉 Bring a no fuss meal to have your first evening on the island. Bring it to the beach and watch the beautiful sunset. Our favourite? A charcuterie dinner – lightweight, everything packs nicely in a small cooler bag, delicious variety, and goes perfect with a bottle of wine. A blanket, some crackers, bread, dips, olives, meats, cheese, fruit, a bottle of wine, some disposable cutlery and cups are all you need for a romantic, delicious sunset dinner.

IMG_6204

IMG_0020

IMG_0027

IMG_6211

Look at how gorgeous it is!

IMG_6217

IMG_6218

IMG_6227

Our other food recommendation? Enjoy a filling hot buffet breakfast in the morning (available some days) at the GKI Hideaway Island Bar & Bistro before heading out. Bring lots of snacks and water and hike over to swim and enjoy the many other beautiful beaches! End your night back on the main beach enjoying cold drinks and a meal at one of the restaurants 😉

IMG_0051

Yoga seagull

IMG_9977

Lots of opportunity for people watching (as you might have noticed already in this post)

IMG_9983

We have only explored some of the beaches on the South Eastern side of the island – but hope to explore others in the future!

GKI map

We definitely enjoyed hiking over to Long Beach, then back towards Monkey Beach and Shelving Beach. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel gear! There is some pretty decent coral reefs just a short swim from shore from Monkey and Shelving beaches! You will have to climb uphill so need to be in a little bit of shape!

IMG_6182

View of Fisherman’s Beach on our hike over to nearby beaches!

IMG_6175

And view of the nearby Keppel Islands

IMG_6177

Long Beach

IMG_6146

IMG_6148

IMG_6154

IMG_6151

You know it, with views and peaceful scenery like that, we definitely have gone back. And plan to do so again many times as we can while we live in Rockhampton!

IMG_6230

IMG_9962

IMG_9971

IMG_9997

Friends, come visit us! We will take you here! 🙂

DHAL: July 27, 2014

Had a late start today!

Wasn’t until midday that my sister and I headed out. Today’s plan: Visit Newcastle Island. How? A 10 minute ferry ride that costs only $9 return.

Some sights along our walk to the ferry dock

IMG_7529

Revealed itself during the low tide

IMG_7535 2

Liked the reflection in the water

IMG_7539 2

Beautiful day with lots of boats in the water

IMG_7545 2

Didn’t take long until we got to Newcastle Island!

IMG_7550

IMG_7553 2

A really beautiful island with lots of nice walking trails (approx 8km around the perimeter of the island), areas for picnics and places to swim. Click HERE for more information about the island.

Some photos during our hike!

One of the views off the island

IMG_7556 2

Christmas colours!

IMG_7559

Jenni’s not so much a big fan of hiking, so got bored a little too quickly

IMG_7560 2

Hello!

IMG_7561

Crystal tree droppings

IMG_7569

Lots of easy to walk trails

IMG_7571

More water and boats!

IMG_7575

IMG_7576

Took a rest by the beach, and a selfie!

IMG_7560

Lots of pretty views

IMG_1921

IMG_1923

And lots of people watching 🙂

IMG_7578

IMG_7584

IMG_7585

You could easily spend the whole day on Newcastle Island, but we had important things to do. Mainly: Buy Nanaimo bars and yummy pastries to eat before the shops closed.

After a few hours, we said farewell and hopped on the ferry back.

IMG_7587

Looking back towards Nanaimo

IMG_7583

From there, we proceeded to Mon Petit Choux Cafe & Bakery to pick up a few goodies for later this evening.

IMG_1925

We then headed back down to the water to enjoy a delicious late lunch/early dinner at Troller’s Fish & Chips. I got halibut and my sister got salmon, it came with fries, coleslaw & tartare sauce. The fish was delightful, such light and crispy batter, went great with the tartare sauce. The fries were good as well, but the coleslaw was so warm! We couldn’t tell if it was because of the temperature, but the coleslaw seemed to have iceberg lettuce in it as well, definitely not as good as it could’ve been.

IMG_1926

We called it an early day after eating and decided to head back to my place. Instead, we decided to watch some of our classic favourite movies: Freaky Friday and White Chicks. Don’t laugh, it was good fun! 😛

Selfie on the way home!

IMG_7562

For dinner (and an early birthday celebration), we had delicious pastries from Mon Petit Choux. Top left is a Marjolaine, originally invented by French chef Fernand Point – combining almond & hazelnut meringue layers with chocolate buttercream. Bottom is an Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse, which lost a bit of its shape in the heat during the walk home but retained all of its deliciousness. And lastly, a berry custard danish – yum! To top all of that off, we also nibbled on a Nanaimo Bar – so rich we couldn’t finish a slice together but certainly yummy!

IMG_1931

A fun weekend hanging out with my sister, a little sad that she will be leaving me tomorrow! 😦

DHAL: July 19-25, 2014 – Week 1 in Nanaimo

July 19. After saying farewell to my sister in downtown Vancouver, I hopped on the bus to head to Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. The bus ride took less than an hour and a one way ferry ticket to Nanaimo cost $16.25.

Beautiful views from the ferry terminal!

IMG_7491

IMG_7494

I was on the Coastal Renaissance… never have I been on such a humongous ferry! I admit, I did get lost but I was impressed. Ended up making it to the top deck and… fell asleep for most of the ride over to Nanaimo 😛 I was exhausted with only 3 hours of sleep, I tried!

IMG_7495

IMG_7499

Once we arrived in Nanaimo and with my luggage, I decided to grab a taxi instead of the bus. I don’t think I mentioned this in a previous post, but the hospital I’m doing my elective at has a 3 bedroom house that they rent out to medical elective students for FREE. I felt quite lucky to be able to save some money! I was dropped off at the hospital to pick up my house keys and then walked approximately 700m to my accommodation.

The house is spacious, with everything provided, including linen and household products. Even has a desktop computer and printer for tenants to use.

IMG_7512

 

There is a housekeeper who comes by every Tuesday to clean the house as well.

IMG_7516

IMG_7520

IMG_7503

I had a moderate sized room with a desk and closet, didn’t take long to settle in! There’s also a lock on every bedroom door, allowing more security when you’re in and out of the house.

IMG_7509

Pretty great internet provided!

Untitled

I ordered some groceries online the day I arrived and was too lazy to go exploring so I even ordered some Chinese take out for dinner. Lowlight: It was THE WORST food I’ve ever eaten, I don’t even want to explain it. Those in Nanaimo, never order from Sun’s Noodle Bar. Needless to say, not much got eaten and a lot was thrown out.

I spent Sunday at home, reading and relaxing. There wasn’t much to do around my neighbourhood and I didn’t care to go into the city. Sunday night my housemate came home, a really sweet medical student from Ireland doing an elective in Paediatrics.

Otherwise, I was just nervous for the start of my elective! Was hoping for a nice preceptor! Have never worked in the Canadian medical system before so didn’t know what was expected of me yet. Monday came quickly. I started my week with some PowerChart training – the online medical record system they use here. I then met the course coordinator and eventually my preceptor. I was expecting to be a part of a hospital team for my geriatrics elective. Turns out my preceptor is a one man team!

He’s great though. Extremely patient and never discouraging towards me. He lets me do as much as I want within my limits of comfort and learn what I want to learn. Always takes his time to answer my questions and teaches whenever the opportunity arises.

As you can imagine, elderly patients most often have a plethora of issues that landed them in hospital. These can include: dementia, delirium, instability, falls, cardiac disease, stroke, incontinence, infection, etc. I love geriatric medicine because it is so general that you always see a variety of presentations. History taking needs to be thorough and examinations need to be all encompassing in order to not miss anything in an elderly patient, especially when there can be so many causes to their issues.

On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, we are in the hospital in the morning and at his clinic (about 5min drive away) in the afternoon. We spend Wednesdays and Fridays in hospital.

My first week passed very quickly. My days start later than I’m accustomed to. My preceptor often tries to make it in by 9am but he has 3 young children to take care of and drop off at different activities in the morning, so we often don’t meet up until 10am. I get to start my day at a good pace and have time to review patients before he gets in. The days pass quickly because we are so busy, I often don’t get home until 7pm and we normally don’t have time to take a proper lunch. Usually we work until we need to rush to clinic and eat our lunch during the 5 minute drive there. A one man team is busy busy!

So far so good though, I’m quite enjoying my time working! Don’t know if I’ll see much of Vancouver Island while I’m here, we’ll see!

My sister is coming for my first weekend here, to celebrate my birthday early with me, which makes it less lonely!

Hiking @ Noosa National Park (Part 2)

Following up with my previous post, we were halfway through our hike when we finally reached the gorgeous Alexandria Bay.

IMG_5159

How beautiful is this? And what was even more awesome, barely a soul in sight – especially compared to the Main Beach. Absolutely stunning!

IMG_5163

Group picture with Xuan and Mabel!

IMG_5171b

Of course we had a dip in the ocean! The water was cool and super refreshing after the walk! The waves weren’t too bad although some sets definitely got salt water up my nose but hey, clear sinuses!

IMG_5171a

IMG_5162

After a snooze under the sun, we continued on with our journey! We proceeded back in the direction we came in via the Coastal Path (#4 in blue).

Noosa map

IMG_5172

IMG_5178

Our first stop was at Hell’s Gate – amazing panoramic views of the great blue ocean!

IMG_5179

IMG_5181

Pretty Mabel!

IMG_5183

Xuan… perhaps pondering the mysteries of life?

IMG_5184

IMG_5186

IMG_5189

IMG_5190

We then continued down the Coastal Path back to the park entrance with great views of the coast along the way back.

IMG_5195

IMG_5197

IMG_5198

IMG_5201

IMG_5204
Before we knew it, we were on the road heading back to Brisbane with the sun quickly setting beside us… 🙂