A holiday, I desperately wanted a holiday. It is our first year into running a business together, meaning we didn’t have a huge holiday savings fund… in fact, we probably shouldn’t be taking a holiday at all… But where is the fun in that?
Holiday’s and travelling are essential to my mental health. I know it might sound silly, but I feel most carefree when I’m on the road. Discovering new places and getting out into nature is really grounding for me and distracts me from stress and worry. So while the adult in me might say ‘Be responsible”, the child in me says “Take the adventure”.
A compromise was to take a holiday within Australia – somewhere we hadn’t been before and definitely somewhere warm! We were both so tired of Melbourne’s endless winter and were craving some much needed sunshine.
I literally picked the destination by opening the weather app in my phone and checking what the temperature was in each town and city. We quickly settled on an adventure up north, to the tropical city of Cairns.
Eight glorious nights. We booked our flights and I was giddy with excitement. It might not have been Europe, Bali or the USA. But it felt like the biggest, most exciting adventure to me.
I knew I wanted to stay our first few nights out in the wilderness – far from the busyness of society. Completely off the grid.
So I did what I used to do when we were away on our year long travel adventure, I opened google maps, typed in our dates and price range – and zoooooomed out on the map. This is the most beautiful way to discover hidden gems. The destination doesn’t matter so much, it’s all about the location and space.
This is how we discovered Bella Vista cottage. A secluded retreat, with complete privacy and full of bliss. Situated in the foothills of Queensland’s tallest peak, Mt Bartle Frere. This sweet little cottage has everything you’ll ever need, and the most MAGNIFICENT views literally right outside the door.
But that’s not even the best bit… it has it’s own private, beautiful fresh water creek that is suitable for swimming. Just a short stroll through the lush green property – lined with bamboo and tropical plants.
Oh but’s it’s not for the faint of heart… there isn’t even wifi! 😉
The private creek – complete and utter bliss.
Views from the front door.
Exploring the local area – Babinda Boulders
Waking at sunrise to write in my journal.
The sweet little town of Babinda, where we would go for our morning cup of coffee and tea.
On our second day we explored even further. Stopping by:
Millaa Millaa Lookout
Waterfall circuit (pictured above is Millaa Millaa Falls, but my favourite was Ellinjaa Falls pictured below)
Mungalli Creek Dairy – where Martin enjoyed a savoury cheese cake and I fawned over the beautiful country views.
Our last stop was Josephine Falls – which was honestly like something out of a fairytale.
The next day we were on our way to Cairns! The winding highway had lots to see from the window – including this hill fire that almost had me convinced that we were passing a volcano…
We spent six nights in Cairns, and I think every single day you could find us here. The most beautiful beaches – where the rainforest meets the sea. We were lucky that August isn’t jellyfish (stinger) season, so it’s relatively safe to swim in the ocean, just keep an eye out for crocodiles! 😉
Cairns had this wonderful relaxed and small town vibe. The houses were slightly shack-y but very endearing. I LOVED the local fresh fruit market – where I tried sugar cane juice for the very first time (and the sweet tooth in me lovvvvvved it).
We did take one more day-trip to the cute, quaint, hippy town of Kuranda – a mountain village that had the loveliest markets that wind and weave through the hillside. We stopped for these delicious raw falafels at a cafe we just happened to stumble across. I also became way too excited to find bananas actually growing in the middle of the pathway…. clearly you can tell I’m a city gal.
Those short, sweet days were exactly what I needed. A gift for the heart and soul. And it rejuvenated my creativity – for while we were waiting for our flight home we both felt filled to the brim with ideas on how to better our lives and photography business. We spent the three hours writing out a complete business plan and sharing ideas excitedly.
Investing in ones happiness can pay off in more ways than one. Always listen to that little voice and take the next adventure.