We are back from the country… our favourite way of escaping the same old routines and to get some fresh air.
Over the last couple of years we have made it part of our family’s tradition to leave behind the big smoke every year on the Easter long weekend, and it’s always been a refreshing break from our everyday lives. Time seems to slow down when you have no readily available access to the internet and the TV, and there is this relaxing change of scenery that only comes with green pastures, majestic trees and rusty old barns. The kids love it because they can be let off the leash to explore the wild, wild world. And of course, there’s wildlife galore – wallabies, mostly, and an absence of noise that is just wonderful.
This year we were a bit unlucky, like most of us Sydneysiders, with all the heavy rainfall that confined us in most parts to our little house in the highlands. It’s all been a bit unfortunate, as the wet weather prevented us from bush walks, feeding the wildlife and exploring a bit further the little country towns nearby like Dungog and Shroud. However, it was still nice to spend some quality time with the kids, painting our Easter eggs (if you want to know how this is done in Germany check out this post from last year), playing board games and eating good food.
What I particularly love about being out in the bush is that you can see some wonderful examples of native Australian shrubs and trees. Coming from Europe, this never seems to grow old with me. Without exception all of the shrubs and their flowers seem so bizarre, so spectacular. The shapes of the blossoms in particular are so different to the usual flowers as you would find them in Germany. Add to that a few droplets of autumn rain and you can spend hours outside just looking for that perfect shot.
In fact, I am inspired to tackle a big project with my front garden this winter, transforming it into an Australian oasis of protea, grevillas and banksias, all of which should not just thrive in their ideal environment, they should also attract plenty of birds and insects. I am very excited about this new project!
Of course, we also admired the abundance of birds around us at the Barrington Country Retreat, and the way their voices were echoing in the wide valleys around us. Feeding off the native plants, they were coming really close, a wonderful way of showing the kids the beautiful world we live in.
And we wouldn’t be in Australia, if there wasn’t a kangaroo or too. Wallabies, in fact, the smaller variety. In these parts of the woods, however, they were very shy and would flee if you would get too close. But it’s still a beautiful sight and an unforgettable experience.
Of course, we didn’t just stay at home, rain or not, so expect some more pictures in upcoming posts about the Central Coast inland area.