A Virtual Cuppa Down Under August 2017

A Virtual Cuppa Down Under August 2017

a virtual cuppa down under


Welcome to my first of a virtual cuppa down under! It has been a while since my last virtual cuppa mainly due to the fact that I was totally rushed off my feet planning our move!


So where in Australia have we moved to you may ask? We are now living in a town called Mackay which is on the Queensland coast about 10 hours drive (!!!!) north of Brisbane. The area is absolutely beautiful so look out for all my new posts all about things to see and do in this region!

So far we have explored some of the beaches in the area as well as hiked part of the Fitch Hatton Gorge in the Pioneer Valley (about an hour west of Mackay) and spotted platypus in Eungella National Park!

This is my 6th time as an expat so it will be very exciting discovering all about life in Australia!

So what have we learnt so far?

  1. Even though we think its quite warm we keep getting told….this is nothing! Wait until  ‘THE WET”…….
  2. Tropical cyclones are dangerous and you need to know what to do when one hits – Cyclone Debbie had a pretty devastating effect when it hit the area in 2017…apparently the worst one since 2015 or maybe 2011…so yes they get them pretty often! )A cyclone is a low-pressure wind system that forms over tropical oceans and has hurricane force winds to go with it and a lot of rain)
  3. There are over 30 snake species in the Mackay region…and yes some of them are highly poisonous…I have yet to discover which ones so will assume all are deadly!
  4. The people are extremely welcoming and friendly – I even have an e mail address to contact a guy at the bank when I need anything sorting (and he replies within minutes!)
  5. The birds while beautiful are all out to get you! (No not really but the signs – ok some of these were in Brisbane -suggest you have to be careful – DO NOT look them in the eye!!!!!)
  6. Second hand cars are ridiculously expensive …. like crazily so. New cars not so much.
  7. Everything bites! Sandflies, mosquitoes, snakes, toads, spiders you name it we have the potential to be bitten by it!
  8. Despite looking gorgeous you have to be careful going into the sea – stingers, sharks, crocodiles, rip tides….so do your research before taking a dip!


As well as lots of posts in the next few months about Mackay and surrounds I have lots to write about our trip out here – we visited Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and have already managed to write up a post about Singapore’s National Orchid Garden (I love orchids!) and there are many more to come including a collaborative post about Malaysia (which we absolutely loved).

I am also planning posts including one about our essential kit for travel – I have found some amazing products over the last few years which have become must-haves when we are travelling.

We are also house sitting for the next 15 weeks in Mackay – this is our second house-sit with Trusted Housesitters and a number of people have asked all about becoming a house sitter so watch out for that post!

I am also hoping to get back up to speed with all the link-ups I was previously involved with on a weekly basis as I love reading what other bloggers are getting up to!

Until next month’s a virtual cuppa ‘down under’ – Tracy


An expat review of life in Australia

Living in Australia – expat dreams versus expat reality

65 things I have learnt since moving to Australia

15 things to know before moving to Australia

 Life in Brisbane Part 1

Expat diary – Life in Brisbane Part 2

 Life in Brisbane Part 3

Expat diary – Life in Mackay Part 1

Life in Mackay Part 2

Expat diary – Life in Mackay Part 3

Top 20 things to do in Queensland

6 common Australian myths debunked

5 reasons to visit Bowen

Where to find animals in their native habitat in Queensland

Rachel’s story – Moving to Australia

10 Australian movies to watch before you visit!





  1. Linda
    August 27, 2017 / 12:00 pm

    Great to see a new post on your blog after your hectic few months! Looking forward to reading more, especially the ‘essential kit for travelling’ ?

  2. Jo Elkin
    August 27, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    Sounds really exciting..looking forward to your next instalment

  3. Clare Hodson-Walker
    August 27, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    Cyclones, snakes, spiders and bites – what’s not to love?? No, seriously, it sounds like you’ve settled in, and I look forward to hearing (reading) more…

  4. August 29, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    Sounds like you’re having an incredible time!! I can’t wait to read all about your new home and your adventures around Asia and Dubai!

  5. August 30, 2017 / 10:32 am

    I love reading about Australia from your perspective, Tracy. We visited twice, but I am sure it’s very different when you actually move to live there. It’s such a beautiful area to live in too! And just think of it – sunshine the whole year round (fingers crossed for not too many cyclones).
    We haven’t met any snakes on our trips (thank God!), but I can definitely confirm that birds WILL steal food. So you have to be careful with picnics in certain areas. As we have once discovered when kookaburra flew away with my husband’s sandwich before he even realised what happened. And the worst part – it kept on coming back for more… Oh well, it makes for a good travel story. 🙂
    Jurga recently posted…Florli 4444 Epic Hike in NorwayMy Profile

  6. September 1, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    Wonderful Tracy! You are scaring me a bit about your new home. I will not want to run into any snakes. The place sound a lot like Puerto Rico (except for the poisonous snakes). I got bit by so many insects while growing up there! I am kind of allergic to bites so you can imagine I wasn’t happy about that. Plus, mosquitoes seem to love me. #feetdotravel
    Ruth | Tanama Tales recently posted…23 Ways to Avoid Money Disasters While TravelingMy Profile

  7. September 2, 2017 / 8:07 am

    Even kookaburras bite? Wow! Australia really does have a lot of dangerous animals! Glad to hear you are settling in down under. Will be interesting to see how your house sit goes. It’s something we’ve thought about.

  8. September 2, 2017 / 8:45 am

    It’s no secret that I loved living there on my year’s working visa and yes, so many things we hadn’t even thought about happen Down Under, like cyclones, dangerous spider bites, don’t swim in the river because of crocodilles, don’t think it’s rude when someone asks you if your thongs are comfortable lol. Looking forward to hearing more of your Aussie Adventures (now that’s a tongue-in-cheek show you will have to look out for!) #feetdotravel

  9. September 3, 2017 / 2:24 am

    It’s kind of the scary of the things that I have to search before taking a dip! But besides that the photos look really gorgeous, thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  10. September 5, 2017 / 4:36 am

    You are up to a lot of work with the many post you are going to write. I’m pretty sure it will be very hard to sit on your computer at such a beautiful place. My son has been in Brisbane for nine month to learn English. He had a wonderful time. Enjoy your time!

    • September 7, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Absolutely and I am working full time at the moment too but I enjoy writing about this beautiful place so hopefully can find the time 🙂

  11. September 5, 2017 / 6:50 am

    Great stuff – I lived in QLD for 6 years on the Gold Coast. While the weather is much better that the UK, the Cyclones are what stopped me wanting to live any further up. I spend my first Australia day in MacKay and after we left a cyclone hit. We ended up in Cairns for 2 weeks waiting for the cyclone to go and the highway to unflood!
    Barry recently posted…Trekking, Hiking, and Bush Walking in TasmaniaMy Profile

    • September 7, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      Yes its not something I am looking forward to! We are enjoying exploring this area for now but are wary of those cyclones!

    • September 7, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      I know!!! But important to know the stuff – my daughter had an encounter with a snake a few days ago luckily one of the harmless ones but you never know!

  12. September 8, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    Now you are living in Australia you’ll be able to discover the UNESCO sites over there! I’m looking forward to reading your posts on your journey over there as you visited many beautiful countries on the way!
    James recently posted…Odessa to Kharkov by busMy Profile

    • September 10, 2017 / 12:14 am

      Yes looking forward to seeing more of Australia! I think I will start writing up about Penang as it was my favourite destination we visited on our way over – we loved it!

  13. September 11, 2017 / 4:28 am

    So true about the second hand cars! I was not expecting that at all. Even though you’re really quite far away from us, I hope we’ll be able to meet on your next trip down south! I’m really glad you’re settling in ok, Mackay sounds like *proper* Australia if you know what I mean. Sydney seems quite wussy in comparison!
    Rachel recently posted…Expat update: Month 4My Profile

    • September 13, 2017 / 10:23 am

      Definitely Rachel! Yes it really is – last week my daughter had a snake slither past her as she walked out the back gate of the house!!!!!!

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