A Virtual Cuppa Down Under – Expat Month One in Australia

A Virtual Cuppa Down Under – Expat Month One in Australia



Welcome to my first of a virtual cuppa down under! It has been a while since my last virtual cuppa post 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!


  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. Check out my posts about our trip!

Travel bloggers choose their top 6 places to visit in Malaysia

We are also house sitting for the next 15 weeks in Mackay – this is our second house-sit and a number of people have asked all about becoming a house sitter so check out why house sitting is a fantastic way to see the world.


20 Top Things to Do in South Bank Brisbane

101 Things to Know When Visiting Australia

Yummy! 10 iconic Australian foods you have to try


Author: Tracy

Tracy has lived and worked in 7 countries on 4 continents and travelled to over 50 more. A qualified school teacher with an interest in history, reading, photography, nature and wildlife she is always planning her next trip (preferably by train)

With a lifetime of travel experience, and a network of friends all over the world, she is also able to share genuine insider guides, recommended best book lists and train journey inspiration to help you travel authentically to some of the most beautiful places on earth.

Come and join me as I travel the world one country (and train journey) at a time!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  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. 🙂

  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

  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 3, 2017 / 6:19 am

    I wondered where you you ended up. I remember way back you were considering Melbourne as well as somewhere in Qld. So Mackay won, I think you’ll love it! Looking forward to what’s coming up on your blog. I love little snippets from “home”. Glad you’re settling in.

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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!

    • 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!

  13. September 6, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    Looks like you’re really settling in well! I love that most of the things you’ve learnt consist of animals that could kill you! Stay safe and enjoy!

    • 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!

  14. 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!

    • 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!

  15. 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!

    • 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!!!!!!