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Crystal Falls Dorrigo

Dorrigo Rainforest: Better Than Fern Gully

Dorrigo National Park is the first rainforest I ever visited. I expected something out of Fern Gully, with dripping vines, giant flowers, and squawking birds the likes of which I’d never seen anywhere else. Except maybe on a box of Froot Loops. Dorrigo is more understated than the rainforest of my imagination. The only squawking […]

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Dogs rat poison

Housesitting: Expect the Unexpected

Jared found the dead rat on the floor of the chicken coop. It must have eaten the poison in the rat trap at the corner of the house. I’d noticed the trap but gave it a wide berth, preferring not to think about its implications. Mice in the kitchen I was learning to handle – […]

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Sawtell Surfboard painting

Return to the Sawtell Chilli Festival

In 2005 I unexpectedly found myself in Coffs Harbour for the winter, thanks to a last-minute job offer. I was working as a night manager at a hostel, responsible for checking in after-hours guests and making sure the phone was answered in the middle of the night. The job came with free accommodation and paid […]

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Trial bay Gaol

The Million Dollar Views of Trial Bay Gaol

South West Rocks is roughly halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, if you’re traveling by sea. Today its gorgeous beaches and lighthouse make it a popular holiday destination for families, but in the late 1800s it was better known for its public works prison, Trial Bay Gaol. In its first iteration as a public works prison […]

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Housesit NSW

The Housesit Begins

“Just last week we found a king brown in the woodpile,” our housesit owner told us. “It was only a baby, though.” Excellent. One of the world’s deadliest snakes had recently been found at the farmhouse where we’d be living for the next month. Great news. On the plus side, I was now less edgy […]

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Crescent Head

Crescent Head: Small Town, Big Views

At the last census, Crescent Head clocked in a population count of 1,586. In the whole town, there are less people than there were students in my high school. The Crescent Head coastline, though, is huge. I saw my first telltale spout of the season while standing on the headland, the deep blue Pacific stretching […]

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