I recently travelled to Alice Springs with the lovely photographer, Autumn Mooney, for TNT Downunder, a great backpacker magazine that I used to devour weekly as a backpacker in the UK. The story is out now and you can read it, and see Autumn’s great photos, here. That’s us in the traditional ‘backpacker pose’…arms in the air like we just don’t care! Did I mention I went in a tiiiiny helicopter over the West MacDonnell Ranges. What a treat!
In Niseko, one of Japan’s best ski resorts, the dining options are endless. I think in my week long stay there I managed to only put a small dent in my list of potential restaurants. Izakaya style dining was popular and I loved it. Beers hover around the 500 yen mark (about $5 if I’m being generous) and the menu of small dishes is designed to accompany them. Ebisu-tei is in the lower Hirafu area of the village and seats around 20.
The menu has a range of sashimi by the fish, I chose the salmon and tuna at about 480 yen each.
After dinner, on the way home I popped into the Fridge Bar, also known as Gyu Bar, a folksy, wooden, cosy cocktail bar, nicknamed after it’s tiny little fridge door.
Strahan is a small town on the expansive Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania’s remote west coast. About a three hour drive from Hobart, through green rolling hills that turn into wilderness, into mining areas and then to the coast, it’s a fantastic was to see a diverse range of Tasmanian landscapes in a day. You can even dip your toes in the famous waters of the Franklin River, so heavily (and rightly) fought over in the late 70′s and early 80′s.
While there, I took a seaplane flight over the Franklin and Gordon Rivers, spying Frenchman’s Cap in the distance. It’s a dream of mine to raft the river and hike Frenchman’s so to see it from the air really whet the appetite. Speaking of appetite, if you are ever in a seaplane, don’t go for the back seat…makes you sick! Found out the hard way.
The sea plane arriving in Macquarie Harbour, Strahan.
The view from my little dickie seat at the back of the five seater plane.
Salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour.
Sarah Island was known as the Macquarie Habour Penal Station from 1822 until 1833, and got the title of the harshest penal settlement in Australia. The most famous escapee was Alexander Pearce, who managed to escape twice and even ate a couple of his fellow escapees while negotiating the wilderness!
If you look hard enough you can see some little rafters on this bend of the Franklin River.
Feeling sick after we land on the Gordon River. Don’t take the back seat.
Sir James Falls.
Happy now I am out of the dickie seat.
Local crayfish and crinkle chips afterwards for lunch.
So lovely readers, have you enjoyed a sea plane flight? Where would be your dream destination to fly over?
I’m excited to announce today the release of my new app – Sydney for Food Lovers. Given that I eat and drink around town quite a bit, it was a natural topic for me to write about. I have tried to share a range of places from the best of the best, to the cheapest and most cheerful. So dear readers, let me know what you think…have I missed any amazing places you love?
Efendy in Balmain, headed up by Chef Somer Sivrioglu, has recently undergone a little bit of a facelift, creating the Mezebar. I always knew Turkish food, and in particular Somer’s Turkish food, was fantastic, but the space now keeps up with his beautiful, modern food. I can vouch for the shakshuka, a rich tomato vegetable bake topped with melted haloumi, the lamb and walnut stuff bulgur shells are luscious lamb meatballs with a crunchy coating, the beef kebap with traditional iskender sauce and the rocket, hazelnut and fig salad is perfection. Perfection!! Dessert is essential, the meze dessert plate is so satisfying, particularly the centrepiece of Turkish rice pudding generously topped with Persian floss. I can’t wait to go back! Photos courtesy of Efendy (my broken camera was in the camera hospital.)