Select Page

Unfortunately, I have TERRIBLE news to report.

There are no pies in Australia. (Yes, I even learned how to turn bold on in the blog software so I could emphasize my devastation.)

Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any signs advertising pies – you see those everywhere. Here are 2 from just around the corner from us:

So in we walk with great excitement. And the excitement grows because the displays are full of pies – we truly are living in paradise!! But no. These are not fruit pies – they are MEAT pies! Now I love a good meat pie, but I also REALLY love a good apple or cherry or insert-any-type-of-fruit-here pie. They’re my favourite dessert item. But somehow, they do not exist here. They make fabulous pie crusts here, there are fruit orchards everywhere, they make delicious fruit danishes – but somehow, no one has thought to make a fruit pie. Whoever has taken my TimTam Slam opportunity to Tim Horton’s at home now needs to make their next million and come here to start a pie-making business.

Ok, onto better news from the past week. I still hadn’t seen a kangaroo and Hugh felt bad for me because he sees them all the time at the golf course, so he took me there on the way home from work one day so now I have finally seen a kangaroo! This was a little one:

Who knew that a kangaroo’s natural habitat was a golf course.

I did see an emu on the way to work a couple weeks ago but I didn’t get my camera out quickly enough to snap a photo. And of course the plump, feathered rascals have been in hiding ever since.

One good thing that we still haven’t seen is a snake. We did see a sign at the community centre down the road warning about snakes:

I know our luck will run out one day, but so far so good. I was talking about snakes with a colleague at work and she asked if I knew about the uni’s snake policy. I said, “What??” She said, “Well, McMaster probably had a bear policy – here we have a snake policy.” I enlightened her that in fact McMaster does not have a bear policy (at least I don’t think it does??). Everyone here thinks bears are a mainstay of life in Canada. But I did look up the CQU Snake Policy. Who knew.

As mentioned last week, the Rocky Show (not to be confused with the Rocky Horror Picture Show – that would be an unfortunate outfit error) was on this week (an agricultural fair like our fall fairs) and Thursday was a public holiday for anyone working in Rockhampton. So Hugh and I went to the Show to compare to the one in Yeppoon last weekend. The Rocky Show was much bigger (obviously) and strangely cheaper to get into (although we heard the midway prices were highway robbery). And yes, I did get to see a bunch of my favourite feathered friends – the fancy chooks!

We also saw llamas and alpacas:

If you’re not sure which Hugh is standing with and which I am standing with, see if you can use this helpful website to take a guess.

Also saw piles of colourful birds like these:

And of course lots of cows (my next favourite after fancy chickens). I swear the one next to Hugh could double as a rhinoceros. And in the other photo, they’re protecting a little calf in the background. We noticed last week at the Yeppoon Show that when they show cows who have calves, they keep the calf with its mother all the time.

They also had an animals of Australia section where we got to learn about cute and not-so-cute Aussie native creatures. I wonder if your division into cute and not-so-cute would be the same as mine.

I “got to” pet the crocodile and stump-tailed skink. Both seemed quite docile (insert major serving of skepticism) and sort of felt like a new pine cone that hadn’t opened yet – bumpy but smooth. The python – ick. This one is non-venomous and is apparently the most common variety of python in Australia. They just bite to catch their prey, then they squeeze them to death and swallow them whole. Did I mention – ick.

I’m sure we’ll all agree that the koalas are so darned cute! They apparently sleep for 20-22 hours per day and spend the other 2-4 hours eating eucalyptus. Sounds like my kind of life. The challenge with feeding them is that their taste in eucalyptus changes constantly – sometimes even within hours. So their keepers have to have piles of different varieties of eucalyptus on hand. Hugh understands what this is like, being in charge of feeding me :). And contrary to urban myth (and this hilarious Craigslist post from years ago), koalas do not get high from eucalyptus.

The finale of our day at the Rocky Show was the woodchopping contest! Hopefully this video uploads correctly:


I heard about a plant sale today so Hugh and I drove down to Kinka Beach to see what they had, in preparation for all the fun gardening we’re going to have at our new house (we’ve decided to do the front yard in Arizona desert style and the back yard in tropical style – really just building on what the prior owners have done). We got some amazing deals at the first place and then happened across another plant sale just down the road and WOW. The homeowner/gardener Dave was amazing and happily shared his knowledge of Australian gardening with us. Another patron told us that if Dave is having a plant sale, you have to go – his plants are the healthiest around. So we bought a bunch from him too. Both places kindly let us leave all our selections with them seeing as we don’t really have anywhere to put them until we get our house on Friday.

Driving back from the plant sales, we decided to stop at Mulambin Beach and go for a walk. I am constantly amazed at how massive all the beaches here are and how few people are on them – it’s heaven! This was my first time getting my feet wet in the ocean here (Hugh went swimming when he was out at Keppel Island the other week – you know, when I was at work).

The tide was going out and we noticed some lines in the sand here and there – drawn by creatures in shells as they dragged themselves around. This one looked just like a heart!

When we got home from the beach, there was an albino gecko waiting for us in the hall outside of our Airbnb:

Always need to include some nice scenery photos, so here you go, one from the front of our unit and one from the back (different days):

And a couple more “little differences” for you. This is what light switches here look like:

That is the ON position. You press up to turn off and down to turn on – the opposite of home. This messes us up pretty much every day still.

Also, the paper here is A4 – subtly but importantly different from the 8.5×11 that I’m accustomed to at home. My printer was set to 8.5×11 and I couldn’t figure out why things weren’t printing correctly. Apparently 8.5×11 is a North American thing and the rest of the world uses A4. Here’s an article explaining.

Tonight we’re off to meet our favourite astronomer Dr. John for another star talk, this time out at Farnborough Beach. There is no moon tonight so we’re hoping to see the milky way!

Oh, almost forgot – helping us get over our no-pie-devastation is this ice cream place in town that just opened a couple weeks ago:

Their gelato is REALLY GOOD. And so beautifully displayed! Not quite pie, but it will do in a pinch :).


Share This