Day Trip to Throsby Park

It was a beautiful sunny autumn day on Wednesday, and there was excitement in the air as we piled into the bus waiting to take us to the Southern Highlands for the day. We had a full bus of residents and friends, and the atmosphere was cheerful as we headed out. The drive down was smooth going and we made good time, arriving at Moss Vale Macca’s for a pit stop at 11am. Several coffees, cakes and ice creams later and we were back in the bus driving to Throsby Park.

Throsby Park is a beautiful colonial-era rural estate set on around 180 acres of land. Noni, one of our residents was brought up there and it was her paternal relatives that were originally granted the land in 1819. We were fortunate indeed to be shown around the house by someone with such an intimate knowledge of its history and with a personal experience of living there. Noni gave us some general information about the homestead and then showed us each room in turn and filled us in on more details as we went around.

What a trip we all had! Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed looking round the homestead. Although it was nice and warm outside, the house itself was very cold (I wouldn’t have much enjoyed having a bath in winter there!) so some of us went and sat outside to wait for the stragglers when we were done. Then we posed for a group photo before heading to lunch in nearby Berrima.

Lunch was a casual affair, with people going off to different places to eat. Most of us enjoyed a meal at the pub, however, which has the notoriety of being Australia’s oldest continuously licensed inn! The food was tasty and I think more than a few of us were feeling very full and contented by the time we got back on the bus to start the journey home to Bondi. We arrived home just after 4pm, reflecting that it had been a very pleasant day. Thanks to Noni for all her tour guiding and for making sure we didn’t lose anyone along the way!

Day Trip to Berry

The sun was shining and the Astra was a-buzz with excitement as we waited for our bus to arrive early on Tuesday morning. Although the bus was stuck in traffic and turned up a bit late, we were still underway before 9am, and hoping to beat the traffic to the highway. It was a nice and relaxing journey down - we each had plenty of space to stretch out on the bus, and some of us even fell asleep for a while! Unfortunately for me, this time there was photographic evidence! When we weren't sleeping, we were singing along to the radio and marvelling at Ann's ability to pick the band out whatever the song!

When we got closer to Berry, we were treated to sights of rolling hills, small country towns and sheep grazing contentedly by the side of the road. We arrived in Berry in time for an early lunch. Some of us went to the local pub for seafood, salads and chips, and others went to Thai restaurant to satisfy their cravings for good Asian cuisine. After lunch, we broke off into groups and went for a stroll.

Most of us wandered in and out of the little artisan shops and had a lovely time browsing the local crafts and gift shops. Several of us treated ourselves to a yummy gelato or frozen dessert as it was such a beautiful sunny day. There were also some nice parks and places to sit and take in the scenery.

At 2pm we trouped back to the bus and got ready to head back to Sydney. There was much swapping of stories and showing of purchases as we travelled back...and perhaps a few more sleeping beauties! By the time we got back to the Astra we were all tired but definitely happy with our successful day out. Everyone had fun and felt refreshed from breathing in the country air and spending some time with friends and neighbours. Now we are all looking forward to the next one...ideas on a postcard please!

Bus trip to Riverside Gardens

It was a bright sunny day and the sky was a brilliant blue. We all piled into the bus, provided by BBARV, and were quickly whisked away on a journey of discovery. This journey was to take us all the way to North Richmond to visit a retirement village called Riverside Gardens. The name comes from the village's location near to the meandering Hawkesbury River.

The residents of Riverside Gardens were very welcoming and put on a lovely morning tea for us. We traded stories and asked many questions about how their village operates. The discussion on the differences between our respective villages was fascinating, and I'm sure encouraged everyone to think about things in a new light. After morning tea had been cleaned up, we were taken on a guided tour of the village. We were impressed with how spacious and new it all was (though what can you expect of a village still in the process of being built with lots of land to spread out into?).

After the tour had built up an appetite, we decided upon lunch. We had planned to go to the North Richmond Panthers Club across the road, but their kitchen renovation was behind schedule and they couldn’t accommodate us. So we jumped back on the bus and headed into Richmond for some lunch. Having been fed and watered again, it was time to make the journey home. We compared notes of our experience at Riverside Gardens. One thing we did agree upon is that it was all so different to Bondi. There was no high-rise, no traffic and the country air was fresh – There’s no place like home! 

Fitzroy Falls Day Trip

Great fun was had by all on our day out to Fitzroy Falls on 6th June. Our numbers may have been a little smaller than usual, but we more than made up for it in noise and good spirits…just ask Mark our driver! The outlook for the weather in Sydney wasn't fantastic, but the further south we drove the better it became. Despite the forecast, we had mostly sunny weather (albeit with a misty view once we got to the falls). After a short stop at Mittagong Maccas for a coffee, we arrived at Fitzroy Falls and strolled up the boardwalk to look at the falls. Due to recent rain, there was a spectacular amount of water flowing down into the depths. Standing at the top of this 81m high waterfall, this was not a view for the vertigo-prone!

Having had our fill of the wonderful bush-fresh air, waterfall lookouts and retail therapy in the gift shop, we went for a lovely pub lunch. The Burrawong Hotel is a beautiful bistro-pub with an open fire and sweeping views out over the local countryside. We managed to get a quiet corner area with big windows and lots of space to spread out and enjoy our food. The food was excellent, the bar well-stocked, and the company superb. In my first role as official ‘Trip Photographer’ I insisted on taking group shots at every available opportunity!

Once we had all eaten and drunk our fill it was time to get back onto the bus for the journey home. Former local Noni directed us on a wonderful country route back to the highway…much to the frustration of Mark! We all loved seeing the rolling hills, lakes and resident animals (sheep, cows and yes, even horses!) though, and we were not late home at all, despite Mark’s gloomy predictions. We serenaded the landscape with our own Astra versions of Advance Australia Fair and Pub With No Beer to while away the time. Some of us may have fallen asleep on the bus…but as there are no photos to prove it I’m claiming ignorance! Back home at around 4pm, just in time for a cuppa and a rest (well, that’s what I did anyway!) Bring on the next trip, I’m already looking forward to it…