X – XXXX Origins Beer

I was 10 years old and we first traveled to Queensland and I first saw the XXXX beer label. Now over 40 years later the brand has grown into an Australian icon and I love that for its latest venture XXXX has gone back to its roots and named its beers after the working country areas of Queensland. I’m not a Queenslander but it still makes me proud.

The 36 towns featured are:

  • Atherton
  • Bellbowrie
  • Birdsville
  • Bluff
  • Cairns
  • Calen
  • Chinchilla
  • Cloncurry
  • Coolangatta
  • Curra
  • Deeragun,
  • Drillham
  • Emerald
  • Foxdale
  • Gatton
  • Gin Gin
  • Giru
  • Gladstone
  • Goondiwindi
  • Herberton
  • Inkerman
  • Jimboomba
  • Karara
  • Laura
  • Mackay
  • Maryborough
  • Mirani
  • Mount Isa
  • Nobby
  • Rockhampton
  • Roma
  • Stonehenge
  • Toowoomba
  • Townsville
  • Warwick
  • Windorah

If I ever see these beers in New South Wales I may even taste my first XXXX beer.

Z – Zhengzhou

Zhengzhou is a busy city in east-central China. It is the capital of Henan province and has a very long history dating back to the 3,500 years to the Shang dynasty. We loved exploring this city and interesting mix of old and new China.

The Zhengzhou Memorial Tower was opened in 1971 and remembers the Erqi Strike  of 7th Febrauary, 1923.

Erqi Memorial Tower

People’s Park Zhengzhou

Opened in 1952 the People’s Park was the first park in Zhengzhou. It covers a large area in the city consisting of gardens, statues, water ways, fountains, temples, open spaces as well as a theme park. We had a lovely afternoon exploring this surprise package.


Y – Yabbies

The yabby is an Australian freshwater crustacean found in swamps, dams, streams, creeks, rivers and reservoirs. Growing up in Australia many children get to go yabbying, however this yabby, which we found at Protest Falls was the first that my husband and I have ever seen in nature. He was alone and we loved watching his antics in the little creek. Our yabby was a blue-green colour which is common for turbulent waters.

yabbie on the falls walk

W – Waterfall Way


The Waterfall Way is a beautiful scenic drive from Coffs Harbour on the coast up the mountains for 191 kilometres and on to Armidale. It takes it name from the number of very beautiful and yet very different waterfalls in the area. Unfortunately being a winter’s day it was raining and their was no sunshine to reflect off the water but I am sure you can imagine. There are also many treasured National Parks in the area so if you get the chance it is definitely worth a visit.




NEWELL’S WATERFALL — Crossing under the Waterfall Way

V – Vincentia

Vincentia is a seaside town on the shores of Jervis Bay, 200 kilometres South of Sydney.Arriving at our B & B, we decided to take an afternoon stroll and found ourselves taking in the natural beauty of the White sands Walk along Blenheim Beach and Jervis Bay National Park. It was a glorious winter day and a great way to relax.

U – Uralla

Uralla is a small town on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, which was established in 1855. The town’s name is Aboriginal and means meeting place. As it happens Uralla is also mid way between Sydney and Brisbane via the inland route.

On our recent road trip we hadn’t planned on stopping long in Uralla, however as we got so distracted along the way looking at the waterfalls, we needed to stop here overnight. This turned into a blessing as we then ended up investigating this interesting area the next morning. And what amazing Australian history we found — the secret gem, McCrossin’s Mill Musuem is situated across the road from Thunderbolt’s Statue. The building is a recently restored 3 storey flour mill built-in 1870 by Samuel McCrossin, one of the first settlers to the area.

Some of the treasures we found in the musuem included:

  • A series of nine paintings by Phillip Pomroy called “The Death of Thunderbolt”, based on the account of Constable Alexander Walker — the detail in these paintings was fascinating
  • A display of farming and household equipment from the early pioneering days
  • A relocated Chinese Joss House form the local Rocky River Gold Fields
  • A display to Australia’s first world champion — rower Edward Trickett
  • Letters home to mother from World War 1 by a local war hero
  • Local goldfield information

These beautiful decorative gates were created by concrete man Antonio Perez Martinez in 1960.

Thunderbolt’s Life and Death Exhibition

Edward Trickett, son of a convict and Australia’s first world champion, a sculler died in Uralla.


T – Thunderbolt

Captain Thunderbolt also know as Frederick Ward was the last of New South Wales bushrangers. In 1863, he escaped from Sydney’s Cockatoo Island prison and began terrorising the high ways and byways of the New England region. Thunderbolt protected himself by living in the massive granite boulder outside of Uralla where he could see for miles. Known as the gentleman bushranger because he never shot anyone and at times shouted his victims drinks, Ward was shot and killed by Constable Alexander Walker on the 25th May 1870 at Kentucky Creek.

Thunderbolt’s Statue in the centre of Uralla

Thunderbolt’s Rocks

Thunderbolt’s Body and the Table he was laid out on

Thunderbolt’s Grave




R – Remembering The Spirit Of The ANZACS

Today, we remember those that have fought for or served our country, starting with the Anzacs and continuing over the next 101 years in all wars, peace keeping missions and other areas help is needed and given. Whether it be at home or overseas, all serving roles are important. Like the unknown soldier, a persons background doesn’t matter and fortunately the world is a better place because of the spirit of the Anzacs and those in service that have followed. This new song by Australian country singer, Lee Kernaghan describes these emotions perfectly when he sings “side by side, we say with pride, he is all of them, she is all of them and they are one of us.”

T – The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

“At the going down of the sun

and in the morning

we will remember them.”



S – Sheepyard Opal Field

The Sheepyard Opal Field is next to the Grawin and Glengarry opal fields and together they make a memorable day out for tourist to the Lightening Ridge region. If you are driving around stick to the main roads or you’ll get lost in the maze of dirt back roads. When we drove from Glengarry Hilton to Sheepyard Pub, we saw many unusual signs and interesting actions including a young boy, far to young to hold a license, driving his father between pubs. His father rode in the tray of the ute not in the back or front seat, and just hopped off the back when he arrived telling the young boy he would find his own way home. No wonder there is a sign that says cars with brakes give way — here obviously anything can happen.

The Sheepyard Inn

Sheepyard War Memorial


G – Grawin and Glengarry Opal Fields


Last year on a road trip around northern New South Wales, my husband and I  discovered the unique Grawin and Glengarry opal fields.  Located 40 kilometres SW of Lightening Ridge — Black Opal Capital of the World — these fields mine seam black opal and were where opal was first found in the area back in the early 1900’s. It is a very rustic, natural area that makes recycling an art. Every one and everything is different and it is like nothing I have ever seen before.


The Grawin Golf Course

The Club In The Scrub

The Glengarry Hilton

This warning sign at the entrance to the area reminds everyone that you are entering an old working mine field, littered with dangers so keep to the tracks and beware.