A Travellerspoint blog

Fish & Chips

learning how to fish in Forster - and then eating our beer battered triumphs

overcast 22 °C

With a few days to go until our New Zealand trip, Paddy and I accepted an invitation from his friend Alicia to come spend a couple days at her vacation house in Forster (pronounced "Fostah") with her boyfriend Pedini (which is his last name; his first name is Luke, but since this is how he was introduced to me, the last name has stuck) and our friends Dylan and Rachel. We embarked on the four hour drive with Dyl and Rach on Sunday morning, gearing up for a couple days of fishing and relaxing on the water. At this point, I was the only one who had never really fished before, so I had nooo idea how that was going to go down...

Soon after we arrived at the house, the boys - who all study marine biology together at UTS - grabbed fishing rods and set out on a dingy while Alicia, Rach and I enjoyed a round of girl talk. Alicia's house was well located on a quiet "court" on the lake, and we enjoyed the scenery as we got to know each other over snacks on the patio. I'd met Rach on my first trip to Sydney, but Alicia was a new friend and we had a great time chatting. The boys returned with a couple flathead fish, which Pedini cut up on the spot and stuck in the fridge for lunch the next day. Kinda gross, but it was impressive to watch!

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After dinner (a delicious risotto Pedini made) and a round of "couple's Scrabble," the six of us set out for a little night fishing. All was quiet until Alicia caught... a blowfish! It was funny to watch the fish balloon itself as Alicia lifted it out of the water, but of course she let it go (not sure how blowfish would taste beer-battered...). Feeling pumped, I cast my prawn-hooked line out into the dark water, and after only a couple minutes, caught my first fish: a brim! It was a cute little fish, but since I didn't have the nerve to take the hook out of its mouth, Paddy had to help me set it free.

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The next morning, I set off the with boys to go "yabby fishing" for bait (little prawns, or "nippers" as everyone referred to them). We hopped into kayaks and paddled around the corner to a shallow area dotted with what looked like crab holes. Metal pumps were placed over these holes in order to suction out the nippers, and within an hour, we were able to collect a whole bucket full of bait to use for the rest of the afternoon.

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The afternoon was capped off with a meal of freshly caught flathead fish and chips and the most incredible catch of the trip - Rach caught a blue swimmer crab on her fishing line!

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To see the full album, click here

Posted by Alykat 02:29 Archived in Australia Tagged fishing flathead fish_and_chips forster blowfish brim blue_swimmer_crab Comments (0)

Jazzy as a Fit

the most popular car in sydney (at least from my perspective)

sunny 27 °C

They say Toyota is the most popular choice for Australian car buyers (and has been for the past eight years), but in Sydney, I disagree: Honda, specifically the Jazz model (or Honda Fit to the Americans) is by far the top choice.

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I've lost count of how many times I've seen these sweet little hatchbacks fly past me (particularly the sunshine yellow one pictured above), but Paddy's starting to get sick of me chirping "Fit!" every time one drives by. Ever since I adopted my own Honda Fit (in jazz-y metallic purple), I've had a "Fit Radar" in my head that goes off whenever I'm in the vicinity of another Fit. Must mean it's love.

I love my Fit.

Posted by Alykat 18:57 Archived in Australia Tagged cars toyota honda_fit honda_jazz Comments (0)

Domestic Lesson #1: Laundry

the umbrella-like contraption I'd like to introduce to the US...

sunny 20 °C


When I first saw the Hills Hoist in a friend's backyard, I thought it was an umbrella lacking sun-blocking fabric. It had all the same features: a tall middle pole, rods sticking out in all directions, and a crank to make it taller or shorter. I thought nothing of it until I passed it later on and saw laundry pinned to the lines between the rods. An umbrella for laundry?

Turns out the Hills Hoist is an Australian invention dating back to the 1940s, and it's pretty much a staple in suburban homes here and over in New Zealand. Most of my friends' houses I've visited in Australia have one, whether they live in a beach community, a city suburb, or the deep country, and it tickles me sometimes to see everything from shirts and shorts to bedsheets and bath mats on it, blowing in the wind in the backyard.

When you live in such a dry country, it's surely more economical to dry your clothes outside than in a dryer (which most houses here appear to lack anyway.) Given the temperamental weather patterns across the US (and the pride many people take in their backyard landscaping), I imagine the Hills Hoist wouldn't catch on in most communities. But, as someone who air drys most of their laundry by hanging it in every door frame around the house, it's certainly something I wouldn't mind importing.

Posted by Alykat 16:42 Archived in Australia Tagged laundry hills_hoist Comments (0)

Oh, how I missed you.

coogee beach, wildlife world, harry de wheels pies, circular quay

sunny 26 °C

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Posted by Alykat 15:00 Archived in Australia Tagged animals koala beach sydney_opera_house harbour_bridge coogee lorikeet Comments (0)

Happy New Year, Australia!

nothing like a 95 degree start to 2011.

sunny 32 °C

My NYE was pretty low-key: donning shorts and tank tops, Paddy, myself, Shellie, Paddy's high school friend Greg, Paddy's brother Matt and his girlfriend Chloe played several intense rounds of Uno, flip cup and Kings' cup and had a backyard "barbie" before dashing over to a friend's house for the fireworks. Unfortunately, the view from their house was pretty hindered, but at least we caught Sydney's display on TV. I hear the city spends $5 million on their NYE fireworks - a pretty hefty investment, but the results were certainly fantastic.

As for New Years Day, my experience would be best summed up in this series of photos from Field Day - the music festival I attended at The Domain with a big group of friends. The Domain is right next to the Botanical Gardens, a stone throw from the Opera House and central business district (CBD) of Sydney. Pretty unbeatable location. Performers included Chromeo, The Rapture, A-Trak, Duck Sauce, Art vs. Science, and Justice - a mixture of head-banging DJ music and alternative rock bands. Aussies froth on DJ music, and it's very dance-able...

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While it was a fantastic day, the combination of heavy beat music, free beer (thanks to this glorious recycling program where every can/bottle/plastic cup you collect from the ground and turn in to the recycling station is worth a $1 drink ticket, and between Paddy, Shellie and I, we collected 43) plus the heat, the cool, overcast days that have since followed have been most welcome!

Posted by Alykat 16:46 Archived in Australia Tagged new music day festival field years nye Comments (0)

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