A Chinese vego place…

That looks like a steak house! Well, we were in the country, near the Southern Highlands village of Berrima to be exact, so Zen Oasis, despite the name, blended well with its surroundings.

Zen Oasis

The food wasn’t bad either. A lot of it was standard yum cha fare, but equal favourites for me were the lemon ‘chicken’ and the fake fish.

But what are the floaties for? Free-for-all Sushi

By the time I tried all of the savoury dishes I hadn’t much room for dessert, however it was enough to fit in the pandan agar jelly.

Dessert Jelly and melon

High on a Hill

Saturday started off pretty crap weather-wise, but luckily it cleared up (mostly) to make a visit to the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk worth it.

Forested Escarpment

It’s basically a walkway suspended 20m above the ground, so you are literally among the trees.

From the Tower

While there are similar walkways around Australia it was interesting to be up so high among such familiar landscape. The views are similar to what can be had for free at Saddleback Mountain, but I think it worth doing once.


The only constant is change, so the saying goes. It’s definitely the case where Austinmer’s concerned. The beachfront has had its share of gentrification since I started visiting in the mid 90’s. The row of traditional take-aways have been replaced by a swish condo/cafe complex. Gone are the days when lunch consisted of a good old-fashioned burger (Aussie-style, with beetroot) and a bucket-load of hot chips wrapped in newspaper eaten on the beach. Well, I’m sure the modern cafe has burger and chips on its menu, but sometimes nothing beats an old-fashioned take-away burger and chips after a refreshing dip in the ocean.



An early morning drive on Sunday took me down to the village of Austinmer. I arrived so early that the lifesavers hadn’t yet set-up shop and the locals were still doing laps of the rockpool. I eventually joined them but not before taking a squizz at the beach where a few surfers were still in the water. The waves weren’t particularly big, but still decent enough for them to get a ride or two.

Austinmer Beach

Give Me Some Water – Part 5

It’s autumn now but the weather was still perfectly warm on the weekend. I went further afield for this installment, down past Wollongong, past Shellharbour, to Bass Point and the intriguingly named Bushrangers Bay.

I was introduced to this place by a friend in-the-know. It’s a secluded, sheltered little granite cove that’s a favourite among divers and snorkellers. The water is clear and even though I didn’t have proper snorkelling gear I still saw a few fish and coral. Unsurprisingly, the bay is an aquatic reserve.

I arrived early before the families came, and the place was very quiet – so quiet that I felt as if I’d stumbled on a secret pirate’s hideout. Maybe there is some truth in the name after all?

Bushrangers Bay