Our village has an active Travel Sub-Committee (reformed in 2015) which is tasked with arranging group travel events for residents. These events can vary from a bus trip to a local attraction for the day up to major holidays or tours lasting several days or weeks depending on resident interest.
Additionally, from time to time small groups of residents who share a common interest will arrange special travel events or outings for themselves.
Reports of these travel events will appear on this page.
2nd December, Hunter Valley Gardens Xmas lights
Late afternoon saw around 30 residents boarding a coach for an evening trip to the Hunter Valley Gardens and their amazing Xmas Lights show.
The first thing upon arrival was a scrumptious dinner in the Gardens restaurant.
Peter Kilgannon was enchanted by an Irish Chorister who sang a carol to him in Gaelic.
Residents enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Garden Terrace Restaurant.
More residents with Phil the Coach driver in the foreground.
And a few more residents enjoying the wonderful dinner.
Here is just a small sample of photographs depicting the many amazing light displays seen throughout the gardens. These were taken during a seperate visit by residents.
There is no doubt that this is indeed a world class display which is presented every year from November to January. It is always well worth a visit.
14 October 2019, Newcastle Harbour Cruise
Our travel committee did a great job organising an outing for 49 residents who went on a Newcastle Harbour Luncheon Cruise and had a very relaxing and enjoyable day. Here are few photographs of their day out.
1st July 2019, Day trip to the Drovers Camp
It was a cold and chilly, but a lovely sunny, Monday morning when over 60 residents gathered in the RSL car park next door at 8am to begin a memorable day out to Drovers Camp in the Hunter Valley. The large number of residents required the hiring of two coaches for the first time.
After quick roll call our happy travellers were assigned to one of the buses and we all clambered onboard.
Diane kept one of the bus groups under control while on the other bus her fellow travel Sub-committee member, Ted, took control.
There was a stop in Cessnock along the way for a much appreciated “cuppa”. And the sun continued to shine for us.
Next stop was our destination, THE DROVERS CAMP….
Some interesting Aussie bush “things” scattered around, even on the ceiling of the shed..
Our lunch appetiser was a batch of freshly baked damper with butter and a choice of either home made chutney or honey. Absolutely delicious, so much so in fact that it was all gone before there was a chance to take a photo…..
The damper was quickly followed by a real bush camp oven roast of beef and pork with hot veggies and gravy.. DELICIOUS…
Of course this was all washed down with provisions from a well stocked bar.
We were well entertained with a range of bush poetry readings, jokes, a bit of didgeridoo playing and of course the stars of the show were the singing dogs, the Fleabag Trio.
This was followed by a delicious dessert. The main choice was a golden syrup pudding with custard, but if that was not to taste there was a further choice of home made apple pie and ice cream..
After a bit more entertainment it was soon time to head for home.
OH.. and this was a birthday gift to one of our number. You can read the label for yourself.
Our buses await…
A great day out, plenty of good food and a lot of laughs….
Well done Diane and the travel sub-committee.
April 2019, Cruise to Moreton Island from Sydney
Travel Convenor Diane reports:
On 1st April, 2019 at 8.00AM, 15 residents departed by shuttle service to join P&O’s “Pacific Explorer” to Moreton Island. We boarded at noon and the ship left on time with a very pleasant exit from Sydney Harbour.
Everybody went their own way around the ship but we all dined together. In the evenings we some saw spectacular shows at the Marquee Theatre, others were serenaded in the piano lounge and some discoed until late at night.
The weather was overcast with heavy seas on the way up, but the cocktails were just as nice below deck as above deck. Moreton Island ranged from sunshine to overcast but no rain, some went ashore while others were happy to relax on deck looking over to the Island. The sun came out on the way home and a lot of time was spent above deck.
One night was a Gatsby night, if there was to be a prize for the outfits, I would have given first prize to Jan & George for their fabulous dress up, Ted & Chris, Margaret, Jan & Elaine were an equal second.
We returned to Alloura Waters Davistown at 11.45AM, 5th April 2019 very refreshed from our wonderful cruise.
There is a real scarcity of photos, however we have managed to get hold of a few which show that everyone had a good time.
And the following morning….
This seems to be all that made it down to breakfast….. It must have been a heavy night..
Well done Dianne for arranging such a fun trip..
13 March 2019, Fiddler Irish Pub luncheon
To celebrate St Patricks Day, a bus load of our residents headed to the Fiddler Irish Pub for a luncheon and a sip of Guinness or two. Here are a few photos of the happy band enjoying themselves.
A good day out enjoyed by all…..
5th February 2018, A day out to North Head and WW2 Tunnels.
An early morning start saw a combination of village residents and local Probus Club members board the coach for a day trip down to North Head and the Manley Beach area. In particular, we were heading for the North Head World War 2 gun emplacements which defended the entrance to Sydney Harbour in those uncertain times.
Our first stop was on the foreshore of Manley Beach for a quick “cuppa”.
The weather was perfect and there were many locals also enjoying the seaside with us.
Suitably refreshed, we headed off to North Head, just up the road..
Several volunteer guides soon had us split up into small groups and we began our walk around the complex..
First up, we had a tour of the Memorial walk where each of the many conflicts that Australia has been involved in over the years was featured.
The bricks making up the walk were individual memorials to those that had served.
After the memorial walk we came to the gun emplacements and tunnels. Time and the weather has taken its toll on the old infrastructure above ground but underground things are fairly well preserved.
We soon found ourselves roughly 30ft underground and into the old ammunition storage areas and tunnels.
The complex had its own electrical diesel generators back in the day.
After saying thanks and goodbye to our guide it was “all aboard” the coach again.
Next stop was the Dee Why RSL for a late lunch
So, after a strenuous walk up and down stairs and through tunnels, followed by a nice lunch did we snooze on the drive back home???
OF COURSE WE DID!!!!!
Well done Gloria and Team, you did it again!!
**Note…. This area is open every weekend for people to wander around and is well worth a visit. Entry is free..
Of course guides need to escort visitors in groups underground but there is plenty to see just wandering around above ground on your own.
3rd December to 8th December 2017, a six day Jindabyne Trip.
(Thanks to Leonie for most of this written report)
Firstly we must thank Gloria for another well planned and organised trip, although we were hit with a very cold blast of weather for the first two days it did not deter us from having a great time.
We headed off to Jindabyne very early on Sunday 3rd December in the hands of Colin our coach driver. We are getting to know Colin quite well after having him drive us about a few times on other trips.
The “piece de-résistance” was of course our guide Allen. Allen is one of those “politically Incorrect” people you run into from time to time. I’m not sure whom he dislikes more, the Greens or the Wombats. He was full of local knowledge and very good jokes. Allen coined the phrase “The Geriatric Gypsies” referring to us lot, as opposed to “Grey Nomads”. I think we preferred Allen’s description.
Our accomodation for the week was the Jindabyne Hotel/Motel with the lake right outside our back doors.
We stayed there for the five nights on a “full board” basis with days out on the bus each day. Full buffet hot breakfasts, pack lunches and a three course evening meal each day meant that we never went hungry.
Three course hot meals each evening gave us a chance to mingle and discuss the days travels.
Each day the staff packed a lunch of sandwiches, cake, fruit juices, tea and coffee for us to take on the bus and we usually found a nice picnic area to have a break around mid-day.
Allen gave us a comprehensive insight into the surrounding districts from his extensive personal knowledge. He also took us to many places of interest and what follows are just a few of the highlights
What an experience Thredbo was. A lot of us braved the chair lift in the rain and mist, but it was worth it to have a hot drink at the Hawkes Nest Café. It was about 3C or 4C at the bottom and about 1.5C at the top, BBBRRR!!!!
There was snow left on the peeks at Charlotte Pass, so the cameras were out.
All a bit strange for early December…
I don’t know about anyone else but the trip down to Eucumbene Dam was scary, it’s a long way down. That’s something I don’t have to do ever again. Unfortunately, the mist and low cloud did not give us much of a look at the dam and surrounds.
We were given a good overview of the Snowy Scheme and many were surprised to hear that the principal reason for the scheme was to provide a reliable source of irrigation water to the agriculture areas to the west, electricity generation being only a secondary ( but still important) outcome.
There were many talented artists working on the scheme. These were drawn by the well known newspaper cartoonist, Mercier.
Working conditions were rough and would not be tolerated today. Here is a typical setup for a surveyors campsite.
Of course the shop was popular..
As was the occasional chance for a warming coffee..
The weather gradually improved after the first day and we were able spend a little more time outdoors. The guided tour of the trout hatchery was most interesting, particularly the fish feeding.
We met Brad and Monica Spaulding at the Wildbrumby Schnapps Distillery. Of course there was taste testing of a wide range of Schnapps. The most potent was the Devils Tongue, a bit hot for some but not others. Reports after tasting were as follows; a glow, a tingling to the lips and a flush.
Brad is an accomplished artist as well as a distiller and some clever and quirky “art work” was seen around the grounds.
Next stop was Cooma Goal, I think we were all lucky to be let out again. Our group were well informed by our guide Kelvin. This is claimed to be the the only jail in the world where serving offenders act a visitor tour guides. It certainly was interesting but naturally photography was a little restricted.
Eventually they concluded that we would be far too much trouble to keep locked up so we were allowed to leave…
Our last port of call was the old Victorian Homestead called Burnima. Steve, the current owner, showed us through with some interesting info on the place. A grand old building filled with many antique items. It was a look at a time gone by.
Out in the grounds there were more interesting items to view and ponder over.
All too soon our time at Jindabyne was over and it was time to head for home. Once again the staff packed us a great morning tea and lunch to sustain us on our travel home.
Our final lunch involved a stop at Lake Alexandra in Mittagong.
Overall the food was good the company great and thanks again to Gloria.
I loved it all. ……………Leonie.
5th October 2017, A day out at the Races.
This is another event which is becoming an annual regular outing for our residents. This time around 50 eager punters headed to the Gosford Race Course for their Spring Racing Carnival.
As we did last year, we again had access to a very comfortable air conditioned corporate lounge which was most welcome on this 28C degree day, a little warm outside for some.
There were no reports of anyone beating the bookies although some did very well. Unfortunately your webmaster was not among them.
Another very pleasant and fun day out, THANKS BARRY……….
21st February, 2017, Day out to Berowra Waters
After setting our alarms for an early morning start (actually 8:30am) a group of residents and a few of their Probus mates gathered to await the arrival of their coach transport for a great day out. The weather was ideal, a nice sunny 27 degree day.
Before long the coach arrived and we all clambered aboard..
Once we were all settled it was off to Cumberland State Park for a morning tea stop..
When everyone had finished their tea and bikkies we travelled on to the Berowra Waters Marina. Many of us enjoyed the knowledge Driver Phil had of the local area and as we traveled along he gave us a very informative commentary on features as we passed them.
Before long we arrived at the marina to board our lunch cruise boat. The M.V. Macquarie Princess is a timber cruiser which was built in 1915 and has served a number of communities in several roles with several names over her many years. Currently she operates as a tourist cruiser based at Berowra Waters Marina operating lunch, dinner or customised river cruises as required. She is the oldest working riverboat on the eastern seaboard.
Before long we were on our way and pulling out of the marina, passing many much more modern cruisers than ours…
Near the end of the marina we got a glimpse of the Berowra Car Ferry which operates 24/7 all year around.
It was not long before some were sampling what was on offer from the onboard bar.
Lunch consisted of chicken, prawns, coleslaw and green salad with a dinner roll. This was followed by a dessert of cake and custard with tea or coffee also provided.. Very tasty indeed..
An interesting aspect of the cruise was viewing how the other half live here on the river.
There are many “opulent” houses right on the rivers edge but the unique aspect of them is that despite only being a short distance from the Sydney suburbs they are somewhat isolated and can only be accessed by boat. There is no road access, water supply or sewerage services to most of the homes and very few of them have an electricity supply from the state grid. Whatever is needed must be bought in by boat.
Another highlight of the cruise was to pause at the rivers edge and view an ancient aboriginal rock carving said to be several hundreds of years old. The outline of a fish can be seen on the face of the large rock pictured below.
Back at the marina it was time to say thanks to the cruise crew…
After re-boarding the coach Driver Phil delivered us back to Alloura Waters.
A great day was had by all.. Thanks Gloria and the Travel Committee..
November 14th 2016, Dolphin Watch Cruise
(Report by Gloria with additional photos by Wes)
What a great day out we had on Monday 14th November. Brian our driver for Coastal Liners picked up 40 of us from the RSL car park and off we went down the Freeway (M1) to the Port Stephens region to catch the boat for our Dolphin Cruise. A lovely sunny day but a bit windy
We had morning tea on the boat and held on to everything and anything as the boat was bobbing about like a cork. Caught sight of a few dolphins although they were reluctant to come too near the boat in the choppy waters.
After our cruise we were off to the West Nelsons Bay Diggers for our lunch which was very enjoyable and we were able to spend some fun time socialising with the happy wanderers.
Once we had filled out bellies and quenched our thirst we were taken to the Medowie Macadamia Farm where the owner gave us a very interesting talk on the process of growing the nuts.
Evidently the nuts fall in June/July in the cooler months, having taken 32 weeks to grow. On this farm the trees are about 40 years old, and they usually start fruiting around 10 years old. On average the farm produces approximately 15 tons of macadamias a year. The nuts are collected from the ground and not from the tree. The nuts are then sent off to a “cracker” (who will use the shell for fuel) and the nut is then returned to the farm for flavouring, chocolate coating, oils and dressing etc. which are then sold in the farm’s shop.
….A long day but thoroughly enjoyable one….
November 9th 2016, A Day at the Races
In what is becoming a regular event, Barry B arranged once again for a group of around 40 of our residents to attend the Gosford Races for a fun day out. We were more than pleased to find ourselves seated in a very comfortable lounge area with a great view of the racecourse, a very well stocked bar and a handy TAB counter for placing our bets.
It was not too long before we were feeling right at home.
There was also a good range of food available from the restaurant below with a staff member willing to take orders and deliver up to our tables if required, we were quite spoiled.
The surprise of the day was to have Race 5 named for us to acknowledge our visit and support on the day. The photograph above is an extract of the betting book and details of the winning horse, Hostwin Vintage, Number 1.
Note the Living Choice logo being displayed on the other side of the Track, well able to be seen by all punters at the track and, I assume, viewers of Sky Sports who were televising the meeting around Australia.
A highlight of the day was to have several members of our Residents Ambassador Group present the winners trophy to the horses connections.
The owner of the horse was not able to be present but he was represented by the Racing Manager, Jason, in the cream slacks and the Trainer, Gary Moore, in the blue shirt above.
Interestingly, Gary Moore was once a leading jockey on the Hong Kong racing circuit for some years and is from a prominent racing family. To quote Wikipedia “…George Moore, OBE, was an Australian jockey and thoroughbred horse trainer. … Another son, Gary W. Moore, was a successful jockey who won seven Hong Kong riding championships.”
Although the final race was called off due to a quite violent thunderstorm with lightning which hit the area in the late afternoon, it was a great day thoroughly enjoyed by us all.
WELL DONE BARRY… lets do it all again next year!!!!
September 24th 2016, A day bus trip to the Hunter Valley Gardens
(Miriam E sent in this report of a day trip out for some keen gardeners)
Sixteen happy people boarded the Living Choice Bus at 9.30 a.m. Why were we happy?
– Because we were going on an outing, without having to worry about getting there.
– We were going to see the beauty of nature.
– It was a beautiful day, weather wise.
Brian, our patient, generous and expert driver, took us to the Hunter Valley through great rural scenery.
When we arrived , some made for the outdoor café for a welcome cuppa. Others had time for a stroll around.
When ready, we boarded our little train, which took us through the gardens. A great boon for all those who couldn’t walk too far. Our guide was very informative and we all enjoyed being driven and educated.
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the gardens. They were full of spring flowers, some of them arranged in a most ingenious way.
All grandmas there were delighted with the Grandma garden, depicting a (rather young) granny with her grandchildren. The artist makes another statuette whenever she gets a new grandchild.
The owners (Roche family) try to make the gardens interesting for children, so there are lots of statues and nooks and topiary and the Nursery Rhyme section brought back childhood memories.
There are plenty of water features, including a waterfall, lake, streams and Chinese bridges.
We had an excellent light lunch – some indulged in a glass of wine – after which we had more free time to roam around again.
After lunch there was more to see…
Later in the day, and feeling somewhat “walked out”, we boarded our bus, but were revived somewhat on the way home by a visit to the chocolate factory! Great ice creams!
Our thanks go to Brian for driving us, and to Garry and Living Choice for making the bus available. It was a great outing, and we were all happy coming home for having experienced some of the beauty of gardens – something we were all more than interested in.
Thanks for the report Miriam..
August 2016, A day bus trip out to the Northern Beaches and Pittwater area
Once again, Gloria and her able assistant, Betty, organised a great “Day Out” coach trip for residents and their efforts were very much appreciated. This time the coach trip was down to Manly then up along the northern Sydney beaches with a stop for lunch at a club at Mona Vale and home through the Bayview and Pittwater areas. Although the weather was a bit cool and dull with the occasional brief shower a very enjoyable day was still had.
The original plan was to stop at Manly Dam for morning tea however as we approached we ran into one of the few rain showers we experienced on the day, so a quick diversion was organised to the Baha’i Temple at Ingleside. This has a very convenient undercover outdoor venue which the Temple attendants were very pleased for us to use and shelter in.
We were both surprised by and very impressed with the beautiful huge Temple and surrounding grounds which are open to the public on most days.
Suitably refreshed we were soon on our way towards Manly. Along the way the bus suddenly erupted with repeated calls of “Boo, Boo”. We seemed to be passing a building which, somehow, did not meet with the approval of all travellers.
Before long we arrived to commence our drive northward along the beaches.
We then travelled past many beachside properties badly damaged from recent storm activity, long stretches of the beach remain fenced off because of the danger to the public.
And soon it was time for lunch so we called into a local club at Pittwater.
Having left the coast and beaches we made our way home through Bayview and Pittwater areas. The sheer number of private boats on these waterways was astounding to see.
All too soon, the day was over and we arrived back at Davistown.
Our thanks go to Gloria and Betty for organising such a lovely day out, we hope to do it again soon.. WELL DONE!!
May 2016, A day bus trip out to Featherdale Park
Gloria, our travel Sub-Committee Convenor reports on another successful bus trip…. Ed.
Our recent day trip saw 19 of our residents and 4 friends from outside the village having a wonderful time at the Featherdale Wildlife Park. The weather was great, and so was the company. Featherdale offered us the opportunity to view and interact with creatures of the bird, (which were amazing), mammal and reptilian variety. You could cuddle up to a Koala, handfeed the Kangaroos and enjoy the sights and sounds of one of Australia’s largest collection of native species.(I personally didn’t bother with the crocodile)!!!
Here are some of the photos taken on the day to have a look at.
Gloria – Travel Convenor
Some of the bird life
Some not so cute!!
And after all that animal watching it was time for some refreshments…
Once again, a great day out organised by our Travel Sub-Committee.
April 2016, Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island
Gloria, our Travel Sub-Committee Convenor has reported on a recent successful trip away. I can confirm that many of the travellers have told me privately that the trip was very well organised, was most enjoyable and that they cant wait for the next one. Glorias report and photographs are below…… Editor.
What a wonderful 10 day holiday we have had with a great crowd of people, exploring the Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island in South Australia. 19 Alloura Waters residents were on this trip and a good time was had by all.
After a very calm flight from Sydney down to Melbourne we were met by Warwick, our coach captain, who was to remain with us for the rest of the trip. In no time at all we were off to our first nights accomodation where we were able to socialise and relax at dinner for our first evening before setting of on our travels.
The following photographs are a reminder of this very happy and interesting trip.
Flinders Chase National Park
February 2016, Newcastle Harbour Cruise
Monday 1st February saw a load of residents board a Scenic Horizons chartered coach and set off for Newcastle and a harbour lunch cruise.
First stop along the way was Blackbutt Reserve for morning tea. This reserve was in pristine condition after a recent refurbishment and many residents would have liked to have stayed longer and explore the wildlife and other attractions of the reserve.
Few could resist the sumptuous morning tea provided by Scenic Tours host, Kerrie, with her home baked goodies and a cuppa which was most appreciated.
Then it was on to Newcastle and our cruise….
And the residents settled down to some great sightseeing and plenty of chatting of course..
A very tasty lunch of prawns, ham off the bone and chicken along with a good range of salads was served. Sweet treats followed.
After lunch some of us retired to the top open air deck for coffee…
All to soon we were back at the dock and heading for the bus and home…
Before leaving Newcastle our driver, Warren, took us on a sightseeing tour around the beaches and coast areas before heading south for home.
Everyone agreed that it had indeed been a great day out..
WELL DONE Gloria and the Travel Sub-Committee.
October 2015, Tobruk Merino Sheep Station
On Thursday 29th October a chartered coach load of 39 residents set off to the Tobruk Merino Sheep Station. We left the village on the Scenic Horizon coach and wound our way along the M1, onto the Pennant Hills Road, then through the very pretty areas of Dural, Glenorie and Maroota towards Wisemans Ferry before turning into the Tobruk sheep station. The coach was met by a whip-cracking horse rider which put us all into a great frame of mind for an exciting and adventurous day.
On arrival Nick, the station’s host, and who we came to realise was definitely a “Jack Of All Trades”, took us to the yard where our damper and billy tea was simmering away in the hot coals and where we had a thoroughly enjoyable morning refreshment of warm damper with marge and syrup and some very hot billy tea.
We were given demonstrations of “duck mustering” (ducks are used to train the young working dogs) and sheep herding by the very clever and experienced working dogs. We were given a demonstration of how sheep were shorn in the old days with both manual shears and present day electrical equipment, this was where Nick showed his expertise by shearing a poor little sheep.
Tobruk Station is situated on 150 acres on a high plateau above the Hawkesbury River, surrounded by State Forests with amazing views to the Blue Mountains.
We had a very enjoyable stockman’s barbeque lunch with a wine or two and then some of our group tried their hand at Boomerang throwing and whip-cracking. Some were OK!!! Others a bit “dodgy”. Then there was time for a bit of a wander around.
Some of the ladies bought souvenirs of cute furry sheep and the guys a cap or two.
This was a trip to remember with everybody having a thoroughly enjoyable day. Definitely a trip that can be recommended.