Beau and Monique, Dogs, Dog, Travel, Australia, Photos and Pictures

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Roast leg of lamb

roast_leg_of lamb 

Roast leg of lamb

* 1 lamb leg (approx 2.5kg)
* Sea salt
* Freshly ground white pepper
* Olive oil
* 1 carrot, peeled and chopped in half
* 1 onion, peeled and chopped in half
* 1 stick celery, washed and cut in half
* 1 head garlic, cut in half
Method:
Pre-heat oven to 180C. Rub the lamb leg with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place the vegetables and garlic in a roasting tray, place the lamb on top and roast for about 1 hour 40 minutes. This is 40 minutes per kilo but remember no oven is the same, so use this as a guide if you don’t have an oven thermometer.Turn the leg over two to three times during cooking as this helps the meat cook evenly. Remove the lamb from the oven and leave it to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
To serve:
Carve slices cutting towards the bone. This means you will be cutting across the grain of the meat, not along it, because the latter can make the meat seem chewy. My two favourite accompaniments would be a creamy potato gratin or classic ratatouille.
 

posted by Monique at 12:10 pm  

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Mick The White Koala

Mick The White Koala Bear

A rare white koala has received medical treatment in an Australian animal hospital after suffering blindness caused by chlamydia. Australian media said the koala, nicknamed Mick, was found by police and was taken to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, north of Sydney.

Mick The White Koala Bear

The koala underwent surgery and was given antibiotics to restore his sight and health. The koala came in with a chlamydial conjunctivitis. He had very bad conjunctivitis in his eyes. He’s been surgically dealt with. He’s had antibiotics and he’s looking good,” Koala Hospital supervisor Cheyne Flanagan told local media. “Mick” (as the koala has been cold) ; was not an albino, as he had a black nose and yellow eyes, but was a rare white koala.

Mick The White Koala BearThe koala was returned to the wild at a secret location to protect him from poachers. Chlamydia is a bacterium that infects a wide range of animals and is considered the main pathogen of koalas. Infections occur in the urogenital tract and respiratory tract and can cause infertility, blindness and ultimately death. The visible symptoms are conjunctivitis and urinary tract infections causing incontinence, leading to a condition known as ‘dirty tail’ or ‘wet bottom’.

Watch Video of Mick the rare and beautiful white koala .

posted by Monique at 12:49 pm  

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Beaches NSW

Beaches

As well as sun, sea and sand burnished to a state of perfection, the beaches of NSW bring style and sophistication to a day at the beach. If there was a world competition for beaches, New South Wales would be disqualified on grounds of unfair advantage. And while there are plenty of beaches here that are just perfect in their raw state, there are also quite a few that come with extras. If you prefer your beaches served with espresso bars as well as sand bars – and spas, surf lessons, and maybe a dolphin or two - the New South Wales coastline has just what you’re looking for.

Watergoes, Byron Bay, AustraliaWatergoes, Byron Bay
- Fast facts
Glorious beaches wrapped around a new age seafront town at the cutting edge of cool – ride the wild surf at The Pass or dive in for a gentle swim at Main Beach – Byron Bay is first prize in the beach lottery 790 km north of Sydney, North Coast

- Why go there
The beaches of Byron Bay are nothing less than sensational. Right on the town’s front doorstep, Main Beach is a huge sweep of sand with something for every beach lover. Down towards the lighthouse, The Pass is a popular surf break for long-boarders and, at the foot of Cape Byron itself, Watergoes is another hot spot, great for swimming – these are north-facing beaches, and when the surf turns it on, it’s epic. Rides – long and fast on tubular waves over a sandy bottom – feel like an air cushion. Dolphins sometimes surf alongside for company. To the south of the lighthouse, Tallow Beach runs for seven kilometers to Broken Head, but this beach is not patrolled. Byron Bay brings personality and pizazz to the beach experience. Since surfers put it on the map in the 1970s, Byron Bay has become a refuge for urban escapees, especially those with artistic inclinations. Under the influence of inspired artists, creative chefs, innovative hoteliers, yoga teachers, and alternative therapy gurus, Byron has become our new age paradise – and you can see it all on a day at the beach.

- Don’t miss
Julian Rocks Marine Reserve - sign up with one of the local dive operators. Learning to surf with the local experts - on a good day, waves and scenery don’t get much better than this. The sunrise walk along Cape Byron Walking Track, followed by a totally sinful breakfast at The Pass Cafe. Sunset on the beach with fish and chips from the fish cafe in Bay Lane. An outside table at Fresh in Jonson Street to watch the world go by over a fresh fruit smoothie. The nightlife at the Arts Factory Village – restaurant, bar, day spa and art house cinema all in one. Kings Beach, a clothing-optional beach at Broken Head. Kayaking with dolphins.

Newcastle, Beach, AustraliaNewcastle Beaches
- Fast facts
Sensational surf beaches in a city that has produced some world-class surfing talent over the years 156 km north of Sydney, on the North Coast

- Why go there
For a large, cosmopolitan city, Newcastle is equipped with a first-class array of beaches. From the crashing waves of the harbor in the north to the shifting, peaky waves of Nobbys Reef and Caves Beach in the south, this is a city where surf is serious stuff. Every March, Newcastle hosts Vodafone Surffest, one of Australia’s biggest surfing events. The city has spawned some of the supremos of the surf world, among them, Mark Richards, Matt Hoy, Simon Law and Luke Egan. There’s plenty here for all tastes from rock pool lovers and sandcastle builders to swimmers, at the wonderful Merewether Baths. Newcastle also brings to the beach all the pleasures of a big city with a taste for the good life. Just five minutes away and you’re at Queen’s Wharf, a smart marina/restaurant complex with a boutique brewery.

- Don’t miss
Merewether Baths, the largest sea baths in the southern hemisphere. The Bather’s Way, a scenic five kilometers coastal walk from Merewether Beach to Nobbys. The walk along the beach from the foot of Fort Scratchley to the lighthouse at Nobbys Head. Bar Beach, the quintessential family beach, which has a wonderful rock pool, where you can watch the hang-gliders launch from the lookout nearby. A surf lesson from Newcastle Surf School to learn how the experts do it. A dip in the Bogey Hole, built using convict labor in 1819 – at its best when the waves are pumping. Catch of the day at Jonah’s on the Beach, served in paper with champagne batter and lime aioli, accompanied by hand-cut chips and a side of rocket, blood orange and fennel salad.

Neds, Beach, AustraliaNeds Beach, Lord Howe Island
- Fast facts
Sheltered beach, fronting a marine reserve teeming with underwater life on Lord Howe Island Lord Howe Island was World Heritage-listed in 1982 for its rare collection of fauna, flora and marine life 700 km north-east of Sydney

- Why go there
Like most things about Lord Howe Island, its beaches are in a class of their own. Neds Beach is a marine reserve, and one of our secret treasures. Put on a snorkel and mask, step into the water and look down as colored wrasse, parrot fish and trevally swarm round your ankles in anticipation of a feed. Every evening these fish are hand fed by one of the locals in an island tradition that dates back over many years - when feeding time arrives, the water boils with sand mullet, salmon and kingfish, racing in to snap up the food. The island has several beaches on its eastern and western sides, each very different. On the western side, Lagoon Beach is the island’s largest, curving around to embrace the shallow lagoon, which is mottled with the iridescent blue-green swirls of coral. Further north there’s Old Settlement Beach, a tiny, secluded beach studded with big, sea-sculpted boulders. On the eastern side, south of Neds and close to the airport, Blinkys is the place to go for raging surf, set against a dramatic backdrop of sheer cliffs.

- Don’t miss
Sunrise from Signal Point, when the mountain peaks are wreathed in cloud. Scuba diving on the world’s most southerly coral reef. The walk through the palm trees from Neds to Malabar Hill. The Monday night fish fry at the Milky Way – and fish and chips on the beach. The full-day hike to the summit of Mount Gower – jaw-dropping views. Watching the migratory seabirds in their native habitat near Ned’s and Malabar Hill.

Sydney beaches

Bondi, Beach, AustraliaBondi Beach
- Fast facts
Big, bold and beautiful, this is where Sydney sheds its clothes and most of its inhibitions. The closest ocean beach to the center of Sydney, about a 20-minute drive.

- Why do it
This is the most celebrated beach in the country, a kilometer of golden grains where Sydney’s beautiful people come to bare it all. As well as the essential ingredients – booming surf, seagulls riding the breeze, the smell of sun-block - Bondi has a style all its own. This is see-and-be-seen territory, and nobody is ever too tanned, too thin or too muscled. Bondi also has a vibrant café and restaurant culture. Campbell Parade, which runs along the back of the beach, is a near-continuous strip of outdoor cafes and gelato bars. There’s serious food territory too, with Sean’s Panaroma and the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar dishing out food every bit as glam as the view. Stressed over beach-fashion burnout? Head one street back from the beach and you’ll find gorgeous street wear, beachwear and funky designs for a new-look you. There’s Tuchuzy, where Kylie Minogue has been spotted checking out the racks, Bikini Island for surfwear essentials, Purl Harbor for gorgeous hand knits, Alfie’s Shop for the Bondi street look and puff ‘n stuff retro clothing for vintage everything.

- Don’t miss
The Bondi to Bronte Walk Winding south from Bondi past sea-sculpted sandstone, the footpath takes you on a roller-coaster ride to Tamarama Beach – “Glamarama” to the locals - Bronte with refreshment stops and sparkling views all the way. Note the real estate – some of Sydney’s glossiest. Learning to surf with Let’s Go Surfing. Bondi Icebergs pool, especially when the waves are creaming over the breakwater. The silky gelato from Pompei’s, possibly Sydney’s finest. Sean’s Panaroma for milk-fed veal scallopine pan fried with sage, pancetta and celeriac puree. Bondi Iceberg’s Dining Room and Bar for its lusty, luscious Italian menu served in Sydney’s spunkiest dining room overlooking the beach and ocean.

Manly, Beach, AustraliaManly Beach
- Fast facts
Relaxed, shapely and shady when you need it, Manly Beach has all the essential ingredients for a great day at the beach. 30 minute ferry from Circular Quay; 17 km by road from Sydney CBD.

Why go there
Sydneysiders’ favorite beach has a lot more to it than just sun, sea and sand. Stacked on top of its five-star natural attributes is a way-cool line up of shops and boutiques and a dining scene that takes the taste buds on a gastronomic world tour. Among the leading lights of the cafes and restaurants along the beach front, Jellyfish has blue water views and a brasserie-style mod-Oz menu that works hard from breakfast to dinner. For something dressier, try the ultra-chic Whitewater Restaurant, a stunning showcase for the kitchen wizardry of chef Luke Cesare – and don’t miss the seafood tasting plate. Will and Toby’s is smart, sassy and usually packed – the essential good looking Italian from a dynamic kitchen duo who cut their culinary teeth in Darlinghurst. Further south the Bower Restaurant has a mostly Mediterranean menu to go with the sparkling sea views, a standout for weekend brunch. Close to the ferry terminal on West Esplanade, Alhambra Café & Tapas Bar is a fusion of Moroccan and Spanish flavors that will have your taste buds dancing a fandango

- Don’t miss
Oceanworld Manly, a fish-eye view of the underwater world, and if you’re feeling game, try Shark Dive Xtreme – a scuba session with sharks. The ferry ride from the city, heaven on a stick. Small and perfectly formed, Shelley Beach just to the south of Manly Beach. The Manly to Spit Bridge walk, a classic half-day stroll along beaches, through parks and tangled forest, over cliffs and coastal heath. Manly Arts and Craft Market, a weekend treat with candles, woodwork, leather, jewellery, ceramics, paintings and glass works.. A dive with Dive Center Manly - courses for all levels, plus guided boat and shore dives. Local legend Shakespeare’s Pies, supplier of the official pie of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

South Coast

Jervis, Bay, AustraliaBeaches of Jervis Bay
- Fast facts
Sparkling blue water bay lined with a string of pearly beaches such as Culburra Beach, Callala Bay and beach and Green Patch Beach 180 km south of Sydney on the South Coast

- Why go there
Just south of the Shoalhaven River, Jervis Bay measures 15 km from north to south and about 10 km across. The main town is Huskisson, from where dolphin-watch cruises, dive and fishing trips and boats depart to explore this vast waterway. The bay’s beaches are glorious, especially those starting from Greenfields Beach, just south of Vincentia, and continuing to Murrays Beach in the shelter of Bowen Island. Its sparkling waters, underwater topography of arches, caves and rock stacks and a marine population that includes gropers, wrasses, sharks, cuttlefish and sea dragons make this one of the finest dive sites in the State. At its southern end, Jervis Bay is enclosed by Booderee National Park, a pristine coastal wilderness. From Wreck Bay village on Summercloud Bay in the park’s south, a walking trail circles the peninsula to St Georges Head, passing a succession of quiet beaches, cliffs and forests. Sociable and playful, the dolphins that live within the sheltered embrace of Jervis Bay can often be seen in sallow waters close to shore – or even close to sea kayaks in the bay. And between June and November, migrating whales can be seen from boats and headlands, as they pass by or come right inside the bay.

- Don’t miss
Some of the world’s whitest sand between your toes at Hyams Beach. The sparkling scoop of sugar-white sand and sheltered waters of Murrays Beach in the shelter of Bowen Island. Bush walking along coastal trails. Exploring notable beauty spots such as Hole in the Wall, Bristol Point and Scottish Rocks and Green Patch Beach. Sea kayaking with the Jervis Bay Sea Kayak Company. The spring wildflowers in Booderee Botanic Gardens and crimson rosellas at Green Patch. A dolphin cruise or a whale watch cruise from Huskisson. Diving, either from Green Patch or a boat dive with a Huskisson dive operator.

Pebbly, Beach, AustraliaPebbly Beach
- Fast facts
This coastline was created by Mother Nature in a moment of wild extravagance. 279 km south of Sydney

- Why go there
Between Ulladulla and Batemans Bay on the State’s South Coast, the sandy beaches with sparkling water are backed by forests where eastern grey kangaroos appear silently from among the banksias and wait to be hand fed. Pebbly, famous for its kangaroos, is the best known of all these beaches, but there are several others including Depot and South Durras, where the Pacific rollers swell as they rise from the sea and flex into creamy white breakers. In recognition of its unique character, much of this coastline has been preserved as national park. Camping comes naturally here, and there’s nothing like a night under the stars, falling asleep to the sound of waves. South of Batemans Bay the beaches are typically smaller and sheltered, cupped between headlands where the waves crash laying white icing across splintered fingers of dark rocks.

- Don’t miss
The drive south from Batemans Bay along Beach Road, which winds past a string of gorgeous coves and beaches. Batemans Bay’s 27-hole Catalina Country Club, rated one of the finest coastal courses in the country. A cruise along the Clyde River from Batemans Bay to Nelligen, 11 km upriver. Murramarang National Park, with its friendly eastern grey kangaroos and cabins by the beach. Fishing – and with a choice of river, estuary, beaches and big game fishing, Batemans Bay is a fisherman’s dream. Clyde River oysters fresh from the estuary.

posted by Monique at 12:26 pm  

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