Stories strange but true

Your life... your story - Blogs, Videos & Podcasts!

Catamarans - A Passion - Mike Tolley

So what’s your passion?... Whether travelling or not do you like to paint or draw, write stories or garden?... Maybe do marathons?? or maybe sailing? What is it that defines ‘YOU’ …

Well during our stay in Hervey Bay QLD we met up with Mike Tolley and his daughter Eliza who are a well respected catamaran sailing team – Mike & Eliza have in fact been Australian Champions – twice – 2017 & 2019 in the NACRA 17ft Catamaran sailing championships – we’ll explain what NACRA is shortly…

But we wanted to find out why they drove all the way from Cairns in FNQ to Hervey Bay for this years’ 2021 race!


Ok - you're approaching or just over 60 right?... so are you a 'SKIN' (Spending The Kids Inheritance Now?)... maybe a ‘NOMAD’ perhaps? (Grey or otherwise) similar to a Gypsy... or are you a ‘RAT’ ?...

We accidentally came up with the last one - 'RATS'...  after recently  chatting with the managers of the Toowoomba Motor Village in QLD Wendy & Vaughn where we've been 'locked down' for several months due to COVID-19.

They've done a great job of running the place over the past 7 years or so and while recording a short podcast with them we asked "so what's the plan after you finish up here?" to which Wendy replied... "We just wanna Retire And go Travelling!" 

Kaye & Chica 'Chillin'

After nearly 2 years full-time ‘on the road’, I woke up this morning and said to my wife Kaye - “WOW!... finally we’ve got our life back!” – She smiled that ‘knowing smile’.

Not that life in our house of almost 30 years back in Sydney was ‘bad’. We’d managed the odd holiday here and there. Paid off the mortgage some years ago. Started a few ‘personal projects’ of interest related to pets & animals generally and to be honest we were quite happy.

The house we built is often referred to as a ‘KDR’ or Knock Down & Rebuild. Nothing fancy but then neither are we. It was originally close to our place of work then when that dried up our on-going freelance work was able to be done mostly from the house.

Cool Waters with 15yr old Josh

At 15yrs of age most 'young male adults' are either itching to leave home, start work or buy a new X-box or equivalent. Not young Josh! He's passionate about & studying all kinds of things like spiders, tarantulas, scorpions & carnivorous plants! - It's this last one that had us fascinated.

And we bet you too will probably find it hard to pronounce many of the plants he mentions in this short chat we had with him at the Cool Waters Holiday Park in Cairns FNQ


Dream Weaver - Dave Kirk
"Follow your dreams!..." That's exactly what Dave Kirk reckons is the 'secret' to a happy life - and that's just what he's done too.

We met Dave & his lovely wife Marie at the Cool Waters Caravan Park in Cairns FNQ. Kaye was out walking one afternoon and heard someone playing guitar - pretty well as it happens!...

Given her curiosity and love of music she went and checked it out and the rest of the story is in this podcast with Dave.

From 'hitting the road' at the tender age of 14 to writing and recording several CD's Dave has an awesome story to tell.

You can check out his CD's here: 

Inside Paronella Park

Their slogan is 'The Dream Continues' and that's exactly what they are doing, all because of Mark Evans and his wife Judy's passion for this amazing location created by Jose Paronella back in 1935.

After Jose's passing the park was literally left to rot until Mark & Judy spotted the 'opportunity' to revive something so very unique to this country and something they've been doing over the past 26 years and continue to do so today.

In this chat Mark talks passionately about how they got involved and what they see as the future for Paronella Park


Cool Waters with Michelle & Kaye

There has to be something 'magical' that brings a person back to the same spot over a 40+ year period. But what could it be?....

The name of the place, 'Cool Waters' in the Cairns FNQ suburb of Brinsmead, speaks for itself with it's aptly name creek 'Freshwater' surrounded by palm trees, turtles and fish.

During a casual stroll along the creek, Kaye came across this very caring family enjoying the local beauty and asked mum Michelle why the place is so special to them.

Oh and no, there are no crocodiles here however Michelle has plenty to say about the number of crocs in and around Cairns and what needs to be done to keep people safe.


Jesse's Pies - Cardwell FNQ

On our recent visit to Cardwell FNQ, we couldn't resist trying out a pie or two at the famous 'Jesse's Pies'

This amazing beachside pop-up kitchen has been in operation for over 40 years with brothers Rob and Greg Jesse launching their bright yellow van 29 years ago when their father retired from the local bakery.

And while the boys are passionate about making & selling pies to travellers everywhere, they really do wish for a bigger and better future for the small town of Cardwell - all but wiped off the map by Cyclone Yasi in 2011.


The Kelly Family
You never know who you'll meet on the road or what they are doing unless you ask right?... 

Well we did just that recently when we thought we'd caught up with the famous 'blonde nomads'!...
WRONG... but Glen & Kelly Warren and their 4 gorgeous kids have another equally fascinating story.

Amazingly they are not your typical 'blonde or even grey nomads' - They are a young family that are keen to try absolutely everything life has to offer and their idea of 'glamping' is very different to what is on offer today!
You can read more about them on their website:


All About BlazeAid

Kevin Butler is a former teacher who runs a sheep farm in Kilmore East. He and wife Robyn are the forces behind BlazeAid, which they started after the Black Saturday bush fires destroyed three kilometres of their fences back in February 2009.

BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Working alongside the rural families.

Their volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.

Equally important, volunteers also help to lift the spirits of people who are often facing their second or third flood event after years of drought, or devastating losses through bushfires.

CH7 News Exclusive

While neither of us are what you might call 'ambulance chasers' but with our collective mainstream media background, we're both very aware that the sound of a siren - particularly if approaching close by then stopping - can mean some kind of 'drama' is unfolding. 

And this is exactly what happened while we were at the Stockton Beach Holiday Park in late September.

We'd gone up to Stockton (Newcastle NSW) for a week to catch up with some family and attend an event called 'WoodStockton' a one day music & food festival held at the local bowling club.