Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in Australia!!!

Christmas is very different here is Australia and I thought I would share some of what we do. I live in Townsville in far north tropical Queensland. It is summer and very very hot!!! About 32 C every day, nights are only a little bit cooler and very humid. So humid sometimes everything feels wet. There will be no cooking for our Chrissie fare. Cold meats, chicken and ham with lots of different salads and garlic bread. Ice cold fruit punch to drink. A spiked batch for the adults!! Maybe roast potatoes because we just love them so much. Seafood is a huge deal for Christmas lunch. Prawns are a must. Kids are outside playing in the water while the full stuffed adults lie back and 'supervise'. Pudding and custard for afters. We will be eating left overs for days. Aussie Christmas is very much an onslught of the digestive system. Too hot to do anything else but eat!
Townsville or the 'Ville' is where I live. You can see Magnetic Island as well. 

Boxing Day is usually spent at any one of the wonderful water parks are local council have available free of charge. The Strand Waterpark is one. Beach on one side and the city on the other. Surf life savers always patrol. We come here a lot.  I find a spot under a shady palm catching the see breeze in my camp chair while the kids get drenched.

We spend afternoons and nights here at The Strand. A walk way that stretches the length of the beach. The Waterpark is here, BBQ facilities, playgrounds, large park area for night markets. A pier that goes out into the water. For New Years Eve a pontoon is floated out and the fireworks are shown of it. Everyone gets a great view.

The Space Net on the beach for the kids, big and small. It's in front of the only stinger net in Townsville. Living in the tropics and having palm lined beaches and aquamarine water may look pretty but we don't swim in it!! Criminal I know. We have the box jellyfish which is about all Spring and Summer. It's sting can is extremely painful and can sometimes be fatal. So councils along the coast put up stinger nets every season so you can swim safely and they are always patrolled by trained life savers. So if anything should happen they can treat you immediately.
At the north end of the Strand is the Rock Pool. Nearly every summer it is closed at least once so that a crocodile or two can be removed!! Usually baby ones. Occasionally a reef shark will be washed in. They are harmless but still give you a fright.

A river goes through Townsville, I don't live far from it. Along it is more walkways that goes for kilometres. In one part we have another free water playground. It is two massive split level pools or lagoons joined by cascading waterfalls. The top one here has a gallery and cafe right on the water. There is seating and tables in the water! At night in summer a giant screen is put up and you sit in the water having a drink or two watching the latest movies. The bottom pool below is lined with giant trees and more for the kids. It is a wonderful place and my kids love it. As the weather is warm here all year round we can use these places all year. We may get a week or two in winter where I might throw on a jumper. We don't have heaters. Don't need them.

Our homes up here are like this. Called Queenslanders. The old ones are like this anyway. Mine is and we love it!! Always up on stilts to keep us cool and to keep flash flooding away. Always a verandah and lots of casement windows. But we do have air conditioning and I would be lost with out it on hot humid nights!!
We do hope this doesn't happen. This time of the year is cyclone season!! Cyclone Yasi hit us last February on my 40th Birthday!! But if is does then the Army is always there to lend a hand. We have two large military bases here. My brother in law is one of the guys who fixes helicopters. I am so lucky to have been able to go up in these incredible machines on three occasions now. It is such a buzz and a great way to see everything way up there. Yay to family days!! They are very loud though, very.

This is some of what I do here in Townsville and how we do Christmas.