Comfort Inn Blue Lagoon, Dubbo

  
At some point, you may bc seeking clean, comfortable accommodation in Dubbo.   Located on Cobra Street, also known as the Mitchell Highway, you will find the Comfort Inn Bkue Lagoon.

Rooms are not expensive here, there is plenty of uncovered parking, and they even provide superbly designed kennels , if you should wish to bring your canine friend.  The huge kennels are located at the back corner of the motel complex, with a large fenced, grassy area to stretch those four paws.  You will sleep well knowing your dog is residing in a comfortable environment.

Although not large, airconditioned rooms contain the usual  basic comforts you require whilst away from home.   Ensuite shower bathroom, large wardrobe, desk, single & queen beds, table with two chairs,  tv, bar fridge, tea/coffee facilities, including a toaster.   

There are no separate room balconies although if you prefer to watch the world go by outside, the walk through area is wide enough to take the seats out to, and not block everyone’s path.

A nice place to sit and drink in the fabulous sunsets, if you should be in one of the higher rooms.

 Other facilities here, included a free guest laundry with front loader machine & dryer.  Laundry powder can be purchased at the front desk, if you don’t have your own.

The large unground swimming pool near reception, is a definite plus for beating the summer heat.  Plenty of room to swim a few laps or cool off with the family.

Sails, is the onsite restaurant.  Open for breakfast and dinner, the food was superb, including presentation, taste & variety.  Service was also of a very high standard, with a full review already posted at http://www.dinelivetravel.com.

Breakfast can be delivered to your room, choosing from a basic cooked breakfast menu, for $9 per person, or, you can partake of the extensive onsite buffet.  Usually closed on Monday, the owners chose to open on the Monday we were there, possibly due to the high number of tenants onsite that morning.  Remember to book in for breakfast to receive a discount.

Onsite owners/managers and staff were friendly, helpful and happy to discuss the local area with you.    As the complex is within walking distance of some main town areas, you will find it a handy place to stop.   Fast food outlets are within a few hundred metres, with the Taronga Zoo Dubbo, around about a five minute drive.

Recommended to us as being a good place to stay, we would definitely return whenever we next pass through or visit .Dubbo.

Check the restaurant,  Dubbo Zoo reviews and photos  on this blog, Instagram, Steller Stories and Facebook.

Sails Blue Lagoon, Dubbo

  Sails is located in the motel complex at the Comfort Inn Blue Lagoon, Dubbo.  With a bright airy, clean restaurant, first impressions are appealing.

Tall glass windows, frame the complex’s in ground pool, giving some interesting reflections as well as creating a relaxing atmosphere. 

For the duration of our stay in Dubbo, we enjoyed a few evening meals, as well as a buffet breakfast, at this venue.

Staff were friendly, whilst professional, however if I describe the overall quality of the food as outstanding, I am simply not doing it justice.     An entree of veal & duck terrine arrived at the table, beautifully presented on an elevated board.   I personally enjoyed this moist,  tasty dish.  

 Entrees were.generously sized, with the chicken skewers above providing another  fulfilling and enjoyable entree.

Drinks are also range through from very reasonably priced to not too espensive. As an example, there were full bottles of wine for $14 and stubbies of beer  for $5, available on the clearance menu.

 Presentation, taste and thoughtfulness put into each dish was to say the least, of a very high standard.  The tender meat on the above lamb shank above simply fell off the bone, making this one of the popular choices within our group.

Food was definitely of a higher standard than we would have expected from a motel restaurant.  With people in our group who travel Australia and the world, hailing from a diverse background of city and country areas, including local, interstate and overseas, this restaurant definitely exceeded all expectations.   

Twice cooked duck was another surprisingly juicy and delectable dish.  I mention this only because it can be so very difficult go find a duck dish which isn’t dry.

Children’s meals , including this fish n chip dish below, were very large.   Plenty to satisfy even the hungriest of young appetites.

 Remember to trial a dessert to finish.  After all, who could say no to bread & butter pudding………..

 
Or a Turkish delight pavlova…..yum!

 The next time you are passing through or staying in Dubbo, pay a visit to this restaurant.  This is certainly one hidden little gem!

Check Dine Live Travel on Instagram, Facebook and Steller Stories for further information on this fabulous find.

Western Plains Zoo – Dubbo (morning walk through)

Never having visited the Western Plains Zoo, before, I took the opportunity whilst visiting Dubbo to take part in the early morning two hour walk through, covering approximately 2-4 kms

Run by some the friendliest people you will ever meet, who volunteer their time at the zoo, I would highly recommend this informative, interesting tour.  Check with the zoo for the days the walk operates, as it is dependant on the time of year.   

If you are visiting the zoo that day, the walk through will only cost you $15.   Choosing to only be there for the walk, brings the price to $25, which I personally felt was reasonable and worth it.    

Starting st 6:45am, volunteers divide you into groups, before setting off on your walk, which will take you to some behind the scenes areas, not generally accessible to the public. Fences are minimal, with the main focus on wet or dry moats to contain the animals in their designated areas.

Commencing with the monkeys on the islands, in front of the main building, we then headed off to the wild African dogs.   The dogs however were enjoying a lazy morning sleep in and felt our visiting their enclosure, was not worth rising for.

 Ruler of all he surveys.   One cannot but be anything other than fascinated with these mesmerising meerkats.   Always busy, stopping only to stand guard and survey their territory, you need to be quick to photograph them whilst still.  No sleep in for these guys, they love attention!

 Dubbo Zoo is world renown for its successful breeding program, with their main focus on rhinos.   This white Rhino, was still in his night pen, not yet having been released for the day.   He was interested in seeing why we were there, coming right up to his front fence, maybe in the hope we were bringing breakfast.

Directly opposite the whole rhino, were a couple of gorgeous giraffes.   Our volunteer tour guide, had some cut up carrots for these majestic creatures, which they were obviously expecting.  After casually strolling their way to the fence, long tongues were extended to gently take the carrots offered to them.  Over in the back paddock, we could catch glimpses of the metre high baby, born on New Year’s Day 2016.   Not even one month old yet, but taller than most people.

The tallest animals on this earth, were then followed by the most dangerous, the hippos.

After some encouragement, the smaller hippo decided he would exit the water to enjoy the lettuce thrown into his pen.  The ripples in the water changed to show two eyes, before the whole hippo slowly emerged.   Making his way up the ramp towards the lettuce, his slow moving hefty body, appeared to take a lot of effort to move.   The end result though, was very much enjoyed!

 Leaving the hippo to enjoy his treat, we stopped in on couple of antelope varieties as  as well as some show off monkeys.    Delicate, curious and with gorgeous markings, the gentle creatures below were a delight to watch.


   
 
  Monkeys are always fascinating, swinging from rope to branch with effortless see, dangling off one arm, whilst soaking in the appreciation of their captivated audience.   This father was running his young son through some moves, with the youngster doing an excellent job of keeping up, not letting the odd slip up phase him at all.

 

Our guide provided an interesting background on the zoo and its inhabitants.   More than willing to answer questions along the way.  These volunteers should be commended for the time they put into the zoo.   Without their hard work and dedication, the opportunities for the public to experience the wonders within the zoo, would not exist.

Equally impressive, are the free facilities the general public can access, without having to pay a zoo entry.  A delightful children’s playground with barbecue facilities, as well as the indoor/outdoor dining provided by the zoo cafe.  All over looking two monkey islands, which provide a constantly changing backdrop.    There are not many places around who would provide all this for free.   Take the time to visit, and, if time is short, keep the morning walk in mind, I would highly recommend this interesting insight into zoo life. 

 Enjoy this view for free!

 

BSKT Cafe – Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast

 
Maybe you’ve started with a morning stroll along the beach, just a stones throw from the cafe, or, perhaps this was your intentional destination.  Either way, you’ve now discovered a pleasant indoor/outdoor seating area, with an interesting menu.

A mix of old meets new.  Sharp clean lines around the bar area are  given a slightly eclectic  touch, with hefty wooden tables, metal seats plus random relics from earlier eras.   

Nice to note there were plenty of staff, all neatly and uniformly dressed, more than willing to politely assist customers.    

 Breakfast salad.   A combination of beets,  sweet potato, brocolini, haloumi, topped with poached egg and a touch of maple.   I’m told this was good as this shiny, appealing plate of food looked.

 Another meal at our table was the packed full, omelette. Served with field mushrooms and the seeded toast, peeking out from under the omelette. 

Hubbys choice was the Big Breakfsr.  Steak, ham, eggs, mushrooms, alongside a sweet potato bubble n squeak.  

   My choice today, was the Navajo Native Breakfast with an extra side of smoked salmon.  Smashed avocado, beans, eggs and a pleasant non-hot tomato relish filled the plate.   The beans mixed nicely with the rest of the dish.

With a reasonable selection of drinks, including smoothies, juices and pleasing sekection of tea or coffee, you won’t have a problem finding a beverage to accompany your meal.

Now if you didn’t have that beach stroll earlier, maybe you will feel so inclined after your relaxing breakfast. πŸ‘

Movenpick, Portside, Hamilton, Brisbane

  
One evening during our stay at Portside, the desire for dessert led us to Movenpick to try their menu.

Was this basket above as it looked?   Most definitely πŸ‘.  Decadent desserts fill the menu book,designed to tantalise those tastebuds and assist with your choice.   It does become a case though, of which one do I choose?   So many delicious choices!

Hubby chose the banana split below.   Must have enjoyed this too, as the plate was cleaned up.
 Just one of the many foodie choices in this area, but if you’re craving for some ice cream, you won’t be disappointed here! πŸ‘

Link Apartments, Portside Wharf Precinct, Hamilton, Brisbane

  For a long time we have enjoyed the odd visit to Portside, usually to enjoy a relaxing meal.   However, on this occasion, we took the time to spend a few nights in the precinct to enjoy the fireworks on New Years Eve and explore the facilities on offer.

Usually choosing the  city for New Year, we wanted to avoid the big crowds this time round. Plus were also,looking for something a little more reasonably priced as city accomodation prices, rise immensely just for the one night.  A little research inspired us to book into the Link Portside Apartments.     For a full, modern, fully self-contained apartment, prices are affordable, with better value if you stay an extra night or two.  Well appointed, with your own balcony, these apartments are certainly clean and comfortable.   Apartment is definitely roomy enough for a couple.   Two fans, one over the bed in the bedroom, plus airconditioning in the main living area, help to cool the apartment. We did find the bedroom was a little hot unless you left the air conditioner to run longer, assisted by the two fans.   As long as you prepared in advance, there was no problem cooling the bedroom down before you retired.   To be fair this was the only point we did notice.   Balance this against all the pluses for this property though, and it definitely receives the thumbs up.

Not a high rise, 4 levels, but to be able to take the lift downstairs emerging a few steps away from the shops, is very convenient.   Your car stays tucked up underground, making use of the free parking attached to the apartment booking.

Supplies are easy from the IGA across from the apartments.   Friendly staff, coupled with a supermarket style shop, make it easy to pick up the items you need for your kitchen pantry. A short stroll towards the river, through the restaurant precinct, and you can take a stroll long the foreshore, or simply enjoy the views offered in this area.   Always someone out testing one of their water sport craft on the Brisbane River. Only takes a leisurely walk and you can catch a ferry to the city as well.

Prefer a movie?  Check out Dendy in this complex.   Good value tickets, plays buy your wine or beer at the bar, and the helpful staff will pop it in an ice bucket for you to take in with you.  Very clean tidy and roomy theatres make this much better value than gold class.

A smattering of retail shops provide an outlet for the shoppers amongst you.   For those cruising, should you need to come to Brisbane before or after  your cruise, consider staying here, as you simply wheel your luggage a couple of hundred metres around the corner and hey presto, there’s the cruise terminal, right on your doorstep. 

Next to the cruise terminal are the infamous Eat Street Markets, where the variety of food is endless.    Latest attraction for the markets, is the outdoor drive (or walk in) movie theatre.

One has to mention, the very helpful, well informed ladies taking bookings and checking you in.   They make the process easy and painless.

Must admit, Portside is one of my personal favourite parts of Brisbane.   πŸ˜„πŸ‘