2019 Brisbane Convoy for Kids

The tenth year of Brisbane Convoy for Kids provided an epic day for many. Truckies painted, polished and prepped their rigs, close to 600 in total. Families lined the streets and volunteers worked tirelessly either in public view or behind the scenes. Taking a few hours to complete, the convoy journey from Forest Lake to Redcliffe Showgrounds. It is an imposing sight as the convoy snakes its way through the highways to the end destination.Many line the streets into Redcliffe, cheering the trucks on. Inside the Showgrounds, families await the arrival of the trucks. The reason for this event is to raise funds for the only Children’s Hospice in Queensland, Hummingbird House.From Colourful stalls to activities, today is about the kids, and those truckies. Keep in mind the drivers have spent multiple hours bringing their trucks to show standard. Many trophies are on offer over multiple categories, all sponsored by companies or individuals. A little bit of a thank you to those involved.

Today I had volunteered to help with photography, thee brief being to take photos of the kids enjoying themselves. And there was plenty of that. From bumper cars, the teacup ride, through to the very popular petting zoo, kids were out enjoying themselves, taking advantage of the free activities on offer.

Parents joined in, spending previous time with families, some seeking to some quiet time in the shade to enjoy a break, cool drink or food top up.Many children were excited to see the trucks, with a number decorated in various ways to attract at their attention. Decorated trucks included those with flags, many teddy bears and various themes.Remember to keep this event n mind for next year, bring the kids, the family and enjoy a day out of free children’s activities with any funds raised going to a heartfelt cause.

More photos are posted on our facebook page, be sure to check them out. If you would like a photo of yourself or your truck, feel free to contact directly and we will send the photo through for you.

Grateful thanks to all those truckies who gave up their time the volunteers in every area, and anyone who contributed. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Spicers Balfour Hotel – New Farm, Brisbane

Brisbane never ceases to surprise. Just when you think you are getting to know this city, you stumble across another hidden gem. Today, this was to be the intriguing Spicers Balfour Hotel.

The close proximity to the iconic Story Bridge, has the hotel within easy walking distance to Howard Street Wharves complex.From the moment you enter the property, you’re engulfed in a homely, friendly atmosphere. Staff here cannot do enough for you. To them you are an individual, not just another tenant.

We were onsite today for a meeting, with an impressive array of platters served in the courtyard area. Surrounded by greenery, trees decorated with lights, and glimpses of heritage listed buildings, you have a lovely, private space for entertaining.

We were given a tour through the buildings, with remnants of bygone eras everywhere. The finishing touches here have been very well thought out and implemented.

Yes, I did say buildings, as there are two. One houses rooms, boardroom as well as restaurant, bar and a cute little rooftop bar with views overlooking the iconic Story Bridge. The other, houses another boardroom, as well as apartment style rooms.Can you see what I mean about finishing touches? Very well done. This cosy area is part of one of the apartments, with a separate bedroom and ensuite included.These apartments make for an awesome place a couples retreat away from day to day life or stress.

Solo business women prefer the studio rooms here to large hotel complexes, as they feel safe, welcomed and unbothered. I can see why it would appeal to the solo female traveller, as this venue definitely ticks all of those boxes.

Spend some time over a leisurely breakfast, lunch or dinner in the top Vietnamese Restaurant, not only in Queensland, but Australia. That’s a massive achievement for this boutique hotel.

And dont forget to check out that rooftop bar! Such a gorgeous intimate area, with a bonus stunning vista.

Urge you all to check out this superb multi award winning venue. Definitely on my list to return!

Thank you to Travel Massive and Spicers Balfour for hosting at this truely superb venue.

Stellarossa – Aspley

A relative newbie to the Robinson Road complex, Stellarossa is a surprisingly large cafe, with an equally surprising, menu.

Prices are reasonable and the food, is nicely presented, in generous portions.

Savoury mince can even be added as a side, and trust me, it is worth it.

The cafe is clean tidy and expansive, with a number of table choices. Staff always appear friendly, helpful, aiming to make your experience a pleasant one.

This is another cafe born from a passion for good coffee, flavours and service. From what we have experienced so far, they do seem to have incorporated all of those into this venue.

Ok I’m not a coffee drinker, but Hubby was more than happy with his coffee choice. There is a small tea selection and a number of other drink choices for the non-coffee drinkers amongst us.A great way to kickstart your day with one of the all day breakfast choices, or choose from burgers, sandwiches or general cafe food.

These guys support a great cause too, assisting in raising funds for the PA Research Foundation. This foundation helps to bring research projects to the lab, and on to becoming patient trials for those in need.

The Robinson Road complex is a great little shopping area, housing a few of the essential shops, without having to go to a bigger centre.

Stop in when you’re shopping and give this cafe a try. It certainly is worth it.

Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa

Making its debut in the early nineties, this 5 star resort heralded changes for a rapidly developing Surfers Paradise. With expansive areas, incredibly high ceilings and a collection of chandeliers second to none, you can see why reference to Surfers, became the Glitter Strip.

The entire second floor of this hotel has been dedicated to function areas. Boasting a massive 1463sqm of event space, with 8 areas, the largest being the Ballroom, there will be a room here to meet your needs.The ballroom has chandeliers dripping from the high ceilings. Lighting and stage equipment can be adjusted to your requirements.

And, the one big forward thinking detail, originally installed in this hotel? That would be at the far end of Ballroom. A lift large enough to bring up a vehicle into the hotel. Quite unique. And yes, it has been used.

Part of the wall also opens so a vehicle can be driven out into the expansive area surrounding these impressive event spaces. Event ideas for these spaces, are limited only by your imagination, as everything else you require is definitely in place already.Another large area pictured above. is popular for weddings, with views out across surfers, fully tiled, with plenty of room for dancing the night away.

Even the smaller rooms can be set to your requirements. This boardroom area has its own verandah, amenities and even an entrance area set up for a receptionist.Whatever your event requirements, the Surfers Paradise Marriott are well set up for hosting, with onsite co-ordinaters available and plenty of experience in setting up for all kinds of functions, you will be spoilt for choice.

Dine Live Travel is now offering an event/function service where we will check out options, specific to your needs and provide you with the top three venues for you to make the final choice. Contact via email dinelivetravel@yahoo.com.au or message via facebook or instagram pages for more information.

Thank you Travel Massive for hosting a meeting at the Surfers Paradise Marriott, which gave us the oppotunity to check out the event spaces.

Max Steak and Seafood, Broadbeach, Gold Coast

Billed as a steak and seafood restaurant, with some enticing specials and attentive staff, we chose Max’s for an evening dinner out.

Broadbeach itself is just below Surfers Paradise, a foodies haven in its own right, with plenty of food and accommodation choices. Trust me, here there is no shortage of good quality food at reasonable prices.A myriad of highrises and shopping centres make up the Gold Coast. Amazing the view you gain from a little height.

Within a short walk of most Broadbeach accommodation, Max Steak & Seafood is one of the many choices on offer.

After persuading the extensive menu, we decided on Max’s. And overall, pretty happy with the choice.

No surprise that Hubby as hungry, so we ordered a few dishes to satisfy his hunger.A novel concept for a seafood chowder, Hubby was definitely happy with his entree choice!

The mouthwatering steak pictured first was my choice today. Accompanied by a side of vegetables, the steak was delivered resting in its own sauce. Cooked to your liking, and a reasonable steak, I was happy with the dish.

But this is a steak and seafood restaurant right, so seafood is obligatory. Lobster Mornay, was by no means a small meal. The succulent lobster, burst from its shell, topped with melted cheese. A tempting treat, which oozes opulence.

We are early eaters but the venue filled quickly, as did the others around. Depending on the night, you might find live music in the middle of the eateries. Certainly a drawcard for the little ones who were happy to dance and make friends.I will leave you now with a sunset from Broadbeach. Not something you see too well in Queensland, unless you are up high. We do some incredible sunrises, but we are on the opposite of the county to where the sun goes down. Sometimes though you get to nail it.

Stop by Max Steak & Seafood, it is worth trying!

Ricks Garage-Palmwoods

Within easy reach of Brisbane, Ricks Garage is a great destination for a day trip. Initially your standard local garage and workshop with a couple of pumps, Ricks has evolved since first opening in 1962. By 2014, the Jamieson family, who had purchased in 2002, decided to change direction.

Today, as on most weekend days, the shop frontage was lined with the pride and joy of many bikers, peppered with restored and much loved cars from days gone by.

Everywhere you look, this venue is bursting with memorabilia. Memories line the walls, blending with intriguing, furniture and fittings.

One of the biggest employers in this area, with around 55 employees, Ricks popularity is growing rapidly. And those employees, wow, good work, well done, you were all on the ball and friendly.Upstairs is a whiskey bar, no kids here, if you’re under 18 you cannot climb the stairs. But, for those whiskey lovers over 18, this place is heaven on earth.

Oh and for those who only stay downstairs, there’s one toilet for guys and one for the ladies. But, head up the internal stairs and there are some newer facilities for both. Another reason why you need to go up for a look around.

Check out the menu. Hearty food which arrives in an incredibly short time. Hubby today decided he was hungry, so Ricks Famous Big One was the choice.1.1kg of pure burger infused serendipity. Double everything. Yes everything.

There are no changes, so dont request to remove or change the ingredients. This burger is an intricate work of art.

A warning too with the thick shakes, they are multiple desserts, in one vessel. If you’re the driver, ok treat yourself because you cannot indulge in the enticing array of whiskey and alcoholic beverages. But, be warned, these thick shakes are not for the faint hearted!.. .For the alcohol indulged, Sunday afternoon, you can have these blended jugs, that’s why its called Spritz Sunday. A lot bigger than it looks, as the wine glasses supplied are big ones. Trust me, they are!

Stop by and check out Ricks. There’s many options and much to see. Well worth the drive from Brisbane. Or, closer if you’re on the Sunshine Coast.

This hinterland township, also houses some interesting businesses. From crafts to food, something for all. Next time, we will be checking out the sausage roll shop next door. Now that sounds intriguing! Watch this space..,,

NASA. A Human Adventure, Brisbane

There are doubters and there are believers about Man landing on the moon and exploring space. Somewhere in between there are those who want to believe these amazing feats. But, whatever your opinion, if you haven’t taken the opportunity to visit the NASA exhibit, then you may well be missing out on some information to seal your opinion.

Visiting this exhibit is an eye opener and I would suggest you dont miss out, with only a couple of weeks left to run in Brisbane. Before visiting we thought maybe it was going to be photos, newspaper articles and a bit of memorabilia. This exhibit was so much more.

The first stage of your launch is on level three of the QLD museum. Youngsters are well taken care of with different activities to keep interested along the way.

Venturing through the exhibit, the information accumulation is nothing short of incredible. Here you will learn of the countries who entered the space race, their equipment, purpose and how they fared.

Its not all about reading, theres plenty to see and experience throughout. An array of spacesuits is quite mind boggling. How did anyone on earth even know what material to use in making spacesuits? There was a lot of guesswork as to what would actually work.Seeing these suits right up close is pretty awesome. There’s an array of suits to view, all differing in their makeup and sometimes purpose. It’s pretty rare to have the opportunity to view these, and if I were you, I wouldn’t miss that.Sections of replica rockets are displayed so you can see what astronauts have endured. Some are to scale and to be honest, you have to feel for those astronauts, theres not a lot of room.One of the most interesting items, I felt, was the original computer desk out of the Ground Control room. Not only were these actual computers used, the pieces of paper with notations and calculations was extremely intriguing. Some how, this was one item which really gave that human touch and made the experience real. After you finish viewing the awesome artefacts laid out on this level, you can then visit the rest of the exhibit on level 2. Photos are so real, you are totally drawn into the experience. The only thing stopping you from floating is gravity.The final piece of the exhibit is an incredible replica of the Atlantis. This space shuttle completed 33 return trips to space, orbiting our earth a total of 4848 times. That’s a lot.

Climb the stairs to see the top part of the module, and dont forget to check out the bottom half too.

Cleverly displayed so you can immerse yourself in a shuttle experience, whilst being mesmerised by the control panel, this replica is definitely the icing on the cake.

Even the toilet used in space is displayed in the bottom part of this shuttle. Information boards explain what you can see as you view all of this clearly as you look past the see through wall.It would be so easy to go on for hours about this exhibit, after all there is a lot to see. But, you need to experience it, and if it heads to your state or country, then dont miss the opportunity to look through. It really is well worth some time, no matter what your opinion may be. More photos and information are posted on Dine Live Travel, Instagram, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Visit and Experience, Space, the final frontier. It really is a human adventure, or is it……

Melbourne Food Experiences

There’s something about Melbourne. Not just Melbourne, the food, the coffee, ok yes theres the weather and diversity of the area, but everyone who visits Melbourne will tell you about the food.

From coffee vans to quirky cafes through to high end restaurants, Melbourne presents an incredible array of food choices, from many cultures.We enjoyed a number of meals whilst visiting. The first breakfast, including the silverside Brekky option above, was enjoyed at an interesting quirky suburban cafe Mr. Foxx. Friendly staff, great food and decor with a difference. Something to see in every direction.Ok it was winter and pretty chilly outside, but once inside the cafe you were enveloped with warmth, homeliness and customer chatter, all rising above the sounds of the coffee machine and kitchen preparations.Hubby approved of the chai latte it was apparently superb. As a non coffee, non chai drinker, I can only comment to say that a number of people I know who do drink coffee, would move to Melbourne just for the coffee. Apparently its that good.

On another day, we were visiting the Terracotta Warriors at the NGV, which had us finishing just before lunch. A little bit of museum exploring and the onsite Garden Restaurant was discovered. No need to brave the cold, lets give this one a a try.Seated next to expansive windows, overlooking a lawn area, complete with artworks, as well as pond with a somewhat interesting fountain sculpture in the middle. Ill let you visit and work that one out!White table cloths, highly attentive staff, matched to an extensive wine & food menu, making for plenty of choice for all. Add to that the garden fresh herbs and vegetables you can see outside the restaurant, and you know this will be a lovely dining experience.Food arrived in a timely manner, simple tidy presentation. Upon tasting, wow, totally delicious, melt in your mouth food.

I was also lucky to enjoy another breakfast, at a suburban cafe, One Little Place. Highly recommended by some lovely ladies in the Norsu Interiors shop, which just happened to be next door. Check this place out too, its unique collection of home interior design items and ideas will give you plenty of inspiration, and enough shopping to fill up your vehicle each trip!The dish I chose at One Little Place, was the one recommended, Avocado Crush. A deconstructed version of avocado smash which was not only intriguing, but what a superb idea for breakfast! Totally different to the usual presentation on this dish, here you were able to mix and match yourself. Absolutely loved it.The warmth and character of this little cafe made for a very enjoyable breakfast for one. Add to that a quick chat to the friendly staff when paying the bill and it was certainly well worth stopping by.

Our final stop on the last day, as we headed out to Melbourne Airport, was at the Boathouse, which was an easy stop on our way to the airport.This restaurant is right on the river, with a huge outside deck. Some braved the chilly conditions to sit out there, and all honesty, on a warmer day, that would have been an awesome place to sit for a while. On this particular weekday however, the warmth of the inside fire was definitely much more appealing!

Today I opted for the Express 2 course lunch, which just happened to accompanied by a glass of wine, winning! The lightly batter fried calamari was soft, easy to eat and quite tasty. Follow this up with the creamy carbonara and you have delightful lunch, not to heavy, not to light. Especially after you have shared the calamari!Hubby was a little more hungry, his choice being a substantial burger and chips, which I’m told was delicious. High praise.Theres a lot happening at this venue, as we could see looking around. Those cocktails we saw on the blackboard, sound like the ideal accompaniment to a table on the balcony, overlooking the river. Perfect place for summer!We only touched on a few of the many venues in Melbourne. But as well as dining out, we enjoyed the delectable delights delivered to your door. So many choices, so much food. When you order restaurant quality food to your door, well sometimes its just easier. BellissimošŸ˜˜

NGV Melbourne, Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang

The ceiling of the Great Hall, located within Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), is impressively beautiful. Even on a dull day, the colourful glass glinted as random sun rays attempted to shine through.Our visit today was to see the infamous Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality display, which was being held in conjunction with Cai Guo-Qiang’s The Transient Landscape. On display until October, I would highly recommend taking the time to visit.
To be able to witness firsthand, these incredible historic works of art, is simply mind blowing. Each of these artefacts as well as the warriors themselves, have been handcrafted by ancient civilisation. Thousands of years old, you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the sheer logistics involved.
There are some real warriors on display as well as a few replicas. However, keep in mind each one of these (and there are thousands), were made piece by piece. A hand, an arm, a head a body. All made separately then joined together. Remember too, every one of these images, including the horses, are taller than a normal human. These are not small, nor are they plain. Every single statue has their own personality. How many years did it take to achieve this?
We call our selves modern society, but, how advanced were our predecessors? I’m thinking very! An ancient civilisation created all of these incredibly detailed works of art. All to honour their Emperor.
As you enter this display, the changing displays show the sands of time throughout the ages. Very cleverly done. Inside you witness the sheer spectacle of ancient art including priceless gold and artefacts.
The ceiling above is covered with swallows. Part of the display by Cai Guo-Qiang, this amazing 10 000 porcelain bird mass, represents a 3 dimensional impression of the sacred Mt Li, which is the site of the tomb of Chinas first emperor. This is where the Terracotta Warriors were first discovered in the mid seventies, alongside the first Emperor, Qin Shihuang.As you stroll through this incredible display, do not forget to look up, or simply sit for a while and become part of the amazing experience you have the opportunity to witness.After viewing some priceless artefacts as well as irreplaceable warriors, you move through the superb gun powder art of Cai Guo-Qiang, into the area housing tomb stones and miniature.The entire showing held some personal interest, after having recently found out that Cai was a distant relative from a few generations back. Not only does this spark the interest, but you feel that extra personal touch. Mesmerised and still in awe, I cannot explain the feeling of being in the presence of such meaningful historic pieces. Keep in mind these works of art date back to 200BCE. The estimates give us an idea of the sheer size of these massive warriors with more than 8000 soldiers, 130 chariots, led by 520 horses plus another 150 cavalry horses. Add to this the strongmen, musicians, acrobats and officials, all hand crafted and buried with the Emperor and its about now you begin to understand why this archaeological find has held such significant meaning in our history. In particular Chinas history.Watch the video before you move into the museum shop. Here you will see the intensity and effort behind Cai Guo-Qiangs spectacular art.

If you are in Melbourne, dont miss this display, if not in Melbourne then you really should consider a visit.

More photos are posted on Dine Live Travel’s Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Feel free to ask questions should you wish to know more, and please, if you simply cannot visit, then immerse yourself in the photos and experience we have provided.

Phillip Island, Victoria Australia

Within an easy couple of hours drive from Melbourne, Phillip island is about 26 km long and about 9km wide, totalling around 100 square kilometres. Arriving at Phillip Island in an open whale boat on 5 January 1798, George Bass named Phillip Island after the first Governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip.

The roughly 97km of coastline is rugged in places, with pounding waves hitting sandy or rocky beach areas. This island not only forms a natural breakwater for the Western Port, it is also home to around 9500 permanent residents, with upwards of 40 000 inhabitants during the summer.

Connected to the mainland by a 640 metre concrete bridge, Phillip Island has a multitude of activities to amuse visitors.

Not long after arriving on the Island, the iconic Phillip Island race Circuit comes into view on our left hand side. Don’t be shy, follow the signs down to the cafe and information centre. The idea for this racing focused venue, and constructions of same, emerged in the early to mid 1950’s.Memorabilia encased in the walls, to honour those racing legends who have passed on, lines the curved entrance hallway to the main information centre. A huge mural inside gives you a full birds eye view of the track. Here we found friendly helpful staff, with plenty of ideas on offer should you wish to partake in activities. Opposite the main desk, a wall of options and costings is in clear view for all. Or, take a selfie on the podium, with helmet underarm and trophy held high.Choose your activity, perhaps stop by the cafe or souvenir shop, wander out onto the cafe balcony area to greet the local wildlife, there really is something here for everyone.There’s a few peacocks about, and they are not afraid to wander up for a chat or show off their colours. They’re not fenced in here, free to come and go as they please, but, the general choice seems to be to stay.

Once you have satisfied your curiosity at this stop, head back out to the road and continue exploring the island.

Our next stop was at the new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre. The massive $58 million structure, still being finished, provides an entrance to the penguin population residing here.This expansive building has been designed to handle the influx of visitors during the busy season. Still smelling completely new, you can stop for a bite to eat, organise a tour, learn about the local wildlife from the interactive displays or browse the gift shop.The reasons for the sweaters? Back in the late nineties the ‘Knits for Nature’ began to help save penguins from soaking in oil after spills, until staff could clean the oil off them. These little jumpers have to be knitted just right to fit their intended subjects.

Spend some time in this beautiful National Park, theres a lot of different wildlife including birds, and seals to see as well as beautiful landscapes.

Our final stop was to be The Cape Kitchen for lunch, which we had passed as we first came onto the island. With a table up the very front, overlooking the open waters of the Bass Strait, what better place to stop and relax.Delightful staff, a beautiful expansive restaurant, amazing views, finished off with local fresh produce off the well thought out menu. Again, this building is massive, designed with the tourist and local market in mind. If you haven’t stopped in here, even just for a coffee and cake, then you really are missing out on a fantastic experience. Our day visit wasn’t a long one, but given its an easy hour and a half or so drive from Melbourne, it’s incredible what a total contrast to the city this area is.

Enjoy Phillip Island, there is a lot here. Plenty of spots to stop and much to see. We missed quite a bit on this trip, but you cant do everything. There’s always next time!

Don’t forget to check Dine Live Travel on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter for more photos and information on this fantastic corner of Australia!