7 Tips-Plus One!
How To Make The Most Of Your “Winter in Tropical Nth Qld.”
I have read that it is more about the extremes of weather changing, not just increased heat. Many different opinions among the so-called experts make it hard, for me at least, to understand.
One thing I do know, it’s really cold right now!
The humidity and heat we experience here in Tropical Nth Qld. during summer, increases the relief when winter finally arrives.
Lasting for only a month or so, it is time to make the most of it.
Here are my 7-Plus One, activities to enjoy your Queensland winter.
Let’s face it, in summer even a sarong can get too hot.
This time of the year, June/July and perhaps into August is the perfect opportunity to rug up a little.
- Dig out your favourite jeans you only wear on a trip to Melbourne.
- Wear a funky scarfe to take the chill off your neck.
- Fluffy warm slippers are a delight to slip into at any time of the day.
- A beanie or warm woolen hat are handy, especially if outdoors.
- Ugg boots, and in true Qld style worn with your shorts.
- Toe socks are an excellent way to keep feet warm and still wear your thongs. Again Qld style.
- Layering is important. With temperatures going from near zero, up into the mid twenties, it is easy to be too cold, or even too hot.
2. Outside Fire.
Your fire could be in the backyard, a few rocks to designate your very own fire pit, or more elaborate. Hardware and camping stores sell Brasseries which are perfect for a small contained fire to sit around on a clear, crisp Queensland afternoon-evening.
- Light your fire late in the afternoon, relax and watch the sun go down.
- Clean up the yard of fallen mango branches, gum tree litter etc. The smell is awesome.
- Build up some coals and put on a camp oven, jaffle iron or super quick marshmallows which kids young and old always adore.
- It doesn’t have to be an all night event. An hour or so before heading inside is great for the soul.
- Your garden will love the left over ash dug into the soil or added to your compost.
- I am lucky enough to live next door to St Helens Gardens Tourist Park right on St Helens creek. Happy hour around their fire in winter is one of my favourite pastimes. Many travelers, “Grey Nomads,” cane workers and the lovely family who run the park to chat to. Sharing stories as we watch the sun set over the creek, cane fields and Eungella Range.
- You don’t need a perfect view and fun companions to enjoy a fire. They are memorising to stare into as you warm up and let your thoughts wander.
3. Cooking…Not Just on the BBQ.
Personally I prefer to cook outside on the barbie whenever possible. It is the Queensland way, plus it can get too hot to even think about the oven.
Winter is the perfect time to play in the kitchen, or on the coals of your fire.
- Place a meal in the oven to heat your home as the temperature starts to drop.
- Use your fire outside for all sorts of camp ovens, jaffle nights, and kids fun with the marshmallows. Just watch what stick they are placed on. Some can be poisonous. A metal skewer takes away the worry.
- Slow cooker on all day with many culinary delights. My Mum had a crock pot back in the day that did the same thing. Set and forget.
- A pot of soup on the stove bubbling away all weekend is perfect for winter time.
- If you are so inclined bake away to your hearts delight, and warm your home from the inside out!
- Get into vegies more. It’s not all about salads and bbq’s as in summer.
4. Find the Sun.
As I mentioned earlier the temperature can rise and fall quite dramatically. A place in the sunshine, out of the wind is a perfect spot …….
- For your morning cuppa.
- A little meditation perhaps.
- Check out the vibrant blue sky.
- Listen to the birds busying themselves.
- Catch up with a friend on the phone or in person.
- Head to the beach and watch the water glistening in the winter sunshine.
- Take your laptop outside, and write a blog post like this one 🙂
5. Remember Your Animals.
Pets notice the cold too. We have dogs and a bird. They are funny in the winter, typical Qld dogs, they freeze! Our bird eats heaps more seed to keep warm.
- They all love the sunshine to warm up in the mornings.
- Put on their coats in the afternoon, if you have a pet that will wear them. One of ours will, and the others won’t have a bar of them! Pity because there are some cool ones available at good prices these days.
- A blanket for them to lie on or snuggle under is also enjoyed.
- Let them hang out with you by the fire too. An old blanket or towel on the cold grass helps them to settle in, or on your lap of course!
6. Hard Yakka.
In summer the thought of putting boots on and getting out in the garden for a big clean up can be daunting. Many a trip to the dump, sweating profusely, has me thinking I should do this in the winter!
- Get stuck into some of the tougher gardening jobs.
- Painting at this time of the year means the paint will actually dry, unlike when it is 90% humidity. You will feel more comfortable in your funky overalls too.
- Clean the leaves off the roof and gutters before the rain stop this activity being possible.
- Do some paving and concreting of areas that get muddy and wet in the summer.
- Scrub the mould that is building up on the walls and ceilings inside the home, especially the bathroom. Why not repaint with a mould inhibitor added to your paint?
- Continue the search for a newly invented “robot” similar to the i-robot vacuum cleaner, that will remove mould for you!!
- Get fit. A nice crisp early morning walk/run will clean out the sinesis and invigorate you for all your hard yakka ahead over winter.
7. Immerse in Warm Water.
Warming up under a perfectly heated shower is heaven after being cold. In summer it can get hard to find the opposite. A cold shower. Sometimes the water in the pipes will not get cold no matter what. Swimming pools can become like a warm bath instead of a refreshing cold dip.
- Hot showers. I prefer a long one, but if water is an issue a quick blast of heat can warm you right through.
- It goes without saying that a long hot bubble bath is a winter must. No room for a bath? Why not set one up outside in a private courtyard to look at the stars with a friend. Or get a spa?
- Spa baths with their steam coming from them are inviting in the cold winter weather. Grab a friend, kick back and relax, perhaps with a wine.
- Hot water bottles are old fashioned but still do the job. Fill with boiling water and place into the cold sheets to warm up your bed. The kids love these too. Remember to take them out before they go cold because its like sleeping with a wet fish! They have cool covers available in most cheap shops etc nowadays. Place inside a pillowcase or cushion cover if you don’t have a customised one.
- Add some moisturizer to your daily showering routine. Your skin is going to dry out heaps with the dry cold air.
Plus 1. Why Plus One?
I was at work having crib writing a few notes for this blog post. I asked a young fella having his lunch, what he does in winter up here, that he can’t do in summer. His response surprised me. I was undecided if I should include it in my my top tips. It is actually to escape Queensland! I am promoting our fantastic area and lifestyle so why should I say…..
“Head south and go to the snow?”
Clearly I decided to “add” it to the tips, but not as one of mine. Of course it is allowed, if not preferred by all Queenslander’s, to head off on a holiday and go skiing.
Whilst we have the Grey Nomads heading our way to escape the cold, the opposite can be said for those heading to the snow fields.
Check out this site for Skiing in Australia. At least stay in the country! ski.com.au
Each to their own of course.
I have only ever experienced snow once. In Orange NSW. I got out of my sick bed to throw this once snowball, and decided then and there it’s time to move back to the tropics!
I am quite happy having a wine by the fire, watching the sun go down. Camp oven on the coals,
doggies curled up next to me, ugg boots, jeans and a beanie on. My hot water bottle warming my bed as I admire the hard work accomplished in the yard today. Feeling fit and healthy after my morning walk, chatting to good friends and family-in person or on the phone-discussing how cold it is!! Usually it is all about how much rain we have had.
All the time with an inner “knowing” that the mould sucking robot is about to invented. I am customer number one, and the Australian distributor of course !!
Enjoy Tropical Nth. Qld. at her finest.
Unless your going skiing instead. Remember not long until we are melting again.
I would love to hear your top things to experience during our winter in the comment section below.