Dear Alice


Christmas isn’t merry for everyone……


Dear Alice,
Every year the whole family goes to my sisters for Christmas day. My partner and kids are worried about going because it always ends in tears. We want to do the big family lunch thing but everyone tends to drink too much and fight over old family drama. I don’t know what to do. Help!
– Sandy

Hi Sandy,
It’s a common assumption that Christmas brings joy but for a lot of families coming together might not always be for the best. Preparing for the day is enough to stress anyone out, not to mention sitting around without much else to do than argue over Grandma’s will. Firstly, you need to create a plan and inform your partner and kids of how it is going to play out. Lay the ground work early. Let your sister and family know that you can only stay for a few hours because you are going to visit a friend that lives far away. Have a set time that you must leave by; this will make leaving on the day easier. Next, if you can summon the courage on the day, Speak up! Make a speech and reflect on how important your family is to you. At the end of the speech, state that you want everyone to be happy and ask that they set aside their differences for the day and avoid those nasty topics. Lastly, try some practical tactics. Like playing board games and making a seasonal cocktail for everyone with only half-strength alcohol. Diverting people’s attention and lowering the alcohol level could add a few extra hours of peace. Lastly, if the traditional Christmas plan isn’t working out perhaps it is time to consider a destination holiday for yourself, partner and children.
Best of Luck,
Stay Sane.


19/12/2017 |

Moreton Bay Region’s Best Camping Spots


The Moreton Bay Region offers some of the most scenic locations in Queensland to holiday, from the famous Pumicestone Passage to our stunning National Parks, our scenic seaside and our lakes and dams.


This list is for everyone, from the beginner camper to the seasoned ‘bushie’, we’ve found the best places to provide the serenity you need to unwind and relax these holidays! If you’re a novice camper, check out the camping tips at the bottom of the article. 

Bongaree-Caravan-ParkBongaree Caravan Park
Opposite Pumicestone Passage

Bongaree Caravan Park offers a tranquil base from which to enjoy all that Bribie Island has to offer. Just across the road from the famous Pumicestone passage, home to wildlife such as dolphins, dugongs and turtles. The park has a variety of accommodation, from camping to caravans, as well as on site holiday villas and cottages. Enjoy spectacular views of Pumicestone Passage, the Glasshouse Mountains and the Redcliffe Peninsula. Swimming is very popular for all ages in the calm water beaches. There is great fishing, a number of walking paths to explore the area plus it’s within walking distance to local shops & restaurants.

To find out more, head to –

Ocean-Beach-Camping-AreaOcean Beach Camping Area
Close to Woorim Beach, Bribie Island

Ocean Beach Camping Area is located 16km to 19km north of the beach access point on North Street, Woorim. The camping area is in a prime location on the Eastern side of the island with Freshwater Creek nearby. If you’re an avid fisher, this is the spot for you! The campsites do vary a fair bit between sites with a combination of sand, dirt and some grass. The camp sites just behind the dunes are accessible from defined track entrances, make sure to use these and do not drive over dunes. Camping is not allowed in the foredunes or on the beach. The site is 4wd drive access only and you will need a vehicle access permit.

To learn more, visit –

Jack-Purton-Neurum-Creek-Bush-RetreatNeurum Creek Bush Retreat
Borders D’Aguilar National Park

Neurum Creek Bush Retreat provides dog friendly camping grounds. Enjoy the great outdoors with many activities including trail walking, swimming, canoeing, and much more! The township of Woodford is a twelve minute drive away, where you’ll find friendly service and advice as well as being able to cater for your needs be it food, refreshments, fuel, restaurants, etc. The site of the famous “Woodford Folk Festival” is only fifteen minutes away. If you book a campsite for the week leading up to Christmas, expect a visit from Santa and the local firies! Campsite owners, Simon and Tracey, are also gearing up to host Australia Day with live music and more! Image courtesy Jack Purton.

For more information, visit –

Scouts-Camping-GlampingMurrenbong Scout Campsite 
Peaceful Camping Setting

Located just thirty minutes north of Brisbane in the spectacular suburb of Kurwongbah is the gorgeous Murrebong Campsite. Known for its traditional bush camping, walking trails and large dam, the Scouts QLD campsite offers a peaceful setting for even the most basic camper to spend a few days to recharge and get away from the hustle and bustle of life. The campsite offers bush camping, non-powered sites and has a bunk hut and dining hall/kitchen for larger groups that wish to stay onsite. Bookings are essential and can be made with the onsite staff.

Booking contact details – or (07) 3285 5408

Middle-Cobble-CreekMiddle Kobble Bush Camp
Hikers Dream

Middle Cobble Bush Camp is a remote bush campsite in an open grassy area next to Kobble Creek, in the remote northern section of D’Aguilar National Park. This campsite is for the more experienced campers as it is walk-in camping only. A short walk takes you to the top of Kobble Creek waterfall. Keep an eye out for the prehistoric-looking Lepidozamia (cycads) on your walk to the bush camp. Skinks and keelbacks (freshwater snakes) can be seen basking on the rocks at the top of Kobble Creek waterfall. Bottlebrush plants flower along the creek beside the bush camp site in Spring make for a stunningly scenic hike. Image courtesy of Rolo.

Search for the campsite via –

Donnybrook-Caravan-ParkDonnybrook Caravan Park
Quiet Seaside Spot

If boating and fishing is your thing, Donnybrook Caravan Park provides the perfect get-away holiday in a peaceful seaside village. Launch your boat from the adjacent boat ramp and cruise out into the picturesque Pumicestone Passage for a relaxing or fun-filled day on the water. Return to your caravan in the afternoon and enjoy a relaxing barbeque or head to the local bowls club for a meal. A general store and post office across the road and a take-away next door provide for your basic needs. This spot is perfect for the keen fisherman!

To find out more and book a site, visit –

Worldsaway-RetreatWorldsaway Retreat
View of Glass House Mountains and Moreton Bay

Set on 40 acres of pristine land in the hinterland of Ocean View, the retreat overlooks the Glass House Mountains and Moreton Bay. Worldsaway Retreat is a 10-minute drive from the yesteryear town of Dayboro and quaint village of Mt Mee. Wineries, restaurants and Mt Mee State Park are all nearby. You’re offered a stunning, open space to relax, unwind and re-energise. Right in the midst of nature, Worldsaway Retreat is a sanctuary to soothe your soul, your body and your mind. If you’re not a fan of pitching a tent, you can always choose the glamping option of their self-contained cabins. The surreal, breath-taking views will seize you with the amazing Glass House Mountains, ocean, islands, waterfalls, valleys and forests. It’s almost unbelievable.

To learn more –

Camping-Moreton-Bay-RegionBaden Powell Park Scout Campsite
Nestled away in Samford Valley

The beautiful Baden Powell Park campsite, owned by Scouts QLD, is a 150-acre leafy green site within walking distance of the quaint Samford Village. The site boasts a 25 metre swimming pool, endless walking tracks, hot water showers and a large dam with plenty of fish to catch! They also have equipment for hire, such as mountain bikes. There are various accommodation options available to public campers, so if you prefer the glamping option, you can hire a bell tent. Bunk huts are also available or powered sites for you to park your caravan. Bookings are essential and the campsite is sometimes not available due to Scouting events.

Please check availability through the Scouts QLD Bookings Office – or (07) 3721 5737

Toorbul-Caravan-ParkToorbul Caravan Park
Boaters and Fishers Dream

Boating and fishing in the adjacent pristine waters of the Pumicestone Passage makes Toorbul Caravan Park the ideal getaway spot for the fishing and water sports enthusiast. Boat ramp, fishing supplies, convenience store and tavern are all within 400 metres of the park in this peaceful, seaside community. Kangaroos wandering the streets in the late afternoon make this a unique holiday location! The park offers good facilities for caravan and campers, including a BBQ area, large amenities block and a coin operated laundry. It is recommended that bookings be made well in advance to ensure availability of a site.

For more information, visit –


– Always take plenty of fresh drinking water. A lot of campsites only offer potable water, which is fine for bathing and extinguishing campfires. If you need to use the water for drinking, it MUST be boiled for a minimum of ten minutes.
– Not all campsites allow campfires, so it is best to check beforehand. It is also advisable to check whether there are any current fire bans in place.
– Bring firewood. Often you will see roadside signs with local residents selling pre-cut wood. It is ILLEGAL to collect wood (even dead branches) in National Parks and you could face a hefty fine if caught! Campfires must be contained and extinguished properly with water. Wildfires can start from embers. Be responsible!
– Ensure you deflate your tyres for beach driving, around 16psi is the standard. Check the tides guide!
– 50+ Sunscreen, Bushmans 40 deet (insect repellant), a fully stocked first aid kit, a pair of thongs for showering, torches and a packet of baby wipes are absolute essentials.
– Do not feed the native wildlife! Ensure all food is secured and away from the reach of all wildlife or you may find it all gone whilst you are away from the campsite or sleeping.
– It pays to look around for ant nests and insect holes prior to pitching tents and gazebos.
– Arrive at your campsite while there is still plenty of daylight, setting up camp can be quite time consuming and setting up in the dark isn’t as fun as it might sound.
– Some campsites don’t offer rubbish disposal, pack some garbage bags and make sure your campsite has no rubbish laying around before leaving.
– Lay a ground sheet (most tents come with one) or a tarp at the entrance to the tent and make it a no shoe zone. This prevents a lot of dirt inside the tent and makes for a more comfortable sleep.
– It’s a good idea to leave the netting on the tent entrance zipped up at all times, except for entering and exiting, unless you want to share a bed with snakes, spiders and mosquitoes!
– Make a list of what you intend to pack but bear in mind that you’ll likely still forget something! Don’t forget the coffee!
– Check yourself for ticks!
– Enjoy the serenity!

18/12/2017 |

Bureau of Meteorology Issues Initial Flood Watch


An Initial Flood Watch has been issued for coastal catchments between Gladstone and the New South Wales Border.

The first flood watch, issued by the Bureau of Meteorology this morning, indicates that minor flooding across a large swathe of catchments, including Pine and Caboolture Rivers and their tributaries, is possible.

The Bureau released a video yesterday, detailing the impacts, with Southern States, New South Wales and Victoria, likely to experience the worst of the impacts.

Parts of Queensland will begin to see the effects of the trough from Sunday and into Monday. Rainfall during the past week has primed local catchments for future level rises.

Widespread 24 hour rainfall totals of 30-70mm are possible about coastal catchments south of Gladstone during Sunday and Monday. Isolated heavier falls in the range of 80-180mm are possible each day, these fall are expected from severe thunderstorms embedded in the trough. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings will be issued by the Bureau of Meteorology during the event as required. You can view all Queensland warnings here.


The warning is as follows:


Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland

Initial Flood Watch for coastal catchments between Gladstone and the New South Wales Border

Issued at 11:12 am EST on Friday 1 December 2017

Flood Watch Number: 1

Minor flooding is possible across the Flood Watch area.

A trough system and an associated band of showers and storms will move into the southwest of the state during Friday, shifting gradually eastwards across the state during the weekend. The associated band of showers and storms will likely clear the coast on Tuesday.

Rainfall during the past week has wetted up some coastal catchments meaning river level rises are likely.

Widespread 24 hour rainfall totals of 30-70mm are possible about coastal catchments south of Gladstone during Sunday and Monday.

Isolated heavier falls in the range of 80-180mm are possible each day with severe thunderstorms. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings will be issued during the event as required.

Minor flooding is possible across the Flood Watch area and isolated heavy rainfall may lead to localised flooding.

Rainfall totals and river level rises are expected to be significantly lower than those experienced in the Wide Bay catchments in October, and certainly nothing comparable to the widespread rainfall and flooding seen in Cyclone Debbie.

The Flood Watch area will be refined as the location of the heaviest rainfall becomes more certain.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

Calliope River
Boyne River
Baffle Creek
Kolan River
Burnett River
Burrum and Cherwell Rivers
Mary River
Noosa River
Sunshine Coast Rivers and Creeks
Pine and Caboolture Rivers
Upper Brisbane River
Lower Brisbane River
(Tributaries of the lower Brisbane River only.)
Logan and Albert Rivers
Gold Coast Rivers and Creeks

See to view the current flood warnings for Queensland.

Flood Safety Advice:

This Flood Watch means that people living or working along rivers and creeks should monitor the latest weather forecasts and warnings.

  • Remember: If it’s flooded, forget it.

For flood emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

For life threatening emergencies, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Current emergency information is available at

This advice is also available by dialling 1300 659 219 at a low call cost of 27.5 cents, more from mobile, public and satellite phones.

Warning, rainfall and river information are available at

01/12/2017 |
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