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Spectacular sport and recreation plan for Fraser Coast

The Fraser Coast is set to benefit from sports tourism and the potential for economic growth that comes with it. The Council has an ambitious plan in motion, which will allow the region to tap into a spending stream estimated at millions annually. Visitor money flows directly and indirectly into local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, retailers and transportation companies; And jobs and employee spending too. A win-win for everyone involved. This is what Council said:

A PREMIER field surrounded by a stadium and earth banks that could seat thousands of spectators is among the features proposed in the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct Master Plan 2022.

“The draft master plan which was endorsed by Council today (22 February 2023) is the strategic vision for the future staged development of the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct,” Cr Darren Everard said.

“It identifies what the site should look like and how it should function and takes into consideration community needs and aspirations, existing and potential future users as well as emerging trends in sport and recreation.

“While the Master Plan sets out the future development, we do not anticipate that all elements will proceed immediately. It is a guide to the future development of the precinct.

“The timing for development will depend on available grant funding from the Queensland and Australian Governments, demand, and potential community and commercial partnerships.”

The focal point:  premier field and multi-use centre

“The premier field will provide a first-rate facility capable of hosting high-level sporting and community events,” Cr Daniel Sanderson said.

It is envisaged that the field would have permanent spectator seating for 3,500 and grass spectator embankments surrounding the field, creating an amphitheatre effect that could accommodate 20,000 additional spectators.

Key facilities will include a premier AFL oval, capable of supporting a rectangular field, lighting, scoreboard, covered seating and embankments, amenities and support facilities for players, coaches and officials, kitchen and kiosk, storage facilities, and a gymnasium.

The multi-use leisure centre would be the “gateway” to the main precinct. It will enable a variety of sports, recreation, and health and well-being activities.

Facilities in the leisure centre could include:

  • an indoor courts zone with five multi-purpose indoor courts and one show court with retractable seating,
  • a health and fitness centre with program rooms, spin room, and gym,
  • a wellness/ allied health centre with dedicated consultation rooms,
  • indoor and outdoor climbing,
  • a café and retail zone,
  • an aquatics zone featuring a warm water program pool,
  • an outdoor zone featuring beach volleyball courts, and
  • future potential outdoor multi-purpose hard courts, and future expansion areas.
Fraser Coast Sport and Recreation Precinct - artist impression

Artist impression view from the northeast corner.

Cr Sanderson said an essential feature of the leisure centre was its relationship with the premier field, enabling both the leisure centre and premier field to operate as the Precinct’s central hub.

“The leisure centre changerooms will be accessible externally to the premier field to support additional teams for larger sporting events when required,” he said.

The outdoor sport zone will respond to immediate and longer-term demand for outdoor field sports.

The master plan outlines three ovals, a clubhouse, and amenities, eight additional netball courts, an athletics precinct featuring a grass athletics track (with the option for a synthetic track in the future), and a clubhouse and amenities block.

A dedicated cycling precinct and “adventure park” will be provided in the northern section of the Precinct to provide a range of cycling and recreation activities for all ages and abilities.

The facilities include a pump track, skate/ parkour zone, mountain bike skills park, a sealed criterium track featuring two interconnected loops of 0.9km and 0.6km lengths and a 200m finishing straight, amenities, lighting, and storage facilities.

The 60-hectare Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct is on the corner of Woods Road and Chapel Road, Nikenbah.

Stage one of the precinct opened in February 2019 with facilities for netball, soccer, and Oztag.

Since the opening, Fraser Coast Cycling has also been based at the precinct and Council has had discussions with the Hervey Bay Basketball Association to relocate to the precinct.

Queensland Reds and Brisbane Roar already visited

The precinct has already hosted the Brisbane Roar football team on multiple occasions for training camps and exhibition games attended by thousands of people, while the Queensland Reds rugby union squad recently held a pre-season training camp there.

“The completion of stage one was a significant milestone, but it’s also the first step in a long journey. This precinct will grow as our community grows,” Cr Everard said.

“It’s an investment for now and it’s an investment for the future of Fraser Coast sport, leisure, and entertainment.”

Fraser Coast Sport and Recreation Precinct - artist impression

Artist impression of the premier fields.

Article and Images contributed by Fraser Coast Regional Council – 22 February 2023


Where to next?

Wherever you want to go in the world, don’t forget to check out

With so many amazing deals on accommodation, flights, car rentals, attractions, and airport taxis, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for – and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Click the links here to visit BOOKING.COM today and start planning your next trip!

Jocelyn Magazine is an affiliate of, so if you book accommodation, attractions, flights, car rentals, and airport taxis by clicking on link on this website, then we’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how affiliate programs work–win-win!

Discover new favourites at Fraser Coast Flavours

Are you looking to spice up your Spring?

Look no further than Fraser Coast Flavours, a new one-day food and beverage festival taking place in Hervey Bay’s Seafront Oval on 2 September 2023.

A Fraser Coast Tourism and Events spokesperson said the region’s new festival would expand on the legacy built by the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival.

“Fraser Coast Flavours will showcase not only the best food and beverage offerings on the Fraser Coast but also the carefree lifestyle.

“There will be something for everyone at this vibrant celebration of cuisine.”

You can enjoy some of the best flavours on offer, with street food and market vendors and Queensland breweries and distilleries serving up their best creations.

Fraser Coast Flavours will include two live music stages featuring a line-up of both local and Queensland artists.

There will also be all-day activities and a selection of curated ticketed events to keep attendees pleased while soaking up the fabulous Hervey Bay sunshine.

So, mark the date on your calendar now and get ready to tantalize your taste buds with delicious food and beverages while enjoying live music performances.

Join us in welcoming an explosion of gastronomy and fun!

Pre-sale tickets will be available from July 3 for $10 and available online. For all festival announcements, follow @frasercoastevents.


***Jocelyn Magazine is an affiliate of, so if you book accommodation, attractions, flights, car rentals, and airport taxis by clicking on link on this website, then we’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how affiliate programs work–win-win!***


Discover the Fraser Coast, Queensland

If you’re planning to visit the Fraser Coast region for its new food and beverage festival, be sure to check out what else the region offers while you’re here.

About a four-hour drive north of Brisbane, the Fraser Coast, which comprises Hervey Bay, Maryborough, and K’gari (Fraser Island), is known for its tranquil beaches, diverse wildlife, rich history, arts, and culture.

Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, some downtime on the beach, or want to experience art and culture at its best, the Fraser Coast has something to offer everyone.

Let’s explore what makes this region so special.

Fraser Coast Flavours - prawn kebabs

Prawns skewers with herbs, garlic, and lemon. PHOTO: Shutterstock

Explore local cuisine

The Fraser Coast offers a unique blend of seafood, fresh fruit, and vegetables with flavors that reflect multicultural influences from around the world.

Hervey Bay is well-known for its abundance of seafood dishes such as freshly caught fish and calamari.

Other favorites include grilled prawns with homemade garlic butter sauce, mussels cooked in white wine with herbs and spices, and freshly shucked oysters served with a squeeze of lemon.

For those who prefer something more landlocked, there are plenty of options too!

Sample traditional Aussie favorites like steak sandwiches or an old-fashioned sausage roll.

Or enjoy some classic Italian dishes such as pizza or pasta.

And if you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try some local treats like honeycomb ice cream or passionfruit cheesecake.

Discover nature

Aside from its culinary delights, the Fraser Coast also offers spectacular natural beauty.

Hervey Bay is the perfect destination to watch humpback whales in their natural habitat. As one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Queensland, this is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed.

You’ll get up close and personal with these majestic creatures as they make their way past K’gari (Fraser Island) amidst dolphins and turtles.

The incredible sight will take your breath away; all while providing exciting educational opportunities for those who are curious about marine life.

You can also take a drive through any of the Fraser Coast’s many nature reserves or hinterland and marvel at the magnificent flora and fauna, or take part in water activities, such as fishing or snorkeling to explore what lies beneath the surface.

For those looking for some relaxation time away from it all, take advantage of tranquil parks in Maryborough, or the stunning beaches at Hervey Bay and K’gari (Fraser Island)—both perfect spots for sunbathing or swimming in crystal clear waters.

Fraser Coast Flavours - whale with baby

See the Humpback Whales while visiting the Fraser Coast. PHOTO: Shutterstock


Art galleries, museums, cultural centres, street art

Hervey Bay’s sister city, Maryborough, is home to stunning architecture and has a rich history.

In the heart of Maryborough, you can admire the historic commercial buildings, including churches, banks, and hotels, or find solace in Queens Park, which has plenty of areas for picnicking or relaxing beside the Mary River. There are also playgrounds for children, making it a brilliant spot for families.

When the first Sunday of the month rolls around, you can listen to a brass band and find a miniature train ride in Queen’s Park, or board the Mary Ann, a full-size replica of the first steam engine built in Queensland.

You can experience local culture at The Brolga Theatre & Convention Centre—one of Maryborough’s most beloved landmarks. This venue hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including concerts, theatre performances, dance recitals, and more.

Maryborough is also home to some amazing art galleries, street art, museums, and cultural centres.

At The Story Bank, you can immerse yourself in the story of Pamela L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins books, and enjoy some interactive exhibits.

Fraser Coast Flavours - Sunset over river

Sunset over the Brolga Theatre and Mary River, Maryborough, Queensland. PHOTO: Jocelyn Watts


Fraser Coast: One of Australia’s Premier Travel Destinations

Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable food or culture experience, outdoor adventure, or want to take a step back into the past, the Fraser Coast is sure to leave you with wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.

So come check out why this region is quickly becoming one of Australia’s premier travel destinations!

22 February 2023


Where to next?

Wherever you want to go in the world, don’t forget to check out

With so many amazing deals on accommodation, flights, car rentals, attractions, and airport taxis, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for – and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Click the links here to visit BOOKING.COM today and start planning your next trip!

A tribute to Margaret Olley, an Australian art icon

Margaret Olley’s remarkable talent for depicting still life in its full color and vibrancy left an indelible mark on the Australian art world.

Her enthusiasm, generosity, and lust for life influenced people from all walks of life to appreciate her unique genius.

From collecting eclectic items at home to travelling to far-flung corners of the world, she truly lived a radiant existence.

This year, 2023, marks what would have been Olley’s 100th birthday, so let’s pay tribute to this incredible lady by looking at her captivating story.

Margaret Olley Art Centre - man in a gallery

Margaret Olley Art Centre. PHOTO: Tweed Regional Gallery

Step into the world of Margaret Olley

While visiting the Gold Coast in Queensland recently, relatives invited me to join them on a day outing across the New South Wales border to the Margaret Olley Art Centre in Murwillumbah.

The MOAC forms a major part of the Tweed Regional Gallery and is a must-see destination for any art enthusiast. It features work from Olley’s incredible career and gives insight into her life.

This Australian legend was born in Lismore, NSW, on 24 June 1923, and at the tender age of two, she moved with her parents to Tully in tropical North Queensland.

Later, as a 16-year-old art student in Sydney, Olley discovered her passion for painting everyday items like flowers, jars, and ribbons, with vibrant colours.

Items collected while travelling around Australia and to Asia, Europe, and America also often made it into her artworks.

Without question, one of the biggest attractions of the MOAC is seeing inside her home studio, which was painstakingly moved piece by piece all the way from 48 Duxford Street, Paddington, Sydney.

Olley’s recreated home gallery offers an amazing opportunity to explore where she created some of her most iconic pieces of artwork.

Peering into her the rooms—like the Yellow Room and Hat Factory—of her much-loved home studio, I felt transported back in time. I could almost see Olley herself painting nearby.

As I made my way around her home filled with over 20,000 pieces collected throughout her life, I couldn’t help but marvel at how she lived amongst it all and captured the scenes so beautifully on canvas.

***Jocelyn Magazine is an affiliate of, so if you book accommodation, attractions, flights, car rentals, and airport taxis by clicking a link on this website, then we’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how affiliate programs work–win-win!***


Margaret Olley Art Centre - art gallery

Margaret Olley Art Centre. PHOTO: Tweed Regional Gallery

A talented artist and philanthropist extraordinaire

Margaret Olley had a true zest for life. Our gallery tour guide said she loved hosting memorable soirees and attending celebrations and parties.

Music was an important part of her life, particularly Australian Chamber Orchestra concerts, which she attended regularly.

Her also a wicked sense of humour shone through in one of the most unexpected places: table mats with scenes from the Kama Sutra on her dining table!

Despite struggling with depression in the 1970s, Olley found success as a painter through still life works, plus made smart property investments along the way.

The S. H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney held its first Olley retrospective exhibition in 1990. She became a celebrated Australian artist and enjoyed a long and successful career, holding over 90 solo exhibitions.

Her philanthropic mission was clear—she also wanted to give back, and in 1990, Olley founded an art trust; a mission that would preserve their legacies for generations to come.

She also supported the acquisition of incredible works at renowned art galleries in Australia.

Through her philanthropy, masterpieces by artists such as Giorgio Morandi and Pablo Picasso found their way into The Art Gallery of NSW. Her generosity also funded the acquisition of major artworks at the National Gallery in Canberra.

Olley was honored with many distinguished awards, including the Officer Order of Australia in 1991 and Companion of the Order of Australia in 2006, as well as several honorary doctorates from esteemed universities.

In 2001, the Art Gallery of New South Wales named the Margaret Olley, Twentieth Century European Gallery in her honour. Five years later, she opened Stage II of the Tweed River Art Gallery in Murwillumbah, the MOAC.

Olley also made history as the first person to have had two Archibald Prize-winning portraits created of her—one in 1948 by William Dobell, then again in 2011 by Ben Quilty.

She passed away on 26 July 2011, aged 88, and her Paddington home sold for $3 million in 2014. She never married or had any children.

If you would like more information about this amazing woman, you can read her biography at


Celebrate Olley’s life and work this year

Margaret Olley left behind a lasting legacy that will continue to benefit generations of Australians into the future.

Her commitment to philanthropy helped shape many lives while her work as an artist continues to inspire new generations as they discover it today—a true testament to her kind spirit.

This year marks what would have been her 100th birthday, so be sure to look out for special events happening this year, including:

Acquisition appeal

The Tweed Regional Gallery Foundation Ltd. and the Friends of Tweed Regional and Margaret Olley Art Centre Inc. are raising funds to acquire paintings by Margaret Olley to gift to the Tweed Regional Gallery collection. If you’d like to make a donation, visit

Dinner, activities, and events

You can also help celebrate the 100th birthday of Australia’s most admired painter of still life and interiors by attending a special dinner at the Tweed Regional Gallery and MOAC on 24 June 2023, or taking part in an exciting program of exhibitions, activities, and events including workshops, tours, talks, and more.

For details, visit

Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre

You can visit the Tweed gallery and MOAC every Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (except closed on Good Friday; but it’s open Easter Saturday and Sunday). Remember, NSW follows AEDT time, so it’s one hour ahead of QLD during daylight savings.

Entry is free. If you’ve got a larger group, bookings are required for over 10 people. Plus, don’t miss out on the daily guided tours at 11:30 am, where numbers may be limited to six people.

 Address: 2 Mistral Road (corner Tweed Valley Way), Murwillumbah South, NSW 2484 Australia

Phone: 02 6670 2790



Margaret Olley Art Centre - view from the cafe

When you visit the MOAC, why not take in some of Tweed Valley’s stunning views while treating yourself to a delicious bite in their cafe? Plus, pick up one-of-a-kind creations by nationally acclaimed local talent at their gallery shop—perfect for gifting (or keeping)! PHOTO: Jocelyn Watts

Margaret Olley: lauded and loved artist, by ABC News


If you enjoyed this story, you might also like Stefano Guseli: The Artist’s Journey


Where to next?

Wherever you want to go in the world, don’t forget to check out

With so many amazing deals on accommodation, flights, car rentals, attractions, and airport taxis, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for – and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Click the links here to visit BOOKING.COM today and start planning your next trip!



My top tips for losing weight with the CSIRO Diet

It’s no secret that losing weight isn’t always a quick process. For me, it was a lesson in patience and learning to trust the process.

I recently tried out the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, where I lost just 1 kilogram over 12 weeks, but a total of 20 centimeters of my body size. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover my energy levels stayed up throughout.

My choice of program was the standard higher protein, low GI diet that’s designed for maximum weight loss and appetite control. It helps you learn how to eat right with a focus on getting optimal nutrition from whole foods.

What I found was that while the recommended kilojoules were actually more than what I was used to eating, staying consistent on the program and pushing past my comfort zone would be key for successful weight loss.

Here’s what my CSIRO TWD journey taught me about metabolism and why it’s important to stick with the program.

CSIRO Diet - salmon and salad

Smoked red fish fillet, trout, or salmon steaks served on slate board with lemon and rocket salad. Photo: Shutterstock.

***I’m a proud affiliate of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, so if you sign up for the program by clicking on one of the CSIRO links on this website, then I’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how this awesome affiliate program works – win-win!***

Why consistency is key

When I joined the CSIRO TWD in November 2022, I had already followed a healthy low-kilojoule eating style for most of my life.

Unfortunately, this meant my metabolism had already adjusted to the smaller portions and so when I began following the CSIRO’s recommended menu plan for a person of my size—which were larger proportions than what I was used to eating—it caused an initial increase in weight.

Because my program covered the festive season, my CSIRO health coach, an accredited practicing dietitian (who doesn’t wish to be named), said it was okay if I wanted to splurge a little, so long as I went back to following my diet plan soon after. So, I did.

But, because I had lost just 0.8 kg in the first six weeks of the program, for the second half, I cut back on the recommended proportion sizes.

For example, when a lunch menu called for a large wholegrain wrap, I’d use a small wrap. Or, when I was to have a sandwich with two slices of Burgen bread for lunch, I’d have just one slice and make it an open sandwich. I also stopped having some of the recommended snacks.

Turns out that was my downfall!

It all comes down to metabolism

CSIRO Diet - Muesli with berries and yoghurt

Breakfast in bed… muesli with berries and yoghurt. Photo: Shutterstock.

My coach said the reason I lost little weight on the 12-week CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet was that I trimmed down the food proportions of my Protein Balance program.

“You set yourself back to where your metabolism was going real slow,” she said.

“Push past the feeling that you’re eating too much, and your weight will come down as your metabolism realises how you’re feeding it and think ‘I’m happy to work now’.

“You weren’t eating enough. Continue eating too little and it will be really difficult to lose the 6 kg you want to lose and keep it off for the long term.”

My coach said because my CSIRO menu plan provided just enough kilojoules to keep me going with enough energy for basic functions such as breathing and walking, when I trimmed down the proportion sizes my body went back into survival mode and kept all it could for me to function.

This taught me that consistency was key to getting results from the CSIRO TWD; stay committed and trust that even if there wasn’t an immediate change on the scale, my body was still transforming.

Therefore, keeping track of how much food you are eating each day, and how much energy you’re using, can ensure that your body has all the fuel it needs while still helping you reach your desired weight-loss goals.

Consistency is key to the CSIRO diet

While losing weight can be a long process full of challenges along the way, it’s worth sticking with it until you see results.

My experience with trying the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet helped me understand just how important consistency was when following any dietary plan.

Understanding how many kilojoules you are consuming each day and how much energy you’re using will help keep your metabolism running smoothly, which can give you better results.

The major benefit of following the CSIRO’s higher protein and lower carbohydrate diet is that it encourages slow, steady weight loss that is easier to maintain in the long term.

Taking further steps

CSIRO Diet - Chicken and Salad Wrap

Wholegrain wrap with chicken and vegetables. Photo: Shutterstock.

Even though I lost just 1 kg of weight, I qualified for the refund that’s offered for completing the first 12-Week CSIRO TWD, and I’ve signed back on for another 12-week period, for stage two of the same Protein Balance plan—this time committing fully with no cutting back.

My goal is now to push past those initial feelings of discomfort and get used to eating more than what I am used to in order for my metabolism to increase so that my weight will come down too.

Personalised coaching to help achieve your goals

The CSIRO TWD has many advantages for those looking for a comprehensive approach to achieving their health goals in terms of both physical and mental well-being.

As well as the standard program I’m on, the CSIRO TWD also includes menu plans designed for people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes/Prediabetes, and more.

From providing sustainable weight loss programs and personalized coaching services, there’s no doubt the CSIRO program has something for everyone.

If you’re willing to commit yourself fully and make necessary adjustments along the way, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get significant results from following this program.

So why not try it for yourself today?

Want to sample CSIRO recipes before joining?

If you’d like to try recipes from the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet before joining the online program, a selection of free recipes is available at:

You can also join the Three-Day Taster program, which includes samples of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet menu and exercise plans, and an overview of their tools that will help you lose weight and feel better.

Or, buy the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Complete Recipe Collection

Please note, the images in this post illustrate the types of food you are likely to find in a CSIRO recipe book.
For CSIRO recipes and photos, refer to the CSIRO TWD Complete Recipe Collection and other CSIRO books.

CSIRO diet plan - recipe book

***As an Amazon Australia affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.**


FEATURE PHOTO: Prawn and Mango Salad by Jocelyn Watts.

How Melbourne couple Bryan and Lyndel did it!

Have you ever dreamed of packing it all in and exploring Australia with a caravan?

Melbourne couple Bryan Crow and Lyndel Harris did just that—quit their jobs as a florist/funeral director and business administrator to chase their dreams of adventure.

After six amazing years on the road, they’ve set up a home base on a riverside property near Bundaberg in Queensland, but won’t be stopping for long.

They’re now launching adventure tours for other New Age caravan owners who want to find out how they too can live on the open roads.

So, if you’re looking for some travel inspiration or tips, why not join the New Age Caravans Social Club on their adventures?

But first, let’s look at how they got to where they are now.

Disclosure: As a affiliate, Jocelyn earns from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

New Age Caravans - four people near a beach

Bryan Crow (left) and Lyndel Harris, and fellow caravanners Kaye Browne and Brian Pickering catch up for lunch in Hervey Bay, Qld. PHOTO: Jocelyn Watts.

Bryan: Funeral director and florist

Bryan’s florist business led him to funerals—an interesting pairing, but one that makes sense when you consider the common ground they share.

After growing up in a flower market garden, it seemed a natural choice for Bryan and his sister to go into the floristry business.

“We had florist shops for years. In fact, we still own a flower shop on the Mornington Peninsula,” Bryan said.

“I started out doing floral arrangements for funeral directors.

“I’d be delivering flowers to the funerals and the directors would say to me, ‘Bryan, can you get here a bit earlier so you can help me unload the coffin and put it here, or there, and do, this or that?’

“So, my funeral business evolved from that. Even when I was a funeral director, I was still doing all the floral tributes that go on top of the caskets.”

Lyndel: Queen of Can-do

Lyndel was a real force in the business world. She worked in administrative roles and even took her career one step further by co-owning a computer franchise.

“I preferred to work behind the scenes, where other staff would ask: ‘Lyndel, can you book that? Lyndel, can you follow this up? Lyndel, can you get me this, or that?’

“So, I became known as the Queen of Can-do!”

Ballroom dancing was also part of her life in Melbourne for many years—an enjoyable pastime she was passionate about.


The ‘bizarre’ story of how they crossed paths

A funeral parlor might seem like an odd place to meet, and Bryan and Lyndel’s story of how they crossed paths is nothing short of bizarre.

New Age Caravans - Couple next to a beach

Bryan and Lyndel in Hervey Bay, Qld.

“How we met was bizarre really,” Lyndel said.

“It was in December 2001. My dad passed away and as a family, on Christmas Eve, we contacted the funeral director we’d driven past. That was Bryan’s funeral home.

“We walked in there as a family, and Bryan did all the arrangements.

“I found I could talk easily to Bryan, but I didn’t have a thought in the world about meeting up for, you know, coffee or anything afterward.

“Anyway, some years later, again as a family, we walked into Bryan’s funeral home again. He greeted us at the door, and I could see him wondering about who was missing.

“That was my eldest brother, 52. Bryan did the arrangements for his funeral too.

“On the night before my brother’s funeral, I had a phone call saying my brother’s partner’s son had also died.

“He came from Queensland to support his mum at the funeral, but he died in a trail bike accident.

“So, here I am, on the phone at 11.00 pm on the night before my brother’s funeral to Bryan, trying to say, hey, listen, this family will be in turmoil tomorrow.

“We had two family funerals within five days of each other, but got through it ok.

“Then about a week after that, or thereabouts, Bryan rang up and said if I’d like someone to talk with, to just come and have a coffee.

“So, we did the following day, and basically things progressed from there.”

Retirement started looking more luxurious

Bryan and Lyndel are no strangers to adventure.

“As a scout leader, I’ve done lots of camping, but I got to the stage where I’d had enough of tents and thought if I’m going to be camping in retirement, I’ll do it with a bit more luxury,” Bryan said.

“At that stage, Lyndel had an on-site caravan out in Daylesford, Victoria, but it was not getting enough use.

“We just looked at our lives and thought, ‘We should get out and enjoy life while we’re still young and healthy enough to do it.’

“So, we sold Lyndel’s van and then talked about the funeral business going up for sale.

“We started looking at big motorhomes, but people said don’t buy a motorhome—you’ve still got to tow something.

“Then we looked at caravans and they all seemed to have that horrible old brown timber inside.

“Eventually we looked inside a New Age caravan that had full white laminate inside and… wow!

“At that stage, they were building New Age caravans in Melbourne, but the only place you could buy them was on the Gold Coast, and we weren’t going all that way just to buy a caravan.

“So, we kept looking at other brands and talking to other companies, asking if they could make us something.”

“They said yes, but some time down the track, we still hadn’t heard from them.”

Eventually, Bryan and Lyndel spotted a showroom being set up in Epping, just out of Melbourne.

“It was a humongous, purpose-built showroom, and they were rolling out the red carpet as they were pushing caravans into position.

“We were the first to see it; two weeks before it opened. They invited us to the grand opening, and there we placed our order.

“The 21-foot New Age caravan we bought was their top-of-the-range model.

“When we picked it up, they were having an end-of-year sale and asked us if we’d take it home, dress it up, and bring it back to put on display as a showpiece. So that’s what happened.

“We were there on the Saturday and Sunday, talking to people and telling them how wonderful the lifestyle will be, before we’d even slept in it ourselves!”


Why they hit fast forward on their retirement plans

Bryan, then 62, and Lyndel, 58, had planned to work well into their sixties, but buying New Age caravans inspired them to make their retirement plans happen sooner rather than later.

“So often in Bryan’s industry, he’d see a brand-new caravan sitting in a driveway, and the bereaved partner would say, ‘Oh, we were going to do the big lap next year’,” Lyndel said.

“Well, we’d rather have the pleasure of walking on grass than pushing it up.”

They’ve been on the road now for over six years, travelling an average of about 20,000 kilometres per year, and have no regrets.

Bryan said they take breathers from travelling occasionally.

“Last year we settled down in Sydney where I worked at a dealership for six months, just as something a little different.

“We knew 2022 was going to be a full year on the road with the number of vans that were being sold.

“So, we stayed off the road and away from the mayhem and earned some money.”

Bryan predicted that with international travel now resuming, there’d be a gradual return to the normal number of RVs on Australian roads.

“When Covid shut down international travel, people spent a lot of money on caravans, some about $80k, plus brand-new cars to tow them.

“Their investments have been huge, so they’ll probably get four or five years out of their vans, then it’ll be back to cruising… if their health allows it.

“If you see a guy that’s out there still towing a caravan in his 80s, you know he’s been doing it a long time. That’s about the age when they downsize to a smaller motorhome.

“We’ll probably keep doing it for as long as our bodies let us.”

How to choose between caravan or a cruise.

Get insider tips through the New Age Caravans Social Club

Bryan and Lyndel knew little about caravanning when they first started out.

For six years, every weekend off, they’d take their New Age caravan to the Mornington Peninsula, where it was an exciting learning experience meeting other caravanners in the area.

That’s how their idea of forming a social club/owners’ club came into being—they believed that with other experienced folks around, they could learn valuable lessons from them.

And voilà… they sent out invitations asking owners to register their interest in the new venture.

Next, the fledgling club became known as the New Age Owner’s Club.

“We organised an event to be held at Phillip Island and catered for breakfast and dinner,” Bryan said.

“We had to advertise it, and because I’d done a website for my sister’s florist shop, I built a website and registered it. Nearly 30 caravans attended that event.

“The next event was a few months later, and the numbers skyrocketed to about 120 from different parts of Australia.”

Bryan said they started going to major caravan shows throughout Australia.

“New Age would fly us to Adelaide, Brisbane, Launceston, Sydney, and Perth for weekends so we could talk with people who were buying caravans.

“Basically, we’d say, ‘We’ve got a social club and these are the benefits of membership. It’s a way to learn, to meet new people, and get out and see the country.

“Today, the club has over 2000 caravans throughout Australia and holds regular events.

“This year, Victoria alone has seven events happening, plus a New Age Murray River Adventure Tour.

“Initially, we’d get 20 to 30 vans together at one place for a weekend, but now most people try to rock in on a Wednesday and leave on a Tuesday, so it’s grown from two-day events to four or five-day events.

“The caravan parks love it because it means people are booking in for several days.

“That makes it worth it for retired people because, say in Queensland, they might never have been to Bundaberg, or have just passed through.

“So now, they have more time to do the turtle things, or the Hinkler thing, or go to the Bundy rum or Kalki Moon gin distilleries.


New Age Caravans - Turtle on a beach

New Age caravanners may see the turtles at Mon Repos beach in Queensland if they take an adventure tour in that area. PHOTO: Shutterstock.


“Or, if people just want to sit under their annex all morning and chat, that’s fine too.”

Lyndel said joining the club was a great way to meet new people or rekindle old acquaintances.

“We wouldn’t have met the people we have if not for this club.

“For example, we were in Charters Towers speaking with other club members that were there, and one of them, as an 18-year-old in the final year of her hairdressing apprenticeship, used to cut my hair!”

Explore unknown places in your caravan

Whether you want an immersive three-week holiday or just a quick two-night trip, New Age Adventure tours have something for everyone.

Bryan said caravanners joining the tours would explore Western Australia, and South Australia, and then start a breathtaking journey along the Murray River in June/July.

Soon after, they’ll embark on another adventure that takes caravanners along tracks less travelled to Bathurst in time for the 2023 legendary motor race.

Plus, Bryan said early indications were that a gathering may happen at the Bundaberg Showgrounds in August 2023 (yet to be confirmed).

So, there’s plenty for New Age caravanners to get excited about in 2023.


New Age Caravans - Bathurst motor race

A New Age adventure tour later this year will finish at Bathurst in time for the annual motor race. PHOTOS: Wikimedia Commons (above) and Shutterstock (below).

New Age Caravans - Aerial view of Bathurst

Adventure tours designed for busy people

Bryan and Lyndel have come up with an exciting way to make joining New Age Caravans Social Club events easier.

They’ve developed tours that allow folks to hop on for a weekend or commit longer, visiting pre-selected locations.

Bryan said people would often say they’d love to join the club’s events, but wouldn’t be in the particular area until the following week, or it wasn’t worth travelling to for just a weekend.

“So, we approached New Age management about running adventure tours, or tag-along tours, so people could join for just a weekend or for a week or more, whatever suited them,” he said.

“They’re not like traditional tag-along tours where everyone hooks up their vans at 9 o’clock in the morning to form a convoy of 15 to 18 vans and drive to the next town just 60 kilometres down the road.

“It’s about people being able to choose where they want to go and what to see.

“Nor is it free camping. We call it ‘off-the-grid’ camping, which means we’ll stay at venues like showgrounds where there’s a small fee of $10 to $15.

“If we say it’s free camping, people think there’s no money involved, but there are small fees. Caravanners just need to be self-sufficient, with their own power and water.”

The company agreed and the tours are getting underway this year. Among them is the Murray River Adventure in June / July.

The tour will journey from Albury/Wodonga to Chiltern, Howlong, Corowa, Rutherglen, Yarrawonga/Mulwala, Tocumwal, Picola, Nathalia, Tongala, Echuca/Moama, Cohuna, Kerang, Lake Boga, Swan Hill, Robinvale/Euston, Mildura, Wentworth, Berri, and Renmark.

For more details visit

New Age Caravan tour - Murray River tour map


Explore Australia with friends

Bryan and Lyndel prefer the company of other caravanners when they explore new destinations.

“Nothing beats seeing our country with some caravanning friends,” Lyndel said.

“About five years ago, we did a three-month trek around Tasmania with five vans.

“Two years ago, we came up to Bundaberg in Queensland. There were three of us Victorians plus a couple from Bundaberg and we travelled up to Townsville, across to Darwin, and down to Alice and Uluru.

“Because of Covid, two on the trip returned back to Bundaberg, and we kept going to South Australia.

“That was a four-month trip. Each year, we’ve basically spent 8 to 10 months on the road.

Lyndel said that going back eight years ago, she never would have imagined herself living the grey nomad lifestyle.

“If anyone said I would, I’d have thought they were crazy.

“Doing this off-the-grid style camping in tours, we’re able to encourage others that have never done it before.

“They might be unsure of what to do away from caravan parks or know how long their water or power is going to last.

“So, it’s not just about seeing the towns, but it’s also a learning exercise, and we love meeting people if they want our advice, helping them get the best from their caravans.

“For example, there was a single guy driving across to Perth who asked us to check out his van.

“He called himself a keen cook and was travelling with many cast-iron pots, cookers, and a lot of other stuff he didn’t actually use.

“He would say, ‘I’m a chef, you know’.

“But he was actually living on takeaway or frozen food!

“So, we looked through his caravan and suggested he get rid of a lot of the stuff he wasn’t using.

“It’s about travelling minimally while maintaining comfort.”


Bryan and Lyndel, living on their terms

Bryan and Lyndel’s story is one that exemplifies courage and resilience—traits we could all use more of these days.

Despite having no prior experience living full-time on the road or organising caravan tours around Australia, Bryan and Lyndel jumped into their current New Age caravan without hesitation—and made it work.

Their journey serves as an inspiration for caravanners everywhere who are considering taking a leap of faith themselves, proving anything is possible if you put your mind to it.


New Age Caravan - paddle steamer on a river.

The New Age Caravan Murray River Adventure Tour in June/July 2023 will pass through Echuca where participants can stop to take a paddle steamer ride on the Murray River. PHOTO: Jocelyn Watts


Where to next?

Wherever you want to go in the world, don’t forget to check out

With so many amazing deals on accommodation, flights, car rentals, attractions, and airport taxis, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for – and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Click the links here to visit BOOKING.COM today and start planning your next trip!

If you’re anything like me, the lure of an RV lifestyle is strong, but so is the temptation of cruising. As a caravanning grey nomad, you can get all that fresh air and freedom, while cruising has all the creature comforts you could want. And as for how many knickers to take on holiday – well, that’s up to you!  Read on for Jan Boge’s tip on that, plus much more.

Caravan or cruise? Why not both?

When it comes to travel, there are so many ways to go about it. You can rough it and camp in the great outdoors, or travel in a campervan, caravan, or motorhome.

You can backpack through Europe, or stay in luxury hotels and take in the sights from a tour bus. Or, you can take a luxury ocean cruise around Hawaii or a river cruise in Europe.

There’s really no right or wrong way to travel, as long as you’re doing what makes you happy.

Recently, I’ve been debating whether I’d become a grey nomad and make a lifestyle of travelling throughout Australia in an RV, or create a holiday atmosphere at home in Hervey Bay and take the occasional cruise, or two, throughout the year.

To help me break down the pros and cons of each option, I caught up with dedicated cruisers Jan Boge and Kate Ayres, and Kaye Browne and Brian Pickering from Food Wine Pets Travel, who are snail-pacing their way around Oz in their caravan.

Each duo has made a lifestyle of their preferred travel styles.

Jan and Kate have just returned from a P&O cruise from Brisbane to New Guinea, while Kaye and Brian recently parked their caravan in Hervey Bay and took a road trip to Queensland’s Magnetic Island.

So, if you were to choose between travelling around Australia in a caravan or cruising a few times a year, which would you choose?

Let’s go over what they said to help you can make an informed decision.

Disclosure: As a affiliate, I earn small amounts from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

Embracing the nomad lifestyle

Caravan or Cruise? Couple on a beach

Caravanners Brian Pickering and Kaye Browne, currently of Hervey Bay, also enjoy cruising.

There are several advantages to travelling around Australia in a campervan, caravan, or motorhome. Once you own your RV (recreational vehicle), it’s considered a lot cheaper than taking a cruise.

You don’t have to pay for airfare or fancy onboard meals, and you can usually find camping spots almost anywhere in Australia.

The price tag for powered caravan sites ranges from about $35 to $65 AUD a night; unpowered sites are about$30 to $35 AUD.

An alternative is free-camping, although the grey and digital nomad lifestyles have become so popular during the winter months, it can be hard to find a spot, even in the vast Australian Outback.

However, compared to cruise ships, this economical alternative means you can spend more time exploring Australia and less time worrying about your budget.

Another advantage to being a grey nomad with no fixed abode is that it’s more flexible.

If you want to stay in one spot for an extended period like Kaye and Brian – they’ve been in Hervey Bay about two years now – and really get to know the area, you can do that.

On a cruise, your itinerary is pre-set, you’re always on the move and rarely have enough time to really see everything. With an RV, you can take your time and see everything at your own pace.

Travelling in an RV can be both good and bad, depending on your preferences. Some people love the feeling of being away from the conveniences of home, while others prefer them close at hand.

For Kaye and Brian, their RV lifestyle is a “no-brainer”.

They love the freedom of choice their mobile lifestyle offers. Their bonus is the fascinating people they meet, not just on the road, but also in the caravan parks where they stay.

This is perfect for them as bloggers at Food Wine Pets Travel, who love telling stories, strange and true!

Among the amazing people, they’ve met is Gai Weaber-Buchal who literally ran away with Ashton’s Circus! Click here to listen to Brian and Kaye’s podcast on Gai’s story.

They also caught up with Gai for her take on travelling solo around Australia. Click here to read fascinating insights into her lifestyle.

However, road safety can be an issue for those embracing the RV lifestyle, but if you follow Truck Friendly – caravan road safety program online, you’ll learn some tips for keeping you safer on the road.

And the bonus for an RV lifestyle? When you’ve finished travelling, you’ve still got an asset (the RV) to sell and recoup some of the money you paid for setting up your nomadic lifestyle.



Cruising the high seas and rivers

Caravan or cruise - two ladies with cocktails

Kate Ayres (left) and Jan Boge are on board a P&O cruise from Brisbane to New Guinea. Photo: Contributed.

Of course, there are also several advantages to cruising the high seas or European rivers. The first is that it’s more comfortable than living long-term in an RV.

When you’re on a cruise ship, you have access to all the amenities—high-quality restaurants and bars, entertainment on tap, sightseeing shore trips, and daily room service to keep your cabin fresh.

If you’re like Jan and Kate who all love the comfort, convenience, and entertainment that cruising offers, then this is definitely the way to go.

Another advantage of cruising is that it’s more social. When you’re on board a ship with hundreds of other people, it’s easy to meet new friends and have fun together.

The solo RV lifestyle can be lonely unless you tag along with a caravan club or similar, but on a cruise ship, there’s always someone around to chat with or play cards with late into the night.

“We booked our P&O cruise and couldn’t fault it,” said Jan, a retired legal secretary and now chaplain.

“The food was great, the service was excellent, and the staff was amazing, but the price of wine was high at $14.50 a glass.

“The beauty of cruising is that you can leave your belongings in your cabin and go off for the day. It’s pure relaxation.

“My biggest decision each morning was what to wear!

“Should I wear this one or that? I take lots of shirts, and lots of knickers, unless I can hand wash them out.

“On this trip, I took 17 pairs of knickers and 11 bras for 10 days! I change regularly. I thought about taking disposable knickers, but they’re the most uncomfortable things.

“I also took three kilos of costume jewellery. It’s not like on a plane flight where the luggage you take is restricted by weight. On a cruise, there are no limits!”

Jan said their cruise offered shore trips to different islands, but because they lived at Hervey Bay where they had access to great beaches all year round, they stayed onboard and enjoyed its hospitality.

“If you’re travelling solo, I’d definitely recommend cruising. It’s very social,” Jan said.

“Of the 2600 passengers onboard, Kate talked to about 2000 of them, I think.

“Three ‘young girls’ took us under their wings. It was so funny. By ‘young girls’, I mean in their 40s, and we stayed up until 11:00 o’clock.

“I’ve also been on a European cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest and there was nothing to worry about. River cruises appeal to me because I have a seasickness problem.

“There are ways to get around that by choosing a room close to sea level and in the middle, or with medication, but river cruises eliminate that issue.

“We’ve already booked another 35-day ocean cruise for next May.”

We felt like goddesses, says Kate

Kate, a retired nurse, said that when her first husband was alive, they cruised around the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.

“I travelled around Australia in a caravan when I married my second husband, because he’d never been outside of Sydney other than during World War II,” Kate said.

“But I love cruising; I’m never going to stop cruising if I can help it.

“With cruising, all the work was done for you. We felt like goddesses when we come back to our cabin which was all made up. How good is that?

You sit back, relax, and order another Pina Colada! When I said I’d love some cheese on my toast, they came back with a platter with blue vein cheese in the middle!”

Kate said you could just take a book and read if you want to, or you can do yoga or go dancing.

“They had ballroom dancing on, but I didn’t go down. I used to ballroom dance with my second husband, so I get melancholy and I think I shouldn’t see it,” she said.

“When you consider how cheap it is to have all that service done for you. It really is economical.

“Cruising is better as we get older. I’m nearly 80. It’s a better way to travel because we see people in caravans who really shouldn’t be towing huge caravans.

“It’s scary. There should be a law that they have to train like a semi-trailer driver.

“Unless you’re really experienced with caravanning, don’t do it.”

Cruising also gives you access to places that are difficult to reach any other way.

Whether it’s an isolated beach or an exotic city far from home, there’s something special about taking a cruise to get there.

If seeing the world is your number one priority, then booking a cruise should be at the top of your list.


So, which is better—being a long-term grey nomad or living in one spot and taking occasional cruises throughout the year?

If cost is important to you and you enjoy roughing it from time to time, then travelling in a caravan is probably your best bet.

But if comfort and socialising are what matters most to you—and if money isn’t an issue—then booking yourself onto a cruise might just be an ideal experience for your next trip.

Me? I prefer the latter, but I’ve also been checking out long-distance train travel, and The Ghan is looking pretty good too!

With so many travel options around, why stick to just one?

Caravan or cruise - cruise ship

For anyone who has never cruised before, these photos from the Hawaiian cruise I did in 2006 give a glimpse of what you might experience on a cruise.


Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also discovering all that Australia offers.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

Where to next?

Wherever you want to go in the world, don’t forget to check out

With so many amazing deals on accommodation, flights, car rentals, attractions, and airport taxis, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for – and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Click the links here to visit BOOKING.COM today and start planning your next trip!

How to lose weight at Christmas with CSIRO

Signing up for the 12-Week CSIRO diet plan online in the lead-up to Christmas may not have been my smartest move ever… it can be tough bypassing all the delicious treats we’ve become accustomed to over the years.

But I’m no stranger to taking on challenges. Memories of feeling bloated after previous Boxing Days were inspiration enough!

In my first week of the program, starting on 3 November 2022, I gained 0.3 kg, despite sticking rigidly to my menu plan.

However, because I was already familiar with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, having been a devotee since the organisation published its first book in 2005, I knew the science worked and happily chose to trust the experts.

At the end of the second week, my bathroom scales showed I’d lost 0.6 kg. That’s a total loss of 0.3 kg since starting.

I still have a long way to go to reach my target of losing 8 kg over the 12-week program, but it’s a start.

My 0.6 kg loss in the past week happened despite dining out twice during that time… once for a Christmas function and the other for a birthday celebration.

So, if I’m so familiar with the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, why did I feel the need to sign up for the 12-week online program over the festive season?

I blame it on me being a Socialiser!

**I’m a proud affiliate of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, so if you sign up for the program by clicking on one of the CSIRO links on this website, then I’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how this awesome affiliate program works – win-win!**

Dining out is a breeze while following the CSIRO diet plan guidelines… I enjoyed this Grilled Tasmanian Salmon at Portside Cafe and Restaurant in Maryborough at a Christmas gathering and still lost .6 kg that week. Portside won the Best Restaurant or Cafe category of the recently announced 2022 Fraser Coast Business and Tourism Awards. 

CSIRO diet plan - King prawns with avo and watermelon salad.

In the same week, I enjoyed this King Prawns with Avo and Watermelon Salad at Salt Cafe Urangan while celebrating a friend’s birthday. Salt Cafe Urangan, Hervey Bay, was Highly Commended in the Best Restaurant or Cafe category of the recently announced 2022 Fraser Coast Business and Tourism Awards.

CSIRO Diet Types

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to diets. The CSIRO has developed diet plans that cater specifically to the eating habits of different personalities and their eating habits.

Whether you’re a Socialiser, Battler, Craver, Foodie, Pleaser, or Thinker, there’s something for everyone on the CSIRO diet!

According to a CSIRO diet quiz, I’m a Socialiser, which doesn’t come as any great surprise to me!

I generally eat and drink more when I’m socialising, and less when I’m home alone.

Their definition of a Socialiser goes like this:

“The Socialiser is a person who is often in the company of friends and family, which can lead them into temptation a little too often so that it affects their health or weight-related goals.

“Overeating and consuming too much alcohol at social gatherings has been seen as an occupational hazard for these types.

“Socialisers need flexibility when tackling our eating plan that allows the freedom to enjoy our social life.”

Hmmm… sounds familiar, lol.

Aside from my goal of losing 8 kg in 12 weeks, if all goes to plan I shouldn’t be struggling as much to shed unwanted kilos when the New Year gets underway.

What does the CSIRO diet plan say about dining out?

If you’re dining out or don’t want to follow the provided meal plans, but still want to achieve the same results, you can choose to go “freestyle” on the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet program.

CSIRO provides a basic template based on the program’s food groups.

On the program, you’re encouraged to eat a set amount of food units per day, e.g. on Level 1, it’s Meat/Protein 2.5 units, Breads Cereals 3 units, Vegetables 2.5 units, Fruits 2 units, Diary 3 units, and Healthy Fats/Oils 3 units.

When freestyling, you should meet the same daily requirements with the meals you choose.

Once you’re familiar with the units and proportion sizes, it’s easier to make good choices when dining out at a restaurant or with friends and family.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online program is also flexible with your indulgences and menu plans.


The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet’s favourite food group is indulgences, which are foods that provide little nutrition but are loved to eat.

It’s the top area in which most people can improve their diet.

  • The average Australian eats 6-8 indulgence units per day. On the TWD program, you’re allowed 1 indulgence per day (or 2 on level 3 of the program).
  • What makes food an indulgence is its overall nutritional properties. Examples include high kilojoule/calorie foods, high saturated fat and/or sodium foods, or low nutritional quality foods.
  • You can have more than one indulgence a day, but not more than 7 in a week (or 14 if on level 3 of the program). Alcohol is an exception to this rule and you’re allowed 2 standard drinks, however consuming 7 indulgences of alcohol at one time is not recommended.

My CSIRO diet plan favourites this week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

CSIRO Diet Plan - eggs on toast breakfast

One breakfast I chose this week was the CSIRO diet plan’s Cheesy Zucchini Slaw with Eggs on Toast.

CSIRO diet plan - Mint & feta salad

This Mint & Feta Salad was on the menu for lunch at my place this week, following the CSIRO diet plan.


CSIRO diet plan - chargrilled steak with beetroot salad

Another of my home-cooked meals from the CSIRO diet plan this week was this Chargrilled Steak with Beetroot Salad.


Click here to follow my journey from Day 1.

CSIRO Menu Plans

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online program offers a variety of menu plans, including:

  • The Protein Balance Boost, Power, Plus, and Basic plans; the Gut Health Menu Plan; the Diabetes Menu Plan; the Gluten Free Menu Plan; the Diabetes Menu Plan; and the Gluten Free Menu Plan.
  • There’s also the original 12-week Total Wellbeing Diet Menu Plan, and the Freedom Menu Plan that’s designed to suit your social calendar, giving you the freedom to eat out and do your own thing using the principles of the TWD.
  • A selection of second 12-week plans is available for the Protein Balance Boost, Protein Balance 2 Menu Plan, and Gut Health 2 Menu Plan.
  • The Ultra Foodie Menu Plan is an advanced menu plan for cooking lovers who are interested in exploring new meals.

Each menu plan has its own benefits that are explained in detail when you join the program.

I’ve stayed with the Protein Balance Boost plan, which CSIRO automatically places all members on until they make their own choices.

The Protein Balance Boost plan is a new menu designed to help boost mood and wellbeing with a focus on high protein spread throughout the day.

CSIRO scientists believe that higher protein diets are scientifically proven to boost fat loss.

When you distribute your food evenly across main meals and snacks, cravings go away, or at least they’re much less intense, which makes it easier for people following these types of plans to maintain their weight.

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Complete Recipe Collection

CSIRO diet plan - recipe book

On joining the CSIRO’s ‘Premium 12-Week Program with Coaching’ plan, I received a copy of the CSIRO Complete Recipe Collection book. It’s also available for purchase by clicking on this photo and following the link.

Want to sample CSIRO recipes before joining?

If you’d like to try recipes from the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet before joining the online program, a selection of free recipes is available at:

You can also join the Three-Day Taster program, which includes samples of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet menu and exercise plans, and an overview of their tools that will help you lose weight and feel better.

The CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (TWD) online program is a nutritionally balanced higher protein, low GI diet designed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Glycemic Index (GI) Foundation. This healthy eating plan combined with exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Maryborough swim centre is simply the best!


Have you been to the Maryborough Aquatic Centre?

If not, you’re missing out – it has taken out the AustSwim State and National awards for the best large swim centre in Australia!

That recognition comes on the back of forced closures due to COVID-19 and two floods.

And, in 2010, Maryborough was on the brink of losing its 50-metre pool before the Fraser Coast Chronicle helped the community to save the much-loved facility.

Keep reading to find out more about what makes the Maryborough Aquatic Centre so special.

COVID-19 and two floods – but they bounced back!

These awards are recognition of the hard work and dedication of the staff who have had to contend with COVID-19 shutting the pools and then having to rebuild after the floods this year devasted the facility

Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm said staff had rebuilt the facility and regained the support of the community.

“There has been a 15 per cent increase in attendance numbers across the swim classes since the pool reopened in June,” Mr Diehm said.

“I think that really shows the community has confidence in the instructors, and the staff at the centre are liked and well respected.”

The program supervisor at the facility, Joel Seeney, was previously the recipient of an Austswim award for Aqua Instructor of the year award.

“The award shows that regional facilities and their staff are just as talented and dedicated as those in the bigger centres.”

The AustSwim award is the premier award presented to facilities and individuals in Australia that achieve the highest standards of aquatic education excellence.

“The awards mean a lot to staff and is fantastic recognition of the hard work that they have put in to pick themselves up and rebuild.”

Flashback: How the community saved the 50-metre pool

Maryborough Aquatic Centre - news report

Maryborough Aquatic Centre - News reportMaryborough Aquatic Centre - News Report

In 2010, the Maryborough Aquatic Centre’s 50-metre pool was sorely in need of a revamp, but the then council’s proposed redevelopment plan didn’t include replacing the 50-metre pool; the plan was to downgrade it to 25 metres!

That was until the Fraser Coast Chronicle helped the community to save the 50-metre pool!

The loss of its Olympic-size pool meant Maryborough would lose the capacity to host school carnivals and competitions.

A good proportion of the public also preferred to swim in a 50-metre pool — Maryborough Masters, triathletes, schools and rugby league players who swam for fitness, as well as people from surrounding towns.

Thankfully, though, the council listened and overturned its initial proposal to downgrade the 50-metre pool as part of a $5.5 million redevelopment.

So, whether you’re a fitness fanatic or just looking for somewhere to cool off in summer, be sure to take a dip!

These AustSwim State and National awards have come after long, hard-fought battles to keep the centre afloat.

Congratulations to the Maryborough Aquatic Centre staff and Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Maryborough Aquatic Centre: A history of excellence

The 50-metre town pool being considered for downsizing in 2010 was the third in Maryborough’s history.

The original floating baths were built on the Mary River but were swept away in a flood in the 1890s.

In 1906, after a local boy drowned swimming in the Mary River, a 33-yard (30m) pool was built on the side of the now Excelsior Band Hall car park with money donated by local widower George Ambrose White.

In the early 1960s, a fundraising campaign was held to build the “new” War Memorial Swimming Pool on former defence force land. The 55-yard pool was 300 millimetres longer than 50 metres and was shortened in the 1970s.

The first pool caretaker was Hayden Kenny, Australia’s first ironman champion.

His son, Grant Kenny, OAM, Australian former Ironman, surf lifesaver and canoeist, went on to compete in two Olympics, winning a bronze medal in the K-2 1000m event with Barry Kelly in Los Angeles in 1984.

During the 1970s, the swimming club committee urged the Maryborough City Council to provide spectator stands, the money for which was donated by then-mayor Charles Adams.

The club raised funds through treble tickets and cent auctions to provide the recording and club rooms, gym, timekeepers’ shelter, store room and waveless ropes. In 1977 it bought one of the first electronic timing systems in Queensland.

In 1995, a 25-metre heated pool was built where the wading pool used to be, after lobbying behind the scenes by president Dr Tom Dunn.

Another prominent name of Maryborough swimming was Larry Sengstock who set many records at regional level and competed at state level in the 1970s.

He later starred with the Brisbane Bullets basketball team and represented Australia at the Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona Olympics and at four world championships in 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1990.


Muttaburrasaurus langdoni has been voted as Queensland’s state fossil emblem. The plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra, the hometown of Jocelyn’s father, William C. Scott. Read on to find out why “Mutt” has been declared Queensland’s official state fossil, and what you can see in Muttaburra.

Muttaburrasaurus was voted the most popular fossil emblem

The Muttaburrasaurus langdoni will now become part of Queensland’s official identity after it topped a popular public poll to select the State’s fossil emblem.

The 12 shortlisted fossils featured dinosaurs from both land and sea, early mammals, and flora, all discovered across Queensland.

Of the nearly 9000 votes cast by Queenslanders, the ornithopod emerged as the clear popular choice.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Muttaburrasaurus will join the nine other unique Queensland emblems.

“The 100-million-year-old, plant-eating dinosaur was discovered in 1963 and named after the Central Queensland town of Muttaburra,” the Premier said.

‘The seven-metre-long dinosaur makes a very big statement indeed.

“I’m sure it will be an enduring emblem Queensland can be very proud of.

“Along with our official coat of arms, flag and badge our emblems highlight the many wonders and beauty of our state.

“The Cooktown Orchid, koala, Great Barrier Reef Anemone fish, brolga, the sapphire, and our official colour – the mighty maroon, are all iconic symbols.”



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Travel back in time with Muttaburrasaurus

The Premier said the popularity of Muttaburrasaurus as the State’s official fossil emblem highlights the importance of dinosaur tourism in Outback Queensland.

“I encourage Queenslanders to get acquainted with our new fossil emblem by planning a visit to Outback dinosaur destinations,” the Premier said.

Queensland’s rich palaeontology discoveries have generated worldwide interest among experts and have attracted thousands of tourists to the Outback to see the fossils found firsthand.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said thousands of visitors travel to Outback Queensland every year to walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and discover our rich palaeontological history.

“Everybody loves dinosaurs, they generate millions of dollars for the visitor economy, and we want to see Outback Queensland continue to grow as Australia’s paleo capital.”


Muttaburrasaurus - building

Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre, Central Queensland, Australia.Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre

The replica of the Muttaburrasaurus langdoni can be found at an interpretive centre at Muttaburra in Central Queensland. The displays include replicas, models and histories for guests to learn more about how this ancient creature was discovered as well as what life was like back then when they roamed our world 100 million years ago. PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts, July 2022.

Mutt, one of the most complete dinosaur skeletons in Australia

Queensland Museum Network CEO Dr Jim Thompson said while there was an outstanding lineup of nominees for the State’s Fossil Emblem, he couldn’t think of a more worthy winner.

Muttaburrasaurus has been synonymous with Queensland Museum since it was described by our palaeontologists in 1981, and thanks to the iconic replica skeleton that stands proud within the museum, Queenslanders have come to know and love this home-grown dinosaur over the decades,” Dr Thompson said.

“Mutt, as people affectionately call it, is one of the most complete skeletons of an Australian Dinosaur and is a great ambassador for palaeontology and dinosaur history.”

Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus is a national icon and global treasure

Queensland Museum palaeontologist Dr Scott Hocknull said Queensland’s Muttaburrasaurus was a national icon and global treasure.

“I started volunteering at the Queensland Museum as a kid 30 years ago and Muttaburrasaurus was the first dinosaur fossil I got to work on,” Dr Hocknull said.

“It inspired me then, as it will do for countless budding palaeontologists in the future.

“I used to dig dinosaurs as a kid, but now I do it for real and I can thank Muttaburrasaurus for this.”

The next step in making Muttaburrasaurus the state’s fossil emblem includes amending the Emblems of Queensland Act 2005 to confirm ‘Mutt’s’ official status.

To learn more about Queensland’s emblems, flags and icons visit:

Where is Muttaburra?

Muttaburra is located 152 kilometres from Barcaldine in Outback Queensland via State Route 19.

What else is there to see in Muttaburra?

While on an Outback trek in July 2022, I visited Muttaburra, the geographical centre of Queensland, to see the Muttaburrasaurus Interpretation Centre and the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum where my father was the first baby born after Dr Arratta’s arrival in 1925.

Here I’m pointing to where my father, William C. Scott, is recognised as the first baby born in Muttaburra after the arrival of Dr Arratta in 1925. With me is Margaretha Siebert from the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum.

Muttaburra has the distinction of being the town closest to the geographic centre of Queensland. A monument, erected in recognition of this significance is located on Nev Bullen Drive near the Dr Arratta Memorial Museum. PHOTO: Selfie!



Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you tantalise your taste buds and indulge your curiosity while also travelling.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

October is Mental Health Awareness Month and with it comes a flurry of stories on suicide in the news. This is an important time to talk about suicide prevention, and also how suicide affects families, friends, and communities. In this article, I’m sharing some words from ABC’s chief online political writer Annabel Crabb that tell why conversations matter, and how her recent presentation in Hervey Bay mattered to me.

Annabel Crabb: ABC’s chief online political writer on her brother’s suicide

Suicide in the news - lady presenter

When ABC’s chief online political writer Annabel Crabb was first billed as the keynote speaker for the annual Lines in the Sand festival on the Fraser Coast, I was one of the first to book a ticket.

However, the Covid pandemic put her talk on hold for three years.

So, in September 2022, when she could finally talk in person at the resurrected festival, it was a long-anticipated event.

I didn’t know what her topic would be, but that didn’t matter.

As a former journalist and long-time fan of her work, I knew it would be worth hearing, regardless.

A topic she spoke about during the Q&A session afterwards, however, resonated with me to a far greater extent than anything else she’d prepared about her life’s journey from a small farm near Adelaide to reporting on politics in Canberra.

Early in the session, she told us she was taking a break from her long-service leave to speak, but later, while talking about music and how songs can evoke memories, she elaborated further, sharing some insight into her family’s recent tragedy.

Behind the smiles and laughter of her witty presentation was great sadness—she was grieving the loss of her brother to suicide.

“I don’t mean to get too depressing, but I’ve had a very weird, horrible year because my brother died in January (2022),” Annabel said.

“He took his own life, which was very confronting for me and my family. That’s part of the reason I’m on leave now, to fall apart a little bit.

“You know, I made a decision early on after that happened, to talk about it in podcasts because one of the first things I learned as a ‘baby’ journalist was that we didn’t report suicides.

“Looking back on that, it’s the cruellest thing.

“I know that at the time that was our policy, because, you know, to deter copycats, but what a lonely thing it is to lose someone in your life and have people pretend it didn’t happen.

“It’s horrible. Horrible!

“So, when you’re going through something very dark like that and you’re surrounded by friends, then, that is the way through.

“There’s no easy way, but having company is very helpful.

“Also, having people tell you totally inappropriate jokes throughout, is something that I’ve really learned.

“People often worry about what to say to bereaved people.

“I remember when Leigh Sales’s father died suddenly, she had just finished writing her excellent book Any Ordinary Day, which is all about this.

“I’d just finished reading the proofs of that book, so when she rang me and said ‘Dad is in hospital; it’s not good’, I went straight around to her house.

“I didn’t feel awkward and I wasn’t afraid because I’d just read her own bloody book, which she’d written on how to handle this situation.

“How is that for prep? It’s a great book, by the way! Everyone should read it.”

How conversations on suicide can help the bereaved

I was grateful that Annabel spoke so candidly about her brother’s suicide at her presentation.

Back in the 1990s, when I was a budding journalist, I too learned that reporting on suicide was off limits to the media, and we respected the theory of the day.

Tragically, in 2013, my husband died of suicide and I’ve found the silence still exists, not just in media but throughout our society.

I’ve found most people avoid talking about suicide, and while I agree it is difficult, open conversations are important in helping bereaved families with their grief.

Annabel recommended reading Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life, so I’ve purchased a Kindle version to do so.

For anyone else wishing to read it too, just click on the image and follow the link.

Feeling down? Help is just a phone call away!

If you or anyone close to you is distressed or experiencing an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) as soon as possible.

Counselling support services include: