News and Views

K’gari now recognised on maps and travel guides

If you have your sights set on a beautiful Australian getaway, we’ve got great news for you. Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand island located along Australia’s east coast – has had its traditional name of K’gari reinstated.

It’s a comprehensive acknowledgment of the culture’s history, dating back 60,000 years. From now on, K’gari will officially be recognised on maps and travel guides, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you to this incredible part of the world.

Traditional name restored to world’s largest sand island

Today, 7 June 2023, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk joined the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation for an emotional ceremony to formally reinstate the name used by traditional owners for the world’s largest sand island – K’gari (formerly Fraser Island).

K’gari—the white spirit who was sent down from the sky to help make the land and the seas that are home to the Butchulla people—was officially welcomed home today by generations of Butchulla people and guests.

Guests were welcomed on Country with a smoking ceremony, traditional dance, and song, as well as a formal plaque unveiling.

The Queensland Government has worked closely with the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation, tourism bodies, government agencies, and the Fraser Coast Regional Council over many years to embed the island’s original name progressively.

In 2017, the Fraser Island section of the Great Sandy National Park was renamed K’gari (Fraser Island), and in 2022, the island’s World Heritage Area was renamed K’gari (Fraser Island) World Heritage Area.

To coincide with the restoration of the island more than 19 hectares of land were transferred to the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC.

This land can’t be bought, sold, or mortgaged, and must be used for the benefit of its traditional owners, the Butchulla people.

Premier Palaszczuk said the name K’gari came from the Butchulla people’s creation story of the island, which has been passed down orally for generations.

“I’m proud that today we can officially welcome K’gari home, and reinstate the name used by traditional owners for all these years.

“We will continue to recognise Indigenous languages through place names, in the spirit of truth-telling and reconciliation as we walk the Path to Treaty.

“While steps like this can’t change the wrongs of the past, it goes a long way to building a future where all Queenslanders value, trust, and respect each other.

“This always was and always will be Butchulla Country.”

K'gari - Butchulla people celebrate the reinstatement of the island's traditional name.

On 7 December 2022, the Butchulla people celebrated 30 years since K’gari received its UNESCO World Heritage listing. Photo: Jocelyn Watts.

Respect restored

It was through disrespect to the Butchulla people that the name, K’gari – the home of the Butchulla people – was taken away, Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation Chair Gayle Minniecon said.

“Our oral history, our creation story will now be told and learned as it should be.

“Our ancestors understood and committed to the importance of caring for the island since time immemorial and today we continue this cultural obligation.”

One of the world’s most loved islands

To work closely with the Badtjala (Butchulla) people and the local community on re-establishing the name, K’gari, was an honour, State Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said.

“K’gari is one of the most loved islands across Australia and the world.

“This is a momentous day for everyone connected to this sacred island.”

True name in all respects

The name change completes the picture for the Butchulla people and K’gari, by recognising and honouring their traditions, culture, and continued connection to their land, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said.

“She has always been K’gari to the Butchulla people.

“Now this beautiful area will carry its true name in all aspects: the national park, world heritage area, and the official place name.”

Butchulla people share language, culture, traditions

The Butchulla people had long shared K’gari and their own culture and traditions with people from across the world, and this change recognised their generosity, Minister for Treaty and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Leeanne Enoch said.

“So many people have been enriched by K’gari’s unique history and their shared experiences with the Butchulla people.

“I want to acknowledge the many generations of Butchulla people who have maintained their language, culture, and traditions, which are shared by all who visit the island.

“As Queensland continues on its Path to Treaty, the lands, place names, and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will form a much greater part of our shared experience.”

Another step toward reconciliation

K’gari had always been K’gari to the Butchulla people, Minister of Environment and Science Leanne Linard said.

“It is through the tireless efforts of many people, and those before, that we stand in unity and respect for Country and people, to celebrate another step towards reconciliation.

“The Environment Department recognised the name of the island section of the Great Sandy National Park as K’gari in 2017, and UNESCO formally adopted the name for the World Heritage Area in 2021.

“The department has built a strong relationship with the Butchulla People and remains committed to working with them to cooperatively manage the unique values of K’gari now and into the future.”

Feature photo @ top by Brian Pickering.


Flashback to 2014: Native Title Declared


Flashback to 2022: Celebrating 30 Years on the World Heritage List

Further information:

Small businesses that are impacted by the change can access resources through the Small Business Hotline.

In 2022, almost 6000 public submissions were received with the majority in favour of the name change proposal.

The name change also changes the suburb of Fraser Island to K’gari.

Information on K’gari can be found at K’gari.


Lights, Camera, Action! Fraser Coast Films All Set

Thirteen summers from now, how will people remember the Fraser Coast?

That’s a question Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour pondered as Australia’s new film company – Fraser Coast Films – was launched at the Hervey Bay Boat Club yesterday, 1 June 2023.

“Just as if you want to understand human emotion and psychology, you go to literature rather than psychological textbooks.

“In the same way, if you want to understand a place, it’s much better to see it in cinematography rather than in a documentary.

“If I want to think about Mount Rushmore in the 1950s, I think about Cary Grant in North by Northwest.

“If I want to think about New York City 30 years ago, it’s Home Alone 2 with Donald Trump and Macaulay Culkin.

“I hope in 30 years’ time when people want to think about the Fraser Coast, they’ll think about 13 Summers with Georgie Parker… and George Seymour!”

His quip refers to his guest appearance in 13 Summers, which was filmed on the Fraser Coast last year.

13 Summers, a suspense thriller, is in postproduction and due for release later this year. The filming of 13 Summers on the Fraser Coast inspired the formation of Fraser Coast Films, a new movie-making company that plans to start shooting a romantic comedy on K’gari (Fraser Island) soon.

Mayor Seymour said the Fraser Coast was more than ready to launch into the world of filmmaking.

“We have an array of possible scenery, whether it’s historic Maryborough, the natural beauty of K’gari (Fraser Island) and the Great Sandy Straits, or Hervey Bay.

“It’s really, really exciting to see this happening. I thank everyone involved for the enthusiasm they’re putting into this.”

Fraser Coast Films - people in a cinema

Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari (left), Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour, director Tam Sainsbury, Fraser Coast Films executive producer Glen Winney, and writer Jeremy Stanford watch the first preview of 13 Summers at the Hervey Bay Boat Club cinema during the Fraser Coast Films launch.

Movie-making team morphs into Fraser Coast Films

Executive producer Glen Winney, from the Fraser Coast’s Win Projects, has joined director Tam Sainsbury, writer Jeremy Stanford, and editor William Misset to form the new movie-making company.

Mr Winney said that when Ms Sainsbury and Mr Stanford came to the Fraser Coast to film 13 Summers, they approached him to be a sponsor.

“That turned into becoming a shareholder, and that turned into becoming Fraser Coast Films.

“So, it went from just helping with one film to morphing into Fraser Coast Films.

“We’re hoping to do many more films here on the Fraser Coast.”

Fraser Coast Films offers an amazing opportunity

State Member for Hervey Bay Adrian Tantari said Fraser Coast Films offered an amazing opportunity to showcase our region to the world.

“We all know we live in one of the best regions in Queensland and Australia. We have much to share and celebrate about our region – its cultural history and natural beauty. I congratulate all that are involved.”

Tam Sainsbury, Jeremy Stanford, Fraser Coast Council CEO Ken Diehm, and councillors Lewis, Lee, Everard, and Wellings also attended the launch.

For details on how Fraser Coast locals could also be a film extra, or offer in-kind or sponsorship support to the fledgling company, visit

Want to know more about 13 Summers, starring Georgie Parker, Nathan Phillips, Hannah Levien, and Bec Hewitt? Visit

Fraser Coast Films - two ladies and a man attending an event.

Attending the Fraser Coast Films Launch at the Hervey Bay Boat Club cinema are (l-r) What’s On Fraser Coast Editor Kim Parnell, and Dean and Tania Comerford.

B & B owners become movie extras

Hosting Australian screen icons Georgie Parker and Bec Hewitt, plus other young actors, was a thrilling experience for Dean and Tania Comerford from Vila Cavour Hervey Bay.

Since setting up their boutique Bed & Breakfast at Point Vernon in 2020, getting involved in the film industry has been a major highlight.

“Vila Cavour was a set for the swimming scenes and we also got to host some actors. It was so much fun having them stay with us,” Dean said.

“We can’t wait to see 13 Summers when it hits the screens!

“Initially, we put a sponsorship package together, and ended up being major sponsors… and we were extras in the movie as well.

“Another movie production is on the way and we hope to be involved with that too. It’ll be a romantic comedy—that’s my jam!”

Click this link to book at Vila Cavour Hervey Bay.


Where to next?

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

With so many amazing deals on accommodation and more, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

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 by clicking on a link on this website, then we’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how affiliate programs work–win-win!***







Study shows ‘Nature prescriptions’ can improve health

A dose of the outdoors may be just what the doctor ordered, according to new research from UNSW Sydney.

Imagine that your doctor prescribes you a new treatment. It’s pleasant and enjoyable, and you can have as much as you want. Potential side effects include spontaneous euphoria and being in a good mood. Not to mention, it’s free and available all around you.

It’s not a drug or some other medical procedure that your doctor has recommended. Instead, it is a ‘nature prescription’ – a recommendation to spend time in the outdoors.

Researchers from UNSW Sydney assessed international evidence for nature prescriptions and their ability to improve health. They analysed 28 studies that tested the prescriptions in real-world patients.

This research was led by Professor Xiaoqi Feng from UNSW Medicine & Health and Professor Thomas Astell-Burt from the University of Wollongong, who are the Co-Directors of the Population Wellbeing and Environment Research Lab (PowerLab).

The systematic review and meta-analysis, published today in The Lancet Planetary Health, found that time spent close to nature provided both physical and mental health benefits. Patients had reduced blood pressure, as well as lower depression and anxiety scores – and they had a higher daily step count.

“The evidence shows that nature can help to restore and build capacities for better physical and mental health. What we need now is to work out how to make nature prescriptions happen in a sustained way for those people with high potential to benefit, but who currently spend little time in the outdoors,” said Prof. Feng.

Nature makes us healthier

Research shows that contact with nature reduces harms, including those from poor air quality, heatwaves, and chronic stress, while encouraging healthy behaviours such as socialising and physical activity. This can help to prevent issues including lonelinessdepression, and cardiovascular disease.

“This study is built upon a long-term program of research that we are doing, where we show contact with the outdoors – and trees especially – is really good for strengthening mental and physical health across our lives,” said Prof. Feng.

Previous research by Prof. Feng shows that living close to certain types of green space can improve health.

For example, in a study of almost 47,000 adults in New South Wales (NSW), those living in areas with 30 per cent or more tree canopy reported better general health and reduced psychological distress.

This research has informed the City of Sydney’s $377 million strategy to reach 40 per cent green cover by 2050.

“But even if you have a high-quality green space like a park nearby, it doesn’t mean that everyone will visit and benefit from it,” said Prof. Feng.

“How can we encourage and enable people to (re)connect with the outdoors? That’s where the idea of a nature prescription comes in.”

Taking nature prescriptions mainstream

Nature prescriptions are emerging as a supplement to standard medical care. For example, the UK Government recently invested £5.77 million in a pilot program for ‘green social prescribing’ and Canada has a national nature prescription program.

In Australia, there is growing public interest in nature prescriptions. A recent survey of Australian adults led by Prof. Feng showed that over 80 per cent of people were receptive to the idea.

However, there are no large-scale nature prescription programs in Australia yet. More research is needed to understand how nature prescriptions could be implemented in our local context.

“So how long should the nature prescription be for? What should be in the prescription? How should we deliver it, and by whom? These questions don’t have firm answers yet,” said Prof. Feng.

“If we want nature prescriptions to become a national scheme, we really need to provide the evidence.”

It’s also important for nature prescriptions to be accessible to all Australians. Previous research from Prof. Astell-Burt and Prof. Feng has shown that low-income communities are least likely to have access to green space. Yet, these communities are more at risk of chronic health issues like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

“We don’t want nature prescriptions to be a luxury item for the rich who already have access to beaches and a lot of high-quality green space,” Prof. Feng said. “We want these benefits for everyone.”

UNSW Sydney – 25/5/2023

nature prescriptions - earth crystal glass globe ball and growing tree in human hand


If you enjoyed that article, you may like 15 Lesser-Known National Parks in Queensland

Where to next?

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

With so many amazing deals on accommodation, 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 by clicking on link on this website, then we’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how affiliate programs work.***

Get set to celebrate Botanic Gardens Day 2023

As garden enthusiasts across Australia and New Zealand gear up for Botanic Gardens Day on Sunday 28 May 2023, the Fraser Coast Council and community groups are preparing for the big day with activities and displays that highlight the role of plants in our lives. If you’re tripping around Australia, there are also many other gardens across our country that you can visit. Read on to find out more.

Displays of orchids, bonsai, and bromeliads, as well as garden tours and talks, are highlights of Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Open Day at the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens on Sunday 28 May 2023.

“More than 100 botanic gardens, arboreta, and gardens across Australia and New Zealand will celebrate Botanic Gardens Day,” Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said.

“Botanic gardens are wonderful places. They allow you to get into nature, to relax, and rejuvenate.”

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

See the Fraser Coast’s Botanic Gardens

The Fraser Coast Regional Council operates two botanic gardens – the historic Queens Park in Maryborough and the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens.

“The gardens showcase the rich cultural and botanic diversity of the Fraser Coast through the plant life and community facilities such as the Fairy Fountain and Rotunda in Queens Park and the Chinese Garden in Hervey Bay,” Cr Seymour said.

The Open Day, which starts at 10 am at the Hervey Bay Botanic Garden, includes activities and displays to highlight the role of plants in our lives and the vital work in botanic gardens to preserve them for future generations.

Activities include garden tours, a talk on bats, a frog motel workshop, displays of orchids, bonsai, and bromeliads, and potting demonstrations.

The event has been organised by Council’s Botanic Gardens and Orchid House Team in conjunction with community groups.

Ancient sand dunes formed 6000 years ago

The sand dunes visitors can see as you walk through the Hervey Bay Botanic Garden were formed 6000 years ago.

As visitors wander the pathways throughout the 26-hectare property, they can marvel at the many different types of vegetation that make up Hervey Bay – including examples of rainforest, beach ridge, and heath country; or sit on the grass in the shade of the trees.

A feature of the garden is the Orchid House and the year-round display of orchids in flowers. There are about 5,000 orchids in the collection, which covers about 65 varieties from around the world and native Australian orchids.

The Chinese-themed garden has been created as a part of the Bay’s sister-city relationship with Leshan in China.

The garden features a moon gate, pavilion, waterfall, vine arbour, and contemplation pond.
Heritage-listed Queen’s Park, one of Australia’s earliest botanic gardens, covers 5.2 hectares in the heart of Maryborough.

It has sweeping river views, rolling green lawns, annual flower beds, ancient trees, Gallipoli to Armistice memorial walk, a miniature steam train circuit, and other unique heritage structures.

Botanic Gardens - Chinese Gardens, Hervey Bay

Queens Park, an outstanding example of landscape design

At Queens Park in Maryborough, Qld, there is something to discover at almost every step – including the spectacular Sausage tree, which bears bright red pendulous flowers and fruit that weigh several kilograms that resemble sausages.

Another highlight is the magnificent banyan tree, which is one of the largest and most outstanding trees of its kind in Australia.

Since its inception, the park has been regarded as an outstanding example of landscape design.

It also remains an integral part of a network of botanic gardens across the British Commonwealth – of which the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London was the originating hub.

The honour of establishing Queens Park falls to Maryborough’s first mayor Henry Palmer.

During the mid-1840s, amateur botanist and explorer, John Carne Bidwill collected specimens of trees from the Moreton Bay region. The Bunya Pine, located in the southeast corner of the Park, near the entrance gates, is thought to be a surviving tree from his collection.

In 1865, his town was quickly evolving into a thriving port and centre of commerce, but the social and physical health of his residents was foremost on his mind.

Mayor Palmer lobbied the colonial government to allow a large block of riverfront land not used for the bustling wharves to become a public garden.

His belief in the great importance of the park “for fresh air, health, and exercise” was shared by one of Maryborough’s most influential citizens – Customs Master Richard Sheridan.

As the first chairman of the board of the Maryborough Botanic Garden, Sheridan oversaw the first 10 crucial years of the park’s development, including the introduction of hundreds of rare and beautiful trees, flowers, and shrubs.

Maryborough also holds a brilliant annual Open Gardens event in August that’s worth visiting if you’re in the Fraser Coast region at that time.

Botanic Gardens - Sausage Tree, Maryborough Qld

Fruits of sausage tree (Kigelia africana) in Queens Park, Maryborough, Qld. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

How to get there

Queen’s Park
16 Sussex Street,
Maryborough Qld 4650,
Open 24 hours,
Entry is free.

Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens
Elizabeth Street,
Urangan, Qld 4655,
Open Monday to Friday, 9 am to 2.30 pm,
Entry is free.

Text and photos contributed by Fraser Coast Regional Council.


Botanic Gardens in Australia’s Capital Cities

Botanic Gardens - Australian Capital Territory

Dusk at the national arboretum in Canberra. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Brisbane

Looking across botanical gardens towards Brisbane city’s skyscrapers. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Sydney

Spectacular view of the Sydney Opera House and the harbour bridge, surrounded with lovely jacarandas of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


A row of trees leading to a fountain in front of the Royal Exhibition Building at Carlton Gardens in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Adelaide

Palm House at the Botanic Garden in Adelaide, South Australia. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Botanic Gardens - Perth

Eternal Flame and State Memorial at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens in Perth, Western Australia, located on Mount Eliza overlooking. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


Lush tropical flora along the footpath at the George Brown Botanic Gardens in Darwin. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK


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!

What can Alice’s curious croquet match teach us?

Most of us have been in situations where we have had to adapt to new and challenging circumstances.

We can say the same for Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, an 1865 English novel by Lewis Carrol, when she faces the Queen of Heart’s version of croquet.

While she had encountered many curious creatures and wacky situations, she never imagined she’d have trouble playing croquet.

But when the Queen of Hearts, the main antagonist, introduces Alice to the peculiar version of the game played in that world, she struggles to adjust.

The uneven ground, the live hedgehogs as balls, and the live flamingos as mallets, not to mention the ever-changing arches (known today as hoops) made of playing cards, made the game quite a challenge.

In the end, Alice came out victorious. What can we learn from her experience, especially as we navigate life’s difficulties? Let’s explore.

Alice in Croquetland - Illsutration

Messages in Alice’s croquet challenge

First, let’s talk about the terrain.

Alice in Croquetland - Illustration

Alice found the croquet ground in Wonderland extremely ridged, uneven, and unpredictable.

Every time she tried to aim for a particular arch or hoop, the ground would tilt or move, making it almost impossible to hit her target.

She also encountered strange creatures and plants that would pop up unexpectedly, adding to the chaos.

Doesn’t that sound like life sometimes?

We may have a plan or goal in mind, but the terrain of life can change in a flash.

The financial market may dip, health issues may arise, or family situations may shift.

Like Alice, we need to stay alert, flexible, and resourceful. We may need to change our plans or find alternative paths to our goals, but as long as we keep moving forward, we can still succeed.


Second, let’s talk about the equipment.

Alice in Croquetland - illustration of Alice playing croquet with a flamingo

Alice was surprised to find that the croquet balls were actually live hedgehogs, and the mallets were live flamingos.

She had to learn how to handle these unconventional tools and adjust her technique accordingly.

Our lives may also throw us some unexpected tools or challenges.

  • We may have to learn how to manage our finances with new investments or rules.
  • We may have to adapt to new technologies or industries if we want to keep working or volunteering.
  • We may have to find new hobbies or passions to fill our days.

Whatever it is, we need to keep an open mind and be willing to learn.

With practice and patience, we can become adept at using what we have.


Third, let’s talk about the rules.

The Queen of Hearts, as we know, was notorious for changing the rules of the game as she pleased.

Alice found this frustrating and unfair, but she also learned to be strategic and creative in her gameplay.

She used the unpredictable nature of the game to her advantage, anticipating the Queen’s next move and finding loopholes in the rules.

Our worlds may also come with unwritten or shifting rules.

  • We may have to navigate changing social expectations or cultural norms.
  • We may have to balance our own desires with the needs or expectations of our family or friends.
  • We may have to negotiate new roles or relationships in volunteer work or community organizations.

Again, like Alice, we need to be strategic, adaptable, and creative. We may not always agree with the rules, but we can still succeed within them.


Fourth and last, let’s talk about the arches (known today as hoops).

Alice in Croquetland - illustration of croquet

Ladies and gentlemen in vintage clothes, playing croquet against old English village view.

Various playing cards, which had a mind of their own (literally) formed the arches in Wonderland.

They would move, shrink, grow, or disappear at a whim, making it difficult for Alice and the other players to hit their targets.

But Alice soon realized that she didn’t have to hit the arches directly.

She could aim for nearby objects or creatures that would trigger the cards to move or adjust, creating a new opening for her.

Life may also present us with moving or disappearing arches.

  • We may have to redefine what success means to us.
  • We may have to let go of some goals or expectations that are no longer workable or fulfilling.
  • We may have to embrace new opportunities or challenges that we didn’t consider before.

Like Alice, we need to be creative, flexible, and willing to try different approaches. We may not always hit the bullseye, but we can still work towards our goals.

Embracing Change

Alice’s croquet challenge may seem like a silly or whimsical story, but it contains valuable lessons for us as we navigate our lives.

  • We need to stay alert and flexible in the face of changing terrains, equipment, and rules.
  • We need to be curious and willing to learn new things.
  • We need to be strategic and creative in our gameplay, using all the resources at our disposal. And,
  • We need to be adaptable and open-minded, finding new ways to hit our targets even when the arches move or disappear.

With these lessons in mind, we can play the game of life with confidence and joy. Who knows, we may even shout “Off with their heads!” at some point (figuratively, of course).

Alice in Croquetland - playing croquet today

Playing croquet in today’s world.

Want to find out about playing croquet in Australia?

Visit the Australian Croquet Association website and follow the links to find a club near you.




Take a Culinary Journey with GourMay in May

March 2023

One of Australia’s richest food bowls, the Mary Valley – just north of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland – is set to celebrate its outstanding produce in the appropriately named Mary Valley GourMay Festival throughout the month of May.

European settlers may have first flocked to the Mary Valley and Gympie in the mid-19th century for the prospect of gold, but today, it is golden fruit, vegetables, dairy, herbs, and meat that deliver the region’s earthly treasures.

The Mary Valley is located just an hour’s drive north of the Sunshine Coast, and two hours from Brisbane Airport.

With fertile land and microclimates, the Mary Valley can produce everything from the more traditional dairy, beef, pineapples, avocados, and limes to more exotic persimmons and feijoas. Even the Spanish grape tempranillo has found a home in the Valley.

GourMay Mary Valley is a celebration of the farmers, producers, and creators, whose hard work and passion bring flavours to the plate.

It’s a great opportunity to meet the people behind the produce, who put joy on the plate. It’s a month full of events that will appeal to lovers of good food and authenticity.

GourMay in May - group of people on a farm tour.

Mary Valley farm tours.

Imbil Town Square and Rail Park: A foodie’s paradise

Festival Day will be held on Saturday 6 May 2023 in Imbil Town Square and Rail Park, providing a perfect introduction to have an initial ‘Taste’ of the Mary Valley. There will be talks, cooking demonstrations, exhibitions, and competitions.

Reflecting the Mary Valley’s role in the food chain, in the GourMay Garden the Macadamia Conservation Trust will share the story of the wild macadamia and how all macadamia trees can be traced back to the area.

Witjuti Grub nursery owner Veronica Cougan will explore growing edible natives. Rebecca Dart will share her knowledge of the benefits of edible bamboo and Amber Scott, from Kandanga Farm, will explain the importance of Farming with Nature.

The main event however will be a cook-off – a Ready Steady/ Mystery Box ‘cook-off’ between local foodies.

The contestants will be given a box with a couple of items, including a voucher to spend in the market, and ‘Sunshine Coast Foodie’ Martin Duncan will set the timer going for contestants to create a dish that will be judged for the title of ‘GourMay Cook of the Year’.

Imbil’s exciting new Wild Vine Café will host Mary Valley’s Boozy Brunch as well as a Cocktails and Canapes session in the newly created village gardens, which also chart the history of the township.

Kandanga Farm Store will host a dinner curated by bush foods expert Peter Wolfe. They will also show off the benefits of ‘syntropic’ farming in their organic gardens.

Try out cooking demos, competitions, and more

A wide range of produce-led events will be held during GourMay, including:

  • WINE DEBUT: From Vine to Glass. WindRush Estate’s Tempranillo 2020 Launch Event.
  • WINE LUNCHES: Dingo Creek Vintners Lunches.
  • FOOD FESTIVAL: Kenilworth Tasting Festival.
  • CAMPFIRE DINING/MUSIC: ‘Bellbird and back… a taste of the trail’ involves a gentle half-hour stroll along the Mary Valley Rail Trail to a bellbird habitat where a campfire dinner with local foods and music will await. Relax with new and old friends while listening to music under the stars.
  • HERITAGE railway, the Mary Valley Rattler will operate Tasting Trains throughout May.
  • FILM: A short films festival will be held at Kandanga Hall themed around “Food at their Heart”.
  • ART: The epicurean theme continues with master artist Ian Mastin exhibiting a collection of food-inspired works at the Art on Yabba gallery in Imbil.
  • PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION: There will also be a GourMay Mary Valley photography competition based on photos taken during the festival.

Get ready to GourMay: Unforgettable experiences and accommodation

There is plenty of accommodation in Mary Valley and Gympie during the Festival ranging from hotels to glamping, cabins, and farm stays.

Ideal for a short break, Mary Valley offers a myriad of activities including horse riding, kayaking in search of platypus, trekking, cycling, and shopping in atmospheric heritage villages.

The program for the GourMay food festival will grow over the next month, and full details of events can be found at

The Mary Valley GourMay Festival is being made possible through the support of the Mary Valley Chamber of Commerce, Gympie Council, Queensland Hydro and Vintitech, and many other local operators.

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


GourMay in May_Man holding two bottles

Lotza LimezFarmer’s Markets.

Story and photos contributed by Visit Sunshine Coast.



Click the link above for a glimpse of what you’ll experience!


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 by clicking on link on this website, then we’ll receive a little something in return. It’s how affiliate programs work–win-win!


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?

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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!

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.

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!