Sunday, 23 October 2016

Tropical Fruit world adventuring

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Visit Gold Coast instameet which took in sunrise at Currumbin and then a trip to Tropical Fruit World which is just over the border in the Tweed Valley. The instameet was originally planned for September during the Swell Festival but unfortunately bad weather postponed the meet and yesterday we were lucky enough to get some good weather.

Waking up at 3.30am is really not my idea of fun but when you are greeted with a sunrise like this you forget all about the early morning wake up and thank Mother Nature for making it all worthwhile..

After the sunrise blew all of our minds we were all loaded onto a bus and took the 20 minute trip to Tropical Fruit World which is located just over the border in Duranbah. The farm doesn't open till 10am so we were treated to a private tour of the property and boy was it a gorgeous place!
I had heard many different opinions of the farm over the years, some had said it was run down and boring, others had said it was a cute place to take the kids and to be honest I really didn't know what to expect but once we arrived I was not disappointed. We were greeted by our hosts, Kate, Max and Aymon the General Manager and we were all piled onto the tractor to drive around the farm.
Checking out all the crops

Akiko just chilling in the tyre...
The problem with being a photographer is that you are always looking for something to take photos of and this ended up with many of us yelling to our driver Kate to STOP as we wanted to keep jumping off the tractor to explore and take photos of things we were seeing!

Tropical Fruit world was purchased by Bob and Val Brinsmead in 1972. It was then a run down small crop farm with beans, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.  The Brinsmeads decided to build a life and raise their young family on the farm. Bob knew the land was perfect for growing tropical fruit as he had visited a research station in Tweed that was growing fruit successfully and a new fruit called the Avocado. Bob and his wife both became addicted to Avocado's and decided to grow them themselves on the farm.   

Bob started planting lots of avocados and many other fruits including custard apples, mangoes, lychees, guavas, macadamias, citrus and papaya.  His collection grew and over the years the garden became a fascination for his family and friends.
After 11 years of growing fruit the birth of Avocado Land happened in 1983 which was the first part of the farms Tourist attraction and which became hugely popular, then in 1995 the name changed to Tropical Fruit World to encompass all of the different fruits found on the farm. 
Courtesy of
There really is nothing more peaceful than wandering through the orchards, checking out all the different fruits, taking photos and learning about the history of the property.  The staff were so accommodating and the atmosphere was so relaxing, I just loved soaking it all in and enjoyed the whole experience.
The Passion fruit archway
After we had spent about an hour checking out all the amazing fruit crops, tasting them and learning about them we headed back up to the main area to be greeted by the staff with this:

Fruit platter with all the fruits we had seen growing on the farm - So good!!

Chocolate fruit which tastes like Chocolate mousse! Yummy

As you can imagine so many photos were being taken of these delicious fruit platters but all we really wanted to do was start digging in and eating all the goodies!  Such a wonderful way to end our little tour.
Tropical fruit land is definitely on my list to take my kids to one day, it really is so much fun wandering around the farm and checking out all their different orchards and other attractions which include things like the Fauna Park which has lots of farm animals for the kids to get up close and personal too, the wildlife boat cruise and the miniature train which is fun for the kids.  It's a great day out and only 40 minutes drive from Robina.  You can check out all of the info here: 

And for those of you who are keen to check it out for photography @igersgoldcoast will be holding an instameet there at some stage in the new year so make sure you are following our Facebook and Instagram pages for the details to be posted later in the year.

Some of the goodies found around the farm!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Finding a passion (and how it can change your life)

When I first started photography nearly 3 years ago I had no idea how much I would love it and how much of a passion it would turn into for me.

Having a hobby is something that everyone should strive to have in their lives. Of course it can be difficult to find the time to do a hobby, especially when life has so many other demands on your time. You're working,  you're running the kids around, you're organising a household you're already juggling so many things but when you have something for yourself, it can really make you a more fulfilled person which can only be better for you and for those around you.

When my children were younger, I felt my whole life revolved around them, they always came first and sometimes I felt I had lost myself.  I wondered if I would only ever just be a mum, working part time in a boring job and just existing instead of truly living.  As my kids got older I started to find a little bit of myself again and getting into photography opened up a world I never knew existed.

Instagram has changed my life in so many ways, not only has it introduced me to people who I consider some of my best friends, but it has helped me grow and learn (for free) it has challenged me, it has taught me not to care about what other people think and it has given me an opportunity to share my passion with so many people that I will never meet in real life but who I love knowing via social media.  It has totally given me the shits at times and it has even made me cry on occasion but at the end of the day, my life is better for being on social media.
Photo courtesy of Sue Whiteman
Being involved in a community group called @igersgoldcoast has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.  A group of passionate photographers meeting and sharing our knowledge at beautiful locations all over the Coast and even further afield, brings me so much joy.  Recently we hosted an instameet at Snapper Rocks with Canon and we had a massive turn out, we had incredible photographers spinning Steel Wool for us which is an amazing sight and the photos that have come from this meet have blown me away!  (check out the hashtag #igersgoldcoast on Instagram to see them)
Steel Wool Spinning at Snapper Rocks 15/10/16

Each month we host an instameet at a different location around the coast or below the border and we have had some pretty epic fun.  The people that come along to these events have become close friends and colleagues and the knowledge that people bring and share at the meets is priceless.  The community vibe is amazing and the positive outcome from each meet makes me beam for days.
 Go Ballooning Instameet July 2016

We have teamed up with some awesome companies like Go Ballooning, Mt Warning Tours and Spirit of the Gold Coast and we have mixed up our meets so we ensure we never get bored. We have had 40 people traipsing around a undeveloped housing estate in Maudsland chasing the Milky Way and we have taken over Currumbin rock catching a sunset and doing more Steel Wool Spinning. We have captured the Koala's at Currumbin Sanctuary and we have trekked to waterfalls in Mt Tamborine and O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat.  We are forever thinking of new places to visit and tossing around ideas for fun and cool instameets, its a challenge but a hugely rewarding one when we have a successful meet. (so far we have never had an unsuccessful meet!)

An adorable Koala at Currumbin Sanctuary
When you have a hobby and a passion your life is better, with photography you are expanding your mind, learning and challenging yourself, you are socialising and meeting new people, you are getting out into nature and exploring and adventuring.  These things all help in being a better human, an interesting and enjoyable individual who others want to spend time with.  In this crazy world that can only be a good thing for you.

We are always happy for new and interesting humans to come and join our group so if you have an interest in photography, make sure you check out our facebook page:  or our instagram account @igersgoldcoast and come along to our next meet, we would love to meet you!

Katie xx