Daily life in Woolgoolga

I am writing this as a blog challenge from an Opinionated Man on daily life around the world.

I live outside a small coastal town just down the road from Coffs Harbour on the north coast of NSW, Australia. It is really hot here and it often rains. It is the subtropics. We have about fifteen banana trees growing in our back yard. They are very popular around these parts. These ones are  a bit small to fruit yet, obviously.

Backyard bananas

I homeschool my two boys, so we are around the house a fair bit. There is an empty block next door to our place. Sometimes we use it as a small archery range. The whole thing backs onto a tea tree swamp.

Every time we go outside, we get bitten by mosquitoes. It is just a question of how many. Kangaroos regularly come out of the swamp and hang out in our back yard. Snakes and goannas pass through from time to time. Possums live in our roof. A small flock of bush turkeys also live here. I like the bush turkeys. They share an unintentional sense of humour with chooks.

Looking into the tea tree swampThis is my washing line. I saw a photo of a washing line on a website recently which described it as ‘innovative green technology.’ It generated what I found to be a staggering discussion on such a mundane household item.  Quite a few people gave a large number of reasons as to why they felt it would never work at their place. Others felt it had a pioneering, or even rebellious nature to it. A surprising number imagined their neighbors creeping around and checking out their undies and ‘doing things.’ A lot grudgingly conceded that it might be OK for a third world country. Inevitably, one bright spark decided the whole thing was photoshopped.

Every house has a washing line. They are very simple. They dry your washing.

Washing lineIf I walk for about five minutes, I will find myself at the beach. Here it is. There are lots of great beaches around here. I tend to take them for granted, which I have to admit is kind of a waste. They are certainly cleaner than any others I have seen around the world.

Woolgooolga beachA couple of minutes in the car will see me in Woolgoolga. It is not a very big town and probably wouldn’t be very remarkable if it wasn’t for the massive Sikh community that lives there. They make up half the towns population, and for reasons which I don’t have room to explain here, they also own most of the local farmland.

I like going in to town and seeing people in turbans and saris, and hear them speaking in another language. I have not found anything quite like it anywhere else in rural Australia. They also have this temple which you have to drive past to get in or out of town. I have never been in there, but I sure like the look of it.

Woolgoolga sikh templeSo there is a bit about my place. It all seems quite ordinary to me, but that is definitely a subjective term. I am sure it is all quite exotic to someone. Now there is a funny thought.

About Blokeschool

I am a homeschooling dad with a wife and two boys. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing, so I feel compelled to write it all down. In my spare time, I work as a manager for the local health district, drink too much coffee, and am an overenthusiastic martial artist.
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38 Responses to Daily life in Woolgoolga

  1. barnraised says:

    Kangaroos in the backyard sounds exotic to me!

  2. Very exotic to someone from the desert! Thank you for sharing. Loved your Bali observations too.

  3. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    Thank you for introducing me to Woolgoolga, Australia! Those are some awesome daily photos for the HR Challenge! Thank you for taking part! -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please visit their blog.

  4. lynn k scott says:

    How very cool! I’m a homeschooling mom of just one now. While I work a full-time job we make it all work. Very cool to have banana trees in your backyard; slightly jealous!

  5. Ellen Hawley says:

    That discussion of drying laundry outdoors gave me a good giggle. Thanks for that. I’m American, now living in Cornwall, where it rains and is damp and where the winter days are short. And we still, most of us, dry our clothes either outside when we can. To the best of my knowledge, our laundry has not provoked undue lust among the neighbors.

  6. morgaine620 says:

    Sounds like a great place to live. Thanks for sharing 🙂 I am sorry but I thought Woolgoolga lies in Russia and was pretty surprised to find myself in Australia :-). Do you think there might have been Russian immigrants once upon a time? Oh, by the way, I got here via opinionated man.

  7. willowdot21 says:

    Yes that sounds extremely exotic to me!

  8. Just imagine-kangaroos visiting your backyard instead of squirrels and doves; yes, to this American Midwest country girl your home is exotic! Thank you for the tour; very interesting!

  9. jdawgswords says:

    washing lines…ahhh yes…such a wonderful thing to have…it was so very common in the 70s and I’ve got one too…my problem it’s located where the dogs wanna poo and it’s a swamp during the rainy season…once I rake the leaves and poo out of the way and during the drier months i’ll be using it…dryers are so hard on clothes and a nice is so much better…

    • Blokeschool says:

      I dont have any dogs at the moment, but I have certainly had plenty in the past. Dog poo can definitely be something to watch out for when doing the washing.

  10. Erica Herd says:

    I want to be there now! We have been inundated with snow, hail, freezing rain, etc. in the U.S. (New York / New Jersey to be exact).

    • Blokeschool says:

      I haven’t seen snow in twenty years, and even then, I had to travel for it. The kids have seen it in books and movies, but I don’t think they really understand what it is like.

  11. swo8 says:

    We have one of those tree cloths lines in our backyard and it works very well when the weather is warm enough to hang the clothes out. In the winter we use the dryer because the snow is too deep to reach the clothes line and the clothes would freeze before they would dry. (Canada)

  12. PHOENIX says:

    Interesting! Thanks for sharing! I am absolutely envious of your beach and banana trees! I live in Vegas and… no banana trees here 😦 Do you ever use the plants in cooking?
    I also love that bit about the clothe’s line being “innovative green technology.” I really wish I could embrace that idea–to conserve energy; but I think drying jeans in the sun makes them awfully uncomfy.
    The temple is also cool. I haven’t seen one in person myself. Or if I had, it wasn’t a cool one and didn’t catch my attention. But perhaps you should see what it’s like inside! Just a thought.

    • Blokeschool says:

      Well we can eat the bananas themselves obviously. The leaves are really big so you can also use them kind of like a plate sometimes or as wrapping to fold stuff up and steam it.
      My wife has been to the temple a few times with the kids. They have these big free lunched from time to time, which is pretty cool I think. I myself tend to get weirdly uncomfortable being inside houses of worship.

  13. denealsthislifeblog says:

    I love Aus places!

  14. I was just going to ask if the Sikh temple was still there when I saw it at the bottom of your post. I used to look out for this landmark when I drove from Brisbane to Sydney. Glad to know not everything changes.

    • Blokeschool says:

      Its quite distinctive isn’t it? They do upgrades to it from time to time, so its going very strong. That funny set of markets with the elephants by the roundabout looked sadder every year though, until they recently demolished the whole thing. It is being replaced by a generic shopping mall with all the architectural finesse of a brick.

  15. nmwords says:

    Bananas! I heard that they were once very expensive in Australia (some ten years ago). Thanks for sharing your home, the beach and banana trees are a highlight!

    • Blokeschool says:

      Although lots of bananas are grown around here, the countries biggest plantations are in northern Queensland. In early 2006, tropical cyclone Larry hit Queensland and destroyed (among other things) almost the entire banana crop for the country. The price of bananas went up by 500% (Australia doesn’t import them due to quarantine risk) and the prime minister of the day even went so far as to make the bizarre statement that it was the skyrocketing price of bananas which was the cause of high national inflation rates. Maybe that is what you are thinking of.

  16. I live in whoopi too so agree totally !! It’s heaven

  17. suzjones says:

    Loved your commentary on the old Hills hoist. lol
    I must admit that I was so sad last time I travelled south to realise that the bypass doesn’t go through Woolgoolga any more. The elephants outside one of the restaurants (or was it the temple) was always reason for a photo stop for us.

    • Blokeschool says:

      I liked the elephants. They were outside the restaurant/ markets. After the place stopped being used, they were vandalised pretty badly, and finally taken away. I miss them.

  18. polybeth says:

    That’s so cool! I would love to visit some place like That!

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