Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My Good Energy Family…

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Good energy massage in Herbert Street Ingham, have been in my life weekly since moving home from Townsville in 2014. There is absolutely no way I can get through the week without having a deep tissue massage – I did mess myself up pretty bad in my accident! The team at good energy massage have become like family over the years…

Deb is like my dad, except I listen to her… Sometimes, she has a way of calming me like only my dad can; and Lee is like my mum because she always cheers me up. Don’t even get me started on Lee’s facials ohhh myyy Goddd!!!

Deep tissue massage is a massage technique that’s mainly used to treat musculoskeletal issues, such as strains and sports injuries. It involves applying sustained pressure using slow, deep strokes to target the inner layers of your muscles and connective tissues. This helps to break up scar tissue that forms following an injury and reduce tension in muscle and tissue.

Deep tissue massage offers both physical and psychological benefits. Unlike other massage techniques that focus on relaxation, deep tissue massage helps to treat muscle pain and improve stiffness. But it can still help to you unwind mentally, too.

Lee has a great range of products including salt lamps of all sizes! follow their Facebook page to catch their sneaky deals!

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My Family Dental…

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Well – where do I start with this amazing family orientated business! You walk in the door to receive possibly the nicest greeting on earth from Emma, Lindsie, Khloe, Kiara and Gabby … They have such a close knit team that makes you feel like your at your mum and dad’s – you know… that really comfortable feeling! Yeah there awesome!

My dentist is Sudeep but It takes effort to pronounce so I just call him James 😂😂😂 It’s a joke now – without fail he knows I will forever call him James!

Once I’m in the ‘evil chair’ I make laugh every time because I’m the biggest clown! We sing along to tunes and I get in trouble because I need to stay still – I CAN’T STAY STILL!

The other day I went somewhere and I couldn’t recognize Kiara because she wasn’t in my family dental uniform – drop dead gorgeous I may add!

My Family Dental has pretty amazing services… I have to get four crowns – yes expensive af! But they are so amazing at sorting out a payment system that works for me so it’s affordable. Emma is great with numbers – lucky cause I sure as hell am not! haha.

They run deals on their Facebook page so watch out for their sneaky deals!

You can also book appointments on the My Family Dental Ingham page, I’m currently on the page having a look around and it’s so functional, they have some great ratings… yes other than the one from me 😜

Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. I love my teeth that’s why I take such good care of them!

Here are some tips to help you look after your teeth.

  1. Brush at least twice a day. The best time to brush teeth is after meals. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Soft bristles are kinder on your gums.

  2. Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel and reduces your risk of decay.

  3. Brush thoroughly. Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes.

  4. Floss your teeth daily. Use a slow and gentle sawing motion.

  5. Limit acidic drinks like soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices. Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing holes (cavities or caries). In severe cases, teeth may be ‘eaten’ right down to the gum.

  6. Limit sugary foods. Bacteria in dental plaque change sugars into acids.

  7. Protect your teeth from injury. Wear a mouthguard or full-face helmet when playing sports.

  8. Try to save a knocked out tooth. If possible, hold the tooth back in place while you seek immediate dental advice. If this is not possible, wrap the tooth in plastic or place it in milk and seek dental advice immediately.

  9. Avoid using your teeth for anything other than chewing food. If you use them to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, you risk chipping or even breaking your teeth.

  10. See your dentist for regular check-ups. You should also visit your dentist if you have a dental problem such as a toothache or bleeding gums.
Better Health Channel

If you are looking for a great dentist that actually cares about improving your smile and helping you budget in the cost of whatever treatment you require – go see My Family Dental and I’m sure one of the lovely ladies will help you out!

ALL YOU CAN DO IS ASK – who knows… the answer may be YES!

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel, Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

Wallaman falls…

Wallaman Falls is a pretty amazing place to escape from the rat race, if only for a day. I have never actually walked down to the bottom (I know – sad right!) but that is one thing I would really like to do – when it’s cooler! I had never been up there until Jack was born, I think I’ve been up there twice… yeah he beats me and he’s 2 and a half!

Australia’s highest permanent single drop waterfall, in Girringun National Park, west of Ingham. Head out Trebonne way and keep on going :p It’s an absolutely beautiful place surrounded by World Heritage rain forest, Stony Creek plunges 268 meters in a clear single-drop, often through a rainbow-fringed cloud of mist.

Gaze at Wallaman Falls from the main lookout then walk to the second lookout which provides stunning views of the gorge and the Herbert River Valley – Which I’ve heard you have to be super fit for…

Explore rainforest and enjoy spectacular gorge views on one of the short walking tracks near the falls. Wallaman Falls is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Girringun National Park is also the gateway to the Wet Tropics Great Walks. Discover plunging waterfalls, lush gorges and inspirational views as you tackle one of the two day walks that start from Wallaman Falls and trek down the Herbert River valley.

Wallaman Falls is defiantly a beautiful place to visit if your ever in the Hinchinbrook Shire – get a group of mates together and go camping for the long weekend or take the kids for a picnic!

Wallaman Falls camping area is adjacent to Stony Creek. Wood fire barbecues, picnic tables, shelter sheds, water and a cold water shower are provided. Remember to treat all water before drinking it – you could end up with some kind of twitch :p

If you prefer to rough it, limited bush camping opportunities exist as part of the Wet Tropics Great Walk. These are ‘hike-in’ sites and campers need to be totally self-sufficient. Read more about the Wet Tropics Great Walk, which may be closed during the wet season, and for management purposes.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

Picnic tables, toilets and water are provided at both day-use areas—near the camping area and near the falls lookout. A gas barbecue is available at the day-use area near the camping area.

Take a few snags and a loaf of bread – don’t forget the tomato sauce! Make an adventure of it, go for a hike, have lunch – catch ups with old mates is always great! Below are a few pictures of the falls and few from down the bottom… ENJOY!

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Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

Our Tuesday Ritual @ JK’s Deli…

On a Tuesday we go for coffee (and some yummy home cooked food) at one of our favourite cafes in the Hinchinbrook Shire – JK’s Deli located next door to the Westpac Bank in Lannercost Street, Ingham’s main street. By the looks of it Karen runs a pretty tight ship because the shop is always immaculate! The food that is in the display fridges looks like the entire town should bust their asses at gym (to burn off all the calories) because all the food looks ah-mazing!

Rita & John – two of Karen’s employees with some of their meats

JK’S Deli is located at 78 Lannercost Street, Ingham and is opened 7.30am – 5.00pm Monday through Friday and Saturday mornings, but like other businesses in the Shire when things are quiet, they will close early – save on power costs, wages etc. The smart way of doing business – which some people just don’t get…

I find it extremely hard to pick something to munch on so I usually tell one of the girls to surprise me, and I haven’t been let down once yet! For those addicted to coffee (I mean mother’s such as myself) they create some pretty awesome blends with Vittora coffee… THEY ONLY USE THE BEST!

Every Tuesday, my two and a half year old goes to playgroup at Lourdes then makes sure he is taken to JK’s for his ‘coffee.’ Each week I ask him – “So who’s your girlfriend this week?” I get the “Ummm,” Sometimes it’s Kaitlin, sometimes it’s Aimee, sometimes it’s Karen… But sorry guys, most of the time it’s Lauren or, Wawwen as Jack puts it.

Jack with his girlfriend… I mean Lauren

Kaitlin, Aimee and Lauren are Karen’s three absolutely beautiful daughters who all work at the Deli. There isn’t much in the Hinchinbrook in the way of jobs for school leavers so essentially that is what inspired Karen to put her idea into motion, to secure jobs for her daughters and others throughout our community.

From left to right – Kaitlin, Aimee, Karen and Lauren Venables

All Karen’s staff are absolutely lovely, you walk in the shop and I promise you you will never leave depressed!

Jack with Sandra

I recently saw on Facebook other business people winging because they went past and they were closed – Well sorry we didn’t stay opened for your highness. That was coming from me… We shouldn’t be here shredding each other… WE SHOULD BE SUPPORTING EACH OTHER!

Jack is in charge of the ‘quality control’ of the marshmallows behind the counter… Kaitlin tells Jack “don’t tell mum” and as soon as he comes out from behind the counter I get this “Hey mum, look!” It’s hilarious!

I think Karen has done an amazing job with the expansion of the shop and there is such a laid back feel to the place it kind of makes you want to curl up on the couch in a ball and go nunies (sleep).

It’s not just the locals who are crazy about JK’s – read the following Reviews from passers by:-

Zil Silvester… incredible selection of international cheese I just wish I could take them all home! Rita was so friendly and helpful. This sensational cafe and delicatessen is a highlight of the town and is the place to eat when in Ingham.

Peter Maggiora… Our lunch was delicious and well priced. Coffee was great and well made. It’s a merge between an Italian deli and Cafe which works very well. One side of the Cafe has great mosaics of the local history.

Rob Boot… WC which, l think, is always a good indication of what the kitchen must look like. Anyone who has complaints about this cafe must be a malcontented whinger. We’ll definitely stop by this cafe on our return journey.

Bruce Smallbon… A beautiful coffee shop and good food.

Daniel Peacock… some meats for a platter. The team were so helpful they offered to build it all for us and it looked amazing. They were nice enough to build it while we sat and had a lovely lunch. Highly recommend both the deli section and the cafe.

Lesleigh White… Lovely and trendy!
Beautiful coffee shop.
Love how they sell little packets of goodies.
Very friendly staff.
We’ll definitely return when driving through Ingham again.

Linda Venn… Good coffee. Excellent home made slices to go with it.

Kate Suthers… from Mission Beach to Townsville and I’m so glad we did. Not only is there a cracking deli but the cafe serves really delicious food, generous portions made fresh and with lovely service. Would definitely plan future routes.

Michael Nash… Yep, good variety of food and great ice coffee.

I’m excited to see what other exciting things Karen has in store for our community. There are business owners who run their business and no more – Karen bleeds Hinchinbrook and I believe that is why her business thrives like it does!

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel, Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

Shredded AF…

Around the start of the sugar cane crushing season I started training. I don’t want to be this nice piece of ass (for a lack of a better phrase). I want to be strong! I want to get shredded and create a piece of art.

It’s incredible what you can achieve with your body if you put your mind to it. Before my accident I didn’t take much notice, half the time I couldn’t keep track of my period – but now I have educated myself through the internet and reading and have started living consciously… with everything.

The other day I wore bikinis for the first time since I was 17! And you know what – my body looks better than what it did at 17! I am so incredibly proud of myself – This hasn’t been a year long adventure for me, it has taken five years. FIVE YEARS – People usually get to ten months and give up. What can I say – The only reason I’m still here is because I have a bloody HARD head!

It is the best feeling deep down FINALLY being happy in my own skin.

Today I am not in a very good head space, and that reflected in my workout. Louise (my trainer) pushes me hard, but I want to be pushed hard. At the moment, I am trying to be the most positive person that I can be but that is all slipping away very fast with everything that’s going on. Working out is the only thing, I feel, that keeps my mind from going back to dark places. BUT – that will be a forever journey for me living with a brain injury. Thankfully, we are about four weeks away from the end of the sugar cane crushing season -alleluia! This season was hard, for everybody, it’s definitely not like it was 10 or 20 years ago – the sugar is just not there, lack of diversification etc.

Today was one of those days where we finish all of our sets, but I didn’t want to stop, I had so much built up anger that I could have pumped out another three hours – I didn’t want it to end. Louise is helping me create a machine – and you know why I want to do this, I will prove all those chaps wrong, the people that say “there’s no way she can’t do it!” I told Louise, that I will be her little guinea pig and we are going to create something awesome! This is the only thing, that I feel, is for me at the moment, the only thing that keeps me from going bat shit crazy.

Since having my accident, I have proven everyone wrong, with everything and it makes me feel powerful – NOT invincible. The reason I push so hard is because there is always somebody worse off! Check out this video of Andy, this bloke is incredible!

Here are some other articles I have written in the past about this topic:-

Body image – the female perspective

How I rebuilt myself – Aquo 2.0

I’ll keep you all posted – you DEFINITELY haven’t heard thee last from me regarding this topic.

Until next time…

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My hometown – Ingham…

I’ve decided to change the direction I’ve been writing lately to a subject I am extremly passionate about – my hometown – Ingham. The small town (that is rapidly growing) is situated approximately 110 kilometres north of Townsville and 1,437 kilometres north of the state capital, Brisbane. The town is positioned about 17 km inland within the Herbert River floodplain where Palm Creek drains the low-lying lands. The North Coast railway line passes through the town, which is served by the Ingham railway station. The Bruce Highway also passes through the town.

So there’s a bit of a geography lesson for you… haha I actually learn’t something at school – sorry that I gave you guys a hard time (teachers).

Ok – moving on… Ingham has been my hometown my whole life… Well – except for when I left school and hated everything… You know – that rebellious phase most of us go through, well… some of us. The suborn, hard-headed, independent little shits seem to be the ones who go far – look around. There’s no need to bring up anyone’s past, BUT, we all have a past. Ingham is the sort of town where some people forget their past and are possibly the most judgmental people you will find.

Ingham is the sort of place where there is more positives than negatives. Look at the support the town gave my family and I at the time of my accident, and still 6 years later they will lend a helping hand when need be. The 4 kids that live next door to me have become part of our family. My boys just love them – to the point my two year old yells out talking to them through his bedroom window – everyday… People need to change their perspective on the world. I would love for my boys to grow up here, to continue to build the empire their father and I are trying to build. What’s here in Ingham at the moment is unacceptable!

I’m not leaving the town the way it currently is – I want better for my boys. The best way to be in life to get what you want is to get out there and work bloody hard for it! That’s what I’m doing… Me – who suffers 24/7 chronic pain. I don’t want your pity… I want you to join forces with me to turn this town around! I love being busy! Being busy means I’m not focusing on the pain.

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you. – Mary Lou Retton

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

Broadwater – Abergowrie State Forest…

My first memories I have down Broadwater was from when I was maybe, maybe ten years old and went down the rapids on my cousin’s boogie board and cut my knees up pretty bad on the rocks. Then there was the camping trip where Uncle Mickey got stung by a stonefish, or maybe it was Uncle Trev… I can’t remember.

The water there was always cold, even in the middle of the day. If your lucky you will see some pretty cool wildlife – I’m sorry but those goannas scare the crap out of me!

It wasn’t until just before my accident that I found out there was a lookout off the main road leading to the campsites. It was beautiful up there! It became a place I would go to think about relationship troubles and just life in general – Best thing about it was how quiet it was up there.

I had a mate who lived out Hawkins Creek way and there are some ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL places out that side of the Hinchinbrook Shire. It was lovely to go for a ride on the quad bikes (yes – I know that’s illegal, but It’s all about not getting caught right?) especially in winter, I’m talking about getting off and having to wipe your face because it’s frozen kind of winter… which is like two maybe 3 days a year here. 😜

The rates to camp there are so cheap – So it’s a good excuse to get the swags packed up and stock the eskies (proper Aussie style with more beers than food) and don’t forget your sunscreen! The UV ratings in North Queensland are crazyyyy!

If you do happen to make it a plan on your to do list, I would love to see photos – @aquoonline and with your permission, they may become a feature in one of my blogs!

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

Welcome to Ingham…

The place where there is more sticks of cane than people – yeah Ingham! My hometown, the place where the sugar industry is 8th largest sugar industry in the world and the place where if you stop to talk to every person you know in Woolworths, you will never leave! We have a population of 4,357 people in Ingham according to the 2016 census.

The world’s Sugar Industry

10 LARGEST CANE SUGAR PRODUCERS
(2016 – in mln metric tonnes, tel quel)
1Brazil38.991
2India24.792
3Thailand9.263
4China9.084
5Mexico6.095
6Pakistan5.616
7Australia4.627
8USA3.518
9Guatemala2.909
10Indonesia2.23

My hometown is the best. We are located in the Herbert River Valley just north of Townsville and just south of Cardwell. We have an awesome 360 view and some of the best barramundi in the world. Our local beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, Wallaman Falls, Hinchinbrook Island, Mungalla Station, Tyto Wetlands, Mercer’s Lane Mosaic, Broadwater National Park, Tyto Art Gallery, Crystal Creek, the must-sees are endless! I have lived in this district my whole life and to date I have never seen Mungalla Station – But I hear Jacob Cassady is doing amazing things for our tourism industry!

I love Ingham, because it is a small town with a passion for all that is homegrown, sustainable and community-oriented. We are famous for our Sugar Cane Industry, our fishing (The brainwashing started in grade 5 from my teacher, Mr Gori), our wog culture, our amazing art and music scene. Ingham is actually home to some wonderful musicians – Joe Geia, Paul Tabone, just to name a few. It’s got a rich history and is also a bit rough around the edges.

I love where I live because of the combination of the laid back lifestyle and the amazing fishing spots. I remember somewhere at the start of 2013, I was asked to go fishing and the fish were going crazy! I was put in charge of making sure we stuck to bag limit. We were fishing for barramundi and mangrove jack that both have a bag limit of five – so ten of each fish… awesome I can do that! Yeah – no. One of the others checked when we got back to the hut and there were 10 jacks and only 9 barras! 9! You had one job missy!

You can drive 20-30 minutes from the main street of town (yes – we have one main street) to almost anywhere in the district. Pretty much any delays to the traffic in this town is due to a derailment (bins full of sugar cane come off the line – sugar cane everywhere!).

Certainly your attitude about where you live makes a huge difference. Ingham is the sort of place where you can walk up to a complete stranger up the street and ask them where anything is – if they can’t tell you, chances are they weren’t born here!

This is why I love where I live…

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My scenery snaps over the years…

Something many people take for granted is how beautiful their hometown is until something serious happens. Take me for example – I just lived in the Hinchinbrook Shire fishing, camping and riding – living subconsciously – kind of like I was on autopilot. I never really considered how beautiful this area, The Hinchinbrook Shire was until the inevitable happened.

I say inevitable because before the 14th September 2013 came around, I lived life in the fast lane. A fast-paced, full of life, don’t care what anyone thinks of me but kind of cares what people think about me, loved Bundaberg Rum, loved to party, loud 21 year old female. P.S – I still love my bundy rum!

I had four near misses before my accident, the most serious being coathangering myself on an electric fence in the dark – I’m super lucky that the big fella upstairs had bigger and better things for me in life. Luckily it wasn’t turned on and must of been old because it snapped as I rode through it. I did fracture my wrist though, my mate at the time took me up to ED, it hurt so bad!

It wasn’t until I had my second child 6 years down the track that my mother said “There comes a time in life when you need to stop requiring validation from others and simply live your best life.” Ever since then I’ve started drinking, eating, living consciously, and it has changed my life for the better.

I went back on all my old photos and decided I would post unedited scenery snaps that I have taken over the years in the Ingham district. I would love for you to share one of your scenery snaps that were taken in the Hinchinbrook Shire!

My friend and his boat down Taylors Beach – Boxing Day ’07’
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Gentle Annie
Broadwater Lookout
A farm up Stone River
Whale season – Gentle Annie ’13’
Early morning down the main headland on the Aquilini farm
Driving home from Forrest Beach
Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Bronte Beach
Beautiful sky down Kirkwoods Rd, Blackrock
Clement State Forest Beach
Mr Perserval (Storm Boy) down Lucinda Beach
Early mornings on the farm are the best!
Angry Skies are so pretty!
Beautiful night down Taylors Beach…
How nice is a fire on a cool night? so mesmerising…
Whale season down Lucinda…
Maxi’s at sunrise out Bamberoo…
There’s nothing better than the old school cane fires in the Herbert…
Pretty Sky down Bronte Beach…
Chillin in the harvester with dad…
I love sunrises that are this gorgeous!
When you need a change of scenery to write something great! Forrest Beach…
Sunrise Townsville Rd South…
Angry skies in the Hinchinbrook Shire…
My ‘Renee Vine’ looks amazing when it flowers!
Sunrise down Taylors Beach…
Sunrises down Taylors Beach…
Sunrises from Clay Street, Ingham…
A lovely day down Bronte Beach…

Aquo Xx

Hinchinbrook Shire..., Our places

My favourite place in the world – Bronte Beach…

Bronte Beach became my stomping ground when I was about 13 years old when we would tell dad we were going for a ride, and ‘of course we were just riding around the farm.’ – We would tell him with our fingers crossed behind our backs. In all seriousness, we were lucky nothing serious ever happened while we were down there back then.

My best friend’s family had a hut close to main beach so we would always be down there, even if it was just for a day trip. Over the years, I have been down pretty much every track leading down there through Blackrock farms, there are millions!

The last photo of me down Bronte before my accident…

Fast forward five years and I would go down every weekend, even if it was just for a ride. I love that place! Pack up the quad, make sure you have more beers than food and meet us at the gates. If it rained heavily throughout the night you would have no chance in getting down there, it was a bit of a challenge even for bikes. I didn’t say impossible, I said a bit of a challenge. haha challenge accepted!

My now husband knew how much I love Bronte, so for our first Valentine’s Day together, he took me down at sunrise. Before kids I so was not a morning person, in fact, it was probably best not to converse with me until I had my morning coffee. There is two, only two things in this world I would be awake before the sun rose for, sugar cane harvesting and Bronte.

What an amazing place!

I would have been married down on the beach front if it wasn’t such a challenge to get down there. Actually, if it was possible to marry places, I’d marry Bronte!

I have so many awesome memories down there, many involving something completely stupid we could have killed ourselves doing – like swimming at the mouth between Cassidy Beach (smacks self in the head).

I feel sorry for kids these days, they will never experience half of what we used to. One being going camping down the hut! Some of the laws that have come into play lately make me so mad, but I’m sure that will one day be another story, and I’ll try not to make it sound like too much of a downer.

Humans have five senses – touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. There is nothing better in this world than waking up to the sound of the ocean crashing against the beach; Nothing better in this world than the SMELL of the ocean in the morning; Nothing better in this world than FEELING the breeze against your skin first thing in the morning; Nothing better than SEEING the sun rise as you look out onto the beach and NOTHING better than all of that entwined with the TASTE of your first cup of coffee in the morning.

Not a very clear photo, but this was my life – brews and bikes with the blokes – I was the biggest tomboy ever!

Aquo Xx