Coffs Harbour 2015 and a birthday I will never forget

This year saw me travelling to Coffs Harbour during May – this trip coincided with my 30th birthday and what a birthday it was! Here is a day-by-day review for this trip:

Day 1: Monday May 4 – Travelling Day: Left Dubbo at 0630 (on Qantaslink flight QF2037 – Bombardier Q300, seat 2C) arriving in Sydney at 0745. 3 and a half hour transiting time at Sydney Airport then boarded Qantaslink flight QF2108 (Bombardier Q400, seat 19D) at 1100 for the onward flight to Coffs Harbour. Arrived in Coffs Harbour a little before 1300. Found my shuttle bus and headed for my accommodation. Arrived and checked in – then off to Park Beach Plaza to do some shopping for some important supplies – rest of the day free to relax and refresh before the next day’s happenings.

Day 2: Tuesday May 5 – Dolphin Marine Magic: Day one of several days at Dolphin Marine Magic. This day used my free pass which I received with my animal adoption package.

Bucky and Zippy - Dolphin Marine Magic
Bucky and Zippy – Dolphin Marine Magic

Day 3: Wednesday May 6 – Relaxation Day: Was very fortunate to be able to meet up with a friend of mine and his amazing canine companion (and a selection of their friends) for a coffee date (not once but twice – second one coming up a little further down the post). Tex and Bundy live up in the Coffs Harbour area and Tex invited me to a weekly coffee date and chat. Spent the most amazing 3 hours with them…..

Tex & Bundy Charity Fundraisers - Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour
Tex & Bundy Charity Fundraisers – Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Day 4: Thursday May 7 – Dolphin Marine Magic and my birthday: Woke up this morning with excitement…. today was the day of my previously booked and paid for (A$195) dolphin experience at Dolphin Marine Magic. Headed up to Urban Espresso Lounge for breakfast as I needed to pick up a wetsuit from Jetty Dive which is just nearby. I picked up my wetsuit and headed back down to Dolphin Marine Magic. Arrived there to hand in my paperwork (which I had filled out for my Shallow  Dolphin Experience), only to be told there was some amazing news at the bookings counter. I walked over to the bookings counter and handed my paperwork to the lady there – she then issued my wristbands for my in-water encounter. I looked at the wristband on my left wrist – it was orange instead of purple/pink (the colour of the Shallow Experience wristband) – it was only then I was told that my Shallow Dolphin Experience had been upgraded to the top-level Ultimate Dolphin Swim (valued at A$370). It took me a moment to take in what I had just been told – I got to get photos of all my land and water based interactions taken all morning and videos of my amazing in-water animal interactions. I also got to meet the CEO of Dolphin Marine Magic, Paige Sinclair – it was only then I found out which of the dolphins we were going to interact with…. and wasn’t I in for a surprise! During our pre-encounter brief, we were told we were going to interact with Calamity – Paige gave me a hint that it wasn’t Calamity…. I looked out to the pool and saw it was Bella, not Calamity. Only after I had looked, the Marine Mammal Specialist who took us through the brief realised it was indeed Bella. Then it was time to get into the water – I was a little apprehensive as I had never done this experience before but once in the water, I was fine. I had the most memorable and magic day with the animals – a birthday so special I will never forget it!

Seal Hugs - myself and Rocky
Seal Hugs – myself and Rocky
Seal Kisses - Me and Rocky
Seal Kisses – Me and Rocky
Double Dolphin Hug with Bucky and Zippy
Double Dolphin Hug with Bucky and Zippy
Dolphin Kiss - me and Bucky
Dolphin Kiss – me and Bucky
Feeding Zippy during the Marine Magic Presentation
Feeding Zippy during the Marine Magic Presentation
Hand push with Bella
Hand push with Bella
Water fight with Bella
Water fight with Bella
Me and Bella - hugging
Me and Bella – hugging

Day 5: Friday May 8 – Dolphin Marine Magic: Second day in a row – got a annual pass as part of my present the day prior so I got to use that instead of paying for each day’s admission. I had so much fun photographing the animals I never got to photograph on my birthday

My gorgeous friend, Bella
My gorgeous friend, Bella
CHART is a dedicated animal rescue service being co-ordinated by Dolphin Marine Magic in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and local vets. Their aim is to build a dedicated animal triage hospital on the grounds of Dolphin Marine Magic
CHART is a dedicated animal rescue service being co-ordinated by Dolphin Marine Magic in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and local vets. Their aim is to build a dedicated animal triage hospital on the grounds of Dolphin Marine Magic
A special bond between trainer and animals
A special bond between trainer and animals

Day 6: Saturday May 9 – Relaxation day: Took a day off to head over to the central business district and look around then a day of washing.

Day 7: Sunday May 10 – Harbourside Markets, A1 Coffs Coast Tours and Dolphin Marine Magic: Had a day to head over to the Harbourside Markets and have a look. While I was there, I decided to do a 30 minute escorted Harley ride with David “Laarz” Laarhoven and the team from A1 Coffs Coast Tours. After that, I decided to do another quick visit to Dolphin Marine Magic on the way back to my accommodation.

First time sitting on a Harley - and this beaut FLHX Street Glide took me on my 30 minute tour
First time sitting on a Harley – and this beaut FLHX Street Glide took me on my 30 minute tour
Another trainer/dolphin oment
Another trainer/animal moment

Day 8: Monday May 11 – Dolphin Marine Magic: I love this place so bad I could not stay away! This day was another photo day – to get more photos I missed from previous days….

Embarrassed seal....
Embarrassed seal….
Showing husbandry procedures
Showing husbandry procedures
Simply gorgeous
Simply gorgeous

Day 9: Tuesday May 12 – tour of the Coffs Harbour region: Today saw me touring around the Coffs Harbour region with a few of my fellow accommodation guests. Really enjoyed this as you don’t get to do these at all.

Our little tour group outside the Big Banana
Our little tour group outside the Big Banana
Looking down from Sealy Lookout in the Bruxner Flora Reserve
Looking down from Sealy Lookout in the Bruxner Flora Reserve
Park Beach from Sealy Lookout
Park Beach from Sealy Lookout
Kangaroo on the Moonee Beach Headland
Kangaroo on the Moonee Beach Headland

Day 10: Wednesday May 13 – Second coffee date (twice over): Coffee date time again…. both at my mate’s main haunt in Coffs Harbour and a quaint little cafe up in Nana Glen called the Idle In Cafe. Tex took me up on his amazing Moto Guzzi Stelvio motorbike

Day 11: Thursday May 14 – Last day and Dolphin Marine Magic: Sadly, this was my last day in Coffs Harbour. I decided to check out of my accommodation and head down to Dolphin Marine Magic for one last look…. got to get a couple more photos for all times sake!

Alert Seal - the trainers were doing a training exercise prior to the Marine Discovery Presentation
Alert Seal – the trainers were doing a training exercise prior to the Marine Discovery Presentation
Marine Discovery Presentation - Dolphin Feed
Marine Discovery Presentation – Dolphin Feed

Overall, the 11 days I spent in Coffs Harbour were amazing…. would I do it all over again? Yes I would – but I would try to stay for a fortnight to be able to do all the things I want to do because I still missed out on things…..

New Autism Blog

This blog is a new autism blog written by a lady named Julie Erwin – Julie and I are members of Patreon Supporters of Autistic Not Weird, a Facebook group which was set up by a mutual friend, Chris Bonello, for supporters of his Patreon page. Check it out here: InsideOutsideAutism

Three Reasons to vote for Naomi Gwynne in the National Diversity Awards

This is awesome! Please vote for Naomi Gwynne in the UK National Diversity Awards in the Positive Role Model category


Have you heard about the National Diversity Awards? (

For those that haven’t heard they are a prestigious award ceremony for individuals, charities and organisations within the UK who are promoting and making the world a more diverse and inclusive society. They were launched in 2012 and have huge sponsors including Microsoft and endorsed by many celebrities.

I was aware of them through social media when both a charity I support and a friend I know where both nominated last year and I had the honour of seeing both get through to the finals and attend the awards night. It looked amazing!

Imagine my utter surprise then when a few weeks ago an email appeared in my inbox from the National Diversity Awards informing me that my 9 year old daughter had been nominated for this incredible award this year! In fact I was so shocked I had to call…

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What if Autistic People were Actually in the Majority?


I am out numbered in my house. With three out of four of my family diagnosed with autism I am the only ‘neuro-typical ’ (fancy word for not being autistic). It means I am the only one who would actually want to break the routine to socialise with friends on an evening rather than sit in silence watching you tube after the kids go to bed and I would actually love to have a night without the same regimented routine the kids need to cope. I am not fussed about things having to be in absolute straight lines, I would not watch the same you tube clip a million times and I would happily have a shower at any time of day without it bothering me in any way. Having said that I do what it takes to keep us all happy and I adore the three unique and wonderful…

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Tell Me Something Good #70

Follow the instructions from the post….. and feel free to keep it going!

A Momma's View

Image result for monday motivation

Yes you are! So let’s do this, let’s start into this week with lots and lots of positive energy. Let’s get them, it whatever… just make it happen. Be out there, be kind, be happy, smile, believe in yourself and never give up.

It’s easy:

  • Mention something that you consider being good in the comments
  • Or write a post about it on your blog (please don’t forget the pingback if you do so I don’t miss out and also share the link to it in the comments below). Something good that happened to you recently, or something good you will experience in a little while, or something good you know will happen soon. Something that makes you feel good.
  • Share this post and invite your followers as well.

Before I share my positive thing with you today how about we all just enjoy the moment? Just do it, embrace it…

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Welcome to the TRUCKRIGHT blog.

A little introduction to the hard working Rod Hannifey


My name is Rod Hannifey and I am an Aussie truckie. My normal run is Dubbo to Melbourne and then to Brisbane and back to Dubbo, so across three states each week, around 4000 kilometres. I am an employed driver working for Rod Pilon Transport, but drive the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle, which aims to show another side to how truckies are all too often portrayed by the media and then, so perceived by the public.

We have some magnificent looking trucks running up and down Australia’s highways, some promoting tractors, or vineyards or products on their trailer curtains, but none which promoted the road transport industry or road safety. My dream was to see such a vehicle, a working truck, that also tried to show a different side to the job. The photos on the side depict many sizes and types of trucks and includes road safety messages and industry information.

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TRUCKRIGHT – a blog from Rod Hannifey

G’day folks!

I’d like to bring this blog to your attention – I’m honoured to know Rod Hannifey. I first met Rod when he was driving for Toll Liquid Distribution – he would deliver petrol and diesel first then come out to my work and collect 40,000 litres of tallow from our rendering/by-products plant. I’ve admired Rod’s amazing work with the Truckright Industry Vehicle (in the original and now the MkII version, both of which Rod drives for Rod Pilon Transport out of Dubbo, NSW, Australia).

Rod has won a prestigious Churchill Fellowship for his work in safety in road transport – this blog will be used to feature parts of his European trip showing road safety – check it out here: TRUCKRIGHT – Blog

12/94 Mercedes-Benz OF1315 School Bus – For Sale

Here is a 1994 Mercedes-Benz OF1315 school bus – bus is for sale….

MBS Rogers Citiliner School Bus Body – compliance: 3/95, body #: B442
OM366 6 cylinder diesel engine with low kilometres on recent engine rebuild
5 speed manual
48 high-back vinyl seats
Rego to 9/8/17: 1239MO
VIN: 9BM384098PB011729

Phone or email Michael Langley for more information:
P: 02 68828977 (68828977 within NSW)
M: 0439453335

Proud to be an Aussie – Need for Feed Disaster Relief Hay Run

On Saturday June 24, 2017, I was able to witness an amazing, amazing sight – 10 trucks hauling hay from Indigo Valley, Victoria to Dunedoo, New South Wales….

This run was put together by the Lions Club of Pakenham, Need for Feed Disaster Relief and all the drivers who took part…. it almost made me cry to see the mammoth effort put into the convoy and run!

Indigo Valley had a disastrous bushfire back in 2015 – the Dunedoo community rallied behind them with a convoy of trucks hauling hay and important supplies. In February 2017, the Sir Ivan bushfire at Dunedoo consumed just over 90,000ha of land in 24 hours, this was during what was a rather bad day with catastrophic fire conditions so the Indigo Valley community and Need for Feed decided to return the favour to the community of Dunedoo. Hay was loaded on Friday at the ready for Friday evening to come around – Saturday morning saw the convoy converge on West Wyalong to continue the journey north for a early afternoon arrival into Dubbo and a late afternoon/early evening arrival at Dunedoo.

Thanks to Graham Cockerell and his team from Need for Feed Disaster Relief, Paul Eddy and all the other drivers who took part and Shaun Jones for the help getting the hay organised….. without you folks, this would not have been possible!


For further information on future runs, feel free to contact Graham on 0459444111 or check out Need for Feed Disaster Relief on Facebook:

Carbon Neutral Transport

We really need to look at lowering our carbon emissions – Transforce had led the way in becoming Australia’s first carbon neutral heavy transport company…. if TBH can do it, why can’t we?

Transport's Carbon & Energy Future

Australia has its first carbon neutral trucking company! Congratulations to Transforce Bulk Haulage in Dubbo who achieved this feat by saving fuel to reduce their carbon footprint then buying carbon credits to offset the remaining emissions.

So what’s stopping other transport firms from going carbon neutral?

Market Incentives & Barriers

Any emissions reductions need to be profitable to motivate action. According to Carbon War Room, heavy trucking can achieve huge emissions reductions using simple technologies with proven savings that are available today. Yet there are three formidable market barriers to get over:

  • access to capital for high upfront costs;
  • good information operators can trust;
  • principal-agent split incentive problem, where in a fragmented industry often those with incentive to save fuel don’t have the cash or the control. This can occur where prime movers and trailers have different owners, where fleets are leased, where freight companies hire sub-contractors, and where…

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