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The Darling World of Mr Darcy

The Darling World of Mr Darcy

Written by Cassidy Krygger

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that everybody swoons over Mr Darcy. 

 

He is the dashing romantic hero of Jane Austen’s most famous novel Pride and Prejudice, first published in 1813. The story has stood the test of time and has had a seemingly even more successful transition into the modern world of film and television. Handsome and arrogant Fitzwilliam Darcy, his leading lady Elizabeth Bennet and their slow-burning romance have inspired countless stories and romantic heroes since they were introduced to the world over 200 years ago.

There have been 12 film and television adaptations of Pride and Prejudice since it’s 1940 cinematic debut when Sir Laurence Olivier brought Mr Darcy to life. 

Each has a different view on Jane Austen’s world, responding to popular culture at the time of release and also the latest filming trends. But who donned Mr Darcy’s breeches best? I have narrowed the list down to the three most famous (and perhaps my three favourites). 

Laurence Olivier: Legendary British actor Laurence Olivier, who had brought another famous literary hero Heathcliff to life in the first-ever adaptation of Wuthering Heights the previous year, signed on to bring Mr Darcy into the moving picture world in 1940. 

The film is perhaps the loosest of all the adaptations with the hope of capitalizing on the success of Gone With The Wind which had swept the world the year before, by changing the period of the story from the 1810s to the 1830s. 

 

The chemistry between this Darcy and Elizabeth, played by Hollywood legend Greer Garson, can leave you wanting. 

 

Even Olivier agreed, “It was difficult to make Darcy into anything more than an unattractive-looking prig, and darling Greer seemed all wrong as Elizabeth.” The film came at a $241,000 loss to the studios, but Olivier’s portrayal of Darcy has seemingly influenced every other Darcy portrayal that has come after it. And perhaps this is its enduring legacy.

Colin Firth: When Colin Firth emerged from the lake as Mr Darcy in his wet shirt in the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice mini-series, hearts raced all over the world, and British critics called the moment “the most memorable moment in British television history.” He and the series became a phenomenon, with over 10 million UK viewers glued to the weekly 6 part series. 

 

The legacy Firth and Jennifer Ehle as his Elizabeth Bennet left behind is best described by Professor Deborah Cartmell of DeMontford University “It’s almost usurped the original novel in the minds of the public.” Firth and his wet shirt changed the way the viewing public related to Jane Austen and her novels, inspiring most period dramas that have emerged out of England since. 

 

Matthew MacFadyen: Only ten years after the 1995 mini-series, a young and relatively unknown actor by the name of Matthew Macfadyen filled the big shoes left by Colin Firth when he was cast in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie. 

 

This is a significant declaration for me to make, but Macfadyen’s portrayal of Mr Darcy is my favourite. He nails the aloofness of the character but injects a vulnerability that seems to have been missing from earlier performances (sorry!). The chemistry between this Darcy and his Miss Bennet played by Keira Knightley is electric. The film was a smash hit with Knightley earning her first Academy Award nomination. 

 

Austen scholars also approved with Professor Carol M. Dole of Ursinus College praising the filmmakers for the use of “youth-orientated filming techniques.” and consequently, opening up Mr Darcy and the world of Austen to a new and younger generation. 

 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Every version of Darcy mentioned in this article is different. 

 

A symbol of the time mixed in with the hero Jane Austen wrote over 200 years ago. Do you have a favourite Mr Darcy? Is it the originality of Olivier? The smouldering aloofness of Firth? Or the heart-pounding romanticism of Macfadyen? Or perhaps your heart lies with another actor not mentioned in this article. I’d love to know your thoughts! 

 

Also, side note for the diehard Pride and Prejudice fan, other Austen based worlds I love and recommend are; Lost in Austen, Death Comes to Pemberley and Austenland. 

 

Happy Swooning!

 

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/465921/index.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2004/sep/29/books.gender 

 

http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol27no2/dole.htm

 

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Food Glorious Food – Autism and Eating

Food Glorious Food – Autism and Eating

Written by Kate O’Donnell

“HERE COMES THE AEROPLANE…OKAY, THE TRUCK… THE MERMAID? JUST EAT IT!!!!”

 

– Parents Globally

 

Sensory sensitivities can involve taste and smell.

 

So when it comes to food, sometimes there can be little hurdles and sometimes epic ones. Often it comes back to the texture of the food in the mouth, which can create a gag reflex and vomiting. Sometimes eating food can even become a trigger, as I mentioned earlier. 

 

Given that food is both necessary for nourishment and life, this is an important one to try and overcome if you can. Food is also a very social event these days, so you have this impact as well.

 

In our house, planning meals for a family of four felt like preparing three different meals for a royal family. One person eats only soft food, the other only likes crunchy and don’t even think about mixing anything, or it’s over before it begins.

We can finally laugh now about the times we sat with Mister in his toy car to eat. 

The number of times we have watched and played games on the iPad just so we could spoon-feed with distraction.!

And yes I can hear the criticism, but when the other option is a feeding tube in hospital you don’t question the iPad! Sometimes you have to do what works. At times it felt mealtimes were like the story Green Eggs and Ham by Doctor Seuss… 

 

“Would you on a train, would you could you in a boat… and a whole lot of not in a boat, not with a goat, I will not eat there here nor there, I will not eat them anywhere. I will not eat them, Sam, I am I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM!” Insert tired, stressed parents, nutritional deficits and loads of worry.

Distractions are good, enticement, a reward system with the passion factor being used again. 

Trying to source some choices that can fit into your child’s likes, whether that is smell, texture, shape or colour. Go gently when introducing anything new, remember to use stories and habits. 

Never stop offering new foods. 

Food time should never become about a parent becoming angry or trying to ‘make’ the child eats. This is a sure path to disaster.

And again you may be faced with comments from those gorgeous helpful ‘others’ like: “Picky eater, fussy, choosey, spoilt… just make them eat it… they need to learn…back in my day…if they are hungry they’ll eat…” NO! Planet Spectrum doesn’t work this way!

Please know that if food/eating is an issue for your child, you are not alone. Our family worked with the OT and speech pathologist… There are thirty- two steps to eating…Who knew?! 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

We worked on playing with food, sensory issues, no stress at mealtimes, modelling, and the importance of still offering a variety of foods. 

There are so many different areas to eating and food that your OT and speech pathologist can work on with you. Please refer to the resource section for helpful links.

TIP – If you are experiencing difficulty with your child’s eating, limited food choices and mealtime disarray- you need to seek help from your OT and speech pathologist. This is their area of expertise! 

For more information about the world of Autism CLICK HERE. 


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Want a Bedtime Story With Matthew Matthew McConaughey? Alright Alright Alright!

Want a Bedtime Story With Matthew Matthew McConaughey? Alright Alright Alright!

It is Winter in Australia, and it is now possible for Matthew McConaughey to tell you a bedtime story. 

If you are fortunate enough to have a hot water bottle and a comfy bed, you are in for a treat. 

As you snuggle down under the doona, the gentle southern gravelly drawl starts to tell you a bedtime story called Wonder. There’s not an alright in sight, but there is a starry sky, and you are in for 35 mins of heaven. The beautiful wordsmithed tale by Chris Advansun is part of the Calm App. The sleep story feature is pure decadence. 

This is not your average meditation app. 

Founded in 2012 by Michael Action Smith and Alex Tew, social entrepreneur and the creator of Moshi Monsters; the Calm App has taken the concept of guided meditation and taken it to a new level.  

It did not take long to take off with investors like Ashton Kutcher jumping on board the chill train along with a bevy of fast pace angel investors. 

The Calm platform won the 2017 Phone app of the year, and with a revenue of 150 million in 2018 and a world full of present chaos, we can see why it is popular. 

Featuring simple icons with an intuitive For You feature based on use, categories and classes like Sleep, Meditate, Music, Calm Kids, Calm Masterclass, Breathing exercises and scene therapy make this the full suite. The scenes are seriously serene, and I am hoping in the future, there might be a VR component. 

There’s even Emergency Calm- a meditation to provide immediate relief when overwhelm hits you. You can choose 3 minutes, 5 mins or 10 minutes. The motto is Sleep more, Stress less, Live better – I can’t argue with that. 

As a meditator now for 12 years, I was keen to see what was so unique and if it was a beginners only format or if there was depth and substance. I was not disappointed. 

I was pleasantly surprised. Many of the meditations are lead by Tamara Levitt – head of mindfulness at Calm. Tamara is a Canadian author, mindfulness instructor and voice over artists. The Siri of Zen. 

There’s a meditation for Deconstructing Performance Anxiety, Calming Flight anxiety, mindful eating and wait for it; the World Cup Penalty series for those fans who need o ease anxiety of watching penalty shoot-outs. Sound baths and those sleep stories for everyone; little kid to big kid. 

Masterclasses around Gratitude, performances by Jason Kidd, Eat Pray Love’s Elizabeth Gilbert’s Masterclass on Creative Living Beyond Fear. 

The audio is sublime, high quality and if you are lucky enough to own a decent set of headphones- transcending. 

From novice to the “I can’t meditators” the Calm App is priced at $70AU a year, and I think it is worth the investment. Tip- I found the procrastination meditation highly effective. 

Now if only they had Augmented Reality; because Matthew darling, I’d really like a foot rub to go with those dulcet tones. 

Available https://www.calm.com, Google Play, Apple Itunes and your Laptop! 

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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The Negative Thinkers Guide to The Galaxy

The Negative Thinkers Guide to The Galaxy

Written by Kirsten Macdonald.

Calling Alanis and her Jagged Little Pill… Warning: what you are about to read is a little bit of satire and irony, read if you dare!

ONE: Do you really need to talk about it? 

Wouldn’t it be better if you bottled all of those traumas up that had nothing to do with you as a child and wait for them to manifest like potatoes sprouting out your ears? Tough people fester and pop with emotion later—a bit like a volcano burp only more dramatic. Hold onto it, if you dare. 

TWO: Be a part of the problem; not the solution! 

Instead of wasting all that energy you have trying to understand a perspective different from yours; you could spend it coming up with a million reasons to defend an oppositional opinion that bears no assistance to anyone. So much less fun and helpful, and who wants to contribute in a positive way to society anyway? Geez.

THREE: Life only holds a certain amount of resources- surely there is not enough for everyone. 

If Jack has a better car than you do and makes more money but has the formal education of a gnat, it reinforces that adage- what’s the point? No use developing your own unique path in life and finding abundance or prosperity. Jack has it all. 

FOUR: You can’t get what you want when you want it.

You ask for it, and zilch. You have a plan, so why isn’t it happening? Ask Veruca Salt; or Augustus Gloop. I want it now! Roald had a few thoughts on this; it ended with rotten eggs and getting stuck in a pipe. Could be worse. So plan wisely and expect the worst in your time frame you made up and told the universe to deliver. Giving the “universe” a deadline makes complete sense, don’t you think? 

FIVE: Always be wary of politicians. 

No one ever grew up wanting to make a change in the world or aspired to stand up for the people. All snotty-nosed mean people just want to rule the whole planet, ruin it completely and get an excellent retirement package and make up taxes and legislation to make life difficult for everyone. We hear they have a secret handshake involving a pinky on the lip with a cackle. They eat criticism for breaky like cornflakes. Its new world order. 

SIX: Are addictions REALLY that bad?

If you are a high functioning addict, what is the worst that can happen? You only live once right, except when you don’t. 

SEVEN: Make sure you watch the news at LEAST three times a day. 

Get all the latest updates on your phone or any device you have. You must not miss a beat. That arrest in Brazil might impact the price of bricks in Tootgarook. Believe everything you watch, the world is a big bad place, and you must be on top of it, if not to think about but to cause you subconscious stress which is like salt and pepper for Number 5 and 6. 

EIGHT: Self-doubt: doing this before anyone else can certainly keep out the go-between. 

Why buy wholesale when you can make it your self? Doubting yourself at every turn is a sure way to stop worrying about doing anything new or exciting; both emotions that can induce feelings of joy, so TREAD CAREFULLY HERE PEOPLE!

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

NINE: Ruminate, ruminate and more rumination! 

Ruminate: mid 16th century: from Latin ruminat- ‘chewed over’, from the verb ruminari. To deeply think. 

Then get stuck ruminating. A hamster in a wheel springs to one’s mind, and why not? It’s not like your time can be spent doing something more constructive anyway. 10,000 mental steps in the reverse direction must be suitable for something surely. 

TEN: Don’t change. 

The only humans who like a change are babies. Change means different. Different is scary. Scary means no, right? Learning more about the world just makes life uncomfortable, undoubtedly it’s much better to sit in the proverbial and endure?

Endurance means a tough skill set, and if you pair this with bottling shit up, with a dash of self-doubt, a sprinkle of global suspicion and a ripper addiction you have my friends a brilliant cocktail called the Clusterf**k delight; shaken not stirred. It goes down a treat with a twist of impatience and a bowl of conspiracy theory. 

 

End note: please be advised this is satire and a tongue in cheek reflection. If feeling overly negative, please seek professional guidance.

See these helpful resources;

Beyond Blue 

Lifeline

Sane

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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Scar Tissue That I Wish You Saw

Scar Tissue That I Wish You Saw

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

All over the world, scars are perceived as a trauma, a wound, and something to be repaired—damaged goods. 

Scars have been a big part of my life. Born without an eyelid, I had multiple surgeries from birth to teenager to repair this eyelid. This was vital to keep my eye viable. A country first; Prof Billson, a pioneer Ophthalmologist, did an excellent job saving that eye. 

However, there was noticeable scarring along with a distinct lack of eyelashes. People would ask me ‘What did you do to your eye? How did you hurt your eye? The best one was; She is such a pretty kid, shame about the eye. The ugly duckling was another, one day; you will be all fixed.  

 

When I slept, I slept with one eye partially open. 

 

This became a hilarious joke to those around me if I fell asleep first. I often stayed awake all night at birthday parties to avoid such a thing if I could. 

 

One bus trip in primary school, a fellow male student, whipped out a camera and took a photo of my eye, much to the amusement of others. Not sure what he did with the developed shots. No social media back then, thank goodness. 

 

High school bought an array of trouble in this area. Makeup became my best disguise. But my identity formed around being scarred and ‘unpretty.’ I developed other parts of my person, like humour and silliness to detract and distract, to amplify and make up for the broken bits. We adjust our sails. 

 

Reading and writing became an escape too. So Much to Tell You, by John Marsden, changed my life. Teenagers can be very cruel. 

 

Enter brain surgery in 2012 and neurosurgery meant a saw and drills were used to open my skull up like a coconut. There’s no way around scars, lumps and bumps when these pieces of nifty equipment are involved. People told me to cover it up with my hair. Or, ooooh that’s nasty swelling; will that go away? 

 

An aid came to our home and asked who the pretty lady was on the wall, I said; it is me. She said; “OMG that doesn’t look anything like you!” No kidding. Or what about the postman who asked where Kirsten was; it’s me, I said. “What a shame, you were so pretty.” Ouch. 

 

Once again reinforcing and validating the belief that I was very lucky to have my life, I was so pleased I had a great sense of humour and am a nice person because I was not considered pretty. Who cares? Other people care. 

 

My self-confidence plummeted all over again. 

 

The good old ego-self was attaching to the perception of others about how a body should appear, or when it is ‘broken.’ My sense of identity was internally associated with this.

I love a challenge, and this epiphany presented a big one, releasing the perception of others from my being. 

There are many incredible options now for non-invasive procedures for the assistance of healing and scar reduction. I had a wonky cheekbone repaired and some foundation work to help stop my face from dropping after severe stretching in my skull tissue. As a kid, the scar tissue on the inside of my new lid rubbed on my eye, often causing infections. So that person is not just dealing with a world who thinks beauty is symmetry, but they are often dealing with physical discomfort. Scar thickness, nerve damage and infection are only some aspects. 

This was just an eyelid. There are much larger scars out there. Fact; scars can cause big physical issues; it ain’t all about the pretty. 

I would have jumped rainbows not to have those experiences as a child. 

Traumas have the potential to form us positively. But I would be telling you porky pies if I said the psychological impact was positive. 

I am not alone. Acne scarring, burns and growth of scar tissue can create an array of problems. The Australian Journal of General Practice reports that scarring can have a negative impact on adolescent wellbeing leading to social isolation, a decrease in self-esteem and an increase in anger, and are significantly correlated with suicidal ideation. 

For kids and teens to have options available now is so positive and essential. One very cool breakthrough in the last decade was by NASA. They developed LED technology to help improve healing in space and for long-term human spaceflight. 

LED therapy is a multi-use therapy and can help heal surgical wounds post-op. Scars can get infected, become itchy, cause extreme skin conditions and problems of all kinds. Massage therapy is another, along with the brilliant progression of burn healing medicine. 

Image for Ponderings Magazine

Identity of self is tricky business. 

 

We must do all we can to foster a sense of acceptance for children, and at the same time continue to develop technology and help make it accessible to everyone to help scar reduction for ease of pain and suffering. 

 

I no longer allow the identity association of others to rule me; enjoying “inside me” to shine brightly; as unencumbered as possible. 

 

With each grey hair, I have discovered I am not my body, not my face, not my eyelid, not my scars, not my lumps and bumps, not my even my humour or ability to moonwalk. (I can) This vehicle is the wonderful shell in which I reside, and it works for me. There’s a whole lot more going on behind that driver’s seat. 

 

I enjoy getting dressed up (maybe too much? lol), like makeup and love feeling good, but this comes from a place of fun and impermanence. They no longer stem from a “self” belief based on fear or worry. Do you know how much joy can come through without the worry of appearance?

 

Some boundaries remain; photos continue to bring me extreme discomfort; I only take them for my family and the odd one or two for Ponderings when I have to. Selfies are occasional; with sunglasses on, and I don’t look at them again. I am a work in progress. 

 

To this day if I don’t wear makeup, I always get comments from new people or strangers. 

 

A fascinating insight into human behaviour is the response to appearances. Those not fixated on finding faults in others never notice, and those who have known me a long time don’t see it either. But there is a shift; I don’t get embarrassed or ashamed, and I don’t feel less than. 

 

While you can “own your scars”, until we live in an emotionally intelligent Utopia, scars can and do profoundly impact the psyche of a growing child. 

 

My scars are the footprints of my experiences here. They adorn my body with a story of restoration and survival. But I do look forward to living in a place where the world reflects this belief to the child. 

 

Written by Kirsten Macdonald

Narnia, A Faraway Tree with a smidge of a Doc called Suess, and some Kahlil Gibran is the word charm that grew seeds in Kirsten Macdonald's imagination. She has an innate curiosity about the stories of "us" and a deep faith that is strongly supported by a dark sense of humour. Ask this wordsmith about anthropology, ancient religions, the curious nature of humanity and the incredible cuteness of sloths and you will have a conversation for hours. Writer, editor and researcher, Kirsten has developed Ponderings into a space that is now shared by a team and a shared vision that is infectiously positive and forged in good stuff.

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The Quirkiest Places For Couples to Stay around Australia Post Iso

The Quirkiest Places For Couples to Stay around Australia Post Iso

Written by Renae Failla 

Scrolling through the endless pages on Airbnb can be tiresome, especially if you are looking for a unique stay! 

We have done the hard work for you with our round-up of key properties from each state that have that WOW factor guaranteed to impress your bae. From converted churches, barns and coastal getaways – we have them all and what’s better is most are affordable and have amazing guest ratings.

 

Victoria – The Fitzroy Converted Church House

Quirk factor: Staying in an old church

Located under a minute away from Smith Street, this house is an experience in itself. With one bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe and a large kitchen it has all the little comforts you need for a weekend or night away from reality.

Staying in what was once a place of worship, it’s interesting to note that the owners of the house are not religious. With 4.98 stars and 45 reviews, guests have thoroughly enjoyed their stay with Dayani commenting

“The converted church was an unbelievable experience. As a previous neighbour of this beautiful building, I had always wandered past marvelling at its beauty.”

New South Wales – The Enchanted Cave

Quirk factor: Staying in a clifftop cave built-in natural stone

What makes this Airbnb super unique is the fact that it is the only cave available for couples to stay in in the blue mountains.

Overlooking the world heritage area national park, it’s in the perfect position for bushwalks and river swims.

Entering through a rounded wooden door you will be reminded of The Lord of The Rings Hobbiton set. The Enchanted Cave has 4.89 stars with previous guests leaving comments like

“What an amazing place! The entrance is the stuff of fairytales…”

South Australia – Julie Fay Paddleboat

Quirk factor: Spend the night on your very own paddle boat

All aboard the PS Julie Fay vintage steam paddleboat. This Muthro paddleboat is considered the perfect honeymoon destination for many and is nestled on its own private landing so you don’t need to find the perfect spot to stop.

The hosts have complimentary kayaks ready to go for an early morning row, even in the thick of winter so you don’t need to venture far for an adventure!

With 4.99 stars and 82 reviews, guests have fallen in love with the scenic position of this houseboat with reviews like Marta’s from November last year

“A Paradise on the Murray! We absolutely LOVED staying on the PS Julie Fay. Ruth and Jim are fantastic hosts and we would recommend to anyone to stay on the river and have a break from the city.”

 

JAX Tyres for Ponderings

Western Australia – Balinese Princess Summer House

Quirk factor: Live like a princess 

Now you might want to bring your friends along for this one and make it a couples stay-cation with 4 large bedrooms and a 28-metre swimming pool down near Margaret River.

With the gradual easing of restrictions, this princess mansion could be the ideal celebration spot for birthdays and weddings accommodating up to 100 people.

Guests who have stayed here before appreciate the location with a total of 4.66 stars,

“Carl was a great host, very helpful & the accommodation is amazing! Already recommended highly to friends to stay down there, what a location.”

 

Queensland – Iglu by the sea

Quirk factor: It’s an igloo by the sea. 

Located in Trinity Beach, this property is just 15 minutes away from Cairns Airport. For just $93 a night and with 4 beds, it’s a no brainer!

You will have access to a swimming pool, the beach and professionally clean linen. Out of all 239 reviews, this Airbnb has gained 4.92 stars and the host Paulina is a super host.

Sophia stayed in one of the igloos December last year and commented:

“The Iglu by the sea was our dream accommodation located in an idyllic beach town that is the perfect distance between both Cairns and Port Douglas”.

Tasmania – #thebarn TAS

 

Quirk factor: an award-winning converted barn

Just minutes away from cultural and culinary attractions in the CBD, you will feel like you are spending a night on a luxury farm. The young super hosts that own the property are also the architects behind the renovation with 1820s sandstone detailing kept intact.

With all the essentials and basic necessities for cooking, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of the home.

Marie stayed pre-COVID-19 in March 2020 and commented on the personal nature of the space as well as the extra special finishing touches

“Beautiful property tucked away in the middle of the city. Set up to feel like our own personal, special space straight away, a bottle of champagne on arrival!”

#thebarn has received 463 reviews and a 4.91 rating.

So there is a clear common theme within our collection! We hope you and your so enjoy our list of the quirkiest and most likely the most unique Airbnb stays around Australia and would love to hear if you get to try any for yourself. Leave a reply below.

Renae Failla

Renae Failla

Wordsmith

Renae Lauren’s writing flair and experience reads like an eclectic menu of finesse. The Marketing Coordinator and serial blogger has communications and media prowess with a love for fashion, travel and Italian fine food. 

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