As I mentioned in the last post, Greg and I visited the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour over 3 separate days, during our week visit to the region.

Coffs Big Banana A Bunch of FunThe visit day we got our combined ticket that included the World of Bananas Theatre & Plantation Tour, a 1.5 hour Ice Skating session and 2 Toboggan rides for each of us. It is great that once you have your ticket that you can do each of the specific things on the day that it best suits you.

Coffs Harbour World of Bananas & Plantation TourSo on our first day at the Big Banana we thought that we would do the Educational and fun Plantation Tour and the World of Bananas Experience so that we had a better understanding about the history of bananas themselves and the Big Banana also.

We found the two different theatre presentations to be very informative and enjoyable. The first theatre gave a good history of bananas. It then went on to reveal the history of the Coffs Harbour and Woolgoolga banana industries.

It amazed me to learn how hard those, mostly immigrant, workers worked each day to grow and then harvest the bananas. Without machinery, like we have today, and because of the steep slopes on the hills around the area, the bunches of bananas needed to be carried by hand to the collection points.

Often a bunch of bananas can be anywhere from 25 to 50 kg each. These strong and motivated men designed a frame to go over their shoulders so that they could carry two bunches of bananas at once. This was often around 100kg each time they moved these 2 bunches to the collection point.

The workers repeated this process and moved five or more pairs of bunches each day!

Coffs Big Banana Attracts Tourists December 1964 News ArticleThe second theatre had a special hologram presentation where a hologram man and woman discussed and demonstrated special facts and benefits of bananas.

Sampling a Sweet, Fresh Coffs Harbour BananaWe were really impressed with the presentation and also the information presented. We were even given a Fresh Coffs Harbour Banana to eat at the start of the presentation.

After the second theatre we went outside to begin the self-guided tour of the Big Banana Plantation. This took us up and around paths that run through the banana plants themselves on the side of the hill behind the Big Banana.

It was interesting seeing the different stages of the developing banana fruit on the banana trees. Everything from the very first stages of the flowers, to the tiny baby bananas starting to develop, then the fruit developing and growing in size and finally to the fully developed bunches of bananas, covered with protective plastic sleeves that would soon be harvested.

Coffs Harbour Banana Plantation ToolsAt the end of the self-guided tour you go into a packing shed and watch a video on how the bananas are cut off the large bunches and packed appropriately into the correct sized boxes to be sent to shops all around Australia.

There is then a room where the kids can sit down and colour in various pictures of the Big Banana character doing fun activities.

At the same time the adults can walk around the room and look at the information filled photos, pictures and different displays. You can see all of the varied tools that are used to harvest the bananas and then to carefully cut the hands off from the bunches.

If you are feeling strong then you can try your strength at lifting a bunch of bananas up via a rope and pulley system. I only managed to just move the 25kg bunch off the floor. Greg is obviously stronger than I am and he succeeded in getting the 50kg bunch lifted up.

Coffs Harbour Banana Plantation Tools DescriptionsI can only imagine how the works in past decades lifted two bunches weighing in at approximately 100kg! And then doing this multiple times each day. Wow! They certainly must have developed some strong muscles!

Greg and I found the whole presentation and tour to be very educational and enjoyable.

In our next blog post we will continue at the Big Banana, with Greg and I going to the Coffs Ice Skating rink for one and a half hours of skating fun!

Since my first visit, as a child, to the Big Banana back in 1974, there have been many additional features and things to do added onto this popular destination. There is something for every member of the family, from the youngest child to the more mature family members.

Until next time, Remember to Enjoy Life and Enjoy Travelling to Coffs Harbour.

Leanne Annett <><

Coffs Harbour Shows Banana Types

Last time we talked about our drive from Coffs Harbour down to Frederickton, just north of Kempsey, to enjoy delicious Fredos pies for lunch.

Well today we are back in Coffs and enjoying some fun activities at the Famous Big Banana.



There are so many different things to do at this well known Big Tourist Destination.

Fun Activities at the Big Banana, Coffs

  • World of Bananas Theatre
  • Plantation Tour
  • Ice Skating
  • Tobogganing
  • Water Park
  • Candy Kitchen
  • Sunset Lakes Nursery
  • Puppet People
  • Trike Rides
  • Bungee Trampoline
  • Going Bananas Cafe
  • Big Banana Gift Shop

You could easily spend more than a full day enjoying everything that the Big Banana has to offer. In fact, Greg and I went over three different days and enjoyed much of what is on offer at one of the most well-known “Australia’s Big Things”.

Next time we will continue with more details on our visit and what we did at the Big Banana.

Until then, Remember to Enjoy Life and Enjoy Traveling Australia

Leanne Annett <><

Famous Fredos Pies, 50 Varieties, 6 Minutes AwayAfter spending the morning at the Coffs Butterfly House in Bonville, and enjoying lovely Devonshire scones, jam and cream for morning tea, Greg and I drove south to Frederickton for lunch at Fredos Pies.

Since December 1997 my family and I have stopped in at Fredos Pies on the Macleay Valley Coast, on our many trips from Newcastle, NSW up to the Gold Coast, Qld, to visit family. Often we would drop in both travelling north and on the way back down south.

Fredos Pies Wall Painting & Greg AnnettEven my daughter, who is vegetarian, has always loved the food at Fredos as they have a good range of vegetarian pies, currently consisting of eight different varieties.

Vegetarian Range of Pies at Fredos

  • Spinach and Cheese (My daughter loves this one)
  • Farmhouse Potage
  • Asparagus Cheese and Pasta
  • Cauliflower, Broccoli and Corn
  • Vegetable Mornay
  • Vegetables and Garlic Sauce
  • Curried Vegetable
  • Gonzo Gado (Chickpeas, mild chilli, coconut cream)

Fredos Famous Crocodile Pies at Frederickton, NSWSince we had happy memories of all of our previous visits to Fredos, Greg and I made the decision to drive the 100km south of Coffs Harbour to enjoy some yummy pies at our favourite pie shop! Frederickton is just 5km north of Kempsey and about 1 hour south of Coffs.

Greg was braver than I am and he ordered Fredos famous Crocodile Pie! I was more traditional and ordered a Shepherds Pie with creamy mashed potato on top.

I was surprised when I tasted Greg’s crocodile pie. It tasted similar to chicken. It was a pale colour and did not have an over powering flavour. I was pleased to have tasted it.

There is a wide range of Game and Gourmet pies available. For instance, you can buy the following game pies at Fredos.

Greg Annett Enjoying Famous Crocodile Pie at FredosGame and Gourmet Pies

  • Crocodile
  • Kangaroo
  • Emu
  • Ostrich
  • Quail
  • Camel
  • Rabbit
  • Rabbit Mulligatawny
  • Venison
  • Lambs’ Fry and Bacon
  • Lamb, Mint and Honey
  • Mongolian Lamb
  • Bacon and Egg with Cheese
  • Seafood
  • Curried Prawn and Vegetables
  • Prawn and Vegetables in Garlic Sauce

Nola Turnbull Founder of Fredos Pies FredericktonWhile we were in the shop Greg and I were blessed to chat with Nola Turnbull, the owner and founder of Fredos Pies. Nola set up Fredos back in April 1993. We recorded an interview with Nola. I will be editing this video and hope to have it published on this website in the next week or so.

One question, which I asked Nola in the interview, was “What is the most popular pie purchased at Fredos pies?”

I was actually surprised by the answer. I thought that it would be something different and unusual, but the answer was, “The plain, regular beef pie is still the most popular pie!” So there you go. The good old Aussie beef pie is still the most popular choice for most Aussies!

Nola has also set up Cafe 73 in the shop adjacent to Fredos Pies. Greg and I enjoyed some hot drinks in Cafe 73. Greg had a latte and I had a cappuccino. My cappuccino was absolutely delicious. Often I find coffee at some cafes to be too bitter, since I do not add sugar to my coffee, but this cappuccino had a lovely flavour and taste.

Greg & Leanne Annett at Fredos Pies, Frederickton

Not only would we highly recommend Fredos Pies to anyone travelling along the Eastern coast of NSW, in the Kempsey to Coffs Harbour region, but also recommend Cafe 73 for great tasting coffees.

In our next post we are going to show you the great time that we had at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour. We enjoyed being educated with the World of Bananas Theatre and the Plantation Tour. Then the following day Greg and I spent an hour a half at the Big Banana Ice Skating Rink. We then went and each had two rides on the Big Banana Toboggan.

So until next time, enjoy life and enjoy travelling the world

Leanne Annett <><

Fredos Pies Travellers Guide, Frederickton Near Kempsey, NSW

Large Grass Yellow Butterflies at Coffs Butterfly HouseToday we are continuing with our article on the various butterflies that we saw and photographed on our visit last week to the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House in Bonville, NSW.

Have a look at some butterflies and information on their life cycle at the Coffs Butterfly House website.

Hanging off some long grass-type leaves was a pair of Large Grass Yellow butterflies mating. They stayed in this same position without moving for some time.

The Large Grass Yellow butterflies are coloured a bright yellow, as their name suggests, with black flecks across their wings and dark margins at the top edges. They are found naturally in Northern Australia and have a wing span of up to 4cm.

Orange Lacewing Butterfly at Coffs Butterfly HouseThe Orange Lacewing butterfly was another one that we had the pleasure of capturing in a photo. We found one when it was sitting with its wings closed on a red piece of wood in the enclosure.

The pattern on the outside or underside of the wings is almost like the markings on a tiger. It is a beautiful pattern made up of orange, black and white in very distinctive markings.

The edges of the wings are made up of a rippled effect that is absolutely gorgeous when you get to see it up close. Have a look at the image here to see what I mean.

The last butterfly that we took photos of is the Australian Lurcher. Again the male and female have their own individual patterns and markings, with the overall colours being bright orange and brown.

Male Australian Lurcher Butterfly at Coffs Butterfly HouseThe image that we have here is of a male Australian Lurcher.

The Australian Lurcher is visible all year round and can be found in the Northern Territory and also in the islands in Torres Strait. This is another butterfly that was happy to land on our heads or body.

You can see by the images above that we had a wonderful time viewing and interacting with many different butterflies in the walk-through enclosure. There are many more butterfly species that we also saw, but did not capture in photos.

We highly recommend for anyone coming to the Coffs Harbour area in Mid-North Coast region of New South Wales to check out the Coffs Butterfly House. Children love to see these beautiful and colourful insects flying around them and hence families often visit the butterfly house.

Female Varied Eggfly Butterfly on Leanne's ArmPersonally, I find it very relaxing just hanging out, sitting on one of the benches inside the glasshouse and enjoying watching the butterflies flying around and even landing on us or next to us on the seat.

We will be writing more articles about our trip to the Coffs Butterfly House in the coming weeks, but for now we are going to travel about an hour south and have a lovely lunch at Fredos pies in Frederickton, just 5km north of Kempsey.

We look forward to continuing to share with you all about our Coffs Harbour holiday over the next few days.

Until then, Remember to Enjoy Life and Enjoy your Travels.

Leanne Annett

Varied Eggfly Butterfly on Greg's Head at Coffs Harbour Butterfly HouseIn our last blog post we talked about our visit to the Coffs Harbour Butterfly House in Bonville, NSW. Today we want to show you some of the many different species of butterflies that Greg and I saw and photographed.

You can find out more about which butterfly species live at the Coffs Butterfly house at their website.

There were literally hundreds of butterflies flying around the glasshouse, yet some species landed near us and we were able to photograph them. There are paths that lead around the glass enclosure and wooden benches to sit down, relax and enjoy the sites.

One of the first butterflies, which we saw when we entered the glasshouse, was the brightly coloured, metallic-blue Ulysses. This gorgeous creature is found naturally in Northern Queensland, in coastal subtropical rain-forests. It is best viewed from February to May and can have a wing span up to 10cm.

Ulysses Butterfly from Coastal Northern QueenslandGreg was fortunate enough to have one of these lovely, glistening, blue butterflies land upon his hand. In is so lovely to just have them come and sit upon you.

You may notice a slight deformity in the wings. That is because when this Ulysses came out of his Chrysalis he did not straighten out his wings as they dried. Hence they have dried with this deformity. This may reduce this butterflies life, as it will be more difficult to fly with wings like this.

Ulysses Butterfly with Closed WingsWe were also blessed to see another one sitting on a leave in a tree and took a photo of it with its wings closed together. When the Ulysses butterfly lands somewhere it is most common for it to keep its wings together so that its shiny blue colour is not seen. This means that it is more difficult to tell that it is indeed a Ulysses. In this image you can tell that the species is indeed Ulysses by the distinct outline of the wings.

Female Varied Eggfly Butterfly at Coffs Butterfly HouseOne of the butterflies that landed on us most often was the Varied Eggfly also known as the Common Eggfly. The female and male have their own distinctive colouring and patterns. The female varied eggfly butterfly has larger wings than the male with an orange spot on each wing as well as white spots. The male common eggfly has white spots with a violet tinge around the white dots.

Male Varied Eggfly Butterfly at Coffs Butterfly HouseIt is interesting to note that as the butterflies get older they wings become more tattered looking. Often sections of the wings are broken off due to the fighting that occurs between different butterflies. I used to think that when they flew after each other they were just playing together, but apparently they can actually attack each other and fight. This was something that I was previously unaware of.

Female Cairns Birdwing, Australia's Biggest ButterflyThe largest Australian butterfly, the Cairns Birdwing, is also well represented at the Coffs Butterfly House. They are everywhere and love to come and land right next to the visitors. As with many other species of this delightful insect, the Cairns Birdwings also have distinct patterns on the male and female butterfly.

When the wings are closed on the Cairns birdwing you can easily tell if it is a female or male. They both have a lovely, bright red colour around their head, although the female usually has a larger red area. They also both have a brightly yellow coloured abdomen section, which makes them easy to distinguish from other species.

Male Cairns Birdwing, Australia's Biggest ButterflyThe male’s wings have more colours on than the female. Whereas the female just has yellow and white flecks on the outside of her wings, the male has a large section that is green and yellow, forming a delightful pattern.

We also saw the orange coloured Cruiser butterfly, which feeds on Passionfruit vines and can be found naturally in Tropical Northern   Queensland in rainforest environments. The cruiser is best viewed from February to May each year and has a wingspan up to 8cm.

Orange Cruiser Butterfly at Coffs Butterfly HouseWe are going to leave this blog post here and continue tomorrow with part 2 of our visit to the Coffs Butterfly House and the many different, beautiful butterflies that we saw on our visit.

We really enjoyed our trip to Coffs Harbour. There were so many fun things that we did. Just kicking back and relaxing was so refreshing.

We encourage you to stop for a moment, look around you and take a breath. Life can rush past too quickly if we don’t take time to enjoy it!

So perhaps you too can plan a trip either locally or further afield and enjoying travelling the world!

Until tomorrow,

Leanne <><