Tag Archives: Australia


Everything is rad.


sample chapter

UNEDITED excerpt from

pony up or eat it

by nora o’malley

part III

australia (checkmate, mate!)

chapter 6

australia-chaptersix-ponyuporeatit A sea turtle introduced me to a lovely Kiwi boy today at Burleigh beach.

“Holy crap!” I said as it floated directly in between us.

“You’re not scared of a turtle are you?” he said.

“No! It just startled me.”

We watched the turtle swim away from us, then I gave him my sexiest smile. His tanned face was shaded by dirty blond hair and the blue long sleeve rash vest he had on made his blue eyes pop.

“I like your board,” I said.

“It’s not mine. I stole it from my house mate.”

“You saw the waves were good so you just jacked his board?”

“Pretty much.”


“Where are you from?” he asked.

“Canada,” I said.

“What about you?”



“Gisborne! It’s on the North Island of New Zealand. Have you ever been to New Zealand?”

“Nope. But I’d like too. I’ve heard it’s a lot like Canada only warmer.”

“I’m Finn,” he said.


“Nice to meet you, Kelleigh. How long are you in Australia for?”

“A year.”


“I moved here permanently. Got a couple job interviews lined up and everything.”

“Good for you! I’m trying to get a job. But mostly I’ve just been surfing.” I shot him another mischievous smile.

“Have you surfed anywhere other than Burleigh yet?” he asked.

“Nope. It’s been Burleigh Heads all day everyday for me!”

Then Finn asked me the question, the ONE QUESTION every surfer girl wants a hot surfer boy to ask “Can I take you surfing?”

“FUCK YA!” I said.

chapter 7

Finn found a job at an adventure centre. He was now giving surf lessons at Burleigh beach and teaching indoor rock climbing. I was dating a surf instructor! But it’s not like I used that to my advantage or anything. I barely let Finn give me advice at all.

“That board’s too small for you, Kelleigh.”

“Maybe. But it’s easy to duck dive and get under the big ones. I can’t be walking to the beach everyday with a longboard under my arm.” My choice of board had been a sore point in our blossoming relationship…

Read excerpt from part II: costa rica

Read excerpt from part I: california

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15 things I love about australia

I spent a year exploring waves around the Gold Coast, NSW, and Victoria. It was a bumpy road, but what an unforgettable ride.

  1. Vegemite on buttered toast (or English muffin).
  2. The extreme overuse of the word ‘mate’.
  3. The way the waves peel off Burleigh Point, crashing onto a bed of gorgeous basalt rocks, sunrise on the horizon.
  4. The rainbows about Victoria.
  5. The birds.
  6. Triple J 107.5 FM.
  7. Vegemite on crackers with white cheddar cheese.
  8. Cherry Ripe, Red Rock Deli Honey Soy Chicken chips, Uncle Tobys Oats.
  9. Cheeky groms. (AKA my ‘competition’. HA!)
  10. Campervans about Byron Bay.
  11. Wearing flip flops year-round.
  12. Cheap local red wine. (Sipping good for the price, mates.)
  13. Torquay! It’s simply the best.
  14. Climbing Point Perp.
  15. Bells Beach at sunset. Bells Beach in the rain. Bells Beach on a Thursday. Bells Beach. XX
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there’s the ending

luck let’s you out the back

(Nate, you can have my Al Merrick if I eat shit and die.)

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miss your van


Please post The Belgian over to Oz along with my Bday card.



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damn you victoria

As the cold southern sand kisses my feet

The quietness of the country

No one’s out but swell

Damn you Victoria

There’s a creative buzz about the city

Sun spot on a grassy knoll

No wonder she’s the world’s best

Damn you Victoria

The most delicious man approaches

Eyes me like a child

No telling where the story goes next

Damn you Victoria

So bloody beautiful and providing

Sadly far from home

No way I can stay?


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Love & Freedom. Burleigh Heads, February 9, 2013.

A British traveler in Burleigh Heads. February 9, 2013.

“Fish,” he said softly, aloud, “I’ll stay with you until I am dead.”

Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

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surfing the gold coast

Burleigh Girl

Burleigh Girl 26 Nov 2012

Between story time and nap time, I get the job done. Here’s a rundown of my first two months:

  • Burleigh Heads is my local, so I guess that makes me a Burleigh Girl. At first light when the wind is calm, this legendary right point break peels to perfection. Jump off the rocks to get in position or use the rip that hugs the bay. Be ready – she’s not one for the weary kind.
  • Main Beach (Lame Beach) holds big sets that crumble like pastry. Pick your peak and paddle out. It’s a wide-open beach break.
  • South Straddie Island hosts a thick and powerful curl. For six bucks return a ferry shuttles surfers over or you can paddle the short distance across the seaway. Warning: She licks hard. Real hard. Careful not to break your neck on the sandbar!
  • Currumbin Alley (Puppy PDE) is a money wave plus free parking. I have yet to pay the access fee for actually ‘Alley’ out back, because the inside still pleases. (Feel free to drop in, boys.)
  • Snapper Rocks has an obnoxious rip that’s a serious pain in the ass. Get stoked to catch one, get out, and jog back around to the paddle out point. It’s the Snapper Circuit! No wonder AU surfers are so fit.
  • Duranbah (D-bah) is a little bay that’s clutch when the beach breaks look uninviting. A lot of the hot pros play there, so I shy away. Gorgeous spot though.
  • The River Mouth is good for stand up paddleboarding or worth a try in dire straits. There’s something special about surfing the river mouth… Bull sharks maybe?
  • Dog Beach is my secret spot. It’s lonely out there and I always score.


Wavefinder Australia

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