Better Holiday Photos with Travel Photographer Danielle Lancaster

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Whether it’s with an expensive camera or a trusty smart phone, we all want to come home from our travels with great photos that capture the essence of the places we’ve visited. You’ll find some helpful photography and travel tips in this episode of ExtraVirgin Podcast. Globe-trotting travel photographer Danielle Lancaster shares tales of travelling the world for a living and gives some simple but effective tricks to improve your holiday snaps. She also advises how we can be responsible and respectful as we take photos around the world.

Danielle started out as a news photographer but soon found a niche as a travel photographer and writer. She’s travelled all over, always looking for ways to capture travel destinations in new and unique ways, and has won awards for her work. One of her stunning prize-winning photos is of a whale with the Surfers Paradise skyline and hinterland in the background, above, taken at the same moment that a wave smashed into the boat she was on, leaving Danielle badly injured.


Danielle has written and photographed for such publications as Escape, Vacations and Travel and Senior Traveller, as well as online publications including The Finer Things. She also works for Australian Geographic, creating beautiful souvenir books featuring her and other photographers’ amazing photos of Australia.

She runs photographic courses and tours through her business Blue Dog Photography.

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Travelling Solo, with Ben Groundwater

LISTEN HEREBen Groundwater TimbuctouNo one to travel with but you really, really want to do it? This episode of ExtraVirgin may just provide that little push you need to get you going.

Ben Groundwater, award-winning travel writer, Age and Sydney Morning Herald columnist, travel podcaster and author of Go Your Own Way: Hacks, Tips and Tricks to Travel the World Solo, has been travelling and writing for publications worldwide for the last 12 years and estimates he’s visited “around 80 or 90” countries. Often, those trips have been made on his own.

We chat with Ben (who recently relocated from Sydney to Spain’s San Sebastián) about:

  • The pleasure and possible pain points of travelling on your own.
  • His most and least favourite destinations
  • Great solo itineraries
  • How to stay safe, avoid scams and make friends

If you’d like to follow Ben’s adventures, you’ll find him on insta as @bengroundwater


Episode 17 – Foraging for Your Dinner


Wild foods foraged along beaches on the Sunshine Coast and in the nearby hinterland feature in many top Australian restaurants from Noosa to Byron Bay. This is thanks to Nick Blake, of Wild Forage Australia, a passionate forager and chef whose mission is to bring wild foods to our plates while also acting as an environmental steward to protect and preserve the species he gathers.

Nick is also a font of knowledge on the edible plants you might have in your backyard or in your neighbourhood that you can use in your kitchen.

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Nick’s goal is to bring foraged foods into nearby restaurants where he says the natural limitations of working with seasonal foraged foods helps chefs develop a creative mindset.

For Nick, seasonality is everything. He says foraging is all about time and place – about what grows in an area throughout the year and how it can be shown on a plate.

Nic’s path to foraging began with a childhood roaming the forests of Fiji with his friends. He studied environmental management and worked  as a sustainability manager for a luxury hotel group in New Zealand and Hong Kong. It was working in hotels that he fell in love with the complementary chaos and order of the commercial kitchen.

Later, during a work experience stint at the Noma popup in Sydney, he was fascinated by the idea of drawing inspiration for his cooking from his local surrounds. Nic has gone on to build a career and a business around combining his skill set as a chef with the beauty of the wild foods of south-east Queensland.

Common Foraged Foods


From the seaside to the hinterland, some of the foods Nic forages include:

  • Ice plant, purslane, lemon myrtle, Warrigal greens, lemon-scented tea tree, elderflowers, sea celery, loquats, mulberries, mulberry leaf, raspberry leaf, broadleaf pepper, riberries, nasturtiums, stinging nettle for pastas, doughs and breads and watercress.

         He has even made a bunya nut miso – a very Sunshine Coast seasoning!


Some Australian Restaurants Which Use Locally Foraged Foods

Suggested Reading

Wild Herbs of Australia and New Zealand by Tim Low 1985


Episode 16 – The World’s Most Remote Music Festival


It’s the world’s most remote music festival: “three days drive from just about anywhere.” There’s no electricity, no internet and no accommodation, apart from camping, yet in the last 5 years, The Big Red Bash in the outside Birdsville (pop 110)  in Central Australia, named for the desert’s biggest dune “Big Red,” has grown from a modest 500 attendees to more than 10 000 in 2018. Attracting some big-name Australian artists, it also generates around 11 million much-needed dollars tourist dollars for the wider outback region.

In this episode, we talk to Big Red Bash organiser Greg Donovan about the logistics of putting on this extraordinary music festival, how he goes about building a temporary town in the middle of desert and why, music lover or not, you should put it on your bucket list.


Episode 15 – Hunting for Truffles in Umbria


A visit to Wild Foods Italy is a chance to unwind and experience a genuine Italian farming village that has been in the same family for 700 years. For generations, the family that owns the village of Pettino in Umbria has been hunting for truffles, growing olives and raising sheep. Now, they share those experiences with travellers who revel in the slow pace, idyllic landscape and amazing food of the region. Mac Ryde, who was born and bred in New Zealand, tells the romantic tale of how he came to join the family and make this ancient village his home. There are stories of delicious food, a quirky extended family and a way of life that’s changed little since the late Middle Ages. We hope this little snippet of Mac talking about how he met his wife Francesa piques your interest.

Episode 14 – From Pale Ale to Stout – a Deep Dive Into the World of Craft Beer.



Pic by @thenerdpatrol

Okay, we confess, we are beer neophytes, but after chatting with independent beer educator and all-round ale guru Matt Kirkegaard, we feel a little more clued up.

Matt  has a job that would make any beer lover exceedingly envious. He writes and talks about, travels for and, of course, drinks beer for a living.  Matt’s collaborated with some of the biggest names in food, won the country’s inaugural trophy for beer writing, established the industry news outlet and podcast Brews News and hosts regular dinner and beer education classes.

In this episode of ExtraVirgin, Matt tells us why old-school Australian beer is like the ‘plastic’ cheese slices of our childhoods, and explains how the rise of independent brewing opened our eyes and tastebuds to a whole new world of beer. We learn why you should drink your beer out of wine glasses, how far to fill the glass, and how to match beer with everything from steamed mussels to ice-cream.

Natascha also gets to taste one of Matt’s latest discoveries, a beer that even someone who doesn’t usually drink beer can enjoy.

So, sit back, pour yourself a cold one and enjoy this episode, starring the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage.


Episode 13 – Fit, Fabulous Female Adventurers



In this episode of ExtraVirgin, we talk to Yvonne Shepherd, owner of Women’s Fitness Adventures. In 2013, Yvonne called time on her stressful corporate career to follow her dreams of encouraging other women to improve their own health and fitness.

Today she inspires women by taking them walking to some of the most beautiful places in the world — from the cliff tops of Italy’s Cinque Terre, to the Australian outback; her goal, to support women to not only become fitter and healthier, but fearless world adventurers.

We talk to her about the environmental responsibility of tour operators, why we need Jane Fonda as part of our exercise routine, her favourite walk in the world and what it’s like wrangling groups of women of all ages and fitness levels in sometimes very remote places.

And if you haven’t already, think about downloading Extravirgin from Itunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts so you get new releases as they come out. And keep an eye out for sign up soon for our newsletter which will have plenty of info for food and travel lovers, as well as, we hope, some tempting travel specials.