Wall to Wall Birthday Celebrations

Wall to Wall Birthday Celebrations

I am pleased to have reached “the ripe old age” of 70, given that after my father passed away, aged 44, I’ve often wondered if I would achieve this milestone.

Early in 2019, with my 70th approaching, my darling wife Maggie asked me, “How would you like to celebrate your 70th Birthday. 

I responded, “Let’s have a large party for family and friends”. 

We discussed the options and Maggie recommended two smaller, more manageable parties; one for close friends and another for immediate family. She then organised every aspect of these two parties.

The Birthday Party with Friends was held late September at the Mona Vale Golf Club. Ten Couples attended. Here are the “snaps” from that party.



Two weeks later the Birthday Party with Family took place at Pittwater RSL. Five adult offspring, their partners and six grand children attended. Here are the family “snaps”.


On the weekend between these two parties I was given a complete surprise. Maggie went above and beyond, booking a stay at the Hydro Majestic Hotel, as her birthday present to me.

We had previously talked about visiting the refurbished “Hydro”, an icon of early 20th Century Australian “chic”. However I’d never seriously thought we would do it.

The day we arrived, the hotel and gardens were adorned with mist.

DSC05057DSC05084DSC05086DSC05058The mist remained into the evening.DSC05091Reflection of The Hydro Lounge, courtesy of night time mist – Facing Megalong Valley

The Hydro Majestic was built in the early 1900s at Medlow Bath NSW, initially as a health retreat, and then not long after was “reborn” as a Luxury Hotel.

It was closed for the latest reincarnation in 2008 and I believe it was reopened in 2014.

IMG_5423The Winter Garden Restaurant – High Tea is served here each day

DSC05073Salon Du Thé – provides casual dinning and your favourite beverage

DSC05080Passageway between Winter Garden and Salon Du Thé

DSC05079Lead Light window & door in passageway


The next day was overcast, but the mist had lifted.

DSC05109The Belgravia accommodation wing

DSC05110View of Megalong Valley from near the Belgravia Wing

DSC05121The Hargravia accommodation wing

DSC05131The Casino (meaning a public room, not gambling facility)

IMG_5420Cadillac “Taxi” in front of the Boiler House Cafe

IMG_5427Sunset View from our “Hydro Hotel” room

Scenic World, Katoomba is a short drive from the Hydro. We spent half a day there with Julia, Luke and Oscar.

DSC05142Part of the machinery for the Scenic Railway or Cableway

DSC05144The Three Sisters (left) overlooking the Jamieson Valley

DSC05167Scenic Railway Carriages

This is the steepest passenger train in the world at an incline of 52º and perhaps offers the shortest journey.

DSC05170Rail carriages quickly disappearing backwards up the steep slope

Having descended on the railway, and walked into the valley on the raised boardwalks, we returned to the cliff top via the Scenic Cableway.

DSC05208Waiting to board the Scenic Cableway

DSC05210Oscar: “There’s Owl”. Perhaps he said Al, but he used to call me Owl.

After hotel checkout we visited the Rhododendron Gardens, Blackheath, ten minutes north of the “Hydro”. Being a large bush garden, it presents an extensive variety of plants.



What a wonderful party (or three)! Two weeks of celebration, thanks to my wife Maggie, our friends and family.

For me it was a celebration of friendships and family relationships. A big thank you to everyone who made it so enjoyable.

Next year ……. it will be a quiet one, I promise.


  • S Hawkins
    Posted at 17:37h, 17 October Reply

    Oh Alistair and Maggie what an amazing 70th Birthday celebrations you had. Maggie well done for organising your man’s parties.
    I do look forward to seeing your travels and am glad Alistair you had a wonderful 70th. Mine in August was put on by my kids and WOW if I never have another surprise it could never surpass the one they gave me. I like you are blessed to have such a beautiful family.
    thanks for your Blog

    • alistairstravel
      Posted at 19:18h, 17 October Reply

      Thanks for this comment Shirley. And pleased you also had a wonderful birthday in August.

  • Ron and Heather White
    Posted at 19:17h, 17 October Reply

    A big Happy Birthday to you …you certainly had a great time with your celebrations. Well done, Maggie. Rons is next year and he tells me he doesn’t want anything…we will see!! xx

    • alistairstravel
      Posted at 19:27h, 17 October Reply

      Thank you Heather. Let me encourage Ron to “let his hair down” (while he still has some) and enjoy a BIG celebration. Hope to catch up again soon.

  • Susan
    Posted at 21:46h, 17 October Reply

    Alistair the photos are great of all three of your special celebrations.
    What a memorable 70th. Maggie did a fantastic job organising it all.
    We thoroughly enjoyed the Mona Vale Golf Club party lunch and hope to have more birthday fun in the coming years.xx

    • alistairstravel
      Posted at 07:25h, 18 October Reply

      I’m very pleased you and Daryl enjoyed the party, Susan. I had a wonderful time. Thanks for making the trip to be there and hope we catch up again soon.

  • Peter Stanton
    Posted at 18:27h, 02 November Reply

    Sorry I missed this BlogCELEBRATION..looks like a wonderful day…congrats my Friend

    • alistairstravel
      Posted at 06:44h, 03 November Reply

      Thank you Peter.

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