When I called into Red Faery in Woodford to say hello to an online acquaintance, Denise invited us to stay at her property outside Kilcoy so we didn’t have to drive back to Brisbane. Even after experiencing so much hospitality, I don’t automatically agree when someone asks us to stay. I was even more hesitant on this weekend’s trip to Kingaroy because we’re not yet travelling in The Gifted Gypsy and I’m aware that a household can easily be overwhelmed by our numbers.

But we did spend the night at Denise’s ten acres near the D’Aguilar National Park. We arrived late in the evening — guided by the twinkling fairy lights at the gate — and went straight to bed, unsure of what our surroundings looked like until morning.

Outside Kilcoy, Sunshine Coast hinterland, September 2012
A glorious display of colours greets us on this beautiful Sunday morning.

Brioni feeds alpacas, Kilcoy, Sunshine Coast, September 2012
Brioni embraces the opportunity to feed Jamale and Inca, and they're polite enough to not refuse the chicken-feed outright.

Brioni and her butterfly, September 2012
Brioni discovers a butterfly with a broken wing and adopts it as her pet. She calls it Rosie and has built a little home for it in an ice-cream container.

Denise Curry at home, September 2012
Denise maintains one of the best kitchen gardens I've seen in Queensland. Her plants look healthy and well-loved and are producing a continual harvest.

Girls in the garden, Kilcoy, Sunshine Coast, September 2012
Our girls soon started playing with Denise's daughter — in the house and out in the garden with fairies to find and butterflies to tend. It's been good to see our girls get back into the swing of making friends quickly with our host children.

The hardest thing about making new friends is that we have to leave them too soon. We’re thankful for Denise’s generous invitation and look forward to catching up with her and her family in the future!