Pregnant and uncomfortable. A pretty familiar story for most women carrying their first child. But for Denise Dunn, this was the motivation for what was to become a revolution in arch support thongs.
“During pregnancy, I craved comfortable and open footwear, and as much as I loved wearing thongs, they provided no foot support,” Denise said. “That’s when I had my light-bulb moment, and Slappa’s Thongs were born.”
Fast forward ten years and the phenomenon that became Slappa’s Thongs has taken the footwear industry by storm. There have been the inevitable imitations, but no other thong has managed to produce the style and ultimate comfort that Slappa’s provide.
As Denise celebrates her birthday, so does the company she formed with husband Roger ten years ago.
“I’ve been selling Slappa’s at Mindil Beach Markets since 2010. It’s a great place to promote our thongs and catch up with new and existing customers who come to the markets every year. However, getting to where we are today hasn’t been easy.”
It’s taken millions of hours of research, almost half a dozen manufacturers and many miles travelled for Denise to finally find the right formula to produce her decade old vision for the perfect thong.
However, support comes in many ways and without family, Denise says none of this would have been possible.
As a visionary designer and entrepreneur, how does it feel to see your product come to life?
“It does feel strange seeing people wearing a product that I designed, manufactured and own. But I’m so proud of what we have managed to achieve, and I love that we get such positive feedback from so many happy customers.
And as for my kids, I hope I’m an example that if you put your mind to it you can achieve things you never thought you could”.
As Slappa’s Thongs celebrates it’s tenth year, Denise and Roger want to thank their loyal following and promise that their commitment to producing a comfortable, supportive and fashionable product will never wane.
Will the simple handshake be consigned to a form of greeting and social interaction from a bygone era? And will the less formal celebratory “high five” meet the same fate?
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced us all to act, think, and live differently.
Yes, we have had to adapt, but us Aussies are a resilient bunch.
It’s some of the small things (and not so small things) that I’m sure many of us are missing and perhaps in the past have taken for granted. But on the other side of this, we do have the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate some of the simple pleasures in life.
There are so many things that I am looking forward to doing; the chance to catch up with friends over a beer or wine at the local looks even more attractive than before. A backyard BBQ with a bunch of mates with some late-night karaoke sounds mighty fine too.
To hang over the fence and cheer my kids on as they pump those legs to exhaustion on their racing bikes, or to simply sit back and kick up my feet (with my Slappa’s on of course) and watch a sporting event on the telly.
I miss watching a movie at the local cinema too, yes of course we have numerous video streaming options, but the cinema is…well, just different.
Markets are so special to us too. The vibe, the joy, the interaction with so many different people; it’s something that we really look forward to.
Appreciate your local market, it offers a communal experience and gathering of an eclectic mix of wonderful people like no other.
The ability to once again socialize more closely with the elderly is something to cherish.
For many of us, the opportunity to have a touch of beauty “maintenance” won’t go astray either.
Group fitness and yoga classes where communal sweat is commonplace will take on a whole new level of sensory enlightenment.
Simply engaging in water cooler “chat” at the office is something that I’m sure many will be looking forward to as well.
Bustling your way through a horde of shoppers at the local mall may just be a nicer experience than the one some of us dreaded previously.
To hug a newborn baby, attend an Anzac Day ceremony, enjoy a meal at our favourite restaurant, a birthday gathering, not having to plan toilet paper and sanitizer usage, getting the laptop and work files off the kitchen table, to enjoy a picnic at the park, ride public transport, jump on a plane and head interstate or overseas for a holiday, there is so much to appreciate and look forward to.
I’m going to take this as an opportunity to “smell the roses”, appreciate what we have and what we will have in the future, remember, us Aussies are tough, we’ll find a way, and make sure we are enjoying ourselves while we are doing it!
Are we allowed to hug yet?
Anzac Day has a strong meaning for my family and me.
We have attended many dawn services over the years. For us, these occasions honour the brave men and women who served our country and it is a special time of reflection for many Australians.
So, this ANZAC Day we would like to extend our thoughts to all Australians, especially those who served our country to enable the freedom we enjoy today and to say that despite the current COVID 19 pandemic, we will emerge stronger than ever as we always have.
For those who aren’t aware of what ANZAC Day means, here is our quick reminder, plus a delicious recipe for Denise’s ANZAC biscuits and an exciting announcement about one of Australia’s most loved sons.
Lest we forget
From the Slappa’s Thongs family.
When is Anzac Day?
Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The 25th of April was officially named Anzac Day in 1916.
What does ‘ANZAC’ stand for?
‘ANZAC’ stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they took in that name continues to this day.
Why is this day special to Australians?
On the morning of 25 April 1915, the Anzacs set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and an ally of Germany.
The Anzacs landed on Gallipoli and met fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. Their plan to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months.
The Anzacs were courageous and although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left us all a powerful legacy.
What does Anzac Day mean today?
With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day also served to commemorate the lives of Australians who died in that war. The meaning of Anzac Day today includes the remembrance of all Australians killed in military operations.
What happens on ANZAC Day?
Anzac Day remembrance takes two forms. Commemorative services are held at dawn – the time of the original landing in Gallipoli – across the nation. Later in the day, ex-servicemen and women meet to take part in marches through the major cities and in many smaller centres. Commemorative ceremonies are more formal and are held at war memorials around the country.
Why are poppies associated with Anzac Day?
The red poppy, pinned to the breast of Aussies on Anzac Day, is a symbol of war remembrance and of Armistice on November 11, 1918. According to the Australian War Memorial, the red poppy or Flanders poppy, was among the first plants to spring up in the battlefields of northern France and Belgium after the war
The Anzac Biscuit
During World War One, the friends and families of soldiers and community groups sent food to the fighting men. Due to the time delays in getting food items to the front lines, they had to send food that would remain edible, without refrigeration, for long periods of time that retained high nutritional value; the Anzac biscuit met this need.
Although there are variations, the basic ingredients are: rolled oats, sugar, plain flour, coconut, butter, golden syrup or treacle, bi carbonate of soda, and boiling water.
The biscuit was first known as the Soldiers’ Biscuit. The current name, Anzac Biscuit, has as much to do with Australia’s desire to recognise the Anzac tradition and the Anzac biscuit as part of the staple diet at Gallipoli.
The Anzac biscuit is one of the few commodities that are able to be legally marketed in Australia using the word ‘Anzac’, which is protected by Federal Legislation.
See Denise’s version of the Anzac Biscuit, recipe below.
Denise’s ANZAC Biscuits (Inspired by Australian Cricketer Matthew Hayden’s recipe).
A friend gave me Matthew Hayden’s recipe book years as one of my favourite things were Cricket and Cooking.
So here it is:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1/2 -3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup desiccated or shredded coconut
2-3 generous tablespoons golden syrup (you can use honey or a mixture of both)
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarb soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
200g dark or milk choc chips
I double the mixture for a bigger batch – as one batch is not enough 😀
Preheat oven to 140 degree Celsius
Line baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Place oats, flour, sugar and coconut into a large bowl, stir and combine.
Melt butter and golden syrup in a medium saucepan.
Put bicarb into a cup, add the boiling water, stir to dissolve.
Take the butter & golden syrup mixture of the heat or turn down, stir in until frothy (the reason for taking off the heat or turning down is so the mixture doesn’t boil over as once you add the hot bicarb the causes the mixture to rise)
Add the butter/golden syrup mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well until evenly combined.
Let mixture cool for 5-10 minutes then mix in choc chips. (Choc chips are optional you can also use sultanas or not put in at all)
Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls, flatten out slightly with fingertips and make sure you leave room for spreading.
You may need tow trays.
Cook for 16 minutes until golden brown
Leave on trays until firm around 5-10mins, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely. Hopefully not too many disappear before storing in an airtight container.
They can be put in the freezer, but you must put baking paper between the layers, so they don’t stick together.
Makes between 28-36 biscuits depending on how big you roll them.
I add the choc chips to my Anzac biscuits as these make great energy snacks for when cycling. Put a couple in a snap lock bag to take on your ride.
Great for Kids school lunches and delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.
These biscuits do travel! I have also been known to send to friends’ interstate who loved them.
A Tribute in Song – Shannon Noll
Multi-award-winning Australian artist Shannon Noll together with his brothers (The Noll Brothers) are releasing their version of the stirring and emotive Redgum hit “Only 19”.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, the old saying goes, and as we all know there’s nothing about Shannon Noll’s gutsy voice that warrants first aid. Just give him a song to sing and he will take it to where only he can.
The release of this new version of “Only 19” is on the 24th of April in conjunction with @soldieronaust to bring some awareness to the struggle so many returned service men and women face after returning home.
We had a listen through a recent Facebook Live performance and absolutely love this version, we’re sure you guys will as well!
So, make sure you grab a copy on the 24th of April!
The single will be available on iTunes, Spotify and other music platforms.
Denise Dunn’s Recipe drawer
Australian’s all let us rejoice, our thongs make us feel free!
Yeah OK, maybe that’s a bit corny but hey, we are talking about some seriously comfortable and locally designed foot hugs here.
Why ‘An Advanced Australian Pair’? We often get asked are our Slappa’s Thongs manufactured here in Australia… well unfortunately, no they are not.
Why? Because there isn’t a single manufacturer on shore with the machinery capable of producing EVA foam thongs.
So, why is EVA foam so important and how is it different to rubber?
Well, foam manufactured with EVA resins has many physical benefits. Unlike a sponge, foams from this process are closed-cell, meaning it’s waterproof and resists mould, mildew and bacteria from entering the material.
It is also cross-linked, which means that the cells are connected in a way that makes the foam strong and durable with high tear and tensile strength.
All polyolefin elastomers are also resistant to most chemicals, which allow the products to not only be used in a chemical environment, but also very cleanable with most household cleaners.
You see, the quality and durability of your Slappa’s can only be guaranteed through this manufacturing method and we are committed to producing the highest quality, most durable and comfortable thongs you will ever wear.
Slappa’s Thongs are designed here for Australian conditions and founder and Managing Director, Denise Dunn, hails from Fannie Bay in the NT.
You don’t get much more Aussie than that!
Our family-owned and operated business started at the Mindil Beach Sunset markets in 2010 and has been servicing Australia from Darwin ever since.
So, when you are looking to wear the most comfortable, durable and Aussie designed thongs on the market, do yourself (and your feet) a favour and Wear an Advanced Australian Pair!
Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of Ireland.
Patrick was never formally canonized. Nevertheless, he is venerated in the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches, the Old Catholic Church, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church as equal-to-the-apostles and Enlightener of Ireland.
The dates of Patrick’s life cannot be fixed with certainty, but there is broad agreement that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the fifth century.
Saint Patrick’s Day is observed on 17 March, the supposed date of his death. It is celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday.
According to the autobiographical Confessio of Patrick, when he was about 16, he was captured by Irish pirates from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland, looking after animals; he lived there for six years before escaping and returning to his family. After becoming a cleric, he returned to northern and western Ireland. In later life, he served as a bishop, but little is known about the places where he worked. By the seventh century, he had already come to be revered as the patron saint of Ireland.
He explains that the Lord had mercy on his youth and ignorance and afforded him the opportunity to be forgiven his sins and convert to Christianity. While in captivity, he worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer, eventually leading him to convert to Christianity.
After six years of captivity he heard a voice telling him that he would soon go home, and then that his ship was ready. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port, two hundred miles away, where he found a ship and with difficulty persuaded the captain to take him. After three days’ sailing, they landed, presumably in Britain, and apparently all left the ship, walking for 28 days in a “wilderness” and becoming faint from hunger.
So, whilst we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with our Irish stew, leek and potato soup or shamrock veggie skewers; washing it all down with a pint of black velvet Guinness consider this…
If you had to walk through the wilderness for 28 days, becoming faint from hunger, not even knowing that there was a Sainthood in it for you at the end; what would you want to be wearing on your feet?
Now, far be it from us to presume, but maybe the course of history would have changed significantly if only good ol’ St. Paddy wore a comfy pair of Slappa’s for his journey.
Slappa’s Thongs weren’t available to St. Patrick, but as you can see, they are now available to us and the Anglican Archbishop, Northern Territory; he has a white, purple and of course a green pair!
So, this St. Patrick’s Day why not Wear an Advanced Australian Pair?
On February 16th to 26th, the South Australian streets come alive in the city and hills for the Santos Tour Down Under.
There will be more lycra and saddle sores than you can shake a spoke at… and if you own a coffee shop; well, all your Christmases are about to come at once!
Jokes aside though, the Santos Tour Down Under is Australia’s greatest cycling race, with a rich history as the highest-regarded and most popular bike race in the southern hemisphere.
The event was first staged in 1999 with local rider Stuart O’Grady taking the win. Since then, numerous internationally renowned cyclists have joined the Honour Roll. The event has grown year-on-year to become the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere.
Proficient cyclists and amateurs alike will don the skins and saddle up whilst many will spectate in awe of the speeds some of these guys achieve in what can be gruelling conditions.
Now, whilst we love our Slappa’s Thongs, we are the first to admit they are probably not totally appropriate for mounting the deadly treadly and we would highly recommend a suitable cycling shoe.
So, if you’re going to splash out on a professional pair, what should you look out for?
The key features when it comes to cycling shoes are the fastening system, the sole, the cleat style and of course the fit.
Here is some more information:
- Fastening system: Ratchets, often found on cycling shoes, offer precise closure but are difficult to loosen while on the move. Velcro is usually the cheapest but can come loose more easily. Laces are lightweight and secure but impossible to adjust as you ride. Boa dials are specialist fastenings and offer the most precise fit but are the top of the pricing scale.
- Soles: Carbon soles are light and stiff, making them the more desirable option for most riders, and of course more expensive. Cheaper shoes will have plastic soles, and mid-range options often come with a composite mixture of the two. Super stiff soles don’t suit everyone.
- Cleat style: Most road cycling shoes are designed to take three-bolt cleats. However, some are compatible with two-bolt cleats only, and some can accommodate both. Two-bolt SPD cleats are popular among commuters and touring cyclists. Check individual products for details.
- Fit: Perhaps one of the more difficult elements to get right, riders tend to find shoes from some brands suit their feet better than others, as sizes can vary, and some seem to be made for people with narrower feet. Try some before making a decision, if you are planning to spend a considerable amount of money.
Of course, even with the best cycling shoe money can buy, you will still look forward to the dismount so you can head home and slip on your super comfortable and personally moulded Slappa’s Thongs.
Because, as we all know, they are so comfy, you’ll never want to take them off!
Happy Tour Down Under!
We all know it’s crucial to be sun smart at this time of year in Australia.
However, melanoma skin cancer was the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2015 and it’s estimated that it will remain the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2019.
It’s also estimated that 1725 people died as a result of melanoma cancer in 2019 in Australia and over 15,000 new cases were diagnosed. These are staggering statistics; especially given the amount of education we now have about this devastating disease.
So, what can we do to prevent it? Glad you asked!
Well, the SunSmart website has some great tips; https://www.sunsmart.com.au/
But here are a few tips on how to choose the best and most appropriate clothing:
Not all clothing fabric is equal. Consider:
- Fabric structure: If you can easily see through the fabric, chances are UV can easily pass through it. The tighter the fabric structure, the better the sun protection. Tightly woven, lightweight natural fabrics such as linen, cotton or hemp will also help keep you cooler than synthetic fibre equivalents.
- Tension: If a fabric is stretched, it will be less protective. This is common in knitted or elasticised fabrics.
- Layering: Layering of fabrics and garments is an effective way of increasing protection from UV.
- Colour: Darker colours absorb UV rays better than white or pastel colours of the same fabric.
- Moisture content: Fabrics offer less protection from UV radiation when wet. How much less protection will depend on the type of fabric and the amount of moisture it absorbs. To reduce the effect of the moisture, take dry clothes to change into or if dipping in and out of the water, choose a fabric that provides effective protection from UV and that will dry quickly.
- Caring for your clothes: Washing new clothes can improve their sun protectiveness by shrinking gaps in the structure. However, old, threadbare or faded clothes may offer decreased protection over time.
- UV absorbers: Some clothing is treated so it can absorb more UV radiation. Check the clothing label to see if your clothes have been treated and follow the care instructions.
So, whilst you are loving life and having fun this summer, kicking around on the beach in your ultra-comfy Slappa’s Thongs, just remember to slip, slop, Slappa’s!
Slip on a shirt, slop on plenty of sunscreen (and don’t forget to do your feet and particularly in between those toes!), slap on your hat and Slappa’s.
Your body, skin and feet will love you for it!
Bruce Munro: Tropical Light is a free outdoor exhibition featuring eight illuminated sculptures across Darwin’s CBD by world-renowned artist Bruce Munro.
The display will include a collection of new and existing work that reflects Mr Munro’s experiences in Australia and the Territory, including Darwin’s natural beauty, distinct wildlife, welcoming locals and spectacular sunsets.
Bruce Munro is internationally renowned for his site-specific light-based sculptures and installations.
Tropical Light is a development with a collection of eight works, marking his largest city-wide exhibition in Australia.
The artist based the concepts of these works on his personal history of visiting Darwin, allowing the viewers to discover a blend of Darwin experiences, nature and history in each one.
Bruce Munro: Tropical Light provides a fantastic range of opportunities for local Darwin artists.
Tropical Light also showcases five Darwin artists with their art featuring along the Activated Path, a 2.5km arts trail throughout Darwin’s CBD.
Spectacular murals and amazing street art from local artists make this trail a must-see experience.
Other local artists have been involved in the marketing and graphic design of this event, photographic exhibitions by Darwin’s talented photographers, and spectacular artistic shopfront window displays in Darwin’s CBD add to the vibrancy of the City.
There is also the Tropical Light Mobile App – as you explore the Activated Path you will hear about the inspiration behind the artworks and seasonal stories by the Larrakia people celebrating the Tropical Summer.
It’s a new event for Darwin that runs for 6 months across the tropical summer (1st November- 30th April) that creates great new experiences for locals and visitors to enjoy.
Whilst meandering the streets of Darwin, enjoying the array of food choices and taking in the sights and delights, comfortable footwear is paramount.
Let’s face it, no one wants sore feet spoiling their artistic immersion!
So why not blend comfort with style and enjoy this unique cultural and culinary melting pot wearing your favourite pair of Slappa’s Thongs?
They’re so comfortable, you won’t want to take them off.
Bruce Munro: Tropical Light is held each night during Darwin’s Tropical Summer from 7pm – 10:30pm.
photos: darwininnovationhub.com.au, ntmajorevents.com.au
Did you know that in our lifetime the average person will walk over 150,000 km? (that’s about 216,262,500 steps), each foot takes 1.5 times our body weight while we walk, so it’s important to take good care of our feet.
OCTOBER 14-20, 2019 is National Foot Health Week, it’s a week to say ‘Thanks’ to your feet for all the support they provide you with each and every year!
One of the key factors for a happy and healthy lifestyle is mobility. Being able to move around freely and comfortably is a must to overall health and sense of well-being.
The arches of the foot play an important part in supporting our body weight, that’s why any relief we can give them goes a long way to putting a smile on our face.
If your feet are comfortable then you’re comfortable which encourages a more active lifestyle. Painful feet = a painful life.
By understanding the impact of your feet and legs on your health, you can be more physically active, and there is nothing more important than that!
Some tips to remember for keeping our feet healthy:
Keep your feet clean and dry
Examine your feet regularly
Wear the appropriate footwear
If you are diabetic, get regular foot checks
Get periodic foot exams by a health professional
“ The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art. “
– Leonardo da Vinci
Remember to take care of your feet, and they’ll take care of you!
Did you know?
- Almost a quarter of the bones in our body are found in our feet.
- There are 26 bones in each foot, as well as 33 joints, 19 muscles, 10 tendons and 107 ligaments
- Our two feet have 250,000 sweat glands that are capable of producing half a pint of sweat in a single day!
- Our feet are often the most ticklish part of the body.
- Morton’s toe is the name given to the condition where the second toe is longer than the big toe. It affects 20-30% of the world’s population.
- When we’re born, our feet are underdeveloped, which is why it takes time for arches to form.
- Feet are our natural shock absorbers.
- The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body.
- It takes 12-18 months for a toenail to completely regrow.
- Shoe sizes were originally measured in barleycorns.
- The first shoe dates back to 3,500 BC.
Download the Foot Health Fact Sheets
The Australian Podiatry Association provides these fact sheets to help you learn more about your foot health and take better care of your feet! Please understand that they do not replace clinical advice, and we strongly advise you to see your podiatrist if you have any concerns.
“Sole Therapy has been working closely with Denise and Slappa’s Thongs for several years now. Sole Therapy is a podiatry-based business that specializes in podiatry, biomechanics, orthoses and footwear since 2008.
We pride ourselves in finding and sourcing good value and quality products that we can sell to our clients here at the practice. Slappa’s Thongs have been a great produce for us to stock. Our practice model is based around helping individuals love their body from the sole up. Most of our clients seek our services because they have foot, leg, knee and back discomfort.
Slappa’s mould to your feet with great arch support and highly recommend them to anyone. In particular those who are experiencing heel pain and those that wear orthoses and looking for a summer alternative.”Nicole Reilly | Director & Accredited Podiatrist, Sole Therapy (NSW)
1. Plantar Fasciitis
Did you know 1 in 10 people suffer from Plantar Fasciitis?!
The plantar fascia is a piece of strong and thick tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the toes, creating the foot’s arch. Plantar Faciitis is inflammation for the plantar fascia, either through overstretching, overuse or a medical condition.
If you or someone you know suffers from Plantar Fasciitis we highly recommend you give Slappa’s Thongs a go.
High arches is a common contributor to Plantar Fasciitis, Slappa’s offer great arch support, made out of material that moulds to your feet for that perfect fit.
A good tip for Plantar Fasciitis sufferers is to leave your Slappa’s next to your bed at night so they are the first thing you put on your feet in the morning. This will help protect the ligaments and tendons from stretching which is how PF starts.
“I wear Slappa’s every day of the year. I have Plantar Fasciitis and Slappa’s are the only shoe/thong that gives me relief. I just love them!” – Jen
2. Morton’s Neuroma
Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes. Morton’s neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock.
Slappa’s Thongs provide great support for your feet and can help relieve the pain and tingling that Morton’s Neuroma sufferers battle with. Wearing normal shoes will put extra pressure on your feet and don’t leave enough room for your toes to stretch out
“Mortons neuroma and Friberg Disease are painful. I’ve been wearing my Slappa’s and they are so comfortable. Today I actually stopped and thought “wow. I have no pain at all”. First day in a long time.” – Mrs White
Arthritis is a medical condition that damages the body’s joints, causing discomfort and pain. It can range from mild to severe and can affect people of all ages.
According to our stockist, My Podiatrist, pain from arthritis may change the way you walk, making you more susceptible to other conditions such as bunions.
Slappa’s Thongs are designed to increase comfort and add stability – as well as decrease pressure on overworked joints and muscles. Many of our customers have reported a noticeable reduction in arthritis-caused pain by wearing our arch support flip flops.
“I wear Slappa’s Thongs all day every day except for work with socks in winter! They are the best thongs for Osteo, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Plantar Fasciitis!” – Sharon
4. Achilles Tendinitis
Achilles tendinitis, also known as Achilles tendonitis, is inflammation of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to the back of your heel bone. It allows extension of your foot downward, away from your body, which lets your heel lift off the ground as you move forward when walking.
“This pair was for my husband. I have 3 pairs and have introduced Slappa Thongs to members of my family who all love them. I have Achilles Tendinitis and wearing Slappas has improved my life considerably” – Christine
5. Complex Regional Pain
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a painful condition of a person’s arm, hand, leg or foot, which occurs after an injury, such as a fracture. Symptoms can range from mild to
“I have complex regional pain syndrome in my right foot tried every other
6. Diabetic Neuropathy
We do have quite a few customers with diabetic neuropathy and our podiatrists that stock our product also recommend it for this condition due to the arch support. The raised ridges around our thongs are especially good for protection also.
7. Back Pain
Our stockist, Sole Therapy, says in their guest blog here that there are several ways that lower back pain can impact the foot. Nerve root issues in the lower back such as bulging discs or compressed nerves can radiate along the sciatic nerve and into the foot. Differences in hip levels can contribute to foot pain through jarring in the joints or increased pressures when the foot lands.
“I first purchased my Slappa’s a few years ago after seeing them at markets in Darwin. I’ve suffered
8. Recovering From Fractures/Sprains
Broken bones (also called fractures) in the foot are very common. Feet are very vulnerable to slipping and twisting. Our feet and toes lead us around when we walk and are on the receiving end of dropped objects. About one out of every 10 broken bones occurs in the foot.
Our stockist, Lara Physiotherapy, says recovery time after an ankle sprain or fracture will depend on the severity of your injury and can be anywhere between 3-12 weeks. A health professional will be able to identify the severity of your ankle sprain, screen for a fracture and provide you with expected recovery time. They will progress you through the rehabilitation process, reducing your risk of ongoing instability, pain and spraining your ankle again.
If you’re given crutches or advised to wear a “moonboot” wearing a Slappa’s Thong on your non-injured foot can help with alignment while your foot/ankle heals. You’ll also find Slappa’s are one of the easiest footwear to get your foot into and provide the most support when you are able to walk on your injured foot again.
“Stability for previous fractures to both ankles and being classed as legally blind they allow me to feel safely supported thank you!!” – Denise
9. Foot, Knee and Back Issues During Pregnancy
Alice Thorn an Acupuncture and Physiotherapist from Darwin says of our product;
In my profession as a physiotherapist, I am concerned about the “foundation” of my patients. In other words their feet, the arches and the surface on which they stand and walk. Slappa’s Thongs are ideal in the tropics where many people walk barefooted on tiles in the heat. Collapsed arches are very common under these environmental conditions and many patients complain of foot pain from the hard tiles.
Slappa’s Thongs are soft yet supportive of both the medial and transverse foot arches. The outer raised edge of the Slappas thongs keeps the foot exactly where the arch support is required.
“I personally undertook rigorous testing to make sure the product delivered on their claims and I now recommend her thongs to most of my patients who include pregnant women and patients with foot, knee and back issues.” – Alice
1. You can shop til you drop and eat
til you pop at The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
The Mindil Markets will always be at the top of our Northern Territory must-do list; not just because it’s Darwin’s biggest, boldest and most energetic day out but because it’s the home and birthplace of Slappa’s Thongs.
Running between May and October (the Top End’s “dry” season) The Mindil Beach Sunset Market takes place on Thursday and Sunday evenings on parkland next to the ocean.
There are more than 300 stalls at the Mindil Markets and along with the most delicious food and drink you could ever hope to eat, there is art, craft, trinkets, jewellery, clothing, shoes, soaps, candles, too many to list really… but all unique or quirky in their own way. If you’re looking for a shark or crocodile jawbone, for example, you’re in the right place!
See a full list of Mindil Beach Markets’ Food and Beverage Stallholders here.
But let’s talk more about the eats. The 60+ food stalls at Mindil feature cuisine from Turkey, Greece, Sri Lanka, South America, North Africa, India and all over South East Asia. You’ll find foods here that you’ve never seen anywhere else in the world – every Instagram food blogger’s dream!
Check out this Buzzfeed video with over 1.8 million views featuring one of the Markets’ delicacies; Wow Sushi Burger
Click here to read our Complete Guide To The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets.
Pro Tip: The sunsets at the markets are simply stunning and not to be missed! Be sure to get your food and drinks (you’re also allowed to BYO alcohol) and get into place well before sunset as you’ll find all the best viewing spots on the beach are snapped up quickly.
2. You can dive with crocodiles, feed crocodiles, and… be eaten by crocodiles?
If you thought travelling to the “Top End” of Australia was pushing your comfort zone you ain’t seen nothing yet!
In Crocosaurus Cove’s “Cage of
“Every Cage of Death dive includes 15 minutes in the enclosure with one of these massive reptiles. Regular feeding by our crocodile handlers, while you are in the cage, encourages more movement from the crocodiles and ensures an up-close encounter that must be seen to be believed!”
If actually getting in the water with a “Salty” (as we call them up here) is a little too extreme for you but you’re still keen to see these prehistoric giants up close then why not opt for a guided croc feeding tour at Crocodylus Park & Zoo.
The croc feeding tours are included in the park’s admission fee and
BEING CROCWISE: You must always remember that these experiences are run by trained professionals in controlled environments and should not take away from the fact that there are very real dangers of crocodiles in the NT.
The Northern Territory Government urges all locals and visitors to the region to “BE CROCWISE”. Crocodiles are no laughing matter and unfortunately, many people have been seriously injured or killed from not heeding warning signs or not realising that they were near dangerous waters. To ensure you’re aware of how to stay safe please read the NT Government’s Crocodile Safety notice.
Pro Tip: If you want to turn the (dining) tables on the above scenario there’s always Outback Jack’s for a crocodile steak!
3. It’s the perfect place to get engaged or married!
Picture enchanting sunsets, draping red dunes and sacred landmarks that are centuries old. There’s no better way to share your life-changing bond than the palatial Northern Territory, where you’re spoilt for backdrops when it comes to popping the question.
Check out these Top 10 Instagrammable Proposal Locations in the NT.
If you’ve already said “I Will” but not yet “I Do” then here are just a few of the stunning venues available in Darwin to get married:
- The Darwin Botanic Gardens
- SKYCITY Darwin
- Darwin FreeSpirit Resort
- The Darwin Ski Club
- Darwin Trailer Boat Club
- Pee Wee’s at the Point
- Darwin Harbour Cruises
Experience the exquisite style and personalised service of a Hilton wedding. Choose from one of the three Hilton properties located in the heart of Darwin offering spectacular harbour views and a variety of indoor and outdoor event spaces. Or say ‘I do’ to your dream wedding destination in the Red Centre at DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs.
DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin
DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin
DoubleTree by Hilton Alice Springs
Last year Denise and Roger attended a beautiful wedding of a friend at the Darwin Ski Club her
Whether you use a wedding planner or choose to plan the event yourself you’ll be embraced by the locals and the Territory’s charm will have you feeling at ease before your big day.
Darwin weddings have an unmistakable relaxed, warm vibe and tend to be more casual. Quite often smart casual dress with thongs is the minimum standard.
If you’re looking for a wedding day more unique and beautiful than your wildest dreams, with photos that will be the envy of all your friends for decades to come, you’ll fall in love with the Northern Territory.
Pro Tip: While peak wedding season for most of Australia is between November – March, here in Darwin the majority of couples choose to tie the knot during dry season which is May – October.
4. It’s a great place to make a movie (and see one too)
There is nowhere in the world like Australia, and nowhere in Australia like the Northern Territory. For this reason, it has been chosen by many filmmakers as the perfect setting of their feature film whether it be a World War II drama or tongue-in-cheek rom-com.
One of Australia’s most loved films, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (1994) touched all our hearts with the story of two drag queens and a transsexual travelling across the desert in an old tour bus to perform their unique style of cabaret in Alice Springs. Through classic Australian humour and standout performances by Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce, the film received international acclaim for introducing LGBT themes to mainstream audiences.
One of Luhrmann’s great character pieces, Australia (2008) is led by our very own Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman and explores life in northern Australia just before World War II. Jackman and Kidman form an initially reluctant alliance as they protect her property and experience the single largest attack on Australian soil at the bombing of Darwin, which you can witness for yourself at the Bombing Darwin virtual reality experience.
Top End Wedding (2019) is a feature film co-written by, produced and starring Darwin’s-own Miranda Tapsell as well as our iconic Top End destinations Darwin, Tiwi Islands, Kakadu, Arnhem Land and Nitmiluk/Katherine Gorge, Katherine.
The film tells the story of successful lawyer Lauren, played by Miranda Tapsell, and her fiancé Ned, played by Bohemian Rhapsody star Gwilym Lee. The couple has just ten days to find Lauren’s mother in the NT, reunite her parents and pull off their dream wedding.
We don’t just provide the location to shoot great movies… we also provide a great location to view them!
Deckchair Cinema, operated by the Darwin Film Society, is a unique outdoor cinema experience. They are fully independent and screen films that are often unavailable to local audiences.
Their outdoor setting, on the edge of Darwin Harbour, is stunning: watch the sunset over the sea and enjoy the tropical garden setting with a meal and a drink before your movie starts.
Deckchair Cinema runs seven nights a week during the dry
5. One word. Litchfield.
Just 90 minutes from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is a true wonder of the Top End, replete with idyllic waterfalls, pristine swimming spots, beautiful walking trails and hidden natural wonders.
It is truly an awe-inspiring place and your camera is a must as you won’t want to forget these epic visuals in a hurry.
You can do Litchfield in a day but to get the most from the experience we recommend staying overnight in the area. It’s just beautiful.
According to this article on Tourism
Wangi Falls adorns many a Territory postcard. With picturesque walking tracks and stunning waterfalls coming from sandstone cliff faces, you’ll be sure to remember your time here fondly. Camping is the only option to stay overnight. You’ll find all the facilities you need, including a kiosk, hot showers and barbecues. There are a number of walking tracks of varying difficulty, or you can simply lie back in the relaxing fresh water.
Florence Falls is Litchfield National Park’s best kept secret. The secluded plunge pool is located right in the middle of monsoon rainforest, providing plenty of shade from the sun. From the lookout you can survey the surrounding location, while there are a number of walks that provide a different perspective of the area. Florence Falls is open for swimming for most of the year.
Another beautiful swimming hole fed by waterfalls in the middle of
Sandy Creek Falls (Tjaynera)
Wherever you sit at Sandy Creek, there are stunning views of the surrounding nature – including cascading waterfalls and rocky outcrops. Once you make it here, you might not want to leave – but don’t fear! The Sandy Creek camping ground welcomes you to stay the night. If you’re going for a dip, only do so in areas that are marked safe for swimming.
After all that swimming and relaxation, you’re probably in the mood for adventure. The Lost City of Litchfield National Park lets you channel your inner Lara Croft and discover what looks to be the ruins of an ancient civilisation. These ‘ruins’ are in fact a unique rock formation. Before you head off, be sure to check with local authorities if the road is open – a four-wheel drive is essential.
Magnetic Termite Mounds
The lost city theme continues with the magnetic termite mounds, which resemble giant, 2-metre-high tombstones. Up to 100 years old, these structures are unique to the northern parts of Australia and Litchfield National Park.
6. You can catch the biggest Barra ever
No-body loves a good fishing trip as much as a Territorian! And when you see our fishing locations you’ll realise why.
Corroboree Billabong: According to Fish The Top End;
If you like your fishing with a little more style however you can’t go past Wildman Wilderness Lodge. Situated on the beautiful Mary River Wetlands (around halfway between Darwin and Kakadu) it offers luxury stylish eco-lodge and safari tent accommodation. They have dozens of different Tours and Activities available for their guests including Barra fishing, Airboat Safaris and Culture Walks.
If you’d prefer to shoot (well, catch) fish in a barrel on the
7. Our locations will never stop surprising you (Kakadu & Arnhem Land)
If you’ve got the time and the inclination, there are a few places in the NT that you just simply must do properly. At least 3 – 4 days at a minimum but 10 – 12 are ideal.
Kakadu is a living cultural landscape. It has been home to Aboriginal people for more than 65,000 years. It is the largest national park in Australia, covering almost 20,000 square kilometres. That’s nearly half the size of Switzerland!
If you’re departing Darwin, allow 2 hours to get to Kakadu Park’s northern entry via Arnhem Highway (a 4WD is highly recommended, as some roads are unsealed). To ensure you get the most out of your trip be sure to download the Kakadu Visitor Guide which offers an in-depth introduction to Kakadu’s culture, environment, regions and activities.
Kakadu has a seasonal pricing structure, with lower prices during the tropical summer from November to May. Family passes are available for two adults and two or more children.
The other place you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t see while you’re here is … Arnhem Land.
Arnhem Land is one of Australia’s last true wilderness areas. It is one of the Top End’s most spectacular natural destinations boasting beautiful scenery, rugged coastlines, remote islands, rivers teeming with fish, rainforest, towering escarpments and savannah woodland.
Whether you’re just there to fish (and boy do they deliver if you are), to check out the amazing art exhibits, go on Safari or to enjoy an eco-retreat at the Bremer Island Banubanu Beach Retreat you are guaranteed to find something you love here.
You may also fancy a visit to Groote Eylandt which is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
For best travel results and action-packed fun (or relaxation, whatever floats your boat) be sure to check out the Arnhem Land Region Guide.
Pro Tip: (well more of a fun fact actually) Did you know Arnhem Land is the home of Australia’s most famous musical instrument – the didgeridoo!
And that’s a wrap! Of our “7
And if none of these
The Slappa’s Team
Mindil got its start in the mid-1980s when six locals decided to replicate an Asian-style night market. What began with just a few stalls in the town centre has since grown into a fiesta-style mega market. More than 300 stalls now operate under palm trees by the beach.
Running between May and October (the Top End’s “dry” season) The Mindil Beach Sunset Market takes place on Thursday and Sunday evenings on parkland next to the ocean. It is Darwin’s biggest, boldest and most energetic market. You can picnic at film screenings or live music performances, stroll along the beach and catch one of the city’s pink sorbet sunsets, and sample flavours from neighbouring Asian nations at one of Mindil’s many food stalls. The market is also a great spot to browse for local craft, art and souvenirs.
Mindil Beach Markets was the perfect place to launch Slappa’s Thongs back in June 2010. This will be our 9th year and our customers keep coming back for more and bringing their family and friends with them. We never tire of hearing how our customers have traveled long distances to Darwin to see us and enjoy the market experience.
Planning Your Visit
Mindil Beach is a 6-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from the city centre. From Daly Street in the centre of Darwin, turn onto Gardens Road until you reach Chin Quan Road. At the end of this is Mindil Beach Reserve.
Nestled between the Sky City Casino and Botanic Gardens its an easy walk or hop on bus 4 or 6. Taxis from the city cost about $10 and free parking is available via Gilruth Avenue. If you can’t find parking at the on-site carpark you can also park at the Darwin High School and along the surrounding streets.
ATMs are located in the Hangout and Community Space. The majority of retail & craft stalls take EFTPOS, all food stalls are cash only.
Sunset during the dry season is approximately 6.30pm but varies throughout the 6 month period. Check any of the local weather websites to find out what time sunset is and try to organise to head to the beach at least 20 minutes before as it gets crowded FAST and it’s hard to get a good spot for the amazing sunset which can go down pretty fast (but worth every second).
What Kind Of Stalls Are At Mindil Markets
Mindil’s art, craft and jewellery stalls are hugely diverse – and a little bit quirky, too. If you’re looking for a shark or crocodile jawbone, Mindil has you covered. As well as novelty items, you’ll find a cornucopia of artisan Northern Territory wares.
Look for tribal-style jewellery from local brand Embella; a print capturing Kakadu National Park or Darwin’s beaches by photographer Louise Denton; natural skin care products and accessories from Natural Wonders and fun circus and performer toys from Psycus!
Take time to look around the collection of stalls which include masseurs, tarot readers, leatherworkers, indigenous artists, tailors and handmade jewellers.
See a full list of Arts & Craft stall holders on Mindil’s website here.
You can also book tours such as fishing trips, Darwin Hop Tours, and Litchfield day trips at Matt Wright’s Outback Tours
Eating & Drinking At Mindil Markets
The market boasts up to 60 food stalls on a Thursday, featuring cuisine from Turkey, Greece, Sri Lanka, South America, North Africa, India and all over South East Asia. Enjoy a picnic dinner on the beach whilst experiencing a spectacular tropical sunset.
Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan and Japanese food also feature strongly at Mindil Beach Markets. One of the most popular dishes is laksa (AUD$11.50). With Malaysian roots, the aromatic, creamy coconut and curry flavoured soup
Other fan favourites are WOW! Sushi Burgers and Lamb Shanks and Pork Hocks from Roast
The Mindil Beach Sunset Market Association was proud to announce recently that the decision has been made to ban the use of single-use plastics across all aspects of their Markets for the 2019 season and into the future. They encourage all Market attendees to bring your own reusable containers, cutlery and bags.
The weather can get up to 35 degrees Celsius on these long warm days and there’s no better way to cool down at the markets than with a large, icy juice in hand. At Mindil there are about half a dozen juice bars to choose from, all of which offer medium and large cups with any combination of fruits. Popular mixes include mango and coconut, tropical and fresh lime juice, honey blended with heaps of ice. Add ginger or pineapple for healthy antioxidants!
See a full list of Mindil Beach Markets’ Food and Beverage Stallholders here.
The Markets are a BYO (bring your own) venue. No alcohol is sold on site but they encourage people to bring their own with them to enjoy whilst watching perhaps the best sunset in the world and enjoying an exciting and diverse range of food offerings. Alcohol is also served in their event area when booked in advance.
Music & Entertainment
Mindil has three main performance spaces: two on either end of the market and one in the mid-section beside a pathway leading to the beach. With your takeaway food or drink, take a seat and soak up the market’s mix of world, tribal and folk music. The central performance space also regularly hosts street performers and fire twirlers. Music tends to kick off just before sunset.
There’s also live street theatre, magicians and circus
The VIP Package and How To Book
The Mindil Markets VIP package gives you an insight into their iconic market. You get to sit back and enjoy your front row sunset seats whilst taking in the sights, smells and sounds of over 200 market stalls. The VIP package is an awesome way to experience Mindil and includes;
- Being greeted at our Information Booth by our Hostess
- Full history of the land and markets
- Full briefing on the markets and the night’s happenings
- Front row sunset seats from our VIP area
- $20 Mindil Money (spend at any market stall)
- Esky with ice (BYO)
Slappa’s Thongs at Mindil Beach Markets
This year marks our 9th year at Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. You can read all about our many years at the Markets in our blog post here and you can purchase a pair of Slappa’s Thongs here. See our Mindil Beach Blue colour!
Below are a few photos of Slappa’s over the years as we’ve grown as a business, we’ve watched Mindil grow around us.
The Slappa’s Thongs Team
Slappa’s Thongs & Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a cause very close to our hearts and this month we are proud to be joining the #CFArmy to help spread awareness of CF by donating $5 from every pair of White, Red and Orange Slappa’s
What Is Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is the most common inherited disease affecting the developed world, with one in every 2,500 children affected. It is a multi-organ disease, affecting the lungs, gut, liver, pancreas and reproductive tissues. At present, about half of those with CF will die by their late 30s from lung disease. Lung disease is the cause of death in over 90% of CF patients.
Every person has two copies of the CFTR gene, one inherited from the mother and one from the father. For a person to have CF, there has to be a mutation in both copies of the CFTR gene. Scientists have found more than 1,700 different mutations in the CFTR gene that can cause Cystic Fibrosis.
Is There A Cure?
With CF, the major contributor to worsening health and early death is lung disease. CF results in the ongoing loss of lung function due to repeated airway infection and lung tissue damage. No cure is available.
Orkambi® (Lumacaftor and Ivacaftor) is a combination therapy that was PBS approved late last year but it can’t be used by all CF sufferers and unfortunately these treatments are very short lived and can only slow the lung’s destruction.
CF patients require extensive daily physio regimes as well as a multitude of tablets to help them lead a “normal’ life. Many CF sufferers require extensive hospital stays to fight off bacterial infections and are not always successful.
Who are Cure4CF?
Cure4 Cystic Fibrosis raises funds for world-leading research through inspiring engagement and genuine
We are closer to a cure than ever before, but until the day comes when no lives are lost to this disease, Cure4CF vow to remain steadfast in their pursuit. They share stories of
Every four days a child is born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). From
This is something Katherine and Chris know only too well. Read their full story here.
In his short life, their six-year-old son James has been admitted to hospital 17 times, with each admission lasting around 14 days. That’s 238 days spent in a hospital room away from his friends and family, his school and the things he treasures most. He’s missed out on so many special moments over the years.
How Can You Help?
Together, and only together, are we able to take the action necessary to pursue a future free of this disease.
Here are some of the ways you can help join the fight against Cystic Fibrosis:
You can also help us to help them by purchasing a pair of White, Red or Orange Slappa’s this May. Proceeds from our Aqua Waterproof Beach Bags are donated year round.
The Slappas Team
ANZACs and Allies
We have always been great allies with America be it through trade, politics or war, and with ANZAC Day being next week we wanted to take a moment and honour just how special that history of friendship has been.
“Australians have fought alongside Americans in every major US military action of the last century, including World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Somalia, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.
We first fought together at the Battle of Hamel in France in July of 1918 under the command of one of Australia’s most revered military leaders, General Sir John Monash. This was marked last year by both countries in what they called “The First 100 Years of Mateship”. It was a really special celebration for both countries.
In 1951 America, Australia and New Zealand formalised our relationship in what is called the ANZUS Treaty; it was an agreement to protect the security of the South Pacific. See, when World War II began, because Australia and New Zealand were members of the British
For the first time in our
The Bombing of Darwin on 19th February 1942 was the single largest attack ever mounted by a foreign power on Australia and along with at least 243 Australian lives, there were at least 10 US sailors from the USS William B Preston killed as well.
It was after the Darwin bombing and the preceding fall of Singapore (which was also a British colony at the time) that Australia and New Zealand realised that the British Government had their hands full with the war in Europe and weren’t able to focus on protecting their other colonies. They began to look to the United States to help ensure their safety and security.
Since then, Australian and American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and women have served alongside one another in every theatre of war.
Today, US marines are stationed in Darwin and will be every year until 2040 under the terms of the force posture agreement between the USA and Australia. We also have servicemen and women working together in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Just last year The Prime Minister of Australia met with United States President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss an Australia-United States partnership for the 21st Century, including how we can strengthen our economic links to create more jobs, and expand our national security cooperation.
America and Australia’s deep and enduring bond, mutual respect and close co-operation exists today not only because of our history together but because of our similar hopes and dreams for the future ahead.
For those of you in Darwin for ANZAC Day you can see information on Commemoration Events here.
For other cities and states you can find information on services near you here.
There are also many ANZAC Day services and events in the USA so if you’re currently located in America click here
Lest We Forget.
The Slappa’s Team
PS. We are very excited this year to announce that Slappa’s Thongs will soon be available on Amazon.com in the United States of America!
Reflexology is an old technique that aims to increase blood flow to certain parts of the body to relieve pressure and pain. These points, often found on your feet and hands, are connected directly to the body’s glands and organs. Every person’s experience with reflexology is a little bit different.
With reflexology, you may experience cold or hot sensations, the need to breathe deeply, sweating of the hands and feet, tiredness, relaxed muscles, and feeling freed of stress and tension.
You can go to a reflexology therapist to have work done, but you can also do it at home with a partner or yourself.
What better treat this Valentine’s Day than a reflexology foot massage from the one you love? But don’t waste the effect – make sure you wear your Slappa’s to maintain that comfy relaxed feeling. Your feet will love you for it!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Especially in Australia where they become the standard footwear for 90% of the country! In fact, our beloved thongs even make it onto Traveller.com.au’s list of Summer Holidays in Australia: 13 Things That Shock Foreign Visitors where according to them.
We Really Like Wearing Thongs: Yes, thongs. Not flip-flops or jandals. Thongs. Get used to it. And in summer we’ll wear thongs pretty much everywhere. We’ll wear them to the beach, to barbecues, to the cricket, to the pub, to dinner, and to anywhere else we might happen to end up. It’s a stereotype, and it’s kind of daggy, but it’s true. After all, thongs come in handy – you might need to kill a cockroach.
So this month we thought we’d share some of our favourite Aussie Summer Eats, Summer Drinks and Summer Reads with you.
Nothing says Summer in Australia like freshly caught seafood and burgers on the barbie!! Our Summer Eats recipe comes from Bernie Dunn, Denise’s eldest, who is as good as his Mum in the kitchen – see Denise’s Mudcrab Recipe here and Chicken Noodle Veggie Soup Recipe here.
Bernie’s Gourmet Burger Recipe
- Start with good quality mince for your burger patties and add grated zucchini and carrot, some finely chopped onion, cumin and coriander powder. Instead of eggs, bind your patty mixture together with Quinoa Flakes. Finish with salt and pepper.
- Use damp hands to shape your mixture into burger patties and cook on a BBQ for 5 -7 mins each side or until cooked through.
- To serve, use Turkish rolls instead of hamburger buns; it gives it a more gourmet feel. For fillings try caramelised onion, rocket instead of lettuce and finally, Beerenberg “Scotty” Hamburger Relish.
We all know beer and champers are synonymous with an Aussie Summer but we’re mixing it up this year (literally) and trying a new icy-cold cocktail that can be made with or without the alcohol.
Watermelon Spritz Recipe
- Squeeze 6 limes (save two quarters) into a large jug. Top with 1.5kg of watermelon juice and give it a good stir. Place in the fridge until guests arrive. Chill the glasses.
- Just before the guests arrive, run the remaining lime quarters around the rim of each chilled.
- Fill each glass with ice and the pour over the watermelon taking care to restrain the lime wedges from dropping into each glass. Using a sieve or a wooden spoon to help you achieve this. (Add the wedges if you want their green in the glass).
- Garnish with a little plume of mint, a skewer of olives and two cubes of fetta.
Slip, slop, slappa’s on
So that’s our recommendations of the hottest Summer Eats, Drinks and Reads for 2019! Be sure wherever you are and however you’re enjoying your Summer that you Slip, Slop, Slap to avoid sunburn and get your Slappa’s on for amazing arch support whether you’re walking along the beach, stoking the barbie or out and about at the Australian Open.
Like our Facebook Page and Instagram to be kept up to date with all the latest news and events this Australia Day. And don’t forget to sign up to our VIP Newsletter at the bottom of this page
Christmas Competition at Slappa’s Thongs
Slappa’s Thongs has always been a family business; anyone who has come to see us at the Mindil Beach Markets in Darwin or has called past our house in Fannie Bay to pick up a pair while they’re in town will know that we all eat, sleep and breathe Slappa’s Thongs and have tens of pairs each from over the last 8 years. They are the perfect family footwear.
We’ve had so many customers over the years write in to say that they bought their first pair of Slappa’s years ago and since then have ended up loving them so much that their entire family own a pair. We love that Slappa’s are bringing comfort and joy from our family to yours each year and this Christmas we wanted to reward everyone who purchased more than one pair online, be it for themselves or for their family members.
So on the 7th of December we started a competition which runs until midnight on Sunday 16th December and every person who buys 2 or more pairs goes in the draw to WIN a $250 Coles/Myer gift card. To help one lucky family have an extra special Christmas.
Furthermore we’ve made all shipping for 3 pairs of more FREE! Yes Express Shipping (less than 3 business days to your door) is FREE on all orders of 3 pairs or more PLUS you get an extra entry into the Christmas draw.
We can’t wait to draw and announce the winner on Monday 17th December.
We want to thank each and every one of you who has shopped with us online or in-store this year. We wish you the merriest Christmas and the happiest New Year.
All About The New & Improved Slappa’s
You may have seen, read or heard about the “New Slappa’s Thongs” these are a new production run that we have just recently manufactured and they’ll be arriving in most size and colours over the next few weeks.
These new Slappa’s have been years in the making. We have listened to each and every customer’s feedback (good and bad) and worked tirelessly with our manufacturer to ensure our New Slappa’s are the best we’ve ever made.
Slappa’s Thongs are now slightly longer around the toes and a tiny bit wider allowing us to fit even more people into Slappa’s. We have made sure these adjustments only affect the shape of the thongs not the size so you can continue to order the same size as before.
Our final improvement was to the actual EVA material which we now feel we’ve perfected; your Slappa’s will be much softer to start with, not feel as tight, and mould to your feet almost instantly!
They’ve also not got an awesome new tread on the bottom with Slappa’s Thongs branding and are more non-slip perfect for wearing around the pool this Summer.
The New Slappa’s Thongs are available in Navy Blue as well as Mindil Beach Blue and the newly re-stocked Black Army right now online.
Next week they’ll also be available in Black, Black/White and White as well as our NEW Frangipani Pink ——————>
which is similar to, but slightly “fresher” than, our current Magenta Pink. *UPDATE: These are all now available! Shop online now.
By the end of the month we’ll have received a final shipment containing Brown, Black/Purple, Fuschia/Pink and Red. We also have new waterproof beach bags coming in Aqua !
Thongs on! And Merry Christmas!
The Slappa’s Thongs Team
Travelling with Slappa’s
We often receive emails with wonderful feedback from our customers who have been travelling all over the world saying how they were so glad they purchased Slappa’s Thongs before leaving on their trip.
Recently our founder and owner Denise Dunn trekked the Inca Trail and explored the wonders of Machu Picchu in Peru, so we sat down with her to find out how Slappa’s had helped her on this trip of a lifetime and what advice she has for those about to travel…
Q. How long before you left did you start breaking in your Slappa’s ready for the trip?
Denise: My best advice for those buying new Slappa’s Thongs before a trip or holiday is to allow 2 weeks to properly mould into them; especially if you are flying to a hot climate as your feet may possibly swell. Giving your Slappa’s a bit of extra time to mould and stretch will allow them to not feel too tight or give you a blister.
If you plan on doing a lot of walking we all know new footwear can rub so better to break them in for a few weeks especially since your feet are softer having just come out of winter.
On my Peru trip I actually took my old Red Slappa’s which are my favourites and also a new pair of black which I had only worn for a couple of days before I left. My new black are from our new production you will find they will mould to your foot shape almost instantly. We did a lot of testing with the EVA material and have now been able to produce Slappa’s so they will mould quicker.
Q. How many pairs did you take with you?
Denise: I actually had 3 pairs!!! My favourite Red which I find goes with most colours, the new black for our newest production and a new pink colour which we will be launching next month. It was easy to pack three pairs as they are super light and fit easily in any bag. I tend to take a few colours when I go away as it is a great opportunity for me to take some photos in some wonderful holiday spots in my Slappa’s. Yes occasionally I come home with less than I took as there is always someone wanting a pair haha!
I could only take one pair on the actual Inca Trail as we had limited luggage; as you can see later in the photos I chose to take the new pink. We haven’t named this shade/colour yet – perhaps you have a suggestion? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do!
Q. How did Slappa’s help you while you were travelling?
Denise: Travelling in Peru and on the Inca Trail we needed to wear our hiking boots all day and as much as my Scarpa Hiking Boots that I bought from MacPac were super comfy it was always great to let the feet breathe and relax in my Slappa’s. My friends would say the same and in actual fact one of my friends said stuff it I just need to put my Slappa’s on as she just loves the comfort and support she gets all the way to the back.
The new friends we made on the trip were wishing I had a few more pairs for them to wear. They said they would definitely get on the website and order so we should see some orders from London, Belguim and Sydney coming through!
Q. How often did you clean your Slappa’s while away?
Denise: It’s easy to keep your Slappa’s clean while you are away – just wear them in the shower! The other great reason to do this is to protect your feet from contracting any fungal skin infections, especially if using in communal showers.
Keeping Slappa’s clean also reduces the chances of sweating, if you find your feet are sweating in your Slappa’s it’s usually due to a built up of dirt either on your thongs or on your feet (so might be time for a pedicure!)
Q. Tell us about running Slappa’s as a family business and the importance of taking vacations like this one?
Denise: Anyone that owns a small or family business knows how difficult it is to maintain a work/life balance. Especially when you first start out as you really need be hands on in the business so you understand everything that happens; you can see where changes need to be made, learn from your successes and mistakes, and it definitely helps keep expenses down so the business can survive those first crucial years.
As we pack all our online and wholesaler orders ourselves it is really hard for us to be able to coordinate a family holiday together. In the early days if we needed to go away for a few days we would fly up my sister or a friend to keep the orders happening and I would still monitor emails, social media and answer phone calls.
As the business grew we were then able to support employing a part time person to pack the orders which then allowed us to have a quick break away but I still had to do the office work.
Quite often one of us would go away with the kids and the other one stayed home to manage the business. But this was not ideal.
Eight years on and the business turned into a company and we experienced huge growth extremely quickly so we had no choice; we had to employ. This was the best thing we ever did. Though looking back I still think we made the right decision to watch and wait until the time was right and felt comfortable to us.
Now we have amazing staff who are very capable at keeping the business running and in April this year we had our first holiday as a family in 5 years where we didn’t have to work whilst on holidays.
Last year I was asked by my lovely friend if I would like to join her on a once in a lifetime adventure walking the Inca Trail in Peru. This trip broke all my rules of going away in a busy part of the year but to be able to do it I had 12 months to put everything in place and with the help of our great staff and the support of my family I was able to achieve this amazing experience.
As much as I would have loved to have my family with me it was a very healthy decision to go independently, as when your work is based at your home and with your family – in a nice way – we need to have time away from each other, learn to not become dependant on each other and take on responsibilities that you are not used to doing.
The trip has also taught me that the business can still run without me and I quickly learnt it was best not to reply to emails as it sometimes created more work for the staff back at the business. I trusted my staff so just let them look after things.
All in all I had an amazing trip and returned refreshed and renewed just in time for the arrival of our first shipment of new Slappa’s!! Order our new Mindil Beach Blue, Navy and Black Army online today.
The Slappa’s Team
Slappa’s Goes Pink For Breast Cancer
This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a cause close to our hearts we want to take this opportunity to share some information and help raise awareness.
We are excited to announce both our Magenta Pink and Fuschia & Pink Slappa’s will be discounted to $32 for the rest of October and $5 from every sale we will be donating to the National Breast Cancer Foundation!
Important Fact! While the colour “pink” is associated with Breast Cancer because 99% of all sufferers are women – please remember that men can also be diagnosed! Over 140 Australian males were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and 28 men have died from it so far this year already.
From Terminal to Treatable by 2030
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, with eight women dying from the disease every day.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is Australia’s leading national body; they work to fund game-changing breast cancer research that will help detect tumours earlier, improve treatment outcomes and ultimately – save lives.
50 women in Australia are diagnosed every single day but NBCF receive no government funding so they need our support to change the statistics.
How Our Support Helps
This month $5 from every pair of Magenta Pink Slappa’s and Fuschia & Pink Slappa’s will be donated to the NBCF. The money raised goes directly to help them achieve their goal of Zero Deaths by 2030.
When we support NBCF we’re supporting targeted breast cancer research across the spectrum:
Thanks to donations the NBCF have recently awarded $11 million into 20 cancer research projects, supporting a total of 73 Australian researchers.
The Importance of Early Detection
Early detection of breast cancer gives the best possible chance of survival. The earlier an abnormality is found, the greater the number of effective treatment options.
In Australia, free routine mammographic screening is available in each state for women aged 50 to 74 through BreastScreen Australia.
It’s important to know how to check for cancer symptoms. Read the NBCF’s Detection and Screening Methods here.
Friends, Family & Customers
Unfortunately incidence is on the rise – meaning, more mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, friends and families will be impacted.
The Slappa’s Team have a number of family and friends who have been affected by the disease and some have even told us how much Slappa’s have helped with their recovery;
“Hi Denise, thinking of you… the chemo has given me sore joints… mainly legs, feet and hands, after going for a walk this morning everything felt even worse. Just put on my Slappa’s and feel so much better. Thank you ❤️”
We also had a customer purchase 4 pairs of pink Slappa’s for himself after his wife was diagnosed. He was a truckie and vowed to wear pink clothes and shoes as much as possible even at work to spread awareness. What a legend.
Our good friend Michelle Hanton OAM is also a breast cancer survivor and helped found Dragon’s Abreast a national organisation that is celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year.
How Can You Help?
Spread The Word – Help us spread the word about Breast Cancer – share this article, send it to your friends, tell people about it, update your social media
Donate Directly – If you’d like to donate directly NBCF have a donation page on their website. Just visit https://nbcf.org.au/donate/
Volunteer – Volunteers assist NBCF’s business units, events team & promote awareness to the public if you’d like to volunteer visit https://nbcf.org.au/volunteer/
Buy A Pair of Slappa’s! – Spread awareness and help us raise money buy buying a pair of Magenta Pink Slappa’s or Pink & Fuschia Slappa’s
Pink Thongs On!
The Slappa’s Team
Flip Flops On The Runway
We at Slappa’s Thongs have always felt flip flops were catwalk worthy but this year they were officially debuted on the runway at New York Fashion Week!
Marie Clare stylist Monica Russell predicted in July this year;
“According to our fave street style stars the casual footwear once reserved for the dash from the car to the beach has now made it’s way to the fashion circuit!”
Then just this month InStyle’s Senior Digital Fashion Editor, Isabelle Truman, confirmed it in online article. She wrote; “Despite thongs (flip flops, sandals, slip-ons) being a wardrobe staple Down Under, the humble rubber shoe is often reserved for beach days or quick dashes to the supermarket. But when fashion girls Olivia Palermo and the Olsen Twins were spotted wearing flip flops with every day outfits it was clear a trend was born. Of course it was only a matter of time before thongs would hit the runway with Dion Lee taking it upon himself to ensure an Aussie Designer was first.”
We for one are so excited that our fashion-forward footwear are gracing the feet of celebs.
Recreate The Look
With flip flops having made the successful transition from streets to runway we thought we’d take a closer look at the catwalk models and celebrities who are blazing the path and show you how to recreate their style with clothes and accessories from local and online retailers. Enjoy!
The Look: This gorgeous colour-pop look featuring the former fashion faux pas was shown off at Dion Lee’s New York Fashion Week show, where the designer’s spring/summer 2019 collection was revealed to homegrown attendees such as Bambi Northwood-Blyth and Jess Gomes.
To Recreate: Pair a bright blue jacket like this one from ebay.com.au (great options also available from luulla.com and dhgate.com) with a black leather backpack – we love this one from Kate Spade – and a pair of Black Slappa’s Thongs.
The Look: This is another striking look from Dion Lee who said of the collection; “The Australian lifestyle has always been a strong source of inspiration for me. We integrated such a quintessential Australian footwear style in with the overall collection. They are such an iconic Australian look, we loved being able to include them in our NYFW show.”
To Recreate: You’ll need a classic white summery dress such as this gorgeous Chantilly Dress from ShowPo then add a few elegant jewellery pieces like a bracelet or necklace from The Pearl Galleria. Finish with a pair of White Slappa’s Thongs.
The Look: Straight from the streets of New York this funky modern animal print look features bold yellow accessories with a subtle splash of colour in the form of a clutch.
To Recreate: Any eye catching animal print will work; we love this stylish Leopard Print Wrap Front Maxi from The Iconic for example, add a pair of yellow sunglasses, a “moc croc” embossed clutch from Pearl Galleria and pop on a pair of Yellow Slappa‘s to complete the look.
The Look: We love the way fashionista Hillary Duff pulls off this effortless look while out and about in between filming her latest show. Navy is a popular colour this season; try mixing it up with statement pieces in bold colours like red or yellow.
To Recreate: Find a 3/4 sleeve navy dress you love (this one pictured from The Iconic) then add a black oversize crocodile bag like this one from David Jones. Finish with a pair of Navy Slappa’s.
No matter where you’re headed this Spring/Summer season slip on a pair of Slappa’s and make every street your own personal runway!
And don’t forget all orders over $100 get FREE express post shipping Australia wide.
After the success of My Magnificent Chilli Mud Crab recipe I thought I’d share one of the easiest recipes, an all time favourite with all my family and something to warm up your tootsies in winter.
Growing up in a family with 8 kids you soon learnt a few survival tricks and one of these was to be able to cook. Perhaps this is why most of my family are all great cooks in our own special way.
As much as I love foods of today I have a soft spot for good old home cooked country style food.
My Mum always had a veggie garden and we had many fruit trees. Being on a farm we also had free range cows milk, eggs, chickens, cows, sheep and pigs. Not a bad pantry to have on hand and fresh ingredients at your door step.
I loved watching my Mum cook and it was the best way to learn. My mum did give us recipes however we all learnt to cook most dishes without one, as most of the time the recipes had to be doubled to feed our family.
Fridays were our opportunity to display our talents in the kitchen, it was Mum’s night off! Plus you never knew who was going to be home and how many people would turn up. One of my all time favourite dishes to whip up was chicken noodle veggie soup. The beauty of it is you can use whatever vegies you have and you can use cooked chicken or any part of the chicken.
This recipe is plenty for 4 people and left overs for the next day.
For the best result and if you have time make your own chicken stock from chicken carcass:
- Chicken carcass and skin (Free range if affordable or available)
- 1 large onion cut in quarters
- whole celery stick leaves and all
- 2 x carrots cut in halves
- salt and pepper to taste
Step One: Put all ingredients into a large stock pot and cover with water.
Step Two: Bring to boil and then reduce heat to simmer partially covered for 2-4 hours.
Step Three: Skim off any foam that comes to the surface.
Step Four: Remove carcass and vegetables with a slotted spoon and then strain through a fine sieve.
You now have your stock base!
My Family Favourite Chicken Noodle Veggie Soup Recipe
- 2-3 chicken breast or thighs
- 3-4 litres Chicken stock (if you didn’t make your own stock you can use premade stock in the tetra packs or make stock from stock cubes or use 3-4 packets of chicken noodle soup mix)
- 1-2 onions
- 4-6 carrots peeled
- 1-2 each of turnips, parsnips, swedes
- 2-3 sticks of celery, keep the leaves or if you want stronger celery flavour use the ends
- Dry noodles or fresh noodles
- salt & pepper
You can use any vegies but the root vegies do taste best. I sometimes other vegies such as broccoli, zucchini, snow peas, red capsicum. Or just use up what is in your fridge or the veggies you like.
Step One: Chop chicken and veggies – if making as a main meal I chop chicken and veggies chunky, if as a starter then chop finer.
Step Two: Place stock into stock pot.
Step Three: Add veggies, (save the celery leaves we will add later), salt and pepper. If using softer vegies add when almost cooked so they don’t become too mushy.
Step Four: Bring to boil and add chopped chicken and noodles then reduce heat to a simmer. Keep cooking until chicken and noodles are cooked and make sure veggies don’t get too soft.
Step Five: Taste to see if you need to add more salt, pepper or chicken stock.
Step Six: If adding broccoli, snow peas, capsicum or zucchini they just need to be added at the end for 2-3 minutes. Finely chop the celery leaves and add with soft vegies.
Your soup should now be ready to eat! Serve as is or with buttered toast to dip.
A quick, healthy, hearty meal that all the family will love. Recipe can be changed to suit your families tastes. You can also use low salt stock.
You can also make this soup Asian style by adding fresh chilli, chopped coriander, spring onions and whisking in a beaten egg.
For an Italian version add red kidney beans, lentils or chickpeas, chunks of potato and replace the noodles with pasta.
I hope you enjoy as much as we do.
July is racing carnival time in Darwin and it’s one of our favourite times to get dressed up and head out with friends; no matter where you’re headed this Dry Season never leave home without a pair of Slappa’s in your bag!
Or accept our challenge to get “crafty” and you’ll never need to take them off at all…
Dress To Impress
We all loved to get dolled up from time to time and head out with our besties. There’s no shortage of places to go for a fun day out in Darwin in July, especially at the Darwin Turf Club; where there’s Darwin Cup Carnival events nearly every weekend! Other Dry Season events include the recent Dîner en Blanc and upcoming Darwin Festival.
If you’re looking to dress to impress at events like these there’s no better places to visit than The Peal Galleria and Maria Koko Designs who will ensure you have the most en pointe outfit of the day/night!
The Pearl Galleria is home to one of the outstanding designers of jewellery sculpted from precious metals and pearls By Gaynor Beck and is located on the Darwin Waterfront. Maria Koko Designs are handmade to complete your race day headwear and she also design and makes bridal bouquets, bouttonniers and corsages.
Getting Race Day Ready
Of course with all the fun days out, beautiful new dresses, hats and fascinators come the gorgeous, agonisingly high heels which can leave your feet and arches aching for days afterwards!
We always recommend carrying a pair of Slappa’s Thongs in your handbag or purse for the end of the night but who says when you swap out your heels it has to be a step down?! (pardon the pun!)
Here’s a few great ways you can jazz up your Slappa’s Thongs and make sure they hold up your outfit this race season.
Jazzing Up Your Slappa’s
With some well-placed double sided tape, ribbons, lace, buttons and even stick-on pearls your Slappa’s can earn pride of place on your feet at the end of the night. You won’t even need those expensive heels that will only bring you pain – you’ll be the envy of everyone at the party for your glam but pain-less idea!
All of the below are non-permanent additions to a pair of Black, White and Red Slappa’s. Once you’ve picked the dress you’ll be wearing to your event just head to the Craft section of a Spotlight or Lincraft store and get creative; you can find items to match any style and colour!
For a more permanent version of your design you can use PVA glue to help your lace, ribbon or buttons stay in place, but please note these may leave marks when removing, so only do this if you want the changes to be permanent.
Have an event coming up? There’s no better time to buy a pair (or 4) of Slappa’s Thongs as we are offering FREE Express Shipping on all orders until the end of July!
Shop Slappa’s Thongs Now!
While peak wedding season for most of Australia is between November – March, here in Darwin the majority of couples choose to tie the knot during dry season which is May – October so in the spirit of all things LOVE we thought we’d talk a little about getting married in Darwin…
Getting Married in Darwin
Darwin is the perfect place to get married; it’s unique, spectacular locations ensure your day will be one to remember forever. Dry season weddings are usually outdoors where guests can soak up the beautiful tropical landscapes. Here are just a few of the stunning venues available in Darwin to get married:
- The Darwin Botanic Gardens
- SKYCITY Darwin
- Darwin FreeSpirit Resort
- The Darwin Ski Club
- Darwin Trailer Boat Club
- Pee Wee’s at the Point
- Darwin Harbour Cruises
Darwin weddings have an unmistakable relaxed, warm vibe and tend to be more casual. For example an invitation we received for a July wedding at the Darwin Ski Club stated: “The celebrations will be outdoors, on grass, we therefore ask for smart casual dress thongs as the minimum standard”
If you’re looking for a place in Darwin to get your wedding rings, bridal gifts or jewellery you must visit our fabulous stockist Pearl Galleria who has the most unique and beautifully custom rings.
Of course, this season will also be the first since the Marriage Equality amendment to the Marriage Act so we’ll be seeing all those Marriage Certificates with the updated “Signature of Parties” replacing “Bride and Groom”. Awesome!
There are few things you definitely want to have with you in your ‘Wedding Day Kit’ for the big day. These include:
- Mini sewing kit with scissors, needles, thread, buttons, and safety pins: For those “make it work” moments.
- Baby powder: Hot summer days, crowded prep rooms, and nerves can all lead to sweat. A little moisture-absorbing baby powder never goes astray.
- Cotton tips & makeup remover: Eyeliner mistakes happen. But they don’t have to stick around.
- Tissues: For those happy tears (and any accidental eye pokes with mascara wands).
- Mini first aid kit think Band-Aids and Panadol
- Super Glue: For fixing shoes, nails, jewelry, head pieces, and more.
- White chalk: If something gets on the wedding dress and it just won’t come out, you can usually mask the stain with chalk. No one will be any the wiser.
- Portable phone charger(s):Make sure they’re charged! This will be your lifesaver if your phones about to die and you haven’t told the caterer where to put the cake.
- Hair elastics and bobby pins: You can never have too many on hand. (Add hairspray and a comb/brush while you’re at it.)
- Alcohol: When all else fails, a little liquid courage is the ultimate backup. Have a couple airplane bottles handy… just in case.
- Slappa’s Thongs: At the end of the night when your feet are killing you and you just want to DANCE you’ll be so grateful you slipped a pair of arch-support thongs into your bag trust us!
We’ve had some wonderful comments, feedback and messages over the years from brides saying how they snuck their Slappa’s into their wedding bag and ended up slipping them on under their dress at the end of the night. It’s a great idea for Mum’s and Bridesmaids to think to do this too!
Of course they’re an absolute must for the Honeymoon as well – “his and hers” Slappa’s are just perfect for travelling – they’re super lightweight, easy to clean and you can wear them anywhere!
There’s nothing we love more than attending the weddings of family and friends – witnessing the happiness and getting to be a part of the infectious joy of those around us. Last week we saw our dear nephew Troy wed the beautiful Ange and we had a blast. It brought back many memories of when Roger and I got married 22 years ago – how far we’ve come since then!
Top End Wedding
We’re not the only ones who love a good Darwin wedding! In fact a Feature Film called Top End Wedding is being released early next year staring Miranda Tapsell from The Sapphires. According to Screen Australia “The hilarious and heart-warming comedy is the story of successful Sydney lawyer, Lauren, and her fiancé Ned. Engaged and in love, they have just 10 days to find Lauren’s mother who has gone AWOL somewhere in the Northern Territory, reunite her parents and pull off their dream Top End Wedding.” We can’t wait to see it!
To all those couples getting married this season CONGRATULATIONS. Enjoy every minute of your big day and never forget that when you’re standing in front of the one you love, all the other details fade away.
National Family Week
This week is National Family Week in Australia; an annual celebration of families that aims to recognise and appreciate the vital role that families play in Australian society. They ask us to take time this week to reflect on the critical role that families play in teaching, supporting and nurturing children, especially as they grow.
Since Slappa’s Thongs is a proud family owned and run business, I thought I’d take time this week to do just that; reflect on how our family unit supports and encourages each other and those in our community.
A Family Business
Our family consists of myself (Denise), my husband Roger, and our two children Bernie (13) and Kaylee (11). Then there’s our gorgeous little daschund Frankie who is nearly 8 now.
When I first started Slappa’s Thongs I never imagined how much a part of the family it would become, but over the years it has not only played an integral part in our family’s livelihood but in our growth as individuals and a family unit.
It began in 2010 with me juggling a new business and two small children. By 2015 the business and workload had grown so much that Roger joined the company full-time as well. And as they got older Bernie and Kaylee began helping out in small ways to earn a bit of pocket money, usually so they could save up and buy things for their bike.
Even our doggie Frankie joined the crew as head of security!!!
Bernie and Kaylee are now on the payroll working a few hours a week learning how the business runs, getting vital skills and understanding how employment works.
They both now have their own Tax File Number which will be with them for life. They are learning how to fill in a time book, read their payslip and best of all learning how to save their money. The biggest learning curve for them both is the commitment they need to make, being responsible, time management, making sure they do the job efficiently and correctly.
They really enjoy being a part of the business and we love being able to share the ups and downs with them and provide so many opportunities to grow and learn. In fact we’ve often found that they are even able to teach us a few things!
It’s a great feeling having us all involved and working towards a common goal making it truly a “family business”.
Our Family And The Cycling Community
As a family we all love cycling. We all ride socially and race road and mountain bikes. Cycling is our way of doing something together, exercising and having fun. We have all made many new friends and our cycling groups are like one big extended family.
Now that the kids are older and at competition age it’s become quite common for us to travel for cycling and the kids race interstate a few times a year. Recently we had a family holiday in Queensland to see the Track Cycling at the Commonwealth Games it was extremely exciting and the kids learnt a lot from watching the athletes from all other Commonwealth countries.
Last year, Roger participated in the Tour de Timor which was a gruelling race through East Timor mountains. Roger needed to train 4-5 times a week for 12 months to be fit enough to compete. As a family we needed to make some allowances so he had the time to be able to work and get his training done. While he was there he donated hundreds of Slappa’s Thongs to Encouragement House.
The Cycling community is a fantastic group to be involved with and it is great for us to know the kids will be looked after well when they go away for racing. Bernie (aged 13) competed in a Road Race in the Barossa Valley, South Australia this April. It was the first time he had flown on his own, and he handled it very well. A lovely family in Adelaide picked him up from the airport and he stayed with them for the 4 days of competition. They made him feel like one of their family and made sure he felt comfortable and supported. As a mother it meant a lot to me that my son was being well cared for while away from his family. It was a good opportunity for him to learn to do things on his own without Mum and Dad’s help. These trips have definitely boosted his confidence and prepared him for when he leaves home for work or further studies.
My family’s next challenge will be to help me make time to train for the Katherine to Darwin Ride I am doing soon! And in October I will be walking the Inca Trail in Peru.
Teaching Family Values
Growing up in a big family and in a country town my parents always had extra kids staying over and they were always the first ones to put up their hands to take someone in.
Roger and I have always done the same and have offered a place to stay for many people over the years (include Terra Roams; the first woman to walk solo and unsupported around Australia, and 18 year old Jack Totino; who rode around Australia in 2017 raising money for FightMND).
We’ve made some amazing friends doing this and it gave us an opportunity to instil the value of helping others in Bernie and Kaylee too.
National Families Week is a time to celebrate with your family, make contact with your extended family and friends, and share in the enjoyment of family activities within the wider community. It is a time to celebrate the meaning of family and to make the most of family life.
Take some time this week to reflect on your family. Thank you for reading about mine.
The opening night of Mindil Beach Sunset Markets 2018 Season is fast approaching! Slappa’s Thongs can’t wait to be back where it all began for us 8 years ago and we thought we’d share some interesting history and facts about the iconic markets that have long been the heart of Darwin’s dry season .
Where it all began
During the mid 80s, six entrepreneurs shared their vision to bring a taste of Asia’s night markets to the tropical town of Darwin
In 1987 their vision became a reality as the first stalls set up shop in Darwin Mall. It wasn’t long before the city’s mainstream retailers began voicing their objections so the market moved to its new home under the coconut palms of Mindil Beach Reserve; and so the iconic Mindil Beach Sunset Market was officially born!
A modern day market
Today, Mindil Beach Sunset Market supports over 300 small businesses, provides employment for more than 1000 locals and contributes more than $15 million to the Northern Territory economy annually. Committed to preserving the natural environment, plastics bags are banned, and extensive recycling and environmental sustainability measures are in place across all aspects of the markets.
Their motto is to LIVE THE LIFESTYLE. To give each and every visitor a taste of the carefree, relaxed, creative lifestyle that typifies Darwin – especially once the sun sets in the dry season and everyone comes out to play.
Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a truly iconic and unforgettable experience. As Darwin’s number one, most visited attraction it has won numerous awards for tourism, multiculturalism and was officially accorded national icon status by the National Trust in 2000.
Slappa’s at Mindil Beach
Mindil Beach Markets was the perfect place to launch Slappa’s Thongs back in June 2010. Coming into our 8th year our customers keep coming back for more and bringing their family and friends with them. We never tire of hearing how our customers have traveled long distances to Darwin to see us and enjoy the market experience.
And the experience only gets better each year; we have watched not just our own business grow but many stall holders around us go from tiny stalls to international brands and products. We get excited every year to see what our “market family” have been up to. We’re blessed to be in such good company with businesses like Embella, Natural Wonders, OM Designs, Louise Denton, Psycus, Mick’s Whips, Ken’s Crepes, Roast Shack, Sprial Spuds, The Potato Man, The Roadkill Café, and Wow! Sushi Burger.
A great place to pick up some food and sit and watch the beautiful sunset, listen or watch talented local, interstate and overseas performers the Mindil Beach Markets run from 26th April to 26th October 2018.
You will find us down the High School End along the main drag near the community strip. We are easily spotted with our bright coloured Thongs, operating out of our very cool VW kombi van.
We hope to see you there!
As a lot of you know Roger and I are married and we also work together every day in the business. It’s always been very hard for us to organise any kind of time away – let alone a special holiday without the kids!
But this time last year Roger and I set sail in the Kimberley for 10 full days. We unplugged ourselves from the world and our business; no internet, no phones, no kids, no dogs. It was just us with 5 couples, 5 crew members, and no one else for miles.
Pure bliss! For 10 days we didn’t have a care in the world.
Roger and I had been dreaming of taking this kind of holiday for about 20 years. Last year was the perfect time for it too as 2017 marked our 21st Wedding Anniversary and it was also Roger’s 50th Birthday.
Life is too short to not make things happen as you never know how long you have. I always try to live my life to the fullest and encourage my family to do the same. I was adamant to make this holiday dream a reality.
Planning Our Getaway
While the holiday itself was an absolute dream, the logistics for it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to organise. There was so much to think about and put in place.
I managed to get friends to look after the business; pack the orders and make sure the social media was taken care of. Unfortunately, we didn’t have anyone to look after the kids, so I arranged an au pair.
I needed to create a very precise list of instructions for each person to follow. I had to make sure the au pair understood all her tasks (make sure the kids were fed, got enough sleep and went to school). On top of that, I also needed to organise people to take the kids to their sporting activities and others to check in periodically on the kids and au pair. Frankie needed to be checked up on and simple tasks like putting the bins out needed to be included on a list – otherwise I might have come home to a pile of rubbish.
It was so stressful making sure everything was in order, because of course as soon as we stepped on the boat there would be no phone or internet.
The Joys of Being Unplugged
One of the best parts of the whole trip was being unplugged, which really allowed us to enjoy our time. It was so nice to just kick back, hang out with some great friends and take time to make new friends along the way.
When we arrived on the boat it took me a few days to really get into it. I had to get my sea legs and really work at not worrying about things back home. But once I was able to relax it was the best feeling.
The whole trip was filled with laughter, great food (Oh my gosh, the food!) and spectacular scenery which made for terrific photo opportunities. A record Wet Season in the Kimberley meant that the waterfalls were bigger than ever. You might think we’d get tired of seeing waterfalls but not one of us did. Honestly, it was so much better than I ever dreamed it could be.
The Importance of Making Time
Making time for your own needs and taking time away from the business are crucial parts of running a successful business.
Of course, this is often easier said than done.
But if you work long hours day in and day out and you let yourself get overtired then you’re only going to hurt your business in the long run.
If you let yourself get overworked you’re going to see negative effects such as a loss of productivity. You’re going to have trouble thinking clearly and run the risk of making mistakes or wrong decisions. You’ll also run the chance of being less than helpful/pleasant to your customers and worst of all you probably won’t even notice it.
Everything will go on without you
I remember at the end when asked: “what was the best thing about the trip?” I wasn’t able to reply, I was just so emotional. I could not believe we had managed to do it! The moment we were in range I called the kids and was so relieved to find out it was as if we’d never left.
It was such a relief to realise I had nothing to worry about. We are truly so blessed to have such great friends and family that we were able to call on. It really taught me that there’s nothing wrong with needing help or asking for a favour; people are often more than happy to help.
For Roger and I that trip was a necessity. After we got back I was able to see just how much we’d needed a holiday. Before we left we were physically exhausted and had been putting our work ahead of our health.
What I learnt once we got home was that didn’t need to be the case – everyone could cope without us. So if you’re going to take one thing away from this blog let it be this; don’t wait for special birthdays or anniversaries or when you can afford the dream holiday, take a break when you need it.
I started Slappa’s so that I could learn, be successful in my own right and gain a little flexibility to allow me to spend quality time with my kids and my husband. I’ll make sure that I don’t leave it so long before our next getaway!
P.S. I highly recommend a trip to the Kimberley there are a number of ways to do it. We chose to sail with The Lady M Kimberley Cruises. Matt & Dylan, the owners and skippers of the boat, along with their staff, deliver a world-class cruise and are fantastic hosts.
Last year I did a special blog to give you a sneak peek behind the scenes, talking about the production of Slappa’s and my choice to have them produced in China.
Doing business with China means entering a totally different world, and it’s one I have been a part of for the last 8 years.
It’s been a very steep and interesting learning curve for me! And one of the biggest hurdles was coming to understand our cultural differences.
Tomorrow, 16th February heralds in the Chinese New Year of the Dog, and in Australia, our Chinese community does offer some wonderful celebrations. Being in Darwin we’re blessed to have the Chung Wah Society that promotes Chinese culture, including the traditional blessings of the homes and shops, exchange of red packets along with lion and dragon dancers.
However, it was only when I started to manufacture Slappa’s in China that I realised the enormity of the festival. Understanding the impact of Chinese festivals is essential to planning the production of Slappa’s – and I have been caught short a few times!
Chinese New Year is HUGE.
It’s the most important holiday in China. The factory where I manufacture closes down for a month and all the workers travel back to their villages to celebrate with family.
It’s a compulsory government holiday and in some factories, even the electricity gets turned off so production has to stop and everyone gets to go on holiday.
This of course means over the years Chinese New Year has become one of the most important dates on my calendar. In order to provide timely orders and keep stock to date, it has to be!
So as Chinese New Year is upon us, I wish you gong hei fat choy.
P.S. This is the Year of the Dog – if you want to look up your Chinese Zodiac year you can find it here.
The holiday season has passed for the moment, what a relief! Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with the family and enjoying the Christmas and New Year celebrations. But, it’s a bit overwhelming at times and I’m eager to get back into the business.
Of course, that said, there is another Public Holiday on the horizon and it’s a biggie….
Being an Aussie girl, born and raised I love enjoying a good Australia Day Barbecue and time at the beach. And, I also love that while it’s a big day it isn’t a break-the-bank holiday, it’s a simple holiday about coming together as a community.
Sure, it’s about National Pride but more than that Australia Day is about embracing our differences. And, nowhere in Australia is that more evident than in Darwin!
Call it bias, but in my opinion, Darwin is Australia’s best melting pot. Sure, we don’t have a China Town like most other Australian Capital Cities do but we do have a huge array of markets. In Darwin you can find a number of restaurants, you can eat food from a different culture every night if you want – it’s amazing!
That intercultural experience of people coming together, no matter their difference in background – that’s what Australia Day is all about to me.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi
As an Australian Business Owner, it’s important to me to support my fellow Australians when I can. However, as an Australian, I also believe it’s important to embrace what the world has to offer, which is why Slappa’s are manufactured in China (check out the Glimpse Behind the Scenes Blog).
Working the local Mindil Beach Markets every Dry Season, I know that no matter a person’s cultural background they can be exemplary. There are stallholders from a variety of backgrounds at the markets and they all do an amazing job. Of course, as far as I see it they’re all just like me- Australian Business Owners.
Celebrating Australia Day
Now for this Australia Day, I fully intend on enjoying time at the beach (unless it rains). But, mostly I look forward to getting together with everyone and celebrating what makes our country great.
No matter where you are from, I hope you have a terrific Australia Day. And, for those Aussies travelling abroad, I hope you enjoy your Australia Day too.
Summer is in full swing, the holiday season is upon us, and it’s definitely the season for thongs!
Here in Darwin, we’re hoping for a dry Christmas but we’ll still have fun even if it does rain.
I’ll admit, sometimes I’m a bit of a bah-humbug over the holiday. But, it does give me extra time with the family and for that reason alone I cherish this annual holiday.
Tradition, Tradition, Tradition
In our household, we’re very ordinary in our celebrations. We’ll celebrate with friends and/or family, whoever is around.
The kids leave out beer and biscuits for Father Christmas plus some carrots for the reindeer. In fact, that’s probably one of the only things out of the usual we do – we never call him Santa, no in our household it’s strictly Father Christmas.
On Christmas morning Roger and I usually end up having to wake the kids. Yes, it’s amazing – they must be the only kids that ever sleep in on Christmas!
A cricket game outside and enjoying some quality time in the pool is all the typical norm on Christmas Day in the Dunn household.
What’s your Christmas tradition? Anything out of the ordinary?
It’s the thought that counts
For presents, we like to do a blind Kris Kringle with our adult family and friends. Everyone buys something that is unisex, usually, the budget is between $30-$50, and all the gifts go under the tree.
On Christmas Day your name gets drawn out of a hat and you pick out a present. It adds a little fun and excitement because you never know what you’ll get.
For Mum and Dad, who are both 80 years old, we deposit money into their bank account. This allows them to buy themselves some nice seafood which they actually appreciate more than a gift.
Of course, we buy the kids individual gifts as they are all different ages! But, for the most part, it isn’t about the gifts. Truly the best gift of all is just getting to be together for the holiday.
Food for Thought
As for the big feast, we do it the Aussie way. A nice variety of seafood; oysters, prawns and smoked salmon, as well as a lovely roast ham. For those of you from outside Australia I’m sure it’s a little different, but this time of year the seafood here is at its best.
My mum, of course, loves to keep up the tradition and always makes a Christmas pudding. She even puts the old money in it; threepence, pennies, shillings and sixpence.
For us, Christmas is about gratitude and generosity, being with our family and enjoying time together.
What kind of thong-ventures are you planning this Christmas? I’d love you to share on our Facebook page how you celebrate.
PS – Order your Slappa’s Thongs online – choose from our fabulous range of colours to suit every member of the family.
We’re halfway through November, and that means December is fast approaching so I’ve got one thing on my mind – gifts!
Gift shopping is a fun activity for me. I know it can be troublesome and stressful but it’s a great way to focus on those who mean the world to us.
Every year I like to get my family gifts I think they’ll love because I love them.
Ghosts of Giftmas Past
These days it can seem like the only point to the holidays is gifts, which of course is completely untrue.
Gifts are just a small part of Christmas, but they’re a great way to embrace the spirit of the holiday and show appreciation for those around us.
One of the most memorable gifts I ever received is Frankie. He’s my extra-adorable dachshund and was actually a gift for the whole family. We love him to bits and he’s very much part of Team Slappa’s.
Hot Tips for gift buying
Over the years I’ve perfected my knack for gift shopping, working out the best ways to buy great gifts for everyone without going over budget. This skill has served me well considering every year we celebrate with friends and family, doing a bit of a blind Kris Kringle.
So, if you dread gift shopping I have some tips on how to be a great gift buyer:
- Know your audience – if it’s for close family or friends think about what they like. If it’s for a work Kris Kringle and you don’t know the person well try asking other co-workers about what they’re getting. If you really can’t come up with any ideas go for something practical; headphones, diary planners, coffee mugs, or in a pinch chocolates.
- Set yourself a budget – for each person you’re buying for, set yourself a specific budget. It doesn’t have to be the same amount for each person, but it will help restrict your spending and keep you focused.
- Start a present box – this is one of my favourites because it can be used for any occasion. Not just at Christmas time. The basic principle is to keep a big box that’s filled with possible gifts. Gifts can be small knick-knacks or fantastic items. You don’t have to splurge on filling the box either. The idea is to just fill it slowly over time. If there’s a great deal on buying multiples of an item you’re already getting then take advantage of that and place the extra into the box.
- Remember “it’s the thought that counts” – At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you got someone the perfect gift, what matters is you were thinking of them.
PS – Remember, a pair of Slappa’s also makes a great gift for anyone 😉
August in the Top End is always awesome!
I thought I’d share some of the amazing awesomeness that the Dunn family get up to at this time of year …
You probably know that our whole family is bonkers about bike riding.
What’s really special, is when you’re riding for a close-to-your-heart cause.
Earlier this month, it was a pleasure to welcome an inspiring young man to Darwin and into our home.
Jack Totino, began his bike ride around Australia (including Tasmania) on February 26th, 2017 to raise awareness and funds for The Cure For MND Foundation. His valiant ride is motivated by his friend Saverino’s father, John, who lost a 3 year battle with Motor Neurone Disease in 2014.
At the time of reaching Darwin, Jack had raised $45,000 for the foundation Fight MND. We were delighted to be able to put him up while he took a few days of well deserved of rest in Darwin.
Check out his Facebook page and if you’d like to support him and this important cause too, you’ll find the details here.
Top End Gran Fondo
On the 20th we’ll be taking to our bikes too, to join this competition for the first time as a family.
Gran Fondo, which means “big endurance”, is a tradition in the Italian cycling world and in the Top End this an annual event on the Australian cycling calendar.
We’re pretty excited to be participating and to have the chance to ride through some of our stunning NT landscape.
We’ll be needing to slip on our Slappa’s after this long-distance bike challenge!
You can still register if you’re quick.
Tour de Timor
We’ll also be sending over our Slappa’s for the Tour de Timor five day race.
There are about 50 riders from Darwin registered and Roger (aka my husband) will be representing Team Slappa’s and proudly distributing approximately 600 pairs of FREE Slappa’s to the Timorese people.
Definitely going to need some thong therapy for that one!
The race mission statement is “Timor-Leste-ASEAN Peace Bridge” – another great cause, I reckon.
There’ll be racers from every ASEAN nation, including us Aussies, in Timor next month.
Slappa’s Slappa’s Slappa’s, Oi Oi Oi!
If biking isn’t your thing, then maybe we’ll see you at this fantastic 18-day festival.
Another chance for us Territorians to show off the spirit of the NT in a celebration of music, theatre, visual art, dance, cabaret, delicious food and drink stalls, with free performances Festival Park.
Did you know that this annual event started up due to Cyclone Tracy’s devastation of Darwin Christmas Eve 1974?
Things were so bad in the aftermath that abandoning the city was a real possibility. Thankfully, enough Territorians had the grit to rebuild Darwin. Now that’s worth a huge festive celebration, isn’t it?
Whatever you’re up to this month, remember …
Work life balance is very important to me. My passion is my family, friends and Frank, my dog – you’ve seen him starring in our 7th birthday video.
Life changed for our family when I took a simple idea – thongs with arch support – and built it into a successful business that now allows our family to have financial freedom.
I had a young family at home when I decided to chase my dream of being my own boss. Who knew that starting a market stall would become our livelihood. A family business that is now employing both myself and my husband full time.
Adapting to new roles
My husband became Mr Mum combining looking after the kids, working part time and making sure we got through every day. My children had to learn to adapt to Mum not always being home.
We have managed to bring our children up with no childcare or grandparents (as they live 3000km away) which doesn’t give you much time to yourself, but these are the things you need to do and hey, there are many families doing just the same.
Self-care is a priority
Walking Frank each morning is great exercise and my thinking time.
As a family, we go bike riding every week and we now all ride competitively. I’m actively involved in the Darwin Cycling Club and Cycling NT as a Board Member and Team Manager for Junior Development.
Although life is not without its challenges, I consider myself to have been very fortunate and so always seek to pay it forward; to give back wherever and whenever possible. Community spirit is very important to our business and our family.
My recipe for success
Learning to be patient, planning your vision and following your business plan is a great way to achieve the growth of the business while also maintaining your sanity at home.
Through sport and business, we’ve learnt that as a team, we can achieve so much more when we are all pulling together for a common goal. Each has a part to play in reaching the goal and then we all get to celebrate the win together. The same goes for your family, no teamwork means there’s no win to celebrate.
In both business and family life, we need to encourage and develop each other to achieve their own potential. This is best done by listening, setting clear expectations, providing the tools and then trusting your team to get on with the job or your family to maintain a normal and healthy lifestyle.
The proof is in the pudding
I now have the social (and financial) proof that my careful and methodical approach was not only strategic but highly successful for my business whilst maintaining a good family bond.
Sharing my business journey via the Telstra Business Women’s Awards was about showing other women that they can achieve whatever they set out to do, and without sacrificing their family life (most of the time).
It hasn’t all been rosy but it was what we decided was best for our family and we have been successful.
I am a woman who had no tertiary education, experience or expertise in manufacturing and importing. I can now say I have fulfilled my dream and become a successful Entrepreneur or Mompreneur.
Life Rewards The Courageous
This is the time of year the Northern Territory starts to bloom. The Wet Season has ended and the Dry is in full swing. Darwin is lush and full of life, kicking off with heaps of happening, fun stuff in July. Making it the perfect time, especially for those of you who don’t live in Darwin, to come on up and see the sights.
I’m giving you the heads up in June so you’ve still got time to slap on your Slappa’s and hoof our way 😊. Because if there’s one thing I know (other than fantastic thong-wear), it’s Darwin! So, for a Slappa’s Good Time, check this out …
We’re known in the Top End for being a pretty cruisy crowd. There’s nowhere I’m going to tell you about, that you can’t jump in and enjoy wearing your favourite thongs. Seriously, we invented the phrase laid back up here! So, when I say you can have a Slappa’s Good Time, I mean it, literally.
Magical Mindil Beach Sunset Market
This market is iconic and will be in full swing by July. It’s a favourite spot with Territorians and visitors alike. There really is something for everyone: fantastic food, tropical refreshments, world class stalls selling everything from art to thongs.
Guess who’ll be there with her Slappa’s Thongs? Be sure to pop by and say hi. I’d love to meet you! Plus, I’ll have some thrilling new thong colours arriving, as well as many of our classics.
What makes Mindil so magical is the location right on the beach. You can watch the sensational sunset, before browsing and basking in the cooler evening atmosphere on a Thursday and Sunday evening.
Get there early to bag a perfect sundowner spot for you and your esky; kick back and enjoy happy hour on the beach. It’s BYO only; no alcohol is sold at Mindil.
If you can’t make it down early, you can pre-book a VIP area. The Mindil team will set up a private area with tables, chairs and an esky with ice, that overlooks the beach and markets. VIP areas are $15 per head (or a little more per head if you want to arrange some added extras).
Slappa’s Go Bush
One thing my family loves, is the treasure trove of breathtaking natural beauty and our rich indigenous culture.
The Dry is the time to head out to some of these world-famous beauty spots, which are often impassable during the worst of our Wet Season. Stunning waterways, crystal-clear rock pools and spectacular waterfalls are all begging to be explored in places such as Kakadu, Litchfield and Katherine Gorge. There are many other equally gorgeous destinations you can visit from Darwin.
Slappa’s Sensational July recommendations
Territory Day on July 1st marks the Northern Territory’s anniversary of self-government.
The occasion is marked all across the Territory with fireworks displays, concerts and celebratory events.
If you happen to visit Mindil Beach Markets on Territory Day, you’ll enjoy a fantastic fireworks display, lighting up the Timor Sea. Truly magical!
The Beer Can Regatta has been hosted by The Lions Club since 1974. You don’t want to miss this hilarious, unique, utterly Territorian experience!
Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like watching as these beer-can-crafts (soda cans for the minors) are tested on the water. It’s a day for everyone and always draws a big crowd to Mindil Beach. Check out the video clips on their site – they put the F in Fun!
There’s more than just testing these preciously crafted vessels involved; you can always get involved in portage races, kayak races, sandcastle comps, iron man events and take part in some of the silly competitions – like thong-throwing! A special activity sponsored by Slappa’s Thongs. 😉
Come join us Sunday 9th July 2017
10am to 5pm Mindil Beach, Darwin.
Most Mindil Beach Sunset Market stalls will be set for the whole day.
Get your formal thongs on for Darwin Cup Carnival
Whilst we love our (sometimes) capsizing beer-can-vessels, beach and bush activities, we’ve got our classy side.
This is Darwin – of course, we have formal thong-wear!
If you want to get really dressed up and feel quite posh then why not spend a day at the horse races? There’s heaps happening and a great opportunity for posh-frocking. Ladies Day is an awesome day to dress up in your killer heels and dress-to-die-for. And when those heels start killing your still fun-fueled feet, swap them out for a pair of colour coordinated Slappa’s Thongs.
What’s more fun than spending the day with your besties, enjoying a flutter, admiring the fashions, dancing and drinking bubbles (a little too much for some)?
Part of the carnival celebrations is The Darwin Cup Ball, the biggest outdoor ball in the southern hemisphere, an opportune event for rubbing shoulders with celebs. And the very last event of the carnival is, of course, The Darwin Cup which is always held on the 1st Monday of August, so if you’re in Darwin then make sure you don’t miss it!
Slappa’s Lounging About
Now Darwin can involve a lot of stimulating activity, but if you prefer to just kick back and relax…
Then have I got the perfect Darwin activity for you!
The Deckchair Cinema is open 7-days a week, with the box office open from 6pm. It’s the perfect opportunity to just chillax, sit beneath the stars and soak up some cinematic sensation.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg, of ways to enjoy tropical Darwin and our stunning surrounds in the Dry.
Did I mention the other good thing is you can be comfortable and wear thongs (preferably Slappa’s) at all these events? (Yeah, I know I did 😉).
And there’s more. A lot more! Don’t take my word for it. Check it out for yourself at the Tourism Top End Site.
I am a huge supporter of Australian made, both clothing, footwear and produce for the table.
From when I first started buying my own clothes and footwear I’d more often than not, choose to buy items made in Australia.
I’m not sure if it had something to do with being brought up on a farm. Or I just felt it was important to support Australian businesses.
But one thing I know, it was worth paying a bit more for the quality. I continued to do this for many years until it almost became impossible.
Now that I am manufacturing my own product I can see why the majority of clothing and footwear are made overseas.
Do you ever think about how things are made when you buy clothing or footwear?
Why are Slappa’s manufactured overseas?
Manufacturing in China takes me away from my family a lot. The flights are long, I rarely see another westerner, living in a hotel is not glamorous and not being able to speak the language makes it even more of a challenge. (This isn’t by choice. I started to learn Mandarin but was told it was a waste of time as most people in this part of China don’t speak the Mandarin dialect!)
It can be lonely and damn right frustrating but I am learning every day and I’m not the only one out there doing this. There are many more entrepreneurs just like me.
It’s not by choice that I, and many others, manufacture in China or other parts of the world. The simple fact is there is no manufacturer in Australia. People just don’t seem to want to do these jobs anymore.
So what do you think when you see “Made in China”?
Well, I use to think cheap, mass produced, sweatshops and poor quality. This is still true in some cases, but not all of the time.
These days most Chinese factory workers are well paid and looked after. Their wages are almost equivalent to Australian factory wages.
The Hard Miles
You might think making a pair of thongs is simple. Wrong.
While it might be true for some thongs, it’s definitely not for Slappa’s. It’s really hard work. We need to make sure the size, firmness and support are correct. Comfy and supportive is not simple to achieve (we take footcare seriously).
Getting the right people behind you, creating good relationships, finding the right factory that can make your product to your standards and doing your own quality control are just some of the ways we guarantee a quality product.
For me, achieving all of this can be a nightmare. A small change to the materials, temperature and a different worker can make a huge difference to the end product.
This is why my manager and I are hands on at the production runs in China. Keeping an eagle eye on the production lines means we can pinpoint any changes and rectify problems straight away.
We have changed factories a number of times, for many reasons. Finding a new one is extremely difficult as most manufacturers won’t even consider making our product as we produce smaller quantities than the likes of the European, Russian or Middle Eastern countries. I try to explain we are a smaller country too!
So why do I do this?
I ask myself this question every day. Some days I think I have rocks in my head, other days my customers make it so rewarding and worthwhile. Plus it’s pretty exciting to see so many people all over Australia and the world wearing my thongs.
It’s great to be able to say I now feel so confident in our current factory that I’m currently producing the biggest order ever. That’s right, it’s the largest production run in our 7-year history.
I’m very nervous, but also very excited. It’ll be a relief to not keep running out of stock in some sizes and colours after the summer season. Mind you, when our customers keep telling everyone “they are the best thongs I have ever owned”, there is a big chance we’ll still run out.
At Slappa’s, we pride ourselves on the quality of our product and the customer service we offer. We like to think we are a niche product.
Sure there are some things you can’t keep doing yourself and need to outsource but in our case, we want to try and continue to give that personal touch for as long as we can.
So next time you’re buying a product think about the people behind the product and the processes it has gone through to be made.
One of the things that we Territorians love about living in the Top End is our outdoors lifestyle unique to this terrific tropical Territory.
We have some of the most un-spoilt natural beauty spots in Australia, many of which are ocean and freshwater locations which provide some of the best fishing you could hope for.
And Slappa’s make great fishing footwear!
Slappa’s Thongs have been sponsors of the Darwin Flyrodders running two of Australia’s premier Fly fishing competitions the Freshwater Open and the Saltwater Challenge and this year will be no different – Slappa’s is on board 😊!
Sadly, I can’t say the same of one of the Darwin Flyrodders during a recent fishing expedition ☹. Thanks, Matty & BC, and sincere condolences to you BC, for sharing this tragic lost at sea story …
R.I.P. Green/Blue Size 12 Slappa
… a small story sent in by one of our guys that unfortunately lost a Slappa …
This I can do with one slapper.
Unfortunately, there was a major catastrophe with the other falling overboard somewhere around the Croker Islands, (Slapper Overboard, Missing In Action SOB MIA).
Searched all over the sea with a number of boats looking for a Green/Blue size 12 Slapper, little Slapper in a massive ocean, only after many hours of searching I had to admit the worst and call of the search. Burial at sea ):
As you can see, they’re a fun bunch, check out their Facebook page – some spectacular photos there like this one below of Corroboree.
The DFRs are hosting the 2017 Territory Freshwater Fly Fishing Open in the scenic Mary River System on the 29th & 30th April 2017.
There’s a great Early Bird special for bookings paid before 3rd April.
The nomination form is here.
Besides great fishing in a spectacular spot you get this with your entry fee:
- Fishing shirt
- Free camping at Corroboree
- Park Tavern
- Catered dinner Saturday night
- Finger food at Sunday
For anyone who’s lost a Slappa’s overboard, you can reorder here 😉 …
Did you think I had illusions of grandeur with that title?
Have those Slappa’s folk invented some way to morph the humble thong into an actual shoe? The kind you can wear for any occasion … well yes, we have, pretty much!
That may sound ambitious, since an occasion can be anything from fine dining, race day, clubbing, a wedding, Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day … Oh, here’s some V day love from us to you since I am writing this blog on Valentine’s Day …
We girls like to dress up to look our best on a special occasion and for most of us that means slipping off our feet-lovin’ Slappa’s and shoe-horning our tootsies into a pair of killer heals. Killer being the operative word! Cos not too many hours later, we’re weary of wearing them and our feet are killing us. How many occasions have you thought of cutting short, or spent sitting the dance out, just because your feet are screaming get me out of here! As in, out of these here heals.
So, have we got a Slappa’s solution for you?
A reminder that our ripper rainbow selection really does have an awesome alternative to tootsie torture for every occasion. Like Race Day. You don’t want to flag before the finish line!
Here’s how you can colour co-ordinate any outfit with a pair of Slappa’s, right down to the fine detail of all your accessories, including your handbag and headgear.
If you’re dressed up in your wedding guest finery and flagging after a long reception, just lose the hat and heels and party on through the night in a set of stylish Slappa’s.
You’ll still look – and feel – amazing.
Dancing Queen here I come!
Speaking of weddings, what about the Bride?
Slappa’s bridal white thongs can carry off the most exciting day of your life in complete comfort once you’re ready to ditch your heels.
You’ll look just a perfectly pretty on your day of hearts and flowers …
If you’re opting for a less formal beach wedding, you want to sear your soul to your soul-mate, not sear the soles of your feet!
Barefoot is romantic. Hopping across hot sand like a lobster on a barbie – not so much 😉
Whether you’re after wedding white or fancy frock fabulousness, there’s a pair of Slappa’s waiting to get loved-up with your feet.
Hope you’re having a fantastic Feb!
January – the peak of our Aussie summer and so, peak thong fashion time. It’s hot, hot, hot and there’s no better way to keep those twinkle toes feeling cool and better still – looking cool!
Take a peak at some of these pretty as a picture fashioned-up feet rockin’ their Slappa’s …people are so clever! Pretty polish, anklets, a bit of bling or a ribbon and viola!
How you decorate your Slappa’s is limited only by your imagination and creative talent. Popular in the fashion stakes are the brown and white Slappa’s being colours that women say they wear with dresses and skirts as they are more dressy.
Well the Slappa’s crew had a great Christmas and New Year – hope our seasonal wishes for you came true and that you had a wonderful time.
Tassie was great for our family and I loved the R & R time. Both our kids were competing in the Under 13’s Cycling and unlike many other sports, boys and girls compete together.
This was Kaylee’s first year in the Under 13’s. She was one of the youngest in her age group and the only girl. It was pretty hard going but she placed 3rd in 2 events and will be one to look out for next year. Bernie placed 2nd or 3rd in most of his races, just pipped at the post a couple of times for 1st place.
There is money to be won in the races and all money won by the kids goes into a kitty shared by all the team.
There were 8 in our team from Darwin and on their day off the winnings paid a trip to Tazmazia and bought us all lunch at Banjo’s Bakery.
The team was very successful and after our fun day out they still have enough money to buy 2 aero helmets for all the kids to use when competing in sprint competions. They are also going to put some money towards buying sporting goods to give to the kids in Timor.
Back on Deck
We all came back ready to hit the ground running and we’ve had to burn rubber to keep up with the deluge of orders from our customers and wholesalers.
If you’re anywhere near Slappa’s HQ you might see some multi-coloured Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) foam on the bitumen – that’s how fast we’re moving – leaving Slappa’s tracks! (Not rubber – we don’t make the comfiest thongs out of that stuff!)
So, what’s next?
Yeah, Australia Day! Yay!!
If you haven’t got yourself thonged up ready for the legendary Aussie Day barbie, you know who to call!
Lime green and yellow Slappa’s are currenty on sale for the bargain price of $30 per pair.
Have a great one!
PS If you need thongs for Australia Day order now and get them in time for your Aussie celebration! You can view all the zany colours we have featured on this blog here
Who would have thought a girl from a little county town called Auburn in SA, who packed up and moved to Darwin in 1993, would become a designer, manufacturer, importer, retailer, wholesaler, blog writer, successful online seller and social media guru?
Not me! Yet here I am, recognized as a finalist in the Telstra 2016 Business Women’s Awards (NT) in the Entrepreneur Category.
What a great honour it was to be nominated for one of the most prestigious women’s awards in Australia, and how rewarding to be recognised amongst such a diverse and elite group of women.
I accepted the nomination as I felt it would give me the opportunity to show the business world that a successful business can start anywhere. A kitchen table, a backyard shed or a market stall. Successful businesses come in many shapes and forms.
The application process was not easy for me, but with the support and help from friends and mentors we got through it and I’m glad we did. It was a wonderful way to look back on how my business journey has evolved.
I was proud of myself for not being intimidated by people who thought, just because I ran my business from a market stall, my business was not relevant. It actually was a very smart business decision.
My journey started at Mindil Beach Sunset Markets 10 years ago selling thongs. The kind of thongs you wear on your feet. Many people would say “Oh they don’t have arch support” and didn’t buy them.
I said to myself “Who has arch support in their thongs?”
“I do!” And this is how I became an entrepreneur.
Starting the business with a young family and just finishing building our beautiful home, I was mindful of not developing the business too quickly and not to gamble with unnecessary risk. Learning to be patient, planning my vision and following my business plan was important to the success of the business.
I had no experience in designing and manufacturing footwear. But what I do have is strong values, stubbornness, passion and a never give up spirit.
I am self-taught. It has taken a lot of hard work, anxiety and many hours working on a production line in China. Yes, I am hands on too because I want to ensure that quality control is maintained.
Today I have a lot more experience, but I am still constantly learning. It has definitely been a very worthwhile and interesting learning process that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
Helping people is my passion, but if you had asked me when I first started out how many people Slappa’s Thongs would help, I would never have dreamt it would be so many people from so many different corners of the world.
At a workshop, hosted by Telstra, and held just before the awards previous winners shared their stories of how winning has opened a lot of doors.
Now, as an alumni of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards I look forward to meeting more amazing women (and men) in business and hopefully inspire other women to pursue their goals and dreams.
I will do my very best to encourage all women to self promote and not be afraid to go out of their comfort zones. I know I am a true example of this.
At the Gala Dinner I was thrilled to have many of my mentors, family and friends to share the awards night with me, as although the awards were all about me it was great to be able to thank them all for the help and support they had given me over the years.
Although I did not win, the experience has been amazing and I have learnt a lot. This won’t be the last time I accept a nomination.
To all those women out there who don’t think they could do this I ask you to think twice. The award process has done a lot for my confidence and helping me understand my business. Yes, there were times where I didn’t want to continue with the application, and, yes it takes a lot of time. But it was all worth it.
As I look back on how far I have come, I can stand up and say I am very proud of myself for taking a simple idea, and building it into a successful business that generates sufficient income to employ both myself and my husband Roger. Best of all it gives us a great work life balance to enjoy with our children.
You can nominate yourself or another wonderful woman you know just by clicking this link.
Darwin’s Mindil Beach is the home of the Lion’s Beer Can Regatta. The main event is a boat race where all the boats are made from empty beer or soft drink cans. The challenge is to sail around the course, find the object hidden under water and bring it back to the tent on the beach.
Easy! Well think again there are literally no rules. Boats need to be prepared to be bombed with flour, water cannons and the chance their boat may sink. There are no rules in the book to say the treasure cannot be stolen once found. So BEWARE OF PIRATES.
The Regatta has been run annually since 1974 and in 1978 The Combined Lions Clubs of Darwin accepted the challenge of running the event.
For a gold coin donation you can all participate in many activities such as tug of war and sand castle competitions, best novelty hat, beach running races, paddle board races, ironman and iron women races and my favourite the Thong Throwing Competition.
In 2014 Slappa’s Thongs became the major sponsor of both the Men’s and Women’s Thong Throwing Competition which even saw Bondi Vet and I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! host Dr Chris Brown having a go at throwing Slappa’s Thongs.
This year’s event will be held on Sunday 12th July at Mindil Beach from 10am to 5pm. Mindil Beach Sunset Markets food and craft stalls will be trading all day. Entrance is by a gold coin donation.
Proceeds this year go to HPA Disability Services – Helping People Achieve.
Bar facilities are available, so no BYO alcohol is allowed.
For more details visit: www.beercanregatta.org.au
There’s no other event like it so, Slip, Slop, Slap and come along!
COME ON! Darwin Darwin Darwin Oi Oi Oi here we go, here we go, here we go, and here we GO to Darwin for the Davis Cup 2015!
The Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles and Sport and Recreation Minister Gary Higgins were joined by Tennis Australia’s Todd Woodbridge to make the historic announcement in Darwin.
“This is huge for the Territory and great news for local tennis fans, Mr Giles said.
“We have worked hard to secure one of the world’s most widely watched and highly anticipated sporting events and I’m confident there will be a huge turnout at Marrara for some first-class tennis.”
Wow! I am so excited about hearing the Davis Cup is coming to Darwin in July. A big fan of tennis I was lucky enough to get tickets and see the Aussies win the Davis Cup against Spain at Rod Laver Arena in 2003 it is one of the most exciting sporting events I have seen and I have my tickets to go see the Aussies play Kazakhstan.
A purpose built grass stadium court and two practice courts are looking fantastic for the July 17-19 tie and the Aussie’s have said that they are very excited to be playing in Darwin and this will give us the best chance to progress to the semi finals.
So why wouldn’t they be excited about playing in Darwin? We all know Darwin is the best place to be in winter as the weather is perfect, the lifestyle is great and you get to wear your shorts and thongs everyday! Plus Northern Territorians just love our sport and dressing up for an event like the Tennis is easy, it just comes naturally.
The Aussie’s are looking to reach the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2006 in Darwin, Australia’s squad will consist of Nick Kyrgios, Bernard Tomic, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Sam Groth and veteran Lleyton Hewitt. Such great talent to choose from and possibly the best squad produced for Davis Cup since 2006 or even 2003.
“This major international event will showcase our great sporting facilities, highlight our fantastic outdoor lifestyle and promote the Territory as a great tourism destination.”
PayPal is introducing Free Return Shipping for Slappa’s Thongs customers who pay through PayPal.
“Have you always wanted to purchase Slappa’s Thongs but weren’t sure of your size and didn’t want to pay the costs of returning and exchanging?”
Well now you can!
Slappa’s Thongs in conjunction with PayPal are excited to be able to offer our customers who purchase Slappa’s Thongs online and pay through PayPal the opportunity to be able to return their purchase and exchange.
To be eligible, customers must activate the service at paypal.com.au/returns before completing their purchase using their PayPal account.
PayPal’s Refunded Return Shipping lets Slappa’s Thongs customers claim a refund on their shipping costs if they need to return or return and exchange an item. Currently this offer is in pilot phase until 31st July 2015 and during the pilot phase you can enjoy up to 4 refunds to the value of $45. See terms and conditions.
So now there is no excuse not to get a pair of these fantastic thongs with built-in arch support which mould to your foot shape and provide superior comfort.
Look after your feet today.
Easter for me is a special time of the year spiritually but just being able to stop work, no rushing, spend time with family and friends and be happy is very important. But for most in Darwin the excitement does not stop here!
Firstly the Dry Season is not far away or has already arrived, so it is the first opportunity for most people to go out camping, the run off season has just started so there is some great fishing to be had and of course plenty of Easter goodies to eat.
This Easter we plan to make the most of spending time in our own backyard as it is not long now before our busy market season starts at Mindil Beach and we will be fitting many people into our famous Slappa’s Thongs. The opportunity to spend some time in the garden, having a dip in the pool, kicking the footy or a bit of backyard cricket with the kids is always good for the soul.
It is still tradition in our house to have a seafood feast on Good Friday and sometimes we tend to make this last all weekend. Our kids adore smoked salmon so at Easter and Christmas as a special treat we buy a huge slab and literally we just eat smoked salmon all different ways and no one ever complains. (Until it runs out!)
I do have to feel for the Easter Bunny, Darwin is not an easy place to hide the eggs without them melting! So it is never to hard to find them and I’m sure the kids are not too fussed about this.
Would be great to hear how you will be spending your Easter!
I’ve written before that a favourite past time for my family is to spend a lazy day chilling at the Darwin Waterfront.
While it is possible to get all your needs from the shops, cafes and restaurants all around you, in the true spirit of Slappa’s Thongs culture, I want to share with you the packing list we use for days of self-contained bliss.
For our days at The Waterfront, we pack:
Shady car park with a view of the beach
My giant Bean Bag
Some people take two eskies, one for drinks, one for food, I guess that all comes down to how much space you have in your transport.
As you finally start ‘chillaxing’, you can watch tourists in the parklands enjoying the warm weather and backpackers frying themselves.
The only thing missing from my checklist, however, is a Mango Daiquiri!
But, we all need goals, so that will be mine for next visit.
What would you add to the list?
In Darwin one of the lucky things we get to do is to take the tinny out into the rivers just off the Darwin Harbour to catch some giant mud crabs. There’s nothing better than coming home with a feast of Darwin “Muddies” to cook up and enjoy.
Darwin mud crabs have a very sweet, delicious taste and can be enjoyed many different ways. Most times we just eat them fresh straight from the pot. Spread out plenty of newspaper over the outdoor table, a few water bowls, hammers and go for it.
But for a special occasion and when we have time we all love “My Magnificent Chilli Mud Crabs.” The flavours just explode in your mouth and if you can’t eat it all it just gets better the next day.
There are a few fishing charters in Darwin who can take you mud crabbing or you can buy them live from MR Barra or sometimes at Parap and Rapid Creek markets.
So when visiting Darwin, take the opportunity and experience catching, cooking and eating delicious Darwin Mud Crabs. As a special gift to readers of my blog, here’s my secret recipe which is easy to make and can be changed to suit your taste buds.
4 mud crab, cut into sections
6 tablespoons peanut oil or any oil you have
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons ginger, julienned or crushed (use to your taste)
2 tablespoons coriander root
4-6 red chillies, chopped
1 red capsicum sliced
2 tablespoons fish sauce to suit your taste
Juice of 2-3 limes
2 tablespoons sugar
Sprinkle of sea salt to taste
½ cup of your favourite sweet chilli sauce or chilli sauce
1-2 cups chicken stock
4-6 whole green spring onions chopped
1/2 cup chopped coriander
Coriander sprigs, for garnish
For this recipe we use live mud crabs which we freeze to kill them humanly. You can use crabs which have been cooked but the flesh will not be as juicy.
Remove the top head shell and gills and throw away.
Rinse lightly to clean out
Cut crab in into 4 pieces and pull off big claws.
Crack the claws slightly with a cleaver or hammer so they allow the sauce to get in.
Heat wok and add oil.
Add garlic, ginger, coriander root and chilli. Be careful not to burn ingredients.
Add sliced red capsicum
Add crab tossing for 1-2 minutes
Add fish sauce, chilli sauce, lime juice, chicken stock, sugar and salt
Toss ingredients then cover with lid and cook for 10-12 minutes.
Toss spring onions and coriander through.
Serve straight from the wok
I hope you all enjoy my magnificent chilli mud crab recipe as much as we do and feel free to share it with your friends and family.
The best comfort food you can get in Darwin is “Laska” eat it Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.
If you don’t know what a Laska is and have been to Darwin well you better get on the next plane back to Darwin! You’ve missed Mary’s famous Laska at Parap Markets.
A laska is a spicy Malaysian soup made from Asian spices, chilli, candlenuts, and coconut milk, served over homemade rice noodles, lettuce and your choice of toppings.
For well over 20 years people have flocked to Parap Markets to enjoy one of Mary’s delicious laskas.
Whatever time you arrive expect a line up. They are usually pretty quick but if you have to wait it’s WORTH IT. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Mary has an amazing memory she can remember which soup you order if you want chilli and coriander and even if you haven’t ordered for 2 years or more she rarely gets it wrong.
I have a friend who hasn’t lived in Darwin for 10 years and Mary said when she saw him “Oh I haven’t seen you for awhile? You still want chicken laska, chilli, coriander?”
Which is what he always ordered!
There are many different Laska’s to choose from chicken, beef, veggie, seafood, BBQ pork, wonton or they are happy to create your own personal Laska.
Love it or hate it every laska comes with a piece of tofu which looks like a sponge. This is my favourite part as the tofu collects all the flavours of the rich spicy coconut soup.
Mary does not just serve Laska’s but also noodle soup which you can also choose to have beef, chicken, wontons, seafood, vegies or a combination.
You must also try Mary’s mothers green pawpaw salad made fresh when you order. Paw Paw’s are grated and then pounded in a large mortar and with a wooden pestle. Fish sauce, peanuts, chilli, tomatoes, garlic, lime juice and brown sugar is added and pounded together. The amount of chilli added is how hot you like it. Medium is 2 birds eye chillies.
So what are you doing next Saturday? I’ve talked myself into a Chicken Laska chilli & coriander!!
See you at Darwin’s Parap Markets and in the meantime, let me know your favourite place for a delicious laksa.
After long delays with getting the final building permit, the new tavern at Berry Springs has finally opened. “It has been a Berry long wait for a beer!” quoted the NT News.
Berry Springs is about a 40-45 minute drive from Darwin if you go via Finn Road or about an hour if you take the Stuart Highway. We opted for Finn Road as our friends had never driven that way before so a bit of a scenic drive and something new for them.
There is not much out at Berry Springs, it’s just a little town which you pass through to get to Litchfield Park, Dundee Beach, Bynoe Harbour and Mandorah. The Territory Wildlife Park is the main attraction which is definitely worth spending the day at. A couple of tourist parks which Tumbling Waters is very popular with tourists and locals, a few service shops, the school and now the Pub.
So with no markets to go to now on Sunday at Mindil Beach, our friends took us on a Sunday drive to check it out.
The verandah was full of people, families and a few motor bike enthusiasts. We walked inside and it was the same, the place was packed. Good thing we booked a table as everyone must have had the same idea or have been thirsty for a very long time.
The line up was about four deep but the service was good so you didn’t have to wait long and the beer was nice and cold when it arrived.
But while we waited for our husbands to get the drinks my friend and I both spotted the same thing. This place was thong city. Everyone was wearing thongs, mainly black, except a few guys who must know comfort and how to look after their feet. They had lime green and blue/green Slappa’s Thongs on.
We had a bit of a wait for lunch but that is understandable as the tavern had just opened a few days again so we can’t be too hard on them. Worth the wait the food was delicious and the table service polite, friendly, constantly giving us updates on when our food would be ready and keeping the place tidy.
With our bellies full and a pleasant day had by all it was off back to the big smoke and back to reality.
It was great to see good old traditions are still allowed in little country pubs. If you want to fit in with the locals wear your thongs, preferably Slappa’s Thongs of course!
I recommend that you get out to Berry Springs Tavern yourself and check it out. I’d love to hear your thoughts ( and your Slappa count!)
In Darwin, our kids get four weeks holidays in the dry season in the middle of the year and six weeks holidays for the Christmas break.
You’ll understand why Darwin is the home capital to the best thongs in the world, when you learn that during our dry season the temperature is a glorious 30-32 degrees Celsius every day and the wet season is hotter.
In the Slappa’s Thongs household, we exploit this to the full – and plan a few school holiday days – by chilling at the Darwin Waterfront.
Surrounded by lush, green parkland, the Waterfront has a fantastic wave pool lagoon, along with a safe recreation beach that is free from crocodiles and stingers (jellyfish).
The beach is half natural and half man-made and it’s my preferred choice when I’m entertaining four kids.
The Waterfront features a large hotel car park where you get two hours free or pay $2 for three hours.
However, when its school holidays and our plan is to stay as long as possible, my tip is to park under the Darwin Convention Centre which costs $5 for the whole day. Bargain!
There are restaurants, bars and cafes all around the parkland but you can also bring your own provisions and have a picnic.
In my experience, this is the easiest way to organise school holiday days, get some peace of mind, keep the kids occupied, and road test some new Slappa’s Thongs out under the glorious Darwin sky.
“Who said Melbourne has the best coffee?”
The pace has certainly picked up over the last few years when it comes to great coffee shops in Darwin. Having lived in Darwin for over 20 years I can say The Cool Spot at Fannie Bay, Duck’s Nuts in the City and The Groove Café in Nightcliff now have some serious competitors.
Here’s my list of the top 8 coffee shops in Darwin. Is yours amongst them?
The Cool Spot in my mind has to be the most consistent and reliable coffee maker in Darwin. Some may say I am bias as it is my local coffee shop but why has no other coffee shop opened in the same complex? It speaks for its self.
They use the ever popular and I also say almost fail proof Vittoria Oro Coffee even a bad barista can produce good coffee. My coffee is also being made by the same barista’s for over 10 years.
A fantastic place to meet friends or take the kids after school for a milk shake or locally made Locastro ice cream. They also have a divine selection of locally made cakes and Greek deserts.
Duck’s Nuts boasts they have the best barista in town! So you would expect a great coffee which I am happy to say they do know how to make a great coffee. Currently using Di Bella coffee from Fremantle, it has a smooth, balanced and refined flavour. My experiences have been memorable and the quality is consistent.
One thing to note about Duck’s Nuts is it is also a Bar, although separated expect on some occasions it may be a bit noisy. But don’t let this stop you having a great coffee, you can always take away, wander across the road and enjoy the views along the Esplanade. Don’t forget to grab one of the raw cheese cakes or bliss balls they sell. The Jaffa Bliss ball was like eating a really Jaffa.
If you prefer to drink organic coffee The Groove Café serves Fair Trade coffee from East Timor one of Darwin’s local neighbours. They make the most amazing muffins which change daily. Predominately vegetarian there is also meat dishes on offer. Has a hippy kinder atmosphere but they are always friendly and very relaxed.
Another old favourite is The Roma Bar in Cavenagh Street. Probably one of the oldest cafes in Darwin and a great breakfast venue. It is busy first thing in the morning because of the take away coffee rush but worth the wait. A perfect place to chill and read the newspaper over a few coffees, as one is never enough. If you stay long enough lunch is also a well worth option, the food is extremely fresh.
Eat at Martins located at Coconut Grove just off Dickward Drive (you will see his VW Kombi out the front) is a vegetarian café using mostly organic produce. A quite little place with a real community feel. They make the best raw juices along with their coffee. My friend also recommends the Chai Latte’s too. A great place to catch up with a friend.
Java Spice on Bennett Street in the City is the coffee shop you go to if you want morning or afternoon tea. They have great cakes and serve Illy coffee. When you walk into the coffee shop the air is filled with a mixture of spices, vanilla and of course coffee. The décor is Asian art deco if there is such a thing, mixed with eccentric art work. Once seated they offer you a cold towel to refresh yourself and take your order.
So a couple of newbie’s which have recently opened are Eva’s at the Botanical Gardens and the Laneway Café in Parap.
Eva’s has the ideal setting amongst the Botanical Gardens and operates from the heritage listed Wesleyan Church. It is beautiful in the Dry Season but not sure how it will go in the Wet season as most of the seating is outside. It is dog and kid friendly you can even have your dog sit next to you at the table, not sure if everyone likes this idea but works for me as my little Frankie is a mummy’s boy and likes to be close by. The café uses mostly organic produce and the prices reflex this. They serve Petra’s Raw Cakes which are delicious and coffee by Botanica which I enjoyed. Service is a little slow and disorganised but I’m sure this will improve. A point of difference is they do offer many different types of milk to have in your coffee, such as coconut and almond milk so probably a good spot for coffee lovers with allergies.
My final review is on the most recent café/coffee shop to open The Laneway Café in Parap. If you can get a table and seat you are lucky. This place from day one is packed all day. I have managed to get a seat a couple of times and other times I have chosen not to wait outside in the line up to get a table. Yes people line up outside waiting for a table. It is not a huge café and a lot of room is taken up by a big table which you need to share. Expect it to be noisy but I don’t think anyone cares. Besides that the menu offers a fresh alternative menu different from others, coffee (Campo) is good and you also get table service so don’t get too relaxed and walk out without paying.
It sounds like all I do is go out and drink coffee (in my dreams) however it is important to me to make the time to catch up once a week with a friend to have a coffee or two and is always great to check out some new places and keep going back to my local.
I’m keen to visit Alley Cats along Mitchell Street they also have Campos coffee but their specialty is their homemade sourdough bread. If you have been there or want to tell me your favourite coffee place I would love to hear.
“you’ll never want to take them off!”
Ladies, I design Slappa’s Thongs to be comfortable and fashionable but there are some times and places where we need to sacrifice comfort for glamour.
On the dance floor at the Ladies Day event in Darwin, I’m sure I caught a few expressions from other women which I read as saying, I wish it were fashionable to swap the high heels for some comfortable thongs or orthotic friendly shoes!
Sadly, I think traditions like these will change very slowly, so in the meantime I have five tips to help you get the most enjoyment and least pain from your stiletto ordeals.
- Line your heels with second skin to avoid blisters – it works a treat
- Take a neurophen or panadol 30 mins before you go, this will help numb the pain in your feet and repeat about 2-3 hours later possibly before you can feel your feet burning.
- Don’t drink too much champagne, this step is very hard for some
- Pack your thongs and hide them under the table until the end of the day
- If you can’t do any of these steps sit down all day.
Thankfully, one tradition does survive in my beloved Darwin. At the end of the races when the band fires up, it is now appropriate for kicking off those heels and dancing with bare feet.
Everybody did that, bar one; me.
I followed step number 4 and packed my Slappa’s Thongs for the last leg of the day. Joy!
“you’ll never want to take them off!”
If you have a love for flowers and trees October is definitely a great time to visit Darwin. The air is filled with the sweet smells of trees blossoming. Rain trees, flame trees and frangipani’s are a mass of magnificent flowers and also attract plenty of native birds.
The flame tree has a striking red/orange flower which is so beautiful and bright. Such a happy tree with so much character and can be seen a mile away.
There are a few rain trees, one has a pretty pink flower with a very fluffy stamen and another with small yellow flowers. The flowers don’t last long as they tend to blow off with the wind. A great example of these trees can be seen along Gardens Road along the golf course not far from Mindil Beach and the Botanical Gardens.
My favourite tropics tree is the frangipani. These trees thrive in Darwin and there are many Darwin species that are now grown all over the world. The flowers form in bunches and come in many different colours ranging from white, several shades of pink, orange, burgundy, yellow and mixed shades. The white with a yellow centre is probably the most common and has a beautiful fragrance. Many people pick the flowers to put in their homes. You will see a lot of these also along the median strips of the roads.
It was rumoured that an Australian celebrity couple had florists pick flowers from people’s backyard frangipani trees all over Darwin, just to make sure they had only the best and freshest flowers for their wedding.
I often find my children up one of our frangipani trees in our backyard, picking the flowers to decorate the house and my daughter always comes home with a bunch whenever we are on a walk or riding our bikes.
The frangipani does flower all year around, however is at it outstanding best in October.
So forget all the other things people say about Darwin’s Build Up and come and visit Darwin to see the mass of colour and freshness it provides this time of the year.
You will also have the chance to catch the last few Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, where you can find many of these beautiful trees, plenty of entertainment, food, gifts and the amazing sunset. Book a table from the Mindil Beach Sunset Market office to make sure you have a prime spot.
Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a great supporter of home grown music. Every Thursday and Sunday from the Sound Shell you can sit down at the tables set up by the markets, enjoy your dinner and a few drinks while listening to something different each week ranging from Reggae, folk, rock, jazz and country. Some of the local bands and musicians that have performance this year are Bridey Rose, Dave Garnham and his band The Reasons to Live, Reggae Dave, Skarett, Kormilda College Band, Darwin Army Band, After The Rain and recently brother’s Livi & Aaron VanderAa who have just returned from 2 years touring overseas.
It was great to listen to The Kormilda College band which was only created this year and is made up of talented junior music students, performing modern, classic soul and r’n’b inspired songs. Featuring upcoming diva Stevie Kyriacou, winner of the Darwin Schools Pitch Perfect singing competition, the band exhibits some of the most exciting young musicians in Darwin. So great to see so many young talented people in Darwin!
Performances from the Australian Air force Jazz Band, Darwin Army Band and the Australian Army Band draw in the crowds and are always extremely popular.
But the music which is best known at Mindil Beach is eMDee who play each week at the Casino End of the markets. You will experience the amazing sounds of extremely fast drum and didgeridoo laying at its best. They have even performed at the Sydney Opera House!
So if you are coming up to Darwin for a holiday or moving to Darwin this is just a taste of what is on offer when it comes to live music.
To see where all the live music is happening, you can look up the local Gig Guide either in the NT News on Thursday or the website www.darwinlive.com.au or their face book site.
Pictures courtesy of Mindil Beach Sunset Market
Fast becoming known for producing great music and bands, Darwin has come a long way since Yothu Yindi released ‘Treaty” in 1991 and it just keeps getting better and better.
Triple J’s Home and Hosed, Dom highlighted some of the amazing and talented musicians in the Northern Territory, dedicating an hour of his show to bring the wide variety on offer.
One of the bands GREEN STONE GARDEN are a relatively new Indie Rock band formed in 2011 have been symbolic in the Darwin music scene. The band was a Triple J Unearthed spotlight artist in May 2013 which their song ‘The Island’ gained airplay around the nation and also reached a top ten position in the AMRAP charts.
The band also won the rock category of the ‘2013 Northern Territory Song of the Year Award’ ‘The Island’ and was a finalist this year for two of their new tracks, Steam and ‘Just a Spark’.
When home in Darwin, Green Stone Garden are always happy to perform free at the Mindil Beach Sunset Market.
Green Stone Garden have supported the likes of Boy and Bear, Cat Empire and Gomez and are now embarking on their second interstate tour.
A Darwin band definitely worth seeing if they tour your state.
Mangoes are a delicious exotic fruit which remind us of summer and perhaps holidaying on a tropical island.
Their flesh is a rich yellow and orange similar to Darwin’s memorable sunsets and the skin often has a red tinge.
Mangoes are a great comfort food as they smell great and their flesh is soft and silky.
A big part of farming in Darwin, and it is great to hear the mango season is on its way. Predictions are for a successful season as conditions have been perfect this year with a lot of fruit almost ready to pick.
Darwin’s mangoes mature earlier than other parts of Australia and the main two varieties are KP’s (Kensington Pride or Bowen) and B74 (Calypso).
Each year we stock up on a few trays of mangoes which we cut the cheeks off and freeze. Nothing is wasted with the seeds also wrapped individually in glad wrap as the kids love sucking the flesh off like it’s an ice block. This way we have the luxury of mangoes all year round.
It is tradition that every year the annual Sydney Markets at Flemington auction off the first tray of 20 mangoes to raise money for charities. This year Moustapha Obeid won the bid purchasing the first tray for $26,000 or $1,300 per mango donating the money to Save our Sons.
A versatile fruit which can be used in cooking, drinks, cosmetic and medical products. Mangoes can be eaten green usually grating the flesh and using in a salad or green mango chutney is the perfect accompliment with Indian. When ripe it is great to eat fresh, with prawns and avocado or on cheese cake or pavlova. Mangoes are also common in cosmetics as they are full of anti oxidants, commonly used in body creams and hair products. Medically mangoes aid in prevention of prostate cancer and lower cholesterol due to high mounts of pectin. Rich in potassium and magnesium so are great for lowering blood pressure and the enzymes add digestion.
It is great to relax outside near the pool with frozen Mango Daiquiris, always a favourite here in Darwin; our blenders get a great work out through the Wet season.
In Darwin we are extremely lucky as the fruit is readily available as many friends’ have trees in their gardens.
So look out for Darwin’s delicious tropical mangoes from your local markets, fruit grocer or supermarket you must try them they are heaven.
Wow what an amazing year it has been for Slappa’s Thongs. New colours, New website, New branding, New stockists and lot’s, lot’s, lot’s of New Slappa’s clients.
The year started with a very quick trip to China to see the new shipment be produced, packed up and sent to Darwin ready for the start of the Mindil Beach Sunset Market season. I was very excited as the new colours Red, Orange, White, Olympic Blue and Purple/White looked fantastic and I couldn’t wait to sell them and of course wear them.
The first market of the season was on ANZAC Day, so it was an early start for us as the kids and I always attend Dawn Service. The markets fittingly started with one minute’s silence and the Last Post was played to remember all of those who serviced our country and fort for what we have now. There was such a great vibe to the market as I think everyone was so excited that Mindil Beach Sunset Markets were back on for another year of food, fun, entertainment and new things to buy. The crowds were fantastic and it was so good to see all my market friends again. The night ended with fireworks and lots of cheers to mark the opening of the 2013 season.
The year saw lot’s of travel for me to Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to meet potential stockists, trade fairs and arranging the New Website.
I teamed up with Janette (Dusty) Symonds from Squiggle Graphix and Phil Peet from Phil Boss Designs to design & implement the new website and branding for Slappa’s Thongs. What a huge job for all of us especially Dusty and Phil. We managed to get it launched just in time for the Christmas rush. What was even more exciting was the site was not even fully launched and we started getting orders. I would like to thank Dusty and Phil for all the hours, late nights and patience on achieving such a wonderful result. The website is so professional, easy to navigate and works a treat. Just perfect, perfect, perfect. I would also like to thanks my photographer Mark Hamilton from Mark Hamilton Photography in Darwin and Laura Bradley – model for the fantastic photo shoot. The photos are what makes this website. Also Donna and Ashley for being brave and enduring their first ever modelling experience and Darwin Waterfront for allowing us to photograph in such a great location.
Slappa’s Thongs were also very proud and happy to announce new locations where Slappa’s could be purchased. Slappa’s can now be found in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales.
In South Australia Slappa’s Thongs are located at The People’s Markets West Lakes Shores Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In Victoria I have three people selling from markets in Echuca Moama, Bendigo, Geelong, Laverton, Docklands, Oceangrove, Torquay and Portalington. All dates of markets are posted on Facebook. Indulgence Gifts in St Helen’s, Tasmania is the newest stockist and I am very excited to say Sole Therapy, podiatrist’s at Ramsgate Beach a suburb in Sydney are stockists.
Slappa’s Thongs has also teamed up with Barefoot Fishing Safaris, The Fish Grips Australia and 2nd year sponsors to the Waratah’s Juniors Football Club.
We have also donated over 1000 pairs of thongs to the refugees at the Darwin Airport Lodge and over 500 pairs to the Filipino Australian Association of the NT to help the people affected from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Slappa’s Thongs is a continued supporter of Cystic fibrosis SA with donations of thongs and money.
So a very successful and busy year for Slappa’s Thongs in 2013 and with lot’s of new things on the drawing board we are certainly look forward to 2014.
Thankyou everyone who has supported Slappa’s Thongs. It is great to meet lot’s of new people at the markets and see familiar faces who keep coming back with their friends and family to buy Slappa’s.
Special thanks to my lovely friend Jeannie from Natural Wonders Darwin and her family for looking after Slappa’s Thongs for 2 weeks while we were away in December. You are amazing!
A very Happy, Happy New Year and may 2014 be a wonderful, prosperous year for us all.
Slappa’s were born at Mindil Beach Darwin, a place where locals and tourists get together to eat, shop and be entertained.
It really is the soul of the Territory, multi-cultural, relaxed, friendly and fun.
From the moment the sun goes down over the Timor Sea like one huge fireball, Mindil Beach comes alive with colour, sounds and the most delicious smells.
Mindil Beach is a comfortable walk from Darwin City Centre, providing of course you have the right footwear. In Darwin we wear thongs. They suit our warm, often humid, always casual life style. Darwin work boots we call them.
But wearing thongs all day can get hard on the feet. That’s why Slappa’s came about. They’re no ordinary thong. They’re from Darwin. Slappa’s are smart because they’re comfortable. So comfortable you won’t want to take them off.
That’s because unlike other thongs, they have built in arch support that cradles and cares for your feet. And you know that you’ve gotta look after your feet.
Slappa’s are also smart because they are made of recycled foam which not only makes them extremely comfortable, but environmentally friendly too.
They come in a range of colours that suit our colourful lifestyle.
There you have it! Slappa’s. A genuine product of Darwin’s lifestyle.
So do your feet a favour a slap on a pair of Slappa’s today. Your feet will thank you and they’ll look good too.
Of course you can find them for sale on Thursday nights at Mindil Beach markets between April and October. But if that’s not convenient, you can also…
Buy them online now at www.slappasthongs.com.au
Olympic Blue is often the colour chosen by conservative people. It is a calming colour which represents the colour of the sky, ocean and coolness. It gives people inspiration, sincerity and spirituality. Other people who wear darker blues are truthful and respect friendships. If your life is chaotic and needs relaxing, Olympic Blue is a great choice for you.