A Travellerspoint blog

Australia

The last of Sydney

Going home


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Last day in Sydney. Today wasn't crazy busy for once. There were still few things on our list to explore. We checked out by 10 am, leaving bags in the reception. We went once again to the Darling Harbour through the China Town. Funny enough it turned out to be easier way to get there. We sat down by the water and has a brunch. We also fed the seagulls with... peanuts. To say the least the birds were not too happy with that meal. Since the Maritime Museum was just few steps away and free. It turned out to be very interesting spot. There's lots to explore. It took 2 hours to get around. After that back to same place for another bite.

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At 1 pm we rushed to the nearby Arts Centre for a aboriginal performance, free again. Quite different from what we expected but still worth 30 minutes of our time. Then we were off next door to the Chinese Garden. I didn't imagine it would be so big, right in the middle of the city. Beautiful flora, ponds with fish, lizards here and there sunbathing on the rocks near the waterfall. And among these various Chinese buildings. Pretty surreal. Nice spot for lunch. There's a tea house inside, but you need to pay entry fee. Around 3 we were on the train to the airport. So handy to have a train take you there and it only takes 10 minutes at most. Upon arrival we found out that out flight is delayed by an hour. I've managed to spend every last cent of my Oz money. We made our flight a bit more enjoyable by drinking wine. Air NZ is pretty generous in that area. We arrived in AKL just past midnight. Mandatory stop at the duty free shop. It's my brother's birthday today. I'm sure he will be happy with some nice Whiskey.

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Posted by martenia 12:29 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Blue Mountains

Or not..


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Oh no! It's all grey and cold today. It's the day that we've planned a day trip to Blue Mountains. After small hiccup, hoping for a better weather later on we were on the mini bus with 5 others. One American, German, Austrian and Spanish couple. A nice mix. 30 minute drive out of the city and we're at the Featherdale Wildlife Park. We had over an hour to explore the park. Most time we've spend at the Koala enclosure. They are so cute. Apparently they sleep most of the day, but somehow all of the seemed to be wide awake, and trying to escape. Koala means 'drinks no water'. All they eat is eucalyptus. And not every variety either. The place was full of all sorts of animals. Some of them running wild. I had a peacock flying right above my head. Some I have never seen. It was definitely worth visiting. Even if it started raining slightly. By that time I regretted that I didn't put on my jeans this morning. In 3/4 pants it started to be cold.

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On the way to Blue Mountains we stopped in a little town of Leara, which had a European feel to it. It was time for lunch. Everyone went their own way. We chose a little cafe which had polish looking doughnuts. Unfortunately it didn't take like the ones I grew up eating. After that we wandered up and down the main (and only) street. I picked up few candles from the candle shop. It had some wicked furniture in there too. Another 30 min to our main destination, foggy all the way. All the hope for a clear day disappeared. Instead of taking a cable bus tour above the mountains (if you can call those mountains), we decided to walk down the gorge. We had an excellent guide. First she showed us a little whole on the side in the ground and then informed us that down that hole lives a spider. One that can kill you in 3 hours flat. Thanks for that. The scenery resembled something out of a horror movie. Cold, dark, wet and misty. Half way through we got to the lookout. Look we couldn't, but we could hear the waterfall. Disappointed by not being able to see a thing we reached the end where we got a ride up the mine shaft train. 45 degrees steep and we were facing down. At least that was entertaining. Somewhere behind that fog are Blue Mountains.

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Next we stopped at the nearby lake. Not sure of its name. Then we were on the way to a old winery. With 1,5 hours of driving it was time for a nap, not like we could see much outside. Tizzana Winery is situated West of Sydney. It's over 100 years old and produces some lovely wine. After a little talk we got to taste some of it. The port was great. Didn't buy anything though. A bit more relaxed we drove to the 2000 Olympic Village. The only village that wasn't deconstructed after the Olympics. Apparently Sydney was the only host to actually make profit out of the Olympics, but now the maintenance cost are huge and there's not enough events running. Still it was great to explore it. In the centre of it stood hundreds of poles with all the volunteers' names. Some of the poles had little monitors with Olympics' flashbacks. By 4pm we arrived at a small ferry terminal destined for Circular Quay.

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Next we stopped at the nearby lake. Not sure of its name. Then we were on the way to a old winery. With 1,5 hours of driving it was time for a nap, not like we could see much outside. Tizzana Winery is situated West of Sydney. It's over 100 years old and produces some lovely wine. After a little talk we got to taste some of it. The port was great. Didn't buy anything though. A bit more relaxed we drove to the 2000 Olympic Village. The only village that wasn't deconstructed after the Olympics. Apparently Sydney was the only host to actually make profit out of the Olympics, but now the maintenance cost are huge and there's not enough events running. Still it was great to explore it. In the centre of it stood hundreds of poles with all the volunteers' names. Some of the poles had little monitors with Olympics' flashbacks. By 5pm we arrived at a small ferry terminal destined for Circular Quay.

We were pretty exhausted by then. On the way to the hostel we stopped to have a bite at the local kebab place. It's nice that you can get pizza at a kebab place. And it's not too expensive either. It was our last night, but we were too wasted to do much. Just packed and watched some DVDs in the TV room right next to our room. I must say that the fellow travellers were not so nice here. They weren't really interested in talking with each other, which is a shame.

Posted by martenia 12:26 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Shopping time

+ more


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Posted by martenia 12:25 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Manly

More beach going


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Slept till 9am today. Finally some normal waking up time. Looks like it will be a hot one today. After breakfast we're on the bus to the ferry terminal. Today we're going to yet another popular beach spot - Manly. Easiest way to get there is by ferry that leaves from Circular Quay. While waiting for the ferry we got to enjoy a bit of aboriginal performance.

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Manly was full of people. I guess it's like that here on the weekend. On the way to the beach we stopped at the markets. It was the more expensive kind. They had really nice things. Mostly art and jewelry and what not, but a bit out of my budget. We had to walk quite a bit to find a free spot. It was pretty windy as well, the beach tent was a bit of pain to put up. Once it was up the sand kept coming in. We brought some food with us and just relaxed. Before caching the ferry back we had a bit wander around the shops, but didn't really buy anything. Highlight of the trip was obviously drunk man loudly proclaiming his love to all foreigners.

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Before dinner I had a swim in the pool. Very refreshing. It's handy to have an indoor pool, especially one with a nice view. After dinner we got dropped off to Homebase Backpackers. It's right next to the Central Station on Elizabeth Street. The place looks a bit run down, but the room is well equipped. Lovely yellow walls, window doesn't close, but oh well, it's only $30 a night. The horror starts in the bathrooms. Nothing locks here! Not going to mention kitchen. Haven't seen any people so far. Seems to be a big place though. After checking email on uber slow computer we decided to have a wander around the town. The best thing is that it's nice and warm. We managed to find a Monorail station and did the full circle before coming back to hostel. By then it was 11 pm and my feet weren't feeling any good.

Posted by martenia 12:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Coogee to Bondi

On foot...


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Yep, as I suspected I have plenty blisters on my poor feet and today there's more walking to be done. By 9am it's pretty hot and sticky but the sun is hiding away. Before our beach visit we're off to Balmain for some yummy late breakfast then we're on our way to Coogee by bus. The walk from Coogee beach to famous Bondi Beach is about 8km along the coast line..up and down. The sun is out now and no matter how hard we try to cover up we still manage to get burnt. Typical. Some amazing views along the way, no mentioning all the topless ladies. About half way though we stop at Bronte Beach for a bit of rest and oh lucky me. I get pooped by the bird right on my forehead. Luckily my face was covered with bandana that went straight to the bin after that incident. Another half an hour and we're at Bondi, quite a long stretch of sand full of people. Finally we made and it and can have some proper rest and enjoy scenery. Surprisingly the sand wasn't hot at all.

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At around 5pm we make a stop at the local mall. It looks amazing with all the Christmas decorations. It's pretty huge, but unfortunately we're too tired to stick around only buying some groceries and wine. Sushi for dinner tonight. But before that we had a dip in the spa. Just what we needed. Plan for tonight was to go King's Cross but we're too wasted for that and instead opt for a quite night by the Darling Harbour with wine. The night is very nice and warm, unlike Auckland where even summer nights can be chilly. One last attraction of the night is the visit to the nearby casino. Our shoes were not appropriate enough for the place but we manage charm our way in anyway. After loosing $2 each on 2c machines we have enough and head home around midnight accompanied by some huge cockroaches trotting along the street. Yuk!

Posted by martenia 12:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Off to Sydney

They say it never rains in Sydney..


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I got told I'll fry over the ditch. Not so. Of course it was noticeably warmer when we landed, but not quite what we were expecting. We managed to get off the right train station to meet our friend. Then 40 minutes on foot to friends place. 14kg in my suitcase is making its toll on my little exercised muscles even if it was only pulling it. We made a stop at the shop. OMG, they have real yoghurt here. CBD looks great. There's lot of well dressed people around. It's Friday afternoon, so it's busy in the bars and pubs. It's nice to see women wearing dresses. You don't see a lot of that in Auckland. I'm sure warmer weather helps. Other thing I've noticed there seem to be lot of anorexic looking women.

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The place we stayed in is nicely located. Close to the fish market, motorway, buses, bridge and 5 minutes away from the Darling Harbour. After quick shower we have dinner and head off to town. Walking of course. By the time we reach Opera Bar it's raining, to our surprise. It doesn't help wearing a spaghetti straps top made out of synthetic fabric. It's a great place, just underneath Opera House, but most of it is outside with lot of people clinging to any dry spot under umbrellas. $35 later we're of to Oriental House - 3 level joint, very suspect. By that time my feet are giving me lots of grieve. In turn I complain away to my companions, who are not very happy about it. I wasn't prepared for that amount of walking, especially in the rain. In Auckland there's no such thing as walking. I'm sure I'll have few blisters in the morning. On the way back we stop at the bar near Darling Harbour. That was the best place of all with great music. We got back at 1am, which is 3am NZ time. Maybe it wasn't such a great idea to go wild on the first night, but it's too late now. Rain was definitely disappointing. We brought bad weather from Auckland it seems.

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Posted by martenia 09:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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