A Travellerspoint blog

Sydney

Big town, wildlift experience and architecture

sunny 25 °C

I've been really slow to update my travels, so I will do my 3 days in Sydney in one go.

Day 1:
Arrived at 11am to Sydney airport and took the airtrain into town. Very easy connection and took me only 15 min to the nearest station. Short walk along Hyde Park to come to my hotel. Had to take a couple of hours walk until I could get my room, so grabbed lunch and sat in Hyde Park for a relaxed break followed by a walk in the surroundings. Back to my room, changed to lighter clothes and headed for the shopping streets and to get a feeling of the the australians and the big city stress. Took a tea break in one of the big shopping malls before later in the afternoon jumped on the Hop on Hop off bus. Very convenient way to go around the main city and get a grasp of all main buildings, history, structure of town and distances. Did the whole tour during 1,5 hour before returning to my room. Had a relaxed meal at one of the restaurants nearby.

Day 2:
My big day for wildlife.
Walk to Darling Harbour to first of all go to Wildlife Sydney and Sydney Aquarium. In a ticket package I also included Mandame Tussauds and a trip up to Sydney Tower Eye.
In Wildlife I saw all kind of native animals including kangaroos, wallabyes, crocodile, kookaburra, emu, cassawary and of course koala. Got one of my dream come true by petting a koala and also got my picture taken with them. Sooo cute, but ooh so sleepy. They have such a cool style when they sleep. Just look at my pictures. You will fall in love with them just like I did.
I did a quick round in Madame Tussauds were most famouse australians were sculptured in wax and also some non-australians. Most I recongnised and some were totally strangers for my. Fun to see anyway.
Further on I went to Sydney Aquarium were I could see all kind of sealife from penguins, fishes, sharks and a dugong to all kind of coralls. Fascinating how colourful animals can be and the diversity of all species. Amazing!
Afterwards I met a fiend over a great dinner by the harbour and saw a Christmas show to celebrate that it was a month until Christmas day. Did you know that in Australia Santa come by boat and Santa's helper are rowing a canoe! ;) All finished of with a great firework.

Day 3:
Final day and today all focus was on architecture and buildings.
Started with a ride up the Sydney Tower Eye, 183m above ground. Had great weather so could see the whole wide spread city and suburbs. Good short information on screens all the way around to get info of what you could see and where everything was situated. From there I walked to the Opera House and got on a tour. An amazing building and history about one of worlds most famous buildnings. It has a fantastic structure and building precision. The location by the harbour is superb and the views from the front is great. You totally understand why they positioned it at that spot. On my way to my final building structure, the Harbour Bridge, I went to the Rocks. This is the old part of town with old houses and a daily market with all kind of art, handcraft and spangles. Then I reached the beginning of Harbour Bridge and started the long walk over it. Great old structure and it's always fascinating how these structures hold together. At the far end I got a new view over the Opera House, which was one of my goals for the bridge walk. After some refreshments in my room I went back to the Opera house area and Circular Quay for dinner with a great view over the harbour.

I can say, I would have liked a couple of more days here, even though I'm not a bigtown girl. 2,5 days is way too few in a big city like this.

Posted by JMarianneL 01:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Arrowtown

Old village, shopping and waves.

sunny 20 °C

Last day in Queenstown and I was heading to a nearby village. Arrowtown is a charming and picturesque village know to be the best preserved goldmine-villages with a Chinese settlement. The village has basically one main street with old houses with shops and restaurants in every single one of them. Easy to strol around and feel the atmosphere.
The short trip back followed Lake Hayes with nice views of mountains in the background.
Wanted to do some shopping before my evening activities, so headed down to the centre to look for memories and other things to bring home. After a couple of hours of shopping, I got back to my studio to make a clothes change and headed down to the harbour again to board the steamer ship that went to the other side of Lake Wakatipu and back. The boat was nearly full on the way out and at the stop all except eight people went of to eat dinner at the restaurant placed at this end of the lake. On the back home you got a great lakeview over Queenstown. After the boat trip I had a great dinner right at the harbour.

Posted by JMarianneL 04:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Milford Sounds

Waking up memories from nabour country

sunny 19 °C

Today was going to be a long day. Good thing that there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Perfect day! Lucky because where I was going to usually have 300 rain days per year. I had booked a day tour to Milford Sounds in the Fiordland National Park. The travel company picked me up at my motel at 7.30 with the bus and I got a perfect window seat to get the best views. The 5,3 hours bus trip to Milford Sounds went through beautiful landscapes with green paddocks and round hills to high snow covered mountains. The further west we came the higher the mountains. We did several stops along the way for photos and toilette breaks. Along the way we also got explanations of how the valleys was formed by the glaciers during the ice age and how the ice changed and affected the mountains along it's way. The driver also informed about the special animals that NZ have, what's special about them and also the symbiotic relationship between animals and plants. Really interesting! New reflection of importance.
When arriving to Milford Sounds I went on a boat trip out on the fiord. It was similar to the fiords I've seen in Norway, but still a bit different. Seems like the mountains was higher and the vegetation went all the way to the water with high pine trees. On the 1,5 hour trip I saw waterfalls, furseals, alla kinds of water birds and Fiordland crested penguin. So fun to have seen them even if it was very short.
Back again to land and into the bus heading back. With less stops, only for toilette breaks, I arrived back to my studio at 8pm. Long day with lots of nature and animal experiences!
Finished the day with a superb grill dinner with views over the harbour area.

Posted by JMarianneL 06:49 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Queenstown

From above and feathery two-legs

sunny 17 °C

First day in Queenstown was planned to get an overview of the town. Went up the Gondola to the hill top and got a wonderful view over The Remarkables and mountains further away, the gorge inland, Lake Wakatipu and the town centre below. Took lunch on the top with the great views as company before I went down again. Afterwards I went to the feathery friends to fulfill one of my big wishes before leaving NZ, to see a kiwi. Here they had a kiwi house where they had a breeding program. Since the kiwi is nocturnal, the houses were dark inside with only a shining red light as support for us to see the bird. They had also changed their day rhythm, so they were awake during the day when the visitors was on site. So cool birds and much bigger then I had expected. This was followed by a sound guided tour around the bird park which included all kinds of NZ species, mostly near to extinction or threatened, and a conservatory information talk. After I've filled my animal quota for the day, I took an strol in town checking out all souvenir and adventure stores. So much is focused towards nature, adventures, tracking, adrenalin kicks and thrilling experiences.
Finished the day with a lovely dinner at a waterfront restaurant right down by the wharf.

Posted by JMarianneL 03:11 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Invercargill

City sight seeing, calming park and as south as you can get.

semi-overcast 16 °C

A day to explore what Invercargill could give started with a walk around town. I followed the two main streets with old buildings that habitats all sorts of modern stores and covered by signs. A bit confusing mixure of old and new. Lots of different churches and other old buildings could be found along the way. I finally went to Queen Park which was like a breathing hole with a calmness of peace. Amazingly huge trees in straight raws, nicely prepared paths, rosegarden which was on it way to bloom, japanese garden, concervatory, aviary and duck pond with super cute ducklings. Well back in the car I aimed for Bluff, the most southern point of NZ. Drove up on Bluff Hill which was en extremly windy spot but with an amazing 360 degree view over the surroundings. Drove back down to Stirlings Point where you found a sign with directions and distances to cities/places all over the world. The cool thing to know is that the next country east is Chile and to the west is Argentina. This means that you actually stand further south than South Africa!!! AND the next thing south is Antarctica! Quite amazing! After enjoying a great lunch with green-lipped mussles, I headed north towards Queenstown. The road went first through green flat landscapes and low round hills. Halfway the scenery changed to steeper and higher hills gradualy converting to mountains and in a distance you could se the snow covered mountains. At Kingston you reached Lake Wakatipu and you drove along the lake side with a gorgeous view all the time. Many photogenic opportunitied on the way that was impossible not to grab. Arrived to Queenstown at 6pm, unpacked my car and stepped into a studio with a superb view over the harbour. Took a short strol in town to see what I arrived to and had a relaxing evening in my room. This town has all focus on adventures with adrenalin kicks as a final result.

Posted by JMarianneL 02:37 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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