Billainaire: 24 billaine and counting...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mom & Dad's Sydney Tour 09 - Kiama

AFter 2 years of waiting for them to visit, mom and dad finally decided to grace me with their presence. So with 2 years worth of travelling to fit into a month, we better get cracking!

Dad bought a very suggestive eggplant..muahaha..nature has a sense of humour..

First meal out: Fish market! with Violette, birds and Jocie's parents too

The Kiama blowhole....very dry blowhole
Sunset is always gorgeous..however you look at it.

The tourists at the blowhole

Grand Pacific Drive towards Wollongong

Fraser Island and Noosa

Fraser Island is the home to Sandy National Park, one giant sand dune. We departed from Noosa Heads on a 2 hour drive to arrive here....where peace and tranquility is born. Endlss ocean on the horizon and stretches of sand so smooth and even as far as the eyes can see.

Although so still, we were warned against swimming in this stretch of ocean due to reports of shark attacks...eeckk!!!!

THIS>>> beautiful Lake MacKenzie..a large freshwater basin in the middle of Fraser Island. The moment you set eyes on it,..its beauty engulfs you and enthralls you in a way you cannot imagine. No sharks in this pool 8). Also, since it is freshwater, swimming in it is like a natural swimming pool with silky soft sand at the bottom. We are continually amazed by the clarity of the water. Is this the real fountain of youth???

Our other fav stop on this trip was a visit to Australia Zoo, home to Steve and Bindi Irwin . Let me remind you this place is everything STEVE and BINDI...they were everywhere!! on drink cups, on the walls and they even played Bindi's album in the croc pen!! no wonder the crocs are always underwater....But it is wonderful to see such a well kept zoo where for once, the animals look happy to be there! They are fed the freshest food (DK and I were envious of freshly cut plums and such in the bird cage) and some animals get daily walks around the zoo.

Exhibit A: Wombat on a leash

Exhibit B: siao handler actually went into the den and swam with them, playing big catnip like they were kittens...amazing to watch.Exhibit C: Can't remember their names now but these two are the lovebirds or rather lovecrocs in the zoo. i.e. a breeding pair. This pic even has them holding hands!! cue audience: awwwww!

Ack!! Something's got my ass!!!

7 months?

I realise its been 7 months since I updated this blog. One word...SLACKER. no excuses.
After I found out Kim's Mom loves reading it, I thought I'ld do her a favour and give her more reading material...8)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Glorious Maori-land

Guess I've been procrastinating this post for ages! Only because we have so many pictures and so many stories to tell that its gonna be a long story indeed. Then I thought, heck it's Xmas...I'm home alone..what else is there to do lah?? I'm sure Mom & Dad have been waiting to hear about our trip. So here is a synopsis of the 2600km we drove in 6 days 8)
Punting (we didn;t go) on the Avon river which snakes through Christchurch

Lamby lamby everywhere! 450km / day was made easy by the fantastic view along the way...okay okay...also the good company..8P

Lake Pukaki , among other glacier-made lakes . Famous for their translucent sparkly waters with an out-of-this-world turquoise blue! No camera tricks!

Lake Tekapo, my favourite lake where we also stayed at. This is what we woke up to.
Hey look! It's my precioussss (in a Smigol voice)...just happy to be there

The Blue diving pls!

The crazy kids hiked to Fox Glacier...whooo..worth every muscle cramp later!

Mirror Lakes, where the water is still enough to reflect the mountainous landscape..therefore...pantulan effect!!

Falls at Milford Sound. Now if only there were less rain..

Queenstown Gondola ride. Don't look down!!
We're on of the world..lookin' ,..down on creation , and the only explanation I can findddd...It's the love that I've found , ever since you;ve been just put me at the top of the world...

Black sheep! Just as i guessed, its a recessive trait found 1 in 1000 sheep. we only saw a total of 6 in all of our 6 days and millions of sheep on the way. Pretty darn cool to see one up close at Waiau down farms.

Farmer Laine truckin' a truck!

Shearing is a tough job only a farmer can do. Average speed to shear a whole adult sheep is 45 seconds!! beat that!

South Island New Zealand is by far the best vacation we've had. 5 stars and 4 thumbs up from us!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The little patch down South

You dirty dirty dirty minds!!!! hahahaha....I was referring to Tasmania lah!.. So here is a recap of our 3 day vacay.

Day 1: Upon arrival at Hobart, picked up our cute little Getz rental and drove down South of the island to Peppermint Bay, Woodbridge. The area was reputed to have great views and also the convenience of a good restaurant, aptly named...what else?? Peppermint Bay ! Memorable was the freshly-shucked Bruny Island oysters ..slurpp! We later drove around on our way up to Hobart city and stopped at a blowhole, colony of ducks by a river and weird Tasmanian road signs. Checked into our 3.5 star no-tel motel, got engaged, went for celebratory dinner at a seafood food court! (thanks Muer's) I still think Sydney fish market kicks its ass.

The dining view from my seat.

The dining view from the restaurant.
Seriously, I cute is that?, there were also a whole lot of ducks hanging out just below and near the sign.

Day 2: Woke up bright and shiny to head up north towards Freycinet National Park. This was going to be the highlight of our trip, so I was pretty excited. First top, food in my belleh!! the only place that had food was at Freycinet Lodge, a pretty cool hotel in the park with awesome views of the Freycinet coast.
View from hotel balcony.

Next up, the trek uphill to Wineglass Bay Lookout. Since Tasmania is surround by heaps of coastline, you are bound to see a lot of nice beaches and scenery. Wineglass Bay is one of those locations you see from postcards and travel advertisements begging you to visit Tasmania. The place surely did not dissapoint, however weather was extremely unpredictable and did dampen our spirits slightly. The hike was pleasant enough, but still worked up a sweat...we finally did it!!

We had to entertain ourselves along the 45-min hike. God bless cameras.

Whoa! It DOES look like a wineglass!

STB Mr & Mrs. Kwong

Cape Tourville lookout

Sleepy Bay was nothing like the name suggests, bursting with color!I adore how the crystal turquoise water meets the bright orange lichen-covered rocks.

Definately did not expect such vibrant and contrasting landscapes barely a few kilometres away from Wineglass Bay Lookout.

We then decided to take a chance and drive north for another 1.5 hours to Binalong Bay, where I looked up an award-winning restaurant ( how appropriate to celebrate our engagement!) I obviously neglected to make a reservation ,but lo and behold, they had ONE opening for two..and was otherwise all booked out. Bear in mind this was a place out of nowhere and not as straightforward to get to, so we may have stumbled on a real gem!

What she said.

Danny was having a good time chowing.

The best freakin' fish I've ever had. Grilled striped trumpeter ...firm and smooth, tasty and simply delightful! Yummy thumbs up for Angasi of Binalong Bay, Bay of Fires.

Day 3: Drove to the Tasman peninsula, which is a small patch of land south-east of the patch of land south-east of Australia (get it?) First stop, Tasmanian Devil Conservatory. We really wanted to see one in real life, and where better than where their name suggests.

Roar! *bite*, beware!

The reason why Tasmanian devils (the largest carnivorous marsupial) are going extinct is that they are extremely susceptible to a rare facial tumour which usually is fatal. The fact that these animals engage in a lot of fights in the wild (for food, for pleasure,..who knows?) and use their sharp flesh-cutting teeth in gnaw at each other's faces leaves horrible scars which then get infected by the disease. The sanctuary we visited thankfully was disease-free and we got a good opportunity to watch them. I wouldn't cuddle one just yet, but they're quite interesting creatures.

Up next, a trip to historic Port Arthur, an 17th century prison for British cons . Back in the day, people would get thrown in prison for petty theft and misdemeanor. It was interesting how they kept such good records of all the inmates and the wrong-doings they committed. The ruins are easily accessible by foot and they have taken great care in preserving as much original detail about the people who lived there.

Penetentiary building and Police headquarters.

Goverment Gardens for goverment officials.

Church (cons have to pray too you know)

Does this shatter your image of prisons being dungeons and cramped, yucky places? The prison also operated the first adolescent boys correctional facility. They were kept on a seperate landmass nearby the area to prevent the "evil" of adult convicts from corrupting their minds.

The guard's tower. Look at the sick puppy's mug. How miserable.

Inside the penetentiary, the roof was detroyed by a fire. They did not bother to rebuild it. Perhaps it adds to the historical charm?

We concluded our trip down-down under with another serving of oysters! I think the one thing I'll miss when I move to Colorado would be fresh oysters. Here at Barilla Bay, they farm and sell their oysters themselves. Good $9.50/ doz...can't get any better than that!

Next stop: NEW ZEALAND!!