Tuesday, 30 November 2010

FEATHERDALE & BLUE MOUNTAINS, SYDNEY

Hi everyone, am back and missing you all. Our trip was awesome and the kids didn't want to leave as it was so much fun! So, this is a picture heavy post as I hope to cramp as much as possible into one post, otherwise, I may take forever to finish my Australia post and will forget most details...happening all the time haha :)

Leaving KL with Danial busy writting in his journal. The kids had an assignment, as usual with most outings, they had to do a presentation at the end of any trips and give loads of facts about what they have learnt. Not just going as tourist to 'see' only, but to understand more about the local culture, facts, history etc.



Just an hour before arriving Melbourne Airport and I love this picture taken from the plane!



We took an overnight flight to Melbourne and though we did not get much sleep, we were all ready for some actions. We left all bags at the airport terminal and took a shuttle bus to Southern Cross Station and another train to Flinders Street. This was where I wanted to go and also to Federation Square (will blog about it later), but first this, the Melbourne Visitor Centre. We planned most of the trip on our own so, this was a very informative with helpful staff to answer every questions on Melbourne and it's surrounding.  We already had most of the brochures printed online and had all of our questions answered here. Travelling in Australia is super easy as plenty of information was easily available online and the service provided was really efficient.



After getting all the things we wanted, we walked around Flinders street, had lunch, saw lots of trams. Melbourne had an excellent public transport system. Trains, buses and trams all ran on an almost perfect timetable..something we could get used to over in Malaysia. It was easy to travel and plan everything within the this CBD (Central Business District) and all within walking distance.

Or perhaps...a trip on a horse carriage also possible.



After a few hours, we were back to Melbourne Airport again for another flight to Sydney. Not something I would recommend at all! 6 hours of flight the night before and not much sleep and flying to Sydney the same day we arrived was a bit too much but still, we survived.  That's the problem flying AirAsia, they don't connect to Sydney and we wanted to do Sydney. We stayed at the Hyde Park Inn right in the heart of Sydney. For anyone travelling in a group of 5 friends or family like us, this hotel will fit in perfectly. I doubt there is any other hotels with a Queen bed and 3 separate single bed, with almost a full cooking facilites (we asked for the stove top, but never used it) and absolutely clean room and toilet. It was just 5 minutes walk from the Museum Station and we travelled light after leaving the larger luggages at Melbourne Airport as the trip to Sydney was shorter. When we checked in, it was already very late and everyone was way too tired.

As we only had two full days in Sydney, we opted for a local tour and chose Sydneyrus, picked up from our hotel at sharp 7.30am and headed here as our first stop:



Lots of wildlife animals and as usual, they never go wrong with children :)  I do hope I get the animal names correctly....and this should be a pelican. Do correct me if I am wrong as I go along...I have very poor memory of animals type :P



Kids clowning around at the park :)



Obviously fascinated with the large cassawory.




And of course, what's a trip to any Aussie wildlife if one can't cuddle..or at least take a picture with this adorable hugable koala! 


Getting up close with the penguins.




Thanks for the warning..otherwise, my kids will be putting their hands inside.


Here he is, the wombat. It was certainly interesting to see him as we don't have them here at all.


Love this Kookaburra, it hardly moves and we thought it was a wooden statue haha! Thanks T , for the infor :)


If they had'nt told us it was a Wallaby, we'd probably thought it's a Kangaroo...how interesting.



Another iconic Aussie animal, the Kangaroo, so happy we saw loads of them here and also in Melbourne later.



When we were finished with Featherdale, we headed to the Blue Mountains. We stopped at Katoomba town for lunch and it was 10 celcius, way too cold for everyone.  We were freezing our butts out haha! but seriously, we won't survive winter anywhere.  Everyone said before we left that we had to to go the Blue Mountains to see the 3 Sisters and those wonderful rock formation.  So, the tour took us there but we can't see much due to slight rain and everything was pretty misty and foggy, so no scenic Skyway too.






 

However, the trip was not wasted as we managed to hop on to this Railway. Trust me, it was very steep and pretty exciting and fun for all :)





In Blue Mountains, waiting for our Cableway to take us back to the top.




We took a walk along the forest where they had mining activities a long time ago and I snapped this curling fern.



Lightning strucked at one of the trees.



The only clear shot I had of the Blue Mountains taken from the Cableway.



Heading back to Sydney and passing through some forest, the bus driver actually insisted that we got down to take a picture of this Waratah, which is the state flower of New South Wales. Loved the bright colour :)



Passing through a mini-waterfall, clear water and we would have stayed longer if the weather was warmer.



Well, that's all for our first day tour and though we sat a mini van all the way to the Blue Mountains, we came back by ferry which was super fun!  Which also meant that we got to see the Opera House. Still not the end of the tour for the day for us as we walked aound The Rocks and they were having this Rock Market which had many hand made items and food being sold. That was even more fun..will blog later as I don't know if it's blogger or my office server, it took forever to load all these pictures and do this post.



Have a great week ahead you all :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

My very-late Deepavali post and a blog break :)

This is my very late Deepavali post, which was celebtrated last Friday.I finally downloaded photos - too many to sort out and found I just have to share these.  I went around chasing some 'kolams' everywhere. Beautiful creations by coloured rice. Don't you just love the colours!







I love this bird lampshade in bronze, it will fit nicely in my house :)


At one of the shopping centre, we got close to some of the dancers. Love the overall make up, with Indian dancing, it has to be dramatic!


Dancers in action and it's hard to capture those fast movements with a compact camera.


School holidays are starting soon and I will be on a blog break. The family  will leave soon for a trip down under and I will think of you when I hug that Kangaroo....can you guess where?

Bye for now :)