What I did in Australia: Part 3/3

The second week in Australia drew to a close and brought another round of bustling to pack and catch the next flight…..this time to Sydney! I was excited to see one of the most famous Australian cities and ignorant about the fact that it wasn’t actually the country’s capital. Just goes to show how much of world geography I’ve derived from pop culture.

Right opposite our hotel was the subway, which was our preferred mode of transport during much of our stay.

This is just before going underground:

We have family friends who live in the city, who we went with to see the Sydney Opera House and watch the Vivid Festival of Lights, which was quite amazing. I didn’t do as good a job of capturing awe-inspiring footage as I thought because I guess I was caught up in the moment, but thankfully many others have succeeded. I entreat you to watch this one if you’re interested:

The colourful and creative lights display, across the Opera House and the buildings of the city was very memorable.



We visited the Blue mountains next. I hadn’t charged my camera at this point so it died on me. So, I have no pictures to show at this point, I’m afraid, but suffice it to say the real treat during this expedition was seeing many kangaroos en-route. The rest I remember is misty and cold.


The Sky Tower was our last major stop in the city, as tourists.

There was some shopping and some cuddling with the family friends’ dog and general moments which made me affirm that it’s not where you are, but who you’re with and what you do, which decides how good or bad a vacation is.

That concluded our Sydney visit. Melbourne was calling us!


At the risk of sounding like an obnoxious commercial, can I spend a few seconds just talking about how wonderful our hotel in Melbourne was? Every inch of it was well-designed and incredibly glamorous.

I think I was most dazzled by the fact that there was an entertainment center attached to the hotel, and I could grab an ice cream from the food court and head over to watch a movie at a place that was just a minute’s walk away from my room. I did this in my pajamas at four in the morning.


The trees just outside the hotel were very pretty when lit up in the evening.


Early in the morning, we awoke to begin our “Great Ocean Road Adventure” during which we saw many scenic places, like the Twelve Apostles:


Tempting…..oh, wait, it says “may”.


We stopped at many beaches where the water seemed to be leftover from the ocean doing its laundry:


This is a place called Loch Ard Gorge, along the Shipwreck Coast.

The cove reminded me of stories in adventure books that I read when I was younger.


This was on the opposite side, and gave me chills for some reason.


We made a quick stop at Port Campbell. I had some delicious peppermint ice cream that I can still almost taste.

Somewhere during the journey to all these places, we spotted a few koalas in the wild. Our tour guide told us that they decide to move only for a few minutes each day, to a different tree with fresh leaves, when they need to. Not the most hyperactive of animals is an understatement.


The night before we left the city we went to this restaurant called Dracula’s Cabaret. The food wasn’t much, but the shows were brilliant. The performers had fantastic jokes, costumes, props and spot-on comedic timing. And really, what’s not to love about a Gothic-themed place? My only peeve was they had banned photography.

Choosing to exclude the uneventful second layover in Hong Kong brings me to the end of my trip. I hope you’ve enjoyed reliving it with me.


What I did in Australia: Part 2/3

After Cairns, we hopped on a flight to Brisbane and took a taxi to the Gold Coast. When we had finished checking into our hotel, we began our eternal search for good eats. I had several encounters with one type of feathered creature.

Why did the stork(at least, I think it’s a stork) cross the street? After eating, we walked in the direction of the beach and came to it as the sun was setting. The sky was lined with pink just above the horizon.

Here’s a picture of a lifeguard tower between the city and the beach:


The next day we took a Hummer ride into the mountains. We made a couple of stops in towns and to explore parts of the forest. Here are the interesting bits:


What is the world coming to when fudge has an age restriction?


We bought this for my father and smuggled it into the Hummer without him knowing. It was only right.


We passed many magnificent houses like this one.


An ornate mailbox and its keeper.


This is a little place called Natural Bridge.

Light in the midst of darkness.


If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear this bush was posing for me.


The place we ate lunch ate. Can’t tell you how glad I was to be out of the cold…

And inside a warm old-English home styled restaurant.


One place to see every kind of animal in the rain-forest. Our tour guide claimed to have seen all except the faeries. I’d sooner believe in faeries.


For language lovers. Care for a new challenge?


Next day a bus tour took us to explore Brisbane.

We made a stop to see it from a great vantage point.

Concrete beauty through smog.


We visited a botanical garden. I took plenty of shots, but there are enough flower pics on the internet. Cacti, on the other hand…

Pretty, pointy, perfect.


By now, it was time for a mid-morning snack. There wasn’t a big enough table available for all of us, so I decided to sit alone. Look who came to join me.

Someone’s not a big believer in forks.


One of our last stops was near a shopping center.

Balls of steel.

What I did in Australia: Part 1/3

A Prologue of sorts: 8-hour layover in Hong Kong

We walked around the city, admiring the architecture while hunting for a place to eat.

The place we found had great Italian food. Not a bad view either.

While waiting for my food, I found these interesting statues in the area.


We arrived in Cairns many hours later and settled into our hotel.

The next day we took the Skyrail(a cableway) into the rainforest.


At one of the terminals was the only spider I saw out of a box in Australia.


We caught a glimpse of a waterfall when walking through the forest.


The Skyrail took us to the village of Kuranda where we did some shopping at the local stores and visited the Venom Zoo.


We took the railway going back. I had Hogwarts-related flashbacks all the way. Oh, and look! Piano train.


The rest of our time in Cairns was spent exploring the city, discovering restaurants and cafes. We got lost at some point and ended up near a movie theater, so we also had a chance to watch Men in Black 3.

The day before we left Cairns, we trailed the edge of the wharf. The rainy weather didn’t allow us to go scuba diving, as we’d planned, but I still enjoyed it.


Coming soon: Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne

Spare me a couple of parentheses?


I am almost done packing and ready to leave for a trip to…*cue “Jaws” theme*….. Australia. In hindsight, I probably should have mentioned this a while back. My parents love traveling and usually let me tag along, so part of my summers are spent in different countries. This time my two older brothers are coming too….first time in a while, and we’ll be sharing a room. Should be interesting(by which I mean life-threatening). So, if I go missing, it will more likely be because of a duel with one of my siblings than a poisonous spider/snake/insect.

I leave you with these random pics of my Spain trip last year and promise to report back after three weeks. Hopefully, a few of you will still be around.