The last time we have been to Australia was is 2001. We wanted to watch the Sydney Olympic Games, but was tied up with work, so we went there after. We tried to squeeze everything into our weeks vacation. We went to Sydney, then Melbourne, and landed in Brisbane. I will begin our adventures, with Sydney. We booked our holiday package through Qantas Holidays, which again to me is always a good choice. You get to fly with one of the world’s best airlines, and stay at some of the best hotels in the world. By the way, before I forget, I want to remind you that Australian customs doesn’t allow you to bring in milk or milk products, and meat or meat products. We learned this the hard way. Fortunately they allowed us to bring with us the baby formula for our son, who was 2 years old then.
In Sydney, we were staying at the Four Points by Sheraton, which was conveniently just besides Darling Harbour. Upon completing the check in procedures, we left our luggage with the concierge. We immediately looked for a supermarket to stock up on bottled water, foods, biscuits, and the sort, as we had an infant with us. After shopping for these necessities, I told my wife that we should stroll nearby the hotel. Australia is a bustling city like Hong Kong, where people are always in a hurry. While strolling we saw that the Sydney Aquarium is just nearby, so we visited the aquarium, and was impressed by its size. We also saw some
marine animals, that we didn’t see in Ocean Park Hong Kong, such as a Great White Shark. There were a lot of things to see and learn in this marvelous aquarium. After the aquarium we went to Darling Harbour, where we were fortunate to see and hear, Jennifer Lopez perform in a free concert, at Darling Harbour. There were a lot of people who wanted to watch J. Lo, and the crowds were getting out of hand, so we decided not to finish the concert and leave, as we were fearing for the safety of our infant son. Darling Harbour has a varied choice of restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, that you will be spoiled by choice. While there we saw the Sydney Olympic ticket booth, which was still on display, so we had our pictures taken for posterity reason. We also saw a banner for a water taxi tour along Darling Harbour, that we decided that we want to take the tour. We learnt that the water taxi tour operates at night, which was fine with us. We went back to the hotel, to rest up for our water taxi tour. The water taxi tour, toured us around Sydney Harbour, Sydney HarbourBridge, and the Sydney Opera House. It was a fun way to see another perspective of Sydney.
The following day, we were supposed to go to Taronga Zoo, but the instruction given to us for claiming the ticket was not clear. When we reach the dockyards to board the boat, that was supposed to ferry us to Taronga Zoo, it had already left, and wouldn’t come back till the afternoon. Deciding not to ruin our day, and our schedule, we decided to visit Bondi Beach. Bondi is a wonderful beach. There are a lot of people, from tourist, to office workers, and locals, wishing to soak in some sun, and some surf. After Bondi Beach, we went to Fox Studios, a movie studio theme park. We saw Titanic, the Simpsons, parades, rides, shows, and a lot more. We decided to call it a day, as on our third day, we were supposed to wake up early to catch our flight to Melbourne.
On the third day, we took our flight from Sydney to Melbourne. Upon reaching Melbourne, we immediately proceeded to our hotel, which was The Swanston Hotel Melbourne, as we were tired from the plane trip. We rested ourselves for a while. Melbourne is a bit laid back, compared to Sydney. On our first day here, we visited China Town, and other attractions. We visited Melbourne Zoo, and Melbourne Aquarium. Then we called it a day. The next day, we visited Sovereign Hill in Ballarat Victoria. According to the information we got, this used to be a mining town, which mined for GOLD! We spent the whole day there. It was like being transported back in time, as the people were in Victorian style clothes. Even the restaurant we ate in, the waitresses wore clothes that looks like it came from history books. We also panned for gold, and since we didn’t get any, we did the second best thing, we bought gold dust in a bottle as a keepsake.
As we end our Australian experiences, as we only had 5 days, which includes the plane trips, the transfers, and others. I will be blogging our New Zealand experience soon.