Australia Travel (Part II)

December 1, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
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{continued from Australia (Part I)}

Australia Travel Part II

Day 4: Monday 15 Nov 2004S   Sydney City Tour 1

At 10 am we left Melbourne and travelled to Sydney by plane. When we arrived there, a coach immediately brought us to the city for a sight-seeing tour.

Sydney City

Sydney is the largest city in Australia. It is a vibrant metropolitan city of 4 million people of diverse races and cultures. It spreads over a vast coastal basin with many harbours, e.g. Sydney Harbour and Darling Harbour.

Skyline of Sydney as seen from a cruise-boat at Sydney Harbour, Australia

Sydney Tower

The tallest structure in the city is Sydney Tower which is in Market Street. It is a famous landmark on the Sydney city skyline. Tourists can go up to 250 m above the street level and view a breathtaking scenery of the city and its harbours.

Sydney Chinatown

First, we went to Chinatown where there are many Chinese restaurants and shops which are traditionally run.

Chinatown in Sydney, NSW, Auatralia

Royal Gardens  After that, we went to the Royal Gardens which is located on the eastern edge of Sydney CBD. It is a place of natural beauty. People go there for peace and relaxation, and to learn about plants and horticulture. Surrounding the gardens is an open parkland of the Domain which is a place for sport, entertainment and recreation.

A large tree of diameter 80 feet can be seen in the Royal Gardens.

A large tree in Royal Gardens, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Darling Harbour

Then we walked about at Darling Harbour, The Rocks, and the outside area of Sydney Opera House.

Darling Harbour is a wonderful place for visitors to spend their time to relax, shop, wine, dine, watch a show and do other activities.

It is a leisure and entertainment precinct in the city. It has 120 specialty shops, 30 waterfront food outlets, National Maritime and Powerhouse Museum where you learn about Australian history and culture, Chinese Garden of Friendship which is a green and peaceful sanctuary, Sydney Aquarium which keeps more than 11,000 Australian aquatic animals, Imax Theatre where you can catch a movie on a giant screen and Star City Casino where you can try your luck.

The Rocks

At The Rocks, we admired some well-preserved quaint buildings. We could see at close range Australia’s largest steel bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is one of man’s greatest engineering works.

While we were at the Sydney Harbour waterfront, we came across two famous Australian iconic attractions, viz. Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Spanning across the Sydney Harbour is a massive steel and single-arch bridge which has a total length of 1149 metres. Opened on 19 March 1932, the bridge carries motor vehicles as well as trains. It links the Sydney Central Business District (CBD) and the North Shore.

It ofers a tourists’ popular activity i.e. “The Bridge Climb”. You must have courage and tough legs to walk up the catwalks, ladders and arches that lead to the top of the bridge which is 194 metres above sea-level. Once on top, you will be able to have a 360 degree panoramic and stunning views of the city and the harbour.

Harbour Bridge in the distance behind writer and wife, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Sydney Opera House  Sydney Opera House has a unique and spectacular shape. From afar it looks like a ship with white sails. Opened in 1973, it is located at Bennelong Point. It is about 185 metres long and 120 metres wide. The highest roof vault is 67 metres above sea level. Inside, there are 5 main auditoria, a reception hall, 5 rehearsal studios, 4 restaurants, a library, 60 dressing rooms and suites, and many more. A guided tour is available here.

The Opera House offers a wide variety of exciting entertainments ranging from theatre, musicals and opera to films.

Sydney Opera House in the distance behind the writer and family, Sydney, NSW. Australia

Sydney Harbour Boat Cruise  After a walk around Sydney Opera House, we went to board a cruise boat which took us round the beautiful Sydney harbour. As it was cruising, we saw the magnificent views of the city skyscrapers, Sydney Opera House, and Sydney Harbour Bridge. We even went under the huge bridge and were awe-stricken by its complicated massive structure of steel.

Enjoying a boat cruise in Sydney Harbour

At that time, the temperature was 35 degrees Celsius and it was of course scorching hot on the open deck of the boat. But the cruise was an enjoyable and memorable one. No visit to Sydney city is complete without a Sydney Harbour cruise.

Writer’s children relaxing and enjoying the Sydney Harbour boat-cruise, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Star City Restaurant

In the evening we had a buffet dinner of over 100 kinds of food at Star City Restaurant. I tried many of them. Our tour guide had prawns only for her dinner and later she fell sick.

Star City Casino

After the dinner, we entered a heavily guarded casino, Star City, which was just opposite the restaurant in the same building. I could only watch people gambling as I had said earlier I was travelling on a shoe-string budget. The casino offers all forms of gambling, like Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Mini Baccarat, Sic Bo, Big Wheel, Caribbean Stud Poker, Pai Gow and Pontoon.

Day 5 :Tuesday 16 Nov 2004  

Koala Park Sanctuary (Sydney)

Wombat and Koalas

After breakfast, we travelled to Koala Park Sanctuary which is along Castle Hill Road, Sydney.  At the sanctuary, my wife and I first took a photo with a ranger carrying a big, sleepy 14 year-old wombat. Then we took another photo with a young koala at another place nearby.

Writer and wife posing with a sleepy wombat and its keeper at Koala Park Santuary, Sydney, NSW, Australia

A curious koala staring at the writer and wife at Koala Park Sanctuary, Sydney


When we entered a fenced-up area, we saw some tourists feeding kangaroos. They were quite tame as they did not mind tourists getting close to them. There was a big and beautiful peacock in the area. It often spread its long colourful and shiny feathered tail to show off its beauty.

A young kangaroo posing with the writer and wife at Koala Park Sanctuary, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Sheep Shearing

Later we walked to a place where a fat, dirty-looking man with a cowboy hat showed us how a sheep was sheared. After shearing half-way, he asked a tourist to continue shearing the sheep for him. As the novice could not hold the sheep properly, the whole audience had a good laugh.

A man showing visitors the way of shearing a sheep at Koala Park Sanctuary, Sydney

Boomerang Throwing &  Sheep Dog

After the shearing demonstration, the man went to an open space and showed us his boomerang throwing skill. Then he commanded his intelligent black and white dog to show us how it rounded up a few sheep in the fenced up area. In another fenced-up area we were fortunate to see some big emus co-existing with the sheep.

Day 5: Tuesday 16 Nov 2004  

Travel to Blue Mountains National Parks

We left Sydney city in the morning and travelled westwards to the well-known Blue Mountains National Park.

It is a World Heritage Region. On the way, we stopped at Katoomba to have lunch at a Chinese restaurant, Canton Palace Restaurant. After lunch, we continued our journey.

Tour-group having lunch at Canton Palace Restaurant at Katoomba, NSW, Australia

Scenic World

Soon we reached a tourist spot known as Scenic World in the Blue Mountains. Then we took a ride on the Scenic Railway which is the steepest in the world. It goes down 200m to Jamison Valley. In the valley, we strolled through lush fern filled rainforest and came across an old coal mine area where there was a statue of a coal-miner and his horse-drawn cart. We also saw some rusty buckets lying on a slope. They were once used for carrying coal across the valley. One day they fell onto the slope because the cable holding them snapped.

Blue Mountains National Park covered with blue haze, NSW, Australia

Writer posing with a statue of a coal-miner in Jamison Valley, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

To go up a hill, we boarded Scenisender which is a big carriage carrying about 70 people at a time. It has transparent walls and roof so that the passengers can see the breathtaking panoramic views of the blue mountains, valleys and waterfalls.

Writer’s wife and children riding the world’s steepest train in Jamison Valley, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia

Echo Point and The Three Sisters

Later we went to a vantage point, Echo Point, to look at a unique rock formation which looks like three human figures. According to the aborigines’ legend, there were three sisters who were turned into rocks by their father as he was running away from a powerful evil spirit. Later, he could not change them back to human beings as he had lost his magic wand. So the three figures is now known as “The Three Sisters”.

Writer and family at Echo Point at Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia

The views from Echo Point are spectacular. You can see rugged tablelands, sheer cliffs and deep valleys. The whole region, covered with rich green flora, is engulfed in a blue haze caused by the oil from the Eucalyptus trees.

Writer’s wife looking at “The Three Sisters” from the Echo Point, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia

Later we went a souvenir shop where I saw a statue of an aboriginal man with a traditional musical instrument known as didgeridoo.

Writer posing with a statue of an aborigine with a didgeridoo at a souvenir shop, Blue Mountains National Park, NSW

Sydney Olympic Stadium

Travelling back to Sydney, we stopped at Australia’s largest stadium. It was in this stadium that the Olympics was held in year 2000. We were fascinated by many pillars erected outside the stadium. These pillars carry hundreds of Olympic gold-medalists’ names inscribed on them. I tried to look for some Malaysians’ names on them but, unfortunately, I did not find any.

Looking at the huge stadium outside, I started to imagine that I heard thousands of spectators cheering at the athletes who were running on the track inside. Having finished the race first, the winner jumped up for joy and happily threw kisses to the cheering crowds. Before I could go on imagining, we were asked to return to the coach to continue our journey back to Sydney City.

Sydney Olympic Stadium held Olympic Games in 2000

Day 6 : Wednesday 17 Nov 2004  

Queen Victoria Building (Sydney)

Queen Victoria Building

After breakfast in Sydney, my wife, son, my wife’s Australian friend and I walked to a well-known shopping quaint building, Queen Victoria Building, in George Street.

While walking to the shopping building or mall, I noticed three wise monkey figures at a pub entrance. The first monkey was closing its mouth, the second closing its eyes and the last one closing its ears. They sent a message that they “speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil”.

“Three Wise Monkeys” speak no evil, see no evil and hear no evil at the entrance of a pub in Sydney City

In the Queen Victoria Building, there are 5 levels of shops which offer branded fashionable clothes, food, arts, jewellery, antiques, gifts and souvenirs.

In the middle of the building stood a very tall Christmas tree which was beautifully decorated. It reminded the locals of the Christmas shopping season.

Queen Victoria Building, a shopping mall in Sydney, NSW, Australia

A large, heavily decorated Christmas Tree in Queen Victoria Building, Sydney

There is a large clock tower in the building with 4 paintings and sculptures depicting the life of the Australian aborigines before the white settlement, the Captain Cook’s landing in Australia in 1770, the second fleet of English convicts landing in 1790, and the taking of the children of the aborigines by government and missions for child protection to prevent their extinction in the period 1909-1969.

A sculpture showing aborigines before arrival of white settlers in 1788

Captain Cook and his crew landed in Botany Bay in 1770, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Sculpture showing the second landing of convicts in 1790 in Sydney Cove, NSW, Australia

Sculpture showing aboriginal children being taken away in the period 1909-1969

Sitting on a throne on a tall white pedestal outside the building is a bronze statue of Queen Victoria of England.

A bronze statue of Queen Victoria(1837-1901) outside Queen Victoria Building, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Paddy’s Market

Later, we walked to the Sydney’s largest and famous market, Paddy’s, in Hay Street. It has lots of shops selling all kinds of merchandise ranging from souvenirs and apparels to vegetables, fruits and seafood. It was fun to browse in the market. But we did buy something there.

Paddy’s Market in Hay Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia

City Monorail Ride

After visiting the busy market, we took a monorail which brought us round for an interesting sightseeing tour of the Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District).

In the evening, we took an early dinner and left for the Sydney airport to catch a flight home. At 11 pm (Sydney local time), our plane took off and we were on our way home (Malaysia).

Day 7 : Thursday 18 Nov 2004   

Journey Back To Malaysia

On the way home, I started to recollect the beautiful and interesting places I had visited, the friendly people I had met, native animals in sanctuaries I had watched, historic buildings I had seen, spectacular landscapes of the Blue Mountains, different city skylines, and many more that I had admired in Australia. Furthermore, I remembered the Australian foods and wine I had tasted, the air at different places I had smelt, the boat cruise I had enjoyed, and many other unforgettable experiences.

A Long Flight Risk

As it was a long journey home, I got up and walked up and down the aisle in the plane several times. That was to avoid the risk of developing dangerous blood clots in my legs. These blood clots may cause death if they block lungs, brains, or other vital organs.

Well, that is a diary of our Australia travel. Thank you for reading it and hope you have enjoyed it.

Written by: Choo Chaw, Kluang, Johor

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