Archive for the ‘Oliver’ Category

It is another long weekend in Sydney – Labour Day long weekend, which co-incides with the Floriade 2008! So we took the chance to visit the biggest flower festival in Australia, ushering in the most beautiful season in a year – the Spring..

Annual Event: Sat 13 Sep – Sun 12 Oct 2008

Floriade, Australia’s celebration of spring, blooms into Canberra each year transforming the usually green canvas of Commonwealth Park into a tapestry of colour. Over a million colourful bulbs and annuals bloom on cue, creating a vibrant display unrivalled by any other event of its kind.

There are a lot of tulips, poppies and other flowers that I don’t know their names..

Floriade 1

Little flowers

Floriade 2
Little flowers-close up


Tulips + Me!

Tulips + Me!

There are a lot more… after the jump! (more…)

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Continuing the photo post..

We continued driving towards Kosciuszko National Park. This is the largest national park in New South Wales and one of the greatest in the world. Covering almost 675,000 hectares, the park contains the highest mountains in Australia, the famous Snowy River and all NSW ski fields. Its many and varied attractions include walks through alpine herbfields; spectacular caves and limestone gorges; scenic drives; and historic huts and homesteads. 

In summer, vehicle pass is AUD16. The fee increases to AUD27 during winter!

Because it was still summer. We paid AUD16 to enter the park. And the pass was valid for one day. Then we continued to drive towards Perisher Valley.. 

The moment I stepped out of the car, I realised that I was not wearing enough clothes! It was freaking windy and cold in Perisher Valley! The strong wind almost blown me away!


Didn’t I look funny!?

Climbing to the lookout point..

more & more photos.. (more…)

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Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands, ninety minutes from Sydney, includes the larger towns of Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale. Smaller villages such as Berrima, Exeter, Bundanoon and Robertson offer unique attractions, shopping and eateries. A number of vineyards in the region, now have cellar door sales and the wine trail is a major attraction. In spring people come from all over the world to enjoy Tulip Time and the many private gardens open to the public. At the edge of the shire is the Morton National Park with excellent facilities at Fitzroy Falls .

Southern Highlands also include Goulburn, which is on the far side of the Southern Highlands, is Australia first inland city and today has a wonderful wide main street and boasts many preserved colonial buildings.

We visited Southern Highlands during a sunny Sunday. We managed to have a short visit to Mittagong, Bowral and Fitzroy Falls. The place is really wonderful. Relaxing atmosphere, beautiful landscape..

Autumn shows his color through the trees..

A small church in Bowral.


Fitzroy Falls.. magnificent, isn’t it?


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Another scenic drive along the Bells Line of Road and it brought us to our first visit of Mount Tomah Botanic Garden. This is a cool climate garden as it is situated at an altitude of over 1000 metres in the northern Blue Mountain of NSW.

It was another sunny day but it was an enjoyable tour after all.. The entrance fee is AUD4.40 per adult.

We stopped by the road to have the “best meat pies” – as advertised.. it was quite nice.. but i m not sure whether it is the best:P

There was an exhibition about carnivorous insects in the garden. More photos after the jump.. (more…)

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This is an over-due photo post..

We went to Newcastle, which is about one-hour drive towards north of Sydney. We went there on the Australian Day (National Day of Australia). There were not much activities in Newcastle city itself. There were some youngster wearing flags walking around in the city area. It was a hot & sunny day. Newcastle just made us feel more sleepy. We were told that it is the 2nd largest city in New South Wales. We really could not see why!? The day we went there… .the city center was really quiet.. there were some people gathering near the sea, celebrating the Australian day but.. we still felt that the city was a little bit bored!

The only bonus was to get on a free boat trip, sponsored by Newcastle Port Authority!! Anyway, nothing special!

After spending few hours in Newcastle and had a rather long lunch (becoz it was so hot out there), we decided to drive to Port Steven, which is about 40 minutes drive from Newcastle. It was a wise decision.


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Driving to work

Since we bought the car, I start to drive to work. My travel time to company has been shortened from 1.5 hours to 35 minutes. I have identified three different routes to travel to the company.  However, I only tried two out of these three routes. I use one route to go to company and another one to return home. This is because I have to avoid taking Harbour Bridge to go to company as I will be charge AUD3 to cross the bridge from north to south! But when going from south to north via Harbour Bridge, it is toll-free! Weird huh!?

Anyway, Route 1 consists of smaller, much more hilly, bumpy and winding roads with a lot of traffic lights. It took me 35-40 minutes in the early morning to reach my company which is about 22km away. For Route 2 which I take daily to go home, most of them are big roads with less traffic lights, much smoother and less hilly. Route 2 is slightly longer which is 24km. There is also Route 3 which I have yet to try out (probably tomorrow :P)

So I have to travel about 50km daily! That is a big burden on petrol cost!! In Australia, it is interesting to add fuel to your vehicle! Why would I say that? It is very different from Malaysia where most petrol stations sell fuel at fixed price. We have to shop around to find cheapest fuel as different petrol station will sell their fuel at different rate.

And this is not the end of fun. The rate changes daily!! Some say Tuesday is the cheapest to refill your fuel!! Some say weekends are the most expensive!! Isn’t that fun? Like shopping for FUEL!?? And this is REALLY true. So it is best to refill on TUESDAY!! I must remember that and time my fuel usage properly! I have already found the cheapest petrol station around my area, which is CALTEX on Falcon street! It is also wise to collect some supermarket receipts (woolworth, coles) where they give discount of 4c per litre. I used this discount once. For 40 dollars of fuel, I saved about AUD1.20! Not too bad ya! Saving 1 cent is 1 cent! hahaa..I am quickly becoming calculative housewife!


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We took her out for the first long-distance drive on the Christmas day, along the famous tourist drive- Bells Line of Road. The driving was smooth and we enjoyed the ride very much. We did miss a turn and lost our way near Blacktown. But luckily we found our way after we asked for directions at a petrol station. We definitely need a street directory or a GPS system?!! Currently, we are using specific road-map printed from Google Maps everytime we need to go to some specific places. So if we miss a turn or took a wrong turn, we will have troubles getting back to the right direction. Although we have lost our directions many times in Sydney, we still managed to find our way back home or reach the destination eventually!! Friends, isn’t this just like our life? We may make a decision that we feel is wrong or may not be the most optimal one, we will be fine eventually!!  

As for Bells Line of Road, the area is famous for its apples, fruit stalls, vast panoramas, stunning views of the rugged Grose Valley, bushwalks, galleries, craft and antique shops.

On our right we could see the entrance to the start of Pierce’s Pass. The views of the Grose Gorge from the top here are incredible. Pierce’s Pass leads to the Grose River and eventually to the Blue Gum Forest.

Panoramic views near Kurrajong Village

The Bells Line of Road’s most famous attraction is the amazing Mt Tomah Cold Climate Botanic Garden, but too bad it was not open on the day we went. We did take a few photos at entrance 😛


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