Friday, December 2, 2016

A Glimpse of Auckland

I went to Auckland just 2 days after a big earthquake hit North West of Christchurch on Nov 14th 2016. At first I wasn't so sure about this trip, but I decided to keep my trip on schedule. However I have to change some of my itinerary and I cancelled my trip to South Island. 

Auckland CBD from Ferry to Devonport

SkyBus Shuttle - It will take you to Airport from city and vice versa (N$18 one way) 

 some of lanes on CBD area already covered with Xmas knick knacks

 Sky City Tower - Icon of Auckland

 One of street art I have found in New Market

 One Tree Hill - One of my favorite area in Auckland, where you can meet sheep, cow and see Auckland city from above

posing in the middle of twin oak drive, One Tree Hill

 Parnell Village - themed shopping village

a trip to Devonport with ferry

beautiful view on Devonport

 Rocky Bay in Waiheke Island, you can reach Waiheke Island by ferry (35mins) and ride local bus to this area

BONUS PHOTO: One of beautiful corner in Hobbiton Movie Set (I will write separate article about this one)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Trekking to Hornby Lighthouse, Watsons Bay


Whenever weekend comes, the first thing come up in my mind is "Where should I go this time?" I rarely have day off on Sunday but when I get one, I really want to maximize the day. Another good news is Opal Card daily cap limit on Sunday only A$2,5, so I can travel quite far and it will just cost me A$2,5. 

Three months ago, my friend came to visit Sydney before she moved back to Indonesia. I came with an idea to visit Watsons Bay in Eastern suburb and she agreed. Watsons bay can be reach easily by ferry or bus from city and this area is part of Sydney Harbour National Park. I might say Sydney Harbour national park is a unique national park which located on 4 different area, Watsons bay, Manly, Mosman and Balgowlah height.

That was a quite hot day even the winter hasn't come to an end. It was good thing since we got a really blue and bright sky which is perfect for taking picture, but the bad thing was we still wear our heavy jacket, super wrong outfit hahahaha.

wrong outfit

Ferry from Circular quay to Watsons bay leaves from wharf 4 every 30 minutes. I would say trekking path to the lighthouse is level 1 since it was quite easy path unlike the one I've done in Palm beach.

If you come to Watsons bay around lunch hour, you can grab your lunch from some food store near the Ferry wharf. I had Fish and Chips as my lunch and some seagulls as my companion, what a perfect annoying lunch hahahaha.    

Fish and chip by the beach


 oops I visited nude beach by accident



Tips:
1. Read sign correctly before enter some area, I was accidentally downhill to nude beach on my way to the lighthouse, hahahahahah when I realized, I quickly came back to the main road
2. See the weather forecast first, you dont want to get wrong costume
3. I bet you want to go to this place on Sunday since it will cost you A$2,5 on transport :) and you will save your money on ferry or you can take 324/325 bus from Park street, Town hall
4. Bring some water and snacks if you want to stay a while on the top, because there is no food stall up there and don't forget to throw your rubbish on trash bin provided

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Postcard from Hobart, Tasmania


I had 3 days holiday in Hobart and I regret it so much, yess I regret it, why it was just 3 days? I should spent one month or more in beautiful and calm Tasmania. Some people said Tasmania is little New Zealand and I could not agree more. New Zealand famous by its greens and beautiful nature and so is Tasmania, they even share some suburb's name. 

I will not write so much in detail about Hobart in this article yet, but hopefully these pictures can tell you so many things.

 City center, those are bus mall bus stops where bus stop glass's facing the street. On the left hand side is Hobart grand post office.

Make sure you visit Hobart on Saturday for Salamanca Market, located at Salamanca Place. You can literally find almost everything you need there. From groceries to clothes, from art craft to handmade soap.

You will fall in love with Salamanca Market, you can find almost all local food here, so you dont have to go anywhere else. On the picture is Salmon sausage in toasted focaccia roll with lettuce and mayo.

Don't forget their local performance, you can see the schedule on the alley.

 One of church on Brisbane street

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery 


 One of the unique street sign on Queen Street Mall

Picturesque Franklin Wharf with Mt Wellington on the background

Sydney Travel Guides [Part 2]




Have you read the part 1? Here are Sydney Travel guides part 2 covering Transportation around city, Where to stay, What and Where to eat

Transportation around city
Sydney's light rail

Public transportation in Sydney are reliable. If you already have Opal card, you can simply tap on and tap off on the pad provided on each transportation. You can travel around by train, bus, light rail and ferry. Most of the tourist attractions can be reach easily using public transportation. If you want to check route and time table you can download mobile apps called TripView lite on your Android phone or Iphone.

double decker train

Sydney has double decker trains which has moving-direction seat that reminded me with the one I found in Japan. It also has double decker buses on some routes. You can also bike around the city, there are some bike rental shop near The Rocks and city center.

Where to stay?


There are many types of accommodation in Sydney, I always be friend with booking.com, Agoda.com or Hostelworld.com for hotels deal.


Hostel
The most favorites one is YHA chain hostel which has around 5 properties around Sydney; Railway square YHASydney central YHASydney harbour YHAGlebe Point YHA and Bondi Beachhouse YHA. Try to create YHA's membership card for getting discounts and benefits around Australia. 

During my first week in Sydney, I ever stayed at 790 on George backpacker hostel which close to Central station or you might want to check for Wake up hostel, Nate's Place backpacker and Bounce hostel too.


Budget Hotel
In CBD area there are some Budget hotel like Ibis budgetWoolbrokers hotel, and Sydney Central hotel.


Hotel & Boutique Hotel
one of the room in Old Clare Hotel

There are also big chain hotels like Sheraton, Four Season, Shangri-La, Sofitel and Intercontinental. In case you want to try some others great accommodation than the big chain, I might recommend you to take a look to Ovolo HotelOld Clare HotelThe Urban NewtownPensione HotelQT Sydney and 1888 Hotel.


Serviced Apartment
If you travelling with families and need apartment type accommodation, you can try Meriton Serviced apartment in city area.


AirBnb
living room and kitchen in AirBnb property in Narrabeen

The last if you want to stay as a local, you might one to try book airbnb property in Sydney. I have some experience on staying in airbnb in Pyrmont and Narrabeen area, you can read it here.

What and where to eat & drink?
This one is quite tricky, if you really want to try local food to be honest I can't named many local food in Sydney as it seems like Sydney surrounded by Asian restaurant. Yes..yes.. Asian restaurants (Japanese, Korean, Thailand, Malaysian even Lebanese) are easier to be found than the local restaurant. I tried to ask some local for suggestion but I just found some.

1. Fish and chips

The first food come to my mind definitely this one and this is my must buy item when I visit beach and don't forget to be accompanied by seagull as the perfect frenemy LOL. 

2. Meat Pies


This snack can be found in many places form specific pie store such as Harry's cafe de wheels, pie face, the pie tin to local supermarket and convenience store like Woolworth, Coles and Seven eleven. It is basically a pie with savory filling like minced beef or minced chicken. Some of store served meat pies with mashy peas and mushroom gravy, it so yummy.


3. Sausage roll

It is a puff pastry with sausage inside and perfect for grab to go breakfast. I found store in Wynyard station which sells sausage roll, meat pies and another pastries with cheaper price starts from A$1.

4. Kangaroo steak

It might sound weird for me, as I never think that Kangaroo's meat is can be eaten and to be honest I still don't brave enough to try some as I always think Kangaroos are cute animal hahahaha. Hey but why don't you try some and explain to me how does it taste?

5. Emu, Kangaroo and Crocodile jerky

I found these jerky packages in Woolworths and Metro, some people said these are good as souvenirs for families and friends back home but I don't think they have a gut to try it.

6. Vegemite

Here come the most famous spread in Australia and the most hated spread by Australian at the same time (based on my Australian corespondents). I ever tried it once and yesss I don't like it, some of youngster in Sydney said it tasted really good. If you curious enough, you should try this spread when you visit Sydney.

7. Craft beer
Sydney is famous for its craft beer, well since I don't drink alcohol I think I can't tell much about it but I have some reference from local for good breweries in Sydney. 4 Pines brewhouse located in Manly area, this brewery serves the entire 4 pines range (Kolsch, Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, Stout and Extra Special Bitter). The Brewing Company located in Alexandria, it has 'Boxer' Red Ale, 'Hangman' Pale Ale, Butcher Porter, 'Governor' Golden Ale, The Convict Lager. Willie The Boatman located in St Peters, famous for its Willie The Boatman range, 'Foo Brew' Golden Ale, 'Todd's Trailer Ale' Pale Ale, 'Crazy Ivan' IPA, 'The Bulger' Pacific English special bitter and many others. You can also find wide range of local craft beer on bottle-o shop (caller for liquor shop in Australia).

8. Lamington Cake

Lamington cake is basically a sponge cake coated with chocolate and covered with desiccated coconut. It usually can be found in local supermarket like Coles and Woolworths or even in convenience store like seven eleven. 

9. Pavlova

When it come to dessert, I will definitely love this dish. Well, it basically a meringue based dessert topped with fruits and whipped cream. This is actually the easiest dessert I can make in Sydney, because you can buy Pavlova based in local supermarket and just add the topping creatively.  

10. Tim Tam

Ok this is not local food, you can actually find Tim Tam almost everywhere, but here in Australia they have unique flavors. If you come to Sydney, you might want to buy some special limited time flavors Tim Tam, such as Toffee apple, Pineapple, Mango, Coconut cream, Espresso Martini, Pina Colada and many more. Well not only in Sydney, you can also find those flavors on Coles and Woolworths around the country.

11. Doughnut Time


 Central Park Mall store

This local donut was originally from Brisbane and spread out to Sydney, Gold coast and Melbourne. It has weekly special flavors and limited area flavors. In Sydney it has special flavor called "Blue Crush" which was exclusive to Doughnut time store in Bondi Junction. 

12. Gelato


Messina
Left: Coconut Lychee, Right: Raspberry

I don't know what is going on with Sydneysiders but it seems like gelato has become a habit. Even on windy and winter, you can see line up on some gelato seller. Some of famous Sydney's gelato bars are Gelato Messina (you can find monthly special flavors), Cow & The Moon, Anita Gelato, Ciccone and Sons and RivaReno.