Thursday, May 19, 2016

One day in Movie World - Gold Coast

It was quite confusing for me whether to choose going to Movie World or Dream World for my itinerary in Gold Coast at first. I decided to watch point of view movie clip some of the rides on Youtube and I totally attracted to Green Lantern Coaster and Superman Escape in Movie World, well then Movie World it is.

It was easy peasy to reach all of the theme parks in Gold coast by bus and the bus would likely come every 10 minutes. In around 30 minutes, I arrived at Movie world bus stop and at the same time I heard those little kids screamed "we are heree... we are here...", yes kiddo we are here.
I bought the tickets online which is cheaper than if you buy it on the spot. I paid A$79 for Local season pass unlimited entry to Sea World, Movie World and Wet n' Wild for 5 consecutive days. Meanwhile, if you buy the tickets on the spot it will cost you A$89 for one park only.

The rides

I was so sad when I finding out the park is smaller than my expectation but the rides were so awesome and I like all the characters. Here are some rides that I like the most but if you want to get more details of the rides, you can visit Movie World website.

Green Lantern Coaster

I really confused when I rode this one and I become the one who really excited and screamed "woohooo, yeaaaaayyy" meanwhile the rest were in the moment of silence, LOL. I didn't know whether they were sleepy or really afraid of this one. It has 3 times 360 degree twist which is maybe the reason why most of the people on my car didn't even want to scream out. You should try this one :)

Batwing spaceshot

Superman Escape

This is also another roller coaster with a twist. There is no 180 degree twist in this ride as long as I remember, this ride is something else. Roller coaster usually run slowly on the first climbing track but it didn't apply on this ride, you can find thrilling moment from the very first climbing track.

Scooby-doo Spooky coaster

This ride is similar with the Mummy Revenge ride in Universal Studios Singapore, but it moves slower. It has both dark room experience and backward movement track too. I didn't really like this one because it made my left arm hurt due to the movement but I really like the track.

Wild West Falls

there is also kids area in WB kids 

Road Runner Roller Coaster 

these kids were really excited on the ride

Whenever I come to the theme park, I usually choose kid's roller coaster first for warming up. This roller coaster was my first ride on that day, hahahahah with all of those kids.

Sylvester & Tweety Cages

Meet The Characters

On some specific place there would be character meet up and in case you missed it, there will be a parade on main road at 3.30pm everyday and all of the character on that day meet up will be join the parade.

Some of the characters appearance will be guided by 1 photographer but when there is no photographer with them and you travel to the theme park alone, well you can go for selfie photo then. Psst in the second day I came to this park, the one who act as Shaggy can say some words in Indonesian language like "Selamat Siang" (good afternoon) and "Sampai Jumpa" (see you again).

More Info:
- There are 50% discount store next to the entrance open around 3 pm, if you already bought some souvenirs up to A$50 then you can buy everything in this store with 50% discount
- There are some postcard with Movie World theme sold in souvenir stores
- There is a prayer room in WB kids area next to Sylvester & Tweety cages ride

this gas station building is actually a prayer room

How to go to Movie World by bus:

TX2 bus from Broadbeach or Surfer paradise area (every 10 - 15 minutes on weekdays)
TX1 bus from Coolangata, Palm Beach or Burleigh Heads area (every 30 minutes on weekdays)
you can pay for single trip to the driver or just simply use Go Card 

Monday, May 2, 2016

4 Exciting Places to Spend Your Afternoon in Sydney

Let's us forget about Opera House, Royal Botanical Garden, Hyde Park, Queen Victoria Building or Darling Harbour for a second. Those places are too famous and also full of people during day and night. Well, Sydney has many other places to offer. I like to explore the city to find great spot to spend a day just for daydreaming or picnic or just for hanging out with some friends. Here's my first 4 favorite exciting places around Sydney:

1. Barangaroo Reserve

there is also a jogging track

You can reach Barangaroo by walk from Wynyard or Circular quay or by bus 311 / 324 / 325 from Sydney CBD. This place is something else (well at least for me) it located *still* in the middle of the city but we will get totally different atmosphere. From the old building on the background to the cube rocks near the bay. 

2. Woolloomooloo Bay

There are many yachts' pier in Sydney area and this one is one of my favorite. Located next to Royal botanical garden, Wollomooloo bay can be easily reach from Sydney CDB *again by bus* you can take 311 bus heading to Watson Bay. In this area we can watch some people do fishing, some big ships, restaurans along the bay and the one and only Ovolo Wollomooloo (an artsy hotel which has a wharf look on its aisle, well I think it was previously a real wharf).

3. Molineux Point Lookout, La Perouse

Bare Island is on the right side

At first, I went to eastern suburb to visit La Perouse. Uhhhh but that day was a sunny day in summer time and it turned out really difficult to find a park space near the beach or Bare island. So my friend decided to take me to this area which is waaaaayyy more quiet. We can have the park just for ourself we can see Bare island and La Perouse beach from here. What a relax afternoon.

4. Narrabeen

peaceful lake

peaceful beach

I always love this suburb, well although you have to spend 45 minutes by bus to this place. Narrabeen has beach and lake, we can picnic on the beach or paddling on the lake. Both of the area have different atmosphere, my favorite is the lake. On Sunday there is local market near the lake where you can buy clothes, food, candles even cactus and small trees. 

Which one is your fave? 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

10 Hal Yang Perlu Kamu Tahu Tentang Sydney - Australia

G'day Mate 

Buat yang mau bepergian atau masih merencanakan pergi ke Australia, khususnya ke Sydney, berikut ini beberapa hal yang perlu kamu tahu sebelum kamu berkunjung. Selain lumayan buat nambah info, saya juga mau cerita beberapa hal yang sempat membuat saya culture shock di Sydney.

1. Mata Uang

Mata uang yang digunakan di sini adalah dollar Australia, yang sama juga dengan kebanyakan mata uang lain di sini juga ada uang kertas dan uang koin. Untuk nominal uang kertasnya dimulai dari 5 dollar, 10 dollar, 20 dollar, 50 dollar dan paling tingginya adalah 100 dollar. Uniknya justru di pengenalan uang koin, jenis uang koin di Australia ada dua macam, koin cent dan koin dollar. Lebih gampangnya tinggal lihat warna si koin tersebut, jika perak berarti koin cent dan jika emas berarti koin dollar.

Semakin besar diameter koin perak nominalnya semakin besar, hal ini justru berkebalikan dengan koin emas. Jadi 50 cent ukuran koinnya jauh lebih besar dari 5 cent, sedangkan koin 1 dollar koinnya lebih besar dari koin 2 dollar. Duh jadi ngeri yah nyimpen 2 dollar, koinnya hampir hanya sebesar koin 50 rupiah kita loh. Uang koin dollar dan cent Australia juga mempunyai beberapa edisi khusus yang dibuat untuk memperingati acara atau peringatan tertentu.

koin perak - koinan cent

koin emas - koinan dollar

Udah kayak perangko, suka ada koin edisi khususnya 

2. Naik kendaraan umum tinggal Tap pake Opal Card

kartu Opal ke 3 selama di Sydney, yg pertama ilang, yg kedua ketinggalan di kereta

Mulai tahun 2014 akhir, Sydney melakukan automasi untuk metode pembayaran transportasinya. Mulai dari bis, kereta, light rail hingga ferry dapat dibayar menggunakan satu kartu yang disebut Opal Card. Hal ini sebenarnya diadaptasi dari sistem serupa di Singapura, namun di sini Opal Card sementara hanya berlaku untuk transportasi yang saya sebutkan di atas tadi, kalo di Singapura Ezlink bisa juga digunakan untuk membayar taksi dan transaksi di minimarket.

Enaknya menggunakan Opal card, pembayaran transportasi jadi lebih mudah ketimbang beli tiket terpisah atau bayar langsung ke supir (saat ini tidak semua bis melayani pembayaran di tempat). Setiap harinya untuk orang dewasa pembayarn tarif transportasi akan dibatasi maksimal A$15, setelah itu akan gratis. Setiap hari minggu, tarifnya dibatasi maksimal A$2,5, no wonder kereta akan terlihat lebih padat di hari ini, dan buat para pelancong hari minggu bisa menjadi hari terbaik untuk mengambil trip jarak jauh (misalnya ke Newcastle atau Blue Mountain).

Sydney light rail - tahun ini banyak jalan yang ditutup karena ada penambahan rute light rail

Setiap Minggunya apabila kita sudah menggunakan Opal Card untuk 8 kali perjalanan (dengan jeda waktu perjalanan minimal 1 jam), trip ke 9 dan seterusnya akan gratis dan hitungan trip akan kembali di reset di hari senin.

3. Double Decker Train

Ini adalah salah satu hal norak pertama saya saat sampai di Sydney. "ihh keretanya tingkaatt, ihh..ih..." *untung ga ada yang denger yaa*. Jadi kalo dilihat kereta di Sydney seperti ada 3 tingkata terpisah, lower level, ground level (di sini ada bangku khusus untuk orang tua, ibu hamil, orang-orang yang berpergian dengan anak-anak atau penumpang dengan disabilitas) dan upper level. Beberapa bangku kereta di lower dan upper level dapat diubah posisi duduknya, mirip seperti kereta yang pernah saya naiki di Osaka.

4. Aman menyebrang di Zebra Cross

Waktu di Jakarta, meskipun menyebrang di zebra cross para pejalan kaki selalu deg-degan jika mau menyebrang dan malah seringnya selalu mengalah kepada penggendara kendaraan bermotor. Di lampu merah sekalipun, zebra cross kerap dipenuhi pengendara sepeda motor yang berhenti. 

Lalu gimana kalo di Sydney? menyebrang di Sydney lebih aman dan nyaman, terutama di zebra cross dengan rambu khusus. Pejalan kaki bisa langsung melenggangkan kaki dengan mantap untuk menyebrang, karena pengendara akan langsung berhenti begitu tahu ada pejalan yang akan menyebrang di zebra cross tersebut. Nah karena hampir seluruh hidup saya dilalu dengan deg-degan nyebrang di jalan, kebiasaan itu sering kebawa-bawa di sini. Saya suka lupa dan malahan nunggu mobil atau motornya lewat, padahal mereka emang otomatis berhenti. Ketika hal itu terjadi saya cuma bisa senyum-senyum sendiri dan baru ingat kalo ini di Sydney *tepok jidat*.

Saat akan menyebrang di perempatan atau pertigaan, pejalan kaki juga harus memperhatikan rambu lalu lintas. Buat para pejalan kaki yang nakal dan nekat nyebrang bisa kena denda A$200. Bahkan ada peraturan baru yang melarang menyebrang sambil sibuk main hp, bisa kena denda hingga A$300. *uuhhh sayaang bener kan duitnya mending buat makan sebulan*

5. Piknik di Taman

piknik ke taman yuk

Piknik di taman jadi salah satu wisata gratis seru di Sydney loh. Ga perlu takut dan malu buat ngegelar kain dan ngeluarin kotak makan sambil berteduh di bawah pohon. Di Sydney, saat jam break makan siangpun banyak eksekutif muda yang menyantap makan siangnya di taman kota terdekat. Taman-taman cantik yang paling enak buat piknik di antaranya Hyde Park dan Royal Botanical Garden, atau bisa juga ke Mrs. Macquaire's chair sambil nungguin matahari terbenam.

6. Burung-burung yang berkeliaran cakep-cakep

Pink Parrot at Snape Park, Maroubra

Pengunjung Darling Harbour

Dulu cuma tahu burung gereja aja yang sering wara-wiri di langit sekitaran rumah. Di Sydney, saya bisa ketemu burung camar, burung kakak tua putih, pink parrot hingga burung Ibis di sekitaran Darling Harbour atau di taman-taman kota. Duh berasa damai banget kaaan *lalu buru-buru pake payung takut kejatuhan "sesuatu" dari langit*.

7. Seat Belt alias sabuk pengaman

Buat yang biasa di Jakarta, seat belt atau sabuk pengaman sudah wajib digunakan untuk para pengemudi juga namun lebih sering kita lihatnya hanya pengemudi dan orang yang duduk di samping pengemudi aja kan yang menggunakan seat belt. Di Sydney, semua orang di dalam mobil harus menggunakan seat belt, orang yang duduk di kursi belakang sekalipun. Selain untuk memastikan keaman semua penumpang di dalam mobil, sepertinya ini juga jadi salah satu cara agar satu mobil tidak diisi berjubel atau melebihi kapasitas bangku mobil itu sendiri, eh gimana tuh yang mau mudik yaaa? kan suka rameann naik mobilnya

8. Ga perlu takut sama anjing (rata-rata anjing yang berkeliaran well trained)

Ini satu hal yang saya highlight banget, jujur saya ini sebelumnya takut pake banget sama anjing (jenis apapun itu). Mungkin karena anjing-anjing yang biasa saya temui sebelumnya agresif dan sering mengonggong. Di sini awalnya juga shock banget karena di taman dan di jalan bakalan sering banget ketemu anjing-anjing peliharaan, namun selama tinggal di Sydney phobia saya ini berangsur menghilang. Anjing-anjing di sini well trained, ramah, dan lucu. Di Sydney ada peraturan yang mengaruskan pemilik anjing melatih anjingnya agar jinak dan tidak sembarangan menggongong ke orang lain loh. Bahkan jika tiba-tiba anjingnya mengigit pejalan kaki, pemilik anjing bisa dituntut di pengadilan. 

9. Mudah mencari makanan Asia

Percaya atau tidak, di Sydney kita akan lebih mudah mencari makanan asia seperti Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Lebanese, Indian dan Malaysian food ketimbang makanan lokalnya. Di tengah kota sekalipun malah dipenuhi oleh makanan asia ketimbang makanan lokalnya. Kalo saya sih bahagia banget, karena dengan begitu saya tidak pernah kesulitan mencari menu nasi. (anak Indonesia banget, kalo belum ketemu nasi berarti belum makan)

10. Street Performancenya keren-keren

Ngamen sambil jualan CD music karya mereka 

Awalnya sempat bingung, ada kerumunan apa di tengah outdoor area antara Pitt street mall dan Westfield. Ketika didekati, ternyata orang-orang mengerumuni street performance yang lagi asyik memainkan lagu. "eh ada pengamen juga yah di Sydney?" pikir saya saat itu. Ternyata bukan hanya sekedar "mengamen", semua street performance yang ada di Sydney harus memiliki izin khusus untuk melakukan aksinya. Ada biaya tahunan yang harus mereka keluar untuk iuran izin yang menurut info teman saya untuk zona tempat mereka beraksinyapun sudah ditentukan. Tidak hanya pemusik saja, namun ada juga pelukis, pesulap, hingga orang yang akting menjadi patung (duh jadi inget di Kota Tua, Jakarta yah). Gimana yang ga punya izin? jika ketahuan oleh ranger, street performance tersebut bisa kena denda.

Pelukis ini bagi-bagi hasil karya secara gratis

Info Penting lain :

Bahasa yang digunakan - English
Time Zone - GMT +10
Country Code - +61
Electrical Socket - Type I
Water tap - Drinkable

Baca juga postingan seru lainnya seputar culture shock di Australia:

Efi Yanuar - Menjadi Ratu di Negeri Orang
Hilal -  "Iiihhh.. Tempat Pipisnya kok gitu sih??" Gegar Budaya (Culture Shock) Di Australia
Hendra - Kerja di Australia itu... (Balada WHV di Australia part 2)

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Survived Chifley Cave on Jenolan Caves

Welcome to Jenolan Caves

Did I ever tell you that I am a person with claustrophobia ?

Somehow I have an anxiety disorder which makes me has an irrational fear of having no escape or being closed-in in a dark place or narrow space. This is why I decided not to go inside the Cu Chi tunnel during my trip in Ho Chi Minh city. Last month, my friend invited me to go to Jenolan caves with her and her family. I agreed quickly as it will become my first caving experience here in Sydney. 

Jenolan caves are limestones caves located almost 200 kms away from Sydney CBD and it will take you around 3 hours drive by car. These caves located in Blue Mountain area and I think it can only accessible by car or tour from city as there is no public bus available in this area. I read Jenolan caves brochure that I got from a friend on my way to the cave. There are 10 different guided cave tours available with 3 levels of difficulty from easy, average to strenuous. 

The beautiful scenery all the way to Jenolan hypnotized my eyes. The air was so cool and refreshing, we even decided to open all the car's windows. The atmosphere was much different from what I have feel in the city, it was so quiet. The happiest part of the journey was when suddenly I saw some little creatures on the side of the road. I asked my friend to stop for a while and examined from a far (absolutely from inside the car), I can't believe my eyes when we realized those were Wallaby. Some of them quickly jumped away from us and I was really excited, well too excited, I didn't even think to take a picture of it. (psstt I never see Wallaby or Kangaroo or any other Australia's animal since I arrived in Sydney, it was my experience and it was out of the zoo, woohoooo lucky me)

we can read about the caves and the tour schedules here

we had our late lunch here, in the Bistro on Jenolan caves area

We purchased 4pm Chifley cave's ticket as we arrived in Jenolan caves around 3pm and decided to get our late lunch first before go to the cave. Chifley cave guided tour will take 1 hour journey which has difficulty categorized as average. We chose Chifley because it said in the brochure it is a great tour for all ages. All the tour participants gathered around the grand arch 5 minutes before the tour began. 

Chifley Cave plate

Our tour leader, Scottie enthusiastically greet us and asked us to form to a group and the journey began. I followed the tour guide and climbed a few stairs until we reached the cave, he asked me to gather first while waiting others arrived. I just realized that I came inside a quite small "door" before I entered the cave which didn't a high ceiling. I started to panic and my hands trembling suddenly, I was trying to find an open air and turned toward the door I came from but I can't come out since all the tour participants used that door to come inside. It made me more panic and I thought I was out of breathe. I yelled "wait...wait..." and made a cross sign using my hands. I can barely control my breathe and I felt so dizzy until my guide asked me, "Do you have Claustrophobia?" I nodded my head quickly and he asked me to stay outside the cave and waited for them. But you know what, people kept coming form the cave's door and I can't come out from the cave. My friend suggested me to close my eyes and take a deep breath. I followed her suggestion and in the same time I threw a question to the guide,
"Is there any smaller room than this one inside the cave?" 
"No, it is the smallest" said the guide calmed me down

I slowly opened my eyes and I finally can breath normal when I looked back I just realized the participant of this 4pm Chifley tour just 6 people including the guide. Whaaaattt? I thought that many people gathered before were all in the same tour and thanked God my panic attack has gone.
"Are you OK? Do you want to continue?"
"Yes.. yes.. I think I can continue this!" well although my hands still a little bit shaking.

I convinced him that I should go first, I hoped with this way I can feel safer because I knew there were some people behind me and wide area in front of me. The cave's area getting bigger when I moved to another cave's room, I felt relief and I can breath normally.

 Beautiful Stalactites

It looks like roots, right?

Scottie started to tell us the history of the cave, explained the layers and what the cave made of. They put some lights inside the cave, the guide controlled the lights using a switch inside the cave. The lights will highlight some areas when he pushed some button and he started to explain about the highlighted area. 

There was some area which is highlighted with colorful lights  

There was a moment when the guide asked us to stay still and closed our eyes. He turned the light off (every lights available on the room) and asked us to open our eyes. I opened my eyes a bit and It was totally dark, suddenly I can't breath normally and I decided to keep my eyes close and I kept thinking in my mind that I was on a laaargee and bright room so I can remain calm. Thanks God nothing happen to me until he finished explain all the things and turned the light on.

Since there were only 5 of us, Scottie told us some areas which he rarely tell to others since it was impossible thing to do if there were so many participants on the tour (like a bat fossil and small low chamber). For your info it was not a straight path cave, it has some stairs up and down inside the cave. It was cold, wet, slippery and quite damp inside the cave, make sure you use a proper footwear.

Those crystals were supposed to be sparkling (please mind my low res camera)

Finally I survived Chifley cave and came out the cave alive. 

When we headed back to the hotel in Leura, we almost hit Wallaby who crossed the street. Well, it was a shocking moment as almost all stuffs in the middle seat of the car scattered to the floor when my friend suddenly stepped the brake. (I was not really sure whether it was a Wallaby or a Kangaroo)