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A Glimpse of Melbourne
Photoblog from my previous visit to Melbourne
March 2016
The Old Clare Hotel - when heritage building has a new soul
Review The Old Clare Hotel
June 2016
Sydney Travel Guide
[Part 1]
What to do in Sydney
Enjoy Sydney to the fullest
September 2016
A Visit to Hobbiton, The Real Middle Earth
December 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Visit to Hobbiton, The Real Middle Earth

Meidiana Kusuma
Bilbo's house 

New Zealand has been on my bucket list for a long time and this is why I was too excited when I coming to Auckland last month. In the beginning, I put Queenstown and Christchurch on my itinerary but due to a huge earthquake near Christchurch just two days before my arrival I decided to cancel all my trip to South Island. I only have one day to change all my itinerary and finally put Matamata on the list.

Matamata is a town in Waikato region which is currently famous for its beautiful green scenery that featured in Lord of the rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Everyone who wants to visit Hobbiton have to purchase ticket for guided tour to make sure all of the guests have the complete experience during a trip to the movie set. all guides will explain everything related to the site and answer your questions about the place. To be honest, although I wasn't a big fans of Lord of the rings I enjoyed this tour very much. This place is well maintain and our guide was really helpful, kind and explained everything about the place very well.  

The shooting itself started on year 2000 for The Lord of the Rings: The fellowship of the Ring and previously they used semi permanent material for building the Hobbiton. They finally built "Middle Earth" using permanent material for the next movie. 

Information Site on Matamata city center

I already excited for the tour since the time I arrived at Matamata city center. Information site's building was uniquely design similar to Green dragon inn on Hobbiton site. All visitors can't wait to queue to get their picture taken with this building as the background. I suggest you to book for the tour in advance to avoid a long queue line inside the iSite (information site). If you book in advance you can simply choose your desire time visit because if you book on the spot you have to anticipate yourself to come to Hobbiton on later schedule if the nearest schedule is already full booked. 

 There is one Hobbit Hole where you can take a pose from inside the building

 I remember a scene when Gandalf crossing this bridge in the movie

 green dragon inn
all visitors will get free drink inside Green dragon inn, you can choose between beers, apple cider and ginger beer (non-alcohol).

 can you spot the clothesline?

The plaza and Green dragon inn

Here's my video during my visit to Hobbiton:

How to get here

From Auckland
You can buy a direct bus ticket to Matamata from Auckland CBD, I booked ticket from intercity bus. Intercity bus station in Auckland is located in Sky City. It will take you around 3 hours bus ride from city. 

From Hamilton
You can buy a direct bus ticket to Matamata from Hamilton Transport center. It will take you around 1 hour bus ride to Matamata. 

From Rotorua
If you travel from Rotorua, you can choose between Intercity bus to Matamata or Hobbiton guided tour from Rotorua.

Can I go to Hobbiton on one day trip?
Yess yess, you can visit this place for one day trip. You can choose 8am bus from Auckland CBD to Matamata which scheduled to be arrived around 11.15-11.30am at Matamata Information site. For travelling back, you can choose 4.45pm bus to Auckland. Meanwhile for the tour, you can choose between 11.45am or 12.30pm from Matamata information site.

All my pictures above edited using online photo editor apps called FotoJet , this apps is really easy to use and it has many photo effects and templates. I used scenery effect for all my pictures above.

Monday, December 19, 2016

2016: Wonderful Year

Meidiana Kusuma
Woohoo finally I write another year in review and this one is my throwback for 2016, an exciting year. Why? because I spent my 11 out of 12 months lived in Sydney with so many great, happy, sad and scare things. It was my first time living in abroad for more than 2 weeks *put a BIG smile on my face. I met a new friends, tried so many casual jobs, traveled across Australia and there were so many exciting things on those 11 months.


I was spending my January on summer day in Sydney, looking for a job and explore the city. It was my first time visiting Sydney fish market, Parramatta, and Eastern area like Coogee and Maroubra

Upper: Sydney Fish Market
Lower left: Somewhere around Coogee - Maroubra Walk, Lower right: Festival in Parramatta


What's on February? 
I went to Chinese new year market in Pyrmont bay, hunted for shio lantern festival around the city and visited Newtown for the first time.
Upper left: Lanter installation in Martin Place to celebrate Chinese New Year
Upper right: one of the famous mural in Newtown
Lower left: Pink bun with chicken and seaweed on CNY bazaar in Pyrmont Park
Lower right: One of cozy room in AirBnb I worked in

My first domestic flight experience in Australia happened on March. I traveled to Melbourne to visit my friend who on business trip. Strolled around the city during her free time. On another week, I traveled to Kiama to see Kiama's blow hole (3 hours by train to southern Sydney), almost fainted when hiking to Barrenjoey head to see Barrenjoey light house in Palm beach and had sunset picnic on Barangaroo reserve.

Upper left: Luna Park entrance gate in St Kilda
Upper right: the infamous Hosier lane
Lower left: Brighton beach bathing box
Lower right: pathway to Brighton Beach

Upper left: Trip to Kiama blow hole Upper right: Barrenjoey lighthout on Palm Beach
Lower: My favorite spot on Barangaroo Reserve

Had weekend getaway to Jenolan caves & Blue mountain and stayed in hotel on Leura. I survived Chifley cave in Jenolan caves and we were almost hit a Kangaroo who cross the street.
Upper left: my first time visit Mrs macquaire's chair Upper right: Trip to Jenolan caves
Lower left: Posing near Three sisters Lower right: World steepest train on Scenic World

It kind of sad whenever I realized there wasn't a good theme park in Sydney, so I traveled to Gold Coast, Queensland to get theme park escape. I visited Movie world and met some super heroes and Scooby doo and also visited Bikini bottom in Sea world Gold coast. Finally I can sleep well after met my long-lost-friends, Spongebob and Patrick. Last but not least, had my birthday celebration with my dear friends, kiss kiss.

Upper left: Met my fav superheroes on Movie world
Upper right: Got a wonderful dinner on my birthday
Lower left: Infamous Brisbane sign on Southbank Lower right: Met my best friend on SeaWorld Gold coast 

I think June is another festive month in Sydney beside December, because there will be Sydney Vivid during this period. All of those famous buildings on Circular quay will covered by animated light and some of light show. On this month, there was an event to celebrate a new re-opening of transportation museum in Sydney by having some double decker buses which actually museum's collection on the street.  

Upper left & right: Had agreat visit during VIVID SYDNEY
Lower left: aanother cafe hopping - festive brunch at The Rusty Rabbit, Darlinghurst
Lower right:Vintage bus ehxibition on Central train station

On this month I just spent my day off to explore The Rocks in Sydney and rode a ferry to reach Watsons bay and took a walk to Hornby lighthouse. 

Upper left: Nice trekking to lighthouse on Watsons bay
Upper right: art installation on The Rocks
Lower left: cotton candy sunset near Oper House 
Lower right: Had a great Asian dinner at my fav place with Duo Pergidulu

Whenever I got my day off, I always try to explore the city and surrounding for weekday getaway and cafe hopping (I always have day off on weekdays) but on last August I decided to go farther. I visited my friend in Newcastle which allowed me to travel 2,5 - 3 hours by train and also visited my friend in Canberra which took me around 4 hours by bus.  

Upper left: my favorite spot on Narrabeen lake
Upper right: cafe hopping to Tiny Giant Petersham
Lower left: posing infront of one of the mural in Newcastle
Lower right: Canberra's public bus who can carry bike on the front

I think nobody could stop  my passion to travel, although I only have 3 days of day off, I was still insist to go to Hobart for weekend getaway. Not much to do, since it was still cold (well I think Hobart will always cold anyway ahhaha) and I got my period during my trip, so I was not feeling really well. However I still managed to visit Salamanca weekend market and go to Richmond, yay.

Upper left : one of the stall on Salamanca Market
Upper right : My Salmon sausage sandwich
Lower left : Had a picnic near Richmon bridge
Lower right : Visit Macquarie light house in Vaucluse on such bright day

I must say October was on of my unforgettable month of all, my college friend came to visit during her business trip and became a pet sitter. I never knew that I can earn some money by becoming a pet sitter, it was not only 1 or 2 pet, but 7 pets in total (3 cats and 4 dogs) for those who knew me earlier they must be known me as a person who really afraid of dogs. Hahahhah but here in Sydney, I can get along with dogs, they were so nice and playful, THANK YOU Juby, Marley and Molly for becoming the nicest dogs.

I need to end my journey i Australia on this month, before going back I decided to go to Auckland, New Zealand for my travel resolution 1 year 1 country :D. Thanks God I got NZ visa on time. It was a great trip even though I have to cancel my trip to South Island. During the first week of November I decided to go to The Entrance to see Pelican feeding show and strolled around CBD to become Jacaranda tree hunter.

On December I traveled back to Jakarta, spent my first two weeks at home, sick and stayed at home on another days counting my blessing (and arrange something for another trip, pssssstt hahahah).  

Thank you 2016 for being a wonderful year, Hey 2017, I am so ready for another great journey and experience.

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Glimpse of Auckland

geretkoper dotcom

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.

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

Meidiana Kusuma

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

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

Meidiana Kusuma

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

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