A Travellerspoint blog

Spit to Manly walk

The Spit Bridge to Manly walk is a 10km, only slightly undulating walk. We set off on the bus to the bridge and after a rather hairy road crossing taking nearly ten minutes (it was a four lane road, with no lights and constant traffic. Seriously, who puts the start of a popular walk in such a perilous place) we were off.
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We lucked out with the weather and the scenery was stunning. Jimmy had printed the walk notes so kept us all informed about the landmarks, including some questionable Aboriginal engravings. I'm pretty sure it was weather erosion. Supposedly the area has a penguin colony, which is how we'd convinced Jimmy to go, but it seems they didn't fancy hanging around for the day as we didn't encounter a single one.
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After arriving in Manly and looking in awe at some of the houses, complete with harbour views and swimming pools, we headed to the Four Pines brewery and bar for a well deserved lunch and a beer.
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Posted by Time Well Spent 16:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Melbourne

Not so sunny Melbs

After nearly ten months we finally made it to Melbourne(!), which was originally going to be where we decided to live, but for some reason landed in Sydney and never left. But nevertheless we made it to Melbourne eventually.
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As far as cities go it's a good one. It's not as picturesque as Sydney but it does make up for this with heaps of decent bars and good food. We arrived on Friday evening so naturally the first place we visited was a bar. Melbourne is pretty hipster and there is a joke that all their bars are left at the bins, down an alleyway and into the basement. Melbourne did not disappoint. The first bar we were taken to (Fall from Grace) was through another bar, out the back and through a bookshelf. Behind the bookshelf was an amazing speakeasy bar. After a swift one there we went into china town and filled up on dumplings before going left at the bins down the road to the next bar, Sister Bella.
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The next day we were taken along the sea front (they do also have beaches there!), which we were surprised to see. Not as good as Sydney's beaches but hey, we're from England, so any beach that gets some sun is a winner. We were headed to St Kilda where we met up with some of our friends for brunch before heading back to theirs for a game of ping pong. After a quick walk through South Melbourne markets we headed over to the river and pitched up in a lovely cafe/bar called the Boat Builders where we spent the afternoon and met some more of our friends living in Melbourne. After a few drinks at the next bar, which was under a bridge, we made our way to the casino.
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We spent a few hours watching the Aussie Rules Football game. Despite having a proper Australian explain it to us we are only slightly more clued in and still not remotely interested. Luckily the rugby was also on another screen. After an Elvis impersonator, more drinks and losing $20 on the roulette we decided to call it quits at the casino and head home.
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On our final day we went our for another delicious and well needed brunch before meeting up with our friends again and taking a look around the Queen Victoria market. It's the biggest market in Melbourne and you can get some useful things there along with the usual tourist toot; fake Ugg boots, cuddly toy koalas and Australia hats. We just bought donuts. They were freshly made, warm and tasty.
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Before we left to catch the plane back to Sydney I had to check out the H&M. It only opened in Melbourne a few months ago and the queues were around the block. It is the only one in Australia and I felt it would be rude not to have a look (and the queues have now subsided - thank goodness). It's in an amazing building but you won't be surprised to know, it's just like H&M in the UK and not all that exciting. By the time we got back we were well and truly exhausted, but we had an awesome weekend and will definitely be going back again soon.

Posted by Time Well Spent 01:42 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Some Coastal Walks

Coogee - Bondi and a walk in the Royal National Park

This weekend we got up early and took the train an hour south of the center of Sydney to Otford, where we headed into the Royal National Park for a walk along the coast and the palm jungle. From the coast you're able to watch for whales, but the weather was incredibly windy so we headed straight for the track for the shelter of the palms and eucalyptus trees.
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The walk we chose was a 13km loop that went along the coast, mostly in the shelter of the trees, but part was exposed to the elements along the aptly named Burning Palms beach - perhaps named to discourage people from heading down there, as you'll see from this sign - it's a treacherous place.
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We also lost the track on part of the walk for a short time and were wading through long grass, as you can see here. What you can't tell is that I am stamping as loudly as possible to hopefully scare away any snakes!
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Fortunately we didn't come across any snakes, we did see a parrot and this little guy. It's an echidna (kind of like an Australian Porcupine).
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We also took the time the other weekend to finally walk the Coogee to Bondi walk. A fairly short walk from Coogee beach to Bondi beach along the coast and through the beach suburbs of Bronte and Clovelly. The beaches are beautiful and the summer here in Australia is going to be awesome!
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Posted by Time Well Spent 22:47 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Taronga Zoo

Last weekend we headed over on the ferry to Taronga to visit the zoo! Despite not planning well enough to avoid the school holidays (it was packed with kids and we were outnumbered) it was a brilliant way to spend the morning. Our highlights were: the giraffes, as their enclosure has the backdrop of the city, which is stunning and such a strange back drop for giraffes; the penguins (obviously), seeing a fully grown gorilla poop in its hand and eat it; a duck-bill platypus; an elephant who was determined to turn over a log, despite it being pinned down; kangaroos, that you can go into the enclosure and just walk around with; and the koala enclosure - we were able to get right up next to a Koala named Darwin - all he did was sleep, but as you can see from the picture he was super cute.

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Posted by Time Well Spent 22:36 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Sydney so far

Some snaps of Sydney

Here are just a few pictures from our time spent in Sydney so far, which includes visiting some nice cocktail bars, walking around in the sunshine (yes, they have that here!), visiting the infamous Bondi beach and exploring the Vivid Sydney festival, a light show around the CBD, the center piece being the sails of the Opera House. Enjoy.
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Posted by Time Well Spent 19:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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