Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australia. Show all posts

Friday, December 28, 2012

Melbourne Trip: Queenscliff (^^)

Wo0o0p! My Aussie post got into a halt for a bit there.. Was on vacation with family in Bandung.. Had a shopping and food galore and badan seperti di pam pam skarang (-_-") anyway, lets continue with the Queenscliff post.. I can't believe it took me 3 weeks from my last post to actually get this started..

So.. From Sorrento, we took the Searoadferries to cross from the Mornington Peninsula to the Bellarine Peninsula. We took the 6 pm ferry; the last ferry. The fare was $59 for the car plus the driver and $10 for each of the passenger. It's kind of like the ferry we use for Menumbok-Labuan but this one was more cozy and luxurious-looking.

We enjoyed the cruise. SJ and I kept our eyes vigilant for we really wish to see dolphins but there were none hehe It was too cold when we got to Queenscliff, checked in at Queenscliff Inn and spent the night chatting. There was not much to do at small towns but we really enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at night since we could all recharge for the next day.

Suka kan ambil gambar begini?? Nanti kalo teda orang dalam gambar, 
orang bilang ambil dari Google image :p

The initial plan was to spend some time in Geelong before we head to Melbourne but then when we were at the tourist centre, I sort of overheard an old chap telling a worker there of how amazing the boat tour was so I thought maybe we should at least check it out at the port and later decide whether we should go for it or not.

I say, the port itself is a very scenic place. On the right side of this pic, there's actually a block of diving shops, boat tour companies and restaurants.You can go up the light house and get a  360 degree view of Queenscliff and the Mornigton Peninsula too!

Satu lagi gambar bajet~

This pic was taken as we were climbing the stairs to the top of the light house.

So after looking at what they are offering for the tour at the price of $65, we decided to have a go. I already watched dolphins last time in Bali but then an extra for this boat tour package was the seal watching.

So we suit up! My jacket was obviously too big for me. I was wondering, why do we have to wear such a thick jacket and not just a life jacket alone like we use to in Malaysia.. Na kau... Dalam boat, ombak dia.. OMG OMG OMG!! Besar betol!

At first, we just cruise along the coast to watch the lighthouses; black and white. We were told about their history and functions back during the gold rush era. The channel is narrow and the rapid and high water is a big challenge to the skill of ship navigators so these lighthouses assisted the navigation through. Even nowadays, there are still Pilot boats hovering around the coast, helping ships and boats to navigate into the channel.

So we went to the deeper side of the ocean when searching for the dolphins and seals. This was when my butt got lifted from the seat when the boat got hit by the waves. 

"Ni tak payah gi theme park ni!!!"
Then the boatman told us we were actually on top of an underwater canyon and that was why the wave is so huge though the land is still in sight. We were still close to the land but yup, the wave was treacherous!

I couldn't get any pic of the dolphins since they passed us too quickly, but to me this was a closer encounter compare to the one in Bali. They even jumped! And for the seals... when we were on the rough sea, we saw something floating. From a distant, it looked like a shark fin.. But it was actually a seal's flipper! It was lazing, staying afloat on the surface. Sangat santai!

Then we went to watch the Gannets' nesting place! I've never been a fan of birds, but since my Kinabatangan trip, I seem to be more fond of them. And in Australia, it seems that they have lots of different species and they are surprisingly tame.. So I was somewhat intrigued by the behaviour of the Gannets though I was only watching them for a few minutes. One thing that amazed me most was when they dive into the water to catch fish! 

And after that we crossed over to Mornington Peninsula to watch the Fort Napean and The Quarantine station

The Quarantine Station.. o0o0o0 seagull.. Mula2 aku cam excited nampak seagull but after a few days, I found them annoying because they like to disturb human and steal food!

The port view from the boat

And finally, on our way to Melbourne, I got to be the passenger and not the driver. Just lepas tu tension sangat drive dalam city because the traffic is soooo confusing!! It took MR and I more than an hour to get us into the right street to return the car!! 

Next will be Melbourne CBD post.. And that should be after my new year's resolutions post :p

Friday, December 7, 2012

Melbourne Trip: Sorrento (^^)

So from Phillip Island, we drove straight to Sorrento. It was almost dark when we got there and most of the shops were closing. We head straight to the YHA hostel that we've just booked that afternoon, Sorrento Beach House. The check in process was, I say, unique where I have to call a number for check in. A woman with a friendly voice answered the call from the other end. Then comes the myriad of instructions..

"The security code of the front door is xxxx.. Now enter the house... Your key is at the counter where there's heaps of green bags. Your room is the first one on your right with number one on the door... Now go to the toilet... The switch is on your left... The sheets and blankets are inside the lockers.. There is kitchen and the common area on the left side of the counter... bla bla bla"

So I walked around, holding the phone to my ear, following each and every instruction.. 

"Aku rase macam dalam citer Saw weyh..."

Our room was a 6-bed dorm with washroom and a heater. It was very cozy and we agreed that it was our favourite room among all. We didn't do much that night. I retired early and skipped dinner. The rest spent the night chatting in the kitchen with the other guests; 2 Italians, one Asian guy who lives in Canada and an Australian who came to Sorrento for scuba diving. 

Early shopping at Coles. 

Definisi BAHAGIA. Chocolates!!!!!!!!!

It was difficult to decide where to go because the Mornington Peninsula area is so big and the attractions are quite far from each other. So that morning we finally agree to go to the Aschombe maze and lavender garden. It was about 45 minutes drive from our lodging and we have to drive back northward. I love the landscape along the way and the GPS actually directed us to a gravel road surrounded by tall pine trees..  So masa tu perasan brada di hutan Twilight sekejap :p

The garden is quite big. I don't think we covered everything. I got lost inside the maze.. It was a scary experience. I just can't find my way out! I almost scream for help actually. But I'm such a big ego that I tried to find my way out anyway hahaha

This garden is a pure sight seeing and picture taking place. So, yup, my camera battery was severely depleted by the time we left for Point Napean. 

Lepas tu bole ambil gambar bajet begini kan.. :p

So after strolling around, captured loads of pictures, we head to Portsea, the most southern part of the peninsular to visit the Point Napean National Park. The park is actually a  mixture of nature and history. The coastal area gives a very scenic view with giant waves crashing on the cliffs. While for the historical part, there are cemeteries, war memorials, forts, gun emplacement and a Quarantine Station where immigrants from Europe will be quarantined after their long voyage on the sea. 

This is the view at the ending of one of the walkways. SJ, RA and I decided to check out the Fort Napean which is about 30 minutes walk from this point of the park.. It was quite tiring to walk under the blazing afternoon sun.. So actually you can take a scheduled tour bus that cost $7 at the park's info centre to send you there. 

Paling bikin panas, masa ni la all my cameras batteries run out! Luckily I had my videocam inside my bag so it was our savior yaw! We were walking on graveled path surrounded by shrubs at first then exited the path to an asphalt road that leads to Fort Napean. 

We were hoping to see some animals and saw a lizard whose scales looked exactly like that of a crocodile! It's like a tiny crocodile living on land. haha sukahati!

The coast

This was where one of Australia's Prime Minister went missing when he went for a swim. Seriously, the waves were extremely huge that I wont even dare to go down to the beach apa lagi mau swim!

As we walk towards the fort, there were fenced areas with warning signs like this. So kami terasa awesome sekejap sebab berada berdekatan area unexploded bombs :p hahaha

Scenic background. Sila abaikan posing yang burok itu (-_-") I don't have the pic of the scenery alone so please bare with this huhu masa ni shawl ditiup angin dengan dahsyatnya...

Well, actually we didn't make it to the fort because we were running out of time. Need to catch the ferry to Queenscliff.. So, we actually hopped on the tour bus and went back to the info centre to pay and then returned to our car hehe tapi ada hikmah juga kami hopped on the bus. We encountered an Echidna!


After that we head towards Sorrento. Actually, we tried to find the artist trail in Sorrento but we couldn't find it so we just stroll along the Sorrento Historic Precinct. Sangat cantik ok!!!

Searoad Ferry (^^)

A wooden playground!!

we didn't explore the town area much but the town is quiet yet the beauty of the buildings' architecure was stunning. It was a mixture of modern and historical designs. This place is obviously a getaway place for the affluent since there were also lots of holiday mansions along the beach. 

Kalo aku diberi peluang untuk memilih, pasti Sorrento tempat aku mo settle down. I'll be back!

Next.. Queenscliff!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Melbourne trip: Philip Island

We were in a hurry that evening because we have to check in at our campsite before 6pm. There was the Grand Prix in Philip Island that week so most of the accommodation were full but we manage to book a campsite in Anchor Belle Holiday Park. We brought 2 tents with us; one was mine and the other was MR's. We were also rushing to catch the Penguin parade which starts at sunset so we decided to set our tents first and then drive to the Penguin parade.

This is my tent... (^^)


The campsite

The welcome signage to the Penguin Parade at the entrance

We bought the 3 parks pass so we paid $37.50; that's for entry to the Penguin Parade, Koala Conservation Centre and Churchill Island. Or was it cheaper.. Hurm.. I can't quite remember.. Anyway..

Unfortunately, photo taking was not allowed during the penguin parade. And no touching the penguins too. So I just describe to you how things were.. The entrance was opened at around 6.50 pm so we walked our way to the seating area that faces the ocean. It's quite huge and we don't know where the  penguin will be parading so to be safe we sat at the middle.. But actually they'll walk towards their nest at both ends of the seat. They come in groups. So some of them will be walking on your right side and some on the left side. But it was too dark when they came back from the sea and there were few spotlights so we can't see them clearly. Plus there were extremely small!! CUTE!!!!!!!

The species found in this island is the smallest of the penguins. They're called the Little Penguins or Blue Penguins or also Fairy Penguins. They spent the whole day swimming in the sea and only return to their nest at dusk. Macam mana mau describe the size..? O maybe about the size of 2/3 of the A4 paper! Very small! And they look exactly like the plush toy SJ is holding in the pic.

Actually we didn't see much when they were walking on the beach. But we got to see them close enough at the walking area but we were bordered by the fence, of course. As close as, if it is allowed, you could actually reach to touch or grab them with you hands. They're very tame. They don't seem to be intimidated by the presence of visitors at all.

I say, this is actually a must go place. You only get to see penguins in the southern hemisphere so going to this Penguin Parade is an opportunity to watch them at their natural habitat. Although, the building and the parking lot are there, still it is their natural habitat kan.. heee You don't have to go if you're planning to go to antartica, galapagos island (dream destination!) or if you don't like penguins :p

After the Parade, we went straight to our campsite to have dinner at the camp kitchen. It has a microwave, an electric kettle, a grilling stove and some power points that we used to charge our cameras. Sadly, we have to eat quickly too because the kitchen is closed at 9pm. Semua pon rushing that day..

It was super windy and freezing that night! My sleeping bag is meant for 7C but still the cold penetrate through it.. Deym! So the next morning we head to the Nobbies Centre

The Nobbies Centre is located at the tip of the island. There's a boardwalk where you can stroll on to enjoy the spectacular view of the coast. The Seal Rocks can be viewed from here but I didn't see it.  

The network of the boardwalk might look like it's a long way to the end (well, it is quite a long way but definitely less than 1 km) but to me walking to the end is worth it because a reward awaits you there.

Wahaaaa!! Jaw dropped!!  My  camera is just an ordinary digicam thus this is all I can show to you. But seriously, all of us just stood there in awe. 

That's the famous blow hole. It gave out this distinctive blowing sound when a wave came crashing in that hole. 

Next was the Koala Conservation Centre

The building has this informative display inside which I think were actually neatly arranged. Meaning, it start off with what people usually thought about Koala; the misconception that they are bears and then followed by the basics like as you can see what's in a name there, then the life cycle, then the diet, then the habits, then the mating etc. Very helpful for someone who is Koala naive like me (^^)v I don't even know that they have pouch like Kangaroos (-_-") Do you know..?? Please don't make me feel stewpeed (oz accent d ctu)

Anyway, the grounds of the conservation centre is actually at the back of this building. We exited a door and there were walkways there and actually there were other animals too. But since we were there for the koalas, so we just focus on them.

There were wise-looking koalas snoozing on the trees but our closest encounter were these two adorable ibu dan anak! There was a mesh wire fence that prevented us from getting any closer but they were very close. Like if you stand right in front of the fence, they were like about a meter from you. O tengok la buah yang terlekat di atas mata joey itu!! COMEYL!!

Our next destination Churchill Island Heritage Farm!

It's actually a very small Island but I consider it as a big piece of land for a farm. When you first enter the entrance, you'll be driving on a narrow road sandwiched between tall bushes that you can't see what else is there behind the bushes. Then as we exited that road, we found ourselves driving on a gravel road on the sea and straight ahead was a narrow bridge that connects Phillip Island with Churchill Island. We were stunned by the beauty and were greeted by these Cattle

RA: Wah! Ni kalau bawak balik raya haji memang sebenar2 korban nih!

In this farm they let all the animals loose so they were wandering about and coincidentally, this beautiful  peacock was opening its feathers! So I stood close to it and "SJ cepat snap!" 

There were farm activities too. When we were there, it was time for sheep shearing. The guy demonstrated how it's done and after that we could touch the sheared coat but there were no session for visitors to try it :(. Sheep tu nampak pasrah jak bha masa tu.. It'll be living without it's fleece for a year because that's how long it'll take to make the fleece to grow again. Kesiannya sejuk la dia malam tu... haha And after that was the whip cracking and boomerang throwing activity. We'd wanted to try both but we only tried the whip cracking. O aku telah meng'whip' diriku sendiri on few attempts (-_-")

So the above is our group picture at one part of the farm. It was so cloudy so we can't get a nice pic. I'm not good with camera setting and I think the others' cameras battery were depleted because I can't find many pictures in their albums too. (-_-") Anyway serious bha cantik Churchill Island and we enjoyed out time there (^^) Should go!!!!!!!


And finally, we shared this tasty hot mocha before heading to Sorrento; the place where I will settle down if I'm given the chance to choose.. (ya la tu.. Aritu ko bilang mo settle down di Jeju!)

So lesson from this part of our trip..

Yeah~ So next will be the place where I will settle down.. Sorrento.. And will combine it with Queenscliff if it's not too long hehe