Monthly Archives: August 2014

Our Story : Trip to New Zealand: Hobbiton – Part 31

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

On our first Easter long weekend, we booked a trip to New Zealand. As I had already been to South Island, we decided it was time to see the North. I had heard so many nice things about NZ that it was hard for us to decide what we wanted to do while we were there.

I have a colleague who is from NZ so with her help we finalised the following destination for our trip.

Auckland – Hobbiton – Matamata – Waikato – Waitoma – Hamilton – Wai o’tapu- Rotorua – Auckland

When we boarded the flight for NZ, both AS and I were really excited as it had been a while since we went overseas. The flight from Sydney to Auckland was short and smooth . As soon as we landed in Auckland airport, we took a cab and went straight to the car hire company that was outside the airport. When we arrived, the place was not busy so within few minutes, we filled the forms and we were ready to begin our road trip.

Hobbiton (14) Hobbiton (13) Hobbiton (12) Hobbiton (3)

We had booked our first night in Waitoma but had planned to see a few places before we reached the hotel that evening. It was so beautiful as it was autumn season in NZ and the drive was pleasant and scenic. Everywhere we saw green mountains, orange maple trees and from time to time we crossed a small town with unique features. Finally, after almost three hours’ drive we reached our first stop, Hobbiton at Matamata, Waikato.

Hobbiton (17) Hobbiton (8) Hobbiton (9) Hobbiton (10)


For those of you who are not aware, Hobbiton is on the most picturesque private farmland where some scenes of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit  movies were shot. As my husband is a big fan of these movies we decided to do the two-hour guided tour.

Hobbiton (2)Hobbiton (19)

The tour is described as heaven for the movie fans. The set has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit and will remain as it was seen in these films and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. During the tour we got to see Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, the double arched bridge and other structures and gardens built for the films. Definitely AS was super excited for the tour.

He was ready to experience the real Middle-Earth in picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. The tour cost us $65 per person and when we reached there, we saw that there were around 10-12 other people waiting to start the tour.

Hobbiton (4) Hobbiton (16)

A guide took us to the farmland. We had to sign a non-disclosure release to go on-site. Not sure why it was necessary since you see the same sets in the Lord of Ring movies with a few changes. AS was very happy as he had watched ‘The Lord of the Rings’ recently (again) and he could recall many scenes from the farm.

Hobbiton (18)  Hobbiton (6)

We were lucky to be there on a sunny, cloudless day and the site was simply stunning with “Hobbit holes” built into the hillside locations. It was great to get a sense of the size, and the background stories about how they made the actors look smaller in comparison to the various set pieces were interesting.

Hobbiton (20)

It was a thoroughly enjoyable few hours, we were lucky enough to see the beginnings of the rebuilding for the new ‘The Hobbit’ movie. You can see the party tree, the road around “The Shire” where Gandalf drives the cart and meets Frodo. You can walk into the Bag End Hobbit hole and have your picture taken looking out, and step on the actual steps leading up to the door, that were used in the film.

When we finished the tour, it was past 5pm so we jumped back into the car and drove to Waitoma where a warm bed was waiting for us.

Hobbiton (5) Hobbiton (7) Hobbiton (11) Hobbiton (15) Hobbiton (1)

Take care everyone, more on next post.

M from nepaliaustralian


Go to Part 32

Our Story : Valentine’s day – Part 30

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

After the arrival of AS in Sydney, time just seemed to fly. We always made plans for the weekend and were having the time of our life. Then came another important day, our first Valentine’s day together. We had celebrated the last valentine’s day but as you know it was not together.

We wanted to make this Valentine’s day memorable so we decided that we would go to Sydney tower to celebrate the day. We choose Sydney Tower Buffet as we wanted the cliche and the novelty of a revolving restaurant overlooking one of the world’s most beautiful harbours – and we certainly weren’t disappointed with the view.

Valentine’s day  (10) Valentine’s day  (5)

The restaurant has panoramic views from the tallest building in Sydney.  The restaurant keeps rotating so you can spot Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Blue Mountains and more every time you glance out of the rotating restaurant’s windows. It was a perfect place for AS to go in Sydney.

Valentine’s day  (13) Valentine’s day  (3) Valentine’s day  (2)

It was a weekday that Valentine’s day so we came back from work, changed quickly so we could catch a train to the city and be there at our reservation time.

Valentine’s day  (11) Valentine’s day  (9) Valentine’s day  (4) Valentine’s day  (1)

The atmosphere in the restaurant was beautiful and the view was amazing. We loved the food and everything that day was just perfect. The highlights of the dishes were probably the honey glazed ham, and the lamb braised in a yoghurt dressing with chickpeas. We loved every bit of our food.

Valentine’s day  (8) Valentine’s day  (16)

After dinner, we just roam around the city and I was really happy that finally both of us were together forever.

Valentine’s day  (6) Valentine’s day  (7) Valentine’s day  (12)

More in the next post. Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian


Go to Part 31


I recently had Conjunctivitis in both of my eyes and found out that until you have one, you don’t know how annoying it is.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, a thin, transparent layer covering the surface of the inner eyelid and the front of the eye. It is caused by bacteria or virus. Mine was viral. Symptoms include eye redness, a discharge and swollen lids. It is contagious.

I started getting itchy eye on Saturday afternoon but I didn’t think of it much and went on with my day but at the end of the day it was swollen and so red that I was in pain. I went to bed that night hoping it would get better but instead woke up with my left eye swollen and so full of mucus that I couldn’t open it. It was so painful. I went and used hot water to get rid of the mucus and finally was able to open my eye. It was still very red so AS insisted that I go and see an eye doctor.

I am glad I went because he diagnosed that it was viral conjunctives and he gave me antibacterial eye drops just in case it was bacterial. He also told me it would take at least seven days for it to be completely gone and I should rest at home so I don’t infect other people. He also advised me that if things got worse in the next few days I should go to a hospital straight away, which sacred me.

Anyway, I started using the eye drops but in the meantime manged to infect my right eye too on Sunday. Therefore, by that evening I have two swollen red eyes.

On Monday morning, I could not open my both eyes and all I wanted to do was cry. I woke AS up and he helped me to go to bathroom. It took me a while to get my eyes open properly. There was no way I would be going to work that day. AS went to work but when he got back home he took care of me and pampered me.

It took the next 48 hours using the eye drops every couple of hours in the day for my eyes to get better but they are still not 100% yet. I still have slightly pink eyes and they are a bit itchy too but no more mucus and I feel more comfortable in front of the computer and TV.

My lesson learned from my infection, good hand washing, especially before touching the face, is a key to preventing most cases of conjunctivitis. I could have not infected the both eyes if I had been more careful.

Anyway, it is a rainy Friday today and I am excited for the weekend 🙂

Take care and enjoy the weekend.

M from nepaliaustralian


Celebrating Teej

Today is Teej, the festival for women in Nepal and is celebrated by most Hindu women on the 3rd day of Bhadra Sukala Paksha (according to Nepali lunar calendar). It generally falls in late August or early September. This year the Fasting day has fallen on today. I am from Newar cast so even though we are Hindu we don’t celebrate Teej but I still join Teej celebration in Sydney with my friends.

Teej (2)

Teej is a day when woman fast for the whole day for marital bliss, well-being of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul. Married women fast for their husband’s long life, prosperity and long and strong relationship between them until death in this life and all the lives to come, while the unmarried pray for the perfect husband. Unless one is ill or physically unfit, fasting is followed by women and girls who have reached puberty.

Teej (7)

Teej is a four-day-long festival in Nepal and each day has its own significance.

  • First day is called ‘Dar Khane Din‘, the day to make merry.
  • The Second day is a fasting day.
  • The third day is purification day.
  • The fourth day is ‘Rishi Panchami‘.

Please read more about it here and here.

I wore my new red sari and tried my best to look like an authentic Nepalese woman with chura and tika and join my friends and family for an evening of fun.

Teej (3)

Like every year, we celebrated Teej last Saturday with Dar, lots of yummy foods, dance, songs and lots of fun.

Teej (8) Teej (5) Teej (11)

Sharing some of the photos from the day.

Teej (9) Teej (6)Teej (1)

Wishing Happy Teej to all of you out there celebrating today. Have a great time and enjoy your day.

Teej (4) Teej (10)Take care!

M from nepaliaustralian


Our Story : Our first Australian holiday: Brisbane – Part 29

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Our life in Sydney was going smoothly and we were going to different places around Sydney all the time. One long weekend we decide that it would be fun to go out of Sydney and we decided to go to Brisbane.

We booked a serviced apartment that was walkable distance to city. The hotel had the view of the beautiful Brisbane River and Southbank.

After we checked in we went to the Southbank for a stroll. The Southbank, with its lovely location by the Brisbane River, has something for everyone, from endless dining options to free swimming in the man-made lagoons.

As we were walking The Arbour, a kilometre-long walkway awning located in the Parklands, we enjoyed the breeze and the warm day. The Arbour has won multiple awards for its architecture and is comprised of 443 curling, galvanised steel posts that are each clad with vibrant magenta bougainvillea flowers. It also has a ribbon of yellow steel running along it to provide shade and weather protection for its patrons.

Brisbane (10) Brisbane (6)

Then we spotted the famous Nepalese Pagoda.

Peace Pagoda (4) Peace Pagoda (1) Peace Pagoda (2)Peace Pagoda (12)As per Wikipedia the Nepalese Pagoda is one of South Bank’s most treasured attractions. Originally brought to Brisbane as the Kingdom of Nepal’s contribution to World Expo 88, the three-story high Pagoda is now located in the heart of the Parklands. It features 80 tonnes of hand-carved Nepalese timber and took more than 160 Nepalese families two years to build. It is also one of only three Nepalese peace pagodas in the world located outside of Nepal.

Peace Pagoda (9) Peace Pagoda (13)

We were happy to explore the pagoda as I could see the detailed work the craftsmen had done. They also had a big bell and stone elephant outside the pagoda just like the temples in Kathmandu. It was so peaceful when we sat down inside. There were many other people around admiring the Nepali architecture and it made me so happy. It was a great decision to leave the pagoda there.

Peace Pagoda (10)-tile Peace Pagoda (6) Peace Pagoda (8)

By then we were tired so we decided to have dinner in a nearby café and went back to the hotel to rest.

Peace Pagoda (11)The next morning when we woke up, it was a bit gloomy day and perfect for walking so we decided to go for a walk around the city after breakfast. We started our walk again in Southbank, past the Arbour, the Nepalese pagoda (stopped for a while to take some more pics) to go to The Wheel of Brisbane. The Wheel of Brisbane offers astounding 360-degree panoramic views of South Bank and beyond, all from a comfortable, climate-controlled gondola.

Brisbane (2) Brisbane (3) Brisbane (15) Brisbane (9)From there we kept on walking for almost an hour until on the banks of the river we reached the Story Bridge. There were people who were climbing the bridge and it looked fun. By then, we had been walking more than an hour and both of us were tired and so we rested in the park.

Brisbane (8) Brisbane (17) Brisbane (7)We decided we should go to the CBD to have dinner and to shop around. I was a fun day and we had a great time exploring the city and enjoying different food.

Brisbane (16) Brisbane (12) Brisbane (14) Brisbane (11) Brisbane (5)

The following day we decided that it would be good for us to take a train to the Gold Coast for some more fun. The Gold Coast is a coastal city in southeaster Queensland on the east coast of Australia. The city is 94 kilometres south of Brisbane.

Unfortunately from the time we reached Gold Coast till the time we left it was raining. I wanted AS to enjoy the Dream world, SeaWorld and Wet and Wild but due to the weather we decided to leave that for another time. Instead, we went for a walk along the beach and explored the vibrant shopping malls. I loved the environment they have there. We also ended doing some shopping before we came back to Brisbane.

The following day we had our flight back to Sydney so we just relax in the morning enjoying the views and eating some amazing food.

Brisbane (4) Brisbane (1)The holiday was as perfect as it could be and it was as I had always imagined. Having a partner with you and not in some city half way around the world made a great difference because this time we caught the same plane to the same destination unlike many times before.

More in the next post. Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian


Go to Part 30