Tag Archives: outdoors

Snowboarding fun @ Winter wonderland

I know I keep on writing that it is so cold here and I hate winter. The only perk during winter is that we can drive a few hours (5 hours) out of Sydney and have some fun in the white snowy wonderland. I had been to the Snowy Mountains two years ago and it was great fun so it was time to do it again.

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This time we went with another couple. It was a long drive after work on Friday but it was worth the trip when we were on the mountain to snowboard early next morning. First we went to the ski hire shop to pick our boots and snowboards and headed to the mountain.

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Selwyn Snowfields is a small, family-friendly snow resort located in the northern section of Kosciuszko National Park; just west of Kiandra. The scenery as you drive towards the Mountain snowfields is spectacular. Trees, rivers and lakes give way to snow covered mountains and the whole incredible scene is punctuated only by the winding sable coloured road on which you drive.

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We were there by 9am but the place was already full with excited families and kids enjoying the sunny day and lots of snowfall. After parking in the nearby car park, we went to buy the lesson and lift pass and it was time for the real deal. I have skied before but never snowboard so both AS, me and my friend was getting a two-hour lesson first then we were on our own for the weekend :).

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I was slightly nervous because I remember falling so many times when I tried to ski the last time. I was sure snowboarding was not goona be any easier. But looking at small kids easily going around in snowboards gave me some hope.

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The lesson is supposed to teach us the basics, and that was essential. The class started in the flat surface with the instructor teaching us how to slide using only one foot. It looked easy but it was seriously hard and in 30 minutes I was so tired and exhausted, I was ready to give up. AS was constantly encouraging me but I was so hot and tired by then that I was thinking why I was punishing myself.

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I had serious troubles skating i.e. moving with one foot detached. That is tricky to learn, and because I was tired, I started to get annoyed but was not giving up just yet.

After the initial practice, we were taken to the slope where we strapped both the feet. I struggle to stand for a while with both feet strapped but finally learned to do it and then I struggled to learn how to shift my weight properly in order to steer.

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Finally, I could stand and slide on the slope but I had no control of stopping. I was falling down every time I wanted to stop. Lucky no bones were hurt during the process. I was so happy when I could snowboard even for short distance as it made me feel excited to try more.

By then two hours of the lesson was over so the instructor asked us to keep practicing, and he left.

As all of us were tired by then we decided to have a break. We had our lunch at the cafe besides the main slope. We were starving by that time and two hours of snowboarding was really a great workout. We settled for chicken sandwiches and a big box of wedges.

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Then we headed onto the slopes again.

This time I was happy going on the slope even though steering ability was not good and it was tricky at times trying to avoid collisions with other adults and kids. I fell hundreds of time during the whole process but still both AS and I thoroughly enjoyed our snowboarding experience.

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The afternoon sun was melting the snow and it was slightly windy by the end of the day so we decided to call it a day and head towards our hotel for a bit of rest. I felt really good when I took out my snow boots and relaxed in the car.

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For the next few days, every muscle in my body ached but I highly recommend the experience and we will be doing it again when we go to snow next time.

Do you snowboard? Do share your tips and tricks for novice snowboarders.

Take care everyone ,

M from nepaliaustralian


North Coast holiday : Port Stephens

On second last day of our holiday, we drove to Nelson Bay from Coffs harbour. Unfortunately, the drive took a while as there was a traffic jam so reached Port Stephens only after 6pm.

Port Stephens lies within the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park and is situated about 160 kilometres (99 mi) north-east of Sydney. It’s known for its nature and abundance of aquatic marine life and land activities on its uncrowded sandy beaches, sheltered bays and unspoilt national parks.

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Our accommodation at the heart of port Stephens being Nelson Bay offers gourmet restaurants, boutique shopping as well as being the Dolphin Capital which is well known as one of the best places in the world to see dolphins “in the wild”.

As everything was nearby, we decided to go for a walk after dinner. We ended up eating in an Asian joint and then went for a walk around the bay. There were so many people even at that time of the evening and there were kids everywhere.

After dinner, we came back to the hotel and rested well for our adventure next day. The first thing we did next morning after breakfast was to go for a hike in Tomaree head National Park.

Tomaree Head in Shoal Bay Port Stephens is a small mountain headland that guards the south entrance to Port Stephens Nelson Bay.

At the start of the trail at the east end of Shoal Bay Road there is a picture of the trial. The place is great to walk and there were lots of people going there for their morning walk.

It was once again a beautiful day so we were ready to start our adventures. The trial was well maintained and it was curvy so the walking is not too steep. We kept walking for few minutes until we reached the picnic area.

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Much of the lower sections of the trail were stair-free ramps so it was easy. But instead of taking the well paved path, we decided to take a rough natural trail. We kept on walking until we reached to the end of the hill and there were nowhere to go. So we have to come back the same way for another 10 minutes until we found the trial that led upstairs. The top half or so of the walk is metal walkways and stair cases making the hike easier.

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By the time we reached the first look out all of us were tired but were rewarded with a great view of Zenith Beach, Wreck Beach and Box Beach.

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We rested on the top for a while and everyone was busy on our mobile phone. I love this photo as it is what modern day socialising looks like 🙂

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After a while we descended and went back to the car to our next stop, sand dunes. Only in Australia, have I seen a landscape which has 32 kilometre long beach and mobile sand dunes which climb up to 40 metres high next to it. Located only 10 minutes from the centre of Nelson Bay, it is the largest sand dune system in Australia.

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Originally we planned to either do some camel ride or horse ride there but we changed our plan and went on our own to the sand dunes. We parked the car and started walking towards the sand.

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After few minutes’ walk it felt like we were in a different part of the world surrounded by all that sand.

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We couldn’t see anyone but the four of us but there were lots of footsteps of people on the sand. It was just amazing to be there and felt great.

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We took some really nice shots. after a while we all felt very hot so decided to return to the car. As the car was in the sun for a while as well, we had to open the windows for a while before we could get inside and drive.

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Everyone was hungry by then so we decided to stop over for the lunch.

As we were far from Nelson Bay we decided to look for food in Anna Bay. Mostly there were just fish and chips places but luckily we went to Anna Bay Traven. It looked like a pub where there were lots of men drinking but inside they had a big backyard for people to sit down and eat. We ordered prawn and chilli pasta; prawn pizza and fried calamari and all of them were very tasty. All the ingredients felt so fresh that we were glad we stumbled on that place.

After lunch we went to the beach and swam for a while.

Here again the beaches were just beautiful with sallow ends so you can go quite far into the sea and still the water comes up only to your waist. And as the wave came; it was great to chase it.

After a while, it was time for us to return to Sydney.

Back in the car and we drove back to Sydney. We all had a great holiday and I am glad AS enjoyed the visit as well. The Port Stephens region, with its breathtaking natural beauty, was the perfect ending to our memorable holiday experience.

Take care everyone, till the next post


M from nepaliaustralian

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*Forster *Coffs Harbour *Snowy Mountains: Australia

North Coast holiday: Forster

Last week on Thursday we had Anzac Day holiday so we took the Friday off and made our own long weekend and packed our bags to go to the North Coast of Sydney with two of our friends.

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On Thursday we stayed at Forster, from there we went to Coffs Harbour and then on to Port Stephens for Saturday. It was a fun weekend and it was perfect weatherwise too. I came back 5 shades darker but I am not complaining.

It was really amazing how much I packed for the holiday as I didn’t know how the weather was going to be. I had both summer and winter clothes in my suitcase. On top of that we had swimsuits, hats, sun screen, towels, etc.


The drive up to Forster was pretty uneventful.

Forster is a large coastal town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia, in the Great Lakes Council LGA, about 308 km north-north-east of Sydney. It was our first time in Forster so we were very excited. The night we got there, we didn’t do much. Just went to a restaurant had our dinner.

Our hotel was close to the city but still by 8pm there was no one walking on the street.

The next morning, it was a sunny day so after breakfast we went for a drive. First stop was Forster city centre to hire bicycles so we could go around the town. It was a great idea as we had heaps of fun going to all the fabulous beaches around Forster starting with Main Beach.


While we were crossing the bridge that links Forster to another town call Tuncurry, at the middle of way, the water was so crystal clear that we could see fish from the top of the bridge. We stopped there for a while to take a few photos.

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From there we rode on the beaches until it was time for us to return the bicycles. Then we decided to go to the One Mile beach. That is one of the famous beaches in the North Coast of Sydney.

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Luckily we got lost on the way there and discovered new places from where we could see the Nine Mile Beach as well as crystal clear blue water. We walked to many different look outs and captured really great photos.

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It was so surreal that I was seeing this amazing view so close to Sydney which I had seen only in tropical places.

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And finally we landed on one end of the One Mile Beach which had a very high sand slope from where the beach looked amazing. We had so much fun taking crazy photos with the whole beach as the background. We had our fun in the sun and decided to go to lunch.

 We all were very hungry so the burgers and wraps we ordered at Hogs Breath Café tasted so good.

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After lunch we continued to explore the area and ended on Tuncurry Rockpool which is at the end of Rockpool Rd adjacent the southern breakwater in Forster. The area looked really busy as it has showers, toilets, a kiosk, picnic facilities and ocean baths at its eastern edge. We kept on walking the path and saw lots of people fishing. We spend some time sitting on the rocks and enjoying the view.


From there we decided to go to the Nine Mile Beach and swim before it started getting cold. This is one of the most awesome beaches I have been to. The water was warm and it was shallow at the end so we had a ball chasing waves. We also saw some dolphin frolicking in the wave some distance away. As we were in the water enjoying ourselves, the tide was getting higher and it was getting colder so we decided to call it a day and went back to the car.


It was a great day in Forster and we were really happy with everything.

We ended our night with pizza and jacket potatoes for dinner.

Next stop is Coffs Harbour, till then take care


M from nepaliaustralian

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*Sculpture by the sea *Easter Long weekend trip *Snowy Mountains: Australia

Easter Long weekend trip

This Easter we decided to go on a trip to the South coast of NSW. We had beautiful days with nice blue sky and warm sun.

We went there with my brother’s family and one of my friend’s families. Altogether, it was 6 adults and 2 kids.


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We started our trip in Sydney and our first stop was Ulladulla. Ulladulla is around 180 km south of Sydney. The trip started smoothly as we were on the road before 9am. The morning was overcast but it cleared up for a pleasant day. It took us over 3 hours to reach Ulladulla boat harbour as we stopped on the way at McDonalds and also there was big traffic jam for over 2 km when we were near Ulladulla city centre.

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As we parked the car and saw the view at Ulladulla boat harbour, I was really happy as the drive was worth the view I was in front of.

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There were not many people there but the view was just amazing with blue water, green trees and lots of boats and the sun shining down. It was just a blessing to enjoy such an incredible view in the perfect weather.

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We had our home cooked lunch there and relaxed there for a while. The food tasted better as all of us were hungry. The kids were having great time; one of them was running around chasing birds and the other one super happy to be out and about.

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We walked around the beach area, took photos and simply relaxed and enjoyed the day. From there we went to our next stop, Warden Head Lighthouse

Warden Head Lighthouse

Warden Head Lighthouse was built in Ulladulla in 1873 and re-erected at the present site in 1889. Made of iron and designed by a contemporary colonial architect the original optical apparatus is intact and still in operation. Fishing off the nearby rocks is excellent and there are good views of the harbour and surrounds. light house (7)

As I have seen lots of bigger light houses, I found it a bit small but the view from there was great as well. We just sat down and listen to the waves hitting the rocks. There were a few other cars but not that many people so it was a peaceful place to enjoy the nature.

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It is also the best lookout for Whale spotting but unfortunately we didn’t see any that day. There are many tracks in the area, some with proper lookouts but it was a bit scary as there were no railings, just the cliff edge. There are also a lot of birdlife in this area. light house (6) light house (1)

From there we decided to go to our hotel. The hotel was in front of Batesman bay and from our room we could see the bridge, water and boats. All of us rested for a while and went for an evening drive to Batesman Bay.

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Batesman bay

We drove past the Clyde River Bridge which is a 55-year-old lifting span bridge. As it was a public holiday, parking was free. Then we walked down the road to the town by the river. We sat on one of the benches and enjoyed the sunset. It was a beautiful evening.

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As it was getting dark and everyone was hungry we went to domino for some pizzas and dessert. It was very unhealthy but amazingly tasty 🙂

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The next morning we work up early and watch the sunrise by the pool.

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The resort has a lovely pool area and me and AS were just watching the sun and taking a few pics. Then we went to have some breakfast. It was a bit chilly morning but AS decided to go for a swim.

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I didn’t join him but just went to dip my feet. The water was warm but not warm enough for me to jump in. I just relaxed by the pool while AS was doing his laps.

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By that time everyone else was ready and they went for breakfast. We took our little nephew and went to the entertainment room in the resort. It was really nice to see the little one enjoying so much on the pool table as well in the rides they had.

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Then we decided to walk around the area. There is a great Lookout from where we could see mountain ranges and thickly timbered slopes. Looking to the east and we saw the river pass under the bridge into the town of Batemans Bay, and then continue until it meets the Pacific Ocean.

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NSW South has always fascinated me and every time I visit it, I fall more in love with the area. May be when we retire, that is one place we can go and live 🙂

Mogo Village

Just ten minutes up the road from Batemans Bay is the little village of Mogo. That is where we decided to go on the last day in Batesman Bay.

Originally a booming 1850s gold rush settlement, Mogo’s heyday didn’t last too long, and it became a quiet little hamlet. In the 1980s a number of artists and craftspeople arrived, and it has since evolved into a hub of galleries, shops and cafes, largely catering to tourists. Some of the original cottages have survived, and other shops and houses have been built in sympathetic designs.

First stop was old Mogo town. We need to pay $18 for the entry and you can look at the old town with a guided tour, pan for gold and enjoy the train, explore the mine tunnel , check out the digger’s camp , see the antique machinery display,  enjoy a picnic by the lake, watch working craftspeople and much more.

Old Mogo Town is an amazing re-creation of Mogo as it was believed to be in the heady Gold Rush days.

The guided tour was an hour away so we went inside to where you can dress up as people from 1800s and take photos. Look at some of our photos. We had a great time and the lady who took our photo was very nice allowing us to take photos from our own camera as well.

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Then we went back to the meeting point where the guided tour had stared.

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The guide first explained how to pan for gold and then took us to an old shaft of the mines. The tunnel was well lit and he made the history sound very interesting.

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As we walked around Old Mogo Town, we noticed some interesting signs and cottages. At the Inn, there were beds with a sign of what… and what not …..you were allowed to do.

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This was one interesting one will Hair cut Or Teeth Pulled done by the same Surgeon, who just happened to be the Undertaker (I’d never go to him to get my hair done!). Then there was a Toilet, “Dunny”, “Loo”, “Thunderbox” which had only a can inside………imagine carrying a lantern to the backyard where there are plenty of spiders out at night time.

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It was a really nice place and Old Mogo Town had on-site bush retreat style accommodation as well.

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Initially we wanted to go to Mogo zoo as well but as it was past lunchtime and everyone was hungry, we drove back to Batesman bay and had our lunch there. From there we decide to go to Hyams Beach on the way back to Sydney.

Image source Destination NSW

I have been there before and Hyams beach is beautiful with white sand and the water crystal clear and a lovely blue. But unfortunately that day, the road to the beach was closed due to bushfire in the area. So we went back to the main road and headed to Kiama instead to take a break and relax before going home.


Kiama is situated 121km South of Sydney and has a population of about 12,000. It was the site of two strong volcanic flows, called the Gerringong Volcanic, which came out of Saddleback Mountain, now a collapsed volcanic vent.

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When we arrived at Kiama it was still daylight so we decided to explore a little further and visit some of the local attractions, one of which was the “Kiama Blowhole” where the ocean pushes with great force through a fault in the rock and is considered one of Australia’s best known natural phenomen.

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Whilst we were there we did see a few impressive blasts but one need lots of patience as a good blast comes only every 5 minutes or so. When it does come, it looks beautiful and everyone watching it will go “Awwww”.kiama (4)

After resting there for a whole we came home and it was after 8pm. We were tired so we just rest for a while and went to bed concluding our Easter break.

Hope all of you had a great Easter break too.

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Loy Krathong in Parramatta

Sydney is so multicultural that every weekend there is some traditional celebration going on in different parks across the city. Two weeks ago we went to Parramasala and last weekend we were able to attend another amazing cultural event called Loy Krathong.

Loy Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar. It is also called Thailand’s “festival of lights” and it is the time of year when the waters around the country come alive with candlelight and look not unlike a massive fairy ballrooms.

The history behind the festival is complex, and Thais celebrate for many reasons.  The main rice harvest season has ended and it’s time to thank the Water Goddess for a year’s worth of her abundant supply, as well as an apology for polluting the waters. Some believe that this is the time to symbolically ‘float away’ all the anger and grudges you have been holding onto, and including a fingernail or a lock of hair is seen as a way of letting go of the dark side of yourself, to start anew free of negative feelings. If your candle stays alight until your Krathong disappears out of sight, it means a year of good luck.

To celebrate this occasion, Sydney’s largest water festival, the Loy Krathong Festival, was held in Parramatta at the banks of the river by the same name. The festival attracted more than 12,000 people from Parramatta, Greater Western Sydney and Asian communities from all around Sydney.

The festival started at 5pm but we were there by 7 pm. By then, there were lots of people on both sides of the river.

We started our journey from the main stage where there was some dancing going on. We watched a few shows and then started to look around to find out what else was going on.

I was really drawn to the crowd where there were tables and chairs set up to make your own Krathong that you could put in the river later in the night.

There is no equivalent word in English for ‘krathong’. You may hear people referring to it as a small boat, vessel, receptacle or container. In the run up to the festival, many shops and market stalls will display ready-made Krathongs, or in parts so you can assemble and decorate as you wish. In the past, krathongs were made from natural materials – usually a section from a banana tree trunk, crafted into a lotus shape by using folded banana leaves, and these can still be found for sale around the main festival sites. More recently, Thais have become more creative in their craft and design the krathongs from coconut shells, flowers, baked bread, potato slices, some breaking with the conventional lotus leaf shape in favour of turtles and other sea creatures.

It was really fascinating to see kids and adults trying to make the Krathong. I joined the crowd and here are some of my photos AS took during the process. I really didn’t know what to do but I was happy to watch people and learn. It was fun and it took around 10 minutes to finish it.

I guess at the end it turned out great. What do you think? 🙂

From there we looked at the stalls and check out lots of traditional jewellery making, umbrella making, the art of painting umbrellas and masks, weaving, making a lotus lantern, as well as other stuffs where there were beautiful ladies in traditional dresses explaining what they were doing.

Then we moved on to the food stalls where there was a long queue. We did manage to get some curry puffs, spring rolls, taro spring rolls as well as duck salad and Thai green curry with rice.

With all this food we took a seat on the grass by the river and enjoyed the food and waited for the launching of Krathongs.

Once the official Krathongs were launched , I joined the queue and put mine into the water as well.

The river looked really beautiful with so many different designs and sizes of Krathongs floating on the water.

After that we went to the main stage where we watched Golden Lantern Dance, Candle Dance, Fighting Cock Dance as well as a Thai Puppet Show.  All of them were really interesting and fun.

After the show we went and crossed the bridge to go to the other side of the river where they had set up a Thai village as well as amusement rides for children.

At one corner there were fire dancers performing and there was also some free face painting going on. We also heard people singing Loy Karthongs songs in the competition.

Finally we finished the tour of all the stuffs and decided to sit at the top of a slotp on one side of the river and waited for the fireworks to start.

At 9.55, they started the fireworks and it went for more than 5 minutes. It was a really beautiful display. Finally we headed home after a good evening out.