Tag Archives: outdoors

Snowy Mountains: Australia

I guess lots of people living in US and Canada will call us crazy but we do drive 7 hours to play with snow. There is no snowfall in Sydney so we have to jump into a car and drive almost half a day to reach Perisher or Thredbo to play with snow during winter. And last weekend that is what we decided to do, take a visit to a winter wonderland :). We were 8 people altogether which included my hubby, my cousin K didi, her husband and her son and 3 of their friends.

Perisher valley

So we left Sydney after work on Friday to be get to the mountain early morning Saturday. The drive down there was not much fun as it was cold and dark. We stopped at one shop for coffee and cookie and to hire some gear.

We hired snow trousers, jackets and walking boots. We all decided to hire toboggans instead of ski or snow board because it is much easier. I fell so many times while trying to learn how to ski in the past that it was not fun at all. Generally a normal skier would spend the majority of their time skiing and a fraction of their time falling so I knew already that I don’t have ski genes within me. And ohoo how can I forget all the pain and body aches the next day. I really wanted to avoid that this time as my body is still in recovery mode from last weekend’s City2Surf run.

Perisher valley

Perisher valleyAnyway, from there our next stop was the Perisher valley. Perisher Valley (elevation 1720m) is a ski resort village in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia, in the Snowy River Shire. It is located within the Kosciuszko National Park between beautiful Jindabyne and Charlotte Pass on the Kosciuszko Road.

Perisher valley

Perisher valleyPerisher valleyThe place looked really beautiful with snow everywhere. We got lucky as it snowed the day before so there was 27cm of fresh snow to play with. The lift to the mountains was not opened then so there were not that many people around. I have to admit it was really cold so we decide to have breakfast before we stared to play in the snow.

Perisher valley

Perisher valleyAfter breakfast we took our toboggans and made our way uphill. First we stared on a small hill to get the hang of the toboggan and later went to the big hill. My nephew who is nearly five was enjoying his ride as well. He would come down and immediately walk his way up the hill. It was a really exciting experience. After may be 10 rides, it started getting hot but AS didn’t let me take my jacket off as he said I might get sick later. I know he does look after me  🙂

Perisher valley

Perisher valleyWe also had some fun with snow war. As we were talking photos, I went and stood behind AS. So while he was posing, I took a heap of snow and started the fight. I knew he was not going to leave me alone after that. It was so much fun. Later everyone joined the fight including my nephew who was having the time of his life.

Perisher valley

Perisher valley

Perisher valley

How could a snow trip be successful without a snowman? Someone started the snowman on the top of the mountain which we continued and he looked beautiful with my gloves and muffler :). We all posed to take our photo with the snowman.

Perisher valley

Perisher valley

By midday we all were starving so we decided to have a break and went for lunch. We had brought some dry home cooked lunch and it tasted the best after so much energy was lost. On the way to the eating area it started snowing as well.

Perisher valleyAfter the break, we took our toboggans again and continued the ride for rest of the day.

Perisher valleyPerisher valleyOn the higher hills, I could see people skiing and snowboarding. I do want to learn how to do that well without falling of course but I really enjoyed what we did.  It was really fun. Planning for next trip to snow already for the next year  🙂

Please click here for more photos.

Perisher valley

Perisher valley

Trip to Blue Mountains

Last Saturday, we decided to take a day trip to Blue Mountains and we had an awesome time. I went there with my husband, my brother and his wife, my cousin, her husband and her 4 years old son and a friend of mine with his wife.

Blue Mountains are around two hours drive from Sydney and it is one of the popular tourist destinations. It is one of those destinations where you can drive from point to point in a car stopping at different view points for stunning views or you can bush walk for hours to get from one great location to another. The roads are also very scenic.

The Greater Blue Mountains Area was unanimously listed as a World Heritage Area by UNESCO on29 November 2000. The area totals roughly 10,000 square kilometres (3,900 sq mi), including the Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Wollemi, Gardens of Stone, Yengo, Nattai and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks, plus the Jenolan Caves Karst Conservation Reserve.

One of the visitors we met there asked me if I knew why Blue Mountain is called Blue Mountains so I did my research and here is the explanation.

The mountains in the Blue Mountains look blue and their blueness comes from the way that the light hits the mist which rises from the eucalyptus trees which cover almost every inch of them.

On the way to Blue Mountains, there are lots of ice parks, lakes and falls. One of them is Wentworth Falls. When we got to Wentworth Falls, we were hungry so we decide to take a break in Wentworth Falls Park before bush walking. We ate our nice homemade lunch and went to the Conservation Hut to start our bush walking.

The track signs said an hour for the trip but I guess we took longer as we took lots of photos on the way. The walking tracks were really well maintained so even my 4 year old nephew easily walked without any help. We saw some amazing views on the way to the fall. Along with spectacular views, we saw kookaburras, parrots, lizards, spiders and colourful songbirds.

Once we were at the bottom of the waterfall it looked just beautiful. It looked like it came out of the National Geographic Channel. It was so cool and refreshing. There were lots of tourists enjoying the view.

After resting for a while, we made our way back to the car and went to see the mountains. The most famous piece of the Blue Mountains can be found in Katoomba as Echo Point. When Oprah was here shooting her final shows, it was one of the place she visited.

As the day was sunny, we had a great time going around the lookouts and taking some really nice shot. The Three Sisters looked beautiful from the view point but for those of you who love walking, you can actually hike down to the base of one for a dizzyingly spectacular perspective.

Ever time I visited Blue Mountains before, I took the Scenic tour which consists of

  • Skyway – The Skyway takes you on a 720 metre journey, 270m above ancient ravines and dazzling waterfalls.  You are suspended over Jurassic rainforests as you glide smoothly across the sky.
  • Cableway – The Scenic Cableway takes you on a 545 metre ride into – or out of – the World Heritage-listed rainforest of the Jamison Valley.
  • Railway – The 415m descent railway will take you through a cliff side tunnel down into an ancient rainforest.  The Scenic Railway can carry up to 84 passengers and operates every 10 minutes.
  • Walkway- Discover over 2.8kms of boardwalk through the ancient rainforest, including 380 metres of wheel chair accessible walkway

It is a must do if anyone is going to Blue Mountains for the first time. This time we skipped it and decided to walk most of the places.

Overall great day with plenty of exercise. 🙂

Sydney Aquarium

I hadn’t been to Sydney aquarium for many years, so a few weeks ago, AS and I decided to go there as it was a rainy Saturday afternoon as there wasn’t much we could do outdoors. Sydney Aquarium in situated on the eastern edge of Darling Harbour and is close to the heart of the city. The cost of entry for an adult is AU$35 per person.

When we went to buy the ticket, we realised that lots of people, especially families with young kids and tourist had the same idea as we did. So there was a bit of a wait before we could get inside. Once inside, there were a large variety of fish and water creatures like huge sharks, massive stingrays, majestic turtles, jellyfish, platypuses, penguins, and sea dragons.

There were many interesting Lego structures which wasn’t there on my last visit. I later learned that they are aquatic inspired constructions containing around 20000 pieces of Lego.

There was a section called Great Barrier Reef and I swear I saw all the fishes there which I had seen while snorkelling in Great Barrier Reef itself. They were so colourful with similar coral around them. All sorts of tropical fish, sharks and rays darted about the coral reef formations swimming over creatures that live on the ocean floor including lobsters and sea cucumbers.

The best part of all was the underwater tunnel. There were so many sharks and sting rays that we spent more than 30 minutes looking at them.  I felt really excited when a three-metre shark or giant sting ray glided silently above me :).

Luckily we were there when they had shark feeding as well where one of the keepers told us many things about the sharks and sting rays in the tank.

 A few facts I learnt that day.

  • Opened in 1988, Sydney Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world.
  • Six million litres of water house this varied and colourful exhibit.
  • They have beautiful dugongs – 2 of only 5 on display anywhere in the world
  • Almost every Australian sea and major waterway is represented at the Sydney Aquarium: from the open sea to the Great Barrier Reef, to the Australian Bight and Sydney Harbour, to the Murray-Darling river system, the rivers of the Far North, mangrove habitats, rocky shores.
  • Some of its displays are contained in the main exhibit hall, others in one of the three large floating oceanariums.
  • A large purpose-built tank called Mermaid Lagoon is where the rather adorable Dugongs Pig and Wuwu call home. Most Dugongs spend their time in warmer northern Australian waters and they are a strictly marine herbivores.
  • Little Penguins are on display in a large tank replicating their natural habitat which stretches around southern Australia from northern NSW all the way to southern WA, and can include Sydney Harbour.
  • There are a number of shark exhibits at the aquarium. Together they tell the story and life cycle of sharks and also their relationship with man.

The aquarium is great for kids (and adults) who can appreciate the cool things the world can offer like sharks and turtles. I really enjoyed my day out and if you ever visit Sydney, I think this should be one of the places to go on your list.

For more information on the aquarium, please visit their site

http://www.sydneyaquarium.com.au/