Hobart June 2016 Part 3

img_4087We drove about close to 2 hours before we reached Port Arthur.. It started raining before we reached and was still raining when we reached..

We had lunch at the cafe before we decided which tour to join.. They have ghost tours which I think would not be suitable for the kids..

The general tour includes a cruise and a guided tour plus entry to all the buildings so we settled for that..

It was still raining when it was time for our harbour cruise and as we had to walk a long way to board the ship, we had to put on our ponchos..

The rain made it impossible to see where the guide was pointing to so we didn’t see much.. We took it as a leisure ride to shelter ourselves from the rain.. Haha.. Dennis even suggested that we should just stay on the boat and not leave until it stopped raining.. Of course, we didn’t do that!

When we returned to shore, it was still raining.. We joined the guided tour but had to take cover while the guide gave us some brief history about Port Arthur.. Port Arthur was set up as a prison for convicts to undergo training to become useful people again.. The prison was for adults and boys to be educated and trained in skills that would be useful for them to find employment..

It was a beautiful place that would be nice to live in if it were not a prison.. We spent the rest of the day exploring the various buildings in the area..

We learnt that the convicts grew to love the place and settled there even after their term was over.. I guess I would too..

After the tour, we brought the kids to the indoor discovery area where they had to find the convicts that matched the cards they were given..

There were still people streaming in and I guess they were all there for the ghost tours.. We snacked and relaxed a bit before we made our long journey back.. It was an informative trip..

Tomorrow, we are going to explore the Salamanca Market.. Again, we’re praying for good weather!


Hobart June 2016 Part 2

We started our day early and headed to Ida Bay Bush Railway.. It was a 2-hour train ride and there were 2 timings – 10am and 12.30pm.

We reached our destination at about 11 plus and decided to get our tickets first.. We got the tickets from the little cafe where we had our lunch.. We saw a book which they placed outside the cafe.. They were petitioning to get state funds to help maintain the railway..

It started drizzling as we were eating but the rain stopped when we were done.. We walked around to explore the area while waiting for the train..

We soon boarded the tram and started on our journey after the driver gave us a briefing of what to expect.. There were fleece blankets in the train in case we felt cold along the journey..

We saw a rainbow as soon as we were on the way! Seems like we see rainbows more easily in Australia than in Singapore as we also saw one when we went to Perth last June..

We stopped for a while near the tombs of the original owners of the railway.. I didn’t pay much attention actually.. 😁

We explored the beach for a while..

We also took a group photo before we continued on the train ride..

The rest of the journey made us drowsy.. The rocking and noise of the train as well as the cool breeze made me doze off a few times.. But it’s a relaxing ride..

It was close to 3pm when we were done so we decided to explore the Hastings Caves which was nearby.. It was supposed to be closed at 4pm..

We took a short drive over and were lucky that we managed to catch the last tour which would start at 3.15pm..

The Newdegate Cave which we went to seemed smaller than the one we went to in Perth.. I’m impressed by how the Australians take care of the caves.. We were told not to touch any of the formations as the natural oil secretion from our hands would ‘kill’ the formations..

The only one we could touch was a quarter of a century years old..

After exploring the cave, we made our way back to our house.. Along the way, we bought some groceries and had porridge for dinner..

Tomorrow, we would be exploring Port Arthur..

Hobart June 2016

We arrived in Hobart on a rainy day after bidding Sydney goodbye.. We rented a Kia Carnival which was enough for us and our 5 pieces of luggage..

We collected the keys to the apartment from a real estate staff before we had our lunch.. The owner of the house we rented via Airbnb was based in Hong Kong..

We had Japanese food at an eatery before we made our way to Coles to get some groceries before we drove to the apartment.. It was huge and the kids were immediately playing at the play area the moment the found it at the basement..

We prepared a simple meal of porridge, vegetables, chicken kebab and omelette..

Then we planned what we wanted to do the next day..

We woke up to a beautiful view from the balcony..

We then drove about 2 hours to Tahune Airwalk.. Along the way, we stopped by Petty Sessons Jetty for a toilet break.. 

We continued on the windy road and reached Tahune Airwalk at about 11.30am..

We joined the guided tour at 12pm..

The tour lasted about 1.5h and the kids were all complaining of hunger towards the end.. We had our lunch at the cafe before we went to try out the Cable Eagle Hang Glider.. We paid $99 for the 4 of us for both the walk and the hang gliding.. It was a fun and cold experience and we all enjoyed it! Jovan was the only kid to try it as the minimum weight of each glider is 25kg..

After that, we rushed to the Swinging Bridge as the journey to and fro was about 1 hour and it was already 3.10pm, 50min to closing time.. I’m glad we managed to make it and it was a great workout for all! The bridge was shaky as we crossed it but the kids were not afraid.. They were even jumping on it to shake it! πŸ˜…

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant and the damage was about a hundred dollars.. The plain omelette was $18 and we couldn’t bear to order it! Haha.. A packet of 12 eggs was only $4.80!

After that, we went back and planned for our activities the following day.. Praying for good weather!

Sydney June 2016 Part 2

The weather was great today and we kind of regretted not booking for a tour to Blue Mountains.. 

We had no choice but to return to Darling Harbour again as we thought of visiting the Sea Life Aquarium there.. 

Since the weather was good, we thought we should do some outdoor activities 1st so we checked out the water taxis..

The cruise lasted about an hour and at the end of it, we were all very cold..

After the cruise, we headed to the Sea Life Aquarium.. We checked out the website and bought tickets to both the Sea Life Aquarium and the Sydney Wildlife Zoo at AUD$165 as it was cheaper than if we were to buy the tickets off the counter (AUD$40/adult and AUD$28/child for each attraction). It was about 3.30pm when we got our tickets..

We went to the zoo first as it closes at 5pm.. We thought the aquarium closes at 7pm.. We also thought the zoo would be small and that we could finish going around in an hour or so.. 

Sigh.. We left the zoo at about 5.10pm after Jocelle did her business and realized that the aquarium would be closed at 6pm that day and the last entry was at 5pm! We were so close! Sigh.. We tried to talked to the staff to let us just go in since we were leaving the next day.. They spoke to their superior but was told they could only extend our tickets for one more day.. We had to catch a flight to Hobart the next day at 11.10am so it’s impossible for us to utilize the tickets.. I guess we shouldn’t have been so ambitious.. Anyway, lesson learnt.. We need to check the opening hours more carefully… πŸ˜‘

We then waited for the Vivid Sydney light show to begin.. But as it was too cold, we didn’t stay for too long.. We went back to finish our food and packed up as much as we could as we had to set off early the next day.. I guess that’s all for Sydney this time.. πŸ˜”

Getting Wet in Sydney

It’s been 2 days of wet weather in Sydney.. We had been hoping for the best but it seems like the weather will be wet throughout our stay here.. 

Last night, we went to Darling Harbour after lunch.. We wanted to wait for the rain to stop but we decided to just brave the rain and leave the apartment.. We took the train and walked a bit before we reached around 4 plus.. 

We hung around there for a while and waited for the Vivid Sydney light show to begin at 6pm..

While waiting, the kids asked to try the Ferris Wheel.. The 7 of us squeezed into one capsule..

After our ride, we walked a bit more but found out that the light show had been cancelled due to the bad weather.. Most locals told us this extended period of rain was unexpected.. Sigh.. Guess our luck wasn’t so good.. We decided to call it a day and made our way back..

Today, it was still raining when we set off.. We wanted to check out Sydney Opera House and The Rocks.. The rain was very heavy when we reached Martin Place Station..  We had to use ponchos to prevent ourselves from getting drenched.. Because of the heavy rain, we decided to have our lunch at McDonalds..We then booked a Sydney Opera House tour at an agency but realized we could have gotten a cheaper package if we bought a family package at $95 for 2A2C instead of paying $37/adult and $20/child.. Think that lady could have suggested this option for us..πŸ˜‘

Along the way, we took some photos with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in our background..

Anyway, we started our tour at 3pm and it lasted for an hour.. Quite an insightful tour, I think..

After the tour, we walked over to The Rocks to check out the shops.. The rain was relentless.. Sigh.. We took a break at an eatery where the kids had some pasta while we enjoyed a slice of cake and some hot drinks..

We walked around and waited for the light show which we were told had been delayed due to some technical issues.. After waiting for a while, we finally caught the show which was supposed to be on from 6-11pm daily.. 

As the rain was getting heavier, we decided to make our way back..

We saw the light show at Customs House.. 

We wanted to take the train back but was told that the we had to take a Train Replacement Bus to Bondi Junction where our apartment is due to a fallen tree on the train tracks.. The lady who informed us about this also told us this heavy storm was unexpected..

We then took a free bus service back and I’m glad the kids were still chirpy..

Sigh.. It’s been too wet and disappointing.. We most probably can’t make it to the Blue Mountains.. Let’s pray for better weather tomorrow!