Tuesday, 12 August 2008

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australia day in sydney

Not long to spend in Sydney on Australia Day, a great shame, if we'd have known we would have changed our itinerary to stay for the evening celebrations too.

In the morning, after we'd dropped off our luggage at the station, and having coffee and toast in one of the town's cafes, we decided to get back to Circular Quay where we happily mingled in with the crowds, so many Australia hats, flags, teeshirts etc, and smiley faces! Later on, after a nice lunch of takeaway fish and chips, we headed back towards the station to catch our train to Adelaide. Fortunately for us the pavements were lined with vintage transport, where we were able to stop for a while to take photos, and take in some of the Australian spirit.

So we didn't miss everything!

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national orchid garden

Located within Singapore Botanic Gardens, which boasts a sprawling display of 60,000 orchid plants.

We visited here on part of the City Tour, somewhat being rather a rushed affair. We weren't given much time, I could have walked around for hours!

On arrival at Singapore Changi airport there were displays of large bowl shaped planters full of the most stunning, colourful orchids I have ever seen. What a greeting, and not surprising this airport was voted second best airport in the World Airport Awards 2008.

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hong kong by day

A view of Hong Kong by day, taken from the harbour in Kowloon.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

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kata tjuta (the olgas)

The Pitjantjajara name Kata Tjuta means 'many heads' and the site is as sacred to the Indigenous people as Uluru, and along with this forms the National Park. The 36 domes, covering an area of 21.68 km², are composed of conglomerate, a sedimentary rock consisting of cobbles and boulders of varying rock types including granite and basalt, cemented by a matrix of sandstone.

We visited early evening and took the Olga Gorge Walk (Tatintjawiya), a 2km walk into the beautiful gorge. The weather was humid but cloudy so we weren't witness to the spectacular sunset, with dusky blues and purples to fierce oranges and reds that light up the sky.

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white-lipped tree frog

This photo was taken in the private garden of our guide. He owned a guest house/restaurant in the Daintree National Park and after our tour of the rainforest he drove us back in his 4 x 4 to show us some wildlife which takes up residence just outside in his back yard.

We stayed in the wet tropics rainforest for one night, this is when the wildlife is most active. These white-lipped tree frogs, when in large groups, make the most incredible noise and just typical of what noise you would expect to come out of the rainforest.

An amazing memory!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

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port douglas

This former fishing village is the closest town to the Great Barrier Reef. Just to say at the end of January/early February this area of Australia is very, very hot!

This is looking out from the inlet watching the boats and cruisers returning to the marina village from trips out to the reef. Port Douglas is a very pretty location with lots of lovely boutique style shops and a supermarket which was great for buying snacks, chocolate, ice-creams etc! There is a great coffee shop, the name escapes me, where we'd go in the evening after our meal, and many traditional bars where J would enjoy a schooner of beer, or two!

We stayed in a very nice self-contained apartment with a lovely swimming pool (which we had all to ourselves), really clean with all the home comforts. A lady whose accent reminded me very much of Barry Humphries, Dame Edna to you and me, greeted us at reception who was very informative and helpful, giving us a map and recommending a few places to eat.

The first night we sat outside of a local haunt and had the best fish and chips served with a very nice side salad, very English. Well we had been away from home for quite a time!

We wished we had booked more nights in this lovely place, and if the opportunity arose we would definitely love to visit again.

Friday, 11 April 2008

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aboriginal graphic symbols and meanings

On our half-day afternoon tour of Alice Springs, we visited the Mbantua Aboriginal Cultural Museum. I am really quite interested in these graphics, and would like to investigate further, at some stage.