Sydney Day 5 (22 May 17) – Blue Mountains National Park : Beyond The Beauties of the Three Sisters

As iconic as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, the Blue Mountains National Park is a must visit when coming to Sydney. We planned to visit this national park during weekdays to avoid most of the crowd and indeed visitorship is rather thin on this Monday at the time of our visit. Blue Mountains is located about 100km West of Sydney and took us 1½ hours to drive from Sydney Olympic Park. Our first stop is Scenic World, which is a great place to start the trip to Blue Mountains National Park.
Baby Ryker excited to visit Blue Mountains
We travelled more than 200km to and from Blue Mountains
Driving on the highway towards Blue Mountains National Park

Scenic World

Scenic World overlooks the Jamison Valley where the famous Three Sisters is located. This is also where we bought our day pass that allowed us unlimited rides on all 3 modes of transportation for us to appreciate the beautiful Blue Mountains. Visitors are free to customise the way they wanted to use the 3 modes of transportation when visiting scenic world. For us, we took the Scenic Railway to the valley floor, did a short walk and took the Scenic Cableway up to Scenic Top Station and took the Scenic Skyway to the East Station and back.
My Brother-in-law and Baby Ryker in Scenic World
My friend and I at Scenic World
View of Three Sisters from Scenic World Top Station

Scenic Railway Ride to the Valley Floor 

Scenic Railway is boasted as the world’s steepest passenger railway with a inclination of 52°. I thought riding the railway down to the valley floor is more fun than riding it up backwards.  The train brought us down 310m into Jamison Valley and takes about 5 mins. There are options for passengers to customise the way they want to ride the Scenic Railway. My friend and I opted the “daredevil” Cliffhanger mode, which allowed us to ride the railway at 64° inclination. As there are no seat belts on the seats, half the time we were trying to prevent ourselves from sloping towards the seats in front of us. Nonetheless, we were glad we rode the train in their cliffhanger mode and had a great time riding the world’s steepest passenger train. As my sister and her family had a baby in tow, they opted the laidback mode, riding the train at about 30° inclination. My nephew, despite being only 9 months old, enjoyed his ride down to the valley floor on the Scenic Railway. As no prams are allowed in this ride, visitors with prams or wheelchairs are not able to take this ride, there is still the Scenic Cableway option down to Jamison Valley.

Scenic Railway signage
The train pulling into top station
My friend and my sister’s family ready to board the Scenic Railway
3 options for passengers in the Scenic Railway
Taking a wefie before the train leaves the station
My sister and her family inside the moving train. Baby Ryker is too busy enjoying the ride
Riding through the rainforest in the world’s steepest passenger train
The Three Sisters as we rode down the Scenic Railway

The ride down to the valley floor, started with a gentle slope. In the beginning we were not able to feel the steepness of the railway. A little in the ride, the railway suddenly tilted steeper as we descend to the valley, I find the Indiana Jones theme song playing inside the enclosed train carriage a little cheesy. Soon the Railway reaches a cliff-side tunnel, all of the sudden everything was pitch black. We can only hope that we don’t find ourselves sitting on the carriage floor after we pass the tunnel. As the train descends further into Jamison Valley, we were out of the tunnel. The view from the left side of the train is spectacular! I can see part of a waterfall and the Three Sisters peeking through the canopies of the forest. The inclination of the railway turns gentle once more, we know our ride is over as we were at the Scenic Railway Bottom Station.

We rode down this rail track
Three Sisters from the Bottom Railway Station
My sister and her family with Three Sisters in the background
Taking a wefie with Three Sisters
View of the surroundings at the Bottom Staton

Strolling in the Scenic Walkway

Exiting the Railway, we stopped briefly at the side of the station. We felt so small being enclosed by the cliff where the Three Sisters sit and the vastness of the land that seem to stretch forever. After snapping a few more pictures, we headed to the Scenic Walkway in the Jamison Valley floor. There are 3 routes that we can take in the Scenic Walkway, all of which end up in the Scenic Cableway Bottom Station. We took the shortest of the 3 route – Coal Mine Route, which took us around 15 mins to reach the Scenic Cableway Bottom Station, the other routes are the Lillipilli Link (30 mins) and Yellow Robin Link (50mins). True to its name, there are a couple of coal mines along the Coal Mine Route. The air is indeed fresh down at the valley, with the freshness of the rainforest. My nephew seem excited about the forest walk. He was smiling and very curious about the things around him. We passed a closed mine shaft, that used to be an entrance to the coal mine. These days it is a tourist spot that served for photo opportunity for tourists. Further down the path, there is another bigger entrance to the coal mine. Despite being unsealed and armed with a sign saying “Danger Keep Out”, no one seem to be entering the coal mine. Along the path we felt as if we are in scene in Jurassic Park, the forest seem as old as time and cliffs that seem to be sheared off by a giant sword, with its near vertical cliff face. A rock sitting on the side of the pathway that seem to be nature’s creation. Very soon we found ourselves at the Cableway Bottom Station.
The walk through the Jurassic forest in Scenic Walkway is very easy
My friend and I at the ventilation shaft of the coal mine
Baby Ryker is curious about his surroundings
Baby Ryker seem happy to have touched a tree for the first time
Coal carts that was used before
My sister’s family in Scenic Walkway
Horses used to pull these coal carts
An entrance to the coal mine
Flora in the Scenic Walkway
Wefie in the Scenic Walkway
My sister’s family in Scenic Walkway
We are some 300m from the top of the cliff
My sister’s family with a huge rock that seem to fell off the top many years ago

Scenic Cableway

The Cableway was just calling into the station when we reached. We boarded the Cableway and journeyed 510m to the Scenic World Top Station, where we started. The Cableway is a huge cablecar that is designed to ferry passengers up and down the valley. The cableway is less thrilling than the Scenic Railway, however the 10 min journey allowed us slowly enjoy this scenic part of Blue Mountains. While the Scenic Railway dashes us through the rainforest cliff, the Scenic Cableway gave us a bird’s eye view of the entire valley as we ascended in it. We were above the canopy of the rainforest that we were in just minutes ago. All this while, we had the Three Sisters constantly in our sight. At the side of the Cableway, we seem to be narrowly passing the cliff, as though we can almost touch them if the windows are opened (well it is not exactly that close). As we approach the top station, the staff in the Cableway, who has been giving commentaries about the Blue Mountains, suddenly announced a lone rock that we will be passing by, known as the Orphan Rock. The staff mentioned that there used to be a trail that leads to the top of the Orphan Rock, a wedding has even  being held there. However due to corrosion, the trail to the top of Orphan Rock is closed. Nearing to the top station, I spotted some rail tracks. These are supposed to be a roller coaster ride that used to be one of the attractions here in Blue Mountains and has since closed in 1982. The Scenic Cableway is Wheelchair and pram friendly too.
Scenic Cableway pulling into the Bottom Station
View outside as we ascend to the top station in the Scenic Cableway
View of Three Sisters at the Scenic Cableway top station
Wefie with the Scenic Cableway car that we just rode in
View of Three Sisters from Scenic Cableway top station

Scenic Skyway

After having lunch at the Scenic World Top Station, we went for the Scenic Skyway next. I have been to Scenic World more than 15 years ago. I recall the Scenic Skyway used to pull us out halfway to where the Katoomba Waterfall is and than back to the Top Station. Fast forward 15 years later, another station has been built on the other side of the cliff. These days the Scenic Skyway brought us to the Skyway Eastern Station, where we can view the Blue Mountains from another angle. As the skyway leaves the station, I felt we are like an eagle soaring up the sky, viewing the entire Jamison valley region in the Blue Mountains from the sky. The centre of the Skyway is a panel of glass that allows passengers to step on and view the valley from high above. Sitting solemnly afar, rising up from the grounds is Mt Solitary. Once at the Eastern Station, we took the short trail to the left, leading us to Cliff View Lookout, which is about 5 mins walk from the station. Here we can see Katoomba Waterfall on the right, with a relatively small stream of water falling 300m into Jamison Valley and Mt Solitary. The view of Three Sisters is obscured from Cliff View Lookout. There is a trail that leads to Echo Point which takes about 45mins walk, while it will only take us 5 mins to drive there. We took the latter option. After some photos, we headed back to the Skyway East Station and took the next skyway back to Scenic World Top Station, where we drove ourselves to Echo Point.
Me in Blu Mountains
Taking a wefie in Blue Mountains before we ride on the Scenic Skyway
My sister’s family in Blue Mountains
My friend and I in the Scenic Skyway
Taking wefie in the Scenic Skyway
The Scenic Skyway brought us across the Jamison Valley
Katoomba Falls from Scenic Skyway
Scenic Skyway that we just rode in
View of Jamison Valley in the Blue Mountains
Panoramic shot of Jamison Valley in Blue Mountains
My sister’s family at Cliff View Lookout
My friend and I at Cliff View Lookout
View of Mt Solitary from Cliff View Lookout
Jamison Valley from Cliff View Lookout

Echo Point Lookout

Echo Point Lookout offers the best up close view of the Three Sisters. Just a 5 mins drive from Scenic World, it did not take us long to reach Echo Point Lookout. Legend has it that a witchdoctor turned 3 beautiful sisters into stones to prevent a warring tribe from forcing them into marrying into the other tribe. However the witchdoctor died before he can turn the sisters back to human. To this date, the Three Sisters sits on the cliff waiting for someone to turn them back into their human form. The Three Sisters are 3 cliffs that sit on top of the north escarpment of Jamison Valley. Visitors can take a short walk to the lookout below for a closer view and photo spot with the Three Sisters. It can get crowded here with bus loads of tourists here. We did not stay here for too long and continued our journey to other parts of the Blue Mountains.

Echo Point signage
Close shot of the Three Sisters at Echo Point Lookout
Wefie with the Three Sisters at Echo Point Lookout
There is a lower platform that visitors can access to for a closer shot with the Three Sisters at Echo Point Lookout
View of Blue Mountains at Echo Point Lookout

Cahill’s Lookout

For most of the visitors, their trip to Blue Mountains will end at Scenic World and Echo Point Lookout. Blue Mountains has a lot to offer (if one travels here via driving). Our next destination is Boars Head Lookout and stopped by a couple of lookouts before that.  The first 2 lookouts that we stopped by, Eaglehawk Lookout and Narrow Neck Lookout, while offers views of the Jamison Valley from another perspective, the view isn’t that great. There are no proper parking spots for cars and the views are obscured. We snapped a few pictures before heading to Cahill’s Lookout. Soon we arrive at Cahill’s Lookout. After parking the car, my friend and I headed to the lookout (my sister and her family was too tired to join us on the 3 min walk to the lookout). While walking to Cahill’s Lookout at which lies at the end of the pathway, we stopped by Boars Head Lookout. The view at Boars Head Lookout is magnificent! It offers a different view of Blue Mountains, other than the already popular Three Sisters and Jamison Valley. From Boars Head Lookout, we spotted the Narrow Neck Plateau that separates Jamison Valley from Megalong Valley. The Narrow Neck Plateau looks like the body of a dragon lies in deep sleep. The land below us seem to stretch to the end of the earth. We continued our walk to Cahill’s Lookout, which is an octagon platform that looks out into Megalong Valley. The views here is no different from that of Boars Head Lookout, except that we were able to see the cliffs off Pulpit Rock and Bonnie Doon Waterfall. As the sun is setting, we still have another spot to head to, my friend and I headed back to the car and continued our journey to our last stop of the day.
View of Blue Mountains at Eaglehawk Lookout
View at Narrow Neck Lookout
Narrow Neck Plateau in the Blue Mountains
Taking a wefie with Narrow Neck Plateau in Cahill’s Lookout
My friend with Narrow Neck Plateau in Cahill’s Lookout
Me in Cahill’s Lookout
My friend in Boars Head Lookout
Taking a wefie of Narrow Neck Plateau and Megalong Valley in Boars Head Lookout
Panoramic shot of Narrow Neck Plateau and Megalong Valley
Cahill’s Lookout
My friend in Cahill’s Lookout
Panoramic shot of Megalong Valley from Cahill’s Lookout
View of Megalong Valley from Cahill’s Lookout

Govetts Loop Lookout

The drive to Govetts Loop Lookout takes about 45 mins from Katoomba, where the Three Sisters is located. To get there we passed by the town of Blackheath. There are signs well placed to point drivers to Govetts Loop Lookout. Govetts Loop Lookout offers views of the Grose Valley. Due to the low clouds, the view here looks mystical, as if it is nothing from this world. The view here felt a little like Pandora, the homeland of the Na’vi from the movie Avatar. From the lookout we can see a waterfall – Govetts Loop Falls. Since it is our last day in Sydney and our last stop of the day, my sister, my friend and I decided to take the 30 mins walk to the top of Govetts Loop Falls. The walk to Govetts Loop Falls is downhill. The initial walk was gentle, there come a point where there are stairways carved out of the soil and at some more dangerous points railings installed to ensure the safety of trackers. As we were walking, the sound of water appears to be closer. Not longer after a series of down “stairs” walks, we knew we arrived at the top Govetts Loop Falls. The view here isn’t that great, as the “lookout” is not overlooking into the valley. Rather we were treated to a view where the stream falls into the valley. There is a smaller waterfall on the side where we came from, with gentle streams flowing from the rivers on top. At the other side of the stream, we saw part of the Govetts Loop Brook that seem to come from a forest on top of the waterfall. After taking some pictures, we traced back our steps from where we came from and headed back to the car. The walk back to the car park can be tiring for some as it comprises a series of stairs to climb up. We made it back to the car before the sun sets and were on our way back to Sydney. As we were driving out of Govetts Loop Lookout, the clouds are so low that the entire area fogged up. The drive back to Sydney took around 2 hours. We headed back to Chinatown in Sydney for a well deserved dinner after a whole day at Blue Mountains and a way to end our trip to Sydney. We headed back to our accommodation early to pack and rest as we fly out of Sydney the next morning. There are more places to Sydney than those we visited, given essentially only 5 days in this city, we visited most of the icons of the City.

View of Grose Valley from Govetts Loop Lookout
View of Grose Valley from Govetts Loop Lookout
Wefie at Govetts Loop Lookout
Panoramic shot at Govetts Loop Lookout
The low clouds makes Govetts Loop Lookout look mystical
My sister with a well in Govetts Loop Lookout
Another shot of Grose Valley in Govetts Loop Lookout
We started our trek to the top of Govetts Loop Falls

 

The initial walk was easy down to Govetts Loop Falls

 

A small waterfall at the top of Govetts Loop Falls that flows into the stream
My sister and my friend playing on top of Govetts Loop Falls
My friend at the top of Govetts Loop Falls
Wefie at the top of Govetts Loop Falls

 

My sister posing carefully to ensure that she don’t slip and fall into the river on top of Govetts Loop Falls
Govetts Loop Brook that flows down Govetts Loop Falls into Grose Valley

 

The waterfall side of Govetts Loop Brook falling into Grose Valley. It is a shame that we cannot see the waterfalls from here

 

My sister taking a break while walking back to the carpark at Govetts Loop Lookout
My sister taking another break while walking back to the carpark at Govetts Loop Lookout

 

My sister taking yet another break while walking back to the carpark at Govetts Loop Lookout

 

My sister now can celebrate after all the walk up to the carpark

 

The cloud is very low at the time we return to the carpark at Govetts Loop Lookout

Sydney Day 4 (21 May 17) – Exploring Sydney – From Darling Harbour to Chinatown

Sydney Wildlife Zoo

Our itinerary is pretty light today. We visited the sights in Sydney and catered some time for shopping around town.Our first stop for the day is  the Sydney Wildlife Zoo, located in Sydney’s Darling Harbour a 25 mins drive from Sydney Olympic Park. There are 2 other attractions in this area on top of the Sydney Wildlife Zoo. The Sydney Aquarium and Madam Tussauds are located in the vicinity. One can consider getting the multi attraction pass and visit these attractions at one go to save time and money. We used the same attraction pass that was issued to us the day before to gain entry. Sydney Wildlife Zoo is rather small housing in a building occupying a total space of 7,000㎡. The wildlife park has a 1 km walkway that snakes through the entire Wildlife Zoo, across all 6 zones. All the animals housed in the wildlife park are found in different parts of Australia. The first few exhibits are snakes As the park is rather small compared to most other wildlife parks, it only took us about 1.5 hrs to finish the entire park. We spent about 10 mins listening to one of the staff educating us on the habits of koala bear. My sister bought a photo opportunity with the koala, instead of holding the animal taking pictures, they only managed to take picture with the koala at a close distance. We felt she was kind of being ripped off by the park. There is a Kangaroo petting area, which is rather small. Visitors are not allowed to feed the Kangaroos, just allowed to pet them as the keeper brought the animal around the open area. There is also another crocodile tank, which only house 1 crocodile. The entire Wildlife Zoo is rather disappointing (compared to the one in Gold Coast that I have visited last year), there are not much opportunity for visitors to interact with some of the animals plus Sydney Wildlife Zoo is small. Given a chance to come to Sydney again, I would skip this place.
My nephew – Baby Ryker posing on a fake Tasmania Devil 
Sydney Wildlife Zoo sits in a building next to Sydney Harbour Bay. Visitors can take these water taxis to Sydney Opera House area
My friend and I outside the building where Sydney Wildlife Zoo is housed
Entrance to Sydney Wildlife Zoo in Darling Harbour
Sydney Wildlife Zoo is housed in the same building as Madam Tussauds and Sealife Aquarium Sydney
This python is the first exhibit we saw as we enter Sydney Wildlife Zoo
A couple of lizards is in sight as we walked along the walkway
and more snakes
There is a Tasmania Devil living in Sydney Wildlife Zoo
and more snakes
Finally we see a species of kangaroo
My sister and her family in Sydney Wildlife Zoo
We also spotted a kookaburra in one of the enclosures
My sister and brother-in-law wondering where to go
Another species of kangaroo in Sydney Wildlife Zoo
My sister and Baby Ryker getting close to a koala
A keeper is “walking” this kangaroo in the open area allowing visitors to pet it
A mouse in the night zone of Sydney Wildlife Zoo
and more snakes
My sister and my friend with Baby Ryker
A lone crocodile at the end of the 1 km walkway in Sydney Wildlife Zoo

Paddy’s Market at Haymarket

We were glad we exited the boring Sydney Wildlife Zoo. We headed to Paddy’s market at Haymarket next (which closes at 6pm). Haymarket is located in Chinatown, a 20 mins drive from Darling Harbour. The covered market place comprises of 2 levels, we spent time exploring only the first level. The stalls are well organised in neat rows and columns, which makes it very easy to navigate around. There are 2 main sections on the ground floor in Paddy’s Market. The section nearer to the entrance sells mainly clothing and souvenirs. This area occupies 2/3 of the ground floor. Things on offer here are reasonably priced and is definitely cheaper than some of the tourist attractions and downtown Sydney. The common souvenirs such as T-shirts, kangaroo skins can be easily found here. There are also stalls selling nougats and locally produced chocolates. Paddy’s Market is a great place to stock up on souvenirs of all sorts.

Entrance to Paddy’s Market
There are lots of stuff on sale here in Paddy’s Market
There are lots of stuff on sale here in Paddy’s Market
My sister and her family shopping in Paddy’s Market
Paddy’s Market in Haymarket
My friend and I outside Paddy’s Market

Further into Paddy’s Market is a section selling fruits and vegetables. These produce seem fresh and is reasonably priced. One can get a pint of strawberries for A$5. This area is very lively, we could hear vendors shouting the price of their products on sale. It might be closing time is near, the vendors in market place here are trying to close as many deals as possible. Compared to the section further out front, this section seem more crowded with shoppers, probably due to the smaller area. As it is near to closing time we got out of Paddy’s Market.

The market area in Paddy’s Market
Paddy’s Market signage

Sydney Chinatown

The night is still young and hunt for dinner around Chinatown. Across the road from Paddy’s Market is a Chinese styled red archway, seem to tell visitors we are in Chinatown. There are no lack of Chinese Restaurants pass the archway, mainly selling Cantonese cuisines operated by Hong Kong immigrants. We settled our dinner in one of these restaurants. There are also shops that opens till late at night, selling mostly the same stuffs, Australian souvenirs of all sorts that can also be found in Paddy’s Market. The price is more or less the same as that in Paddy’s Market.  After dinner, we walked around Chinatown. Instead of Chinatown, it felt like a place where the Asians congregate. Interestingly, the different nationality who migrated to Sydney seem to cluster according to their country of origin. There is a cluster selling Taiwanese food and dessert, yet another cluster of restaurants selling Korean food and another selling Japanese food. We came across this shopping mall – World Square, where there is a supermarket in its basement. Near to the World Square, is where one would find a street of Thai Restaurants.

Walking around Chinatown
There are Chinese restaurants pass the Chinese styled archway
My sister deciding if we should dine here
Taking a wefie before our food arrives
My sister and my friend trying to decide what to eat first
My friend and I taking a wefie in Chinatown

 

Sydney Day 3 (20 May 17) – Icons of Sydney : Sydney Eye Tower , Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge

My friend and Baby Ryker with Sydney Harbour Bridge

Carriageworks Farmers Market

No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to one of a numerous weekend markets. I read that Carriageworks Farmers Market is one of the top farmers market in downtown Sydney, offering a good variety of the freshest produce the land down under has to offer in Sydney region. We made our way to Carriageworks Farmers Market in Sydney, which is around 30 mins drive from Sydney Olympic Park.
Driving in downtown Sydney to Carriageworks Farmers Market
Walking towards Carriageworks Farmers Market
Carriageworks Farmers Market is housed what seemed to be some abandoned industrial area. The market is rather small, selling mostly vegetables and fruits. There are some stalls selling flowers and meats, while other selling homemade products such as cheese, biscuits, etc. There are a limited number of stalls selling food from Chinese dim sum to coffees to freshly pressed juices and steaks. Carriageworks Farmers Market is rather small, it only took us 15 mins to finish the entire market. It is not as big as we imagined it to be. Feeling disappointed, we headed to downtown Sydney to look for lunch. We had lunch in Kings Cross before heading to Sydney Eye Tower in the middle of Sydney CBD.
Carriageworks Farmers Market is rather small
Carriageworks Farmers Market
Some of the freshest produce on sale in Carriageworks Farmers Market
They sell flowers too in Carriageworks Farmers Market
My sister and her family checking out what is on sale in Carriageworks Farmers Market
Carriageworks Farmers Market
My sister and brother-in-law checking on Baby Ryker
Baby Ryker and his dad
My friend and Baby Ryker in Carriageworks Farmers Market
My sister buying some dumplings
Sharing a bowl of dumplings

Sydney Eye Tower

Sydney Eye Tower is located on top of Westfield Shopping Centre in the heart of Sydney’s shopping precinct. Parking is a tad difficult to find in this area as we had to go around a few rounds before being able to find a parking spot. As it is located in the heart of Sydney, parking rates can be a tad expensive. Westfield Shopping Centre stands out among the shopping malls in downtown Sydney, it is the building with a single tall tower affixed on top. Sydney Tower Eye is the tallest building in Australia, standing 309m tall. The observation deck is some 268m from the ground. We got a 2 attraction pass from Experience Oz and NZ website, which is value for money and allowed us to choose how many attractions we wanted to visit. The ticket prices are discounted and we did not have to pre-select the attractions when buying the tickets. We can appear at one of the 5 attractions and get our ticket validated and visit the rest within 30 days of the first attraction.

Sydney Tower Eye seen from Kings Cross
Sydney Tower Eye sits tall on Westfield Shopping Centre
Street outside Westfield Shopping Centre
My sister and her family in downtown Sydney

The lift to the observation deck, is located on 5th floor of Westfield Shopping Centre, where the food court is located. Tucked away in one corner of the food court is where ticketing and the lift up to the observation deck is located. I visited Sydney Tower Eye almost 20 years ago (it was known as Sydney Tower back then), there are a couple of new additions to the tower. There are some models of the tallest buildings in the world, where one can see how tall Sydney Tower Eye stacked up against other giants around the world. Another new addition is a 5 mins 4D show in an auditorium prior to the lift up to the observation deck. The show is rather unique in that it introduces Sydney to visitors from the eye of a bird flying through some of the tourists attractions in Sydney.

My sister and my friend ready to go up Sydney Tower Eye
Models of some of the tallest buildings on earth
My sister and her family ready to go up Sydney Tower Eye
A happy Baby Ryker at Sydney Tower Eye
My friend and Baby Ryker at Sydney Tower Eye

After the show, we took the lift that whizzed us up 268m into the sky within minutes to the observation deck. Stepping out of the lift, we were treated to unobstructed view of the entire Sydney. Sydney Tower Eye is a good place for visitors offering a 360° view of the city, especially great for first timers to Sydney to get a glimpse of how massive the metropolitan city is. It is also a great place to orientate one on where’s where of Sydney. The side that faces Sydney Harbour Bridge was the most crowded, as visitors are here to get a different perspective of the famed icon of the city. However Sydney Opera House is kena obscured. I managed to find the Opera House peeping out in between 2 buildings. One can also see the entire Sydney Harbour Bay from the observation deck. We spotted the Blue Mountains sitting afar from the observation deck, as well as the Sydney Airport and the many suburbs. Walking one round takes around 5 mins (provided one do not stop and take pictures). There is a souvenir shop on the observation deck selling overpriced souvenirs (Hay Market in Chinatown offers souvenirs at half the price here on average). We stayed in Sydney Tower Eye for about 1 hour as my nephew needs to be fed, however Sydney Tower Eye can be done within 20 mins on average.

View of Sydney Harbour Bridge and a small section of Sydney Opera House from Sydney Tower Eye
View of Sydney Harbour Bay from Sydney Tower Eye
View from Sydney Tower Eye
My friend and I at the observatory deck of Sydney Tower Eye
View of Sydney from Sydney Tower Eye
My sister and her family in the observatory deck of Sydney Tower Eye
Sydney Harbour Bay seen from Sydney Tower Eye
Baby Ryker seem to spot something below
Sydney Harbour Bay from Sydney Tower Eye
Sydney Harbour Bay from Sydney Tower Eye
Sydney Harbour Bay from Sydney Tower Eye
My sister had to put the koala ears on Baby Ryker
My friend and I on Sydney Tower Eye

Shopping in Downtown Sydney

Coming down from Sydney Tower Eye, we spent sometime exploring the shopping malls in downtown Sydney. There are no lack of shops ranging from Myers department store to upscale boutiques to mid-range boutiques around this area. One would be spoilt for choice with the numerous amount of shops here. There is even an Apple Store round the corner in downtown Sydney. Do not miss some of the small stores selling finger food such as sushi and cream puffs in the basement of some of these shopping malls. The nearby Queen Victoria Building, a Romanesque architectural building built in the late 1900 Century, that once housed government offices and public library is hard to be missed. The well preserved building, spotting a large dome right in the centre of the building stands out from the rest of the modern skyscrappers. Queen Victoria Building now houses a 4-storey shopping mall in its most recent reincarnation. We did not spend much time to shop around here and headed over to the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Shopping in downtown Sydney
Shopping in downtown Sydney
My friend and I in downtown Sydney
My friend in downtown Sydney
My friend and I in downtown Sydney
Downtown Sydney
Queen Victoria Building is now a shopping mall
Some of the cute cream puffs in downtown Sydney
Downtown Sydney at night
We came across this Roman themed theatre in downtown Sydney
My friend and I taking wefie in the Roman themed theatre
Baby Ryker with his parents in the Roman themed theatre

Sydney Opera House

The iconic Sydney Opera House is a good 30 mins by foot from Sydney Tower Eye. As we had Baby Ryker in tow, we decided to drive there instead. There are ample (but expensive) parking spaces in the carpark of Sydney Opera House. By the time we reached the Opera House, it is already nightfall. This is when the restaurants in the Sydney Opera House promenade is bustling with life. Sydneysiders gathered here in the evening to chill out in the night, while some others come here to watch performances. From the promenade, one can get a good view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Night view of Sydney Harbour Bridge
My friend and I with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the back
My friend and Baby Ryker with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the back
Sydney Harbour Bridge at night
Sydney Harbour Bridge with a little of Sydney Opera House
A bit of both icons in Sydney

We headed towards the Sydney Opera House, comprising of 7 “shells” which look more like sails. From a distance, the Sydney Opera House resembles a sailing boat sailing in Sydney Harbour Bay. The iconic white roof looked as if it is coated with a blanket of white paint from afar, upclose, these white parts of the buildings are tiled with uniform mosaic tiles. Getting up close to the Opera House, it seem to emit a sense of timeless beauty and classiness. There are plenty photo spots around the Opera House buildings, however one would not be able to the entire building into the picture. For a great view of both Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, head to Mrs Macquarie’s Point, a short 10 mins drive from the Opera House.

My friend and I outside Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House at night
Taking a wefie with Sydney Opera House
My friend with Sydney Opera House
Another wefie outside Sydney Opera House
My sister and Baby Ryker at Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House from the promenade
Sydney Opera House up close at night
My sister and her family at Sydney Opera House
My sister and her family at Sydney Opera House

We headed inside the Opera House. The ceilings are decked in the concrete grey, as though telling visitors no fanciful dressings is required for its interior. The building is already magnificent even with the plain grey concretes. There is a shop inside the ticketing area of the Opera House selling memorabilia. One can also opt to join a 1 hour guided tour of the Opera House (costs A$37) to get a better understanding of the history and architecture of the building explained in detail by the staff. We stayed here for quite awhile to admire the grandeur of this iconic structure that visitors and locals come to identify Sydney with before heading back to rest for the night.

Interior of the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Day 2 (19 May 17) – Yengo National Park – Viewing Mt Yengo From Finchley Lookout

Our plan today is to visit the Finchley lookout and the Chocolate Factory as well as some wineries in Hunter Valley, New South Wales premier winery region. However we did some last minute change in plans after our visit to Finchley Lookout in Yengo National Park. It is autumn at this time of the year in Australia, this means that sun will set at around 5pm, after which it would be dark. My previous experience with driving in Australian roads tells me that we would have to rely on reflectors along the road when driving after dark in suburban roads. Hence we  visited the Finchley Lookout on our way to Hunter Valley.
Baby Ryker and mummy ready to go out
Pit stop at Mooney Mooney Rest Area
Mooney Mooney Rest area is about 1 hour from Sydney Olympic Park
My friend and I at Mooney Mooney Rest Area
My sister and her family at Mooney Mooney Rest Area
Taking a wefie at Mooney Mooney Rest Area

Towards Finchley Lookout

The drive to Finchley Lookout takes around 2 hours from Sydney Olympic Park. Finchley Lookout is located some 150km northwest of Sydney Olympic Park. We set out about 3 hours later than planned as my nephew, Baby Ryker, woke up pretty late. We wanted him to sleep a little more before setting out. As we were driving towards Finchley Lookout, the 3-laned highway turned into one-laned (2-way) country road, zipping pass some farmlands and rural areas. Whizzing up and down mountainous roads, we eventually ended up into a single lane gravel road. This is when a sense of adventure begins. There are no reflectors nor barriers as we were driving up and down slopes. The drive from where the gravel road starts to Finchley Lookout takes around 45 mins, longer than I had expected. From my research prior to the trip, I was expecting gravel roads before we reach Finchley Lookout, but I did not expect the drive to take 45 mins. At this point, we were glad that we made the decision to visit this lookout during daylight and I thought to myself, the view better be worth the drive.
Our journey from Sydney Olympic Park to Finchley Lookout takes around 2 hours
As we were driving along the gravel road, a sign was in sight pointing to Finchley Lookout. We finally arrived at our destination after 2 hours on the road. There are no proper parking facilities, but just some space for us to park our vehicle. There are no one here when we reached Finchley Lookout.  We will soon find out if the drive was worth it at the bottom of a small flight of stairs that led to a  wooden platform – The Finchley Lookout. We reached the Finchley lookout after climbing up the stairs, the surrounding opened up from deserted forest to a remote land of wilderness stretching beyond the horizon. We were awed by the view and soon felt the drive was indeed worth it! Coupled with the fact that we were the only ones here at the time of our visit, it felt like we had the entire Yengo National Park to us. From Finchley Lookout, we spotted Mt Yengo standing majestically afar from the forest, as though it commands the entire Yengo National Park. We could almost see the entire Yengo National Park, which is one of the eight protected areas in Blue Mountains Region that was enscribed to form part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. Yengo National Park holds a special place in the hearts of the Aborigines in this region as it is an important spiritual and cultural area for them for thousands of years. There are over 600 recorded Aboriginal cultural sites in this national park. It is legended that the ancestral being stepped off Mt Yengo into the sky after finishing his creation. As it is getting late, we headed off to Hunter Valley before it turns dark.
We finally reached Finchley Lookout in Yengo National Park after some 45 mins drive on the gravel road
My friend and I at Finchley Lookout signage
Me at the Finchley Lookout signage
My sister and her family getting ready to climb up to Finchley Lookout
A monument beside Finchley Lookout 
View of Mt Yengo and Yengo National Park at Finchley Lookout
My friend at Finchley Lookout with Mt Yengo behind
My sister trying to take a family wefie at Finchley Lookout
A happy Baby Ryker at Finchley Lookout
Mt Yengo towering over the entire Yengo National Park
Panoramic view from Finchley Lookout
My sister and happy Baby Ryker at Finchley Lookout
Forest around Finchley Lookout
Mt Yengo at Finchley Lookout

A Change in Plan

As we were driving towards Hunter Valley Winery region, gravel road turned into tarred roads and civilisation were once in sight. About 1 hour into our journey, it started to pour heavily. We were glad that we got off the gravel roads before it started to rain. Soon we found ourselves in the town of Wollombi, the last town before we reached Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory. Along the way there are signs that points towards some Wineries. As we missed our lunch and we were getting hungry, we stopped by to grab some food. It is already 4.30pm now. Knowing that shops close around 5pm, a check with the Chocolate Factory’s website confirmed the closing time. At this time, I proposed to change in plan and head back to Sydney instead as the factory will be closed by the time we reach (we still have another 30 mins drive from Wollombi to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory). As we were driving towards the main roads, we spotted a shopping mall with supermarket. My sister wanted to check out the supermarket and we headed there. We spent some time at the supermarket.

The night was still young, we headed straight to The Star Casino in Sydney, hoping to find some food before we head back to our apartment to rest. The drive back to Sydney took another 2 hours. It is around 11pm when we reached The Star Casino. Most of the eateries in the Casino has closed for the day. We headed to the nearby Harbourside Shopping Centre for later dinner before heading back to Sydney Olympic Park.

The Star Casino in Darling Harbour, Sydney

 

 

Sydney Day 1 (18 May 17) – Arrival in Sydney – Shopping in DFO HomeBush and Rhodes Waterside Mall

My sister wanted to visit Sydney when she did not managed to visit Gold Coast last year due to her pregnancy. As the rest of the party had never been to Sydney, we made a 6-day trip to the capital city of New South Wales state in Australia.
Sydney Opera House, an icon of Sydney

Arrive at Sydney

After a tiring overnight flight from Singapore, we finally reached Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, the city’s international gateway. Clearing custom was a breeze thanks to the efficient automated gate clearance and the numerous airport security staff directing visitors who are eligible to use the automated custom clearance. No pre-registration is required for visitors to use these automated custom clearance gates, which is a plus unlike some countries where one is required to pre-register in order to use these facilities. We wasted no time and quickly got our SIM cards from one of the 2 telco counters (Optus and Vodafone) to the right of the immigration gates. Personally I prefer Optus due to the value for money (we paid A$10, including SIM Card, for 5 days of data and phone usage) and the reliable connection from my previous experience last year while traveling in Gold Coast. After the staff had our phones set up for data usage, we proceeded to the car rental counters, located to the left of the immigration exit to pick up our rented car.
We got our Australian SIM Card from Optus, which is to the left of the immigration exit in Sydney Airport
Waiting for me to settle our car rental
My sister’s family at the exit of Sydney Airport

Sydney Olympic park

It is expected that we will be drained from the overnight flight, we intentionally kept today’s itinerary very light. We drove to our AirBnb accommodation located in Sydney Olympic Park, located about 30 mins drive from Sydney Central. Our host was already waiting for us with the keys to the spacious 2 bedroom apartment. Sydney Olympic Park was the venue for the 2000 Sydney Olympics games, complete with villages where the athletes were housed back in 2000. Today the Sydney Olympic Park is a major suburb, twice the size of Sydney Central Business District, where residential and commercial activities are located. Other then being a commercial and residential suburb, Sydney Olympic Park is also a major sporting hub, where sporting facilities used during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games are “recycled” for the public and professional athletes to use. There are shops, eateries and supermarkets within minutes drive from our accommodation, making it an ideal place to settle in for this trip. It is already getting late by the time we settled into our apartment, as planned we headed out to the factory outlet nearby Sydney Olympic Park.
View of Sydney Olympic Park from our apartment
My sister’s family happily settled in our accommodation for the next 6 days

DFO Homebush

The only outlet mall around Sydney, the DFO Homebush outlet mall is a mere 5 mins drive from our accommodation in Sydney Olympic Park. The 2-stoery outlet mall is rather disappointing, compared to Harbour Town in Gold Coast. Unlike Harbour Town, DFO Homebuswh feels dead with not much people shopping around. There are no eateries, except for a few cafes that were closing at the time we visited. The outlet shops are located on level 1 of the shopping mall, while the home living shop and a couple of sports gear outlet shop occupies the ground floor of the building. We only spent about 1 hour here in DFO due to the disappointing shopping experience. While some of the big brands such as Burberry, Calvin Klein offers good discounts, the goods on offering did not appeal to us.
Before heading back to our accommodation, we headed to the supermarket to get some food for breakfast in Rhodes Waterside Mall, which is a 5 mins drive from DFO Homebush.  This shopping mall is a vast world of difference from DFO Homebush, there are more people shopping in this mall. Rhodes Waterside Mall houses Ikea, Coles Supermarket, Target and Priceline amongst other shops. One can find most of the daily needs here. We headed back to Sydney Olympic Park to rest after getting what we wanted from Coles Supermarket (which opens still midnight). Before heading back to our accommodation, we got our dinner from Dominoes which is a mere 3 mins drive from our accommodation.

Gold Coast Day 7 (6 Jul 16) – Goodbye Gold Coast, Goodbye Australia

This is our last day in Gold Coast. We woke up very early in the morning to catch the last sunrise over South Pacific Ocean from the balcony in our apartment. As the sky turned from pitch black to orange as the sun was rising over the horizon to bright blue, I can’t bear to leave Surfers Paradise. As our flight is at 2pm, we had to leave Surfers Paradise by 10am for checking out and our drive to Brisbane International Airport. After packing and clearing out the trash, we were ready to leave the apartment and proceed to return the keys to our apartment at the office located in the shopping mall next to the apartment. After returning the keys, we commenced our 1 hour drive from Surfers Paradise to Brisbane Airport.

Waiting for Sunrise
The play of colour in the sky is magnificent
The sky is brightening as the time goes by

The drive to Brisbane Airport is easy as the way to the airport is very well marked along M1 Highway. We parked our car at the allocated parking lot for the car rental returns and headed to the arrival hall to return the keys to our car. As we wanted to process tax refund for tourists (tourists can file for tax refund when their purchase exceeds A$300 in a single receipt), we headed to the ground floor where a small Tourist Tax Refund office is located for the staffs to witness the items we were claiming for tax refund. The process was fast and swift, soon we made our way to the departure hall to process our check-in for our flight home. After checking out, we headed straight tot he airside. Everyone leaving from Brisbane Airport are required to fill out a departure card at the counters outside the immigration gate. After filling in the departure card and going through the immigration clearance, we are ready to board our flight home.

Driving along M1 Highway to Brisbane International Airport 
Well marked signs along the way
We arrived at Brisbane International Airport after driving for about 1 hour
Last shot with the ride that brought us to various places around Gold Coast
Car rental counters where we returned the key to the car we rented
Arrival Hall in Brisbane International Airport
Various levels in Brisbane International Airport
Checking which row to check-in for our flight
This is where tourists can file for refund for taxes on their purchases over A$300. This office is located on level 1 in Brisbane International Airport
Some of the artwork hanging on the ceiling in Brisbane International Airport
Departure drop off in Brisbane International Airport
Taking a wefie in Brisbane International Airport before we check-in
Passing this sign, one will end up in the immigration gates 
The escalator brought us down to the immigration gates
Counter for travellers to fill in the departure card before entering the immigration gate
Some artwork in the air side of Brisbane International Airport
Brisbane International Airport air side
Our ride home

Australia is a huge country and is best seen via self drives as the national parks are rather inaccessible by public transport, unless one joins a day tour. Self drive is the best way to see Australia, which also gives one the freedom to stop at any interesting points along the way. There are more than theme parks in Gold Coast, in this trip we only visited Springbrook National Park, some other national parks that are popular with locals and visitors include Lamington National and Tambourine National Park, which we will visiting the next time we come to Gold Coast.

 

Gold Coast Day 6 (5 Jul 16) – Harbour Town and Warners Brothers Movie World Revisited

Harbour Town Shopping

For the past few days, we visited Harbour Town only at night when most of the shops have closed. On the last day of our trip, we decided to return to Harbour Town to do some shopping. We woke up slightly later than other days today, mainly to have a good rest before we return back home, back to our work. My friend and I arrived at Harbour Town at around 10 am. This time we had a good look at how cheap the stuffs are in Harbour Town. Our first stop in Harbour Town is one of the cafes for our breakfast. The breakfast was served in a huge portion (we did not managed to finish everything) and the price is fairly cheap. After breakfast, we walked around Harbour Town to do some shopping. Went into several shops and managed to grab some really good bargains. We bought a sweater for half the price at Levi’s and a beanie for A$12 each. There is a UGG shop here that offers massive discounts. We roam around, mainly to those shops that we did not managed to go in a few days before to check things out. For shopaholics, do cater a full day at Harbour Town.
Harbour Town has really good deals with most of shops offering more than 50% discount on already reduced prices
Taking a wefie between shopping
We had brunch at this cafe and the food came in huge portions
Around the cafe
The coffee here is a great way to start the day
Our brunch
We ordered a pancake to share in case we are still hungry, but by the time we finished our food we hardly had any room left for the pancakes
Taking one more wefie after shopping

Warners Brothers Movie World

After spending 2 hours at Harbour Town, we returned to Warner Brothers Movie World. Since we have an annual pass that allows us to return unlimited, we decided to come here and ride the roller coasters before we head back. We took the Green Lantern, Akham Asylum, Scooby Doo and Superman Escape rides. We rode on the Superman Escape ride at least three times today as we find the ride thrilling. After riding the roller coasters, we headed into one of the theme park shops to get some clothing for my to-be born nephew. We stayed briefly at the Warner Brothers Movie World before heading towards Byron Bay Lighthouse.
Warner Brothers Movie World revisited
We like this Scooby Doo coaster ride
Went on Arkham Asylum ride again
Arkhan Asylum ride coming into the station
We had a go at some of the game stores in Warner Brothers Movie World
My friend in front of  Scooby Doo ride

Towards New South Wales

Byron Bay Lighthouse is situated near the border of Queensland and New South Wales. It took us about 1 hour drive from Warner Brothers Movie World to Byron Bay Lighthouse. As the sky gets darker, I am not too sure if we would make it in time to the lighthouse before dark. The sky has turned dark when we near Byron Bay and has turned completely dark as we entered Byron Bay town. We drove to the foot of the lighthouse and thought it is too dark to continue further into the lighthouse as the streets here are not lighted. My friend and I decided to make a u-turn back to the apartment as it gets too dark to continue the journey. The drive back to Gold Coast is another 1 hour, by the time we reached our apartment, it is already 7 pm. We headed to the nearby Cavil Avenue for dinner and hit the beach of Surfers Paradise to have one last look before we head home tomorrow.
Taking a wefie at Surfers Paradise
We had ribs for dinner
Night view of Surfers Paradise from the balcony of our apartment
Night view of Surfers Paradise from the balcony of our apartment

Gold Coast Day 5 (4 Jul 16) – To Springbrook National Park in the Hinterlands: The Green Behind the Gold

To many people coming to Gold Coast for vacation, the top two activities are the beach and the theme parks. Indeed Gold Coast has no lack of theme parks to ensure full day of fun for visitors. This trip I want to show my friend something different about Gold Coast. The Hinterlands, as the Gold Coast Tourism board has labelled throughout the years, the Green Behind the Gold, is another option that is worth visiting. In fact there are three national parks that is near to Surfers Paradise. Our itinerary today brought us to Springbrook National Park. Springbrook National Park is 1 hour drive from Surfers Paradise and  boasts forests as old as 23 million years ago. We got up early to make it for our journey. Knowing that sunsets around 5.30 pm, it is imperative for us to leave the national park before the sky gets dark as the unlighted windy mountain roads can be quite dangerous to drive at night.
Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park

Hinze Dam

On our way to Springbrook National Park, we chanced upon a sign that points to Hinze Dam. And since it is a short detour from our way to our first stop in Springbrook National Park. Driving about 10 mins on the detour, we came to a large dam structure. We knew we arrived at Hinze Dam. From the base of the dam, the structure looks massive. After taking some pictures, we wanted to continue our journey to Springbrook National Park as we thought it might take too long to walk up to the top of the dam. When we were driving out of the carpark, I saw a road that seem to lead further up, I took that road and discover that it leads to the top of the dam. We parked our car and walked halfway on the top of the dam. From here we can see the vast water mass that forms the Advancetown Lake. From across the lake, I can see the mountains that seem to protect the lake. The view here is simply stunting. After taking a few pictures, we headed to the cafe to see if we can get some breakfast. Looking at the menu, we decided to catch breakfast further into Springbrook National Park and left Hinze Dam.
Hinze Dam visitor centre
Hinze Dam… from this view it does not seem that big
Wefie at Hinze Dam
View of Advancetown Lake from the top of the dam
Hinze Dam from the top. This angle the dam look majestic
My friend at the top of the dam with Advancetown Lake in the background
Taking a wefie at the top of the dam
Panoramic shot of Advancetown Lake
The other side of the dam. This is the road we took to get to the dam

Springbrook National Park

It took us another 40 mins drive to reach our first destination in Springbrook National Park, we finally arrived at Natural Bridge. After parking our car, we took a short 1km walk around the Natural Bridge into the Gondwana Rainforest. The reason why people come here, other than looking at glow worms is to visit the cave. The cave is entrance is located at the bottom of the easy walkway. As we near the cave, we hear water gashing from atop, we knew we had arrived at what we wanted to see. This area is known as Natural Bridge is due to the fact that corrosion over the years has sheered away the top part of the cave, allow the water from the top of the river to fall directly into the cave. People made the detour (30 mins detour in fact) from the main sights to come here to see the waterfall through the cave. We stayed here marveling the wonder of nature for a good 10 mins before continuing the path to complete the rest of the route. As we were walking the rest of the path, we came to the top of the river, where the water has fallen into the cave. It is here where we can see where the original path of the waterfall had been before the force of the water made the hole on top of the cave. We continued the path to make it back to our car and head towards the main view points of Springbrook National Park.

Driving to the Natural Bridge section of Springbrook National Park
A short walk through this well paved forest leads us to the Natural Bridge
This 1km route is very easy walk
Some of the vegetation in the forest
My friend in the forest
We passed by some stream, at this point the gashing water from the falls can be heard. We knew we were near what we have came to see
Close up shot of the stream we crossed
The Natural Bridge from outside of the cave
Taking “we were here” shot outside the cave
The water eroded the top part of the cave to form a hole through the years which resulted in this sight
Taking a wefie in the cave
Another shot of the waterfall falling through the cave
My friend at the top of the waterfall that falls through the cave
Top of the waterfall
Wefie at the top of the waterfall
Another view of the top of the waterfall at Natural Bridge
To get to the rest of the lookouts in the national park, we had to drive around the mountain range that lies between Natural Bridge and the rest of the lookouts. As we were heading southwards the bend round the mountain range, the road gets narrower and steeper. Along the route, we stopped at Wunburra lookout, the first lookout as we reach Springbrook mountain. This lookout allows us to see the entire Springbrook Mountain and as well as the towers in Surfers Paradise. I thought this is a good spot that allows one to see the Green and the Gold all at the same time. Looking out into the mountain range, with the fresh mountain air, the view here is amazing. We continued towards our next destination Purling Brook Falls Lookout.
Driving to Purling Brook Falls
After a series of up slope windy mountainous road, the visitor centre is the first thing that we came across. This visitor centre is just opposite Wunburra lookout
View of the mountain ranges from Wunburra lookout
Looks like the mountain range stretches forever
Panoramic shot from Wunburra lookout
Gold Coast can be visible (faintly) from Wunburra lookout
Taking a wefie at Wunburra lookout with the mountain ranges behind us
We stop by this roadhouse for lunch
Exterior of the roadhouse
There are two lookouts from the carpark of Purling Brook Falls Lookout. We went for the one to the left, which is a shorter walk from the carpark. From this lookout, we are not only able to see Purling Brook Falls from a distance, but also the entire landscape where the waterfall is located. It looks as if the forest has been split into two by some earthquake or meteor strike that killed the dinosaurs. A vertical cliff separating the rainforest from the Eucalyptus Forest perched high on the cliff. The view from this lookout seemed like we have been transported back in time for millions of years when the dinosaurs still ruled the Earth. We took a few photos and headed back to the carpark and took to the other lookout. The way to the other lookout led us through a bridge that sits directly on top of Purling Brooks Fall and the lookout is directly next to Purling Brooks Falls. From here we are able to appreciate the majestic of the waterfalls, which plunged about 100m into the canyon. This lookout also offers views of the mountain range that seem to stretch forever.
The path to the left of the sign leads to this lookout where Purling Brook Falls can be seen from afar with the Eucalyptus forest on the top of the vertical cliff and rainforest grown on the bottom of the waterfall
View of the rainforest at the bottom of the cliff
The path from the right of the carpark leads to the top of Purling Brook Falls
The water from the top of Purling Brook Falls came from this stream
A small falls on the top of Purling Brook Falls
This lookout enables one to see where the waterfall lands 100m down into the valley
Panoramic shot from the lookout
Panoramic shot with Purling Brook Falls
This lookout has one feeling we are at the edge of the world
This is the stream that we passed by to reach the top of Purling Brook Falls
The forest that we walked by to get back to the carpark

Leaving Purling Brooks Falls lookout, we drove to the Canyon Lookout. The lookout is directly in front of the carpark. Similar to Purling Brook Falls Lookout, this lookout offers the view of the entire mountain range as well as a vertical cliff which sits on top of these mountains. Amongst the trees perching on top of this vertical cliff, the Rainbow Falls made its way down the side of the cliff, making its make known to mankind whom came here to view this landscape which seem as old as time.

 

View of the canyon from Canyon lookout… feels like a scene out of Jurassic Park movie
Taking a wefie at Canyon lookout
Panoramic shot of the canyon
We spotted a local at Canyon lookout
Rainbow Falls snaking out of the forest from Canyon lookout

After taking a few shots, we headed to our final destination for the day, the Best of All Lookout. As its name implies, this lookout promised a view that is so breathtaking that no other lookouts can match. The lookout is a 300m walk through an ancient rainforest with mainly Antarctic beech trees. As we were walking through this forest, the air has turned colder, thanks to the Antarctic beech trees. The walkway opens up to a lookout that towers over the Numinbah Nature Reserve valley and overlooks the Mt Warning mountain ranges in New South Wales. However at the time we were here, the low clouds covered the most of the view from the lookout. Perhaps it is the low clouds, I felt that we are standing on top of the highest point of Springbrook, overlooking at the smaller giants from above. The clouds also provided a sense of mysticism to the view. As it was getting late and coupled with the clouds are getting denser by the minute, which obscured the view from the lookout, we headed back to Surfers Paradise. The road back to civilisation took us through some mountains and windy roads. Mostly single lane each way, some of the bends a re as sharp as 140deg turns. At certain parts of the road down from Springbrook, there is a single laned bridge shared by vehicles from both directions. I was glad that we made it down before sunset as driving in such conditions can proved to be challenging, especially for the uninitiated.

To get to Best of all lookout, we had to pass through the Antarctic breech forest
View of Mt Warning mountain ranges from Best of all lookout. By the time we got there, the low clouds are looming over the lookout.
We can faintly see the mountain range and over into New South Wales State from here. If not for the low clouds the view would be magnificent
The low clouds gives a mysticism to the surrounding
We were hoping for the clouds to dissipate and hoping to catch a clear view from Best of all lookout
Looks like the cloud is not dissipate anytime soon, instead it is getting thicker

Back to Surfers Paradise

The drive back to Surfers Paradise took us around 1.5 hours, we made it back to Surfers Paradise just when it turned dark. As the night is still young, we decided to head to Cavil Ave for a stroll. Cavil Ave is the heart of Surfers Paradise lined with numerous shops, supermarkets and tons of eateries. Walking through Cavil Ave will lead one to the beaches of Surfers Paradise. We got dinner before heading back to our apartment to rest for the night.

Some of the shops in Surfers Paradise
Cavil Ave Mall is still bustling with human traffic
Wefie at Cavil Ave Mall
Cavil Ave Mall
Cavil Ave Mall at night
Us in from of the beach of Surfers Paradise
Some of the building directly facing the beach
Cavil Ave Mall at night

 

Gold Coast Day 4 (3 Jul 16) – Brisbane: Capital City of the Sunshine State of Queensland

We woke up early today to catch the sunrise over the ocean from the balcony of our apartment. Our plan today is to visit Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland on a Sunday for a few reasons. There are lesser traffic in the city and the parking is generally cheaper on weekends, as well as the presence of weekend markets. Brisbane is an hour drive away from Gold Coast on M1 motorway. For those without GPS, the signs are very well marked along the way.
Waiting for Sunrise over the ocean 
Sunrising over the horizon
Sunrising over the horizon
Sunrising over the horizon
Sunrise… all taken from the balcony of our apartment

Gold Coast Carrara Market

We stopped by one of the largest weekend market in Gold Coast, Carrara market prior to heading towards Brisbane. Carrara market is a mere 10 mins drive from our apartment in Surfers Paradise. The market has over 400 stores covering a 10 acre space. My first impression of Carrara Market is that it is a weekend market visited mostly by locals. There are hardly any tourists around (we might be the only ones). From the carpark, we headed to the outdoor section of the market. This area sells mostly clothings, fashion wears and souvenirs. The price of the good here are generally cheaper than what we have seen elsewhere. Walking amongst the maze of  stores in a somewhat disorganised manner (perhaps we have yet to get our orientations at the time we arrived at the market), we browsed from store to store to see what is sold in this market. Amongst these stores, there lies a huge wooden kangaroo which visitors can climb into its pouch for a photo. As we strolled in Carrara Market, we hit the indoor portion of the market. The indoor stores sells mostly fresh local farm produce, ranging from fruits to vegetables to meats. There are also some stores selling novelty items and more clothing stores in the indoor section. Emerging from the indoor section of the market, we crossed a bridge and found more outdoor stores selling clothing and a couple of food stores. There is also a small children playground here. We headed back from where we came from via another bridge, where we saw some sort of a reptile exhibits. My friend and I headed to one of the cafes for breakfast. The food here is tasty and service is excellent. After having breakfast, we decided that we had seen most of the stores, thus continuing our journey towards Brisbane.
Carrara Markets Signage
Taking a wefie at the carpark
This is the open area of the markets
We came across a large wooden kangaroo sculpture, one can climb into the pouch of the kangaroo via  the steps behind the kangaroo for photo
Carrara Markets opens on Sat and Sun
Some of the product offerings in Carrara Markets
More staffs on sale in Carrara Markets
There are around 10 cafes to have breakfast in Carrara Markets
The outdoor area of Carrara Markets
Taking a wefie at the outdoor area of Carrara Markets 
My friend buying strawberries. The things at Carrara Markets are generally cheaper
The indoor stores
Outdoor section of Carrara Markets
Carrara Markets

Mt Coot-Tha Lookout

Instead to heading directly to Queen Street Mall, we pass through Brisbane and headed to Mt Coot-Tha lookout. Prior to this trip, I read that Mt Coot-Tha offers a view of the entire Brisbane and Greater Brisbane. Following the signs along the way, we drove to the lookout. The Mt Coot-Tha lookout is a mere 2 mins walk from the nearby carpark. At the lookout, we passed by several cafes. As it is a weekend, there are a lot of locals coming here to enjoy a cup of coffee, catching up with their friends. From the lookout, we could see the whole of Brisbane city and the suburbs surrounding the city, as well as Brisbane River snaking through the city. Afar, the mountain ranges can be seen, forming the backdrop to the city. The view here is breathtaking, not only one can see the city itself, one can also see the nature from the lookout.
View of Brisbane City from Mt Coot-tha lookout 
Panoramic shot of the city
Panoramic shot of greater Brisbane
Taking a wefie at Mt Coot-tha lookout
Another wefie with the city as the backdrop
Close up view of Brisbane
Shot of greater Brisbane
As we were driving down towards Brisbane, we came across a sign that points to JC Slaughter Falls. I thought it might be interesting to see a waterfall here and decided to stop by the waterfall. We parked our car at one of the parking areas for the picnic area. As we were walking along the track, we came across a sign that points to the location of the waterfall. The sign indicated that JC Slaughter Falls is 550m from the carpark, we thought it would be a short walk from the carpark to the waterfall. Walking amongst the trees towards the waterfall is rather peaceful, as though we are walking in the forest of one of the national parks in Australia. Along the way we saw a stream that looked almost dried up. We ended up in a wooden platform area with a sign that indicates Aboriginal Art Gallery. From the platform, I initially did not see any aborigine art but a bunch of boulders and a stream with very little water flowing through. My friend pointed out to a snake painting underneath the boulder. This is when we went off track (it is very safe to walk on these rocks) and walked amongst the rocks towards the snake painting. Up close, we can see a rock with paintings of hand and another which had a human painted on it. The large white snake was painted on two rocks. The paintings looked amazing to have survived in here for a long period of time. After taking some pictures, we wanted to head towards JC Slaughter Falls, however when I saw the river that has hardly any water flowing through, I told my friend we might not see any waterfall. Hence we headed back to the carpark and drive towards Brisbane City.
On our way to JC Slaughter Falls 
Walking through this tranquil forest is a wonderful feeling
The air here is so fresh and I couldn’t believe we are only 20 mins drive from Brisbane
This makes a great Sunday morning walk
Taking a wefie along the way
At first we did not realise we are at the aborigine art gallery
Well take a wefie first
We took this path closer to see the aborigine art gallery
Aborigine art painted on the rocks
Aborigine art painted on the rocks
Last wefie at Mt Coot-tha before we head to Brisbane

Brisbane

Like most Australian Capital cities, Brisbane is very easy to navigate especially on foot. The city is organised in a grid pattern with Queen Street Mall being in the heart of the city. One very prominent building is the Myer Centre, which is huge departmental store that sells practically about everything. We parked our car at Myer Centre (A$10 per entry on weekends as of the writing of this blog) and made it around Brisbane on foot. On Queen Street Mall and around Myer Centre, there are no lack of shops that would satisfy the shopaholic in us. There is also a shop selling souvenir round the corner for those of us who wanted to bring a piece of Australia back to our home country. Head South from Myer Centre, across a road one would end up in front of Treasury Building. This classical 19th century Italian Renaissance styled sandstone building, formerly housed several government offices and currently is occupied by a Casino. If one has a chance to enter the casino, most of the interior of the building is still well preserved. Windows that stacked up to three storeys are still visible, it seem that the casino is planned without damaging the original architecture of the building.

Queen Street Mall is bustling with people on a Sunday 
Queen Street Mall is a pedestrian only mall located in the heart of Brisbane
We are at Queen Street Mall
Treasury Building just opposite Queen Street Mall
There is a flea market outside Treasury Building
Treasury Building, now the home of a casino
Taking a wefie in the square in front of Treasury Building
Treasury Building

South Bank is the heart of Brisbane’s cultural and lifestyle district and a great place to hangout especially during weekends. My friend and I walked across the Victoria Bridge to get to South Bank from Treasury Building. The landmark that is clearly visible once we are in South Bank is the Wheel of Brisbane, a  60m observation wheel that offers guests a panoramic view of Brisbane City. My friend and I skipped taking a ride in the Wheel of Brisbane and opted to stroll towards South Bank Pier 3 where we would catch the City Hopper cruising along Brisbane River. The stroll along South Bank seem like strolling in the park. The first part of the walkway is covered with trees and plants intertwining with the buildings creating perfect harmony between nature and buildings. We could see people strolling along the way, with some performing their arts along the way. At the end of the garden portion is a large piazza, which held a snow sledging activity during our time of visit. Passing the piazza, we ended up in Streets Beach, a man-made beach in the city. The Streets Beach is a paradise by itself. Ignoring the city landscape, if one were to look on the fine sands on this beach, one would not have known this is man-made. There are trees forming the landscape here and the beach is complete with a lifeguard on duty. Swimming in the man-made beach seem to be free as there did not seem to have any barriers around the beach.

View of South Bank from Victoria Bridge
Wefie on Victoria Street with South Bank at the background
Brisbane CBD from Victoria Bridge 
Brisbane River from Victoria Bridge
Brisbane CBD from South Bank
The Wheel of Brisbane
Wefie with the Wheel of Brisbane
The Wheel of Brisbane looked bigger from this angle
Walking in this part of South Bank, near the Wheel of Brisbane is like walking in a garden
There are some snow event in the piazza and it attracted a lot of people
Strolling along South Bank
Taking a wefie in South Bank
View of Brisbane River from South Bank 
Street Beach
Brisbane CBD from South Bank

South Bank Pier 3 is a little pass Streets Beach, where my friend and I boarded the City Hopper Ferry to cruise along Brisbane River. What other way to best see the city than cruising along Brisbane River that runs through the city. The free ferry service stopping at mostly residential areas along the river, comes at an interval of 30 mins apart and it took 1 hour to ply down the river. We waited 45 mins for our turn on the ferry. The upper deck, though chilly offers great view of the city along the river. Towards the final stop before the ferry turns around and ply upstream, we were treated to a view of Story Bridge, a steel cantilever bridge that stretch 1km connecting the northern to the southern suburbs of Brisbane. The ferry cruised underneath the Story Bridge, which presents a different but unique perspective of the bridge. From underneath the bridge, I was able to appreciate the grandeur and the massiveness of the bridge. We alighted the ferry at Eagle Street Pier and made our way on foot to Myer Centre on Queen Street Mall. Opposite the Eagle Street Pier, we saw the Cathedral of St Stephen. The cathedral looks historic and is best taken at dusk when the orange lights were switched on. We ended our day in Brisbane City in the Treasury Building before making our way back to our apartment in Gold Coast.

 

South Bank Pier 3 where we hopped onto the City Hopper Ferry service, which is complementary
The City Hopper Ferry that took us up and down Brisbane River
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
South Bank viewed from the City Hopper
We took the upper deck which offers better view of the city
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Eagle Street Pier
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Story Bridge seen from Brisbane River
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Cruising along Brisbane River on the City Hopper
Another perspective of Story Bridge on Brisbane River
We alighted at Eagle Street Pier and took a wefie with Story Bridge in the background
Eagle Street Pier 
Cathedral of St Stephen which is across from Eagle Street Pier
Cathedral of St Stephen
Walking in the streets of Brisbane
Entrance to Myer Centre
Walking in the heart of Brisbane City
Walking in the heart of Brisbane City
Queen Street Mall at night
Treasury Building is coated in red lighting at night 
Taking a wefie with Treasury Building at night
Wefie at Queen Street Mall at night
Driving on Story Bridge

Gold Coast Day 3 (2 Jul 16) – Soaring above the Hinterlands in Hot Air Balloon and a Day of Fun at Warners Brothers Movie World

Hot Air Ballooning over the Hinterlands

Hot Air Ballooning Over the Hinterlands

We woke up in the wee hours of the morning in time to meet the driver whom picked us up at 4.30 am at our apartment. The plan today was to soar above the Hinterlands in a hot air balloon. I have never been on a hot air balloon before and thought this would be a good chance to experience the ride. I booked the ride online with Hot Air Ballooning Gold Coast, which comprises of a 30 min ride and a champagne breakfast at O’Reilly’s vineyard. The hot air balloon launch site is about 30 mins from the nearby town of Canungra. We reached the launch site at around 5 am and the weather at the launch site was freezing. I regretted not preparing enough warm clothing for this ride, knowing that it is a winter morning and the climate is bound to be cold (around 5 deg C). At the launch site, the driver gave us a final safety brief as the hot air balloons was being set up. Listening to the driver on the brief, my eyes were set on the the hot air balloons, which went from limp to standing tall into the sky, which stretches up to 33m in height. I am getting excited for the ride. Soon we were given instructions to board the basket that would be carried by the hot air balloon across the farmlands and vineyards. Inside the basket, while the pilot was doing his final checks before lifting off, I felt the warmth from the hot flames that heat the air inside the balloon for it to glide in the skies. I wished I was standing right underneath it and that the pilot would kept it constantly on as I was freezing from the cold winter air. After the final checks, we were lifted off the ground. Unlike airplanes, the lift off in a hot air balloon was very gentle. If I hadn’t looked out on the ground, I wouldn’t have realised that we have lifted off. The balloon gradually and gently gain altitude without any bumps or air turbulence. As I am acrophobic, I had an initial regret doing the hot air balloon ride. The higher the hot air balloon raised from the ground, the more insecure I felt. There isn’t any life jackets nor were there any precautionary devices should mishaps happen up the air.I tried not to think about the negativity and told myself to enjoy the scenery that was before my eyes. Very soon these negative thoughts disappeared.
We were picked up by the driver at 4.30am
The hot air balloons are being prepared when we arrive at the launch site
Taking wefie while waiting for the balloon to be ready for boarding
The day is about to break at the launch site
Almost ready for boarding
My friend boarding the hot air balloon
Taking a wefie before launch
Surroundings at the launch site
And we are away
The hot air balloon slowly make its way up into the sky
Vehicles at the launch site are getting smaller
Panoramic shot of the surrounding
View of the farmlands
We were in time to catch sunrise over the coastal area, from the height and through the skillful control of the balloon by the pilot, I can see a huge orange colour ball rising from the oceans afar assuming its duty for the day. As the sun rises, the air around warms up. This is an exhilarating feeling, being up in the sky, floating gently as the winds would carry us. This moment is when all the negative thoughts disappears. I would say being up in the sky in a hot air balloon is rather therapeutic. Around us, I can see as far as the mountains beyond the Hinterlands that stretches endlessly over the horizon. On the ground I can see lakes and ponds, rivers and creeks covered with a layer of fog as the warm air meets the cool surface. The pilot maneuvered the balloon up and down in order for us to enjoy the view over the Hinterlands better. We were told (after the ride) that the highest we went up in the sky was nearly 5000ft (about 1500m or a whopping 500 storey!). Occasionally, I looked down onto the ground below us, I can see cows moving in herds across the farmlands seemingly towards their breakfast grounds; horses galloping in groups as though they are doing their morning exercise; birds flying in flocks starting their hunt for the day. The view was nothing short of breathtaking, with the magnificent view of the mountains and the cities resting by the coastal area, nature starting its day differently. I wished that the pilot never lands this balloon. Just when my friend and I were busy taking selfies, wefies and pictures of each other in the balloon, we found ourselves seem getting closer to the ground. Our 30 mins ride is about to end (the ride actually took around 45 mins). As the balloon slowly approaching the ground, pilot was busy maneuvering the balloon and coordinating with his colleagues on the ground regarding the landing spot. The balloon touches down onto the ground. My friend and I helped with the packing of the hot air balloon after everyone exited the basket. Soon we found ourselves being driven to the nearby farm house on a trailer where our bus was waiting to fetch us for breakfast.
Sunrise over the mountain ranges
We are able to see the mountain ranges over the horizon
The sun slowly make its way up the sky
Sunrise from the hot air balloon
Taking a wefie from the hot air balloon
Sunrise over the horizon
Panoramic shot of the mountain ranges in the Hinterlands
The land warms up as the sun rises for its duty
Panoramic shot of the land from the hot air balloon
Shot of the land below
Another shot of sunrise
We made it slowly through the lands below
The other balloon
We float above some farmlands
View from the hot air balloon
The sun rays covering most of the land
View of the surroundings from the hot air balloon
The farmhouses below looked like toys
Gazing at the mountains afar
I love looking at the sunrise over the horizon from the hot air balloon
More farmlands below
How can one not fall in love with such a sight
Another panoramic shot from the hot air balloon
The sun slowly made its way up the sky
Mountain ranges from hot air balloon
Panoramic shot of the mountain ranges
These mountain ranges look tiny from the hot air balloon
Look at massive landmass below
We are approaching the landing site

Breakfast at O’Reilly’s Vineyard

The ride from the landing site to O’Reilly’s Homestead Vineyard took about 20 mins. The bus stopped in front of a vintage large wooden homestead. Both my friend and I found surroundings of the homestead to be very peaceful and tranquil. We spoke about how nice it would be to be staying here. We were given 1.5 hours for breakfast and to roam around the surroundings of the Homestead. Each of us were given a glass of champagne as soon as we alighted from the bus. The driver told us to find any seats in the homestead and go grab our breakfast. We would love to have a table outside in the veranda hopefully under the sun as we still feel cold from earlier in the morning. All the outside tables are being taken, my friend and I settled at the long table near the buffet table. Breakfast was a simple affair with the standard baked beans, bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, salads and coffee/tea. Despite simple, the breakfast was tasty and did indeed warm us up. After breakfast, we headed to the back of the homestead where the Canungra Creek runs by. Listening to the stream of water flowing gently along the creek with a small hill as the backdrop, my friend and I enjoyed the peace the surroundings offered. After taking some pictures, we headed towards the vineyard to take some more pictures. There were no grapes on the vines, it seemed they just have been recently harvested. We headed towards the creek to take more pictures. There was a dog at the homestead grounds, friendly and wanting to play with visitors. The dog approached us with a deflated ruby ball, placed on the ground in front of us, as though he wanted us to kick far so that he can ran out and fetch it back to us. We did so for a while before it is time for us to board the bus that would take us back to our apartment in Surfers Paradise.
O’Reilly’s Homestead Vineyard where we had our champagne breakfast
Buffet breakfast
Taking a wefie after breakfast
Some items on sale at O’Reilly’s Homestead Vineyard
Locally produced wine
The creek behind the O’Reilly’s Homestead where we had breakfast
Creek behind O’Reilly’s Homestead
This is where the grapes used for making wine will be grown
Looks like the grapes has just been harvested not long ago
A pavilion in front of the vineyard
Flowers grown at O’Reilly’s Homestead Vineyard
Yey, some leaves… but no grapes
The creek behind O’Reilly’s Homestead
This is a great place to relax after a hearty breakfast
The friendly dog at the vineyard that love to play with every visitor
My friend playing with the dog

Warners Brothers Movie World

Back in our apartment in Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, my friend and I decide where to spend the rest of the day. We originally wanted to drive down to Byron Bay, the eastern most point in Australia. As the drive takes about 1 hour per way, coupled with the tiredness from waking up early, we decided to head somewhere nearby. We decided to head to Warner Brothers Movie World. I was a little hesitant in visiting a theme park on a weekend, expecting it to be very crowded. At the entrance, I was surprise the ticketing queue was not as long as I had expected. We approached a counter to get our annual pass exchanged and soon we were in the theme park. At the entrance of Warner Brother’s Movie World, we saw the Green Lantern ride. Well it looked mild enough to start our day riding the trills offered by the various roller coasters in Warner Brother’s Movie World. We did not have to wait for too long for our turn on the 4 seats by 2 row roller coaster car. After leaving the boarding area, the car was slowly hosted on a sloped track up 33 m. The initial few metres of track seem gentle and boring. After a short u-turn on the top of the tracks, the car plunges more than 90deg down towards the ground. This is where the excitement of the ride started to kick in. The car tossed and turned side ways along the track and towards the end, there is a short track where we were hung upside down before returning to the station. As scary as it may look, the Green Lantern ride is a good way to start our adrenaline pumping for the rest of the rides in Warner Brother’s Movie World.
Entrance to Warner Brothers Movie World
We finally got our annual pass
Fun starts passing through this door
We stop for a wefie at the door of Warner Brothers Movie World
Familiar superheroes
The Green Lantern ride
Entering the Green Lantern coaster ride
Glimpse of the Superman Escape Ride
Warner Brothers Movie World looks pretty empty for a weekend, but we love it being empty
We headed to the Arkham Asylum ride next. I had been on this ride some 10 years ago when I last visited Warner Brother’s Movie World. Arkham Asylum is a hanging roller coaster. After ascending up the slope of about 32m, we were tossed and flipped left and right and upside throughout the entire 45 sec of the ride time. We headed further into the theme park and took the Scooby Doo roller coaster ride. The indoor ride was rather mild compared the two rides we had been on. The initial stretch on the Scooby Doo ride was rather mild. The fun starts when the coaster car was lifted up to second storey, where the car started a backward move before stopping and turned around to face the rest of the track. The car moved downwards via a series of sharp turns, swaying us sideways as the car move downwards towards the ground level. After the ride, my friend and I explored the other parts of Warner Brother’s Movie World. We even went on the kiddy Road Running roller coaster ride just for the fun of it.
This door leads to the Arkham Asylum hanging coaster ride
Waiting for our turn on the Arkham Asylum ride
Tracks for the Arkham Asylum ride
We survived the Arkham Asylum ride
Main street in Warner Brothers Movie World
There are lots of shops here at the main street
Posing at the main street
Loony Tunes 4D show
Main street at the Warner Brothers Movie World
Main street at Warner Brothers Movie World
Seems more crowded here
We found Austin Powers who is happy to take a wefie with us
Kids zone
We went on the Road Runner Roller Coaster for kids, just for fun
Road Runner Coaster tracks
Nope, we did not ride this, just came here and take a look
Looking at the time, we have spent almost 3 hours in the theme park doing some of the rides over and over again. 1 hour to its closing time, my friend and I headed for the Superman Escape Ride. One can visibly see the red tracked ride with yellow roller coaster vehicle from the entrance of Warner Brother’s Movie World. After the ride leaves the boarding area, it makes it way through an indoor area, simulated to be the tunnel of a subway. At the end of the tunnel, the roller coast paused momentarily before shooting the roller coaster up a the track at a very fast speed. At the top of the track, the roller coaster turns and falls towards the ground at a near 90 deg angle. After the plunge, the roller coaster continued its momentum up a shorter slope and plunging at around 70 deg. The whole ride takes around 30 sec. There isn’t much of tossing around nor is there any 360 corkscrew turns on this coaster, its fun part is the initial 90 deg plunge onto the ground. We been on the ride several times, the best seat for this ride is the front row, where one can see directly the track during the initial plunge. We went on the Superman Escape rider several more times before heading back to the apartment to rest for the night. I thought Warner Brother’s Movie World can be done in half a day if one is not interested in the shows and just wanted to go on the rides.
We went on the Superman Escape ride in Warner Brothers Movie World
The tracks looks scary, but the ride wasn’t as scary as the track looks
Batwing ride with Superman Escape tracks at the background
Superman Escape track
Taking a wefie before we leave Warner Brothers Movie World
Green Lantern tracks can be better seen from the carpark
One more wefie at the door before we leave Warner Brothers Movie World