Showing posts with label #take12trips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #take12trips. Show all posts
Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Glen Davis Shale Oil Works

The Glen Davis Shale Oil Works closed in 1952 and can now only be accessed via a tour that is run every Saturday at 2pm by a local. It is on private property hence the need for a tour and honestly, I really didn't mind paying the $15 as it does go back to the very small community.

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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Capertee Valley

Over the Queen's Birthday long weekend I had plans originally to drive to New England region of NSW and drive "aimlessly" around Tamworth and the surrounding towns. However, I ended up only having two days (intention to return to Sydney on Sunday night) and it wasn't feasible to make the drive there and back. Instead, I did a quick google search and discovered Capertee Valley.

In the past 12 months, I have driven on the same road through the Blue Mountains three times and all three times it has been very overcast despite being sunny in Sydney. I left a little later than what I would have liked due to the opening hours of the car rental place. There were also quite a few cars cruising at 80kmph on a 100kmph stretch of road which was a little frustrating. But soon enough I reached the roads that I love to drive on; 100kmph country roads with minimal / no cars on it. It is just so peaceful and the epitome of a road trip.

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Blue Mountains

This post is from mid April and is about my trip to the Blue Mountains.

After breakfast at Henri Marc, we headed to Wentforth Falls in the Blue Mountains. The last time I visited was - surprisingly- in 2012! I hadn't actually realised it was that long ago! The aim for the day was to do a short walk at Wentworth Falls. I am a hiker and I love it; unfortunately Mr Paella is not quite the hiker / outdoor-sy kind of person. I don't mind it generally, however it does make it a little difficult when we are doing something together. Something that is deemed a Grade 1 (very easy) is right up his alley whereas I don't really look at any hike that is below a Grade 3 (moderate / hard). I enjoy hikes that are at least 9km round trip whereas he is more comfortable with 1km. For Wentworth Falls, we were just going to walk to the bottom and then back up the death stairs.

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Sunday, 22 May 2016

Wollongong & Helensburgh

Long time no talk! I have been absent from my blog for a little while now (I schedule my posts usually) which is quite unlike me. Things have been happening, but I guess that will be more apt in my end of month roundup post.

Over the weekend, I headed down south to Wollongong once again. It feels that I didn't visit the city that long ago however it seems that it was back in March which is crazy! Time is flying by and in fact, my previous visit was almost 3 months ago. Crazy!

The only item on my agenda was to head out of Sydney and I didn't have anything in mind for Wollongong. We took the Grand Pacific Drive and walked on the Sea Cliff which was quite beautiful. It was a warm-ish day but a tad overcast.

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Bald Hill Lookout
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Actually loving this aerial / overhead shot

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In my previous post, I had mentioned that I had wanted to visit Nan Tien Temple which is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. This time I did get around to it but was quite disappointed. It was very underwhelming and I am quite surprised that that is the largest temple on my side of the world.

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On the way back to Sydney, I suggested that we visit the Helensburgh Metropolitan Tunnel. This tunnel (along with a few others) had openened in 1888 and was closed in 1915. It was filled with water up until the past two decades where it was drained and now is accessible by the public. I had visited in November last year but didn't have a good torch and didn't manage to walk into the tunnel. This time I was more prepared, with torch in tow! There has been a lot of backburning in the Sydney region lately which has mean there is this permanent haze / smoke in the air. Interestingly enough, the haze wasn't too evident outside the tunnel but inside it was so hazy! It was a very cool experience especially when I discovered that the tunnel was filled with glow worms! We didn't venture too far into the tunnel as it was very muddy / slippery but this was definitely the highlight of my day.

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This was my sixth trip as part of #take12trips. To see previous trips please click here.
Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Cave Beach & Catherine Hill Bay

For the last day of the long weekend, we woke up early to catch the sunrise. It was a little overcast on the drive to Zenith Beach but thankfully there was a break in the clouds and it was quite a gorgeous sunrise especially as we were the only ones on the beach.

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On the way back to Sydney, we stopped at  Cave Beach. However as it was high tide, we didn't manage to visit the caves.

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There was also a quick stop at Catherine Hill Bay Beach to visit the historic jetty that used to transport coal. Apparently it was damaged considerably in a fire however I didn't believe it was too obvious. Catherine Hill Bay felt like it was a world away from the rest of the central coast. It is a coastal village and it really did feel as though it was in the middle of no where.

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Not entirely sure why there is a noose there.

This was my fifth trip as part of #take12trips. To see previous trips please click here.
Saturday, 30 April 2016

Mount Tomaree & Kayaking

Shortly after sunrise, Mr Paella and I headed up Mount Tomaree which was a reasonably easy hike to the lookout. It was a 45min walk up however wasn't as challenging as some other lookouts (namely Barrenjoey Headland in Sydney which is a short 15 minute walk but quite strenuous). It was at the lookout that I truly realised and remembered how beautiful Australia can be. The view was breathtaking. The coolest part was seeing an elderly woman (probably 60+) who was slowly making her way up to the lookout. I want to be her when I am older.

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Newcastle & Stockton Sand Dunes

I am very much someone who unconsciously thinks that grass is greener on the other side. Life and the world is more interesting overseas and Australia/Sydney/NSW is boring. However since starting a full time job, my time is quite limited. And in fact, so many people think that Australia is so interesting and would love to visit. So why do I feel this way? It really comes down to the fact that it's familiar and, sadly, I am a little desensitised to the beauty of it. I have been making a conscious effort in 2016 to see more of Australia or the very least, more of NSW outside of Sydney.

Long introduction aside, that is why over the ANZAC long weekend I headed up north to Port Stephens. The furthest north I had ever been was Newcastle many many years ago as a day trip and honestly, I don't remember too much about it. Mr Paella and I headed onto the Pacific Highway which was quite frankly a very very boring drive. It is really the only road up the coast so taking the smaller highways wasn't an option.

Newcastle was the first stop and it was so incredibly windy! The photos don't capture how strong the winds were and I really felt that I was being moved by the wind. As the photos show, it was a beautiful day. We also discovered the Memorial Walk by accident as we were driving by and it was definitely worth walking on! It provided stunning views of the ocean and I believe the best vantage point of Newcastle. Something that I didn't know prior to the trip was that Newcastle has the largest coal exporting harbour in the world. It was insane to see the size of the machinery and equipment at the docks.

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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Riverina Roadtrip - Mount Wilson

This was my last day on my Easter trip (it has taken me a while to write all these posts...) and I knew that I would spend the rest of my trip driving back to Sydney. My aim was to beat the usual long weekend rush back and thus I aimed to hit Sydney at around midday.

First stop was heading to the highest point in Bathurst to watch the sunrise however I couldn't figure out how to get to the top of Mount Panorama and only managed to get to the bottom of it. It was such a gorgeous sunrise as the photos below show.

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Thursday, 21 April 2016

Peak Hill, Milthorpe & Bathurst

I had only highlighted one attraction in this region as I knew that I would be spending most of my time driving. This attraction was the Peak Hill Open Cut Mine which I had never heard about prior to my research. After my stop in Forbes, I continued my journey to Peak Hill which is a town with a population of 800.



Saturday, 16 April 2016

Riverina Roadtrip - Forbes

For my last full day, I wanted to eventually end up sleeping the night at a place close-ish to Sydney. My reason was so the drive back wouldn't be too long and I would be able to beat the usual end of long weekend traffic back to Sydney. Subsequently I settled on sleeping at a free campground at Bathurst. It isn't accurate to call this and the next few posts as Riverina roadtrip since I left the Riverina region on this day.

The 240km drive from Ariah Park to Peak Hill was actually really enjoyable. I really enjoy waking up at sunrise and driving since the roads are quiet, the day hasn't started for a lot of people and it is just so peaceful. It also means that I can reduce the car's speed to a crawl or even stop it completely in my lane without fear of being hit by a car behind me.


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Riverina Roadtrip - Lockhart & Ariah Park

There really isn't too much to do in the Riverina region and I went through all 15 pages on the Riverina tourism website looking for things to see and do. Something that I stumbled upon was the Pastoral Shadows of Brookong located in Lockhart.

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Friday, 8 April 2016

Riverina Roadtrip - Along the Road to Gundagai

If I had to pick a year, I would say that Year 3 was probably my favourite year out of primary school. My teacher was Mr Bluett and he had this scruffy beard and played the piano every time we weren't doing our scehduled maths/ science/ English lessons. Now in hindsight, a lot of the teachers had their little quirk; some focussed heavily on arts and crafts whilst my Year 4 teacher was a grammar Nazi. For Mr Bluett, it was Australian folk songs and poems. One of the songs that has stuck with me all these years is "Along the Road to Gundagai" by Jack O'Hagan. I still remember all the words and I haven't met anyone else who knows the song.

And that is really my rationale behind my Riverina road trip. Yes. A folk song I learnt when I was 9 from my Year 3 teacher. Bizarre? Yes, quite I believe. Here is the song for those who are curious.


On the way, I drove through Tumut and saw many cars parked next to the station. At the time I didn't know what it was and decided to stop for a quick look. Reading about it later, it was the Camaro-Firebird & US Muscle Car Nationals. Knowing nothing about cars or the event, apart from the fact that they were super shiny and lots of proud owners next to them, I headed back on the road.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Riverina Roadtrip - Junee & Wagga Wagga

Over the Easter long weekend, I went on a solo road trip to the Riverina Region in NSW. Originally I had planned on driving to Mount Kosciusko however with my healing ankle, I decided against it. I have also decided to incorporate as many maps as I can just to paint a clearer picture of where I went.


Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Wollongong

Wollongong or 'The Gong' is located around 1.5 hours south of Sydney. It is the third largest city in New South Wales and an easy day trip from Sydney on the train.

I had been itching to head out of Sydney however with my still healing ankle, my options have been quite limited. I am not sure if I actually have been to Wollongong before but on first impression, I thought it was gorgeous. The proximity of the Illawarra escarpment to the city made the place feel very different to the other big cities in New South Wales.

I first visited the Botanic Gardens which was super nice!

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I then headed out to the ocean and walked along the coast until I reached the lighthouses.

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I didn't spend as much time in Wollongong as I would have liked and actually didn't even visit the city centre. I guess this can only mean that another visit will be in the near future. Next time I would like to visit Nan Tien temple which is the largest Buddhist temple in the southern hemisphere.

Also thank you everyone who wrote such kind words and advice on my previous post.

This is my third trip as part of #take12trips. To see previous trips please click here
Sunday, 7 February 2016

Warragamba Dam & Burragorang lookout

Last Sunday, I headed to Warragamba Dam and Burragorang lookout. Warragamba Dam supplies 80% of Sydney's drinking water and was built in 1958. When I was growing up in Sydney, drought restrictions were such a normal part of my life and in 2007 the damn fell to levels below 33%! I remember when they were discussing about building desalination plants and how by 2015 (ish) we would run out of water. Thankfully the drought eased and the dam is now at 93% capacity.

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The Burragorang Lookout overlooks the Burragorang Valley which was drowned to create the lake and subsequently, provide Sydney's water supply. During the construction of the dam, the inhabitants of the valley were vacated and some of the buildings were dismantled. However, apparently some of the buildings remained and are now underneath the waters of the lake so when the water level is low, parts of the town reappears.

I thought the lookout was absolutely stunning and it was very nice to see quite a few people having a picnic in the area. However my biggest gripe was that someone was flying their drone which was so incredibly noisy and ruined the peace. It sounded like a line trimmer/whipper snipper. How annoying!

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It was a very nice drive and I loved being out of the city. What I didn't know that the area is part of the Blue Mountains National Park; I didn't realise it stretched that far south! I am also 80% sure that I saw a small orange Qantas plane near some farmhouses!

This was my second trip of 2016 for my #take12trips. To see my previous trips please click here.
Saturday, 30 January 2016

Horse Riding

On my second day of my long weekend, I headed out to Ingleburn for horse riding! I had never been on a horse before and it was something on my 30 before 30 list. This will be counted as my first trip (1/12) since Ingleburn is hardly in Sydney.

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This was an hour horse ride (walk only) and it was quite a nice experience. I was on a horse called Zorba who slowly plodded along, a little too slow in my opinion in comparison to the other horses. It was definitely a very cool experience and I am glad that I did it. Although half way through the ride, my allergies kicked in and I was sneezing constantly.

I am thinking about going on a horse tour/ride in Mongolia so this was a very much needed experience.