Sydney Part 3: Taronga Zoo!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

On Monday this week Gemma, Emily and I set off on a trip to Taronga Zoo. It wasn't the cheapest of days, but it was definitely something we all wanted to see and so we splashed out (on the cheapest deal we could find!) and got a water taxi across to this beautiful Sydney zoo.

View of the Opera House from the water taxi!

Welcome to the zoo!

Cable Car up to the zoo!

Spot the Koala!

Hello little lizard

Feeding time for the Giraffes

A gorgeous Indian Elephant.

Me and my elephant pal.

The binturong (often referred to as 'bear cats')

One of the majestic tigers.

The zoo was absolutely beautiful, but if I could give anyone who is planning to visit it a piece of advice (or two!) it would be take plenty to drink with you and wear comfortable shoes!! The zoo is absolutely huge and a lot of it is uphill, so you need to have comfortable feet. I have been a total failure in terms of the footwear I have packed, and so by the end of the day my feet (which were in completely flat sandals) were killing me! In terms of taking juice with you, that is crucial both in tems of hydration and saving money - we packed a picnic for lunch but I seemed to forget about a drink and was charged $5 for a bottle of Sprite... that's right. $5!!! Otherwise I have nothing but praise for the zoo! The location is gorgeous, with a stunning view across the water to the city, and it has some amazing animals!

The view from the zoo to the city!

I really loved the nocturnal animals, which are housed in an amazing building you sadly (but understandably) can't take photos in. It is essentially simulated night time during the day, dark and with lots of night sounds (although we weren't sure if that was for our benefit or the animals!) and while the zoo is closed at night they light it as if it is daytime. The kangaroos let us down a smidgen in that there was only one out in the enclosure and it was lying down, refusing to face us, but the wallabys and koalas were in good form, and so cute! There was also an amazing sea lion show, which I totally forgot to take any photos of, but you can see some of it in my vlog from that day, which I'll link below!

My favourites though had to be the meerkats! I'm a huge meerkat fan, and they didn't disappoint!

Cheeky little meerkats!

All in all the zoo was one of my favourite touristy places so far - definitely worth visitng if you get the chance :)

Check out my vlog - which includes my trip to Summer Bay! - to see more of the gorgeous animals and more of the lovely zoo itself!

Thanks for reading guys, hope you are all well! :)

Sydney Part 2 - Summer Bay!!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

As some of you might know, I am a massive Home and Away fan and have been for my entire life, since before I can remember! My mum and I watch it (and Neighbours) every day, so you can imagine my delight when my aunt suggested we take a trip to Palm Beach where they film lots of the outdoor scenes! Again, this is a very photo heavy post!

The diner and the pier!

Boats at the pier!

The beach!

Me with the famous lighthouse way in the background!

Summer Bay Surf Club Cars!

Surf Club Kiosk!

Filming was sadly not in progress when I was there!

Tables outside the Surf Club!

Another view of the beach!

It was the most surreal experience to be at the other side of the world and walking around somewhere that felt so familiar. Even if you're not a Home and Away fan I would definitely recommend visiting this gorgeous beach if you're ever in Sydney, I had such a lovely afternoon. If only some of the cast had been there!!

Lots more exciting posts to come - visited Taronga Zoo, the Botanical Gardens and the Chinese Garden of Friendship this week and have lots of photos and vlogs of them which will be uploaded soon!

Hope you're all well - I can't believe I've reached 100 followers on my little blog, thanks so much to each and every one of you for reading! :)

Sydney Part One!!

Monday, 25 March 2013

So, after an amazing three days in Hong Kong, we arrived in Sydney on the 11th March. It's hard to believe it's been two weeks now - so sorry for the delay in getting this post written! Be warned, this is a photo heavy post!

We checked into our hostel, the Sydney Central YHA, which kind of spoilt me for future hostels because it really was lovely. It even had a cinema in it!! When I say cinema, I mean a big room, with a big screen and some comfy chairs and bean bags, showing films that have been out for a while - but even that's pretty fancy for a hostel I'd say! And with breakfast like this, who could ever complain!

Day One we had out welcome presentation from Work n Holiday, the partner office for BUNAC in Sydney. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, I cannot recommend them enough - they were brilliant. They set up bank accounts for us, sorted out tax file numbers, got us each an international sim card and prepped us on job application and travel plans. We can use the internet in their office, either on their computers or our own laptops/iPads etc, and they have an amazing CV/Resume builder on their website which we have login details for, and it helped us get an Aussie ready CV together in no time.

Days two and three were the RSA and Barista course - while the RSA day was a little dry (six hours of theory, basically), it's definitely worth doing if you're considering bar work over here, and the Barista course was fun, but I was terrible at it! Apparently making fancy coffee isn't quite my forte!

Anyway, on to the fun touristy stuff!! A couple of days after we arrived, Nicole and I found Darling Harbour by accident on a late afternoon walk - it is absolutely beautiful!!

That weekend Gemma, Emily, Emma and I took a ferry out to Manly Beach - it was a gorgeous day and the beach is so lovely, and we had a great view of the Sydney Opera House on the ferry ride across!

After our stroll at Manly Beach we had a bite to eat and headed to Shelly Beach, a beautiful, smaller but busy beach just a ten minute walk away. We spent a lovely hour just reading on the grassy hill beside the sand and taking it all in before we got on the ferry back to the city - look at that view of the Harbour Bridge!

That evening we all went down to Darling Harbour to watch the Saturday Night Fireworks, which are a weekly event. They were absolutely spectacular!

So that's it for part one! Stay tuned for part two, which is going to include my trip to Summer Bay and the amazing Taronga Zoo!

Thanks for reading, be sure to check out the vlog version of this post too! :)

Favourites of the Week #6

Friday, 22 March 2013

Hey all! It's my first weekly favourites from my travels :)

Track of the Week
I Love It (I Don't Care) - Icona Pop

This song has been playing everywhere here in Sydney and is constantly stuck in my head - catchy, dancy pop, the perfect song for preparing for a night out/dancing to when you're out!

Album of the Week
Beyonce - 4

I've been playing this album a lot of my iPod while I'm exploring Sydney - was flying solo this week while the others were at Surf Camp - and it's such a good album, the perfect mix of tracks.

TV Show of the Week
How I Met Your Mother

I've been having some HIMYM marathons here at my Aunt and Uncle's house this week - I had only seen up to season 6, so I'm catching up on season 7 now, and so much is happening. So much love for Robin and Barney.

Film of the Week
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I watched it on the flight over to Hong Kong and absolutely loved it. It really surprised me, I hadn't expected it to be quite as deep as it was, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was nice to see Emma Watson not being Hermione - it's the first time I've seen her in another part!

Beauty Product of the Week
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

I'm sure this won't be surprising - in a hot climate, powder is a must, and I love this affordable Rimmel one.

Book of the Week
Switched by Amanda Hocking

I'm almost finished 'Switched', and while it isn't exactly literary genius it has entertained me for the past couple of weeks. It's so fast paced I could have read it much quicker, but so far I haven't had much of a chance to read!

YouTuber of the Week
Alex G

I love all of Alex's covers, if you haven't checked her out before, go and do it now!!

Website of the Week

What would I do without Facetime and Skype to talk to my family and friends? I know for definite I couldn't have coped being this far away from them without it.

Style Icon of the Week
Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr always looks stunning, but I think she looks particularly amazing on the cover of Vogue Australia this month - look at that hair! Gorgeous.


Sorry this was a shorter favourites post than usual! Hope you are all well, keep your eyes peeled for my first post all about Sydney! :)

The Hong Kong Stopover - Part Two

Monday, 18 March 2013

After our trip to Stanley Market, we headed off for an authentic Chinese dinner - a little bit different to the Chinese food we're used to in the UK! We had a good chat about our adventure that day, and then headed off to get the ferry across the water to see the beautiful lit up Hong Kong city skyline at night!

The main road and city from the bridge to the ferry!

The view from the boat!

The sights were absolutely stunning, and it was such a great experience to see the city like that.

The next day, Emily, Gemma, Sarah and I set off bright and early to visit the statue of the Buddha and the monastery on Lantau Island. After a quick stop off to buy some makeup, (which I have shown in my Hong Kong Part 2 vlog) we made our way to the underground, and got ourselves just a tiny bit lost! Thankfully a friendly Australian woman noticed us studying our map intensely and pointed us in the right direction! After buying our tickets, we were on our way!

On the underground

Although it took a while, the underground was a great experience - we felt quite proud of ourselves for navigating it as it isn't the simplest of subways!

Unfortunately, by the time we reached our stop we didn't have enough time to go and see the Buddha - we couldn't believe it! The queue to get on to the cable car to get there would have taken 45minutes, and the bus took 40mins there and back. With the second part of our tour commencing at 2.30pm from the hotel, we just didn't quite have long enough, which was a real shame! But we had the chance to explore another little corner of Hong Kong, found an amazing shopping centre and had ourselves a nice little adventure nonetheless!

Sarah, Gemma, Emily and me after our little adventure!

That afternoon, we went on another amazing tour. We had packed up and left the hotel, which was such a lovely place to stay - our rooms were compact but really nice, with a lovely bathroom, comfortable beds and nice breakfast! Here's an obligatory snapshot of the room, and my little travel toiletries!!

First stop on the afternoon tour was the stunning Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon. This was breathtaking. There were statues of all 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac, so of course I posed with mine - the Snake (1989).

It was such a beautiful place. People were praying all around us, it almost felt like we were intruding on such a spiritual experience, but I absolutely loved it there.

Wong Tai Sin Temple

We then moved on to the Chi Lin Nunnery - I would DEFINITELY recommend this if you ever visit Hong Kong, it's stunning. Such a peaceful place in the middle of a busy city!

The Chi Lin Nunnery

After the nunnery we visited the Jade markets in Kowloon. Jade is considered lucky in this part of the world, so there were trinkets of all kinds available there! I bought myself a little frog made of jade to carry around with me - isn't he cute?!

So that's it for my Hong Kong posts - after the market, and a quick bite to eat, we headed to the airport for a 6hour wait for our flight to Sydney!

Hong Kong was an amazing experience, and I can't recommend it enough. I'm so glad we had three days to explore, rather than an hour long stopover, so having a whole week or so to see more of it would be incredible!

Now I'm here in Sydney, and the first post is coming soon - so keep your eyes peeled! I've also put up my first Hong Kong vlog, which is on my YouTube channel, and I'll embed it in the previous post too! The second video is coming soon and will be linked in this post once it goes up :) Thanks so much for reading guys!