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Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sandboarding at Port Stephens

The Stockton Bight sand dunes in Port Stephens is the largest in Southern Hemisphere. It stretches 32 km long with some areas up to 1 km wide and 30 m height.

The sand dunes at Anna Bay

The Pyramids of Port Stephens :D

Since our car was not a 4WD, we joined the local sandboarding tour to bring us into the desert. Paid $40 for the transport, including the use of their sandboards.

Our tour van

The ride to the sandboarding location was only ten minutes, and we could stay here as long as we want.

The view from the top of the desert

The highest hill in the vicinity

After experiencing the sandboarding, snow tobogganing seems like a child's play. Since the hill was very steep, it was impossible to brake or slow down as I was gaining so much speed and at the same time I had to keep pressing my legs on the board if I didn't want to topple over.  I was overthrown far from the board a couple of times when I landed.  I always felt nervous when I went down but then I wanted to do it again. :P

My daughter was too young to do it on her own, so she rode down in tandem with her daddy.  She was only stopping after swallowing so much sand when she landed face down hahaha...

Here's the sandboarding video of us.

Sandboarding was really a very tiring activity, I was out of breath after going down a couple of times. Riding down was easy, the tiring part was climbing up the hill. So in the end we only stayed for about half an hour here.

After sandboarding we drove around Port Stephens to explore the area. Our first stop was Gan Gan Hill lookout where we could see other neighbouring islands.

The flowers are Gymea lilies which is a local plant of this area. It could grow up to 6m high.

Another highlight in our trip was when we spotted some pelicans at Little Beach. I've never seen a pelican so up close in my life. They are huge!!

The pelicans!

Sunset with the pelicans

Friday, August 15, 2014

Snowy Mountains

It was a great day when we went up to the Snowy Mountains, a perfect blue sky with a temperature of 10 degree Celsius and no winds. Couldn't ask for more...

Thredbo Ski Resort

Thredbo Ski Resort

A very busy ski resort
I was pretty disappointed with Thredbo because the play area for toboggans was tiny and cramped with so many people. Definitely not safe for the small kids to slide on their own as they were easily bumped by the bigger kids and adults.

After staying awhile in Thredbo we drove out and explore the areas nearby. It was pure luck that we found Dead Horse Gap which has much bigger space, almost no other people around and definitely more beautiful.  This was my first time playing toboggan in the wilderness.

Dead Horse Gap

Absolutely beautiful

Making a snowman

A second snowman, Mr. Cool

Great runway for toboggan.

As if it wasn't fun enough, we also met a wombat! Check out this video...

We definitely had so much fun on this snowy trip and the kid was super happy. Till next year...

Lake Jindabyne on our way back home

Lake Jindabyne

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Short and sweet Canberra

We stayed for a night in Canberra on our way to Snowy Mountains. Canberra is about three hours from Sydney and also about three hours to Snowy Mountains. It was a nice small city to explore for a quick getaway.

Canberra from Mount Ainslie

No trip to Canberra is complete without a visit to the Parliament House

Inside the Senate Chamber

House of Representatives Chamber

Australian War Memorial

The Dome of Australian War Memorial

Sculpture in the National Arboretum

Playground in the National Arboretum

Grevillea Park

Telstra Tower at Black Mountain
Lennox Gardens

Nara Peace Park, a celebration of sister city link between Canberra and Nara

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blaxland Riverside Park - the adventurous playground

We accidentally found this playground while shopping in the area. It turns out to be the best and the biggest playground we had ever experienced in Sydney.

The Dragon swing

Slides in all different heights

The steepest slide. Simply awesome!!

The flying fox

Unfortunately it was pretty late when we reached there, the water park was closed for the day and there might be other areas that we didn't get to explore. But this playground is worth coming back for.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The beauty of Northern Beaches: Long Reef, Avalon and Palm Beach

Besides the famous Manly beach at the north, there are many others that are worth visiting for their scenic beauty. 

Long Reef Beach

A unique Long Reef Beach with lagoon on one side and ocean on the other side

Avalon Beach

Great waves for surfing

The rockpool at Avalon

Palm Beach

Palm Beach wharf has the ferry to Ku-ring-gai National Park
From Palm Beach, we walked up about 1km to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse. The view up there was beautiful, well worth the effort.

Start of the walking trail

View of Ku-ring-gai National Park

Walking in the wilderness

And finally, the unique landscape of Palm Beach

Barrenjoey Lighthouse