Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My friend, Miura san who just returned from Sado island sent me some beautiful pictures. This island is located in the Japan sea about 35km off the coast of Niigata Prefecture.There are regular car ferries and the high speed jetfoils from/to Niigata . The car ferry takes about 2 and half hours oneway while it is only an hour ride on the jetfoil.
Sado island is a perfect destination to discover the unspoiled beauty of Japan. Clear water, panoramic views, undisturbed nature, and the unique cultural traditions.
Rocky coastline and natural scenery.
Back to the histroy, "Gold" was found on this island back in 1601. People rushed to this island for gold but now people from the main land of Japan come here to relax and getway from hectic rush of the city life.
There are many places of interest which include the Sado Kinzan Gold Mine, Museum Shukunegi, temples and shrines. I shall visit this beautiful island on my next trip to Japan and I am sure Miura san will be my "guide" to explore the whole island.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


On the last leg of our Melbourne - Brisbane drive, We stopped over at Byron Bay, a small seaside town located about 150 kilometres south of Brisbane. Byron Bay was once a whaling station and it is now a popular spot to go whale watching, surfing and experience some of the world's best eco tourism. We drove all the way up to the rocky headland of Cape Byron. Up there, the views were fantastic! We could see the beautiful beaches and the breathtaking panoramic view of the sea.
Pictures taken from the top of the cliff
The main attraction in Byron bay is this Cape Byron Lighthouse which was in use since 1901. It is standing on top a 94 metre high cliff at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland.
The well-maintained Cape Byron Lighthouse.
The information and resting area on top of the cliff - Parking fee up here is AUD7 per hour.
According to the Travel information, Cape Byron is a good place to spot dolphins and whales.
We were lucky! We saw a small school of dolphins in the distance. Walking along the trail to the eastern end, we found a cute wallaby.
Posed for this picture before leaving Cape Byron. It was a good spot to take a break, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Back to the highway, we headed for Brisbane.
2 hours later, we had the Brisbane city's skyline in sight. We made it in 4 days! It was a memorable experience.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Just before noon, we arrived Canberra, the capitol city of Australia. We did not stay long since we have been to this city before. Canberra has a large number of outstanding, historic churches. We had a look at this one near the Parliament house - an old and fantastic building .
The Parliament House
Leaving Canberra, we headed for Katoomba in the Blue mountains. A stopover at the McDonald for refreshment and at the same time to check my mail. All McDonald outlets in Australia provide free "Wifi". It took us about 4 hours driving through some scenic views of the lowlands and mountains arriving Katoomba, a small town in the Blue Mountains just after dark.We put a night at Leisure Inn, a fully self-contained accommodation near Katoomba.
According to the Katoomba Travel brochure, a visit to the Blue Mountains would not be complete without viewing the spectacular "Three Sisters" at Echo Point - We drove over there first thing in the morning. When we reached the Echo Point's Observation deck, there were already many "early birds" just like us, eager to view the " Three Sisters".The " Three sisters" are actually 3 pieces of rock formation standing at the edge of the huge Jamison valley. This is an Aboriginal dream-time legend. There were three sisters called, 'Meehni', 'Wimlah' and Gunnedoo' belonging to the Katoomba tribe living in the Jamison Valley. These beautiful young ladies fell in love with three brothers from the Nepean tribe. However, the tribal law did not allow them to marry. The brothers could not accept this law and decided to use force to capture the three sisters causing a major tribal battle. As the lives of the three sisters were seriously in danger, a witch doctor from the Katoomba tribe protected them and turned them into rocks. While he had intended to reverse the spell when the battle was over, but he was killed. As no body else could reverse the spell to return the ladies to their former beauty, the sisters remained in their magnificent rock formation till today! Close-up of the "Three Sisters". The view or rather the "character" of the "Three Sisters" changed throughout the day following the movement of the sun. It would best to watch their magnificent colours during sunset.
The panoramic views of the majestic landscape of the Blue mountains - Just fantastic !
It was an unforgettable experience to visit this World Heritage site - enjoying the fresh mountain air and the breathtaking view of the magnificent valleys. We left Katoomba before noon.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


We hired a car from Hertz at the Melbourne International Airport to continue our holiday all the way to Brisbane. Before leaving Melbourne, we had our breakfast at a chain restaurant - "The Lazy Moes" near the airport.
We had the typical Australian breakfast. This restaurant served good size meals and value for money.
Jeremiah joined us for breakfast and saw us off. It was a leisure drive with the guidance from the car GPS
Our first stop was Jindabyne, a small town near the Snowy Mountains. We put up a night at the Ski Inn - a comfortable 3 star accommodation. The Ski Inn is located on a small hill overlooking the Jindabyne Lake. We had a good view of the lake during breakfast. Breakfast was included in the stay package - at hearty breakfast of 2 poached eggs, bacon, toasted wholemeal bread, cereal, fruits and coffee or tea.Jindabyne is the gateway to the snowy mountains. In Winter, many people come to Jindabyne during the ski season as the town offers many cheap accommodation and good deal for rental of ski equipment. Before leaving for Canberra, we toured the area but there was no much to see except for the beautiful lake.
It was a rainy day, we decided to skip the Snowy Mountains area and continued our journey. However, as we were leaving, Snowy Mountains came into view in the distance.

To continue ............