Tag Archive: Day Trip from Sydney

A Weekend In Lake Conjola

A Weekend In Lake Conjola

Holiday Home In Lake Conjola

Holiday Home In Lake Conjola



It’s a small town with less than 400 people in the region of Ulladulla along the South Coast of New South Wales. We could have reached it in slightly over 2 hours from Sydney but we didn’t fail to drop in on some must-see destinations along the way. We prepared for a chilly weekend of kayaking, beach bumming, picnics, birdwatching or kangaroo-watching. No fishing. Not much time nor patience, I guess.









The first stop was the charming town of Berry. But that deserves a separate blog. So allow me to skip that and instead dwell on beach and lake destinations. The marina in Jervis Bay tells a story. Boats for hire for dolphin-watching adventures. Fishing as a gentleman’s sport. Oysters clustered around rocks. No picnic tables, but grassy grounds inviting a neatly laid-out mat and a basket of goodies. Just wish for sunny spells and clear days, and do mind the birds. If you’re not into fishing nor dolphin watching, beach walking is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. The youngest member of the family (Latte, the dog) had a blast running around. For lunch, we had a picnic of oysters, roast chicken, shrimps, fries and chips bought from the neighborhood cafe. Still warm from the oven, we munched through lunch and slurped the oysters with glee.








Much hype over the finest, whitest sands in the whole world. And all that hype is supported by such a record in the Guinness Book held by this small town situated on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia. I used to say “sugar-fine sand”. The sand here is NOT just that. It is as fine and as white as FLOUR. Yes, flour. Latte seemed invisible in the white sands of Hyams. We were simply too happy to find this beach sans the typical tourist crowds. What a gem! Amazing how this beach has remained under the tourist radar for so long. When we got here, there were only a few couples with rolled-up pants and even fewer swimsuit-clad girls enjoying the sand and surf. I wonder how crowded this place could be in friendlier temps. With the wind blowing and this late in autumn, the sun and sand may not be inviting enough. A romantic stroll just before sunset easily comes to mind. But be sure to wrap up!









As soon as we arrived, I strolled right down to the lip of the lake. So quiet. So tranquil. A lonely dinghy sits by the edge. The setting sun mirrored on the face of the lake. I waited. Twilight is my favorite time of day. I could hear the chirping of the birds nearby. Looking around, I envied the house by the lake edge with a sprawling yard. The owners can literally roll from the staircase towards the lake. Seriously.







The holiday home is just perfect for my family. All of 4 bedrooms and 2 baths plus a cozy living room welcoming guests to prop up their feet to watch movies on the teevee. We claimed our spots, wine glass in hand. And relaxed, while the meat was boiling to render it tender. The aroma perks up our appetite. The wind breezes through the slight opening from the kitchen window. The tender meat is ready. The noodles al dente. The chopped veggies ready to be thrown in. Purrfect……







Before long, we were feasting on hot noodle soups and roasted pork for dinner. We planned on kayaking and just beach bumming the next day. If we are lucky, maybe we’d chance upon a couple of kangaroos. We could have talked on and on, as the children never seemed to tire going up and down the double decker bed. We could have unscrewed another bottle of shiraz but it was a long day. The beds and the warm duvets are waiting to enfold us for some needed Zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s. Holiday people we were 😉







The following day, we drove to the beach area. Too cold for swimming but the more placid and nearby lake made kayaking the younger members’ main event for the day. The novelty and the joy justified having to lug around all those inflatables on the car’s racks. For sure, it was one afternoon those young ones won’t forget. Who cares if they got their butts wet on this chilly afternoon? Who gives a hoot if their arms ached from all that rowing? We watched them as they rowed to the sandbar where pelicans bigger than our family dogs and other birds rested in peace. I watched as I ate chips with sand. The cold wind pulled down the temps just as it threw sand into our bags of nachos and chips. But really, who cares? Truly, LIFE IS A BEACH! (Thank you, Rookie and Vanie for this most wonderful weekend)







Oh, btw, we got lucky. See if you can spot the 2 kangaroos in these photos.

It’s the kind of miniature park that will certainly amuse children who’d likely experience their first “trip around the world” here in Cockington Green Gardens. Interestingly, most of the visitors are adults who were all fascinated with the gardens and the fine details of the architecture and landscaping displayed here.



The original section displays Old English architecture and heritage sites in England. Prominently displayed is the old Cockington Village after which this garden was named. Complete with a miniature train which whizzes past all these miniature cottages and mansions as well as popular sites in Great Britain, I was just a tad disappointed not to find a miniature Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Bridge or Tower of London. Yeah, that would have been nice. 🙂





Complementing the original section is an International Section featuring popular sites in many countries in Europe, South America, Asia and Middle East. It is tempting to draw up a bucket list of must-visit destinations here. Miniature parks allow us to see the “big picture”. Ironic, I know. But we do tend to miss many details when confronted with the actual site. Like, Masada in Israel is featured here in its entirety and full glory. Not the ruins I witnessed back in 1996 when I visited the Holy Land. Borobudur at 100% viewing may not offer the lovely details one appreciates while rounding up the temple, but you see it here in a different perspective and newfound appreciation.






Such craftmanship displayed here! Patience and attention to details definitely abound in these creations. Plus the gardens are maintained truly well. Kid-safe too, methinks. Just as we were about to leave, we found a miniature Toragan representing our island nation. Toragan is a Maranao ancestral house where the village chief (called sultan or datu) resides. This architecture is distinctive because of the protruding butterfly-like beams in front of the house. Found in Southern Philippines where many Filipino-Muslims live, these stilted houses bear folk art paintings on its beams. Very, very ethnic. [ I just noticed the Philippine flag here is upside down, with the red above the blue, signifying war. What gives? ]