Tag Archive: Road trip

We’re on a road trip towards the South Coast. First off is Kangaroo Valley which I’ve visited some years back. (Go check the link) The Hampden Bridge is one of its attractions here, being one of only a few suspension bridges around Australia. I remember a lunch in this landmark pub and hotel called the Friendly Inn with 2 grandchildren who have since grown up. What 5 years can do!

We drove towards Lake Conjola which is really one of my favourite destinations whenever I’m in Sydney. Our family would always spend family time here but we only managed 3 of us on this trip as everyone else was busy. The resident kangaroos were too lazy to welcome us, unlike the last time I was here when we found around 30 of them Roos!

The lakeside house bears many happy memories and our stay here adds another. Revisiting the house, the lake, the nearby beach, the boardwalk, or simply walking aimlessly are favourite pastimes here. If one is into fishing, paddle boating, kayaking or swimming, there’s much to do. As for me, I’m quite happy dropping in in this heritage bakery in Milton and taking out some pies to eat in the cottage while having coffee and reading a book.

From Lake Conjola, we had the chance to drop in on nearby beaches and lakes to feed some birds and sea creatures. Upon leaving, we made our way back to Sydney with stops in Berry for a relaxing Oriental lunch at LEAF. Wish the rest of the family was with us but there would be other times, for sure.

Feel free to click on the highlighted links for more photos and details on Lake Conjola and The Heritage Bakery in Milton. Watch this site for blogs on feeding adventures with stingrays, pelicans, Lorikeets and seagulls.


My very first time in Utah. Done with Grand Canyon and Yosemite in the past, but not Zion National Park. It’s huge! And so so many hiking trails. A few months back, I heard a lone hiker slipped and fell to his death. Somewhere near or off Angels’ Landing. Amateurs that we are, we only managed the Riverside Walk, took the park shuttle, got off next to the final station and walked the last few kilometers towards the Visitors’ Center. We were hoping to view the sunset as we walked back but no luck. It was growing too cold for that sunset view.

Zion National Park was teeming with autumn foliage. Fall colors always get me excited, especially when I sense the dry, fallen leaves crunch under my soles. Nothing beats Mother Nature, really. The rainbow, autumn hues, spring blooms, summer fruits freshly-picked off trees, the soft pillow-like snow melting under your boots. Nature is unbeatable in its majestic beauty. Petrodollars may build all the humongous palaces, resorts and malls, war loot may have built many such religious temples and comprised a collection housed in many museos, but priceless is the beauty of Nature unfolding before one’s eyes. A beauty that readily transforms with every change of Season.

The Riverside hiking trail was very reasonable. One follows the river’s path meandering through the mountains right until the end, perhaps take off one’s boots to wade in the river water, then head back to catch the park shuttle. The Virgin River Walk is a good choice for amateur hikers. But that is not to say it is not exciting enough.

In autumn, the trees in autumn hues provide such a breathtaking backdrop that one can’t hike without stopping to take in all the beauty. The sound of a bubbling stream and the “weeping” side of the red cliffs — especially after a rain — is music to the ears of every hiker. I’ve seen young parents hiking with their young children. You’d delight in the energy, enthusiasm and sense of fun of these young fellas.

As we headed back to the Visitors Center, a crowd massed around or under the bridges spanning across the Virgin River. Many had their tripods set up, waiting for sunset. We struck a conversation with this nice couple with impressive cameras and zoom lens — obviously not first-timers like us. Yet we sense the same degree of enthusiasm in them. Truly, Nature “repeats” its cycles — sunrise & sunset, day & night, spring, summer, autumn and winter — yet, no one can accurately predict how the fading light touches the mountain peaks, or how the sunlight stirs the reflections on the river waters. Each photograph is unique. The expectations are there, but the realities sometimes pull such pleasant surprises. Who’s to say how each photo would come out?

Wollongong. Meaning “Sound of the Seas”. I had to check how that’s spelled! Just 80 kilometers from Sydney is this city by the sea that is the gateway to the South Coast. Its harbour houses two lighthouses. I would have been happy with one but this coastal city has two!






Sun’s out. Our little boy is restless. And the picnic basket is full of chips, drinks, fruits, biscuits and other snack items. It wasn’t a long drive, but this growing boy with us immediately got busy munching the time away. By the time we got here, there was just enough bread for the birds. There were so many of them but this pack is quite disciplined, used to waiting to be fed rather than snatching food from our fingers. They settled for what we threw their way or what were blown off our picnic table.






While the sun shines brightly, there was no letup as winds messed up our hair and blew away some chips off the table. The birds swooped down and low for a taste of those chips. Not one chip left scattered on the ground. Our boy took charge of feeding the birds till the bread ran out. Funny how his shrieks sounded almost like the birds’.






The long coast of Australia must be dotted with these picture-perfect all-white towers. Same Same but different. Of the 2 lighthouses here in Wollongong, the newer one is located in what is called Flagstaff Point guarded by cannons. The older but more charming one is located in the breakwater seemingly guarding the lovely harbour. Built in 1871 but lovingly restored in 2002. As it was badly deteriorated before restoration work started in 2000, The newer Wollongong Head Lighthouse on Flagstaff Point took over as the major light in 1937.






I only wish the lighthouses didn’t have to be all white all the time. Is there an international law on how lighthouses should be painted? I was thinking mint green or baby pink. 🙂 Kidding aside, it’s lovely out here. I was quite content just taking a stroll and watching some surfers enjoying the swells. There was no time to visit the Nan Tien Temple which I hear is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Perhaps I’d check it out next time i visit riding on my new Harley Davidson, ready to cruise the Grand Pacific Drive. Ahem. Pipe dreams. 😉