Annual Tulip Festival near Melbourne – a field of vibrant colours

Bucket List Must Do Melbourne Tesselaar Tulip Festival Cover

This is not the Netherlands, this is Australia!

Bucket List Must Do Melbourne Tesselaar Tulip Festival 10

Each year during the months of September/October, there are two big tulip festivals. One is in the Wynyard Tulip festival in Tasmania, and the other one is the Tesselaar Tulip Festival in Victoria. The later is only 40km East of Melbourne, which makes it easily accessible by car. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to drive, you could also get there easily by a train which departs from Melbourne, then board a shuttle/bus to get you to your destination.

Bucket List Must Do Melbourne Tesselaar Tulip Festival 20

This year, the Tesselaar Tulip Festival was from the 8th September till the 4th October. I arrived Melbourne on the 3rd afternoon, which means the only day I could go was on their last day. During the 4 weeks of the festival, they have different events on every weekend. I would highly recommend you to check out their schedule before your visit.

According to Google Map, the journey shall only take approximately 45 minutes. Since it’s not a long ride, I have decided to have lunch at Melbourne first before we head over to the festival.

Well, a 45 minutes journey ended up being a 2 hours ride! Instead of using my Google map on the phone, I was using a GPS which I borrowed when I rented my car. For some strange reason, this GPS keeps directing me to roads that either did not exist, or was too narrow for my 4WD to get thru… Ok, it may also have to do with my bad sense of directions, and lack of skills in driving too. BUT, thanks to the GPS, we went on a route thru the Dandenong Ranges National Park, which was an extremely bumpy, yet fun ride – I encountered a wild deer in the middle of nowhere!! I have no idea where it came from, but it was there, starring at us. So sometimes, a little detour on a journey aren’t so bad at all.

Bucket List Must Do Melbourne Tesselaar Tulip Festival 06

Bucket List Must Do Melbourne Tesselaar Tulip Festival 07
Oh my deer!!

Finally, I arrived the Tesselaar Tulip Festival at around 3:30pm. The weather was super nice when we got there.

Bucket List Must Do Melbourne Tesselaar Tulip Festival 08
The entrance tickets are very cute, unfortunately you don’t get to keep them as they collect them at the gate 😦

About 10 minutes after entering the festival, it started pouring, and it was so windy and cold and wet, all I could do (and most of the others as well) was to hide in the shelter to wait for the rain to past by. The weather was not very nice that day, it keeps raining, then sunshine, then raining, then sunshine… but it made the flowers look very pretty, with the rain dew drops on the flowers.

Bucket List Must Do Melbourne Tesselaar Tulip Festival 01
This is one of my favourite out of all the pictures, just love the dew drops on the flowers, looking so fresh and pretty

Continue reading “Annual Tulip Festival near Melbourne – a field of vibrant colours”

Purple is in the air – Jacaranda Festival in Brisbane

Bucket List Must Go Australia Brisbane Ipswich Goodna Jacaranda Festival Purple Cover

Purple is the color of the month!

Are you ready to be drown in purple-ness? Because this is what this post is all about!! Be surrounded by pretty purple flowers.

Bucket List Must Go Australia Brisbane Ipswich Goodna Jacaranda Festival Purple 05
Overview of the park

In the Southern Hemisphere, we are stepping into Summer, and one of the must do in Summer for Brisbanians are to go and see the jacaranda trees! Basically, these purple pretty flowers could be seen in every corner of Brisbane, but of course, there are places which I would highly recommend you to go and visit, such as The University of Queensland, New Farm Park, Kangaroo Point etc. But my favorite jacaranda viewing place must be at Goodna. Each year, they have a festival just to celebrate this beautiful season!
(Where to see Jacaranda in Brisbane – http://blog.queensland.com/2016/10/12/jacarandas-south-east-queensland/)

Bucket List Must Go Australia Brisbane Ipswich Goodna Jacaranda Festival Purple 01Bucket List Must Go Australia Brisbane Ipswich Goodna Jacaranda Festival Purple 04

Continue reading “Purple is in the air – Jacaranda Festival in Brisbane”

A Super Cafe in Sydney – Coffee, Weekend Market, Florist & more all in one!

Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集_01

“OCD – Obsessive Coffee Disorder!”

If I were to ask you, what are the places that ones must visit in Sydney, I’m sure everyone will answer The Opera House, Bondi Beach, Darling Harbour, Fish Market etc. Well, let me add one more to your list – “The Grounds of Alexandria”. And if you are a coffee lover like me, then there is absolutely no reason why you would miss it!

Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集

For the Sydney-siders, “The Grounds of Alexandria” is no news to them. It is a “super cafe” located in the inner west city fringe suburb of Alexandria Melbourne. It is not just an ordinary cafe, but one that you could spend a whole day exploring on a Saturday!

“The Grounds” is made up of coffee roaster, café, bakery, bar, restaurant, outdoor garden, weekend market, florist and a mini farm all within this acre of land in Sydney. It is pack all week long, and especially on the weekend, because of the amazing weekend market they have.

Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集

Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集
Freshly baked mouth watering pastries

The florist was my favourite section out of the whole complex!

Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集

Travel Australia Sydney The Grounds of Alexandria Coffee Roaster Weekend Market 澳洲必去雪梨假日市集
The very famous rainbow roses

Continue reading “A Super Cafe in Sydney – Coffee, Weekend Market, Florist & more all in one!”

Sydney – La Perouse

Bucket List Sydney Must Go La Perouse Cover

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.

Imagine yourself unwinding by the shore listening to the waves hitting the rocks on a lazy afternoon….hmmm… relaxing!! I love spending a lazy afternoon at the beaches, it helps me to relax and de-stress.

Whenever we talk about beaches in Sydney, I’m sure mostly everyone (tourists) will think of the Bondi Beach. It’s for sure one of the best beaches around town – close to the city, easily accessible, and with many nice restaurants around, no wonder it’s voted as one of the best Sandy Beaches in the world by Lonely Planet. However, I do find Bondi Beach could be a bit crowded from time to time, and it’s a bit too commercial.

Australia Sydney Bondi Beach 01
Bondi Beach on a weekday morning

Last time when I visited Sydney, my local friend brought me to another beach. Hmm.. It’s not exactly a beach, but it’s more like a seaside area. It’s called La Perouse, you can still swim there, but it’s not once of those white sandy beach places.

Australia Sydney La Perouse Beach 07
Looking at Bare Island

It’s one of the most popular places for weddings, and a great hang out spot for a weekend Barbie (Australia slang for Barbecue). As there are not that many parking spaces around the area, it could take you some time to find an empty spot on the weekend; but the plus side is, this place is easily accessible by bus. There are buses coming directly to here from the city center, so for those who are travelling without a car, there’s no need to worry.

Other than having a barbie, I would also strongly recommend you to go and walk on the rocky plains of Bare Island, or take a visit to the Bare Island Fort to learn more about the history of the place. On Sundays, the Bare Island Fort is open for guided tours, make sure you have made you bookings beforehand. Tickets can be purchased prior to the tour from the La Perouse Museum.

Australia Sydney La Perouse Beach 05

Continue reading “Sydney – La Perouse”

Aussie Fish’n’Chips

Bucket List Australia Brisbane Must Eat Morgan's Seafood Fish and Chips Cover

The sun is out, the water’s crisp and you’re hungry. What to go for?

432273_10151214034840374_2086387400_n

You can’t go wrong with Fish’n’Chip!! The whole of Australia is basically surrounded by the ocean, thus we have some of the best and freshest seafood in the world. That means,  you’re almost guaranteed fresh fish, served with salt and lemon, wrapped in yesterday’s newspaper or white wrapping. Yummmmmmmm!!

There are fish’n’chips stores in every single shopping malls, but usually the best ones are near the sea by the shore. “A waterfront pavilion gets the moonlight first” – they do get the freshest seafood first hand, so it all makes sense.

Each time when I go back to Brisbane to visit my family, there is this one fish’n’chips shop that I cannot miss! It’s called the Morgan’s Seafood  at Redcliffe, and is right next to the Moreton Bay Boat Club. Not only will you get the freshest locally caught Queensland seafood direct off the trawlers or straight from the fishermen, you are also going to be enjoying your food with the stunning view of Scarborough Boat Harbour dotted with luxury yachts, and the Glasshouse mountains! To top this off, the Thurecht Park is right across the road, you could even throw a Barbie party there!!

Morgan's
Morgan’s Seafood
IMG_3380
View from the seating area, stunning!

In Australia, most of the fish’n’chips shops have a large display cabinet showing the different types of fish/seafood they have for the day. So sometimes it kills my brain cells when I have to try to memorize the orders for the whole family!! Not only will i need to remember the different type of fish/seafood they want, I also have to remember the way they want it to be cooked (battered/crumbed/grilled)… Usually I will forget one thing or two at the end, ooh well. (Hint: usually they have pen and paper at the counter you could use to write down your order)

One of reason why I must visit the Morgan’s is because they have a food that not many other fish’n’chips shop offer. I’m sure most of you have tasted Deep Fried Calamari Rings, but have you ever had Deep Fried Cuttlefish? The Deep Fried Cuttlefish here is so fresh, and has a bit more texture than the ordinary calamari rings. It is my absolute favorite of all time in the Fish’n’Chips category 🙂 The oysters and cooked seafood here are quite nice too and reasonable priced, so why not give it a try also?

Continue reading “Aussie Fish’n’Chips”

Brisbane Power House

Bucket List Must Eat Australia Brisbane Power House Bar Alto

Doesn’t time pass by very fast? We are already half way into 2016!! (And I have achieved nothing from my new year’s resolution list so far lol)

So, back to the topic “Brisbane Power House” – it is Queensland’s home for contemporary culture, often have performances, exhibitions, band gigs etc here! The reason it’s called the Power House is because, well, simply because it’s a power station of the 1920s reborn as an art centre on the Brisbane River.

“There is a big blue sky waiting just behind the clouds”

img_3157

I remembered when I was still a high school student over 10 years ago, we had a school trip here to see a Japanese Taiko Show here for our Japanese class, and that was the only memory I had of this place. I didn’t really like the place then, because it was kind of in a ghetto area. However, this year in March when I went back to Brisbane, because I had to surprise my parents who’s doing Tai Chi in a park nearby, I had a chance to re-visit this place, and I absolutely fell in love with it!!

img_3201img_3160

The architecture itself just look stunning! The old brick exterior with the very modern industrial interior matches very well, and the location is right by the river, a perfect hang out spot for a lazy Sunday afternoon!

Continue reading “Brisbane Power House”

Appreciating Australia

Bucket List Australia Brisbane South Bank Parklands

My family and I migrated to Australia in 1997, when Hong Kong was handed over back to China by the British government. It was a historic moment for us Hong Kong locals, and like many others, my family were not so sure about the future of living in Hong Kong, therefore, they have decided to move somewhere else.

As a little kid, I had no choice but to follow them. I had to leave all my friends, my relatives, and everything I ever known of, and move to a completely new place. Instead of moving to Sydney or Melbourne like a lot of other Asians would do, we moved to Brisbane instead. A little background information – Although Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia, when I moved there in 1997, it was like an old boring city. The fashion there was HORRIBLE, and most of the stores, including the supermarkets closes at 5pm everyday (except Friday night shopping which closes at 9pm).

“We never fully appreciate what we had until we don’t have it anymore”

Australia Brisbane South Bank 02I never really liked this place, so I’ve decided to move back to Hong Kong by myself in 2009, and had been here since. Although I love the people, the city, and my job, the longer I’ve stayed and worked in Hong Kong, the more I miss Australia. To be more precised, I miss Brisbane – I miss the food, I miss the weather, I miss him (Ok, I shouldn’t, someone slap me please), I miss everything about it.

It took me some times to realized, as human beings, we tend to forget how good things and people are, or how much we already have in life – we tend to focus on what we don’t have, or how bad thing and people could be… Until the day we lost it, then we start to look back, and noticed that, we already had everything. If you learn to appreciate even the littlest things in life, you will  be a much happier person 🙂

I will share more about the different places and restaurants around Australia in my next few blogs, so remember to stay tune.

Travel Bucket List Australia Melbourne 12 Apostles>