One of the day trips which we took recently at Melbourne brought us to Philip Island, which is one of Australia’s most well known penguin lookout. En route to the nursing grounds of those cute tuxedo-ed birds, we stopped by a koala conservatory and had a glance at an island full of seals (supposedly). While the service standards of that particular trip wasn’t great, it did bring us to a few interesting spots – including Warrook Cattle Farm which my son loved.
Regular readers of this blog would probably know by now that my kid Ethan loves the rural life. This was why we had to make a farm stop during our recent Melbourne trip, at the widely acclaimed Warrook Cattle Farm. A charming 100 year old homestead located South East from Melbourne City, the rural attraction conducts regular tours for “city tortoises” like us. The sprawling estate boasted of many different farmyard residents and is a real life working farm yielding animal products like milk, meat and wool.
A metal crafted signboard at the cattle yards. Reminds me of Charlotte’s Web somehow.
Almost everybody we spoke to about Melbourne gushed about the Great Ocean Road. Stretching over more than 400 kilometres, it was widely regarded as one of the world’s most scenic drives. Famous landmarks (for those who went all the way) include the Twelve Apostles, Otways Rainforest, Bells Beach and Skenes Creek. Naturally, we had to give it a try during our recent vacation there, and it was certainly fun (albeit a little tiring).
Here are some pictorial highlights of our journey along the Ocean.
The first stop at Torquay, which is regarded by some as the centre of the surf world and the official start of the Great Ocean Road.
To satisfy my child Ethan’s creature cravings, we decided to drive up to nearby Werribee at Melbourne to check out their famous Werribee Open Range Zoo. Modelled after an African-styled savanna grassland, it offered a different wildlife experience for those keen to see more animals in a natural habitat beyond your usual marsupial suspects.
One of Melbourne’s foremost cultural destination, the Melbourne Museum is both an architectural icon and a wonderful repository of natural history. Located next to the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, the museum is part of Museum Victoria which is Australia’s largest public museum organisation. Touted as the biggest museum in the Southern Hemisphere, the museum was housed in a modern monolith of massive proportions.
One of our first stops recently en route to Melbourne was Healesville Sanctuary, an open concept reserve for Australia’s indigenous wildlife located just off the picturesque Yarra Valley area. While it wasn’t quite as fabulous as our own Singapore Zoo and the prices of the tickets were rather steep at A$23 per adult (good thing Ethan gets in free as he is under 4!), we still did enjoy ourselves somewhat. I suppose the weather (yeah I missed it!) helps tremendously plus of course those cute marsupial furries…
My family’s recent holiday in Melbourne was a great adventure, spanning 8 days and covering different kinds of experiences. Its difficult to capture everything in one blog post, so I will split it into several parts, interspersed with regular posts on marketing. First on Melbourne City itself.
Led by Lord Mayor John So (a Chinese no less), Melbourne City presented a unique melting pot of different cultures while being both sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Walk along its streets and chances are that you will see people of different ethnicities happily mingling with each other. One of its major advantages is the weather, which is mostly cool and breezy any time of the year without going to extremes.
Melbourne residents are sports fanatics, and it was interesting to see many of them jogging, cycling and playing Aussie football at virtually any time of the day. The city is also full of life, with museums, historic buildings, art performances, restaurants, shops and parks adding much colour and vibrancy. A quirky aspect of the city is its transport system. You can either get around on foot, bicycles, buses, trains, trams, taxis, cars, and even skateboards and horse-drawn carriages!
Tired of the usual roadshows with pretentious promoters and inane entertainment? Here’s something novel for a change.
In an ingenious use of their product employing one of PR’s oldest trick, biscuit manufacturer Jacob’s recently hit the headlines with their attempt to build Singapore’s biggest biscuit sculpture. Their fabulous feat of food art sits on a platform measuring about 6 by 1.2 metres, with more than 24,000 biscuits from 13 varieties employed. Called Jacob’s Biscuit World, this event showed that biscuits can do a lot more than just stuff your stomach.
Except that it was as noisy as a hawker centre (heck it is one!) and the only thing intellectual is the science that went into laksa gravy. Here are some photos of my culinary discovery in an experiential food court themed like a library.
This group of people doesn’t look like they are going to settle down with a quiet book in their hands. Notice the boxes of IT equipment being carried – newly gotten gains from the PC Show.
Yesterday morning, my wife and I attended the official launch of Chek Jawa by Minister of National Development Mah Bow Tan. One of the last remaining vestiges of nature in Singapore, Chek Jawa Wetlands is located off the east coast of Pulau Ubin, which is a charming and rustic island getaway stuck in time.
Managed by the National Parks Board, this unique tidal treasure trove boasts of some of Singapore’s richest ecosystem, and showcases a rich biodiversity that is almost unparalleled on our otherwise concrete jungle. Some may remember how Chek Jawa’s survival was the result of active lobbying by nature lovers back in December 2001 which resulted in the government overturning its decision to transform it a military training area.
To get to Pulau Ubin, one needs to hop onto these bumboats from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. They are in operation from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Ticket prices are only $2 per pax with an additional $2 extra per bicycle.