As I was walking to work recently, I couldn’t help noticing the following workplace safety advertisement on a bus stop shelter (I have a peculiar habit of noticing outdoor advertisements of all shapes and sizes):
Put up by the Ministry of Manpower’s Workplace Safety and Health unit, the poster had a simple and succinct message reminding everybody to be careful and to take care of themselves. This is important as some 29 per cent or 3,000 workplace injuries last year were from non-factory industries like retail, entertainment and services.
On the second morning of our trip to Wilsons Promontory, we made two pretty long hikes covering a total combined distance of almost 27 km in a day. The first, which I would label as a “Journey to the East” as it brought us from the Western side of Wilsons Prom to the East, was monumental in many ways. It not only brought us through winding passages covering a multitude of forested and rocky terrains, but showed us the awesome beauty of God’s green Earth, enhanced by the endorphins elicited through endurance exercise! While this post will try to capture the essence of our extended walk, nothing beats experiencing the real thing.
Put on your hiking boots, fill up your water bottles, and go!
The first part of our journey was a fairly easy saunter through open bushlands like this.
Last week, my family came over to Melbourne during the Easter vacation period and we had a great time discovering different parts of the colourful city together. We opted for a slightly different itinerary this time around (its the second trip for my family), exploring neighbourhoods that were slightly off the beaten tourist track and enjoying what typical Melburnians would like. I suppose we had the benefit of my prolonged stay here as a student, plus our insatiable curiosity to try out unique experiences in different parts of the neighbourhood.
Here is the start of our 10 day holiday in Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, South Australia’s Limestone Coast, Adelaide City (and surrounds), and Kangaroo Island. First off is a trip around the city. I hope you enjoy this journey as much as we did!
Our first stop was the Children’s Garden located at the Royal Botanic Gardens, off the South of the Yarra River.
Happening at Melbourne’s Birrarung Marr and Alexandra Gardens area across both banks of the Yarra River, the Moomba Waterfest is one of the longest running festival in the City of Melbourne which has been celebrated since 1955. Pitched at securing community involvement and celebrating Australia’s multi-cultural identity, the celebrations are apparently Australia’s largest free public event. Those of you who are keen to read more about the history and background of the Moomba Festival can check out this paper by the City of Melbourne.
Happening from 6 to 9 March, Moomba promises fun for everyone with activities for families, the musically inclined and the sporty. A major street parade, free concerts, thrilling watersports and exciting theme park rides at the carnival along the river promises participants a spectacle of sight, sound, sweat and sizzle.
Here’s a snapshot of Moomba’s carnival and fireworks show for your viewing pleasure.
In this last of my series of posts on Melbourne, we ventured into the forested highlands of the Blue Dandenongs, which is located close to the picturesque Yarra Valley wine areas. Breathtaking scenery awaited us at practically every corner which we turned. This, coupled with the pure and invigorating mountain air, made the drive to the hilly region totally worth it.
There is something about trees, mountains, rivers and wide open spaces which attracts me. Living in a space-constrained environment here in sunny Singapore, we relish the opportunity to run wild and free across acres and acres of lush countryside. I certainly made a mental note that this will not be the last time in which we will visit Australia.
Giant Ferris Wheel and Melbourne Skyline from Yarra River
After my week-long hiatus, I have decided to pick up the pen (or keyboard) once again and to start blogging. Let me continue from where I last left off on our Melbourne trip. This time, our photographic adventures centre around the scenic and lovely Yarra River.
Just a short walk from our hotel, the Yarra River is a scenic spot for sporting fun and social activity in Melbourne. The Yarra River was very important to Aboriginal people, and its name is thought to derive from Aboriginal words meaning “ever flowing”. To us, it offered a nice respite from the buzz of the city like Melbourne’s many parks, and has some of the most splendid views of the city. In fact, it is one of the favourite spots of avid photographers hoping to catch a representative shot of the city.
One of the reasons why we were so thickly dressed in Melbourne was because my son Ethan wanted to see snow. And see snow we did (well some snow since Spring plus global warming made quick work of alpine icicles). Waking up at the ungodly hour of about 4.45 am, we took a day trip to Mount Buller, a famous ski resort about 3 hours drive from Melbourne City and spent a day in a white winter wonderland. Having been to Hokkaido in December, I must add that Mount Buller isn’t in quite the same league. Nonetheless, it was great to see Ethan’s face light up as he pelted us with snowballs .
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.
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.