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Monday, August 14, 2017

14D13N Self-Drive Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane (Part V)

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

TWENTY-NINTH OF MAY

We did a lot of walking and sight-seeing today. NOT ENOUGH TIME IN SYDNEY FOR SURE. Heh. Will be back next time. Hopefully for Hillsongs Conference! Hah.

Katoomba Scenic World

The right place to go if you want to see the beautiful Blue Mountains this is the address to include in the Google Maps. It will be slightly cheaper if you book through an app called Klook - You are most welcome! :)

It was so sunny yet so so cold. You've been warned. It wasn't even winter yet, so I cannot imagine this place being packed with humans when winter comes. Too cold and too windy, but syiok to the best.

Entrance fee: $39 (adult) // $21 (child)


Cinema Centre Carpark

This is not like a tourist place or what la, but I felt the need to share it with you guys. It was one of our struggle to find a decent car park place in Sydney City because we were told that it will cost a bomb, especially with two cars some more.

So, we were determined to park at the cheapest place we could find even if that means we need to walk a distance. We didn't mind walking because it was cold and we can see Sydney better like that.

We stopped our cars, and each of us googled really hard to find the best deal.

Then, someone from the group mentioned this place and we were like, "Hor ee lok!"

The worse part of the searching is that most of the rates are quoted hourly and they are usually double digits per hour. G.

We found this one giving flat rate of $13 throughout the night - till 5am next morning I think. What a deal right.

So glad we found this place.

So for those of you visiting Sydney and will be driving, this is the to-go place for you to park your car!

If you convert $13, it will be about RM40 already, and we have 2 cars.

Win.


We spent the rest of our evening walking in the city and to few places nearby.

Stephanie, if you are reading this, thank you so much for taking time to bring all of us around and be our tour-guide for the night. It was great hanging out with you!

Vivid Sydney was happening too when we were there so that was pretty nice to experience the lights and water-festival feel kind of thing.


Here are some of the places that we went. IT WAS THE COLDEST NIGHT EVER.

Sydney Harbour Bridge - tengok & ambil gambar je
Hurricane's Grill Darling Harbour - dinner was fabulous and expensive but fabulous
Sydney Opera House - tengok & ambil gambar je
Darling Harbour - night stroll


THIRTIETH OF MAY
Sydney to Moonee Beach

Today, we packed our luggage and move again. 

It will take us 10 hours of driving to reach Brisbane, so we booked a night of Airbnb at Moonee Beach (about 6 hours drive from Sydney). 

We started our journey as soon as the sun rises, because we wanted to stop at the ever famous Bondi Beach first. 

Maybe it was because it's already getting really cold (winter coming), there were so few people on the beach. If you google Bondi Beach, you will see photos of a beach packed with humans. 

Not when we were there though. We took our jackets out when we left the car, only to put on more layers after that because as sunny as it looked, it was cold like mad. 

So, that explains the empty beach we were looking at. 


Next, we head to the also famous must-visit Sydney Fish Market and get our daily-dose of salmon and seafood stuff.

I was telling Koay that if I didn't have the miscarriage and still carrying the baby, I would be crying already the moment we stepped into this market! The sight of orange-looking salmon and freshly peeled oysters were everywhere!

It's insane!


We met up with Nik, Syaza and their baby boy, Ezra at the market. We bought a few things (all the must-have) and went to a nearby garden and picnic-ed.

Under the hot sun FYI.

Wait. What hot sun?

It was bright but not hot. We probably had sunburns after that but it was one of the best picnic ever. I dream if more of this kind of picnic in the future pleaseeee.

We had (as you can see) fresh oysters, calamari rings, cheese baked lobster and the most amazing fresh salmon ($25). That was lunch and that was finger chopstick-licking good.

Thank you Nik and Syaza for coming all the way here to spend like 1-hour-plus with us. We loved spending time with friends when we visit their 'territory' because it feels really good to reconnect and all. Too bad we didn't have a lot of time to do so.


My family were sitting along the river outside the market, and apparently a seagull came and stole a piece of that glorious salmon fillet. Oh myyy.

Adrian Koay, I am drooling now as I typing this. How? Salmon buffet again?

Heh.

After Sydney Fish Market, we drove straight to Moonee Beach. By the time we reached the place, it was so dark already.


My man working hard to cover back the travel costs. Hah. But seriously, his job got no holiday one. Client calls means must answer, but at least he loves his job. So all is good.

There is a story about this Airbnb.

It's really long, so I'm going to summarize it the shortest I can okay.

Most of us did not have a good feeling about this house when we checked in (possibly because the neighborhood was so dark and had that eerie feeling), so we were all a bit spooked out.

There was a particular room on the front side of the house that gave my parents a funny feeling whenever they stepped in. My dad had goosebumps everytime he walked in.

We had a family prayer time because we felt strongly that something bad had previously happened in that house and it felt haunted.

If given a choice, we would have left the house and check into a nearby motel or something, but everything seemed closed by that time, so suck it up we shall. Heh.

I went to check on all the windows and realized that the windows were not locked, so I was afraid of murderers (watched too many horror films that's why).

We went to bed earlier than usual that night because we just wanted the time to pass and for the sun to come out. Heh. Adrian and Andrew brought the whole set of knives into our room just in case.

It was the eerie-est place to be.


THIRTY-FIRST OF MAY
Moonee Beach - Brisbane

When the sun came out, we came out from our room too. Heh.

It was as though we all didn't sleep through the night. I slept pretty well because I was sharing a single bed with my husband so I felt so safe. Hah.

We decided to explore the neighborhood in the morning because we knew that it was located very near to the Moonee Beach. It was but it's not that kind of beach where you can just strip to your bikinis and jump in.

We also realized that there is a trailer park just opposite our haunted Airbnb (behind another house), where people with motor-homes/caravan would stop to rest for a night. There were a lot of them that day actually so suddenly, I felt safe again.

Suddenly, the neighborhood is not that scary anymore.

But the house, the house is definitely haunted.


We had brunch at one of the towns on the way to Brissy. Loved the relax feel in that town. It felt as though we were in the movies where people just walk up to a cafe and order their latte.

Loved this kind of thing.

Then, there's this river opposite the cafe that has the nicest water. Not salty kind. If only we had more time, we would have jumped in and changed.


After 4 hours of stopping here and there, we finally arrived!

Hello Brisbane! Shaun had always been telling me to visit this place but not everyone so rich like him okay. Take aeroplane like take bus. Kidding okay don't kill me. Hah.

So, finally we are here!

We were already praying while on the way that this final Airbnb will be cozy and not haunted. Most important, not haunted. Heh.

The best part is arriving when the sun is up. Hah.


We loved the place okay! We loved the patio so much that we planned to have BBQ night with the crazy man but because every night so cold, we ended up bbq-ing the food outside and eat them inside, with socks on and stuff.

But seriously, the patio. So much win.


We waited for Shaun to come and then he brought us to his favorite place for steak. The best according to him so it's very highly recommended.

The place is called Norman Hotel. It isn't a hotel as per the name. It's just a name I think. There isn't like a hotel hotel in there.

The place looked very fancy and nice. Just the right kind of surroundings for our first day here at Brissy. Please book first before you go.

It's tagline is BRISBANE'S WORST VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT.

All meat lovers be like having their weekly gathering here. Heh.


Can you see lights shining from all their faces? Especially Kah Wei - he's like such a steak-person. He was drooling over the counters already.

So many different cuts to choose from.


After so many years of asking me to go over, I was finally there, with the entire Khoo clan. Heh.

Shaun and I have been friends since forever. Hah. Not forever la. Since when I was studying in St. Xavier's for my Form 6, so that's like over a decade already or something.

So glad we've remained good friends since. Actually, now my parents sort of adopted him as a son so err, I guess now we're siblings. Heh.

Miss you already.


After that satisfying meal, he brought us to Mt Coot-tha to see the whole of Brisbane like a typical tourist. Heh.

It was getting colder by the night and we cannot even last for 5 minutes in the open place. It was windy and it was cold and dark. If only we had more jackets with us that night, then we would have stayed there a while longer.


After that, we went to return the wicked-campervan and head back home to rest, and eat some more. Heh.

FIRST OF JUNE

ONE OF THE BEST SLEEP EVERRR.

We had white wine the night before and Korean spicy noodles. Ahhh, I missing those moments dei.

We woke up to the smell of breakfast and boy, so nice to enjoy that with the cooling weather. We all wanted to sit at the patio and enjoy the sunrise, but too cold cannot!

Typical Asian la I tell you. Want to enjoy cold weather all but when it's really cold, we all went back inside the house. Now pula want to start miss miss all.

G.


Shaun had something to do on that day, so we dropped him at his church and used his ferrari. Heh.

Since we did not really experience the must-touch-must-feed kangaroos yet, it was highly recommended to us that we visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

This is what I can tell you.

It is better than Melbourne Zoo. 100% better.


They have this open place where kangaroos can run hop freely. Humans can go in and feed them. That morning when we walked in, they were all just resting under the trees in a corner. We spent some time trying to get them out, because we are not allowed to go inside inside to their 'resting' place.

Maybe they don't like Chinese people, because they will not come out at all to us. When a few Mat Sallehs come, they hopped out.

With patience, eventually we managed to feed a few.


They have a lot of koalas! A lot of active koalas okay. So that was very exciting because we only saw sleeping and eating koalas from a distance when we were at the Philip's Island tour.

You can even carry them if you want but additional charges so no thanks. So expensive please.

We waited till the 'can-touch-the-koala-time' (free) then only lined up (was the first btw) to get a photo with them. Kiasu and kiamsiap Malaysians. Heh.


We managed to see most Australian animals there so now this OZ trip feels complete! Hah.

Since Shaun was still in church, he recommended us to this Goodness Gracious Cafe for brunch. One thing about food in Australia is that they all come in very big portion, so Koay and I always share. So, I guess that way we save money and not over-eat.

Heh.


We went to the DFO Brisbane (first round) to walk and see if we wanted to get any of the branded goods at a discounted price.

You bet we all left with something. Something in our head, and something on our hand. Heh.

As in some walked out already getting the things, and some of us (me) walked away empty handed because don't have my size!

But we told Shaun that we need to come back to this place so we went back and make a proper list of the must-buy at DFO Brisbane. Everything is really cheaper okay.

And there were more discounts the second time we went back - which was on the last day of our holiday, just before we head straight to the airport.

We also did grocery shopping because Shaun is gonna cook steak for us! Yassss.

He took Koay with him to the meat place and taught Muthu a few things about beef cuts and stuff. Koay now pro already. Heh.

Thank you Shaun for the steakkkk! There were fingers licking gooood! COme back and cook more please thank you! :)


My husband knows how to cook steak already so the next thing we need to do is to get a grill-er. Heh.

In all honesty, we both have really grown to like steak (a lot more now) because of Shaun Teng. So I don't know if we should thank you or not because pocket also want to lubang liau. Hah.


Family dinner like this :)



The last part of this trip is coming soon, and then it's done done. Hah. 

It's been too long since the winter trip.

Till then.

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