Young NSW

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[Harvest from a cherry orchard]

Last year, on my Birthday, we drove to Young for the Cherry Picking Festival. We were so excited to get out of the city and four hours later, we found ourselves in the country town of Young. The town is renowned for its scenic countryside, vineyards, orchards, fascinating pioneering history and for being known as the Cherry Capital of Australia!

The cherry festival was in full swing. We witnessed all sorts of entertainment, from a pie eating competition to the streed parade. The farmers market had an abundance of fresh and tasty produce. We picked our own cherries at Ballinaclash Orchard, which was one of the highlights, and indulged on cherry pies!

On the second day, we had breakfast at Wilders Bakery and visited Lambing Flat Folk Museum. We drove back to Sydney via Orange, where we stopped for some wine tasting at De Salis Winery.

We came home feeling refreshed and with a feeling that there is so much more to explore in Australia in addition to the coastal towns and countless beaches.

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[Warm welcome to Young – Cherry Capital of Australia]

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[Cherry pie eating contest]

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[Cherry orchards at Ballinaclash]

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[Cherry treat from Allambie Orchard]

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[Parade on the streets of Young]

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[Peaceful setting at Allambie Orchard]

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[A must-visit bakery in Young, well-known for its award-winning cherry pie]

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[Last century’s cooking appliances at Lambing Flat Folk Museum]

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[Views from De Salis Winery, Orange NSW]

Port Stephens

Port Stephens[Magical sunrise at One Mile Beach]

Our trip to Port Stephens was fantastic! It’s nice to be reminded of how therapeutic it is to hang out by the water. We stayed at a lovely resort with great water views and walking distance to d’Albora Marinas. Saturday was fully dedicated to the triathlon which went great! The same night we went out for dinner to The Little Beach Boathouse (highly recommend) and indulged on fresh local oysters and seafood followed by a chocolate fondant. The next morning we went exploring some of the bays and beaches in the area. Shoal Bay was our favourite and so we’ve agreed to stay there the next time we are in Port Stephens. One of the highlights was quad biking on sand dunes – great fun! By the time we got home, it felt like we had just returned from vacation.

DSC_0068[Pelicans are just one of many wildlife species you’ll find in Port Stephens]
DSC_0073[The Little Beach Boathouse restaurant]
DSC_0109[Sunny Shoal Bay]
DSC_0115[Quirky gift shops at Shoal Bay]
DSC_0113[Stand Up Paddle boarding competition]
DSC_0105[The Lighthouse. A light was first exhibited from this point on Nelson Head on 1st April 1872. Prior to that time there was no guidance for marines entering the Port and numerous shipwrecks and loss of life occurred]
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IMG_4789[Sand Dune Adventures – a must do]
DSC_0059[Nelson Bay Marina]

Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island

I always look forward to recurring art events held in Sydney. The Biennale of Sydney is one of them. Every second year I catch a ferry to Cockatoo Island to explore the creativity of modern-day artists. My boyfriend, who previously swam around the island as part of the Balmain open water swim, had not had an opportunity to visit it before. I thought the Biennale would make our experience even better. Last Friday, we spent the day exploring the island, its history and contemporary art followed by a drink at The Island Bar.
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[‘I AM THE RIVER’ – video installation by Eva Koch]
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[‘Smoking, drinking garden’ – mixed media installation by Mikala Dwyer]
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[‘Ruins’ by Joseph Griffiths]
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New York: my top 10

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My stay in New York this year was very short but I tried to fit in as much as I could as this was my first time. The main goal was to get a feel of how it is like to live in New York and be a New Yorker. Here is my top 10:

1. Morning run in Central Park
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2. Bagel for Breakfast
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3. Walking over Brooklyn Bridge
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4. Top of the Rock
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5. Musical
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6. Cocktails in a Rooftop Bar
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7. Helicopter Ride over Manhattan
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8. Lights of Times Square
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9. Cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery
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10. Street vibe of Soho
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Bermuda: my top 10

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Bermuda is a self-governing British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean with the population of approximately 65,000 people and 53.5 sq.km. Bermuda consists of 138 islands with all the major islands aligned on a hook-shaped (or scorpion shaped) axis and connected together by road bridges. During our 2 week visit, we had an opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful places on the island. Here is my top 10:

1. Hire a scooter
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This is the best way to explore the island. Until the arrival of the US military during the second world war, cars were entirely banned from the island. Even now, only residents are permitted to own cars; visitors normally use public transport or hire a scooter.

2. Pink sand beaches
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Bermuda has the world’s best beaches. Horseshoe bay is a must but can be very crowded.

3. Crystal & Fantasy caves
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Crystal cave was discovered in 1905 when two young boys were attempting to retrieve a lost cricket ball. It is about 36 metres below the ground level and an absolute must see.

4. Lunch or dinner at Mickey’s, Elbow Beach
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5. Out on the boat / snorkelling
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6. Golf or mini-golf
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This is a fun way to spend the afternoon.

7. Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
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One of the oldest cast iron structures in the world. First lit on May 1st 1846. You can climb its 180 steps to the observation deck surrounding the lamp, which offers spectacular views of the island and the waters around.

8. Kayaking around Somerset and under the world’s smallest drawbridge
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9. Wednesday night markets in Hamilton
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In Bermuda, summer fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Each week locals and visitors enjoy vibrant, evening street festivals, taking advantage of the long summer days.

10. Visit Flatts Village
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It is one of the earliest settled areas in Bermuda. You can visit Bermuda Aquarium and scrub clean the shell of a turtle :).

On a rainy day – Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute
Here you will find all you need to know about the ocean and marine environment as well as learn about Bermuda Triangle, shipwreck treasures, shells, experience simulated shark cage and many more…