A - Australia (A to Z Blogging Challenge April 2018)

Diwali 2007 was celebrated in the Land Down Under with 15 day trip covering most of the tourist destinations in Australia. Aboard Quantas airlines, the mother and daughter duo set out to explore another new destination to appease their wanderlust souls.

We started with Melbourne, a city rich in culture spanning major events and festivals, musicals, drama, music, art, architecture, literature, film and television. It is one of the most vibrant destinations in Australia given its climate, location along the waterfront and the bustling nightlife. It is also considered as one of the most liveable cities in the world and has held onto that title for many years now.

Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) - Melbourne

The city tour started of with St. Patricks Church, famous for it's beautiful stained glass. Then came the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the biggest cricket ground in the southern hemisphere which we toured from inside. The Fitzroy Garden and Captain Cook's Cottage is what we saw next. The history of Capt. Cook's cottage is quite interesting. The cottage was built in England and was auctioned to a business man in the 1930's. When he migrated to Australia, he had the cottage shipped from England to Melbourne. We got a glimpse of the entire CBD via a tram ride. We started the ride at the Parliament and rode for 55 minutes listening to the constant commentary about the sites around. An hours shopping at China Town was a refreshing break for all the ladies and that was followed up with a visit to the Shrine of Remembrance (War Memorial). The evening was well spent seeing the penguin parade at Philip Island a 2 and a hour hour drive from Melbourne city. The next day we drove through one of the finest coastal drives in the world, The Great Ocean Road. The scenic drive through the Port Campbell National Park led us to the 12 Apostles, London Arch, Loch Ard Gorge, The Gibson Steps and The Gotto.

Named after the Brisbane River, it is the capital of Queensland and one of the tourist attractions of Australia. It is famous for the Kangaroo Point where we fed and pet kangaroos, emus and Koalas. The city tour included the Town Hall and South Bank Waterfront.

City Hall - Brisbane

Gold Coast

The Glitter Strip (Gold Coast) with it's sunny subtropical climate, surfing beaches, high rise dominated skyline, theme parks, nightlife is one of the major tourist destinations. The city is known as "Australia's Hollywood" being central to the nation's entertainment industry. Our time at Gold Coast was spent at Warner Brothers Movie World, Currumbin Bird Sanctuary, Sea World and Surfer's Paradise.

Warner Bros World - Gold Coast
Sea World - Gold Coast
Currumbin Bird Sanctuary - Gold Coast
Currumbin Bird Sanctuary - Gold Coast

Cairns access to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the world, makes it a popular tourist destination. Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef is a wonder by itself. I consider myself fortunate to be given an opportunity to spend an hour scuba diving and being one with the nature below! An indescribable feeling other than divine gratitude! We also learned about the Australian history in form of the Tjapukai Dance Show, Boomerang Show. The sky rail cable car ride through the tropical wonderlands of Kuranda Rain Forest was another highlight of Cairns.

Tjupakai Dance Show - Cairns

Boomerang throwing - Cairns
Aborigine demonstrating the Didgeridoo - Cairns
Scuba Diving in the Great Barrier Reef - Cairns

Canberra was selected as Australia's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is entirely a planned city outside of any state, similar to Washington DC in the United States. Our city tour included The Embassy Road, New Parliament House, Mt. Ainslie, The War Memorial and The National Capital Exhibition.

New Parliament House - Canberra

Sydney, the harbour city remains the gateway to Australia for most international tourists. City slickers, culture vultures and beach bums all fall in love with Sydney. Bondi Beach, The GAP, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Macquarie's Point (one of the most scenic points in Sydney where you can photograph the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in one frame),
Kings Cross Station, Sydney Tower, Blue Mountains, Jenolan Caves, Market City, Paddy's Market are some of the famous tourist spots covered by us. Despite being one of the most expensive city to live in, Sydney has also been voted as on of the most liveable cities in the world and was by far the best one I liked.

Opera House - Sydney
Darling Harbour - Sydney
Darling Harbour - Sydney
View from the Great Ocean Road - Victoria
Twelve Apostles - Victoria 

Highlights of my trip to Australia :
  • Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef was undoubtedly the best part of the trip. It was one thing that I have crossed off my bucket list. 
  • Sydney, the city I fell in love with. With it's breathtaking harbour, multicultural facet, lip smacking coffee, Sydney is the city I would move to in a heartbeat.
  • Walking along Surfer's Paradise in Gold Coast and experiencing the laid back, chilled out Aussie lifestyle.

This post is an entry for the Letter A of the #AToZChallenge of 2018 organised by Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018. My theme for this challenge is Wanderlust.

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