Top things to do in Sydney!

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It’s been a while since our trip to Sydney. Actually we did a few big trips in the meantime but first I want to share with you tips on what to do while in this amazing Australian city.

If you are planning a trip here are a few things you should put on your “to do” list!

Bondi to Coogee walk

Bondi Beach

It was a beautiful hot day at the famous Bondi Beach. Here we started Bondi to Coogee coastal walk – 6km of stunning views, cliffs, beaches and parks. It is definitely one of the must do things in Sydney

On the way to Coogee

Ferry ride to Watsons Bay and Cockatoo Island

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Watsons Bay

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You can take a ferry from Sydney CBD and get to Watsons Bay in less than half an hour. This place is famous for its fish and chips and as you can see it’s a great spot to enjoy the sunset… There are also a few walking trails with beautiful views so put your walking shoes on and go exploring.

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Cockatoo Island

Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the middle of Sydney Harbour. This place is a perfect spot for a day trip or you can extend your stay and spend a night in the camp. The island is a historic site open for public in 2007. In the past it was a convict gaol, industrial site and a shipbuilding yard. You can take an audio tour or explore the place on your own.

The Rocks food market

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My favourite part of Sydney is definitely the harbourside quarter The Rocks. If you want to do some shopping in cobblestone lanes, see an exhibition, taste great food or have a craft beer in one of the pubs this is the place to go. Markets are on from Friday to Sunday

Walk across the Harbour Bridge 

After your visit to The Rocks you should definitely go to the Harbour Bridge and walk across to the other side. There is a pedestrian footpath and you will get some of the best views of the Opera House for free. If you want to get even higher, for a fee you can climb to the pylon lookout.

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Sail around Sydney Harobour

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For a bit different view of the harbour hop on the beautiful old tall ship and get closer to the Sydney’s famous sites. We went on an afternoon cruise on our last day in the city and it was a perfect ending of our trip to Sydney!

For more photos and travel tips visit my Instagram profile here.

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New Caledonia: Isle of Pines

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There’s no better time to share with you the highlight of our trip around New Caledonia.

It’s a bit cold down here on the south of New Zealand at the moment so thinking about the Isle of Pines makes me feel a lot warmer. Oh, what a beautiful place!

You can get to the island by catamaran or by plane. We took a plane from Noumea and got there in less than 30 minutes. It was a short but nice flight across the lagoon, window seat is what you want.

If you want to go with the catamaran remember to book your ticket as soon as possible.

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Here are top things to do on the Isle of Pines.

Enjoy beautiful weather and be lazy at the white sand beach

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Kuto Beach

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Rent a scooter for a day

A perfect way to stroll around the island is on a scooter. We rented it for a day and it was enough to do a few rounds around the island.

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Taste fresh food

As soon as cruise ships arrive food stalls are at the Kuto Beach. From fresh juices to traditional dishes – this is where you can choose to taste something delicious.

Snails are specialty.

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Walk to the natural pool

The natural swimming pool is an enclosed lagoon located in Oro Bay on the northeast side of the island. Take your snorkeling gear with you.

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Wake up with this view

For us camping is the best way to experience beautiful mornings. There’s nothing better than waking up just a few steps from the sea…

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Trip to New Caledonia won’t be complete if you don’t visit at least one of the islands so make sure to include them in your travel plans. It will make your trip a bit more expensive but it’s definitely worth the money…

 

Bush walk: Long Hilly Walking Track

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Spending time in the bush is one of my favourite things to do around New Zealand.

What I like the most about these beautiful places are sounds of the birds twittering, murmur of the wind breaking through the tree crowns and the colours of this amazing nature touched with warm sun rays.

Last weekend we went for a stroll around the Long Hilly Walking Track. It’s a nice place and a short walk not far away from Invercargill and just a few minutes from Colac Bay.

We definitely didn’t walk fast and it took us around one hour to do the loop walk even though at the entrance to the bush it was written that it takes 2.15h.

This place once was the southern most and largest Chinese mining settlement. The gold was discovered in the area back in 1870s and still along the way you can see historic sites related to gold mining operations.

 

 

What’s your favourite place?

Spring.

It’s been almost a year and a half since we moved to the far south and I have definitely found my favourite place here.

I really enjoyed capturing how this beautiful Invercargill’s park changes with the seasons.

Queens Park is 81ha of stunning gardens in the city centre. You need a few hours to explore it and still everytime I go there for a walk I find something I didn’t see before.

Tree lined walkaways, bush paths, winter garden, bird aviary with colourful parrots, Japanese garden, museum and a cafe will keep you here for hours.

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Summer.

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Autumn.

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Winter.

 

New Caledonia: Hienghene Limestone Islets

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Beautiful scenery followed us all the way to Hienghene. It was so nice to drive along the east coast while realizing that landscapes are getting more and more different.

What I really liked along the way are people. Everyone is waving all the time while saying hello as you drive past them. Don’t forget to wave back.

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La Cascade de Tao.

To get to Hienghene you need to cross the Ouaième River by the barge. It takes just a few minutes to get to the other side and the ride is free but donation is always welcomed.  This is the only barge in New Caledonia so try to include it in your route.

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Heinghene is a small commune known for its fascinating limestone islets. Look at this view, it’s amazing!

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What would be the best way to explore this surroundings? With a kayak of course! We stayed at the Babou Cote Ocean camp and it is one more awesome place to put a tent! Again a relaxing spot just a few meters from the beach. Here you can book snorkelig and scuba diving tours as well as rent a kayak. We took a kayak for a few hours and enjoyed every second of it! Perfect way to experience the nature from a different perspective.

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If you don’t want to stay in a camp you can stay at the Koulnoue Village. We went there for a walk and to finish this perfect day with a ‘cheers’!

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Prices:

Babou Cote Ocean, camping site, NZD$20, (1400 XPF, two people a night)

Kayak, NZD$40, (3000 XPF, double kayak, half day)

New Caledonia: On the way to Poingam

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Our stops after Bourail were Kone, Koumac and Poum on the far north.

There are some great beaches along the way, perfect to stop and refresh a little bit whenever you want.

In Koumac we stayed at Gite du Lagun. I have to recommend this place. It is a perfect camping spot and the owner is great. Most of the tourists in New Caledonia are French so a lot of people don’t know a word of english here. The owner of this camp is from Greece and speaks great english. It was nice to finally meet someone who knows the region very well and who can give us a few tips about some of the spots around here.

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The view in the morning… So peaceful.

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Bananas for breakfast!

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Pandop marina, a few minutes from Koumac.

He told us about Caves of Koumac (only around 380 meters or so can be visited, you need a lamp) and Malabou beach, which were on our route.

This beach is stunning! White sand, palm trees all around and a small bar to enjoy the view. One of the best spots on the island.

Just, don’t come here to sunbath because a lot of huge mosquitoes are here to ruin the fun.

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Malabou Beach

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If you want to stay here you can rent a bungalow.

Far north is a bit deserted and there’s nothing much to do so we spent the rest of the day wandering around, not bad at all!

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Northernmost point of New Caledonia.

There are a few camping sites around here and we decided to stay at the Le Relais de Poingam. A dirt road leads to this place and it really was a bumpy ride.

The camping sites are located a few meters from a beautiful beach and it was a nice place to spend a night.  However, some of the facilities weren’t in a good condition.

Travelers like to visit this place because traditional dinner is organised for the guests every night. The restaurant looks great and three course meal is all about local produce.

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Great spot for a coffee or a beer at the camp.

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What I didn’t like about our trip around north region were mosquitoes. A bottle of repellent was enough just for two to three days. And, it didn’t really help! I think those annoying flies are already used to it. Don’t forget to bring some loose-fitting clothing, long sleeves and pants with the material not so close to your skin.

Prices

Gite du Lagun, tent site NZD28$ (2000 CFP, two people a night)

Le Relais de Poingam, tent site NZD$25 (1800 CFP, two people a night). Traditional dinner is organised for the guests every night. It is a three course meal for NZD$50 (3500 CFP).