Travels

Monday, 8 April 2019

Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World




Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World
Whether you are an avid botanist, a nature-lover or simply cherish the peace and tranquility of beautiful gardens and rolling landscapes, a visit to Maleny Botanic Gardens & Bird World is the perfect day out.

Early morning we headed north to Woombye to catch up with friends Stuart and Kate at Hugga Mug Café. Hugga Mug was a cute & cosy little home away from home cafe. It's was full of colour, love and yummy breakfast. We then headed to Maleny Gardens and Bird World. Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World was an unforgettable experience. The 'Jewel' of Maleny.
We enjoyed the panorama of waterfalls, ponds and colourful plantings on three hectares of magnificent, privately owned gardens. Positioned high on the escarpment, uniquely landscaped layers, idyllic rainforest surroundings and the spectacular Glasshouse Mountains backdrop create a truly unique garden.





The Bird Aviaries are a haven for colourful birds from around the world. You get to interact and get "up close and personal" with birds from finches to macaws.  The four walk-through aviaries are home to over 700 native and exotic birds from around the world. Visitors can be part of a walk-through, interactive guided tour, where they will get up close and personal with the birds. The tours last approximately 50 minutes and the friendly and experienced birdkeepers introduce you to our wide variety of birds and provide you a fascinating education into what makes them truly unique. You can sit near the waterfalls, watch, listen and photograph birds as they alight upon you, and enjoy the awesome experience.





The newly-refurbished café is the perfect destination for morning coffee, an afternoon Devonshire Tea or a scenic lunch. They have a wide array of hot and cold beverages and an ever-changing selection of freshly-made sandwiches, pastries, dishes and snacks to suit everyone. Let the sights and the sound of running water enchant you and provide you with an experience that you will cherish for life.






Check out our Video:








Saturday, 2 March 2019

RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run 2019

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”


For 28 years, the International Women’s Day Fun Run has been held in Brisbane to bring the community together in support of women affected by breast cancer. The event unites the Queensland community and RACQ has supported International Women’s Day Fun Run for the last 10 years, working together with Mater to make a lasting difference in the lives of Queenslanders.

 “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”



 “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”



“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”

On Sunday the 3rd of March 2019, a sea of pink surged through South Bank and the Brisbane CBD. Runners and walkers enjoyed a picturesque 5km or 10km course whilst raising much needed funds for the Mater.

 “Whatever community organization, whether it’s a women’s organization, or fighting for racial justice … you will get satisfaction out of doing something to give back to the community that you never get in any other way.”



 “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”





Last year, RACQ members who participated in the fun run raised over $400,660. Kim enjoyed helping at the Rebel Pit Stop at Kangaroo Cliffs.


This year Kim helped at the finish Line cheering loudly everyone finishing. Kim was easy to spot because of her loud cow bell that rang loudly as competitors finished. The Pink Cheer Squad was an integral to the success of the RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run. Kim was located on course and had the opportunity to see and cheer on all of our wonderful participants. This role involved directing and encouraging participants, monitoring the course for accidents and assisting spectators to cross the course safely in appropriate locations. Volunteers play an important part in the success of RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run, without volunteers an event like this would not be possible. Event organizers and competitors are so grateful for all volunteers who offer their time and efforts for an event that supports such a great cause.






Saturday, 16 February 2019

NORWEGIAN JEWEL NEW ZEALAND CRUISE – DUSKY SOUND – DOUBTFUL SOUND – MILFORD SOUND

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

NORWEGIAN JEWEL NEW ZEALAND CRUISE – DUSKY SOUND – DOUBTFUL SOUND – MILFORD SOUND

Our first sight of Dusky Sound was so magical and we were out on deck in the mist to view this beautiful area of our world. One of the most complex fjords on New Zealand’s southern coast, Dusky Sound is a place of serene beauty, accessible today only by sea or air. Dusky Sound is a fjord on the south west corner of New Zealand, in Fiordland National Park. It is also one of the largest, 40 kilometres in length and eight kilometres wide at its widest point. To the north of its mouth is the large Resolution Island, whose Five Fingers Peninsula shelters the mouth of the sound from the northwest. Along the east coast of the island, Acheron passage connects Dusky Sound with Breaksea Sound, to the north. Several large islands lie in the sound, notably Anchor Island, Long Island, and Cooper Island. Sightseeing highlights include the hundreds of waterfalls cascading into the sound during the rainy season, seals and dolphins




After leaving Dusky we headed into Doubtful. New Zealand's deepest and second-longest sound, Doubtful Sound is a fiord home to spectacular waterfalls, wildlife and otherworldly landscapes. It's often called the 'Sound of Silence' due to its serenity and the fact that it remains so untouched by the modern world. Exploring Doubtful Sound means adventuring into pure, untouched New Zealand wilderness. Doubtful Sound is a haven for the unique flora and fauna that call this place home. Visitors are never left wanting for a more vibrant spectacle with untouched forests that sprawl from mountain top to sea level and rare marine and birdlife that abound. Playful Bottlenose Dolphins frequently dance the bow wake of boats and New Zealand Fur Seals bask on the rocks along the shoreline. Rare Fiordland Crested Penguins are also a special sight here.



Known for its pristine beauty and wildlife, Doubtful Sound is the second largest of the 14 fiords in Fiordland National Park and is three times longer and 10 times larger than Milford Sound. It is home to bottle-nose dolphins and fur seals – both of which are often seen. In season, you may also catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin.

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
In Maori legend, this colossal fjord was created by the godly figure Tu Te Raki Whanoa. Four young sea gods assisted him by carving the fiord’s long, sheltered arms. Today, Doubtful Sound remains an unspoiled wilderness of many moods; one minute clear blue and sun-drenched, the next mysterious and mist-cloaked.


Milford Sound is by far the best known of all of the fiords and the only one that can be accessed by road. Wet or fine, Milford Sound is incredibly grand. Mitre Peak magnetises photographers, and the fiord’s sheer cliffs excite both admiration and apprehension. Visitors to Milford Sound will not be disappointed - it is truly spectacular, with scenery that has remained unchanged throughout the ages. There is no denying that Milford Sound should make it onto your New Zealand itinerary. Although at times it can be overrun with tourists, it's obvious to see why. The views over this spectacular Fjord are unique and breathtaking.

As far as the commercialization goes, you still won't find phone reception, tourist shops or Mcdonalds here. I honestly hope it will stay that way.

Check out the Highlights:



Highlights

Lady Bowen Falls. This is the tallest waterfall in Milford Sound, measuring 162 metres or 531 feet. Named after the wife of one of New Zealand’s first governors, the Lady Bowen Falls are not only beautiful, but useful too. These falls are the sole provider of electricity and water for the people and businesses based in Milford Sound.

Fairy Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Just some of the magnificent permanent waterfalls on display in Milford Sound. When it rains, of course, even more are created.

Sinbad Gully Opposite the wharf in Milford Sound you’ll see this perfectly U-shaped valley, formed by the slopes of the surrounding mountains (including Mitre Peak). It was within this remote valley that the rare native kakapo bird was discovered in the 1970s, after scientists thought it had become extinct.

Stirling Falls. Another of the most famous waterfalls in Milford Sound, Stirling Falls drops 146 metres or 479 feet from a valley between two imposing mountains.
            
Highlights: The Lion. Its official name is Mt Kimberley, but you’ll soon see why this mountain peak has gained its animal nickname.   
        
Mitre Peak. The most iconic sight of Milford Sound, Mitre Peak rises 1,692 metres (5,555 feet) directly from the sea floor. Its name comes from the distinctive shape of its summit, like a bishop’s mitre or hat. The shape is actually created by five peaks all together.

Seal Rock. While Milford Sound is regularly visited by wildlife, most of its coastline is made up of sheer vertical cliffs. Seal Rock is one exception, a large rock that the native New Zealand fur seals who live in Milford Sound can clamber upon to rest and bask in the sun.    

“And the purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Friday, 15 February 2019

NORWEGIAN JEWEL NEW ZEALAND CRUISE – SIXTH PORT DUNEDIN.

“Instead of wandering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

NORWEGIAN JEWEL NEW ZEALAND CRUISE – SIXTH PORT DUNEDIN.

Tip: Visit the Royal Albatross Centre at Taiaroa Head. It's the site of the only mainland breeding colony of Royal Albatross in the world.
Our holiday has been running very smoothly, been well organised and we very much liked meeting new travelling companions.  Again calms sea, we woke to little Port Chalmers, which was only 13km from central Dunedin but it feels a world away. Somewhere between working class and bohemian, Port Chalmers has a history as a port town but has long attracted Dunedin’s arty types. The main drag, George St, is home to a handful of cafes, design stores and galleries, perfect for a half days’ worth of wandering, browsing and sipping away from the city crush.



Dunedin's Otago Peninsula is renowned for hosting the world's only mainland breeding colony of northern royal albatross and various other unique species. Dunedin is also regarded as New Zealand's architectural heritage capital. The foundations of New Zealand's richest architectural heritage were built on the gold rushes of the 1860s, and today Victorian and Edwardian buildings can still be seen at every turn. The grandeur and rich heritage of Dunedin's historic homes is something to be experienced. The Octagon, with its many bars and cafés, is a well-known meeting place in the city centre. Well known for its artistic flair, Dunedin is also the place to check out the local art and fashion scene.


When disembarking in Port Chalmers while on a cruise ship holiday you will quickly discover Dunedin and it surrounds have a wide range of activities and attractions on offer for cruise ship passengers.  Dunedin shore excursions range from unique wildlife encounters and heritage sightseeing opportunities through to adrenaline pumping thrill rides.

“The most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”

We made the most of our time on a half-day "Highlights" small group, personal tour. We learnt about Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula with our own guide, including entry to the grounds of historic Larnach Castle.


We enjoyed the small group experience better than the big bus in Wellington, as we were shown the best of what Dunedin has to offer. Our first stop was a look around Otago University, New Zealand’s oldest university. Founded in 1871 with just 3 professors, it is now home to over 20,000 students. 

 Tip: Catch the Taieri Gorge Railway for a 4-hour excursion around the region. The train departs from the historic Dunedin Railway Station.



Next on the agenda was a look at Dunedin Railway Station. A photogenic architectural gem that is one of Dunedin’s ‘must-do’s’, still performs its original function and houses new ventures, such as the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. 

 Tip: Wander through Larnach Castle, New Zealand's only castle. It perches on a hill overlooking the magnificent Otago Harbour.






We then went down the road to the museum for a quick look before heading to the grounds Larnach Castle, New Zealand’s only castle. Spread across 7 acres, the gardens are classified as a ‘Garden of International Significance’. We paid the small upgrade fee of $15.50nzd to enter the castle itself, and learn the interesting history of this stately home. Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle is one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions. Lovingly restored by the Barker Family, the Castle and surrounding grounds are at the heart of the Dunedin visitor experience. We didn’t go inside, but had a lovely lunch in the ballroom. Set in the beautiful grounds of Larnach Castle, the Ballroom Café offers the perfect option to sit and take stock of the historic surrounds that Larnach Castle offers. 








Our guide then promptly delivered us to the Jacobean-styled, Olveston House. Built in 1907 by famed architect, Sir Ernest George on behalf of wealthy merchant, David Theomin, the grand structure was equipped with all the bells and whistles. A 'must visit' for lovers of art, heritage and history, Olveston is lavishly furnished with exotic artifacts, prized artworks, antique furniture, ceramics and statues Mr Theomin collected from around the world. The house was gifted to the people of Dunedin in 1966, fully furnished with the original contents, Olveston is a time capsule as little has changed inside the house since it was occupied as a family home.  





Tip: The cruise ship doesn’t organize the transport from the port to town. There is plenty to see and do in Dunedin. There isn't really a downtown due to the size of the place, it's all just town!

Lastly we headed to “The World’s Steepest Street”, Baldwin Street. If we were feeling fit we could see how far up we could walk. Some Scenic vistas of Otago Harbour as we traverse some of the scenic roads on Otago Peninsula with amazing views over Dunedin city (and beyond) from the Signal Hill lookout, and back for a walk around Port Chalmers before getting back on the boat.  The tour guide commentated from start to finish, and was funny and a joy.




Tip: Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel – For perhaps the best seafood dinner you’ve ever experienced, be sure to head to Carey’s Bay Historic Hotel in Port Chalmers (where the ships usually dock) and order the Seafood Platter. The Seafood Chowder is a close second.

Tip: Olveston House - Opened in 1967 as a museum, Olveston House is a time capsule as little has changed inside the home since it was occupied by the Olveston family between, 1906 - 1966. Fine art, furniture and artefacts from all around the world are on display depicting the life of a wealthy merchant family from the early twentieth century.

Tip: Otago Museum - A favourite with families, Otago Museum is very interactive and particularly good if you are travelling with kids. Engaging and hands on, you’ll learn about everything from Pacific cultures to maritime to animals to people of the world. Entry is free.

Tip: Emerson’s Brewery - If all you’re discovering has worked up a thirst, how about a visit to Emerson’s Brewery? For lovers of craft beer, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the brew process from the malt room, to the fermentation, bottling and, of course, tasting.

Tip: Otago Peninsula - To really see the wildlife, we recommend taking a tour on the Otago Peninsula. Fur Seals, Little Blue Penguins, Cormorants and Yellow Eyed Penguins all call this area home. You may also be lucky enough to see Sea Lions, Leopard Seals, White Faced Herons, Black Back Gulls and Oyster Catchers.


Dunedin Street Art Trail - If you only have a spare couple of hours in Dunedin, perhaps pop on your good walking shoes and take in the Walking Tour from the city centre. Dunedin has over 30 amazing murals and artworks by local and international artists throughout the city. The self-guided walk takes around 90 minutes to complete and you can pick up a map at Dunedin’s i-Site Visitor Centre.

Check Out Dunedin:



Day 9 Entertainment.

Showtime: Jonny Balance
Johnny Balance is a comedy magician that left everyone in stitches and wanting more. His act is very interactive and makes everyone a star. Great night out.

Tango Dance Class
Cruise staff Patricia untangle the Tango and makes the most passionate Latin styles accessible.

New Orleans Mardi Gras with Showband.
Soak up the sounds of the Big Easy as the Jewel Showband create their own Mardi Gras

Australia Day Rock Party With Prism
Celebrate what it means to be an Aussie as Prism kicks into a very special Australia Day Party.




No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.

We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls

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Tony And Kim are Travelers, Adventurers, and Bloggers from Brisbane. Tony & Kim + Shari Outdoor Adventures has something for everyone to enjoy including what adventures you can have in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and Overseas. One thing’s for sure: once you start browsing our blog, you’ll be booking annual leave before you can say “bucket and spade”. While we don’t identify ourselves as writers, We've always been travelers. From a young age, we both were given the opportunity to travel and spend countless hours on family road trips & vacations to what seemed, at the time, distant places.We got our first taste of traveling as a couple in Palm Cove, Queensland on our Honeymoon and learned about each others same passion.We are not writers, so why blog? It’s a commitment to ourselves that holds us accountable. It’s the home for our Adventure Stories. We want this blog to inspire you, to inform you and to add fuel to your Wanderlust. We hope you’ll join us on this adventure!