Australia

we went to ‘the show’

Posted on

When Easter comes round, so does the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Fondly termed simply as ‘The Show’, this is an event spanning 14 days showcasing the BEST of Australia’s agriculture, arts and crafts and food and wine.

IMG_0063

Located at the Sydney Showground (in the vicinity of where most of the 2000 Sydney Olympics were hosted), almost 1 million people annually visit the show. It is a tradition 🙂 There really is something for everyone at the show.

It has been at least 4-5 years since we’ve been ourselves and 2015, we felt was a year to pay it another visit.

When we go, we love looking at all the exhibits and animals. There are competition winners everywhere; #1 rooster, #1 llama, #1 cow, best drawing, best tapestry… even the biggest and heaviest pumpkin.

An opportunity for everyone to showcase their skills in raising and grooming an animal/vegetable/plant.
IMG_0074 IMG_0089 IMG_0086

But it’s not all about the agriculture, those who have a flair in the arts and crafts get their chance to shine too.

IMG_0081 IMG_0083

For youngsters, there are petting zoos, animal nurseries, carnival games and rides – and don’t forget the show-bags. We remember buying those as kids and  now we can see they’re predominantly filled with junk & junk food (occasionally there is a goodie in there).

IMG_0094

A few of our favourites at the show….

  • the District Exhibit which is a display made up of fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses and wool from five different agriculture regions. This year the display commemorates the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC Gallipoli landing during WWI. It was very impressive as it is every year.

IMG_0092 IMG_0093

  • the Woodchopping challenge where people of all ages race against one another to chop through blocks of wood. With woodchips flying everywhere and axes being wielded around, it does stir up excitement for us when we were kids and even now as adults.

IMG_0075

And needless to say, with a show like this, there is the typical fair food (all healthy of course) – with the choice of hot dogs, turkey legs, corn on the cob, fairy floss (aka cotton candy), hot chips plus more.

IMG_0065

Actually the last time we went to the show, we bought a bucket of fairy floss and since that day, we have NEVER touched fairy floss again.

IMG_0070

But no fair/fete/carnival/show is complete for us without our buttered corn on the cob!

IMG_0096

We were battered with rain that day but we didn’t let that dampen our spirits. We made sure we visited all the pavilions/displays and even had a go with the carnival games.

And to be honest, we’ve had our fix for now. Maybe 2020 will see us pay ‘The Show’ another visit.

Do you have an annual event in your home city that you enjoy attending?

Share it with us here

 

the top 5 that did not disappoint

Posted on

So we’ve written a post about the top 5 places that underwhelmed us, then we wrote about the top 5 unexpected places and now is our top 5 that was everything plus more than we expected. We should also qualify that we have had lots of “overwhelming” moments on our travel but we narrowed it down to our top 5 for this post – which wasn’t easy.

5. Galapagos Islands

IMG_5581

The place where Charles Darwin came up with his evolution theory.

The place where there is abundance and diversity.

The place where animals and humans can swim together and walk together.

The place we would recommend to everyone in a heartbeat!

4. Uluru

IMG_8901

In the centre of our home country lies the monolith that is ever so famous. It wasn’t only seeing Uluru itself that made this the most jaw-dropping memory we have in Australia, but it was the entire experience itself; seeing Uluru during the day, seeing Uluru changing colours, watching the sunset, being under the stars in the red centre, understanding more about the Indigenous Australian culture and beliefs.

We published a photo essay recently on Uluru if you want to see more photos.

3. Yellowstone National Park 

IMG_0507

Being the first National Park in the world and with 9000 square kilometres to explore, one cannot really not pass up the opportunity to visit here. We visited in October and we had snow – lots of it. And it only made the scenery so romantically magical.

We were able to catch glimpses of different wildlife, we visited Ol’ Faithful Geyser and we were mesmerised by the sweeping landscapes and colours.

This is one of the first places we ever visited that as soon as we left, we said, “We’re coming back here again!”

2. Lake Titicaca

IMG_4468

Floating reed islands? The minute we heard about these many years ago, we knew we had to visit it one day. And when we finally did, we fell in love. It didn’t matter that we were 3000+ metres above sea level and that every few steps we felt out of breath. Because as we stepped on the reeds and realised that we were actually walking on a floating island, the moment was ingrained in our memories forever. Looking around us, we saw the local residents waving to us in their colourful sweaters – welcoming us to their home. On this planet, there are plenty of unique places to see and this is one of them.

1. The Hanging Monastery

IMG_7119

In the side of the cliff, 50 metres above the ground, there stands the monastery/temple that conjures up images of ancient China immediately.

This is the first place that we have visited in the world that brought tears to our eyes. We were so overwhelmed with emotion, peering upwards at it that we did pinch ourselves to see that we were really awake. Then walking through it was another thing altogether – held by what look like only wooden logs – we prayed that it was still architecturally sound. We held our breath when we saw it and we held our breath when we walked through it.

There you have it – our TOP 5 places that met and exceeded our expectations. Any surprises?

There were a few others that were close contenders such as Machu Picchu, Neuschwanstein Castle, Carcassonne, New York City…… plus many more!

Where have you been that you had high expectations of and it delivered? 

Leave us a comment.

a photo essay of uluru

Posted on

Once commonly known as Ayers Rock it is now better known by its indigenous name of Uluru.

Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians.

This magnificent monolith that is located in the Australia Red Centre is 340 metres high and has a circumference of about 9.4 km.  Made from hard red sandstone, it doesn’t stay red all the time – Uluru changes colour during sunrise and sunset and is a sight certainly worth witnessing. It is at its brightest red in the middle of the day.

IMG_1411 IMG_8812 IMG_8901 IMG_8917 IMG_8920

We were fortunate to walk around part of the base of Uluru and looking up, is really something. An experience we will never forget. It still gives us goosebumps thinking about our time here as it really was so extraordinary and magical.

IMG_8923 IMG_1418 IMG_1417 IMG_1425 IMG_1427 IMG_1432 IMG_8935 IMG_8944 IMG_8958

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was listed as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1987.

To see the other UNESCO sites we have visited, visit our unofficial bucket list

Hope you enjoy our photo essay of Uluru 🙂

Have you visited Uluru? Or is it on your bucket list?

We welcome your comments here.

australia day – what will you be doing?

Posted on Updated on

Another long weekend is approaching us here in Australia. January 26 marks our official national day – what we call Australia Day. It is the anniversary of when the First Fleet landed in 1788 and it was only in 1994, that we consistently celebrated it as a national public holiday.

So what are we really celebrating?

The Australia Day Council explains it as:

On Australia Day we come together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian. 

And around the country, Australians spend the day attending community events, watching the cricket (if it happens to be on) or playing backyard cricket, having BBQs, going to concerts, splashing around in the pool or the beach, water sports and sailing…. etc the list goes on! Then to top off the cracking day, there are always some fireworks!

RW15_eBay_AussieDay_vCOLOR_v4

But there is no right or wrong way to spend the day.

Regardless of what everyone is doing, there is likely to be food involved:

IMG_3912

  1. what Aussies fondly term “a sausage sizzle”: which are sausages cooked on the BBQ, then served with a bread roll, topped with barbecued onion. Sauces are optional.
  2. if not a sausage sizzle, then a BBQ of some sort.
  3. a picnic.
  4. a lamb roast, a leg of lamb or lamb cutlets… don’t forget the mint sauce: weeks leading up to Australia Day, we have regular TV advertisements for lamb.
  5. an ice-cold beer.
  6. at the community events, there is bound to be food trucks of all cuisines. There’ll be gozlemes, dumplings, hot chips, kebabs plus plenty of other choices.
  7. something entirely different because what’s traditional?!

And that is the beauty of being Australian. We are all different and we respect diversity. 

  • We might not all say G’day but a helluva lot of us say, “How ya going?” or “No worries.”
  • We might not all wear cork hats but we certainly love our “thongs” (for our American friends – they are what you call flipflops)
  • We might not all love cricket but there’s plenty of sports for us to choose from.
  • We might not all drink beer but we use beer to batter our fish.

IMG_3861 IMG_3220 IMG_0219

 

 

 

But Australia Day isn’t just about sports and food, there is a serious side.

On this day, Australians with outstanding achievements are acknowledged. There are 4 categories: Australian of the Year, Senior Australian of the Year (60 years and over), Young Australian of the Year (16 to 30 years) and Australia’s Local Hero. To read more, visit the Australian of the Year Awards website.

Also on this day, citizenship ceremonies are hosted around the country. Those whose application have been approved, make their Pledge of Commitment at these ceremonies  then become Australian citizens.

The Australia Day Council say:

Though 26 January marks this specific event [the landing of the First Fleet], today Australia Day celebrations reflect contemporary Australia: our diverse society and landscape, our remarkable achievements and our bright future. It also is an opportunity to reflect on our nation’s history, and to consider how we can make Australia an even better place in future.

If you are in Australia, what are you doing on January 26? 

Or tell us about your National Day and what you do. 

Tell us how you celebrate.

This was a sponsored post researched and written by Wise Monkeys Abroad for eBay Australia