Before I was able to see the Tolmer Falls, we were required to walk less than a kilometer distance to reach the viewing platform. It’s one of the amazing falls to enjoy within the Tabletop Range in Litchfield National Park. At the viewing deck, there will be added bonus as there is lowland country scenery to appreciate as well. These photos are part of Litchfield National Park Tour Photo Collection September 2016.
One of the itinerary in the first day tour in Tasmania was having lunch near the Australia’s deepest fresh water lake which is Lake St Clair. When I saw the lake, it was truly a peaceful lake, a relaxing scenery to enjoy. These photos are part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.
Chromatic Outlook (Post#33) : Canberra’s Parliament House
The first stop we did after we reached Canberra was the current Parliament House located at the south apex of Capital Hill in Australian Capital Territory. The building was opened last May 1988 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.
Discovery (Post#14) : Canberra’s Parliament House – Flag Mast
During the Parliament House Tour in Canberra, we had a chance to see its huge flag mast stand at the roof top of the building. It’s 81-metre high flag mast, one of the world’s largest stainless steel structures. This photo is part of Canberra Day Tour June 2013 Collection.
The flag flown from the 81 meters (266 feet) flagpole is 12.8 by 6.4 m (42 by 21 ft), about the size of half a tennis court. The flagpole weighs 250 tonnes and is made of polished stainless steel from Wollongong. It was designed to be the pinnacle of Parliament House and is an easily recognizable symbol of national government. It is visible by day from outside and inside Parliament House and floodlit at night. The flag itself weighs approximately 15 kg (33 lb). – Wikipedia
Before I had been assigned to a project work in Australia, I thought that Sydney was the capital city of Australia. My colleague at work actually asked me, “Do you know what’s the capital city of Australia?” And I replied to him “It’s Sydney right?” and then he responded me “No”, then I answered him again, “Don’t tell me it’s Melbourne”, then he responded to me again with “No”. And I paused in a while to think, but honestly I was surprised because I was wrong all a long. Then my colleague smiled at me and he said “It’s Canberra”. Well, I never heard the name of the city. I am not familiar with the name. With that conversation with him, I learned something, I was wrong in thinking that Sydney is the capital of Australia.
I lived in Melbourne for quite a long time that gave me a chance to see not only the city but major cities or almost the whole country. With a 4-years temporary permanent residence visa which eligible to work in Australia, in that 4 years I came back to Australia for 5 times and live there for more than 1.5 years, gave me a lot of opportunities to see the huge continent country like Australia.
Like other cities that not so popular to tourists, Canberra receives perception that it’s not like Sydney and Melbourne. I met few people who shares with same sentiments when I asked them about the city. I always received a comment that there is nothing to see there.
But because I planned to see Australia as a whole, Canberra was already in my list. Why? Its’ where the White House of Australia can be found. I was also intrigue how the city was created. It’s one of the city that I learned to be a planned city. Canberra has been created to resolve the conflict between two major cities of Australia, the rivals between Sydney and Melbourne for being the capital city of the country. Unlike Canberra, the two cities has been discovered and settlement arose where huge city has been born. Canberra is the same, but because it is located at the inland, unlike most cities in Australia that has been born at edges of the country, its location is somewhat not strategic to become a big city. And Australia decided to place in that city the national government offices of the country.
Looking back with the reason how the city was developed, Australia decided a very expensive decision just to address the competition between Sydney and Melbourne. I got a chance to see and visit the two cities and even myself will not immediately favor one city over the other and say which specific city deserved to be the Capital City of Australia.
Another reason why I decided to join a tour in Canberra is to find out why most people say there is nothing to see in Canberra. I wanted to defy that perception and see it for myself.
If you had read some of my posts, you know that I used weekend as opportunity to travel. This is one of my quick travel to Sydney wherein I just passed the airport and stayed in the hostel in the city. I booked my flight from Melbourne to Sydney via Virgin Australia and when I returned to Melbourne I booked my flight via Jetstar. The flight is customized to leave Melbourne late Friday night and leave Sydney early Sunday morning. I had my hostel accommodation in Sydney Central YHA for 2 nights and booked a day tour from Sydney to Canberra through colourfultrips.com. The tour was 13 hours, it was long due to travel time needed between two cities. The tour happened last Saturday of June 2013.
I woke-up early in the morning and prepared early for the tour. The tour picked me up in the hostel. That day, the weather was quite gloomy and it had pouring rain before we left Sydney. We traveled to Canberra for around 3 hours. Before reaching the center of Canberra City, I had a chance to see it from a distance. The city is in inner land which technically in New South Wales but became a territory.
Canberra is located in a pretty flat place which partially surrounded by nature reserves in the south. Well if you are adventurous, flat place can be a disadvantage. In my personal preference, it’s interesting if a place can offer us a lot of things to do right? But for me, seeing another place is already an interesting to do. It’s not just to show that I’d been in that place but the feeling or experience to be in that place. I am always like this in every places that I had a chance to visit.
Canberra is a quiet city. During the tour I learned that because national governments offices has been placed in the city, most people live around the city are employees who work in government. The city is also the location of national embassies of different countries including mine. The impression the city left on me was, it’s a refreshing city and a balance one.
So you are wondering what’s so special with Canberra? For me like mountains, where every mountain has its own identity, each city has its own as well. Canberra is called a Bush Capital of Australia. And it’s has reason for it. This is a city that is surrounded by forests, farmlands and nature reserves. The city may not have Opera House of Sydney and it may not have Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) of Melbourne but Canberra has something to offer on its own too.
Some places to enjoy in this so-called Australian Capital Territory are:
Though I had seen Sydney Harbour before, it still refreshing to witness it from dusk to nighttime. My first night in my last trip in Sydney was spent to walk around Opera House, Circular Quay and The Rocks after doing the Queen Victoria Building tour.
I came from Circular Quay Station and walked towards Sydney Opera House. As expected, the vicinity area has its regular visitors from different parts of the world since the place is a top destination to see while in Sydney and while in Australia.
I reached surroundings of Opera House at sunset, so the settings of the building is different from the last time I saw it last 2013. Sunset was actually a great time as it gave me a chance to have two different and consecutive time of the day to be able to take pictures of the area, one was with fading sunlight and one was at nighttime. Because of this, I got a chance to see Opera House and its location in two different outlook. The walk also gave me a chance to experiment night photography (and to be honest I’m not really good at it, just a rookie).
While I was in Sydney Opera House area, I captured photos of Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. When I walked towards “The Rocks” area, I was able to see Sydney Opera House from a far.
Here are the photos that I produced during that walk.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Up Close and Personal with Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House
Next day, after my walking tour from Bondi to Coogee, the next plan was to see Manly Beach. I knew I’m running out of time and I hoped that I still able to see the famous beach but its getting dark. Though I have limited time to spare, I still grab my chance to visit Manly Beach.
Sydney Opera House
And that being said, the second night was spent a bit in the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly Beach and vice versa. I hopped-on in a regular ferry that goes between Circular Quay and Manly Wharf. When I reached Manly, I crossed a road and walked straight to “The Corso” – a street of outdoor markets and mall street before reaching the beach itself. But since it’s night, some stores are already closed. I move forward towards the beach, since its already dark, I haven’t seen much of Manly Beach. I had seen some portion of the shore, the ocean and the nearby buildings in surrounding areas.
After sometime in Manly, I decided to go back since the next schedule of the ferry to Circular Quay was approaching. While in the ferry, the same night gave me a chance to see Sydney CBD at nighttime from a distance and I had been able to witness how Sydney is magnificent at dark hours.
After getting off Manly Wharf, I walked along The Corso, the main street of markets or street mall not far from wharf and looks to be a busy street when its day time. It’s like a lane ways of outdoor markets too where most people passed before reaching Manly Beach. The photo is part of Sydney Walking Tour April 2014 collection.
Interior (Post#8) : The Dome (333 Collins Street, Melbourne)
I took these photo after joining my team in a lunch where I had a chance to pass the walkway at The Dome. I can’t stop my admiration and I took photos while walking and I was glad it’s still clear. Snapshots are part of my Random Photo Collection of Melbourne.
The building was built during Depression and the tallest building in Melbourne in 1932. First building in Victoria state to have escalators and featured the largest diesel generator of its time in Australia to power three high-speed lift. It was also one of the first Victorian buildings with automatic cooling and rubbish and postal chutes on every floor.
Walking in Melbourne was really entertaining. Everyone will find something interesting and others will witness cool musicians and artists along the streets. During Open House Melbourne event, I got my curiosity when some people flock at one point and I checked it out. Below is the snapshot that I got. How amazing these people act as if they have chairs on their butt? This photo is part of my Open House Melbourne Collection 2013.
Because of its interior design, I can understand why people loves to stroll inside this arcade. I myself can’t stop to be amaze when I was walking here. I had previous post of the arcade where can be found >>> here <<< where photos captured at night from one of my walking adventure in the city . This photo was part of The Block Arcade Photo Collection July 2013 during Open House Melbourne event.
Chromatic Outlook (Post#32) – Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Exhibition Space
One of the thing that I discovered in this building is it offers space at a low-cost for women and women’s organization to exhibit and sell their work which is really an admirable objective. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.
Structure (Post#10) : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
The building itself survive over a century and has been part of colourful history of Melbourne Hospital now The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital. Supposed to be for demolition but because of women’s organization, this historical building still survive. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.
Chromatic Outlook (Post#31) : Queen Victoria Women’s Centre – Original Hospital Ward
During Open House Melbourne event, part of the building that were open to public is the original hospital ward (Victoria Room) and balcony on level 4. Victoria Room still have its large heritage windows, currently being used for events, lectures and performances. Here are some snapshots in the ward. The snapshots are part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.
View At My Window (Post#23) : State Library of Victoria Dome
From the rooftop of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, the famous State Library of Victoria is visible. Such grand roof of the building means one thing, how important the building is at the time its being built. I had a chance to visit the building and had a glimpse some part of it, please check my post here for the said building. The snapshot is part of Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Photo Collection last July 2013.
After visiting Council House 2 or CH2, the next building that I visited was Melbourne Town Hall. It was one of the biggest building that I had visited during the Open House Melbourne event last July 2013 and it was one of the building that I enjoyed because I had a chance to see what’s inside of it. I used to pass the town hall every time I traveled back and forth along Swanston Street before but only during the event that I had a chance to see it up close.
Melbourne Town Hall – A Majestic Building with Politics and Culture Fusion
Melbourne Town Hall
When I entered the building from Swanston Street, the hallway immediately impressed me. I felt that I stepped back in time because all the things that I saw were scenery from modern 18th century time. From the carpet that I walked-in, to the artifacts displayed between walls, to its lightnings and ceilings and to its doors that I passed to see a specific room. I just a hallway but I really enjoyed it.
Interesting things that I saw here was the caption of one of the keys being displayed along the hallway, the capital city of my country which is Manila. Below was snapshot, a key of City of Manila.
The first room that I entered to see was Council Chambers Room. I immediately got curious when I saw the room even I was still standing in the door. There were many visitors like myself explored the room. Anyone can sense that it was a meeting room, because of the way a semi-circular tiered seating arranged and where the Lord Mayor’s chair and table stands. I spent sometime here because I wanted to get my chance to sit in the Lord Mayor’s chair to have my souvenir in the room.
Photos inside Council Chambers
Next room that I visited was Yarra Room which was a former Council Chamber for the city. Another room that showcases how grandeur Melbourne Town Hall is.
Photos inside Yarra Room
Main Hall and Balcony
The jewel of Melbourne Town Hall goes to this grandiose main hall where it also host one of the most beautiful, romantic and the largest pipe organ in southern hemisphere. This is largest and most glamorous room within the town hall where majority of events happening which includes orchestras, choirs, multimedia launches, symposium, meetings, weddings, party’s and a lot more.
When I visited the main hall, there was scheduled organ playing but I haven’t got a chance to listened most of it as I still wanted to explore other parts of the town hall.
Largest Pipe Organ in Southern Hemisphere
Interiors and balcony of Main Hall
Another historic room exist in the town hall is Melbourne Room. This is the room where Queen Elizabeth II has been served with tea in 1954. I had few photos in this room due to a lot of people around, it was difficult to get panoramic shot inside the room.
Some photos of Melbourne Room
Another historical part of the town hall and maybe famous to some people is its Portico and Balcony. It was the impressive portico where Beattles and ABBA waved to their fans during their visit in the city.
When I was standing here, I had a chance to see some part of CBD, in front of Melbourne Town Hall at the other side of Swanston Street is Manchester Unity Building and Melbourne City Square can be found at the left side of the building along Collins Street. I had read some stuff about the first proposed location of the town hall and it was far from where it stands, and because of the debate for its location it was built in the heart of Melbourne CBD.
Snapshots while at the Portico
1. Plan to visit Melbourne Town Hall ?
Address : 90-120 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Free Tours : Available during weekdays, for more details and its schedule, please check here
2. Public Transportation Ticket – Use Myki (Melbourne Ticketing System), please check here for more details.
Use tramTracker Apps or even just Google Maps (use directions) and there are tram routes available
Route: 1, 3/3a, 5, 6, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 –> get off at Stop 11 – Town Hall / Collins Street or Stop 10 Bourke Street Mall/Bourke Street
Route: 112, 109, 48 –> get off at Stop 6 – Town Hall / Collins Street
While living in Melbourne for more than 1.5 years during my assignment for 4 consecutive projects, I was given one of the unprecedented opportunities while working abroad. What kind of opportunity was it that I am talking about? An opportunity to see another country which is Australia, to see another state which is Victoria and to see another city which is Melbourne.
Melbourne is one of the major city that always included in the list of most livable city in the world. Before, I know nothing about the said city but after I got a chance to lived in Melbourne for sometime, I realized and understood the truthfulness why the city is one of the most livable place on earth.
If I will be given another chance to go back in Melbourne I will come back and if I will be given a chance to live there, I wholeheartedly accept it.
Living in one place for a while does not mean you already see everything. I live in my country since birth but I haven’t even got a chance to see quarter of it. While living in Melbourne, I tried my best to see more of the city. To appreciate Melbourne or any other places, I always think that walking is the best way to see it specially if times allows it. I prefer to walk even there’s a tour available, not only because it’s cheaper but because walking in the city or walking in places gives me a chance not only to see it but to experience it.
I did some walks in Melbourne together with my camera following the walking tour maps that I got from Visitor Center at Federation Square and other interesting walks available near or within the metropolis.
Here are some of the posts portraying Melbourne with European atmosphere city down under.
The list above may not be the complete list yet but will be updated if necessary. The link for each post may or may not yet available as you found this post. The article maybe still under its way. I wrote this post a bit later after I published the post for my first walk done in Melbourne – “On The Water Front – Melbourne Walking Tour Part 1“.
During my 4th time visit in Sydney which happened last April 2014 during my 3rd project assignment in Australia, I planned to explore a bit Sydney and some nearby outskirts of the city. One of the places that I explored by walking is the famous Bondi Beach. Honestly I was just curious because I always heard the beach many times while staying in Australia for more than 1.5 years. And I never able to really got a chance to see the beach even I had been in Sydney for quite times. And because of that, I really grabbed my chance to see it.
As I learned that Bondi word is actual an aboriginal word (local word of one of the first people lives in Australia). “Bondi” means “water breaking over rocks” which you can notice that while in the beach and the nearby rocky parts between the side of the beach. I can say that the beach is famous because anyone can visit it easily through any means of transportation as it is not far from Sydney central business district, therefore, people can immediately appreciate the beach without being far or away from the city. Based on history, Bondi Beach has been one of the location during Summer Olympics in 2000 when Australia won over Beijing China. And the beach is also recognized as one of the landmarks in Australia.
I got a chance to see Bondi when I planned to explore Sydney by walking and it happened when I did a walk from Bondi to Cogee.