Precious Moment In The Mountain : Donaghys Hill

Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#26) : Donaghys Hill

Second best thing that I experienced during the tour in Tasmania was the time that we went to Donaghys Hill Lookout. We did a trek to reached the lookout and we had a 360 degrees views of amazing wilderness in the area. The lookout is almost at the center between Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. The scenery were breathtaking. It was one of the moment that reminds me that the world is wonderful. Another picturesque that are hidden that can only be seen from the top with an effort. These photos are part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.

P1090366_s

P1090336_s

P1090344_s

 

 

 

Advertisements

Hahndorf – Australia’s Oldest Surviving German Settlement Town

After coming from Mount Lofty Summit, we drove straight to Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. The town is located at Adelaide Hills which part of Mount Lofty Ranges. After I heard that Handorf is a German Town, I was really curious, as myself coming from an asian country such as mine, wondering what it looks like and what it feels like to be in a German Town. In less than half an hour after we left “The Summit”, we arrived in Hanhdorf.

First thing to noticed before we parked our tour bus were the trees along the Main St. The atmosphere that struck me was like a classic town with the touch of being a farm village. We got off the bus and I joined other tourists which I guessed the age gap was probably not that big compare to mine. They were three whom traveling solo, but in Hahndorf, we looked like friends that traveled together. As of this writing I can’t remember their names anymore. But I had a great time being with them. One of them was German, that was why she’s quite familiar in the ambiance of the place. She’s the one who mentioned to us that German Sausage is typical in a German town.

— Hahndorf Inn

We walked along the Main Street, from the parking area, we started our experience in one of the restaurants where we tasted their cakes. When we entered in the restaurant named Hahndorf Inn, I had this impression that its like a cowboy cafe because of the interior design of the restaurant, some parts seems made from wood and the other parts were concrete. Hahndorf Inn has a long history in the place and I guessed that the inn had been witnessed to a lot of people’s live in the area and even the lives of the visitors that happened there.

— Hahndorf Inn

After we finished our cakes we left Hahndorf Inn. We tried to explore most of the shops and stores along the Main Street. We stopped a little bit in Hahndorf Candle Barn where we found different kinds of candles, scented and crafted candles with additional artistic accessories. Then, it followed by German Village Shop where we saw traditional clocks which famous in old days such as cuckoo clocks and complimented by other hand-made crafts.

— Hahndorf Candle Barn

— German Village Shop

After reading stuff (from the official site of Hahhdorf) about this German town, I came to learn that the place is one of the historical place not only in Australia but also in Germany. Hahndorf name was came from the name of the ship’s captain that brought the German people in South Australia named Dirk Hahn, a Danes. These German immigrants were Lutherans who experienced great persecution in their faith from the King of Prussia whom got a chance to migrate in this part of Adelaide Hills.

Other places or establishments we passed were Leathersmith and Bush Gallery which we saw displaying leather made good products, Cafe 1839 (which closed that time), Hahndorf Academy which is one of historical building in the town as it used in different purposes from the time it was built last 1857, The German Arms Hotel which marked as historical, significant hotel in the town and serves local German beers, The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel, The Stables Inn and Pioneer Memorial Gardens.

— Leathersmith and Bush Gallery

— Cafe 1839

— Hahndorf Academy

— The German Arms Hotel

— The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel

— The Stables Inn

— Pioneer Memorial Gardens

Natural Wonders : Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake

DSC04173

Natural Wonders (Post#3) : Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake

When I visited Columbia Icefield in Jasper, Alberta which I considered one of the great places that I had ever been, I had an opportunity to see beautiful and amazing sceneries along Icefield Parkway. And one of the scenic views that I witness was mountains lined-up in both sides of the road. The snapshot above was Mount Chepren together with icy-crystal Waterfowl Lake which can been seen in Icefield Parkway still in Banff, Alberta area which I captured during my adventure tour in Canadian Rockies last May 2008. The name of the mountain was came from the 4th Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Chepren (or Khafra) according to Wikipedia.

Mount Lofty Summit – South Australia’s Majestic Summit

Morning day tour was over and our bus returned to the coach terminal where we came from that day in the morning. And because of that, I got a chance to stroll in the nearby market for lunch, the market is called Adelaide Central Market. After a quick walk, I select Chinese restaurant and ate comfortably with Asian menu. As I observed the place, the market was jam pack with people who common in such kind of place. Caucasian, asian and other races were flocked together in one place.

When the time was up, I returned to the terminal for my afternoon tour and in just few minutes, we were ready to go. The afternoon adventure focused on highland areas near Adelaide. Our first stop was Mount Lofty Summit which considered as the highest point in southern Mount Lofty Ranges. We passed city centre as we drove towards Adelaide Hills. I can’t remember which road we took to the summit but we drove almost half an hour before we reached the place.

DSC05176 DSC05175 DSC05177

DSC05178

–Mount Lofty Summit Lookout Area with Flinders Column

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Some information to be found and worth reading it

When we arrived at the location, I was really excited because highlands or lets say mountains or hills is my most favourite place to visit whether it’s an adventure climb or a simple tour. From the bus, we walked a little until we reached the lookout area. Mount Lofty Summit is also called as “The Summit” which considered as majestic peak in South Australia, I’m not sure what does it mean but for my own opinion maybe because of the panoramic views that will be witness in the place like Adelaide City Centre and Adelaide Airport which all within the vicinity of vast and wide Adelaide Plains.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Adelaide Plains

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Adelaide Plains

When we were in the lookout area, I grabbed all my chances to take photos of the scenery. And it was amazing because at the time we were at the summit, it was obvious that the clouds was heavier and darker, these clouds had been visible to most of the photos. While strolling around the place, I learned that the summit was named by famous Matthew Flinders who an English man from Britain whom navigated Australia. “The Summit” also offers restaurants and cafes where people can indulge with great foods while watching panoramic views, a truly relaxing place to be.

P1090137 P1090138

–Adelaide City Centre

DSC05170

–Adelaide Airport

Mount Lofty Summit reminded me again how I really missed mountains, seeing places which can only be appreciated or discovered at the top together with nature is one of the main reason I love to be in highlands.

At the top, I can see beyond my imagination and started to think things in good ways and view the world again as liveable place to stay on.

Panoramic View : Victoria Valley and Victoria Range

P1100115

Panoramic View (Post#22) : Victoria Valley and Victoria Range

One of the place that I dreamed to visit in Victoria State in Australia was Grampians National Park. The main reason why I wanted to visit the place because of its mountain ranges. I can’t really describe in one word the feelings that I have every time I am in such a place. Probably an inner peace within myself is one, the inspiration to have hope and to live again or the feelings of being reborn again. The photo above shows the Victoria Valley and Victoria Range which one of the scenic views to enjoy from Reeds Lookout in Grampians. We visited the place during sunset and the photo shows is cloudy and misty, we waited a little bit for clear sky just to witness this view before leaving the lookout. Scenery captured during our Grampians overnight adventure last July 2013.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:

Blue Monday – Jul 11, 2016
Through My Lens
 – Jul 11, 2016
Our World Tuesday – Jul 12, 2016
Travel Tuesday – Jul 12, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – Jul 13, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Jul 13, 2016
Skywatch Friday – Jul 15, 2016
Scenic Weekends – Jul 15, 2016
In Heaven – Jul 16, 2016

Blissful Second : Puffing Billy Steam Train Ride Moment

P1090193

Blissful Second (Post#2) : Puffing Billy Steam Train Ride Moment

The photo above shows the moment of steam train ride adventure which I captured while we were on our way to Gembrook. It was a joy ride as we took Puffing Billy which is classic and a century old steam train railway located in Dandenong Ranges which not far from Melbourne. It is said that Puffing Billy is the finest reserved in the world and it is Australia’s Premier Reserved Steam Railway. Photo captured last June 2013.

Wandering in Jenolan Caves and Missed Flight Adventure

Wandering in Jenolan Caves

During my second visit in Sydney the last stop of the tour was Jenolan Caves which not far from Echo Point Lookout where we started. Jenolan Caves are also located in World Heritage Blue Mountains National Park. From Echo Point Road we returned to Great Western Highway, and then we turned left at Hartley and took Jenolan Caves Road.

P1090131

P1090130
Grand Arch

We reached the caves but before the bus completely stop so we can get off, we actually passed a one way road and I discovered that it is called as Grand Arch of the cave and I was surprised and never expected that there are still something to see after we passed the Grand Arch. At the end I saw parking area, cafe and restaurants and hotel like a small village. Yes I was really amazed. Our bus stopped at designated area and our group walked under the Grand Arch and went to the waiting area. While waiting I realised that there were more than one cave are available for tour, our tour will be at Lucas Cave. Lucas Cave is the cave that can accommodate large group of tourist.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jenolan Cave was one of the caves that I visited outside my country. Most of the time I was curious what’s inside the cave and I treasured the experience with the group of people. Aside from uncertain adventures inside the cave, I was curious of what things to discover or things to learn inside the cave. It reminds me one of my childhood dreams which is to become a scientist.

P1080977

Our tour guide instructed us to get in line so we can walk smoothly along the pathway without issues while inside the cave as there are other groups which already inside and there were possibility that we will pass each other, we waited for a while and then we started our tour by climbing several stairs.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Waiting Area under Grand Arch

Lucas Cave has pathways to follow to avoid getting lost and I suspect that it’s the same case to other caves. The track is not simple paths to walk in but there are steep stairs to climb and stairs to go down. Initially, we started to climb almost 200 steps of stairs to reach anteroom. Anteroom was the first space we stop for a while after climbing the stairs.

P1080982

–Wandering inside the Lucas Cave by following other tourist.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

As we saw some formations in anteroom, our guide was explaining scientific facts about the rock formation inside the cave. Honestly I can’t remember the right terms but the sounds familiar until I checked online about the rock formation found in the cave. I reminisce what our guide that time were telling us. We saw rock formations in the ceilings which called as ‘stalactite’, these are the formations created by the water dripping from the ceiling. While the ‘stalagmite’ are the formations grown from the ground.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

Then we continued our walk and along the way we saw other formations until we reached the Cathedral Chamber. We stopped in a while in the chamber to witness how magnificent this part of the cave. The chamber has high ceiling as per my observation because I saw there were metal stairs up near the ceilings and because of the lights that they installed in the chamber, we got a chance to see clearly how high the ceiling and how amazing the surrounding area.

Cathedral Chamber

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Cathedral Chamber

After leaving Cathedral Chamber, along the way we pass the passageway called “The Slide”. This passageway is a shortcut to Exhibition Chamber.

P1090033

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–The Slide

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

Then, we saw what they called “The Curtain”. I was really amazed how they invented the name of the rock formations as it resemble specific things.

P1090045 P1090043

–The Curtain

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

Then we followed our guide again as we explore Lucas Cave. Then we stopped in one of the biggest area of the cave because it features a lot of rock formations. The area is called Exhibition Chamber where The Broken Column formation can be found.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

P1090078

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

— The Broken Column

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Exhibition Chamber

Another section of Lucas Cave is Mafeking Section, where I enjoyed lots of Stalactites and this section shows amazing formation inside the cave

P1090106

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Mafeking Section

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

–Lucas Cave

I was stunned with unique, beautiful, amazing and fantastic rock formations found in Lucas Cave. I knew that Jenolan Caves is huge and our tour specifically visited just one part of it, but even that was the case I had a great time discovering things that are unfamiliar and wonderful stuff that took million years before it developed. Indeed our world still has a lot to offer for our own discovery. I was inspired again by scientist and geologist who initiated to protect such cave because of them I got a chance to see it and learned something in this part of the world about caves.

One of the simple thing that myself and other tourist can do to protect such underground gems is to follow the rule not to touch them, because at the time we tempted to touch them, it is the start of their destruction. A destruction induced by humans.

Missed Flight Adventure

After my Jenolan Cave adventure, I experienced one of the unforgettable moments while venturing as a solo traveler, because I only booked an overnight hotel which I mentioned in my previous post under “Quick Peek of Sydney Darling Harbour”, I had to go straight to the airport after the tour, because I was flying back to Melbourne. As I somewhat unfamiliar with traffic conditions in Sydney which I never thought that it will cause me to missed my flight in Tiger Airways which strictly implementing 45 minutes before the scheduled flight. We left Jenolan Cave almost 4PM, at first I was relaxed while we were driving to the city, until we reached the Western Motorway almost near in the city, we slowly moving because of traffic and it was Saturday evening. I started to feel nervous because I need to be in the airport around 7:15PM and then I was thinking if there some miracle happened in the traffic so I will be able to reached before that time.

We reached the bus terminal where we started the tour in “The Star” building at 7PM, I took a cab and able to arrived at the airport around 7:30PM, I knew I am going to missed my flight and while in the cab on the way to the airport, I checked available flights around 8PM in my mobile, until I saw scheduled flight of Virgin Australia. When I reached domestic airport (Kingsford-Smith Airport or Sydney Airport), Tiger Airways desk counter were closed, and checked other Domestic Airlines and all were closed, I almost lost my hope when I saw Virgin Australia kiosk counter near the entrance. I talked to the people at their desk and I tried to inquire if I can still catch-up the last flight to Melbourne that night and I tried to negotiate with the airline as I need to go back to Melbourne.

At the time, I thought so fast and decided immediately that I prefered to buy another ticket since I already missed my original flight than to spend another night in a hotel in Sydney wherein I still need to go back to the airport in the morning. Virgin Australia scheduled flight was 8PM, the time was so tight for me, I waited for the airlines decision if I can still buy the ticket for the said schedule and it was almost 7:40PM, until they agreed and let me bought the ticket, after that, in few minutes they were calling my name as I run to the boarding gate, my heart was pounding because they were going to close the gate. I arrived in the boarding gate breathless and catching up air and then they scanned my ticket. I walked to the door of the plane still nervous and I only felt relaxed when I was on my seat waiting for the departure time.

It was the first time I experienced the situation where I missed a flight and have to catch-up the last available flight. I learned a lot on the situation, next time I will not book a flight after a tour or adventure because road traffic situation is not in my hand. A lot of things can happen to miss a flight if I will be coming from somewhere aside from hotel. It was a relief I arrived in my hotel in Melbourne that night after 3 hours.

Until then.

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Dandenong Ranges

P1090200

Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#15) : Dandenong Ranges

I had some visits in Australia where it involves families of my friends that I met while staying in Melbourne for more than one and a half-year. And when it involves families sometimes you will feel like you are young or a kid wherein one of the important thing in their life as of the moment is playtime. Well at that time we visited Puffing Billy Steam Train located in Dandenong Ranges. And we actually experience to ride the steam train. And one of the great benefit of that was having a chance to glimpse some views while inside Dandenong Ranges. The photo above was overlooking at Belgrave South while at the steam train captured last June 2013 after leaving Belgrave Station of Puffing Billy Railway.

Panoramic View : Cascade Mountain

DSC03965

Panoramic View (Post#2) : Cascade Mountain

The photo above is Cascade Mountain Side View which captured while I was near in Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park last May 2008 when I got a chance to visit Canada in short period of time. I can’t forget this park as this awaken myself to one of the things that I really love since I was in college which is mountain. Every time I saw mountains, I always think how beautiful the mountain is and wondering whats on it to experience. I love climbing mountain but never had a chance to climb an alpine mountain as I live in tropical country and what we have are tropical mountains.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in Skywatch Friday – February 12, 2016 and Scenic Weekends – February 14, 2016

Squamish – With The Chief, Canyon and Tantalus

Squamish was one of the significant place that we passed while we were on our way to Whistler. Before reaching the town of Squamish, we’re able to have a short glimpse of Stawamus Chief (or The Chief), The Chief is a granite dome and considered to be one of the largest granite monolith in the world.

DSC05022Stawamus Chief (The Chief)

Next, to Stawamus Chief is Squamish town. Since I was inside the train and just passing by, I had a quick look at the nearby port and its surrounding area.

Squamish Port

Squamish Port

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Around Squamish Town

Few more minutes passed and we reached the beautiful spot which later I learned that it is Cheakamus Canyon. The first time I saw some parts of the canyon, I was already amazed. There is a river beside the train tracks and discovered that it is Cheakamus river. Aside from the river, I never thought that I will find a beautiful canyon. The train followed the tracks within Cheakamus Canyon. I got excited when the train slowed down and I got a better view of the canyon. Around the vicinity, we crossed river, creek and lake, all the sceneries that I witnessed fascinated me. The water flow in the streams in the canyon was breathtaking and I felt great with the beauty of the nature that surrounds the train.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cheakamus Canyon

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Around Cheakamus Canyon

I honestly admired all the people involved in building the tracks in the early times. They made a great effort where to put the tracks of the train because I never disappointed for everything that I saw while traveling with Whistler train. They knew exactly the best spot where to be able to see the wonderful nature in Squamish.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Cheakamus River

Another scenic view in the area that I saw was after we came from Whistler. The bus tour where I hopped on from Whistler Village stopped at Tantalus Lookout. The lookout is located exactly along Sea to Sky Highway (major road) from Vancouver to Whistler and vice versa. The lookout viewpoint is towards Tantalus Provincial Park where Tantalus ranges can be seen. The sceneries we’re all breathtaking, I never expected that few minutes stop in the highway was great indeed.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tantalus Lookout and Tantalus mountain ranges

Whistler – Warm Haven in Cold Paradise

Whistler becomes a buzz word while I was in Canada because the next Winter Olympics which will be happening in 2010 will be held in Whistler. I was so happy that I will be able to visit Whistler because I knew that I will not be around during the Olympic season. Before I even arrived in Vancouver, I had been planning my tour since I had only two full day weekends, two nights and half-day (just almost 5 days) to travel around British Columbia and I don’t want to waste my time just being at the hotel.

I was booked for Whistler Mountain and Forest Tour via Whistler Glacier Dome train last June 14, 2008. I booked the tour with Vancouver Landsea Tours and Adventures. Because the location of my hotel (Ramada Hotel) was in Burnaby, the tour company told me that they will not be able to pick me up from the hotel that I was staying. I was advised to go to Hyatt Regency hotel at Burrard Street. Therefore, I woke up early and went to the said hotel to join the group tour. After meeting my group, I was dropped off at the Whistler train station since my tour includes Whistler train.

Inside the Glacier Dome of Whister Mountauneer TrainInside the Glacier Dome of Whistler Mountaineer Train (quite blurred)

DSC04966 Lions Gate Bridge view from North Vancouver DistrictLions Gate Bridge (From North Vancouver District)

Vancouver View from West VancouverVancouver view from West Vancouver

Bowen Island view from West Vancouver Bowen Island view from West Vancouver

Whistler train station is in North Vancouver railway station, this was where the Whistler train left Vancouver. From the station, we passed  Lions Gate Bridge a suspension bridge that connects Vancouver to North Shore of North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

The train route follows the coastline of North Vancouver to West Vancouver near Marine Drive, then the rest of the tracks is almost parallel to Sea to Sky Highway. The trail seemed designed for a great train ride. The panoramic views along the Strait of Georgia, sceneries together with Bowen and Gambier Island from Lions Bay, Furry Creek and Squamish were really amazing.

Falls view from Moutaineer Train Falls view from Moutaineer TrainFalls view from Whistler trainDSC04990 View from Lions BaySome photos while on our way to Whistler (along Sea To Sky Highway)

DSC05013 Mountains near Squamish (on our way to Whistler) DSC05016Scenic view near in Squamish

Riding in a train like that seems like a cruise because the dome train I took was more luxurious than the other carriage of the Whistler train. The travel was comfortable and enjoyable. I admired everything that I saw all the way from Vancouver to Whistler.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Almost at Whistler

Whistler Village

Finally, we arrived at Whistler Village. Because I booked Whistler tour via train, I was separated in my group tour on the way to Whistler, they came to Whistler via tourist bus. I met the whole group and the tourist guide again in the village. I remembered that our guide told us that while we’re in the village, we have free time to spend and try things that we like. The group agreed to come back at the meeting place in a specific time.

Whistler Mountaineer StationWhistler Train Station

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some snapshots in Whistler Village

While in Whistler, I grabbed the opportunity to walk within the village. I was able to reach lake called Green Lake and found out that it was the Whistler airport station. Yes, it is the airport because it’s not the same like common airport we used to, it is an airport for a sea float plane, where small plane flies but lands in water either in harbor or lakes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Whistler Airport at Green Lake (and its surrounding area)

Since the area is being prepared for the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2010, there were constructions going on in different parts of the village, but the construction activities did not hinder the normal operations in the village and tourist keeps on coming.

Blackcomb Mountain

After walking for sometime around Whistler Village, I decided to ride gondolas to reach the mountain summit. I saw Blackcomb mountain booth. I bought the ticket and went on queue for gondola. The gondola that I saw in the area are open type gondola because it is the rides of people who does the skiing in the mountain during winter season and because the winter was over,  the same gondola brings tourist like me to reach the top of the mountain.

During my ascent to the summit of the Blackcomb mountain, I was able to see the panoramic views of mountains around the area. If I saw Rocky Mountains in Banff from the ground, I was overwhelmed because I witness different angle of mountains from the top. And because it was Spring season I saw some parts of the Blackcomb mountain that still have snow and iced which a leftover by Winter season. I was lucky that I was wearing winter jacket at that time because I experience the cold wind from the ground up to the summit. I spent some time at the peak of the mountain by taking photos, by just looking around 360 degrees and by appreciating all the things that my eyes reached. I never experienced a mountain like that before where it felt like the other surrounding mountains were so close to me. It seems they were all reachable and I could just grab them with my bare hands with the blink of an eye. I told myself how beautiful and great the place where I was standing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Panoramic Views at Blackcomb Mountain

I looked at my watch and decided to descend the mountain. I reached the ground of the mountain the same way that I reached the summit.

It was great to see a beautiful village surrounded by mountains. I was ecstatic and I never thought that a remote place like Whistler is a beautiful community covered by natures wonders. It was really a wonderful place for me. I really enjoyed my walk along the village and my rides in gondola. Discovering the place from the ground, from the sky and from summit made my experience memorable.

My group tour met together again. And in few minutes we left Whistler Village and we started driving back to Vancouver.