Snorkeling at the GREAT BARRIER REEF

The first time that I was properly introduced to the wonders under the waters, I was hooked right then. I snorkeled for the first time at the Great Barrier Reef. It was a wonderful experienced, but at the same time it kinda set me up for future disappointment. Because now wherever I go snorkeling, I always compare it to the colors and beauty I saw when I snorkeled for the first time.

The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, is composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres (1,400 miles) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometers (133,000 sq mi).

There are plenty of day tours to choose from at the Great Barrier Reef that offer snorkeling; we opted to try a smaller boat with about 30 passengers, less people means not-so-crowded. We started off early morning when the mist of dawn is still in the air. We walked towards the marina in Cairns. It was the start of a fantastic day. Here are some photos of what we saw.

 

A parrot fish amidst colorful corals

 

Under the sea with these creatures!

 

This is a Black anenome fish –a.k.a the cousin of Nemo

The Great Barrier Reef (located in the Coral Sea, off the east coast of Queensland, Australia) is home to thousands of species of marine life; some are not found anywhere else in the world. It is one of the seven wonders of the natural world, and pulling away from it, and viewing it from a greater distance, you can understand why. It is larger than the Great Wall of China, and the only living structure on earth visible from space.

Posts about Australia:
MELBOURNE – The most liveable city in the world
Snorkeling at the GREAT BARRIER REEFYou are here
Hidden Oasis 12 km away from Melbourne CBD 

Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

MELBOURNE – The most liveable city in the world

I just came back from Manila where I have stayed for the last 6 months. I was driving home from Melbourne airport when I steered the car on the freeway, I marvelled at the fact that there’s no bumper-to-bumper traffic! I could feel the clean crisp air, and I could see the rays of the sun peering through clear-blue clouds, whilst savouring the moment, a thought occurred to me – the quality of life here is really good.

This was before I knew that Melbourne has again been ranked as the most liveable city in the world for the 4th consecutive year according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey.

Among the 140 cities surveyed, Melbourne has scored well in a range of measures including health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

I went to the city the other day and took some photos. I’ll show you a couple of iconic parts of the infrastructure.

Flinders Train Station in Melbourne

The iconic Flinders Train Station is Australia’s oldest train station, its main station building completed in 1909. Its distinctive yellow sandstone facade draws people in from a distance and if you are like me who was holding a camera, I couldn’t help but snap a photo as well.

The Southgate Footbridge and Eureka Tower

Commuters and tourists coming from Flinders train station can cross over the Yarra River on a pedestrian bridge, the Southgate Footbridge. The bridge connects you to another popular destination, Southbank. What was once an industrial area, Southbank is now dominated by high-rise development and one of the primary business centres in Melbourne. Southbank is also home to Eureka tower, the tallest building in Melbourne. The tower stands at 297.3-meters (975 ft) with 91-storeys above ground and one basement level.

By the way here are the top 10 most liveable cities in the world.

1. Melbourne (Australia)
2. Vienna (Austria)
3. Vancouver (Canada)
4. Toronto (Canada)
5. Adelaide (Australia)
6. Calgary (Canada)
7. Sydney (Australia)
8. Helsinki (Finland)
9. Perth (Australia)
10. Auckland (New Zealand)

Out of interest also the bottom 10 out of 140 surveyed.

Abidjan (Cote d’Ivorie)
Tripoli (Libya)
Douala (Cameroon)
Harare (Zimbabwe)
Algiers (Algeria)
Karachi (Pakistan)
Lagos (Nigeria)
Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea)
Dhaka (Bangladesh)
Damascus (Syria)

Posts about Australia:
MELBOURNE – The most liveable city in the worldYou are here
Snorkeling at the GREAT BARRIER REEF
Hidden Oasis 12 km away from Melbourne CBD 

Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

A Day for Play – Best Kid-Friendly Destinations in Sydney

Sydney is a city filled with attractions and activities. You’ll find ample of kid-friendly things to do in Sydney that’ll keep your entire family amused. The best part about these places is that most of them are situated close by and can easily be accessed by public transport or private vehicle. The visits to most of these places are chargeable while others are free of cost. You can still have the time of your life with your family at these top kid-friendly destinations in Sydney.

To begin with, here are some of the must-visits on your family trip to Sydney:
• The Sydney Tower Eye
• Luna Park Sydney
• Taronga Zoo
• The Powerhouse Museum
• The Australian Museum

 

© Thorsten | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
Luna Park Sydney © Thorsten | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Let your children value the wonders of science and space – take them to a virtual tour of the space at the Sydney Observatory in the Rocks. Head off to on an unusual expedition of discovery at the Darling Harbour. There, you can’t go wrong with the idea of visiting world’s largest IMAX Theatre where your kids will love watching their favorite kid’s movie in 3D. Also, try visiting the Darling Park and the Sydney Aquarium nearby. It has some of the most astounding all-Australian aquatic collection within.

For some wow moments, take your children to the Sydney Tower Eye and enjoy several splendid Sydney views up there. Did you know that it is the tallest structure in the city that stands 250 meters tall! If you want your kids to be wowed by another beauty, take them to Manly. It is a child-friendly and one of Sydney’s most popular seaside destinations. One of the most easiest and fun way of getting there is via a ferry ride. Please note to check the Sydney weather at least a day before hitting the beach with kids, for safety reasons.

If your kids love the idea of visiting museums, then you must take them to the Powerhouse Museum, Australian Museum, and the Justice and Police Museum. The Powerhouse Museum has over 250 interactive exhibits featuring an assembly of scientific and technical genius. The Australian Museum has a unique kids’ program and a special area for kid’s under-five. The Sydney Opera House has a kids program too to keep them occupied, so take along your kids for some fun. You can also them out to the Madame Tussauds wax museum at Darling Harbour where they’ll get to see their favorite stars waxed withflawlessness.

Want to have a treat that kids would love to talk about even long after the holidays are over, then head off towards Luna Park. Luna Park is a vintage attraction filled with thrilling rides, scenic visuals, amazing food, and a carnival like atmosphere. If a trip for your kids means going on every ride five times and screaming their hearts outthen this is the place for you. It’s a place that promises fun and excitement for everyone.

If your children love to see animals, Taronga Zoo is where you should take them. The place is full of animals and one of the best in Sydney. Constellation at King George Park is one of Sydney’s best parks that’ll keep your kids on their toes. Children will enjoy their time in the park with swings and a sand pit close by. Plus, you could head on for some picnic time with your kids at the Centennial Parkor the Royal Botanical Gardens. Both are great alternatives if you wish to enjoy a fun-filled day activity with your kids. Alternatively, you could take a ferry to the Sydney Harbor and enjoy the beauty of Sydney with your kids. The weather in Sydney is generally very pleasant and comfortable inviting a lot of visitors all year round to appreciate its beauty.

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