AUSTRALIA: Sydney & Queensland

AUSTRALIA: Sydney & Queensland (May 2010)

In 2010, my sister & I were privileged to go on an Australian vacation. The brother of my dad is a general practitioner in Mackay, Queensland and he invited us over for 2 weeks. I was beyond excited as this was a great opportunity. We were going to a first world country.

After we got our visa (Check this website for visa requirements and processing vfsglobal.com/australia/philippines/visitor_visa.html), I immediately started researching:

+ What were the best places to visit?

+ What shouldn’t I miss out on?

The thrill was just crazy. I had so many lists, so many itineraries, and so many website links that I read and re-read.  I knew our uncle and his boss had plans for us but I loved researching and planning. I did not want to miss out on any opportunity because I may never get the chance to go to Australia again.

As my uncle had mileage points, he gave me a round trip flight to Australia which I was so grateful for. Thank you, Uncle Ronald! 🙂 And it was with QANTAS – One of the best airlines in the world!

QANTAS! Best flight! Best food! Best attendants! Best ever!

QANTAS! Best flight! Best food! Best attendants! Best ever!

I had a lot of stops though. My flight going to Mackay went something like this:

+ Manila to Brisbane

+ Brisbane to Sydney

+ Sydney to Brisbane

+ Brisbane to Mackay

Can you imagine the take offs and touchdowns I had? Too many I must say.

Qantas Breakfast!

Qantas Breakfast!

They were supposed to fix my flight and just make it Manila to Brisbane but I already planned an itinerary in Sydney so I asked for them not to change it. I had 6 hours to spend in Sydney.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

When I got to Sydney Airport, I checked in my baggage for my next flight and ran fast to the train station.

My point of destination was the Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House

When I got there, it was raining heavily but that did not stop me! I was already there, so I made the most out of it, wet of course. Take note, I just came from an 8 hour flight with 1 stopover and with no sleep at all because I was too excited! The Sydney Harbour and Opera House were so beautiful! I just watched the view for an hour even if it was raining. It was so clean and refreshing.

Rain pouring down at Sydney Opera House. I had a chinese man take my picture.

Rain pouring down at Sydney Opera House. I had a chinese man take my picture.

After an hour, I passed by Mc Donalds, bought breakfast and went back to the Airport for my flight to Mackay. It was already 1 pm when we were told to board. I arrived in Brisbane around 3 pm. The wait for the next flight was fast.

Airplane used for my Brisbane to Mackay flight

Airplane used for my Brisbane to Mackay flight

I arrived at Mackay around 7 pm. I was so tired so after my uncle picked me up at the airport, we had  a quick dinner, and he let me rest.

Uncle Ronald's Home in Mackay, Queensland

Uncle Ronald’s Home in Mackay, Queensland

The next few days, Uncle Ronald took me to a few beaches up north of Mackay. We went to the northern beaches specifically Shoal Point, Bucasia, and Black Beach. These beaches were amazing!

DSC08187

Shoal Point

They were so clean and beautiful and THEY WERE FREE!

Black Beach

Black Beach

You will not see any commercial establishments or people asking for any entrance fees. The beaches were in its prime.

Cute dog at Bucasia Beach

Cute dog at Bucasia Beach

The next day, my sister arrived. Uncle Ronald took us to Marina Harbour Village and Austral Hotel. It was very clean and very windy at the harbour. At the hotel, we had drinks and had very yummy steak.

At Marina Harbour Beach

At Marina Harbour Beach

Marina Harbour

Marina Harbour

For the next few days, our uncle made sure we had a lot of activities. He set us up with a cooking class with his friend Marilyn who made us try VEGEMITE, a very salty spread which I did not like. He also took us to Slade Point. A hill with an amazing view.

Beautiful view at Slade Point

Beautiful view at Slade Point

DSC08285

After Slade Point, he took us to his friend David where we saw a collection of fish teeth and jelly fish. He gave us good lectures which were very interesting.

Jellyfish lecture by David

Jellyfish lecture by David

On another day, He took us fishing with Patrick and his family at a dock.

Fishing!

Fishing!

During our first Saturday night, Uncle Ronald and his boss allowed us to go out and spend time at the town bars. We met a lot of cool people.

Justin & his friends ;)

Crazy Aussies!

We partied with a lot of them too. Lots of hot guys! I still remember JUSTIN. A guy who took my camera and took pictures of himself and his friends.

Having a drink with my sister

Having a drink with my sister

Justin and his friends

Justin and his friends

Some girls also led us to a bar which they said was the best bar in town. THEY ACTUALLY TOOK US TO A STRIP CLUB! I was so surprised. I have never been to a strip club and did not plan on going to one but we were already there. It was so funny because I went to the bathroom and a stripper was there, she asked me if I was okay. I just smiled at her. I was really surprised at what was happening. I felt like I was in a movie and everything was fake. But overall, it was a great night. An eye opening experience for me!

A guy showing us his butt!

A guy showing us his butt!

For our second week, Uncle Ronald, his boss (Peter) and Peter’s wife (Maggie) took us to a few more places:

(A) Botanical Garden Cape Hillsborough where we saw kangaroos! Lots of them! 🙂 We also walked a mile on a great beach – Hillsborough beach.

Kangaroo!

Kangaroo!

Iris walking at Hillsborough Beach

My sister walking at Hillsborough Beach

(B) We also went to a beach called Airlie. This was really interesting because people were not hanging out at the ACTUAL beach. Everyone was at the man made beach near the actual beach.

Airlie

Airlie

(C) Thai restaurant.

Drinks at the Thai Restaurant

Drinks at the Thai Restaurant

During one of the work days (Peter, Maggie & Uncle Ronald were very busy at the clinic), my sister & I went to the supermarket to buy gifts for Lola, Mom, and Ina. After that, we went to Blue water Lagoon as advised by Uncle Ronald.

Bluewater Lagoon! A public swimming pool!

Bluewater Lagoon! A public swimming pool!

This was a free swimming pool. IT WAS A PUBLIC POOL. IT WAS FREE AND CLEAN. AND YES AGAIN, FREE. There were free shower rooms and lockers as well. I am sure if this was in Manila, there would be entrance and other miscellaneous fees.

Australia was amazing!

I am truly grateful to Uncle Ronald, Peter, and Maggie for this great travel experience. This trip ignited my passion for TRAVELLING. And I will always be grateful for this opportunity.

Thank you to Uncle Ronald, Peter and Maggie for their great hospitality and humble hearts! We are truly grateful!

Thank you to Uncle Ronald, Peter and Maggie for their great hospitality and humble hearts! We are truly grateful!

I am very grateful for these amazing  travel blessings:

Accommodation

Food

Transportation

Activities

Others

We are very grateful to Uncle Ronald, Peter and Maggie for giving us these travel blessings.
Extra expenses USD XXX – Thank you to Lola for the extra money you gave us for our Australia trip.

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